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Digital Forensics with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

With digital forensics playing a critical role in the world of modern criminal investigations, our BSc Digital Forensics course with a Foundation Year will help you develop the practical and professional skills needed by employers in the digital forensics, cyber security and law enforcement sectors. You’ll have access to our specialist Digital Forensics labs....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

With digital forensics playing a critical role in the world of modern criminal investigations, our BSc Digital Forensics course with a Foundation Year will help you develop the practical and professional skills needed by employers in the digital forensics, cyber security and law enforcement sectors.

You’ll have access to our specialist Digital Forensics labs. Plus, laboratories are equipped to industry standards and run the latest software so that you can experience the most current technology and prepare yourself for the working world.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking

Our brand new £70 million pound building, STEAMhouse, will become the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year.

Find out more

Professional Placement Year

This course offers a professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, between the second and third years of your degree, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

The University will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. If you do not find a suitable placement, you will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year (£1,850 for UK students).

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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 digital 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, data investigation, incident response, mobile device forensics 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?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This £70 million state-of-the-art building will become the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects
  • Top 15 for student satisfaction in Computer Science - Complete University Guide 2022
  • Collaboration with industry - Our curriculum has been developed with various digital forensics service providers and police constabularies around the UK, to ensure that you are learning the most up-to-date information that aligns with industry practice
  • State-of-the-art facilities -  To provide you with the best learning opportunities and industry-relevant hands on practical skills as well as our specialist Digital Forensics Lab which has digital forensics and data recovery resources. You will be based in Millennium Point, at our City Centre Campus, which has recently undergone a £6.5 million investment
  • Network with potential employers  - We have excellent links with industry and regularly host guest lectures and workshops hosted by digital forensics and law enforcement professionals. This provides you with the opportunity to meet key industry figures and build relationships to help secure work experience and employment
  • Obtain additional qualifications - Delivered by digital practitioners we host specialist boot-camps that provide opportunities to additional qualifications, to compliment your degree and enhance your career prospects
  • Employment in a range of sectors - We have a proven track record of producing highly skilled and confident graduates who gain employment in various industries including cyber security, digital forensics and law enforcement

See our facilities

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Day: Saturday 25 June

Book now

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted - please see UCAS for list of acceptable Maths and English equivalents considered in lieu of GCSE
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English language and mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • 80 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at level 3.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • MMP
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 80 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 80 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

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).

Additional Requirements

As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.

This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Study Year (2022/23) £9,250
  • Placement Year £1,650

Professional Placement Fees

Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,500 in 2022/23

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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Microsoft Certifications (optional)

The exams required to gain Microsoft Office (MOS), Microsoft Technical Certification (MTC) and Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) certifications are currently free for our students. We also provide free self-paced resources and access to practice exams via dedicated Moodle pages. Find out more about the exams available, and the objectives covered.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

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.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK 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

Course in Depth

Foundation year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

The Foundation Mathematics module provides the basic knowledge and mathematical skills which will equip the students to continue their studies to an undergraduate programme. The module will be focused on mathematics related to the field of computing.

The interactive taught sessions will use fundamental mathematical in discussions to broaden understanding of the theory and practice introduced in the module. Additional support materials will be made available on the module Moodle website.

Academic and personal study skills are essential elements which should be applied in order to be successful in Higher Education. This module aims to help you in developing basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills. These skills are inevitably important and will support your transition to the higher education levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.

This module provides the skills necessary to design a web based application around a clear understanding of the business information requirements, a structured design of an interface and the development skills necessary to implement a solution.

This module focuses on varied technologies relating to the design and development of application to meet the information needs of a business. The module will analyse and design an application that meets current web standards.

This module will provide you with an introduction to digital media technology and will allow you to explore technology-driven change in the media industry.

This module will introduce the fundamentals of audio / video capture and editing allowing you to explore workflow practices. You will document your development process, including aspects such as storyboarding and risk assessments and will create an artefact that relates to technology in your chosen degree or industry.

During the journey within higher education, developing your independent study is an essential skill to support shaping the knowledge to become more useful and applied within practice. This module aims to provide you with necessary skills and tips that should support you to work independently within your discipline and to successfully apply project management tools and techniques to a mini project related to your subject discipline.

Foundations of programming aims to provide you with the fundamental principles and practice-based activities needed to begin developing software programs. The module details the anatomy of a structured software program that includes the creation of a program algorithm, a logical, simple and organised program flow and the generation of pseudo and programming code.

The module uses a combination of theory and practice-based sessions designed to engage students in group and individual activities to identify the components of a software program and to apply their knowledge into hands-on software programming activities. During the module sessions you will acquire the basic skills to design and create software programs.

Year one

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.

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.   

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.

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.

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.

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

Year two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Year three

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 course specification

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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

For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Our course has been designed with graduate employability at its heart. Throughout the course we 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 during 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 reputable organisations, 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.

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.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.

We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.

Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.

Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Computer Labs

System Labs

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:

  • Schematic capture and printed circuit board (PCB) design software – ORCAD
  • Analogue and digital circuit design and simulation software – PSpice
  • Graphical microcontroller software – Matrix Multimedia Flowcode
  • Microcontroller development board – PIC Microchip
  • E-block microcontroller training kit
  • FPGA & CPLD development board
  • Robotics design and development
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:

  • Software development environments for modern programming languages - Visual Studio
  • Computing programming languages – Python, C#, ASP.NET, PHP, Unity
  • Operating systems – Linux, Windows and macOS
  • Database management systems – MySQL
  • Neural network simulators
  • Computer architecture simulators – RISC
  • Application development software – iPhone, Android Studio
  • Integrated development environments – Netbeans / FPGA /CPLD
  • JAVA programming – BlueJ.
Network Labs

Our industry standard kit can be accessed by students who are at home or anywhere on the globe – remote access – 24/7 (NETACAD)

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), Security technologies, Forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity and software Defined Networking including NFV.

