2022/23 entry

BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics

Start date:
September 2022
Study mode:
Full time
Course Duration:
, 3 years / 4 years with placement
UCAS code:
G550
Points required:
112
Campus:
City

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
£9,250
International (full-time):
£16,600
Placement (home student):
£1,850
Placement (international student):
£3,650
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
Faculty of Engineering and Technology:
0151 231 2777
fetadmissions@ljmu.ac.uk
International enquiries
international@ljmu.ac.uk

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Why study Computer Forensics at Liverpool John Moores University?

• State-of-the-art computing facilities with Specialist Computer Forensics Software
• Practical, hands-on experience incorporated into modules wherever possible
• High quality teaching from staff involved in Internationally Recognised Research.
• Exciting careers in Computer Forensics Analysis, Computer Security and Network or System Administration.
• Links with local and national organisations, including Merseyside Police, NCA (National Crime Agency), EY, Experian, IBM, Anexsys, CYFOR and Intaforensics
• Opportunity to undertake a year’s paid Industrial Placement
• International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
• Start Month: September
• Campus Location: City Campus

About your course

The BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics at Liverpool John Moores University is informed by ongoing research and offers you excellent career prospects. The course is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). Students who graduate meet the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional in the BCS which raises your professional profile. 

About the BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics Degree

Computer Forensics is a growing area of Computing. Over the past year the way in which criminals commit crime has changed. According to the Office for National Statistics there has been a decrease in physical crimes while online crime has increased. This increase in online crime requires skilled employees with a knowledge of Computer Forensics. Students who graduate the course will be able to seize, analyse and present evidence that they would find from digital crime scenes.  

The Computer Forensics course will teach you the practical skills required to investigate online crime and to be able to use the tools used in the industry. These practical skills are underpinned by the relevant theoretical material, research in the area and complemented by the Computer Science modules on the course.

We balance the specialist skills of Computer Forensics with broader topics in Computer Science such as Operating Systems, Programming, Computer Law and Computer Security. There is a close relationship between Computer Forensics and Computer Security, and it is necessary that professionals in both areas are aware of each other’s roles in investigating digital crime. 

The curriculum is informed by consultancy with Merseyside Police and private Computer Forensics within the local area. This ensures that the course is up to date and producing students who can go straight into the industry. 

Dedicated Facilities
You will have access to Computer Forensics tools such as FTK, EnCase and Autopsy for the investigation of desktop computers and laptops. For mobile device you will have access to XRY and Cellebrite. These tools are available in our dedicated Computer Forensics lab and it will provide you with the technical, analytical and evaluative skills to be able to carry out computer crime investigations within organisations, law enforcement and national security.

Work-related Learning
Our strong links with local and national organisations mean that you will have plenty of options when you come to choose your third year work placement with this BSc in Computer Forensics. It will be a 12-month paid work placement that will provide you with the ideal opportunity to put into practice all you have learnt in the first two years and gain new skills as well. The placement will give you a taste of what it’s really like to work in the industry and a head start when you come to negotiate your way around the graduate job market. 

Upon Graduation
Students who graduate from the Computer Forensics course are normally in work or further study within 12 months of graduating. Students on the course develop analytical skills that are transferrable to employment, both in Computer Forensics and outside of the industry. Students have gained employment recently with the National Crime Agency (NCA), Merseyside Police, Greater Manchester Police, West Yorkshire Police, and the Serious Fraud Office. They have also joined private Computer Forensics companies such as Anexsys, CYFOR and SYTECH. Outside of the Computer Forensics industry students have also joined Fujitsu, Very, EY and the NHS. Students who continue onto further study have either started a masters’ course, PGCE or a PhD. 

"The Computer Forensics degree has given me the knowledge and experience to succeed in this exciting field of work, with the opportunity to gain certification in the use of proprietary forensic tools. My placement year at LJMU was spent in Merseyside Police's Digital Forensics Unit, and I have now gained full-time employment in digital forensics."

Joseph Williams, Graduate

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students

Fees

The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)

Money

  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)

Funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

Employability

You will enjoy varied career opportunities both in the UK and overseas

Most of our graduates go on to careers as computer forensics analysts, computer security consultants, network or system administrators, or data analysts. You could find yourself working in one of a wide variety of fields including data mining, forensics applications development, the police, intelligence, security or computer forensics initiatives, network security management or education.

Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

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What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 4

Core modules

Introduction to Programming
20 credits

In this module you are delivered programming and problem solving skills with no prior assumptions of programming experience. Given the importance of programming to computer science, this module will encourage you to study more specialised software development topics. You will gain an understanding of how software is developed and become familiar with a range of computer programming paradigms.

