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  • Cyber Security & Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)

Cyber Security & Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)

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 Computer Science and Mathematics 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 selected 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.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time G4N1 2019
2020
4 years full time including sandwich year G4NC 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year G4NX 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This degree is aligned with industry recognised certifications, for example, AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE), giving you a career head start.
  • You'll gain access to software and tools widely used in the cyber security industry (e.g. Splunk, ThreatConnect, Forensic Toolkit (FTK)).
  • You'll work in a dedicated cyber security and digital forensics lab, with access to specialist tools and resources.

What you will study

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list as these could change before your year of entry.

Year 1

Year 2

Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

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.

Core modules

Programming I Thinking Like a Programmer

30 credits

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.

Computing Fundamentals

30 credits

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.

Cyber Crime and Digital Forensics

30 credits

The Cyber Crime and Digital Forensics module will introduce you 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).

Professional Environments 1

30 credits

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.

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).

Core modules

Ethical Hacking

30 credits

The highly technical Ethical Hacking module commences by introducing you to the fundamental steps and frameworks needed for practical and ethical hacking exercises. You 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.

Computing Systems

30 credits

The module aims to enhance your understanding of how modern computer systems are implemented from the perspectives of architecture, networking, operating system, parallel programming and algorithm complexity. You 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. You will also develop knowledge of parallel programming and algorithm complexity so that you will be able to make use of new parallel computer architectures. Physical networks and their associated address schemes will also be explored.

Professional Environments 2

30 credits

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.

Optional modules

Database Driven Application Development

30 credits

This module seeks to establish the skills required to build full-stack database-driven web applications. You will learn how to design, build and query databases according to user information needs using logical data models and structured query language (SQL). You will also learn how to design and build scalable interactive applications that are delivered over the web and integrated with a backend database.

Networking Concepts

30 credits

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 become familiar with current LAN and WAN technologies and their role in building domestic and corporate networks. This knowledge will underpin the skills required to design and simulate small company networks including identifying the physical components required and to design an appropriate IP addressing schemes for such network.

It will also underpin your understanding of how network services such as mobile apps and network-based games are implemented.

Core modules

Industrial Placement

60 credits

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. Students that successfully complete their placement year will graduate with a 4 year sandwich degree.

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 in the context of a security operations centre. 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.

Core modules

Cyber Security

30 credits

This is a core module in the Cyber Security and Computer Forensics field which explores the major challenges to computer security. It familiarises you 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 you to implement and evaluate security controls and develop secure policies for corporate networks.

Network and Mobile Forensics

30 credits

This is a core module in the Cyber Security and Digital Forensics field. You will 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.

Individual Project

30 credits

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.

Optional modules

Internet Services and Protocols

30 credits

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.
Software Development Practice

30 credits

This module aims to provide a strong theoretical and practical background necessary for you 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 you 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 you will explore these principles in the context of practical projects which expose you to industry tools, practices and management methodologies.

Digital Entrepreneurship

30 credits

Entrepreneurship is a major driving force in creating economic growth and this module illustrates how to work in an entrepreneurial fashion. At the heart of entrepreneurship is innovation which can come in many forms. Sometimes this can be an incremental but generally gives significant improvement to the customer or alternatively as a new breakthrough or transformational innovation. Incremental innovation is aimed at increasing the value of a product or service, to add more value and thereby creating new and superior value chains. Breakthrough innovation often creates new categories of product or transforms the historical ways of doing things.

From this foundation, the module proceeds to explain how to develop a strategy not only to satisfy the critical needs that organizations have, but also aims to explore the application and use of improved value chains using the concepts of corporate venturing (spin-out/intrapreneurship) and Entrepreneurship (new venture creation). However it is not simple to start a new company. Especially the Tech branch is characterized by fast developments, shifts of focus and low barriers to entry, where holding back from "bleeding edge" is essential and is one of the important differentiating factors between Tech Entrepreneurship and other forms of entrepreneurship. This means that one can no longer count on "good luck", but insight, understanding, knowledge and a systematic approach all have to be learnt.

This module will equip participants with the concepts needed for roles in analysis, consultancy and management in technology environments, plus the necessary knowledge to work successfully in an innovative company, as well as providing a good background for new venture creation (Entrepreneurship) for those considering self-employment or founding new technology firms

 

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
  • Alternatively, BTEC Extended Diploma with grades DMM or BTEC Diploma with grades D*D* in a Computing, Science, Engineering or Maths subject area.

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course in a relevant Science, Computing, Maths or Engineering subject which has been passed with 112 UCAS points.

Applications from those that have undertaken a Computing foundation year will also be considered.

