Cyber Security & Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Have you considered a career at the cutting-edge of the fight against cyber crime? There is an increasing demand for skilled cyber security professionals with expertise that this course offers.

On this course, you'll study how computers can be used to prevent and solve crime. You'll develop web technology programming skills and study specialised tools and operating system environments. You'll examine encryption algorithms, public-key cryptography, network security, endpoint security and digital forensics. Through research and development projects you'll be able to showcase your knowledge and skills to employers. Project themes include security and vulnerability analysis, mobile app security and cyber intelligence analysis.

Practical studies include ethical hacking (such as password cracking, vulnerability scanning, social engineering and system exploits) and Security Operations Centre (SOC) functions, such as threat intelligence, threat hunting, SIEMs and incident response.

All of our undergraduate computing and information system courses are ranked 2nd in London and 18th in the UK (Guardian League Table 2021).

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time G4N1 2021
4 years full time including sandwich year G4NC 2021
4 years full time including foundation year G4NX 2021
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2021
Location Penrhyn Road

2020 entry

If you are planning to join this course in September 2020, please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This degree is aligned with industry recognised certifications, for example, AccessData Certified Examiner, giving you a career head start
  • Kingston has a dedicated cyber security and digital forensics lab, with access to specialist resources
  • You'll have access to software and tools widely used in the cyber security industry (such as Splunk, Nessus, Kali Linux).

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 2020

  • 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 mathematics 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).

Entry requirements 2021

UCAS tariff points: 112 for BSc (Hons); 32 for BSc (Hons) including foundation year.

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 final assignments. 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

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 388 hours
  • Guided independent study: 812 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching: 300 hours
  • Guided independent study: 600 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching: 215 hours
  • Guided independent study: 685 hours

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 88%
  • Exams: 12%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 70%
  • Practical: 10%
  • Exams: 20%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 63%
  • Practical: 10%
  • Exams: 27%

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 9am and 6pm. 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.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

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

2021/22 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2021/22 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2021/22): £15,000
Year 2 (2022/23): £15,400
Year 3 (2023/24): £15,800

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* If your course involves a foundation year, the fee for that year for Home (UK) students will be £9,250 in 2021/22. The fees shown above apply for year 1 of the degree from 2021/22 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK 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.

2020/21 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 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,000
Year 3 (2022/23): £15,450

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* If your course involves a foundation year, the fee for that year for home and EU students will be £9,250 in 2020/21. The fees shown above apply for year 1 of the degree from 2020/21 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

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

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

After you graduate

Cyber security career opportunities are diverse and exist across many sectors. Examples include government, finance, entertainment, media, law and intelligence services.

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% of placement students and 34% of 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 coordinator
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

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students who will be starting the course in September 2020.

Course information (changes for 2020 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21. The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

Computer lab workshops and tutorials will be delivered through both on-campus teaching and as virtual online activities to meet the same learning outcomes in a socially-distanced manner, with no change in the total hours of delivery.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. 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 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

For some workshop and IT sessions group sizes will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements.

Assessment (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Accreditation

During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.

In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.

Additional (changes for 2020 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.

Key information set

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