Just as a murder scene needs to be secured so too do electronic crime scenes. There are particular ways of securing evidence and students learn how to do this. Electronic crime scenes often involve child pornography, blackmail, financial fraud and data theft. Criminal prosecutors have used computer forensic evidence to form the backbone in murder cases and robberies through the use of technologies such as mobile phone forensics.
Computer forensics is the application of the scientific method to digital media in order to establish factual information for judicial review. This process often involves investigating computer systems to determine whether they are or have been used for illegal or unauthorised activities.
The BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing (Computer Forensics & Security) is a full-time, four year, honours degree course of study that can be chosen within the BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing Common Entry Route. This course is designed to equip graduates with the specialised skills and knowledge needed to secure, monitor and examine electronic crime scenes and digital environments.
This stream will develop a strong underlying knowledge of how data, storage and communications work down to bit level. Graduates are aware of the value of data in storage and in transit and the need for security. When reconstructing what has happened on a digital device, they are able to adapt to the use of new tools to aid in their analysis. They explore issues relating to system and network security as well as ethical hacking techniques for penetration testing.
Students will learn how to respond to a suspicious incident and the importance their actions can have. They will also learn how to collect and examine network data for types of evidence as well as to generate statistical, session and alert information. Being a strong programmer helps with skills such as secure software development and reverse engineering. Modules in law and business help prepare the graduate for working a range of roles that they may pursue as a career.
|Semester 1||Semester 2|
|Web Development||Programming Fundamentals 2|
|Discrete Mathematics||Applied Calculus|
|Programming Fundamentals 1||Computer Systems 2|
|Computer Systems 1||Introduction to Security and Forensics|
|Physics 1||Web App Development|
|The Computer Industry|
|Semester 3||Semester 4|
|Computer Networks||Applied Cryptology|
|Data Structure and Algorithms 1||Data Structures and Algorithms 2|
|File System Forensics||Forensic Accounting and Fraud Auditing|
|Mathematical Methods||Secure Programming and Scripting|
|Professional Communications||Software Engineering Practice|
|Relational Databases||Statistics and Probability|
|Semester 5||Semester 6|
|Developer Operations||Choose one of the following electives:|
|Legal Principles of Computer Forensics||*Industrial Placement|
|Network Forensics||*Professional Certification|
|NoSQL Databases||*Study Abroad|
|Professional Practice||*Voluntary Organisation Project|
|Web App Development 2||* = Elective|
|Semester 7||Semester 8|
|Data Mining 1||Project 2|
|Distributed Systems||Data Mining 2|
|Mobile App Development 2||Device Forensics|
|Network and System Security||Functional Programming|
|Project 1||Free Elective|
Detailed information on all modules is available in the course handbook:
2 subjects: H5
4 subjects: O6/H7
English or Irish: O6/H7
The entry route for this programme is from WD001 BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing (Common Entry). Applicants who select degree option WD001 CFS (Computer Forensics & Security) are guaranteed a place in that programme, subject to meeting the entry requirements and points. Applicants who are undecided about their degree option should choose WD001 GEN.
At the end of year 1, students must confirm their degree option and may change their selection up to that date.
The domain of computer security and forensics is growing and has become more essential than ever before. Virtually all organisations now need and use internet technologies (email, the web, ecommerce) in their daily business.
With this growth comes the need to protect sensitive data such as customer’s personal details and credit card information, confidential files and internal documents. Many companies employ full time security personnel to fulfil these roles, whilst other organisations outsource them to external firms. Insurance companies, corporations, civil litigations, individuals and law enforcement all can and do make use of evidence revealed by computer forensic specialists.
Graduates could expect to enter the following career paths:
Network Security Specialist
Students who complete the BSc (Hons) in Computer Forensics & Security may avail of a taught or research masters course (MSc) in the area. On completion of an MSc students will have the opportunity to pursue a PhD Course.