Computer Systems
20 credits

This module provides you with a basic knowledge in relation to the computing platform (hardware, operating systems, networks) upon which applications are developed and hosted. You will need this as support knowledge for subsequent modules at Level 5 and 6.

Networks and Web Development
20 credits

This module provides you with an understanding of modern Internet and web technologies. It will present the technologies underlying computer networking and the applications built on networks. These include interactive Web, development and social media technologies. This module enables you to:


• Identify appropriate uses of web client-side technologies
• Convert user requirements into interactive web pages using modern tools and technologies
• Identify applications of Network/Internet protocols
• Describe various features of Computer Networks and the Internet's infrastructure.

Professional Practice
10 credits

This module provides you with an opportunity to consider your future role as a computing professional. The tutorials and workshops will be used to develop strategies that you can use, providing opportunities for you to understand the field of Computing in a more effective way. You will develop your understanding of professionalism in computing, of working in the computing industry, and of the ethical frameworks and codes of conduct for the computing industry.

Data Modelling
10 credits

The module develops your ability to model data in various differing scenarios. You are initially required to manipulate and present data in spreadsheet based applications. Then, you are required to solve problems using a data modelling methodology (e.g. entity relationship models/normalisation), ultimately leading towards the construction of database based applications.

Introduction to Computer Forensics and Security
20 credits

This module provides you with the basic concepts, methods, techniques and experience of computer forensics and security. You will apply your knowledge and develop practical skills in the assessments by undertaking a digital forensic investigation and a security analysis of a case study.

Problem Solving for Computer Forensics
20 credits

In this module you will apply your understanding in two assessments. First, you will apply design and problem analysis techniques to a relevant case study scenario involving computer forensics. Second, you will translate such a design into a software solution. This will enhance your software development and problem solving skills, and develop your problem decomposition and analysis skills.

Level 5

Core modules

Group Project
20 credits

The module has two main purposes. First, you will be equipped with adequate research skills and experience of working on subject-related research topics, to lead into your final year project. Second, this module works to enhance your professionalism, including teamworking, which boosts employability and your awareness of what is expected in an employment scenario.

Database Systems
20 credits

In this module you will explore the operation of database systems through a scrutiny of modern RDBMS (Relational Data Base Management Systems), the SQL (Structured Query Language) and database connectivity APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The module continues by exploring some of the managerial considerations of large-scale RDBMS. The module concludes by exploring the operation of emerging NoSQL (Not Only SQL) database systems. Overall, you will design relational databases, develop date driven applications, critically evaluate applications, and design appropriate non-relational databases.

Operating Systems
20 credits

Operating systems constitute the backbone of every system management task and knowledge of their structure and use is of high importance for any system/network administrator in modern networked environments. In response, this module introduces you to the fundamental aspects of operating systems and further facilitates the basis for system administration.

Object-Oriented Systems
20 credits

In this module you will explore the object oriented paradigm from analysis and design through implementation and testing to maintenance. The UML (Unified Modelling Language) is employed alongside OOP (Object Oriented Programming) to demonstrate key concepts, resulting in mature, fully functioning object oriented systems. You will apply principles and patterns to object oriented systems with test driven development and source control playing a supporting role. The module concludes by exploring the various architectures that object oriented systems may embrace. 

Digital Forensics
20 credits

This module builds your core computer forensics skills required by you to work in the Computer Forensics industry. These skills will be applied by conducting a simulated Computer Forensics investigation.

Computer Law
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with a general understanding of English legal concepts and an understanding of the law in relation to provision of computer services, products and misuse. You will learn to understand the law relating to commercial transactions and develop an awareness of the law relating to intellectual property and the provision of computer products and services. 

Optional modules

Sandwich Year - Computer Forensics
120 credits

The aim is to provide you with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement your programme of study at LJMU. This will give you the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to your programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment.

Study Year Abroad - Computer Forensics
120 credits

This module provides you with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner. It will complement your programme of study at LJMU. You will demonstrate the acquisition of programme-related learning having followed your approved course of study abroad.

Level 6

Core modules

Project
40 credits

This module presents you with the opportunity to complete a substantial project in a chosen area relevant to your programme. The scope of what is an appropriate artefact varies between programmes and you will discuss this with your programme teams. This module will enable you to use rigorous development or scientific methods to produce an artefact, resulting in an oral and written report.

Computer Security
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of Computer Security including security threats and vulnerabilities to information, computing and communications systems. Through critically assessing a variety of generic security technologies for protection of computer networks, you will develop practical skills in the use of security countermeasure technologies and associated tools.

