Computer Forensics - BSc (Hons) / MSci

UCAS Code:
FG44 - BSc / I120 - MSci
Attendance:
BSc (Hons) - Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
MSci - Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

Join us at Birmingham City University and study Computer Forensics in the UK. Our BSc (Hons) /MSci Computer Forensics course gives you access to study in our specialist Digital Forensics labs, allequipped to industry standards and run the latest software, meaning you can experience the most current technology and prepare yourself for the working world.

With digital forensics playing a critical role in the world of modern criminal investigations, studying Computer Forensics with us will help you develop the practical and professional skills needed by employers in the digital forensics, cyber security and law enforcement sectors.

The course covers the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data recovered from computers and digital devices to establish factual evidence. Our dedicated specialist Digital Forensics Laboratory hosts professional digital forensics tools, including EnCase, FTK, XRY, Cellebrite and other industry standard tools. You will also develop the necessary legal, expert witness and professional skills required by employers.

What's covered in the course?

This course is for you if you want to combine a highly rigorous academic qualification with real life practical work experience that will prepare you to apply your knowledge as a computer forensics expert or forensic investigator. You’ll be joining a well established course, with a proven track record of producing skilled and confident graduates who are ready to meet the demands of the digital forensics industry. To ensure the course meets the knowledge and skill requirements for conducting professional digital forensic investigations, the course curriculum has been designed in close consultation with digital forensics experts from the private sector as well as from a number of UK police constabularies.

The multidisciplinary nature of our course will foster the essential skills you require in computer networking, ethical hacking, computer programming, and legal and expert witness roles complementary to digital forensic investigations. These attributes are not only essential to employers in law enforcement and the digital forensics industry but also serve as broader employability skills. On graduation, you will be capable of managing a digital forensic case and conducting technical examination and interpretation of digital-based evidence. You will develop as a confident, highly skilled and professional graduate with a meticulous and methodological approach to problem solving, whether working individually or as part of a professional team.

Motivated by a practice led, knowledge applied philosophy, our course emphasises a hands on, practical approach to learning digital forensic investigation, computer networking and other essential computing techniques using commercial and open-source forensic tools. We incorporate additional activities such as industrial workshops, practitioner boot-camps, guest lectures and vendor qualification assessments to strengthen the employability driven nature of our course.

Studying computing with us puts you at the heart of an exciting, innovative community. Part of your first-year assessment will involve taking part in our annual Innovation Fest, where students get together to solve society’s problems with creative technology. Previous projects have included medical assistance drones, accessible gaming controllers, and smart housing solutions. The event brings together students, academics and industry guests, so it’s a great way to have fun, build experience and network, and win prizes!

You can also opt for an industrial placement year, which gives you an invaluable opportunity to hone your expertise, try out a potential career path and get relevant workplace experience that is valued by employers.

I enjoyed the practical sessions and the problem solving aspects of the course. I believe that this has set me up with the right skillset to allow me to conduct digital forensic investigations to the best of my ability. Peter O'Dwyer

Why Choose Us?

  • Our curriculum has been developed in close collaboration with industry and input from various digital forensics service providers and police constabularies around the UK.
  • Our specialist Digital Forensics Lab boasts a plethora of industry standard digital forensics and data recovery resources to provide you with the best learning opportunities and industry-relevant hands on practical skills.
  • The course has been designed with graduate employability at the forefront. Owing to our excellent industrial ties, we regularly host guest lectures and workshops hosted by digital forensics and law enforcement professionals, giving you the opportunity to meet key industry figures.
  • At various stages during the course, we host specialist boot-camps delivered by digital forensics practitioners and provide opportunities to obtain vendor qualifications to enhance your career prospects.
  • Our course has a proven track record of producing confident and highly skilled graduates who gain employment in the digital forensics, cyber security and law enforcement sectors.

See our facilities

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25 November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid. Terms and conditions apply.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • SYTECH Consultants
  • Capgemini
  • West Midlands Police

And in jobs such as:

  • Digital Forensic Analyst
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Data Recovery Specialiast

We are members of:

WISE member logo2 WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.