Forensics Room 

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.

Industry standard forensic hardware and software is available for analysis of PC’s and mobile phones.

Some of the features of the lab includes: fingerprint readers and recognition software development kits, facial recognition cameras and software development kits and more.

Games Lab

Our state-of-the-art computer games lab is home to a PS4 Development Kit and has Xbox One Console Development ability. We have a Nintendo Switch Development Kit in procurement and HTC Vive, Oculus CV1 and VR development facility.

The Games Lab is a key feature during our Games Jam and society events. All students can join our computer games societies and use our facilities if interested in gaming.

Digital Technology Facilities

We operate well-resourced high-spec computer labs which are fully equipped with up-to-date, industry standard software for the design and development of advanced multimedia applications.

Our facilities include: Sophisticated graphics software packages for image manipulation and editing; these provide a full range of drawing, editing and image composition tools. Web animation and Rich Internet Application development tools. 3D software for Rendering, Modelling, Games and Animation, and design and graphics software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.

Sound Studios in Millennium Point

The Orchard

The Orchard is a 40-seat mac lab designed to support teaching of audio and mac-specific software. The lab features a recording booth as well as high quality audio monitors and video projector.

Sound Studios

Our studio facilities feature mixing consoles by manufacturers such as SSL and Audix, monitoring by PMC and Genelec, and a host of software and outboard hardware effects commonly found in high-end commercial recording studios. As well as acoustically designed spaces to record and mix, we have a dedicated mastering suite featuring the acclaimed PMC IB1S monitors.

In the live rooms you will find a useful range of stock instruments including drums and cymbals, guitars, basses, a tuned piano and a range of instrument amplifiers.

Mix Rooms

Our mix rooms are smaller rooms, useful for one or two students to work on projects that do not require the space afforded by our larger studio facilities. These include a Foley studio for recording of footsteps and other sound effects that are added to media. We also have a room where live desks can be set up, allowing students to explore workflows outside of a gig setup.

Microphones

We pride ourselves on an extensive microphone collection that any commercial studio would be proud of. From the classic Neumann U87, Royer 121 or Coles 4038 to staples like the AKG C414 or C451, you will find a very usable range of sounds to explore.

Live Sound Equipment

Students have access to an extensive set of live sound equipment with mixing consoles by Midas, Digidesign and Yamaha and a range of PA systems including a D&B Audiotechnik line array. Backed up with an excellent set of microphones chosen for their success in the live environment, and other production equipment such as lighting, the gear is used in a variety of destinations around the university or offsite at gigs and festivals.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility is the first of its kind in the digital age and is the perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary.

Featuring 9,000 sq m of purpose designed teaching, rehearsal and state of the art performance space, it offers unrivalled opportunities for our students. The audio and video digital infrastructure is designed to enhance and support live performance and to allow students to experiment with new technologies.

Read more about the Conservatoire of the Future

Curzon Street Studios

Curzon Street Studios has a number of world-class TV studios suitable for shooting commercials, films and video productions, both big and small.

Studio B boasts the largest fixed green screen in the UK, with a three wall infinity cove. The studio has been used for filming TV commercials, TV promos, music videos, web presentations and the live-streaming of online entertainment shows. Studio B offers pre-rigged lighting for green screen as well as access to the lighting rig with a hoist controller at ground floor level.

Black cyclorama and matting are also available to create a black studio. The green studio also houses our MILO motion control rig which is the most used motion control rig in the world, the Milo’s versatility, portability and high accuracy makes it the ideal choice for live action shooting and table top work.

Curzon Street Studios boasts six digital radio studios. All studios have been acoustically designed to provide ideal recording environments for both live and pre-recorded audio production and are fully soundproofed.

Our post production system has been designed to enable content to be produced, managed and distributed digitally. We offer a custom built central technical area that allows seamless interaction between all our studios and edit suites.

Learn more about what Curzon Street Studios has to offer

Makers Space

The Level 4 Makers Space is a bright communal space in Millennium Point in which students find support in building their electronic projects (i.e. Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards based).

The Makers Space is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printers, and a variety of electronic components like motion, proximity, humidity sensors, and many more.

This space is widely used by students, including first year students who use the space to help build their gadget ready to be presented at Innovation Fest. Experienced technicians are on hand to provide support. The support extends to all other levels including Final Year, Ph.D., and KTP projects.

Student have access to high spec laptops with the latest media software for all their module needs, making the level 4 Makers Space the ideal area for the development of their project. Computer enthusiasts will enjoy our mini collection of vintage Apple computers.


Computing and Digital Technology facilities

Our staff

Richard Hale

Course Leader and Senior Lecturer of Digital Forensics

Richard is a Lecturer of Digital Forensics at Birmingham City University, having moved to academia from his previous role as a Senior Digital Forensic Investigator and Laboratory Manager at SYTECH Consultants. Richard first started working in the Digital Forensics field in 2008, having previously been involved in the IT sector. Throughout his...

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Shahid Shabbir

Senior Lecturer

Shahid is a Senior Lecturer in Digital 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,...

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