Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 10/01/2023 10:56:16

Title of Module: Advanced Digital Forensic Analysis

Code: COMP10073 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Sean  Sturley

Summary of Module

The aim of the module is to provide students with the principal theories, concepts and principles that a forensic investigator must apply to investigate digital crime incidents successfully. The module provides broad and advanced specialist knowledge and understanding of the techniques, issues and practicalities involved in network forensics, memory analysis, malware forensics and embedded systems, and evaluates their application in a number of practical case studies.

The module also examines the future shape of digital crime and the forensic response to these threats from law enforcement and government perspectives. Utilising case studies and scenarios, students will be guided through the process of conducting a digital forensic investigation. The ethical and professional issues/requirements of the practitioner are embedded throughout the syllabus.

This module will work to develop a number of the key 'I am UWS' Graduate Attributes to make those who complete this module:


  • Critical Thinker
  • Ethically-minded
  • Research-minded

Work Ready

  • Problem-Solver
  • Effective Communicator
  • Ambitious


  • Autonomous
  • Resilient
  • Driven

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




check mark




Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3check mark

[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the advanced theories, concepts and principles of digital forensics.

L2. Critically analyse and evaluate evidence accumulated from multiple sources derived from forensic analysis.

L3. Plan, undertake and formally report on digital forensic analysis.

L4. Explain the legal and ethical requirements of forensic evidence gathering and conduct forensic examinations in an ethical, legal and professional manner.

L5. Critically reflect on forensic literature at the forefront of the discipline and quality information sources.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

Knowledge that covers and integrates the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of digital forensics. A critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles. Detailed knowledge and understanding specialist areas, some of which is informed by, or at the forefront of, the discipline. Knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the discipline is developed.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Use specialised and advanced skills, techniques and practices.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex problems; Offer pro- fessional insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues; Demonstrate some originality and creativity; Critically review and consolidate knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the discipline; Make judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Use a wide range of advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices; Present or convey, formally and informally, information about specialised topics to informed audiences; Interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of data.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in activities. Manage complex ethical and professional issues.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Digital Forensic Analysis
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
This module emphasises a “hands-on” active approach to learning, with learning taking place through a variety of complementary mechanisms, including lectures, seminars, with associated practical sessions, research into current developments and issues, and case studies.

Topics will be introduced in lectures and discussed through guided inquiry and problem based learning activities. Theoretical material will be re-enforced and consolidated through the critical analysis and discussion of case studies in tutorials that are designed to explain and elaborate both on theoretical and laboratory content. Students are guided through real-world scenarios featuring structured inquiry based learning. Additionally directed learning will reinforce essential theory and place understanding into context. An “industry lecture series” will provide examples of current practice, approaches and challenges as portrayed by practitioners across various industry sectors.

The subject discipline is continuously evolving and as a result students will be expected to keep up to date with developments through independent study. Students will be encouraged to adopt an independent learning style, acquiring and applying knowledge through their own enquiry, supported by a series of guided activities and exercises. Students will be encouraged to share the findings of their enquiry through seminar presentations and participation in on-line discussions with the student cohort.

The material presented in this module is potentially damaging if used maliciously and the capabilities developed in this module have potential for harm. Academics will emphasise the professional expectations of students and of persons working in this domain as well as stressing the students’ legal, ethical and moral responsibilities.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Cory Altheide and Harlan Carvey. (2011) Digital Forensics with Open Source Tools (1st Ed.). Syngress Publishing.

Gerard Johansen. (2017) Digital Forensics and Incident Response: A practical guide to deploying digital forensic techniques in response to cyber security incidents. Packt Publishing.

David Watson. (2013) Digital Forensics Processing and Procedures: Meeting the Requirements of ISO 17020, ISO 17025, ISO 27001 and Best Practice Requirements. Syngress Publishing.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBusiness & Applied Computing
ModeratorAlthaff Mohideen
External ExaminerM Davis
Accreditation Details
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Practical Examination (40%)
Forensic Report (60%) - Students will be required to perform an appropriate forensic analysis based on a given scenario and raw data and required to present the outputs and findings in a formal written report.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (practical)check markcheck mark check markcheck mark402

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical work check markcheck markcheck mark 6010
Combined Total For All Components100% 12 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is suitable for any student. The assessment regime will be applied flexibly so that a student who can attain the practical outcomes of the module will not be disadvantaged. When a student discloses a disability, or if a tutor is concerned about a student, the tutor in consultation with the School Enabling Support co-ordinator will agree the appropriate adjustments to be made.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.