There are comprehensive facilities and resources to support study on the Forensic Computing course.
Digital Forensics Laboratories
The majority of taught modules will be delivered in a dedicated digital forensics teaching computer laboratory regularly reconfigured for different modules, and equipped with all the necessary hardware and software. For example for the “Mac OS X Forensics” module, the PCs are removed and replaced with Apple Macs, for the “Network” module students build their own network and connect to a domain, and for the “Forensic Computing using Linux” module the standard Windows build is replaced with Linux.
There is also a separate digital forensic student laboratory available for general use by students for coursework and research. This is equipped with the latest digital forensics software including Encase 6 and 7, FTK 5, Blacklight, NetAnalysis and WinHex.
In addition a digital forensics research laboratory is used by staff and by students conducting research projects. This contains mobile phone acquisition equipment, reconfigurable networks and customisable hardware.
A network forensics research laboratory is available for research into network protocols and evidence from servers.
A “Crime Scene Room” is used during search and seizure exercises where students will learn how to identify and secure the physical evidence upon which digital evidence resides. The room is equipped with cameras so actions can be recorded and played back in order to analyse and improve strategy and behaviour. It is reconfigured to simulate a variety of crime scenarios.
Lectures are delivered almost exclusively in the digital forensics teaching laboratory and these along with the practical sessions are supported using Moodle, an open source Virtual Learning Environment ensuring that notes are available electronically. Exercises and exercise data can be downloaded for later study and interactive digital exercises can be used to support the learning of complex subjects.
The Barrington Library provides resources to support the main teaching material where electronic and physical access is available to the latest digital forensics journals including Digital Investigation. Access to the latest textbooks, digital forensics magazines, and past Cranfield digital forensics theses that date back to 2002 are also accessible. Cranfield University subscribes to the latest library databases so digital forensics papers located in non-specialist journals can also be easily located during research and assignments.
Full-time and part-time students will join together during classroom (residential study school) sessions. This is an ideal opportunity for networking.