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Professor Alastair Irons

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Academic Dean for Faculty of Technology

My current subject specific research centres on cybersecurity and digital forensics - particularly on approaches to proactively reducing cybercrime; evaluating threat sharing protocols and procedures; and professional accreditation in digital forensics. I am also interested in pedagogic research in computer science - focusing on problem based learning but also assessment and feedback.

Teaching and supervision

BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
  • Advanced Computer Forensics
  • Current Issues in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
  • Advanced Cybersecurity

MSc Cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity Fundamentals
  • Cybersecurity in Organisations
  • Big Data Security

Professional Doctorate
  • Contextualisation and Planning


Number of items: 51.


Crick, Tom, Davenport, James H., Hanna, Paul, Irons, Alastair and Prickett, Tom (2020) Overcoming the Challenges of Teaching Cybersecurity in UK Computer Science Degree Programmes. 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2377-634X

Mcdonald, Sharon, Cockton, Gilbert and Irons, Alastair (2020) The impact of Thinking-Aloud on usability inspection. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 4 (88). pp. 1-21. ISSN 2573-0142

Ferguson, R.I., Renaud, Karen, Wilford, Sara and Irons, Alastair (2020) PRECEPT: a framework for ethical digital forensics investigations. Journal of Intellectual Capital, ahead- (ahead-). ISSN 1469-1930

Davenport, James, Crick, Thomas, Irons, Alastair and Prickett, Tom (2020) A UK Case Study on Cybersecurity Education and Accreditation. IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, 2019. p. 1. ISSN 2377-634X

Prickett, Tom, Pearce, Sally, Irons, Alastair, Hanna, Paul, Davenport, James H and Crick, Tom (2020) Repositioning BCS Degree Accreditation. ITNOW, 62 (1). pp. 50-51. ISSN 1746-5702

Peacock, Donna and Irons, Alastair (2017) Gender Inequality in Cybersecurity: Exploring the Gender Gap in Opportunities and Progression. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 9 (1). ISSN 2040-0748

Irons, Alastair (2017) ‘Reflection on Higher Degree Apprenticeship Development’. Higher Education, Skills and Work Based Learning, 7 (1). pp. 112-122. ISSN 2042-3896

Irons, Alastair and Ophoff, Jacques (2016) Aspects of Digital Forensics in South Africa. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, 11. pp. 273-283. ISSN 1555-1229

Irons, Alastair and Thomas, Paula (2016) Problem based learning in digital forensics. Higher Education Pedagogies, 1 (1). pp. 95-105. ISSN 2375-2696

Irons, Alastair, Savage, N., Maple, C. and Davies, A. (2016) Embedding Cybersecurity in the Computer Science Curriculum. IT Now, 2016 (1). pp. 56-57.

Irons, Alastair and Lallie, Harjinder Singh (2014) From Digital Forensics to Intelligent Forensics. Future Internet, 6 (3). pp. 584-596. ISSN 1999-5903

Irons, Alastair and Thomas, Paula (2014) Problem Based Learning in Digital Forensics. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences. ISSN 1473-7507

Dunn, D, Irons, Alastair, Smith, Peter and MacIntyre, John (2013) Sunderland Software City: The Impact of a Collaborative Project to Develop the Software Industry within the North East of England. GSTF International Journal on Computing, 3 (2). pp. 98-102. ISSN 2251-3043

Irons, Alastair (2012) Measurement issues with geo-positional forensics. Measurement and Control, 45 (10). pp. 311-314. ISSN 0020-2940

Irons, Alastair (2010) Digital forensics and measurement science. Measurement and Control, 43 (8). pp. 238-242. ISSN 0020-2940

Hall, Lynne, Irons, Alastair, MacIntyre, John, Sellers, Charles and Smith, Peter (2010) Sunderland Software City: An Innovative Approach to Knowledge Exchange in the North East of England. Journal of Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 15 (3). pp. 317-327. ISSN 1359-6748

Irons, Alastair, Stephens, P and Ferguson, R I (2009) Digital investigation as a distinct discipline: a pedagogic perspective. Digital Investigation, 6 (1-2). pp. 82-90. ISSN 1742-2876

Irons, Alastair and White, Su (2007) Informatics in the UK: current perspectives. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 6 (3). pp. 12-26. ISSN 1473-7507

Irons, Alastair and Konstadopoulou, A (2007) A professionalism in digital forensics. Digital Evidence Journal, 4 (2). pp. 65-71. ISSN 1756-4611

Irons, Alastair and Hilton, Kev (2006) A 'criminal personas' approach to countering criminal creativity. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 8 (4). pp. 248-259. ISSN 1460-3780

Irons, Alastair (2006) Computer forensics and records management - compatible disciplines. Records Management Journal, 16 (2). pp. 102-112. ISSN 0956-5698

Book Section

Crick, Tom, Davenport, James H., Hayes, Alan, Irons, Alastair and Prickett, Tom (2021) Supporting Early-Career Academics in the UK Computer Science Community. In: CEP '21: Computing Education Practice 2021. ACM, pp. 33-36. ISBN 9781450389594

Crick, Tom, Prickett, Tom, Davenport, James H. and Irons, Alastair (2020) Assessing the Value of Professional Body Accreditation of Computer Science Degree Programmes [Poster]. In: ITiCSE '20: Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. ACM.