Course Accreditations

Accreditations:

Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

Subject to successful reaccreditation, this course will continue to be accredited by:

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have achieved or be working towards GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

BBC at A Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, at least one from a Science, Technology, Mathematics or Computing subject.
Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass with 60 credits, 45 of which should be at Level 3. including 12 Technical credits merit or distinction.

Must be from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subjects.

Must have knowledge of Computer Programming for BSc(Hons) Forensic Computing.

BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma DMM - 112 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall with a minimum of Grade 5 in Mathematics (Higher Level) and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics). Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points. Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above Grade 5 or above in Mathematics at Standard Level will be accepted in lieu of this from the IB Diploma. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates. A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. Maths must be at Higher Level. Must include English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).

Must include one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing.

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD.

Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).

Must include one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing.

Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)

Must be offered along with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas or a BTEC 12-unit National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma combination with a total of 112 UCAS tariff points.

Must be offered in conjunction with the A level in either Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing or equivalent.

Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2019/20
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall with a minimum of Grade 5 in Mathematics (Higher Level) and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics). Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points. Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above Grade 5 or above in Mathematics at Standard Level will be accepted in lieu of this from the IB Diploma. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates. A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

International Students

Entry requirements here

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 years
TBC
Apply via UCAS
MSci Sep 2019 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 3 years £12,300 per year
MSci Sep 2019 FT 4 years £12,300 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Computer Forensics Fundamentals
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to the core principles of a typical computer forensic investigation. It aims to develop a firm grounding in the underpinning knowledge and skills required to analyse and evaluate data from a computer and related data storage devices in a forensically sound manner.

This module emphasises a “hands-on” approach to learning forensic computing techniques using opensource and commercial forensic tools. The module will teach you the fundamental data structures applicable to computer forensics and how various tools can be exploited to analyse these structures in a variety of case types.

Download the full module specification

Computer Systems
20 credits

This fundamental computer systems module puts into practice the learning done through reading, video lecturers, skills building labs and problem based learning for the acquisition of new knowledge and core practical competencies

Download the full module specification

Mathematics for Computing
20 credits

The module gives you the opportunity to learn mathematical concepts and methods and critically reflect on how they relate to computing and communication systems. You will develop core mathematical and statistical skills which are fundamental in computing and technical work in general. You will be expected to solve mathematical and statistical problems on paper and on a computer.

Download the full module specification

Network Fundamentals
20 credits

The module provides the opportunity to learn and critically reflect the skills required in building and designing basic networks and their requirements within a network infrastructure. This module builds on the underpinning knowledge and theory of networking systems.

Download the full module specification

Computer Programming
20 credits

This introductory computer programming module provides the underpinning knowledge and practice for computing students to design, build and test software components. The module will make use of practical sessions primarily to allow you to apply programming principles and constructs in order to creatively solve problems by means of developing small programs.   

Download the full module specification

File System Analysis
20 credits

This module will provide you with the knowledge and practical skills in analysing volumes and file systems, underlying concepts and data structures, specifically through the perspective of a digital forensic investigation. For each file system covered, this module addresses the analysis techniques and special considerations that a digital forensics investigator should make.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

The English Legal System and IT Law
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to the main features of the English legal system and the substantive law relating to IT. The module aims to give students an overview of the workings of the English legal system as a whole, and then move to a more detailed look at the specific area of IT law which is relevant to the Computer Forensics degree. Understanding how the English legal system is structured and administered provides essential context for the study of IT law.

Download the full module specification

Advanced Programming for Digital Forensics
20 credits

This module will build on principles taught in Computer Programming. It will focus on developing knowledge and practical skills to enable you to design and implement non-trivial algorithms for problem solving in the context of digital forensic analysis. The main programming language for this module is Python and continues from the Computer Programming module. The module will help with enhancing your programming skills to automate processing of digital evidence.

Download the full module specification

System Security Attacks and Defences
20 credits

This module will build on principles taught in Computer Programming. It will focus on developing knowledge and practical skills to enable you to design and implement non-trivial algorithms for problem solving in the context of digital forensic analysis. The main programming language for this module is Python and continues from the Computer Programming module. The module will help with enhancing your programming skills to automate processing of digital evidence.

