Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now

Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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Address the needs of cybersecurity and digital forensics professionals. Develop expertise in the preservation and extraction of digital evidence from computer systems and networks. Examine the overlap between cybersecurity and digital forensics and the preventative approach to cybercrime.

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The course is excellent preparation for jobs in cybersecurity and digital forensics, which is a rapidly growing area given the rise in computer-related crime. At the same time, the course also covers all the fundamentals of computing, leaving your career options open. Core topics include web applications, database systems, programming and software development.

Please note, this course is under review. The course title and modules are subject to change.

Why us?

  • Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
  • Accredited by BCS on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer
  • Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional
  • Research in Computer Science and Informatics at Sunderland has been described as ‘internationally excellent’ by the latest Research Excellence Framework
  • We have an integrative and holistic approach to the first year of our computing courses. You’ll be taught the fundamentals of computing alongside students from other courses in the Faculty of Computer Science. This course structure allows you to easily change courses at the end of the first year, should a different computer science route appeal to you. For example, you may begin studying BSc (Hons) Computing, but then show a greater aptitude for cybersecurity and decide to change to BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics

Course structure

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions. Group activities and discussions are facilitated through the University’s virtual learning environment. 

You will be encouraged to develop independent study skills as well as work with other students on group projects. As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also ongoing assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include coursework and exams.

Year 1 (national level 4):

Core module:

Fundamentals of Computing (100 credits)

  • Software Development and Theory: Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Formal Methods
  • Programming: Microsoft C# .NET and programming for Robots
  • Web and Multimedia Applications: Markup Languages (HTML 5, CSS 3), Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Javascript, Web APIs (such as Google Maps and Yahoo APIs)
  • Database Systems: Database Design, Relational Databases and SQL, Database Integrity and Security, PHP and MySQL
  • Computer Systems and Networking: Operating Systems, Networks and Computer Architectures
  • Specialist Mini Project: Showcase your talents through a project in your chosen area of computing. Past projects have included a Facebook app, a hack challenge and the creation of a retro arcade game.

Optional modules (choose one):

Foundations of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)

  • Introduction to the discipline and principles of Forensics, Digital Forensics and Computer Crime
  • Introduction to the discipline and principles of cybersecurity
  • Computer Forensics Software
  • Cybersecurity Software
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal, Professional and Ethical Principles in the Context of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics

Systems Administration (20 credits)

Games Technology (20 credits)

Computational Thinking (20 credits) 


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

Core modules:

Software Engineering Enterprise and Innovation Project (40 credits)

Choose to develop a software project for a client or yourself. You will gain valuable experience of working within a team-based software development environment

Intermediate Software Development (20 credits)

This module will move beyond the basic object oriented concepts associated with simple classes and objects to cover a series of more sophisticated object-oriented ideas, including ‘inheritance’ and ‘polymorphism’.

Network Fundamentals (20 credits)

This module introduces the architecture, structure, basic protocols and devices used in routed and switched networks, as well as in-depth discussion of the OSI and TCP/IP reference models and where these devices and protocols sit within it.

Practical Aspects of Computer Forensics (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to provide you with the knowledge to professionally, systematically and impartially approach the preservation and extraction of all relevant digital evidence from computers, computer systems and computer networks (including the Internet) using appropriate tools and techniques.

Theoretical Aspects of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)

  • Fundamental Principles of Digital Forensics
  • Security Design
  • Computational Modeling
  • Legal Professional and Ethical Considerations



Final year (national level 6):

Core modules

Computing Project (40 credits)

You will research a topic and develop software that’s connected to that topic. Past examples include an Android audio application, a Trojan detector and a network monitoring tool.

Artificial Digital Forensics (20 credits)

You will gain in-depth knowledge about specialist and sensitive areas in computer forensics. You will also learn how to maintain the integrity of digital evidence and how to analyse it thoroughly.

Advanced Cybersecurity (20 credits)

In this module you will learn how to analyse the range of tradeoffs in balancing the security properties of confidentiality, integrity and availability. You will also learn how to select the appropriate tools and techniques to address and manage concepts of risk, threats, vulnerabilities and potential attacks.

Professional Issues in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)

  • Current issues in cybersecurity and digital forensics
  • Legal, Professional and Ethical Considerations
  • Application of Legal Procedures to Evidence
  • Role of the Expert Witness
  • Protecting Individual and Human Rights

Optional modules (choose one):

Artificial Intelligence (20 credits)

Advanced Databases (20 credits)

Software Enterprise (20 credits)

  • This module focuses on providing the knowledge and skills that will enable you to explore and exploit business opportunities for software enterprises.

Project Management (20 credits)



The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,


  • Our outstanding IT facilities include the David Goldman Informatics Centre, which has hundreds of computers so it’s easy to find a free workstation with the software you need.

    We are an accredited Cisco Academy and have two laboratories packed with Cisco networking equipment including routers, switches, terminals and specialist equipment for simulating frame relay and ISDN links.

    We host high-performance computing platforms, including a Big Data machine and a High Performance Computing Cluster system, for concurrent processing of complex computational tasks. We also have the equipment and licences for our own public mobile cellular network.






    IT facilities for computing, networks and big data
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on computing topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Some of the most important sources for computing students include:

    • British Standards Online which offers more than 35,000 documents covering specifications for products, dimensions, performance and codes of practice
    • Association of Computing Machinery digital library, which includes full-text articles from journals as well as conference proceedings
    • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Archives of publications from Emerald, including over 35,000 full-text articles dating back to 1994 on a range of subjects including technology
    • Business Source Elite from EBSCO Publishing that covers hundreds of journals that include coverage of e-commerce and information management
    Library Services - IT


This course is based at the David Goldman Informatics Centre, a high-tech computing environment with strong links to software companies and a constant exchange of ideas and people.







Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

Please note we do not accept AS/A Level General Studies. We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees and finance

The annual fee is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £10,750 if you are from outside the EU

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


This course has a strong emphasis on real-world learning that boosts employability and equips you to make a bigger contribution in the workplace.

Graduate success

Sunderland has a good reputation with employers and, according to the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015/16, 94.2% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (based on UK undergraduate students). The top type of job gained by our graduates is ‘information and communication technology professional’.

In your final year of the course, you will undertake a major individual project, often working directly with a company. This adds to your hands-on experience and, in some cases, leads to a job offer that can be taken up as soon as the course ends.

Career options

Our graduates have gone on to become web programmers, IT managers, information analysts and software developers. Employers that have taken on our graduates include Sage, British Airways and the NHS. Other graduates have started their own businesses or become software contractors earning over £50,000 a year.

Recognised by the British Computer Society, the UK's Chartered Institute for IT

This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional. It is also accredited by BCS on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.

Developing your e-portfolio

Employers are increasingly looking not only for strong CVs but also real-life demonstrations of technical know-how and commitment to self-development. All computing students at the University of Sunderland develop e-portfolios that become showcases of personal progress. A typical e-portfolio would include audits of your skills, reflections on your areas of strength, evidence of how you have tackled weaker areas, and tools for joining up your learning in different modules.

  • The modules I took at Sunderland are directly relevant to my work.
    Charlotte Knill, Computer Forensics graduate case study

    Charlotte Knill

  • An enriching experience, filled with content which enabled the start of my career.
    Jonathan Smith

    Jonathan Smith

Meet our academics