University College Dublin

School of Computer Science

MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing

Format: Hybrid

Program Description:

The MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing is designed for information technology specialists who need to acquire skills for the prevention and investigation of computer-related incidents. It introduces concepts, principles, and professional practice in digital investigation yet is highly practical and gives you information, knowledge and skills that you can apply straight away. It is delivered simultaneously in the classroom in Dublin, Ireland and online allowing you to attend and participate from your home or office, coming to UCD only for workshops and examinations. You can take the MSc part time over two years or full time over one year. The programme is delivered in cooperation with the leading experts in the field with an engaging mix of learning sessions, hands-on labs, case studies, tool demonstrations and in-depth discussions. A unique aspect to the course is the international student and alumni network that gives you an international perspective and global contacts that will be valuable in your future career. The programme is highly practical and uses tutors from industry and law enforcement as well UCD academics. It is designed to give you information, knowledge and skills that you can apply straight away. This course is open to both law enforcement and civilian experts. Modules • Computer Forensic Foundations • Law for IT Investigators • Application Forensics • Investigative Techniques • Corporate Investigations • Information Security • Digital Investigation Project (This is an individual research project on a real-world topic in digital investigation) Programme outcomes On successful completion of the programme students will be able to: • Perform forensic analysis of a personal computer running Windows operating system • Understand legal issues in keeping information secure and in the conduct of investigations • Understand the role and the use of digital evidence in litigation • Prepare investigation reports and court testimony • Analyse user activity in Windows OS • Use crime scene search techniques, handle evidence and interview witnesses • Prepare investigative reports and court testimony • Perform investigations into misuse of IT in a corporate environment • Investigate crime against computer systems including malware • Deploy information security mechanisms • Conduct independent research and convey the knowledge discovered to colleagues What are the career opportunities? Cybercrime and identify theft are among the fastest growing crimes, yet employers cannot find people who have the right mix of skills to work in the area. Graduates of the MSc are employed as project managers, developers and information security specialists, computer forensics and security analysts, test, audit and engineering specialists. They work at IT companies such as Dell, Detica Group, Jinny Software, Symantec, Oracle, IBM Global Services, as well as in law enforcement agencies, in banks and financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Bank of Ireland, Central Bank of Ireland, Pioneer Investments and consultancies such as Ernst & Young. Flexible delivery options Most participants take the MSc part time over 2 years but it is also possible to do it full time over 1 year. Lectures are held at UCD two evenings every week during term time. A part time student doing the course over two years will attend 4 hours of lectures on Tuesday evenings in Year 1, switching to Wednesday evenings in year 2. Full time students taking the course in one year attend lectures on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. As some students choose to follow the course online, lectures are simultaneously broadcast live via the classroom website. While personal attendance at weekly lectures is not mandatory, students are required to come to Dublin twice during the course: Year One: once in mid-term of Semester 2 (end of February) for practical training (for a week), then for another week at the end of April for the practical & written exams. Year Two: Students do not need to come to Dublin in year 2, but they may expect to do one-on-one interviews online with lecturers as part of their assessment. In addition to lectures, students are expected to perform self-study assignments during the year, using their personal computers and UCD's online computer lab. Hands-on practical assignments, which require laboratory equipment, take place at the end of the year in the form of intensive full-day workshops during the examination period. In addition, students may book time in UCD's digital forensic lab and use the equipment for self-study during the year.


Successful completion of the programme graduates earn the degree MSc in Digital Investigation & Forensic Computing from University College Dublin which is ireland's largest university, in the top 1% of the world's universities, winner of The Sunday Times University of the Year award for 2012.

International Student Requirements:

Computer/Laptop, Internet access, ability to travel to Dublin for annual labs and exams during a 10 day period in May/June each year. Optional Welcome session and Graduation/Conferring of degrees. The cost of travel and accomodation for these trips is not included in the tuition fee.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

# of Credits Required: 90

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): MSc EUR

In State Tuition (per year): 4000 EUR

Out State Tuition (per year): 4000 EUR

Classification: Unknown

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