Download the full module specification

Data Storage and Recovery
20 credits

This module will build on principles taught in Computer Programming. It will focus on developing knowledge and practical skills to enable you to design and implement non-trivial algorithms for problem solving in the context of digital forensic analysis. The main programming language for this module is Python and continues from the Computer Programming module. The module will help with enhancing your programming skills to automate processing of digital evidence.

Download the full module specification

Computer Forensics Tools and Techniques
20 credits

This module develops comprehensive practical skills and theoretical knowledge for the forensic examination of personal computer systems using proprietary and open-source software tools. You will acquire the keys skills necessary in conducting and auditing a systematic forensic investigation of a computer system for user activity, operating system operation and configuration and connectivity.

Download the full module specification

Network Technologies
20 credits

In this module you will have the opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills required for Network Technologies. This module builds your knowledge and underpinning theory for the networking modules and you will review the requirements from a small to medium scale network deployment engineering context.

Download the full module specification

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Incident Response and Investigation Practice
20 credits

The module will foster your skills in conducting a forensic investigation and employ complex problem solving by applying investigative skills within the strict boundaries of the law and in keeping with ethical and professional codes of practice.

Download the full module specification

Ethical Hacking
20 credits

The module provides you with an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of Ethical Hacking and information security within a global context. This module builds on the knowledge and underpinning theory from the networking modules and reviews the requirements for a secure network communication system.

Download the full module specification

Mobile Device Forensics
20 credits

This module will build on the principles taught in Computer Forensics Tools and Techniques. It will focus on extracting data from mobile devices using industry standard tools such as XRY. This module aligns with the programme’s philosophy of developing wider appreciation of conducting a forensic analysis on a variety of devices. You will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of underlying principles of extracting data from mobile devices and apply them to a variety of mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Download the full module specification

Network and Internet Forensics
20 credits

This module provides students with knowledge and practical skills essential for the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of evidence obtained from wired and wireless networked computers and storage systems. Emphasis is also placed on the evidence harboured by network hardware devices, such as routers and switches. You will learn how to effectively retrieve valuable information from the Microsoft Windows Server operating systems and analyse the Active Directory for evidence pertaining to user policies, privileges and violations. You will also learn how to formulate and implement a strategy to acquire drive images as evidence files over networked computers.

Download the full module specification

Individual Honours Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

Download the full module specification

Year Four

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Advanced Techniques in Digital Forensics
20 credits

This module covers advanced topics in digital forensics. The module will begin with an introduction to the detection and analysis of obfuscated data and anti-forensic techniques; this will progress on to advanced steganographic and steganalytic techniques for media formats. Further topics covered include Root-Kit and Malware analysis using sophisticated specialist techniques that require access to intricate operating system features.

Download the full module specification

Unix Systems Forensic Analysis
20 credits

This module is designed to provide you with the essential knowledge and skills required to understand the concepts, features and operation of UNIX based operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X on a variety of hardware platforms in the context of forensic analysis. It will focus on developing knowledge and practical skills to enable you to analyse file systems and operating system artefacts in Linux/UNIX environments. This module will also cover Apple Mac OS. This module aligns with the programme’s philosophy of wider appreciation of conducting digital forensic analysis on alternative devices and operating systems.

Download the full module specification

eDiscovery and Data Analytics
20 credits

This module is designed to provide you with the essential knowledge and skills required to understand the concepts, tools and techniques for the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) and the use of big data and statistical and qualitative analysis, in conjunction with explanatory and predictive models, to guide and identify issues warranting further review in the context of forensic analysis.

Download the full module specification

MSci Group Research Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed group project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, your group will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your group’s topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

You will be expected to work as part of a group but you will receive additional support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your groups chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

Download the full module specification

Want to start in Year two or Year three?

If you have completed a Foundation/HND course and want to study this degree with us in 2017, you may be able to start in Year two/three (level 5/6). Please be aware that the modules for a Year two/three start will be different to the ones listed above. You will need to download the 2016/17 programme for more information on which modules you will be studying. 

Download the 2016/17 programme

The programme is motivated by a practice led, knowledge applied philosophy placing considerable emphasis on a practical approach to learning digital forensic investigation, computer networking and other essential computing techniques using commercial and open-source forensic tools.

