University of Sunderland logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 7.8k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 9.5k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English


    In this course, you will learn how to find digital information that people may have tried to hide, and how to analyse data in order to illuminate wrong-doing.

    You will develop expertise in the requirements for locating, preserving and presenting reliable evidence and in the use of ethical hacking to identify, access and recover information that is held in ‘secure’ digital media.

    The course is excellent preparation for jobs in computer forensics, which is a rapidly growing area given the rise in computer-related crime. At the same time the course also covers all the fundamentals of computing, leaving your career options open. Core topics include web applications, database systems, programming and software development.

    We encourage our students to undertake a year-long placement between the second and final years, although it is not compulsory. It’s a great opportunity to get paid to put your learning into practice and to extend your experience.

    Graduates of our course will automatically gain exemption from some of the requirements of the British Computer Society BCS, the UK’s Chartered Institute for IT. Becoming chartered through the BCS is a further way to demonstrate your professionalism and value to potential employers.

    Detailed Course Facts

    Application deadline 15th January/October Tuition fee
    • GBP 7800 Year (EEA)
    • GBP 9500 Year (International)
    Start date September 2015 15th Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
    • English
    Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

    Course Content

    Year 1 (national level 4)

    Fundamentals of Computing (100 Credits)

    • Software Development and Theory – Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Formal Methods.
    • Programming – Microsoft C# .NET and Java programming for Robots.
    • Web & Multimedia Applications – Markup Languages (HTML 5, CSS 3), Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash, and Actionscript, Adobe Photoshop, Javascript, Web APIs (such as Google Maps and Yahoo APIs).
    • Database Systems – Database Design, Relational Databases and SQL, Database Integrity and Security, PHP and MySQL.
    • Computer Systems and Networking – Operating Systems, Networks and Computer Architectures.
    • Specialist Mini Project – you can showcase your talents through a project in your chosen area of computing. Past projects have included a Facebook app, a hack challenge and the creation of a retro arcade game.

    Foundations of Computer Forensics and Ethical Hacking (20 Credits)
    You will gain an overview of computer forensics and ethical hacking from both theoretical and practical perspectives, within the context of the fundamentals of computer systems, operating systems, computer hardware, programming and system design.

    Year 2 (national level 5)

    Principles of Computer Forensics and Ethical Hacking (40 Credits)

    You will gain skills in penetration testing and other ethical hacking methods. As a result you will be able to evaluate a range of threats over a variety of operating systems and platforms.
    Software Engineering Enterprise and Innovation Project (40 Credits)

    Choose to develop a software project for a client or yourself. You will gain valuable experience of working within a team-based software development environment.
    Optional modules (choose one):

    Software Development (40 Credits)

    This module provides additional skills in Microsoft C# .NET programming and software design through further .NET technologies, UML modelling, unit testing, multi-threading and web-based solutions.

    Information Systems (40 Credits)

    You will develop different types of database-driven information system applications using, for example, SQL Server and Oracle’s application development approaches (such as Forms and APEX). Plus you will build more complex PHP and MySQL systems.

    Network and Routing Fundamentals (40 Credits)

    This module introduces theories behind networking and basic router configuration. You will work in our networking laboratories to develop practical skills in designing and building routed networks of the kind typically found in industry. This module also offers the opportunity to undertake exams for CISCO accreditation for CCNA, which is a well-recognised and valued industry accreditation.

    Final Year (national level 6)

    Computing Major Project (40 Credits)

    You will research a topic and develop software that’s connected to that topic. Past examples include an Android audio application, a Trojan detector and a network monitoring tool.

    Advanced Computer Forensics (20 Credits)

    You will gain in-depth knowledge about specialist and sensitive areas in computer forensics. You will also learn how to maintain the integrity of digital evidence and how to analyse it thoroughly.
    Professional Issues in Computer Forensics (20 Credits)

    There is great emphasis on legal, social, ethical and professional aspects of ethical hacking and computer forensics.

    Optional modules (choose 40 Credits):

    Ethical Hacking (20 Credits)You will develop knowledge and understanding of ethical hacking, which is about locating and strengthening security weaknesses in computer systems. The module will also cover a range of legal and social aspects in the ethical hacking domain.

    Network Management (20 Credits)

    This module introduces the five key activities associated with network management: Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security. For each of these activities you will learn about standards / models / protocols and how to analyse their effectiveness.

    Telecommunications (20 Credits)

    This module moves from analogue principles to digital telephony, VOIP, packetized voice, GSM and converged networks. You will have an opportunity to build a fully converged modern telecommunications system.

    Advanced Databases (20 Credits)

    This module explores solutions related to complex database systems such as: enhanced data models, query optimisation, clustering, scalability, security, forensic investigation, data warehousing, data analysis tools and more.

    Concurrent and Distributed Systems (20 Credits)

    This module covers modern multi-processor and distributed system software development using appropriate programming languages, frameworks and APIs.

    Artificial Intelligence (20 Credits)

    This module develops your knowledge of current AI principles and your skills in this fast-moving area, which is a particular focus of Sunderland’s research.

    Project Management (20 Credits)

    You will learn modern approaches to the development and management of IT-related projects, making use of the latest principles and research.

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    English Language Requirements

    IELTS band : 6

    To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you to

    take an IELTS test. More About IELTS


    Our typical offer will be in the region of 260 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award).

    We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

    Please note we do not accept AS/A Level General Studies.

    We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

    If you have already covered one or more of the topics covered by the course, and would like to apply for accreditation of prior learning (APL), please contact the course leader.

    Other acceptable qualifications

    BTEC National: 260 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

    Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

    Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 260 points.

    Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 260 points.

    Work Experience

    No work experience is required.

    Related Scholarships*

    • Academic Excellence Scholarship

      "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

    • Access Bursary

      Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

    • Alumni Bursary

      Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

    * The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Sunderland.


    Scholarships on offer include cash bursaries, reduced tuition fees, free accommodation and free public transport.


    Recognition by the British Computer Society, the UK's Chartered Institute for IT.

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