Embedding Computer Forensics within an Undergraduate Programme

An paper on teaching computer forensics was recent published at 7th Annual Teaching Computer Forensics Workshop University of Sunderland on the 10th Nov 2011.

An Embedded Pedagogic Model for Computer Forensics within an
Undergraduate Programme
Authors: Ali Al-Sherbaz , Amir Minai, James Xue, Rashmi Dravid , The University of Northampton

The discipline of computer forensics which has a strong mutli-disciplinary background derives from the computing subjects in networking, programming, security and mathematics. Increasing awareness of cybersecurity and emphasising the need for a common vision among students addresses the challenges. The proposed pedagogic model is to embed the computer forensics materials within the undergraduate modules to extend students’ knowledge and skills in a practical context. However, it is also recognised that the depth of knowledge required learning such topics as cyber security should be offered from the underlying principles to their abstraction.

Cyber crimes are on the rise however, Cyber security professionals are in a depressingly low numbers. The lack of focus on this area has certainly resulted in a limited number of experts. Today, there is a demanding need to create new cyber security jobs, which should hopefully bring leverage to the uncontrollable rise of cyber crimes. It is, therefore, necessary to develop the analytical skills which create challenges in building a constructive approach to learning. Also, reflecting the technological fluctuations, it is seen as essential for students to be continuously updated.

The proposed model focuses on the delivery and assessment of certain computing modules, with an evaluation of its efficiency on the use of time and effort in order to satisfy the minimum requirements of the curriculum. The study has also discovered that some of the modules already cover part of computer forensics implicitly. Therefore, highlighting these topics to the students and making them more visible as computer forensics is one of the main objectives. Another objective is to enhance the existing computing modules by dedicating certain amount of lecture time on computer forensic related concepts. The model can then be adopted by Universities when considering developing new modules.

Over  the  last  few  years  there  have  been  large  increases  in  cyber-crimes  which  have  threatened individuals and organisations. To reduce the threat it is imperative that the computing courses within universities increase the level of student awareness by providing them with professional education in computer forensics and cyber-security without the need to create a separate specialised pathway.

For more information contact: Dr Ali Al-Sherbaz (ali.al-sherbaz@northampton.ac.uk)

Computing Courses

BSc and HND Computing Provision (click on the links below for more details of the courses)

    The University of Northampton's, Department of Computing and Immersive Technologies offers five courses within the MSc Computing postgraduate provision (shown below) all available either part-time or full-time. 

    The contents are the opinion of the author(s) and not necessarily the view of the University of Northampton.