The programme is delivered largely through a flipped methodology, placing significant emphasis on the development of practical skills supported by blended learning and a variety of learning activities including lectures, seminars, practice-led, self-directed and experiential learning, in person and online through Virtual Learning Environments (VLE).  The programme incorporates additional activities including industrial workshops, practitioner boot-camps and vendor qualification assessments, strengthening the employability driven nature of the course.

Assessment

The assessment strategy applied throughout the programme has been devised in conjunction with comprehensive student feedback, industrial practitioner consultation and best academic practices. You will acquire knowledge and understanding through formal lectures, computer networked practicals, laboratory experiments, seminars and other directed independent learning activities. A range of assessment methods are employed, the criteria for each module being published within each specified module guide and assignment briefs. Knowledge is assessed, formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed book), presentations, and practical work. You will develop analytical and problem-solving skills by using a range of case-studies and problem/task-based learning scenarios. Assessment activities include practical work, individual and group work, presentations, written coursework, laboratory experimentation, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed book). The acquisition of appropriate practical skills is central to the learning strategy of the programme. You will gain initiative and independence incrementally as the course progresses. Emphasis is placed on guided, self-directed and student-centred learning, with increasing independence of approach, thought and process. You will develop research skills in module activities and assessments, by undertaking a major individual project and completing a related dissertation. Transferable key skills are also pervasive and incorporated into modules and assessments as appropriate, for example team working skills are fostered via group, task-based practical projects, presentations, coursework, peer and self-assessment.

Attendance requirements

There are 30 attendance weeks in each academic year.

A typical week on this course will include 12 hours of contact time over three or four days, plus self study time.

Subject to successful reaccreditation, this course will continue to be accredited by:

Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - full IEng

Our course has IET accreditation, which demonstrates that it meets the educational criteria needed for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

We offer a range of research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate programmes that are suitable for graduates of the forensic computing BSc (Hons) course. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

IISP logo

We are an academic partner of the Institute of Information Security Professionals.

Enhancing your employability skills

Our course has been designed with graduate employability at its heart. Throughout invite speakers from industry to share their valuable knowledge and experience in guest lectures and seminars. This provides an invaluable opportunity to network with the experts. At various stages the course, we host specialist boot-camps delivered by digital forensics practitioners as well as provide opportunities to obtain vendor qualifications to enhance your career prospects.

Because we have close links with business and industry – with our academic team having worked in the sector – we know that your studies are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace.

Recent graduates have been snapped up by specialist digital forensics companies or departments in a range of including:

  • SYTECH Consultants
  • BT
  • DiskLabs Ltd
  • Capital One
  • Deloitte
  • Carbon Black
  • PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  • West Midlands Police
  • 7Safe
  • Warwickshire Police
  • Kroll Ontrack
  • Cheshire Police Constabulary
  • CCL Group Ltd.
  • Greater Manchester Police
  • IBM
  • London Metropolitan Police
  • Capgemini
  • Themes Valley Police
  • Zepko
  • Humberside Police

Our graduates forge rewarding careers in areas such as systems security, forensic accounting and fraud investigation and specialist digital evidence/high-tech crime units.


Jade James

BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing

After studying Forensic Computing at Birmingham City University, Jade secured a role working for the Government, developing technological solutions to fight crime. She is now Digital Forensics Quality manager at the City of London Police. She has had the chance to work with high-profile external bodies in the UK and abroad, referring to much of the knowledge she acquired her course.

Jade James

Peter O'Dwyer

BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing

Peter found that the knowledge and experience he gained on the Forensic Computing course at Birmingham City University allowed him to move seamlessly into his role at Greater Manchester Police, where the evidence he has helped secure has been crucial in a number of important cases.

Peter O'Dwyer

Gurlabh Singh

BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics

Having been attracted to the University by its strong reputation and excellent facilities in the field of computer forensics, Gurlabh was able to gain a range of skills which he now uses every day having secured a job in that industry.

