Programme Specification

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1 Programme Specification Course record information Name and level of final award: MSc Cyber Security and Forensics Name and level of intermediate awards: Postgraduate Diploma in Cyber Security and Forensics Postgraduate Certificate in Cyber Security and Forensics Awarding body/institution: University of Westminster Status of awarding body/institution: Recognised Body Location of delivery: New Cavendish Street Language of delivery and assessment: English Mode and length of study: Full Time 1 year, Part Time 2-5 Years University of Westminster course code: P09PCFS JACS code: G690 UCAS code: QAA subject benchmarking group: N/A Professional body accreditation: Date of course validation/review: 2010 Date of programme specification: March 2010 British Computer Society (BCS) exemption from Part II requirement

2 Admissions requirements You are normally expected to have a good Honours degree (at least 2.ii) in a computing related discipline from a UK university or an overseas equivalent. If your first degree does not have a strong computing content, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of computing and/or industry experience. You may also be considered according to your work experience and any other qualifications. You must submit a statement of purpose with your application in which you should present your key interests and career aspirations, how you believe the course can help you to achieve these, and what relevant personal qualities and experience you will bring to the course. You may be invited by the admissions tutor to an informal interview. If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. Aims of the course The course has been designed with a high degree of relevance to industry needs and since its inception has contributed to the security of both public and private sectors. The aim of the course is to produce Master s level security and forensics graduates who are able to work in a wide variety of situations involving Technology Security. The aim will be achieved by the Course being able to: produce a stream of Master s level security graduates who are equipped to undertake leading roles and furnish a significant contribution in industry, the professions and public services; provide rational, flexibly structured and coherent programmes of study both relevant to the needs of employers and to the facilitation of the professional development of the student, and thereby laying the foundations for a successful career to the benefit of both the economy and of society; help students develop necessary intellectual and analytical skills, which might include analysis, thesis, antithesis and synthesis, evaluation, problem-solving and reasoning, and which, as a consequence, would enable graduates independently to achieve complete understanding of any academic concept even were it not to have been studied in an academic institution; supply necessary practical skills that help with current Cyber Security and Forensics issues; help students appreciate the transience of detailed Cyber Security and Forensics technology experience and recognise the need to abstract the necessary transferable skills as part of a commitment to continuous professional development. promote public awareness of, and debate about, the social need for and technical challenge of Computer Forensics participate in professional networking within the rapidly evolving Cyber Security and Forensics community and facilitate students' introduction to this foster research within the field of Cyber Security and Forensics, and enable students to carry out further study and independent academic or practice-based research.

3 Employment and further study opportunities Today s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and skills relevant to the workplace, ie employability skills. The University of Westminster is committed to developing employable graduates by ensuring that: Career development skills are embedded in all courses Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available to students Staff continue to widen and strengthen the University s links with employers in all sectors, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of the University s career education and guidance provision Staff are provided with up-to-date data on labour market trends and employers requirements, which will inform the service delivered to students. Learning outcomes Learning outcomes are statements on what successful students have achieved as the result of learning. They are threshold statements of achievement and are linked to the knowledge, understanding and skills that a student will have gained on successfully completing a course. Knowledge and understanding Graduates of the course will be able to: assess faults and risks within in an information and technology environment show originality and expertise in building information assurance into new computer software and hardware system implementations demonstrate a thorough understanding of legal, quasi-legal and ethical requirements when dealing with matters arising in security and forensics environments conduct information assurance investigations develop techniques for ensuring user compliance with agreed security policy managing and control computer networks with due regard for technology security demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how to prevent and manage crises, from initial analysis of risks to continuity and recovery management A typical graduate of the course will additionally be able to: demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level; continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level; and will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: Specific skills On completion of the course, students will have developed the following subject-specific practical skills: analyse and interpret theoretical concepts and be able to justify the development of business and of state service applications confront and resolve concrete problems faced by businesses and organisations

4 critically evaluate the impact of computer and other technological developments on the operational security strategies of an organisation employ techniques of analysis to bridge the gap between strategy and the technologies that can support it evaluate and implement security techniques formulate and interpret business, legal or technical innovations and relate them ethically to security applications identify users and business needs for given applications and specify appropriate matching technologies identify, preserve and analyse sources of digital evidence use and critically evaluate Computer Forensic software tools present Computer Forensic evidence in a systematic manner, suitable for use in a court of law Key transferable skills Graduates will be able to: Students will be able to competently undertake research tasks with minimum guidance; work through information clatter to identify relevance, to organise and present information effectively using different media. Students will be able to reflect on own and others functioning; participate effectively in the peer review process and analyse and identify ways to improve practice; continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and recognise their development needs and to develop new skills to a high level take a proactive, managed approach to their future careers and personal development. Learning, teaching and assessment methods Learning Much of a student's learning takes place in a practical context. What is being learned in such a setting is not only the detailed content of a particular assignment, but also more implicit lessons about the applicability of theory and the use of tools, techniques and procedures. This implies that much responsibility for independent learning is placed upon students. Teaching The course makes use of a variety of teaching methods to ensure that material is presented effectively to students and in a way which emphasises the practical nature of the subject. The wide range of skills and knowledge required for the successful detection, collation, analysis and presentation of computer forensic data means that a correspondingly wide range of strategies is adopted to develop these skills in students. Assessment The general principles governing assessment on the MSc are that a variety of assessment methods should be used, with an appropriate assessment method being selected for the particular learning outcome being assessed, and that coursework assessments should be considered part of the learning process, with appropriate and timely feedback being given.

