With digital forensics playing a critical role in the world of modern criminal investigations, our forensic computing BSc (Hons) course – accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – has been developed to meet the demands of this evolving profession.
You will develop excellent technical and theoretical skills encompassing the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data recovered from computer based devices such as PCs, mobile phones, tablets, network equipment and other data storage devices to establish factual evidence in a manner that is admissible in a court of Law. Run jointly with the School of Law, this course also provides the essential legal, courtroom and advocacy skills required for legal or commercial use.
If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. Next year’s course will also have a new name: Computer Forensics. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.
This course is for you if you want to combine a highly rigorous academic qualification with real-life practical work experience that will enable you to put your knowledge into practice as a computer forensics expert or forensics investigator.
You’ll be based at Millennium Point – part of the City Centre campus – where you’ll have access to a specialist computer forensic laboratory, equipped to the standards set out by ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland).
You’ll examine application development, operating systems, and computer and network forensic investigation and study data analysis and recovery, IT surveillance and intrusion detection.
As part of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to analyse computer-based and mobile phone devices, SatNav systems, game consoles and portable multimedia players. You’ll also investigate computer networks, LANs, WANs, network design and administration, and network security.
The course also covers the English legal system, handling and preserving evidence, courtroom skills, and expert witness skills, plus professional reporting, and personal and organisational ethics.
You can opt for an industrial placement year, too, 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 so many employers. It will also boost your CV.
Throughout your course, you’ll be supported by expert teaching staff whose credentials include a highly respected digital forensics expert who has worked with organisations and companies across Europe.
“My confidence came from our course director who actually taught us everything that we needed to know. Through hands-on experience, through theory and through the personal tutoring, he gave us all the skills that we needed to have.”
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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
"The hackathon was amazing! Everyone was super helpful to each other and there was a real community atmosphere." Read Computer science student Pandelis' experience at our first 24 – hour hackathon.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.
280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A Level or 280 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 overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction.|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points.|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||30 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 UCAS points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|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/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2015/16|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||30 points
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).
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
300 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
predicted DDM profile at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
We’ve created a range of advice from experts and our students, including next steps if your exams don't go that well.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||SW||4 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||TBC||Apply via UCAS|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
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.
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.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It 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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
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.
Your first year is comprised of five modules: data analysis, professional context of technology, computer forensic fundamentals, and computer network basics.
You’ll study an average of 34 hours a week in the first year, which will give you a solid introduction to the broader subjects of forensic science and computer science.
You’ll also explore theories and philosophies and explain, discuss and challenge your ideas about creative practice.
Professional Context of Technology
Computer Technology and Software Systems
Computer Forensic Fundamentals
Computer Networking Basics
In year two you’ll study a further five modules, all of which are designed to build on your knowledge and key skills for a career in computer forensics.
You’ll study: management in technical innovation, the English legal system, computer mobile operating systems for forensic examiners, security systems theory, and switched LANS and WANS.
Management in Technology Innovation
The English Legal System
Computer Mobile OS for Forensic Examiners
Security Systems Theory
Switched LANS and WANS
In the third year you’ll move onto an individual project, which will give you the opportunity to undertake detailed, independent research in an area that interests you.
You’ll also study computer law and the law of evidence, digital device forensics, forensic investigation of IT systems, and advanced networking technologies.
This year will see you undertake less class-based study.
Computer Law and the Law of Evidence
Digital Device Forensics
Forensics Investigation of IT Systems
Advanced Networking Technologies
We think it’s important that you are assessed in a number of different ways during your course. These will include continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work. This will enable us to appraise your all-round ability and it also gives you the best opportunity to excel.
Your final assessment is based on 27 per cent written exam, 65 per cent course work, and 8 per cent practical exam.
This course can also be studied on a part-time basis, which would take you five years to complete.
The course is based on five themes:
|34||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|66||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
IEng accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), fulfilling the educational requirements for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
These independent reviews show what our students really think:
"A final year student can give the best review. I have seen the change and development in myself and the university. I am on a promising course and the university is on a promising path. The SU is a huge support even though they are separate from the uni they know there stuff!"
Caroline – Forensic Computing - BSc Hons
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.
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.
Our course is designed to equip you with unparalleled, first-hand practical expertise and develop your academic understanding of the technical aspects of forensic computing. This valuable combination will help you to stand out when you look to enter the workplace – it is why or graduates are very highly sought-after.
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 organisations, including CCL Group Ltd., Deloitte, 7Safe, Capgemini, Kroll Ontrack, West Midlands Police, Cheshire Police Constabulary, Hewlett Packard, Bell Micro, BT, Cisco, JP Morgan Chase and Co, Carillion, Siemens and Nokia.
Our graduates forge rewarding careers in areas such as systems security, forensic accounting and fraud investigation and specialist digital evidence/high-tech crime units.
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.
If you decide to do this, it will extend the duration of your BSc (Hons) course to four years – or five, if you decide to study on a part-time basis.
Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance of undertaking a high quality industrial placement with a leading organisation such as Cisco Systems, IBM, 3M, or Airbus.
Placements will also provide you with an opportunity to develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. It also boosts your CV.
Learn more about some of the prestigious organisations that our students are placed with:
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.
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.
Many of our graduates have gone on to secure roles such as enterprise solution developer, network operating systems administrator, ICT technical support and management professional, ICT consultant, business analyst, database developer or web applications developer.
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:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
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 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.
Our students come from around the world but our forensic computing course is most popular with international students from:
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Students on SAP-certified courses in Enterprise Systems will have access to the University’s unique SAP Lab, providing an inspirational research and development space for you to use for creative thinking and design.
The SAP lab is equipped with recent SAP softwares from SAP ERP, BI, SAP Configuration, SAP HANA and PI as well providing access to SAP conferences and events.
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.
As Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security and Forensics, Syed has vast experience in his field. Previously he worked in the Forensic Technology Solutions (FTS) arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Enterprise Advisory, as well as holding a Visiting Scientist position at University of Washington in Seattle.