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 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 the British Computer Society, fulfilling academic requirement for CITP (Chartered Information Technology Professional).

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

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

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

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.

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.

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the logical concepts underpinning the design of computer systems
  • Demonstrate the application of practical digital circuit design and optimisation techniques
  • Define the fundamental developments and functions of the CPU and OS (operating system)
  • Apply mathematical skills that support the technical aspects of computing at basic and advanced levels
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 2-hour lectures
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word exercise (30% of final mark)
  • a 5-minute oral assessment and presentation (10% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute examination (60% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll learn a brief history of computing.

You'll also discuss its sub-disciplines and its current trends and advances.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Summarise computing's history, sub-disciplines, major advances and trends
  • Explain the key concepts of usability evaluation
  • Describe the major principles of cyber security
  • Apply development technologies and techniques specific to your studies
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 1-hour lectures
  • 6 x 1-hour seminars
  • 18 x 1-hour practical workshop classes
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word written assignment, including essay (25% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word practical set exercise (25% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word practical set exercise (25% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word coursework set exercise (25% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll get an introduction to the underlying concepts of forensic investigations and of cyber security principles, giving you a strong understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of this subject area.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the role and function of a forensic investigator
  • Evaluate the role and function of a cyber security practitioner
  • Demonstrate skills, attributes and knowledge required by forensic investigators and cyber security practitioners
Teaching activities
  • 48 hours of practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 60-minute exam (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll work in practical lab sessions on current and past technologies, using Windows and Linux platforms.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise and use computer systems network terminology
  • Define the fundamental principles of computer networking topologies, security and professional standards
  • Describe the 7-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model and discuss its application
  • Examine the fundamental requirements of systems management and security
  • Develop an awareness of the importance of ethics and communication law to the practice of journalism
  • Identify network security and the impact of network vulnerabilities
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 1-hour practical classes & workshops
  • 24 x 1-hour lectures
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word report (50% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll learn about practical programming techniques using the Python and Java programming languages.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design, implement and test algorithms to solve problems using appropriate data types and control structures
  • Design, implement and test object-oriented programs based on a specification
  • Describe and analyse fundamental programming concepts and techniques
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 2-hour lectures
  • 26 x 2-hour practical classes & workshops
  • 8 x 1-hour seminars
  • 2 hours of demonstration
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 110 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word practical exercise (60% of final mark)
  • 2 x 1,500-word coursework exercises (20% of final mark, each) – programming coursework assignments

Year 2

Core modules

What you’ll do

You'll focus on known classes of vulnerabilities and will cover standard pen-testing techniques such as scanning, intelligence gathering, local/network enumeration, local privilege escalation, persistence and domain privilege escalation.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate tools and techniques for intelligence gathering and enumeration, and for enumerating data/command injection vulnerabilities
  • Propose recommendations for securing a system
Teaching activities
  • 12 hours of demonstration
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes & workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour exam (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do 

You’ll engage in theoretical and practical information related to digital forensics investigations including basic concepts and principals such as the ACPO guidelines and popular tools such as AccessData FTK and RegRipper to critically preserve, analyse and interpret digital evidence in an ethical manner. You’ll also work in groups on real work problems and report your findings and solutions in a clear and effective way.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate and critically reflect on the use of forensic tools and techniques as well as on the interpretation of evidence
  • Apply appropriate investigation techniques to examine and analyse forensic artefacts
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour exam (40% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word report (60% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Locate, extract and interpret a range of forensic artefacts on computer systems
  • Explain the core steps in the forensic process for the preservation of evidence and avoidance of contamination
  • Evaluate and select appropriate tools and methods for the extraction of evidence
  • Evaluate outcomes of the investigations and present these in a clear and concise manner
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word report (70% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour exam (30% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll look at the implementation of operating systems, microprocessor architectures, routing, mobility, and security protocols. To study this module, you need to take the Architectures and Operating Systems, Networks, and Programming modules in year one.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate a multi-tasking and multi-user operating system
  • Demonstrate the role of concurrency and communication in modern operating systems and processors
  • Analyse the operation of advanced computer architectures and high performance processors
  • Examine the principles, limitations and applications of current computer networks
  • Apply the principles of error control, quality of service and security to networks
  • Develop and interpret simple codes in a system-level programming language
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes & workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word report (30% of final mark)
  • a 1.5-hour written exam (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll be introduced to the virtualisation solutions commonly used in industry and explore the core aspects and principles of their operation. You'll also complete a full deployment of a small scale cloud solution.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Appraise core principles and theories underlying virtualisation and cloud computing
  • Compare and contrast different virtualisation solutions with respect to a given a specification
  • Install, configure and manage an OpenNebula cloud solution
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 10 x 3-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 158 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word report (50% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (50% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you’ll do

