Cyber Security and Forensic Computing BSc (Hons)

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UCAS Code
I901
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Do you have the ability to join the front line in defending computer networks from cyber attacks? Or are you interested in ethical hacking to probe the digital defences of major corporations?

On this BSc (Hons) Cyber Security and Forensic Computing degree course, you’ll turn your tech talent into a professional qualification, armed with a toolkit of knowledge and skills to tackle the toughest digital security challenges.

This degree could lead to a career in law enforcement or British Intelligence. You’ll be qualified to take on roles in cyber security, cryptography and forensic investigation.

Accredited by

This course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and meets the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). It also meets some of the academic requirements that you need to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci).

We pay Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) student membership fees for all of our students.

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

95% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Build sought-after technical and investigative skills to break down security systems, and expose gaps in security when they occur
  • Learn to identify cyber intruders, recommend security fixes, and stop hackers in their tracks
  • Understand how to investigate cybercrime for the Police and the steps needed to take a case through to court
  • Spend plenty of time in our high-powered computer labs, getting to grips with the latest tools and techniques
  • Be taught by staff with years of experience and expertise in computer security, with teaching informed by up-to-date research into the latest advancements in forensic computing
  • Apply your skills to practical problems as part of the department’s partnership with charities, local and global organisations
  • Take advantage of opportunities to put your skills to work through our close relationship with the Hampshire Police High Tech Crime Unit
  • Design and develop software, hardware and networks, in fields such as digital forensics and artificial intelligence
  • Pick the brains of visiting speakers, who are experts in the forensic and cyber security field

Software and equipment you can use includes:

  • a mobile computing lab to develop Android and iOS apps
  • a pervasive computing lab for high-performance computing
  • a usability lab including state-of-the-art eye tracking equipment
  • Linux and Windows systems
  • a forensics lab with professional-standard forensic tools

Careers and opportunities

Police investigations and civil disputes increasingly involve investigations of computer systems, mobile phones or other information devices. So there's lots of demand for professionals in the field.

When you complete the course, you could work in private and public companies in areas such as law enforcement, cyber security and computer forensics. You'll also be able to register as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP).

What jobs can you do with a Cyber Security and Forensic Computing degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • security architect
  • penetration tester
  • cyber security analyst
  • forensic investigator
  • eDiscovery examiner
  • software developer

You'll get advice and support from our Careers and Employability service throughout your studies, and for 5 years after you graduate.

I chose the University of Portsmouth because of the feel of it and how friendly the staff were. I also love how hands-on it is and how much I actually get to do!

Alex Jarvis, Forensic Computing Student

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Cyber Security and Forensic Computing degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

  • Architecture and Operating Systems
  • Core Computing Concepts for Cyber Security and Forensic Computing
  • Cyber Security and Forensic Computing
  • Networks
  • Programming

Core modules in this year include:

  • Ethical Hacking
  • Forensics Fundamentals
  • Forensic Investigations
  • Operating Systems and Internetworking
  • Virtualisation and Cloud Computing

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Cyber Law Governance and Human Rights
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Learning from Experience
  • Life Computing
  • Network Servers and Services

At the end of your second year of study, you can do an optional placement year in the UK or overseas. This gives you experience in the field, helping to boost your skills and career prospects with real-world experience.

Previous students have secured placements in roles such as cyber specialist, forensic investigator and cyber security analyst at organisations such as:

  • Deloitte
  • The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Malware Forensics
  • Security and Cryptography

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Advanced Networks
  • Final Year Study Project
  • Individual Project (Engineering)
  • Practical Data Analytics and Mining
  • Security Management

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Work experience and career planning

On this course you'll have the opportunity to do an internship with Hampshire Police's High-tech crime unit on our campus.

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find further relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary opportunities that will complement your studies, build your CV and put your skills to the test.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Maths and stats support

The Maths Cafe offers free advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • project work

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • critical evaluation essays
  • written exams
  • research projects
  • mini projects
  • presentations

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 27% by written exams and 73% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 52% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 45% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 30% by written exams and 70% by coursework

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Cyber Security and Forensic Computing degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 104-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Qualifications or experience
  • 104-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I901
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – I901
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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