Young man using a computer


Forensic Computing and Security (with Foundation Year)

Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
Foundation Year: City of Bristol College and Years one to three: Frenchay
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Ian Johnson
Key fact:
Play an important role helping organisations manage cyber-attacks and effectively use data for law enforcement.

Page last updated 27 July 2017


Why study BSc(Hons) Forensic Computing and Security?

Cybercrime is on the increase and is set to keep growing as technology becomes more widespread. High-level security breaches have led government, public services and corporations to dedicate more resources to computer security. Alongside this, digital forensics is providing a wealth of material for law enforcement for the police and businesses. This has led the UK government to highlight an urgent need for skilled graduates in this area.

Why study our course?

The BSc(Hons) Forensic Computing and Security will help you develop computer programming, internet and web skills. You will expand your knowledge of computer networks, systems and the legal environment in which you will operate. You will also develop vital professional skills, using industry standard forensic and security tools.

Real world experience

In your final year, you will apply what you've learnt to practical projects. These will include investigating computer crimes and assessing the integrity of forensic data and computer security systems. High demand for your skills will enable you to choose a placement from a range of specialisms. You will also have the opportunity to build your industry network and knowledge at presentations from visiting professionals.

During the first year of this course, you will study in City of Bristol College's advanced IT and computing laboratories. You can access UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus and all the facilities and accommodation available to all our students. From the second year of your course onwards, you will be based at UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus.

Where it can take you

You can choose from careers in government and the private or public sector. Roles can be within in-house forensics and security teams, legal practices or the police and related organisations.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



You will spend your initial year (Year zero) at City of Bristol College. The rest of the course will be based at UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus.

The course covers three main areas:

  • Basic computer knowledge and abilities, such as programming, internet and web skills, and knowledge of computer networks and systems
  • Specialist skills in using a range of professional forensic and security tools
  • Knowledge of the legal system and the rules applicable to Forensic Computing and Security practitioners.

Foundation Year (year zero)

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from our other Computer Science and Creative Technologies courses, and therefore may be able to transfer to a course in one of these areas at the end of the Foundation year. Transfer into the Creative Music Technology course is subject to an audition.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Mathematics for Computing
  • Professional and Communication Skills
  • Computer Architecture
  • Internet Systems
  • Information System Fundamentals
  • Programme Design and Implementation
  • Programming Project.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Programming in C++.
  • Computer and Network Systems
  • Introduction to Databases
  • Computer Crime and Digital Evidence.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Operating Systems
  • Security and Forensic Tools
  • Law, Experts and Justice
  • Secure Computer Networks.

In addition, you will study on of the following optional modules:

  • Internet of Things
  • Secure Embedded Systems.

Optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement, there will be an opportunity to complete a professional practice module. This module is shown in the option list for the final year but will actually be completed during your year out.

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Computing Project
  • Security Management in Practice
  • Forensic Computing Practice.

In addition, you will study one of the following optional modules:

  • Digital Systems Project
  • IS Dissertation.

As well as the above, you will study three of the following optional modules:

  • Requirements Engineering
  • Advanced Databases
  • Cryptography
  • Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Security Data Analytics and Visualisation
  • Networks, Information and Society.

You will also study one of the following optional modules:

  • Professional Experience
  • Ethical and Professional Issues
  • International Experience
  • Professional Development.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

You will be stimulated and encouraged to become a proactive, autonomous learner through a variety of means including face-to-face lectures and tutorials, electronic virtual learning environments, laboratory-based practical work and independent projects.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


You will be assessed through a variety of means including examination, individual and group coursework, presentations and project activities.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Computer society (BCS) - the IT industry's professional body.


Students who complete a work placement are more likely to graduate with a better degree and obtain higher quality work on graduation. So, as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a placement will make you highly employable on graduation.

Thanks to the high demand for skills in this area, there are many placement opportunities available. Past students have worked in Police High-Tech Crime Units, while others have gained experience testing the security of networks or collecting data to support legal cases for organisations such as Ernst and Young.

Study facilities

During your initial year, you will be studying on City of Bristol College's Ashley Down campus, which has extensive computing and IT labs equipped with the latest industry standard software. During this year, you will also have access to all the facilities and accommodation available to all UWE Bristol students.

From the following year of your course, you will experiment and develop vital professional skills in our state-of-the-art facilities at UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus, where you will:

  • gather and evaluate forensic evidence, using industry-recognised software such as EnCase and Forensic Toolkit in our large computer labs
  • analyse viruses and attempt to hack systems in our dedicated isolation lab
  • develop and test networks, using our specialist networks labs.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Build knowledge and network

To help build your industry knowledge and network, we arrange regular presentations from industry professionals. Past speakers have included Avon and Somerset High Tech Crime Unit, Fujitsu,Raytheon, Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Compete and learn

We will encourage you to enter national competitions and undertake challenges so you can apply your skills and build an industry profile.

Past students have achieved considerable success in the Cyber Security Challenge UK and the British Computing Society's Ada Lovelace Colloquium.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will be highly employable. Organisations often approach us for graduates due to the skills shortage in this field. As a result, most of our students are in employment within six months of graduating.

You can choose from a range of careers in the private or public sector. Opportunities include working for in-house forensics and security teams, legal practices or the police and related organisations.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

NHS - forensic computing unit


Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 72
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Grade D or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in Mathematics or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards the overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

The 'Typical offers' information above is only for full-time students entering the foundation year.

We are happy to consider your application if you have a mixture of A levels and BTEC qualifications.

We also welcome applications from highly motivated students who do not meet the usual entrance requirements given above, so we will consider you if you have gained equivalent knowledge and skills from substantial relevant work or other experience.

If you expect to achieve a higher tariff score, you may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Forensic Computing and Security course.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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