International

We welcome applications from International Applicants. View our standard entry requirements from your country.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

Teaching and assessment

The learning, teaching and assessment strategies reflect the programme aims and learning outcomes, student background, potential employer requirements, and the need to develop a broad range of technical skills with the ability to apply them appropriately.

Assessment includes coursework, which could be group or individual involving design, development, documentation and presentation tasks and exams.

Teaching approaches include studio practices; project-based learning through workshops and group work, scalable, context driven lectures, and problem based learning sessions. Ample opportunities are given to students for formative assessment with rapid feedback.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 85 students and lecture sizes are normally 85­-290­.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course

The course is taught at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. Faculty staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible.

Staff will use their experience and professional networks to hone your skills and shape you into the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

Cyber Security and Computer Forensics at Kingston Unversity

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based.

The new dedicated cyber lab provides the student with Linux/ Windows dual-boot computers, access to the internet, digital forensic hardware and professional software such as the full commercial version of Forensic Toolkit (FTK).

Students are able to experiment within an unconstrained environment in terms of computer administration and networking access. There are opportunities to gain vendor certification for mobile forensics (XRY Logical) and FTK.

You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • computing laboratories - fully equipped with fold-flat LCD screens, data-projection systems and high-spec processors;
  • state-of-the-art hardware and the latest software, including:
    • development software and tools - such as Linux, Microsoft.net, Eclipse, tools for Android and iOS, UML and CASE tools;
    • ethical hacking and pen testing environments, including Kali Linux and Metasploit; and
    • a mix of cable and wireless LAN technologies;
  • the library - offering subject libraries, online database subscriptions and resource materials.

Read about our games lab, which includes the latest Sony and Microsoft software as well as high-tech equipment such as PSPs and large screens.

Our dedicated team of IT technicians support the labs and are always on hand to provide assistance.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,000
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

 * If your course involves a foundation year, the fee for that year for home and EU students will be £9,250 in 2019/20. The fees shown above apply for year 1 of the degree from 2018/19 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

After you graduate

Cyber security and computer digital forensics jobs are often available in (but not limited to) law-enforcement agencies, military and government intelligence agencies, private security and consulting companies. 

Graduates can work as penetration testers (finding security vulnerabilities in target systems, networks, and applications in order to help enterprises improve their security), forensic analysts (recovering and examines data from computers and other electronic storage devices in order to use the data as evidence in criminal prosecutions), incident responders (members of a team that reviews services and information at risk to contain and eradicate threat agents by providing service recovery guidance).

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Courses available after you graduate

If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni.

Links with business and industry

Computing qualifications are amongst the most versatile and enable graduates to find employment in a wide spectrum of careers ranging from systems and business analysts, and software engineers, through to programmers and network specialists in a wide range of public and private sector industries.

Our curriculum is largely applied in nature with many case studies chosen for their topicality and relevance to industry such as information systems design, programming, networking, and implementation issues. Working on case studies designed to simulate the working environment, typically in teams, gives students experience of applying their skills to real-world problems.

To further set the material in context as well as inspire our students leading practitioners from industry, such as Google and IBM are invited to give guest lectures and workshops. The school hosts a local BCS chapter and several members of the School are involved with the institute at corporate level.

Events and lectures

Embedded within the academic year are two Enrichment Activity Weeks. The first is in week 6 of Teaching Block 1 and the second in week 12 of Teaching Block 2, which include Careers and Employability events. These provide students typically with the opportunity to explore their CV and interview skills and look forward and plan for both industrial placement and their employment after university.

Our award-winning careers service offers a range of events, which include; employers on campus to promote internship, placement and graduate opportunities; profiling specific roles within industry; and exposing students to employers and building skills and knowledge. The current set of events include Part-time jobs fair, Guest lectures, The Big Kingston Careers Fair, Enrichment Week activity, Creative Conference, Work abroad fair.

In addition a range of software development competitions and hackathon type events are organised by the staff and various societies.

Placement case study – Lillith Vanian-George

Placement company: Ernst & Young

A day in the life of Forensic Technology & Discovery Services

What is the average day in FTDS? Well the truth is there are no average days, every day there is always something new to learn and a new problem to solve.

My name is Lillith and I am doing a placement year at EY in their Forensic Technology & Discovery Services department, based in London. I am a student at Kingston University, having completed one year of Computer Science before switching to Cyber Security and Computer Forensics in my second year.

Your first question is probably, "What is FTDS?"

Forensic Technology is a type of digital forensic science which relates to legal evidence found in computers and digital storage media (ex, USB sticks, CDs, DVDs). What we do is examine digital media in a forensically sound manner with the aim of identifying, preserving, recovering, analysing and presenting the data. This sounds like quite a mouthful, so let me get a bit more specific!

