A new digital forensics degree will teach students how to find complex evidence that is hidden in mobile phones, computers and databases.
The four-year Digital Forensics BSc (Hons) course, announced on Thursday, will be available at University of Abertay, in Dundee, from September this year. It will teach students to collect and present evidence for a criminal prosecution.
"Our increasing dependence on technology, both in the workplace and in our personal lives, means that we are leaving a constant trace or digital fingerprint of our behaviour and lifestyle," said Dr Geoffrey Lund, divisional leader in the university's School of Computing and Engineering Systems, in a statement.
"Everything from deleted text messages and call logs to browsing histories and seemingly innocent messages left on social networking sites can now reveal highly private information," Lund added. "When linked to criminal intent, these can provide excellent and usable evidence for police authorities, as has been the case with several recent high-profile terrorist attacks."
The degree would train graduates to work in forensics for the police and government authorities, as well as in a range of more general commercial computing roles, including networking and programming.
The first two years of the degree will give a broad introduction to computing, computer security, criminology and law. The second half of the degree will specialise in the area of digital forensics and research skills.
Students will take a digital forensics research project in the course's final year. The final project will be an investigation into a novel technique in examining digital data. The course is awaiting final approval from university staff.
The course is not the first of its kind, with equivalent degrees available at the universities of Portsmouth, Coventry and Northumbria.