You’ll examine various modes of cybercrime including hacking, viruses and denial of service attacks to offences such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cyber-fraud and identity theft.

You’ll also look at the main organisations involved in fighting cybercrime in the UK and internationally, and on human rights-related debates regarding cyberspace such as privacy and freedom of expression/freedom of information.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the subject area that is reflective and questioning
  • Identify and apply relevant legislation and case-law to cybercrime incidents
  • Recognise and discuss important issues relating to criminal and social justice
  • Engage with and analyse major human-rights-related debates that are relevant to cybercrime and understand how these debates influence cybercrime and the relevant responses
  • Effectively research legal and case-law developments and report and analyse them using appropriate style and terminology
Teaching activities
  • 16.5 hours of lectures
  • 5 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178.5 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment (50% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word report (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also analyse and use these structures as you design efficient algorithms with the efficiency expressed in BigO notation. To choose this unit, you need to have taken a first year programming module, and be confident in elementary mathematics.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Construct and use fundamental data structures to solve problems
  • Demonstrate the practical effects of different data structures and typical algorithms
  • Review and analyse the practical effects of using different data structures in the design of algorithms
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 1-hour lectures
  • 24 x 1-hour tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 45-minute set exercise exam (30% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour written exam (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll get the opportunity to put into practice your learning from the first two years of the degree and improve your chances of securing a professional level role upon graduation. Once you successfully pass the module, you’ll be eligible to apply for either ENGTech or ICTTech registration.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate your learning, personal development and future career opportunities
  • Describe tasks undertaken and responsibilities held in the course of (self) employment
  • Differentiate your employability as graduates, as a result of the placement experience
Teaching activities
  • 5 x 1-hour seminars
  • 195 hours of placement
Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 4,000-word portfolio project (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll organise your own programme of learning activities to total at least 80 hours, supported by faculty-led workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Reflect on your learning and experience to date and use this to organise suitable work experience
  • Propose a programme of learning that will demonstrate and develop your employability skills
  • Critically evaluate your learning and experience and relate this to your future career goals
  • Use reflective practice to communicate the results of your experience
Teaching activities
  • 9 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 80-hours of work-based learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also gain practical experience of current education practices from your school placement. This module can be part of your initial teacher training (ITT) pathway, leading to accredited Qualified Teacher Status.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss how pupils learn and how this impacts on teaching
  • Identify the factors that can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how to overcome these
  • Identify strategies for fostering and maintaining pupils’ interest in the subject and addressing misunderstandings
  • Plan and deliver a lesson, or part of a lesson, informed by specialist subject knowledge
  • Engage in self evaluation and reflection on your teaching placement
Teaching activities
  • 20 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 56 hours of placement
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word written assignment (90% of final mark)
  • a coursework portfolio (10% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the principles of network operation and management
  • Install, configure and manage network servers and services in both Linux and Windows environments
  • Analyse requirements for complex network systems and determine optimal solutions and strategies for developing and managing them
Teaching activities
  • 22 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 156 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word coursework project (60% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (40% of final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you’ll do

You'll be exposed to different tools and methodologies, including practical cases.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Predict the threat to common malware targets by performing malware investigations
  • Construct malware and determine suitable executable injection techniques
  • Reverse engineer malware to evaluate its likely function and ways in which to remove it
  • Review the use of appropriate techniques and tools such as disassemblers and debuggers
  • Employ network monitoring tools to identify malware and other traffic of interest to a forensic investigator
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word report (70% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour exam (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

