MSc Digital Forensics
Digital Forensics is a rapidly expanding area, the requirement of these skills within the corporate industry and law enforcement is vital. This especially relates to when handling the investigation of cyber-attacks and cyber-enabled crimes that will support organisations, government, and law enforcement. This MSc in Digital Forensics will prepare you for a career within law enforcement, government, and the corporate world that is an ever-growing skill as cyber crime and attacks continue to advance at quick speeds.
This course is part of the National Cyber Security Academy, which brings the University, Welsh Government, and industry experts together to tackle the skills gap and create experts who can fight against cybercrime. USW has been named Cyber University of the Year for four consecutive years at the National Cyber Awards, and we are one of only 8 Universities in the UK to be awarded Gold by the National Cyber Security Centre as an Academic Centre of Excellence.
You will cover both the technical and management/governance areas required to operate in the cyber security profession, allowing you to enhance your existing skills and develop a range of key transferrable skills valued by employers in both the public and private sectors. You will also benefit from being taught by staff who are at the forefront of their subject area.
This course is subject to validation.
The MSc Digital Forensics degree will allow students to develop skills and knowledge in the Digital Forensics core areas within law enforcement, corporate and government. Obtaining these skills allows the progression within the Digital Forensics sector and career development for students. This is achieved by using a “workplace” learning environment which emulates what it’s like to work in digital forensics, using Cyber labs with up-to-date systems and equipment plus the use of the Secure Operations Centre (SOC) and the Crime Scene House. While emulating “workplace” learning, the engagement of industry throughout the course is achieved through guest lectures, industry seminars, project led assignments, etc which aids understanding and development of digital forensics skills for all students.
This course is designed for individuals that have completed an IT related degree or currently working within the Cyber Security/Digital Forensics industry and wish to develop skills or transition into the cyber security industry.
- Emerging Technology and Digital Forensics (20 credits)
- Digital Forensics Standards and Compliance (20 credits)
- Networking Technologies (20 credits)
- Secure Operations and Incident Management (20 credits)
- Advanced Digital Forensic Techniques (20 credits)
- Mobile Device Forensics (20 credits)
- MSc Project (60 credits)
We offer cutting-edge facilities which means you will be learning in specialist Cyber labs. Practical learning will be undertaken within “workplace” learning environments such as the Secure Operations Centre (SOC) and Crime Scene House, this will allow learning emulating a workplace.
We are one of only a few Universities to offer this industry-standard facility while also collaborating with government, academia, and industry to support learning and development of the cyber sector.
As such it differs from traditional lecture-driven learning. Given the nature of this MSc degree, there are no formal time-restricted exams and assessments are a mix of academic evidence-based research and practical project-based assessments.
Companies currently involved in the MSc Digital Forensics course include Tarian RCCU (Regional Cyber Crime Unit), South Wales Police, Gwent Police, EX1 Forensics, etc. These organisations will be involved in the course throughout the academic year(s).
Our facilities are at the cutting edge meaning you’ll use the latest technologies in high-spec labs, a crime scene house, and a Secure Operations Centre (SOC) typical of those used by Digital Forensic industry to incorporate “workplace” learning to provide an authentic experience.
The University of South Wales has become part of a project to train the next generation of Digital Forensic experts. You can join the course within the National Cyber Security Academy and become part of the next generation of Digital Forensic Experts.
To be able to achieve this, the leading cyber software is used, industry engagement within modules, additional networking events are provided to support learning along with the emulation of the working environment. This will replicate the responsibilities you will experience in the real world.
You’ll have amazing opportunities to interact with industry organisations like Splunk, South Wales Police Digital Forensic Unit, Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), Bridewell, and Gwent Hi Tech Crime Unit.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually.
This course is designed for graduates with a minimum 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent. Entrants should be graduates in a computing or related area and have very good IT skills.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IETLS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
Find out more about what entry requirements we ask for from your country or region by visiting our International link.
Applicants may be invited to an interview with the course leader or relevant member of the course team to determine suitability for the MSc course.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Part-time UK: £1140 per 20 credits
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24
Career opportunities for those with a Digital Forensic qualification continue to grow with many roles offering an interesting, challenging and rewarding environment to work in. From implementing Digital Forensic policies, law enforcement investigations, corporate investigations, incident response capabilities etc. There are a variety of opportunities throughout the digital forensic industry. Graduates could also consider a computing research degree or a computing PhD.
Possible Career Paths
- Law enforcement
- Security Analyst
- Government Intelligence Agencies
- Incident Response Analyst
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty-based Career Advisors, in person, over the phone, or even Teams and through email via the “Ask the Question” service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our careers service has dedicated teams. A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.