Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply 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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Overview

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.

Topics include computer security, development of secure systems and networks, cybersecurity and practical aspects of digital forensics.

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
  • Sunderland has one of the fastest-growing digital technology sectors in the UK according to the Tech Nation 2018 Survey, with a turnover of approximately £118 million, an average salary of £78,000 per employee and over 7,000 digital tech jobs
  • 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 School 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) Computer Science, but then show a greater aptitude for cybersecurity and decide to change to BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
  • According to the National Student Survey 2018, our Computer Science courses are in the top 25% in the UK for Learning opportunities, Assessment and feedback, Academic support, Organisation and management, and Learning Resources

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):

  • 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.

  • Foundations of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)

Discuss the basic principles of cybersecurity and digital forensics and describe the role computer forensics and cybersecurity play in deterring and detecting computer crime and in identifying weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computer systems. 

 

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

Year 2 (national level 5):

Core modules:

  • Personalised Skills Development (20 credits)

Learn key skills such as self-determination, planning and actioning of goals, time management, independent learning and team working. Prepare for placement or gain workplace skills through shadowing, volunteering or mentoring.

  • Software Enterprise Project (20 credits)

Work in integrated groups to undertake a large scale development either for a real client or to realise an enterprising idea that your group has conceived and developed. Learn the principles of software engineering and development in the context of real world and real client needs and demands. Focus on ethics, professionalism and security related issues within the software development and technology management industries.

  • 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)

Gain knowledge of ethical issues and challenges facing computer forensic practitioners and ethical hackers and the skills to produce designs for secure computing systems and apply the principles of computational modelling to computer forensics and cybersecurity.

Final year (national level 6):

Core modules

  • Computing Project (40 credits)

Undertake advanced study, including a literature review, in order to research and develop to completion a substantial piece of work that demonstrates the range of skills you have acquired. You will also submit a dissertation that describes and evaluates the problem and solution. Past examples include an Android audio application, a Trojan detector and a network monitoring tool.

  • 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.

  • Advanced Computer Forensics (20 credits)

Gain knowledge and understanding of current, specialist and sensitive areas in computer forensics. Critically examine the more contentious and ethically sensitive areas associated with computer forensics such as tracking paedophiles and addressing issues such as child pornography. The principles of maintaining the integrity of digital evidence in the securing, recovering and analysing of that evidence will be explored in depth from a range of different sources of potential digital evidence.

  • Professional Issues in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics (20 credits)

Examine the professional and ethical aspects of cybersecurity and digital forensics and develop an understanding of the particular legal and evidentiary challenges and the risk management requirements in these areas such as the application of legal procedures to evidence, role of the expert witness and protecting individual and human rights. Develop your critical analysis and research skills through an examination of the current issues in both subject areas.

Optional modules (choose one):

  • Advanced Routing (20 credits)

The module begins with a detailed study of the current exterior gateway protocol that manages the routing of IP traffic over the Internet. You will learn how service providers and other multi-homed organisations use this protocol to support their routing policies.

  • Telecommunications (20 credits)

Module moves from analogue principles to digital telephony, VOIP, packetized voice, GSM and converged networks. You will have an opportunity to build a fully converged modern telecommunications system.

  • Ethical Hacking (20 credits)

You will develop knowledge and understanding of ethical hacking, which is about locating and strengthening security weaknesses in computer systems. The module will also cover a range of legal and social aspects in the ethical hacking domain.

  • 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.

  • Students into Schools (20 credits)

Undertake a work-based placement to support computing in a school or equivalent learning environment.

  • 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
  • Map and directions

Facilities

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


  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement


If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at admissions@sunderland.ac.uk for further advice.
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 we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant’s element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

Fees and finance

The annual fee is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £11,500 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

Employment

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 - 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers). 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 Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and 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.


Meet the students

  • 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 the team

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