5 Course structure This section shows the core and option modules available as part of the course and their credit value. Full-time Postgraduate students study 180 credits per year. All students on the course will take the five core modules; in addition, students will take 3 of the option modules. Module Status UK Credit Fundamentals of Security Technology Core 20 Credits Internet Security Core 20 Credits Evidence and Procedure Core 20 Credits Research Methods And Professional Practice Core 20 Credits Project Core 40 Credits Data Recovery and Analysis Option 20 Credits Computer System Tools Option 20 Credits Advanced Computer Forensics Option 20 Credits Threats and Counter-measures Option 20 Credits CyberSecurity Applications Option 20 Credits Risk Management Option 20 Credits Academic regulations The MSc Cyber Security and Forensics, and its intermediate awards, operate in accordance with the University's Academic Regulations and the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland published by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in All students should make sure that they access a copy of the current edition of the general University handbook called Essential Westminster, which is available at The following regulations should be read in conjunction with Section 18: Modular Framework for Postgraduate Courses and relevant sections of the current Handbook of Academic Regulations, which is available at Support for students Upon arrival, an induction programme will introduce students to the staff responsible for the course, the campus on which they will be studying, the Library and IT facilities and to the School Registry. Students will be provided with the Course Handbook, which provides detailed information about the course. Students are allocated a personal tutor who can provide advice and guidance on academic matters. Learning support includes four libraries, each holding a collection of resources related to the subjects taught at their School. Students can search the entire library collection online through the Library Search service to find and reserve printed books, and access electronic resources (databases, e-journals, e-books).

6 Students can choose to study in the libraries, which have areas for silent and group study, desktop computers, laptops for loan, photocopying and printing services. They can also choose from several computer rooms at each campus where desktop computers are available with the general and specialist software that supports the courses taught at their School. Students can also securely connect their own laptops and mobile devices to the University wireless network. The University uses a Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard where students access their course materials, and can communicate and collaborate with staff and other students. At University level, Services for Students provide advice and guidance on accommodation, financial and legal matters, personal counselling, health and disability issues, careers and the chaplaincy providing multi-faith guidance. The International Office provides particular support for international students. The University of Westminster Students' Union also provides a range of facilities to support all students during their time at the University. Reference points for the course Internally The University s Mission Statement The University s Quality Assurance and Enhancement Handbook (2009) The University s Handbook of Academic Regulations (2009) L & T Good Practice Guides produced by Westminster Exchange Learning & Teaching Guides for the Inclusive Curriculum for Disabled Students (2009) produced by ICDS Project Team Learning, Teaching & Assessment Strategy Externally SEEC Credit Level Descriptors 2001, Jan 2002 Professional body accreditation BCS, Guidelines on Course Accreditation Information for Universities and Colleges, September Quality management and enhancement Course management The Course Leader is responsible, through the Head of the Department, to the Dean of School for the academic management and organisation of the course. The Course Leader, who is also the Admissions Tutor for the course, is assisted by an Examinations Officer and a Project Co-ordinator. The Course Team comprises the Course Leader and all the members of staff who teach on the course. Typically each module is delivered by a module team. Each module has a Module Leader, who is responsible for co-ordinating the module team and for the delivery, resourcing and smooth running of the module. Course approval, monitoring and review The course was initially approved by a University Validation Panel in The panel included internal peers from the University and external subject specialists from academia and industry to ensure the comparability of the course to those offered in other universities and the relevance to employers. Periodic course review helps to ensure that the curriculum is up-to-date and that the skills gained on the course continue to be relevant to employers.

7 The course is monitored each year by the School to ensure it is running effectively and that issues which might affect the student experience have been appropriately addressed. Staff will consider evidence about the course, including the outcomes from each Course Committee, evidence of student progression and achievement and the reports from external examiners, to evaluate the effectiveness of the course. The Annual Monitoring Sub- Committee considers the School action plans resulting from this process and the outcomes are reported to the Academic Council, which has overall responsibility for the maintenance of quality and standards in the University. Student involvement in Quality Assurance and Enhancement Student feedback is important to the University and student views are taken seriously. Student feedback is gathered in a variety of ways. The most formal mechanism for feedback on the course is the Course Committee. Student representatives will be elected to sit on the Committee to represent the views of their peer group in various discussions. The University and the Students Union work together to provide a full induction to the role of the Course Committee. All students are invited to complete a Module Feedback Questionnaire before the end of each module. The feedback from this will inform the module leader on the effectiveness of the module and highlight areas that could be enhanced. The University also has an annual Student Experience Survey, which elicits feedback from students about their course and University experience. Students meet with review panels when the periodic review of the course is conducted to provide oral feedback on their experience on the course. Student feedback from course committees is part of the Schools quality assurance evidence base. Please note: This programme specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the course and the learning outcomes that a student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. This specification should be read in conjunction with the Course Handbook provided to students and Module Handbooks, which provide more detailed information on the specific learning outcomes, content, teaching, learning and assessment methods for each module. Copyright of University of Westminster 2012

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