CJ Cooper

Digital Forensics - BSc (Hons)

‘I was worried, I was “too mentally ill” to finish my degree.’ CJ faced some mental health challenges whilst studying for her degree, leaving her feeling like she may not be able to complete her course.  But after co-creating the ‘Put the Kettle On’ society with a friend, she not only created a safe and calming space for all students to talk and get support from one another but it has helped her gain confidence and get through her own challenges.

‘I’m extremely proud of myself and how far I’ve come. Despite suffering from Bipolar Type II, I have overcome the many challenges it comes with and now I am confident and so excited to complete my degree.

Initially, I was researching into doing a cyber-security degree, as I wasn’t aware that you could study a specific digital forensics course. It was only after discovering BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics on the BCU website and taking a look through the module content, that I knew it was the course for me.

Studying for my degree whilst suffering from bipolar type II has been the biggest challenge. There were times when I would worry about being ‘too mentally ill to finish my degree'. The support from the university has been amazing. They have always ensured I have extra assistance and extensions with exams and assignments when needed. My lecturers in particular have always offered me support, having access to group tutorials and 1-2-1 meetings with tutors have really given me the boost I needed.

As my second year included online lectures and little group work, it was often difficult to feel involved but I was always supported by my lecturers. 1-2-1 sessions were always offered and as we returned to campus, I felt welcomed and part of the university almost instantly. This led me to want to help others feel the same way.  

As a student who was struggling with my mental health, I wanted to create a place where other students felt they had a place to talk openly and not feel alone. I co-created the society ‘Put the Kettle on’, alongside the president, Polly Jones. It allows students who are struggling to talk about everything and anything. I’m happy that I’ve been able to create a society that can help others in a similar situation to myself.

Digital Forensics is a complex degree, but the course modules are structured so we can learn at a steady pace and not feel overwhelmed. Not only have my problem-solving and critical thinking skills improved, but I now have a significant amount of knowledge about specialist software that is used in the industry and by digital forensics professionals. This includes cryptography and encryption, as well as improving my python skills.

My confidence has grown massively during my time at BCU. I’m become more sociable and been more willing to participate in social events and societies, which I would not have even considered when I first began my degree.

I’ve always been worried about transitioning into the industry after I complete my degree. To build my confidence, Careers+ have supported me in boosting my career prospects. They helped to improve my CV, using CV360, and apply for a placement.

I hope to work in the digital forensics industry once I graduate as a junior analyst. My course has provided me with the tools and skills needed to be able to confidently begin my career in the industry.

To me, ‘I AM BCU’ means that I am part of something bigger than myself. I am part of a group of empowered young people who are striving to achieve something great, whilst studying at BCU.’

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