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Forensic Computing & Cyber Security
Forensic Computing & Cyber Security

Forensic Computing and Cyber Security

Level 3
Cheltenham Forest of Dean Gloucester

Course Overview

Full Time

Students on all our Level 3 Computing pathways complete a common 1st year Advanced Computing course before having the opportunity to specialise in the 2nd year. On application you’ll be asked to identify a preference for a pathway, but this is largely for planning purposes and you can alter your choice at any point up to the start of the 2nd year.

Year one: common first year that introduces you to a variety of essential computing skills and software. This year will provide you with a good grounding to allow you to make an informed choice about your specialism.

Year two: specialised units to develop skills outlined below.

Ideal if: you want to study how to detect, prevent and investigate issues (including crime) related to digital devices, networks and the internet.

You’ll learn: in the first year the basics of computing before moving on to computer hardware and software programming, cryptography, cryptanalysis, IT auditing and legislative frameworks.

Expect: to explore data-crime related to fraud and hacking.

You’ll love: our well-equipped labs and up-to-date computer systems, software and network, which you can investigate and explore without restriction.

Are you interested in securing network traffic? Recovering lost data files? Investigating computer systems for incriminating data? Finding out how data encryption actually works? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes", then the Diploma in Forensic Computing qualification is the right choice for you!

This course gives you the opportunity to learn about Forensic Computing. It is designed to meet the demand for specialists able to detect, prevent, and investigate crime related to computers, the internet and networks.

Your studies will include:

  • Data crime related to identity theft (‘phishing’), virus attacks, organised crime, fraud, and hacking
  • Computer hardware and software programming
  • Cryptography and cryptanalysis
  • IT audit, legislative frameworks.

A full-time course, the cyber security and forensic pathway is a programme equivalent to studying three AS-Levels.  Successful completion of the common first year, will enable you to continue onto the forensic and cyber security pathway for year 2.

Achievement of the 2nd year (Extended Diploma) is equivalent to completing 3 full A Levels and represents good progression for either work or Higher Education (e.g. Edexcel Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or BSc Degree).

Over the two years, you will study 18 units. Further details of these units will be given to you at Interview or Induction.

All learners will work towards GCSE maths or maths in context (Core maths) as part of their overall programme of study.

  • Typical Entry Criteria

    • Five GCSE subjects at Grade 4 and above including:

      • GCSE English Language or Literature at Grade 4 and above or GCSE Maths at Grade 4 and above
      • Four other GCSE subjects at Grade 4 and above

    Gloucestershire College welcome any other/combinations of relevant qualifications that are comparable and/or equivalent to the typical course entry requirements.

    For 19+ applicants that do not have recognised qualifications may still meet course entry requirements through alternative methods of assessment at the College’s discretion.

    All queries regarding course entry criteria including the equivalency of qualifications and exceptional extenuating circumstances should be directed by email to the Admissions Department through applications@gloscol.ac.uk.

  • Upon completion, you may be able to move on to a higher education computing course. Alternatively, you may wish to seek employment as a forensic computer analyst.

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Forensic Computing and Cyber Security

What You Will Pay

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There is little left in our modern lives that isn’t affected by computers and technology. You’ll find computing at the centre of almost all businesses and, as a result, employment opportunities within the sector are huge.

We offer a range of qualifications that support a variety of interesting careers, from games and apps development, through to forensic computing and cyber security. Our industry-experienced lecturers will give you the knowledge and skills you need to develop your own computing competency, in an area that interests you.

A computing course is an ideal route to employment, or to progress on to higher-level qualifications at GC or university. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art equipment and software, including a dedicated network for computing students, so that you can get familiar with the latest technology and prepare for the systems you’ll use in the business world.

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Amelia Thomas

I studied at Wyedean School and Sixth Form where I took History, Maths, Computer Science and Physics for A Levels. My interest in cyber was sparked when I went on a CyberFirst Advanced residential course which I loved, so thought why not pursue cyber security as a career choice! If you have an interest in IT and problem solving, then definitely consider studying cyber.

Amelia Thomas


Cheltenham Campus

Studying at Gloucestershire College was one of the best decisions I have made in terms of my education and setting me up for my future career. It’s made me realise what field I would like to go into.

Matt Dee

HND (Level 5), Digital Forensics and Cyber Security

Cheltenham Campus
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Taylor Watson

I feel like if you’re a student who feels ready to work, or someone who wants to learn more than you can at school, I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship; I can only praise how quickly it’s enabled me to evolve as a person and in my career.

Taylor Watson


Cheltenham Campus

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Next Steps

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