MSc Forensic Computing

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Comments about MSc Forensic Computing - At the institution - Middlesbrough - North Yorkshire

  • Objectives
    During an investigation of many digital evidence sources, it is necessary to develop new methods and tools for the recovery and analysis of data. This course will equip you with an understanding of the principles of evidential data recovery and analysis.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants should normally have an honours degree (at least 2.2) in an appropriate related discipline, professional membership of an appropriate chartered institution or an equivalent relevant qualification. Holders of an appropriate higher national diploma plus several years' relevant experience may also be accepted.
  • Academic title
    MSc Forensic Computing
  • Course description
    MSc Forensic Computing

    This course concentrates on the increasingly-important area of the use of computers and allied technology in crime and the investigation of crime.

    More information

    Stage 1

    Introduction and Professional Studies

    This module is designed to introduce you to the issues related to studying beyond undergraduate level. It applies to students on taught postgraduate courses and those who are embarking on a programme of research. The module encompasses issues such as enrolment, health and safety, using Blackboard, report writing and referencing, ethics, plagiarism, time management and numerical techniques. You will also examine discipline specific areas pertinent to your pathway, which will offer you a particular grounding, skills base or understanding required at the early stage of your study. You will be introduced to personal development planning, by keeping a formal log book.

    Advanced Java Programming
    This module assumes prior knowledge of an imperative programming paradigm but not necessarily the Java language. You quickly gain practice in developing Java classes and using the Java API including those connected with graphical interface design (Swing and AWT). Applications of Java will include multi-threading, database connectivity and web programming. The module will be assessed by individual course work.

    Computer Forensics
    This module introduces you to the wide range of IT devices (computers, mobile phones, personal digital assistants, electronic digital data storage devices etc) that are used in crime. You will look at how they are used, what information can be recovered from them, how that information can be recovered and how recovered information can be used in investigating crime. The module introduces the IT tools that are available in support of computer forensics and develops your theoretical knowledge and practical skills in computer forensics methods.

    Stage 2

    Advanced Data Recovery and Analysis

    This module is intended to blend practitioner-oriented techniques with theoretical underpinning to provide you with the necessary skills and understanding of data management in a forensic science context. You will examine the skills and techniques so that, as a forensic scientist, you can productively work with IT professionals and data administrators to tailor their data processing requirements. You will also study and address other problems such as how to capture, model and use multi-media data (images, text, audio) recovered during forensic investigation. It will also cover the modern approaches to data mining and online analysis of data combining the richness of visual tools for decision support with large volumes of data captured over time. Such data will have legal, financial and other regulatory requirements so there will be an emphasis on security and integrity of the data that is already maintained. You will study techniques that can recover data or rebuild data from different sources so that forensic data can be integrated and be readable in a usable format.

    Computer and Network Security
    This module will prepare you to be able to face the day-to-day problems occurring with networked PC computers. It will look at how organisations can help prevent most problems through effective policies, good daily practice and professional preventative measures. You will examine the legal framework as a context to place such policies, practice and measures. Teaching and assessment will feature the use of real and
    realistic case studies so that you can test your knowledge and techniques in as authentic a way possible. You will produce immediate solutions to problems and review the incidents to prevent further occurrences and develop new policies. You will be assessed through an exam based on a case study.

    Legal Issues and Evidence Reporting
    This module explores the legal and procedural contexts in which forensic science operates, providing you with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge relevant to the gathering, examination and presentation of evidence in a range of situations.

    Stage 3

    Research Project

    This is the culmination of the programme of studies. You will undertake a challenging problem related substantially to your discipline. The project is linked where possible to an industrial or external partner organisation, which may even host your work and substantially direct the activity. Where this is not possible, a real or simulated real problem may be chosen as subject for the work. It is, however, expected that even where the problem is simulated or hypothetical, it will be treated as if real. The project outcomes project should be at a publishable standard.

    Course structure
    You will carry out an in-depth study of the software production methods and standards required to produce solutions which can stand up to rigorous scrutiny in a legal context. You will also undertake a range of analytical work in computing and science laboratories together with practical work in our on-campus Crime Scene House Laboratory. Modules include Advanced Java Programming, Computer Forensics, Advanced Data Recovery and Analysis, Computer and Network Security, and Legal Issues and Evidence Reporting.

    Graduates should be well prepared for a wide range of employment opportunities in the field of forensic science and forensic investigation. Opportunities also exist with the police and a wide range of law enforcement agencies.

    Industrial experience
    On each master's degree you'll complete a project related to professional practice. This, along with the involvement of practitioners and academics in the delivery of these courses, ensures that they are relevant to the requirements of the criminal justice system.

    Intermediate awards
    Our master's degrees can lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate at Stage 1 (60 credits - 3 modules), a postgraduate diploma at Stage 2 (120 credits - 6 modules) or, on completion of a research project, the MSc.

    Block release study
    Our master's degrees are available on a block-release basis: you'll study for one week between 9.00am and 6.00pm with follow-up days in the next four weeks and accompanying assignment work.

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