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BSc (Hons) Computing (Networking, Security and Forensics) course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:

Suggested reading

You’ll be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many Ebooks we have for you to access when you begin your studies in September.

In the meantime, there are a couple of suggested books you might like to read before starting your degree if you can. We don’t recommend rushing out to buy texts before you arrive but if you can pick some up second hand, borrow from a library or access them online.

We suggest:

  • New Perspective on Computer Concepts 2016: Introductory ISBN-13 978-1305387751
  • Foundations of Computer Science ISBN-13: 978-1408088418
  • Java for Everyone (2nd Edition) ISBN 13: 978 – 1118063316

Books for the security area:

  • Jason Andress (2019) Foundations of Information Security: A Straightforward Introduction, No Starch Press.
  • Dieter Gollmann (2010) Computer Security, 3rd Edition, ISBN: 978-0-470-74115-3, pp 1- 464.

Additionally, here are some books you may find interesting:

  • