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Cyber Security & Computer Forensics BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time G4N1 2018
2019
4 years full time including sandwich year G4NC 2018
2019
4 years full time including foundation year G4NX 2018
2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018
2019

Why choose this course?

Pervasive increases in cyber crime, industrial espionage and politically motivated cyber attacks are a persistent and global threat. An urgent and fundamental step towards mitigating and combating such threats requires the employment of skilled cyber security and digital forensics professionals to work in government, business, finance, insurance, industrial, media, legal and intelligence services, as well as many other employment sectors.

As a response to these challenges, the School of Computing and Information Systems offers a full field in cyber security and computer forensics. This degree is a state-of-the-art course, based on our previous experience of offering a course that has been pivotal in the careers of many alumni who are now working for leading organisations in cyber security related roles.
Kingston University's cyber security and computer forensics degree programme is driven by student employability. The course curriculum is aligned with numerous industry recognised certifications; examples of which include Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) for cyber security and AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE) for digital forensics. Students are offered the unique opportunity to pursue industry recognised certification examinations at an appropriate time during their degree studies and to ultimately distinguish themselves professionally at an early stage in their future careers.

The ultimate goal of this course is to nurture highly qualified cyber security and digital forensics graduates, who are optimised for placement in industry as skilled professionals.

Cyber Security and Computer Forensics student Evelyn talks about her experience studying at Kingston University.

Foundation year

If you would like to study computing or mathematics at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc(Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the foundation year course page for details of modules.

What you will study

In the first year of this degree, students are introduced to computer security, digital forensics and legal aspects of forensic investigative processes. They will also develop web technology (eg Javascript, HTML, CSS), Java and Python programming skills; and gain a practical insight into the use of specialised tools and operating system environments. Examples of which include hex editors, hash functions, Forensic Tool Kit (FTK), Windows 10, Linux, Android, iOS and more.

In the second year, students will study ethical hacking through practical activities (eg password cracking, port scanning, anonymous browsing, keyboard logging, screen capture, packet interception, social engineering and malware).

In the final year, students will study encryption algorithms, public-key cryptography systems, network security techniques, security policies as well as live, network and mobile forensics. They will also complete an individual ‘capstone' project. This project is a showcase opportunity in which students undertake a research and development project of their choice. They will develop a tangible and noteworthy artefact, that can be showcased during interviews for placements, internships or full-time roles. Examples topic themes include crypto currencies, mobile privacy, blockchain technologies, malware etc.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module is taken by all first year undergraduate students undertaking a degree in the computing subject area. Previous experience of programming is not assumed. The module seeks to introduce a foundation for programming that can be built on in subsequent years and that accommodates specialist practice within computing eg games, software engineering, media, UX etc.

    Teaching and learning is split between a variety of different units to ensure the module is flexible enough to accommodate each cohort and student's needs. As befits a practical discipline like programming, a hands-on approach is used that facilitates self-paced and self-directed learning. Students are encouraged to engage with, develop and experiment with programs in a constructivist fashion inspired by bricolage (Stiller, 2009; Stiller, 2017).

    The intent is to build students' confidence as they learn to program, and provide a foundation that can be built on so that in later years they can go beyond simple solutions to problems and be ready to engage in full-fledged application development.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module introduces students to the principles behind hardware and software systems, and the important concepts related to modern computer systems.

    First, following a review of the relevant mathematical principles, students will acquire an understanding of computer architecture, how data are represented, stored and processed, and how the operating system manages hardware and software resources. Second, they will understand the main concepts behind databases, network communication, and social media. Finally, they will learn about the essential technologies supporting web development and database management.

    The assessment strategy involves an exam and the development of a portfolio reporting both theoretical and practical knowledge of the fundamental concepts addressed in the module. The module will also offer scope for students to be challenged and extended by developing deeper skills.

    Read full module description

     
  • This module is a core module in the Cyber Security and Digital Forensics field. The module will introduce the students to the principles and practices of cyber forensics, providing a contextual setting for further modules.