Network Forensics
20 credits

Computer networking is now a ubiquitous feature of modern life with the applications and services that we rely on daily being supported by the Internet. Conversely, as the services become more fundamental, the number and range of attacks levelled against them have increased both in severity and frequency. As such, modern digital forensics investigations are increasingly including some element of network investigation and network operators are increasingly employing forensic techniques to effectively manage their infrastructures. This module aims to develop your critical appreciation of both the theoretical issues of computer networks and their impact on digital forensic investigations, alongside the emergence of new networking technologies and how they will impact on network forensics.

Forensic Investigatory Practice
20 credits

This module provides you with an understanding of Computer Forensics investigations and the presentation of evidence in a court of law. You will develop your understanding of the role of the expert witness in trials involving Computer Forensics and learn to identify a range of appropriate methodologies and tools used during an investigation. The assessment is structured around the phases of a computer forensic investigation, starting with the 'crime', its analysis and finally the presentation of evidence. 

Cloud and Mobile Forensics
20 credits

With the rise of smartphones and the explosion of apps running on them that are supported by extensive back-end services, two of the most significant new areas of computing are mobile devices and cloud computing. With this massive rise in usage, new areas of digital forensics are now emerging to cater for the investigation of those user devices and the backend infrastructure respectively. This module enables you to examine how forensic investigations can be conducted in this area and identify the key similarities and differences involved.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies.  Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

You will begin the course with a 3-day induction and then spend approximately 15 hours per week in the classroom. Independent study is a fundamental element of the course and accounts for about 70% or 35 hours of your weekly study time.

Teaching is mostly via lectures with more informal lab sessions, online activities and small-group tutorials to reinforce ideas discussed in the lectures and to give you a chance to develop ideas with staff and other students.

Work-related Learning

Our strong links with local and national organisations mean that you will have plenty of options when you come to choose your third year work placement with this BSc in Computer Forensics. It will be a 12-month paid work placement that will provide you with the ideal opportunity to put into practice all you have learnt in the first two years and gain new skills as well. The placement will give you a taste of what it’s really like to work in the industry and a head start when you come to negotiate your way around the graduate job market. 

 


Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

This is a supportive and friendly school in which staff have been officially commended for their high levels of student support and commitment to learning and course development. 

Each student on the course is assigned a personal tutor during the induction week of their first year on the course. The personal tutor will help you settle into study at LJMU and advise you on any issues that arise that you require advice. They will have regular meetings with you, discuss your progress and give advice on how to improve your work. 

Should you choose to undertake a year’s work placement, this support will continue as a supervisor that will stay in close contact during your placement.

Your lecturers

We are proud of our academic staff's high quality teaching standards and approachability. Informal staff-student relationships are excellent. If you decide to study with the School of Computer Science and Mathematics you will be joining a relaxed and friendly community in which staff are committed not only to their students’ welfare but also to ensuring that courses are continually developed to meet the needs of employers.





Assessment

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams plus an independent final year project which contributes substantially to your final mark. Your tutors will give prompt and constructive feedback via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. This will help you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Career prospects

You will enjoy varied career opportunities both in the UK and overseas

Most of our graduates go on to careers as computer forensics analysts, computer security consultants, network or system administrators, or data analysts. You could find yourself working in one of a wide variety of fields including data mining, forensics applications development, the police, intelligence, security or computer forensics initiatives, network security management or education.

Facilities

What you can expect from your School

This programme is delivered in the Byrom Street complex of LJMU’s City Campus. Here you’ll find high quality lecture theatres, meeting and seminar rooms plus social spaces and a large café. The Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semester, is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 112


GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:

  • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths
  • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
  • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
  • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/ English
  • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
  • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: BBC
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

T Levels

  • T Level requirements:

    112 UCAS tariff points from relevant subjects. Pleasecontact the Faculty for further information.

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM if no other level 3 qualifications are taken or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: 112 UCAS tariff points from Access to HE Diploma

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 112 UCAS tariff points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects

OCR Cambridge Technicals

  • Technical Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Extended Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Foundation Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Introductory Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Subsidiary Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Reduced Offer Scheme

As part of LJMU’s commitment to widening access we offer eligible students entry to their chosen course at a reduced threshold of up to 16/8 UCAS points. This applies if you are a student who has been in local authority care or if you have participated in one of LJMU’s sustained outreach initiatives, e.g. Summer University. Please contact the admission office for further details.

Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

​We are looking for students who are keen to learn new skills and develop those they already possess. We want students with the ability to: be creative with ideas and concepts, moderate their creativity with logic, be enthusiastic and thirsty for knowledge, communicate effectively and confidently and understand and adapt to a wide range of issues connected with the subject. It is also important that students are able to manage time and tasks effectively as an individual and as part of a team, use appropriate sources to find and organise information and select and critically evaluate information in order to analyse problems.
If you would like to develop these skills further, have a strong interest in this subject area and want to work effectively within it, then this is the course for you!  International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.