To study this module, you need to take a mathematics module and demonstrate your understanding of data representation (such as hexadecimal and binary.).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Synthesise a secure computer system
  • Evaluate common cryptographic techniques
  • Analyse a cryptographic system, identify vectors for attack, and determine mechanisms for closing vulnerabilities
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word report (50% of final mark)
  • a 500-word portfolio (10% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written exam (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

This module will also focus on how those classes of vulnerabilities can be exploited.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate tools and techniques for identifying logical and implementation errors in software systems
  • Evaluate techniques for exploiting logical and implementation errors in software systems
  • Propose recommendations for securing software systems through the development lifecycle
Teaching activities
  • 24 hours of demonstrations
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour exam (30% of final mark)
  • a 2,000-word coursework project (70% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll work in a group to research and review selected protocols and techniques or design a solution to an advanced networking problem. To study this module, you'll need to take the Fundamentals of Networks module in year one, and Operating Systems and Internetworking in year two. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the needs and requirements for wireless network technologies
  • Identify the limits and applications of current networks and examine alternative technologies
  • Apply the principles of security, error controls, modulations, and impairments of communication principles to the network technology
  • Evaluate, assess and simulate the different techniques that shape the emergence of new network technologies
  • Analyse, simulate and evaluate current network configurations and technologies, identify issues and provide solutions
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour practical classes & workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1.5-hour written exam (60% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word report (40% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Initiate and manage a large individual project appropriate to the student's current programme of studies
  • Devise a project initiation document, as well as stating the objectives, the research question(s), the methodology they intend to employ and how they plan to go about doing it
  • Identify ethical issues pertinent to their project and take necessary action(s) in order to address these issues
  • Conduct a formal literature review
  • Critically analyse primary/secondary data collected via filed work
  • Evaluate and critique your work against its objectives, research question(s) and the appropriateness of the methodologies used
Teaching activities
  • 12 hour of project supervision
  • 4 x 1-hour lectures
  • 2 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 182 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10,000-word report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll analyse relevant issues and literature, propose solutions to your problem, and investigate through lab or field based activities, case studies, surveys, documentary or database research to produce a final report.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Employ best practice methods and approaches to manage a large-scale project
  • Identify and summarise the problem to be solved and put it in context
  • Identify legal, ethical, social and professional issues relevant to your project and take necessary action(s) to address these issues
  • Conduct a formal literature search, identifying, analysing, comparing and contrasting sources and writing an evaluative review
  • Design, implement and test a substantial relevant artefact (or several smaller artefacts)
  • Critically evaluate your work against its objectives, reflecting and generalising on the learning achieved in your written report
Teaching activities
  • 12 hours of project supervision
  • 4 x 1-hour lectures
  • 2 x 1-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 382 hours studying independently. This is around 11.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 10,000-word report (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll apply different data mining and machine learning methods to databases and investigate their use for decision support.

To study this unit, you need to take the Database module in year one.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Model and implement a data warehouse
  • Analyse the performance of different data mining techniques
  • Select and apply appropriate data mining techniques for analysis tasks
  • Describe how data mining design and implementation methods could be used to solve problems
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 2-hour practical classes & workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 4,000-word coursework exercise (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll examine security threats to businesses and the impact they can have, solutions to these threats and changes in the variety and nature of threats due to new technologies being introduced, such as the use of mobile devices and cloud computing. You’ll be introduced to the importance that technical components such as operating systems, networks and databases have on the design of secure solutions as well as application level security.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and critically evaluate the risks and vulnerabilities faced by business organisations
  • Identify and critically evaluate a range of security solutions and their appropriate deployment in relevant contexts
  • Critically evaluate and create a disaster recovery plan for business continuity
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 1-hour seminars
  • 12 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word portfolio project (30% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word report (30% of final mark)
  • a 60-minute written exam (40% of final mark)

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.

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

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

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.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

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

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Law and Business degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 15 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BSc (Hons) Cyber Security and Forensic Computing degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops for about 13 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. Optional field trips may involve evening and weekend teaching or events. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's 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

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

Learning support tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.

They can help you:

  • master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
  • understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
  • solve computing problems relevant to your course
  • develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
  • understand and use assignment feedback

Laboratory support

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty 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 disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Maths and stats support

The Maths Cafe offers 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.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

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, including an A Level in a relevant subject.

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

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,400 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 this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

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

If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

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

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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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