    In particular, the module has a theoretical perspective (introducing core security concepts and principles, and covering legal, professional and ethical issues, the nature of digital crime and the role of the forensic investigator) as well as a practical technical perspective (gathering, reserving and presenting digital evidence using forensic toolkits).

    Read full module description

     
  • The goal of the Professional Environments module is to prepare students for professional practice firstly by ensuring they acquire suitable employability assets and secondly by equipping them with an understanding of the role of a professional in society and the role of professional bodies.

    While the bulk of the taught programme focuses primarily on domain knowledge, the Professional Environments module focuses on developing key skills (as enumerated in the Programme Specification), personal qualities (eg commercial awareness, reliability and punctuality, understanding the centrality of customers and clients), and professional knowledge including the need to engage with continuing professional development. With such assets, students will generate a CV, an employment portfolio, and a professional online presence.

    Being a professional also means understanding the key legal, ethical and societal issues pertinent to the domain, and understanding the need for continuing professional development (CPD) especially when technology develops at such a rapid pace. The module is designed to support different domain areas and to integrate experience from other professions. The subject areas being studied demand a global perspective which encourages the inclusion of our diverse of communities and national practices.

    Reflecting the fact that team working is ubiquitous in the modern workplace, a significant proportion of the assessment work on the course is group-work based. There is considerable evidence that group work promotes a much deeper engagement with taught content. It also encourages the development of diverse learning communities. This module will therefore introduce students to best practice in group working covering how to approach group work, how to deal with different types of people, and methods of selecting and managing groups.

    Read full module description

     

Year 2

  • This module is a core module in the cyber security and computer forensics field. The module, highly technical, commences by introducing students to the fundamental steps and frameworks needed for practical and ethical hacking exercises.

    They are then introduced to the Python programming language and the use of Python scripts for various ethical hacking activities, examples of which include; password cracking, port scanning, anonymous browsing, keyboard logging, screen capture and packet interception.

    Read full module description

     
  • The module aims to enhance students' understanding of how modern computer systems are implemented from the perspectives of architecture, networking, operating system, parallel programming and algorithm complexity. Students will explore the essential features and operations of modern computer architectures and acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge of the principles and major functions of modern operating systems. They will also develop knowledge of parallel programming and algorithm complexity so that they will be able to make use of new parallel computer architectures. Physical networks and their associated address schemes will also be explored.

    Read full module description

     
  • Following a project-based pedagogic approach, students will undertake a major inter-disciplinary team-work project drawn from a list of authentic industrial problems. Achieving the goals of the project will require students, firstly, to apply the various development methodologies they have acquired on their course and, secondly, to develop professional skills in project management and team working.

    While the bulk of the taught programme focuses primarily on the learning of domain knowledge, the goal of the Professional Environments 2 module is to prepare students for professional practice in their respective domains. They will develop the necessary project management and team-working skills, and, by working as a team on an authentic industrial project, they will gain a high degree of familiarity with the typical requirements capture, design, and development methodologies relevant to their discipline. With the focus on making real-world artefacts, the students will integrate their work into an employment focused portfolio.

    Being a professional practitioner also mean critically assessing both goals and solutions from legal, ethical and societal perspectives as well as addressing security and safety concerns. Students are also encouraged to consider their continuing professional development needs and to engage with their professional bodies. To encourage career management skills and promote employability after graduation, students are expected to integrate the artefacts they produce and reflective practice narratives into their employability portfolios and personal development plans.

    The module is designed to support different domain areas and to integrate experience from other professions. The subject areas being studied demand a global perspective which encourages the inclusion of our diverse of communities and national practices.

    Read full module description

     
  • Please choose one module.

    • This module seeks to establish the skills required to build full-stack database-driven web applications. Students will learn how to design, build and query databases according to user information needs using logical data models and structured query language (SQL).

      They will also learn how to design and build scalable interactive applications that are delivered over the web and integrated with a backend database.

