Introduction to Digital Forensics - COMP8230

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 15 (7.5) Virginia Franqueira checkmark-circle


This module will aim to familiarise students with core concepts (e.g. Locard's exchange principle, and legal admissibility of digital evidence) and best practices (e.g. the ACPO Good Practice Guide for Digital Evidence, Contemporaneous Notes taking, and the SWGDE guidelines) underpinning digital forensic investigations. It introduces methodologies that guide the digital investigative process (i.e., collection, interpretation, analysis and reporting), and key techniques that can be applied for interpretation and analysis of digital evidence in the context of digital forensics in general (e.g., hashing, and file carving), computer forensics (e.g., windows registry analysis and metadata analysis), and multimedia forensics (e.g., multimedia source analysis for device identification, and multimedia content analysis for forgery detection).

The module also discusses challenges faced by digital forensics due to the increasing volume and diversity of data sources involved in investigations.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 120
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

This module will be assessed by
50% Examination
50% Coursework

Indicative reading

Casey, E. (2011). Digital Evidence and Computer Crime: Forensic Science, Computers, and the Internet. Academic Press; 3 edition. ISBN 978-0123742681.
Altheide, C. and Carvey, H. (2011). Digital Forensics with Open Source Tools. Syngress. ISBN 978-1597495868.
Ho, A. T. S. and Li, S (2015). Handbook of Digital Forensics of Multimedia Data and Devices. Wiley-IEEE Press. ISBN 978-1118640500

Learning outcomes

1 Demonstrate a systemic understanding of underpinning concepts and best practices in relation to digital forensic investigations.
2 Select and apply techniques and methods most suitable for collection and interpretation of data of evidential value for a Court of Law in a forensically sound manner.
3 Critically evaluate methodology options and course of actions to undertake digital forensic investigations given a case scenario.
4 Demonstrate the ability to analyse uncovered digital evidence to answer typical investigative questions such as what, when, where, who, and how.
5 Apply and critically evaluate professional practices for reporting of findings from digital forensic investigations.
6 Critically evaluate challenges faced by digital forensic investigators resulting from advances in technology and widespread use of digital devices.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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