Digital Forensics module information

Year one | Year two | Year three

Year one

C Programming 1

introduces two complementary topics: (1) traditional, imperative programming in C; and (2) the implementation of standard linear data structures and the algorithms that manipulate them. You will cover key aspects of the core language, including major library functions, fundamental data structures, algorithm strategies, design and basic analysis. You will learn how a computer can be controlled using software designed for a traditional Von-Neumann architecture.

C Programming 2

covers core C language concepts, including functional testing techniques and fundamental data structures. You will understand the important principles of developing/building trusted and reliable software to meet users' requirements, e.g. naming conventions, initialisation of structures and variables, variable scope and lifetime, validation of input, bound checking, unit testing and reliability. You will also consider the consequences of poor programming style and technique (i.e. poor maintainability,  poor security and vulnerability to attack).

Computer Law and Cyber Security Management

explores the legal and professional context of cyber security, software engineering, computer science and digital forensics. It addresses the legal framework, legal and professional responsibilities of the software engineer, systems manager, computer forensic and security practitioner. You will study computer ethics, data protection law, UK and international law affecting cyber security,digital engineering, systems management and digital forensics.

Computer Systems

provides a foundation in computer architecture and operating systems, with a specific emphasis on their security. You will study theoretical foundations (e.g. number systems, integer and real number representation), computer hardware (e.g. CPU components and operation, instruction sets, computer architectures, memory) and systems software (e.g. operating system fundamentals, processes, file systems, memory management, shell scripting, authentication and authorisation). You will also consider security issues of operating system vulnerability and security, threats and attacks and  architectural vulnerability and security.

Computer Networks

provides a foundation in modern computer networks with a specific emphasis on their security. You will study theoretical foundations (e.g. finite state automata and  data encryption), computer networks (e.g. network architectures, data communication system fundamentals, transmission schemes and technologies, error detection and management, network components, LAN protocols, Internet protocols) and network security issues (e.g. information security: confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA), network vulnerability and security, threats and attacks).

Mathematics for Computing

introduces you to mathematical structures that provide the basis for computer science, i.e. logic, set theory, probability and statistics. You will study topics including logic, sets, tuples, relations, functions, probability, hypothesis generation and testing.

Database Design and Implementation

covers the fundamentals of how to design the structure of data within a relational database, how to interact with data within the database, and how to protect the data within the database. Topics include: the relational model, top down modelling of business requirements, ER model, keys, relationships, traps, normalisation, SQL mapping schema to implementation via DDL, querying data using DML, integrity, transactions, access control and security. 

Year two

Software and Security Management

introduces the business contexts within which IT projects are procured and developed. This includes the feasibility of computer system development viewed from economic, technical, social, legal, and ethical perspectives. You will develop an understanding of the roles of main organisational functions (including marketing, HR, finance) and the broader organisational structures in which they operate. The role of professional standards bodies and professional organisations are also explained.

Introduction to Research

gives you an understanding of the importance of researching, analysing, and interpreting existing literature in order to establish a solid context in which you can develop and investigate your research and development questions. You will develop your research skills in identifying relevant literature, critically analysing texts, and justifying a set of research or development questions. The module explores these research methods through the lens of ethics in technology, introducing you to key ethical issues in relation to information systems, such as privacy, autonomy, security, identity, and social impact.

Web Application Development

provides a firm technical foundation of how a web application can be developed that allows web users to interact with assets stored in databases. You will consider how PHP is used to great effect by some web developers and with catastrophic naivety by others.  You will also be introduced to rudimentary web application penetration testing in order to emphasise the hostile attention that public-facing web content will attract.

Windows Forensics

studies Windows from a forensic perspective, with the overall aim of understanding what non-volatile digital residue with evidential value is left. You will learn how to plan and manage computer forensics investigation preparedness, including a forensics incident management plan, forensic readiness, and preservation of evidence in the form of electronically stored information. The module includes experiments in the use of forensics tools including EnCase, FTK, and other industry standard tools for digital investigation. You will also practise the necessary legal, expert witness, reporting, and professional skills.

Linux Security

develops the principles of security as an abstract concept, then looks at Linux operating systems. You will study Linux from a security perspective with the overall aim of understanding how to make a Linux installation less vulnerable.

Cryptography

covers a number of relevant encryption methods and usages, including protocols, for achieving many important security properties. This includes revising the mathematics that underlies many encryption methods such as RSA. The module is organised as a series of lectures devoted to principles of the various encryption methods and their overall context, as well as laboratory sessions in which you will work through examples of these methods and learn creative techniques for cryptanalysis. Practical coursework consists of a group exercise developing cryptanalysis software.

Issues in Criminal Justice

provides non-lawyers with the opportunity to examine some of the key issues that occupy criminal lawyers and the criminal justice system. You will look at these issues from a policy perspective, as well as examining the legal rules in the context of standards imposed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Year three

Final Year Project

gives you the opportunity to carry out a significant piece of work involving critical analysis and reflection to provide an effective solution to a given technical and/or research-based problem. You will be expected to demonstrate appropriate and proactive project management, and written/verbal presentation skills throughout the project. As well as analysing, designing, delivering and appraising a product of suitable quality, you will undertake, research, analyse, design, evaluate and report on some aspects of a subject explicitly allied to the project.

Professionalism in Forensics and Security

focuses on the legal and professional context of cyber security, software engineering, computer science and digital forensics. The module addresses UK and international law affecting cyber security, digital engineering, systems management and digital forensics.

Digital Investigations

presents and explores the tools and techniques of investigation for two different types of digital artefact. Typically, the types of investigation will cover a mixture of 'dead-box' forensics as well as mobile phone technologies. The module will culminate in a scenario of a realistic incident, encompassing the technologies studied throughout. The scenario will focus on the use of tools for data preservation and analysis as well as managing the integrity of the evidence and presenting the findings to a lay audience.

Network Forensics

presents the tools and techniques of investigation for two different types of digital artefact, generally including a mixture of current and new/cutting-edge technologies. The module will culminate in a scenario of a realistic incident, encompassing the technologies studied throughout. The scenario will focus on the use of tools for data preservation and analysis as well as managing the integrity of the evidence and presenting the findings to both a technical and executive audience.

 
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