      Read full module description

       
    • With a strong emphasis on understanding the Internet protocols, the Networking Concepts module will develop your understanding of the basic principles of networking. You will develop knowledge of current widely available LAN and WAN technologies and their role in building domestic and corporate networks. This knowledge will underpin the design skills required to design and simulate small company networks including identifying the physical components required and designing appropriate IP addressing schemes. It will also underpin your understanding of how network services including mobile apps and network-based games are implemented.

      On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Explain  the basic principles of networking and outline the importance of the OSI Reference Model
      • Describe the operation of typical LAN and WAN technologies and identify the main hardware components used to construct domestic and corporate networks
      • Design and simulate a network for a small enterprise
      • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, subnetwork addressing, and be able to design an IP addressing scheme for a domain
      • Describe the role of each protocol within the TCP/IP protocol stack including routing, reliability, security and segmentation
      • Develop an understanding of client-server applications, and how they can be implemented using the socket interface

      Read full module description

       
     

Optional sandwich year

  • This module is an essential course programme component for students on the sandwich route of an honours degree "with professional placement".  It is a key element in providing an extended period in industry gaining real world employability skills. Students are supported both before and through their placement by the SEC Placement team (KUTalent). Students that successfully complete their placement year will graduate with a 4 year sandwich degree.

    Read full module description

     

Year 3/4

  • This is a core module in the Cyber Security and Computer Forensics field which explores the major challenges to computer security. It familiarises students with a range of cryptographic algorithms and protocols, firewall and access-control architectures and methods to assess and improve network and application security. This knowledge will allow students to implement and evaluate security controls and develop secure policies for corporate networks.

    Read full module description

     
  • This is a core module in the cyber security and computer forensics field. Students apply methodologies for acquiring, preserving, analysing and documenting digital evidence discovered in the Cyber Crime and Digital Forensics module (CI4315), to network and mobile environments. This includes acquiring volatile digital evidence running on live computers, forensically processing data packets from networks and extracting digital evidence from mobile devices.

    Read full module description

     
  • The goal of the module is to further develop skills in organisation, timekeeping, research literature, developing and critically analysing results as well as reporting work verbally and in a written format. The end result will be an artefact or artefacts which demonstrate creativity and technical competence as well as a technical report.

    Read full module description

     
  • Please choose one module.

    • This module focuses on enterprise networks; the internet protocols and services which will develop the understanding of how the TCP/IP internet protocol suite achieves the interconnection of geographically separate computers over networks of arbitrary topology and technology. This knowledge will underpin the design skills required to design such company networks including identifying the physical components  required and designing appropriate IP addressing schemes. The module introduces wireless and high-speed networks and how these are used to deliver a variety of business applications.

      On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Explain the basic principles of internetworking, and describe the role of each protocol within the TCP/IP protocol stack.
      • Identify the main hardware network components used to construct enterprise networks, and be able to design a network for a small enterprise.
      • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, sub-network addressing, and be able to design an IP addressing scheme for a domain.
      • Demonstrate how internet application services (eg HTTP) available on any of today's advanced operating systems depend on and interact with other TCP/IP protocols, and explain the role of DNS and DHCP services in the configuration of network hosts.
      • Demonstrate an awareness of the services available from the internet and network providers to support business and homes and be able to critically reflect on the legal, social, economic and ethical issues associated with the use broadband services.

      Read full module description

       
    • This module aims to provide a strong theoretical and practical background necessary for students to build high quality scalable software and to operate effectively as an industry professional.

      It examines software quality concepts necessary to build high quality software architecture. The module introduces students to the concept of software architecture and architectural patterns as part of software design and reuse which can be viewed as components and interfaces.

      At a lower level, programming models and paradigms are explored, as well as design patterns and anti-patterns. Testing strategies and other software quality principles will also be covered, and students will explore these principles in the context of practical projects which expose them to industry tools, practices and management methodologies.

      Read full module description

       
     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team

*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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