Crick, Tom, Davenport, James H., Hanna, Paul, Irons, Alastair and Prickett, Tom (2020) Computer Science Degree Accreditation in the UK. In: CEP 2020: Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Computing Education Practice 2020. ACM. ISBN 9781450377294

Irons, Alastair (2019) Delivering Cybersecurity Education Effectively. In: Cybersecurity Education for Awareness and Compliance. IGI Global, pp. 135-157. ISBN 9781522578475

Smith, Peter, Fulton, John, Irons, Alastair and Sanders, Gail (2015) The Role of the Professional Doctorate in Developing Professional Practice in STEM Subjects. In: Innovative Professional Development Methods and Strategies for STEM Education. IGI Global, pp. 1-16. ISBN 9781466694712

Irons, Alastair (2011) Impact of digital investigations on society in England and Wales: the north east of England as a case study. In: Police Practices and their Impact on Society. Social justice, equality and empowerment . Nova Publishers. ISBN 978-1-61209-724-4

Conference or Workshop Item

Hayes, Catherine, Fulton, John, Irons, Alastair and Capper, Stephen (2017) 'Partnership in Professional Doctoral Reflexivity - Action Research as a Driver in the Co-Construction of Knowledge'. In: Change Agent Network Conference, 2018, 19 - 20 Apr 2018, University of Winchester, UK. (Submitted)

Drange, T., Irons, Alastair, Sutherland, I. and Nor, G. (2016) Blogs vs WIKI as a reflection tool in Moodle: A Case Study. In: WEI International Academic Conference on Education and Humanities, 30-31 May 2016, Prague.

Irons, Alastair (2016) Impact of Edward Snowden on National Security Policy. In: University of Cape Town Research Seminar Series, May 2016, Cape Town, South Africa. (Unpublished)

Irons, Alastair (2016) Ways in which Universities can work with UTCs to ensure smooth student transition. In: Digital Leaders North East Salon, May 2016, Newcastle. (Unpublished)

Irons, Alastair and Peacock, Donna (2015) Impact of Gender in Computer Security. In: 11th Annual Teaching Computer Forensics Conference, 19 Nov 2015, University of Sunderland, UK..

Irons, Alastair and Peacock, Donna (2015) The Impact of Gender in Computer Security. In: The 8th International Conference on Cybercrime Forensics Education and Training, 3-4 September 2015, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury. (Submitted)

Irons, Alastair (2013) "Mit Dansk er darligt": Consideration of Self and Peer Feedback. In: Workshop: TEACH unit, 19 Nov 2013, University of Copenhagen.

Irons, Alastair (2013) Keynote speech: Challenges in Assessment and Feedback. In: Assessment, Feedback and Learning Conference, 18 Nov 2013, University of Southern Denmark, Odense.

Irons, Alastair (2013) Search and Seizure – Making it Real(istic). In: HEA STEM (Computing): Teaching Computer Forensics, 14 Nov 2013, University of Sunderland.

Irons, Alastair (2013) Digital Natives - Impact on Education. In: Academic 2013, 28 Jun 2013, University of Sunderland.

Irons, Alastair and Devlin, Siobhan (2012) Inspiring teaching in higher education. In: 17th Annual SEDA Conference - Excellence in Teaching: recognising, enhancing, evaluating and achieving impact, 15 - 16 Nov 2012, Aston Business School, Birmingham.

Irons, Alastair and Devlin, Siobhan (2012) The Inspiring Teacher in Computing. In: STEM Annual Conference 2012 - Aiming for excellence in STEM learning and teaching, 12 Apr 2012 - 13 Apr 2012, Imperial College and The Royal Geographical Society London , England, SW7 2AZ.

Irons, Alastair, Devlin, Siobhan, Fielding, S and Robson, S (2012) Inspiring Teaching. In: 3 Rivers Conference, 29 March 2012., Teesside University, Middlesbrough.

Irons, Alastair and Stephens, P (2011) Employability from Computer Forensics Programmes. In: 7th HE Academy ICS Workshop on Teaching Computer Forensics, 10 Nov 2011, University of Sunderland, England.

Irons, Alastair and Stephens, P (2011) Challenges in Teaching Live Forensics. In: he 5th International Conference on Cybercrime Forensics Education & Training, 1 - 2 Sep 2011, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, United Kingdom.

Irons, Alastair (2010) Strategic case for pedagogic research in computer science. In: ACM-BCS Visions of computer science 2010; International Academic Research Conference, 13-16 Apr 2010, University of Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Irons, Alastair (2010) Work in progress - how formative feedback enhances the student learning experience. In: 40th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, 27-30 Oct 2010, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Irons, Alastair (2010) The relationship between digital investigations and reduction in cybercrime. In: 4th International conference on cybercrime forensics education and training; CFET 2010, 2-3 Sep 2010, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK. (Unpublished)

Irons, Alastair (2009) Psychology of Cybercrime. In: 3rd International Conference on Cybercrime forensics education and training; CFET 2009, 1-2 Sep 2009, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury UK. (Unpublished)

Irons, Alastair (2009) Relating research and teaching: learning from experiences and beliefs. In: ITiCSE 2009: 14th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 3-8 Jul 2009, Paris, France.

Irons, Alastair (2009) Technology Transfer - Sunderland Software City as a Case Study. In: International technology transfer conference, 3-4 Sep 2009, Nanjing, China. (Unpublished)

Fulton, John and Irons, Alastair Translational Research in the Professional Doctorate. In: 6th International Conference on Professional Doctorates, 'Professional Doctorates in a Changing Landscape'., 22-23 Mar 2018, Friends House, London. (Submitted)


Irons, Alastair (2008) Enhancing learning through formative assessment and feedback. Key Guides for Effective Teaching in Higher Education . Routledge, London. ISBN 0415397804

Irons, Alastair (2004) Effective learning and teaching in computing. Effective learning and teaching in Higher Education . Routledge Falmer, London. ISBN 978-0415335010

This list was generated on Wed Apr 21 03:05:56 2021 BST.
  • Digital forensics
  • Cybercrime
  • Cybersecurity
  • Professionalism in computing
  • Accreditation of academic programmes

Last updated 14 January 2021

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