Gurlabh Singh

Placements

We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and as part of your course, you have the option of undertaking an industrial placement after the second year of study. Placements will also provide you with an opportunity to develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. It may not always be possible to get a placement in the digital forensic industry, so we actively encourage you to broaden your interests to allied sectors, for example, cyber security, data recovery companies as well as law enforcement agencies. We have successfully allocated placements for students at the following employers:

  • Arcanum Digital Forensics
  • Context
  • Cheshire Police Constabulary
  • Humberside Police
  • DiskLabs Ltd
  • Aperio Digital Investigations
  • BBC
  • IBM
  • BT
  • Rolls Royce
  • Xerox
  • TATA Motors
  • Caterpillar
  • TNT

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Students have typically taken up job roles such as:

  • Digital Forensic Analyst
  • Mobile Device Forensic Analyst
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Imaging Technician
  • Data Recovery
  • Specialist IT Security Analyst
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Network Engineer
  • Penetration Tester
PRINCE2 Training

Industry-recognised training

Our computing students have the opportunity to attend training for the PRINCE2 Foundation Level exam. This three-day course gives you the opportunity to achieve an industry-recognised qualification and add another desirable qualification to your CV.

More on PRINCE2 training

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our forensic computing course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Shahid Shabbir

Shahid Shabbir

Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer

Shahid is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Forensics and the Programme Leader for BSc/MSci Computer Forensics. Shahid is trained, certified and highly proficient in the use of professional digital forensics tools including EnCase, FTK and XRY, in addition to a range of professional data recovery and diagnostics technologies. His primary specialist areas include Digital Forensics, Data Storage and Recovery, Steganography and Automatic Identification. His experience of course design and leadership spans the disciplines of Electronic Engineering, Software Design and Computer Forensics.

Read Shahid's full profile

Richard Hale

Richard Hale

Visiting Industry Fellow

Richard is a Visiting Industry Fellow at Birmingham City University. However, his primary role is as a Senior Digital Forensic Analyst at SYTECH Consultants. Richard first started working in the Digital Forensics field in 2008 having previously been involved in the IT sector. Throughout his career in Digital Forensics industry, Richard has worked on several high-profile cases as a Lead Mobile Device Digital Forensic Investigator for law enforcement and government agencies. Richard’s experience and expertise has seen him playing prominent roles as team leader of digital forensic analysts working on large investigative operations.

Richard has collaborated with various universities across the UK as a guest lecturer, providing undergraduate students with an invaluable insight into a senior practitioner’s perspective of the challenges faced by fighting crime in the field of Digital Forensics, specifically using mobile devices as a source of digital evidence. In addition to this, he has also developed and presented professional training courses to both law enforcement and private clients.

Richard has been working very closely with Birmingham City University voluntarily since 2012 as an industrial advisor. Throughout this time, he has recruited several Computer Forensics graduates for roles in the digital forensics sector. Richard has continued to play an active role within the faculty of Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment; more notably in 2016 when he was invited to be an industrial advisor and panel member of the Computer Forensics degree re-approval event. This prominent position has allowed Richard to utilise his vast industry knowledge and experience to ensure that the Computer Forensics degree meets the demands of the Digital Forensics industry and offers enhanced student employability prospects.

In recognition of Richard's continued hard work and commitment to the Faculty, and the Computer Forensics course, in particular, he was offered the position of a Visiting Industry Fellow at Birmingham City University in 2017. This role solidifies Richard’s influence and impact on course level activities, operations, and quality. As a member of Birmingham City University’s Industrial Advisory, Richard, along with his fellow board members, make recommendations to the Faculty of ways to maintain an industry-relevant curriculum which will better-prepare graduates for industry and improve overall employability.

Read Richard's full profile

Helen Rutter

Lecturer in IT and Constitutional Law

Helen is a specialist lecturer in IT and Constitutional Law. She holds an LLB (Hons) and is a qualified non-practising barrister. She was called to the Bar in 2004. She joined Birmingham City University in 2010 as a visiting lecturer to teach the English Legal System to Computer Forensics students, and Legal Skills to Law undergraduates.

During her time with Birmingham City University, Helen has also been responsible for teaching in the following areas: medical law, family law and business law (including company and employment law). Helen’s wealth of practitioner and academic experience enhances her ability to teach a demanding subject like the English Legal System and IT Law to computing students. She also has a background in commercial management and has spent time as a contract and EU procurement law consultant, which further enables her to give valuable support to students making the transition from full time education into employment.

Read Helen's full profile