During the foundation year, you'll gain the skills needed to study at degree level and you'll learn about key aspects of computing:
- programming concepts
- working with hardware
- working with software
- computing in society
- mathematics or advanced mathematics.
You'll also carry out a programming project.
If you currently have a pass at GCSE in mathematics, or equivalent, you may take the Advanced Mathematics module which, on successful passing of the foundation year, would mean you are eligible to progress onto your chosen degree (Computer Forensics and Security, Computer Science, Business Information Systems, Computing, or Software Engineering).
If you do not currently have a GCSE in mathematics (or equivalent), you must take the Mathematics module. If you are not confident in your mathematics capability, but do have a GCSE mathematics or equivalent, you may take the Mathematics module. Students who take this module can progress to the Business Information Systems, Computer Forensics and Security, Computing, or Software Engineering degrees only (i.e. not computer science).
During the degree, you'll study specialist computing forensics and security topics, such as tracing online evidence, structure of popular file systems, recovery of digital artefacts and cybersecurity threats alongside broader computing topics.
All through the course, you'll gain experience through hands-on learning from on and off campus and on-line learning. You will collaborate on group projects, typically sourced from industry or akin to problems in industry. Your groupwork will be supported through the use on-line tools and on-line project management solutions. You'll also develop skills enabling you to:
- work effectively and supportively in diverse and inclusive groups
- communicate effectively in groups and one to one
- apply project management to group-work
- apply principles of commercial management and consideration of wider issues.
Each year builds on previous knowledge and understanding to reach an advanced standing in the area and you'll be supported and encouraged to develop as an independent thinker and solution finder.
You'll be working in the Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems along with programming languages such as C#, Bash and Python. A mixture of forensic and security tools such as Autopsy Forensic Browser, EnCase, X-Ways, FTK, XRY, Cellebrite, Metasploit, nmap and Wireshark will be used.
In the final year, you'll undertake a substantive piece of research in the Individual Study module. This will allow you to demonstrate your capabilities across the whole range of activities that you have been taught in the previous years as well as research new elements; this may include development of a small software artefact. You will also study some advanced areas in the field.
You will have the opportunity to take in your third year a placement, providing you meet the requirements; can identify and secure a placement opportunity, with the support from the computing team. A placement will provide you with the further opportunity to develop your skills as a practicing computing professional, a personal development plan and evidence of your abilities for your future employers. Allowing you to put your classroom knowledge into practice in Computer Forensics/Security in order to consolidate your skills and to enhance your employability prospects. There is compelling research by Jones, Green and Higson (2015) that shows that students who undertake placements also tend to perform more strongly academically on return from their placement in their final year of study.
We have also offered a number of paid summer student internships open to students to apply for. A previous opportunity involved two students who undertook a development internship with us to look at the production of a prototype healthcare system. This was used to demonstrate the capability of such a system to surgical teams in Kent.
We typically organise a guest speakers and computer security conference these will typically be on-line.