Which department do you work in?

I work within eDiscovery (electronic discovery) which, in simple terms, means we assist our clients manage litigation or government investigations which deal with the exchange of information in electronic/digital format. My department provides a number of digital forensic solutions to solve problems like civil litigation investigations, criminal investigations, and internal investigations.

For me, this means every day I am dealing with lots of confidential client data. Emails, PowerPoints, word documents, PDFs, you name it. During my time at EY I have been exposed to many elements of eDiscovery, so day to day has varied a great deal.

What have you achieved on your placement?

I've done a lot since I have been here, to give you an idea...I have created my own SQL scripts, I have interacted with clients (in person, by email and over the telephone), I have collected hard drives from clients then preserved the data, processed the data, then produced that data and gave it back to the client, I have organised fundraisers at EY, participated in organising an event for 300 people, attended & organised recruitment events...the list goes on! As you can see, my year has been quite busy!

Of all the things I have done this year, I think I am most proud of the fact that I was able to write my own SQL query, and implement it into a client facing platform. For those of you who are good at coding, this might not seem like much but I generally consider myself not able to code if my life depended on it (how I hate you Java and your evil semicolons)!

I started working on a new project in December, which is heavily bespoke due to the client's needs. It was often that the client asked for a unique function we had to manually code ourselves. My colleague (aware of my aversion to coding, I claim I was under duress!) asked me to create a simple SQL script to return some data into a spreadsheet. After giving me some guiding tips, I was left alone in the wild to create the script from scratch. After much head scratching and many inner joins later, I finally finished it. I was so proud when my colleague looked over the script and gave me the proverbial pat on the back. It feels so good knowing that someone *I* did is being used by a high power client to pull a report every month.

What's next?

I've still got a few months left but I have loved my placement year so far and don't want it to end. Don't get me wrong, you do have to work hard!...but I have learned so much since I started and met some fantastic people here at EY who even from day one treated me like a friend, not just a colleague (or worse, an intern). I can't wait for tomorrow, and what new things await me!

Work placement year

How you can work in industry during your course

Placements:

  • provide work experience that is relevant to your course and future career;
  • improve your chances of graduating with a higher grade degree;
  • enhance your CV;
  • lead to a graduate job;
  • enable you to earn a year's salary whilst studying (the vast majority of placements are paid); and
  • help you to select your final-year project.

"To be successful, tomorrow's leaders will need to be far more rounded individuals than ever before. They will collaborate in pursuit of shared goals. They will guide, challenge and support...They will have an appetite for change and a hunger for continuous improvement, and they will have an ethos of learning and development..." Jeremy Darroch, Former Chief Executive, Sky.

"Doing a placement year effectively gives you one foot in the door of a future job and to stand out from the crowd... as well as enhancing my CV... and future interviews. It's a great motivator to be successful in my studies as it only serves to open even more doors and gain more skills." Placement student at Jagex Games Studios Ltd.

  • 81% placement students and 34% non-placement students got a first or 2.1 (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008).
  • 100% of placement students during 2008 recommend doing a placement (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008).
  • Many employers offer a graduate job to their successful placement students.

There is a lot of support available for students looking to secure a placement (eg a jobs board with placement vacancies, help with writing CVs and mock interviews). Getting a placement and passing the placement year are ultimately the student's responsibility.

For further information please contact the placements team by telephone 020 8417 2969 or email secplace@kingston.ac.uk.

Examples of placements

Placements can be with large multinational companies, international companies, local companies and small start ups; offering a diverse range of posts. Here are some examples of employers and roles:

Construction-based placement employers Construction-based placement roles 
RG Group
Multiplex
Costain
Willmott Dixon
Fluor
Assistant site manager
Assistant trades package manager
Assistant logistics manager
Health and safety officer
Construction engineer
Science-based placement employers  Science-based placement roles
Reckitt and Benckiser
GSK
Drug Control Centre
Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd
Various local and international hospitals
Bioanalytical sciences
Lab assistant
Pharmacy assistant
Sports coach
Engineering-based placement employers  Engineering-based placement roles
Airbus
BAM Nuttall
Nissan
Bosch
Wozair
Analysis of aircraft structure
Construction resources specialist
Site engineer assistant
Computing and IS-based placement employers Computing and IS-based placement roles
Disney
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
IBM
McKinsey
Intel
Database co-ordinator
Software developer
Website developer
App developer
Mathematics-based placement employersMathematics-based placement roles
Lloyds Banking Group
AXA
Allianz
PAU Education, Spain
Analyst
Investment solutions
Research analyst
Accounts assistant

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Undergraduate study
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