The rapid expansion of the use of digital technology has been followed by a similar increase in computer-based crime. This increase in criminal activity has led to a demand for qualified computer forensic analysts who can investigate digital technology based crime and uncover evidence that helps build a case against suspects. Forensic computer analysts may be involved in a range of investigations, such as online fraud, digital espionage, counter-terrorism, possession of illegal imagery and information theft.
A typical investigation would involve identifying and securing computer equipment, followed by the application of forensic methods and specialist computer programmes in pursuit of evidence. Tasks include recovering data from digital media, analysis of records to establish the location of a device, uncovering data trails, careful documentation of the investigation, presenting findings and acting as an expert witness in court.
You will be taught by an internationally recognised team from the University’s Information Security Research Group, and external speakers contribute to delivering the latest expertise and developments.
The University of South Wales are the only university in Wales to gain the prestigious provisional certification from GCHQ, the UK Government’s Communications HQ, for its Masters course in Computer Forensics.
- Computer Forensics and Crime Investigation - Forensics Techniques and Data Recovery - Computer Law - Professional Skills Development - Advanced Research Methods - Project Management - Security Management - Research Project: an investigation of your choice, related to the course - MSc Project: the development and evaluation of a significant application or task of your choice, related to the course
Learning and teaching methods
The course is delivered in four major blocks to offer an intensive but focused learning pattern, with two start points every year – February and September. Full-time students will typically spend 12 hours in classes each week. If you choose to study part-time, this is reduced to around six hours each week. You will study through lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, seminars and projects.
Work Experience and Employment Prospects
You will have had the opportunity to develop skills that strongly relate to the role of a forensic computer analyst or an information security analyst. These include problem solving, a systematic approach to work and an awareness of security standards and legislation.
Graduates will be well equipped for employment, including working for the police, security services, commercial sector, or organisations that specialise in computer security.
You will need to spend a significant amount of time working independently, reading and preparing for assessments. While the style of coursework may vary, research-style papers or essays of around 4,000 words in length are typical. You will also work on a significant research project and a major project of your choice, where strong independent thinking, critical analysis and project management skills will be important.
We have a full range of high-specification computer labs and an ongoing investment programme to ensure that our facilities stay at the forefront of computing developments.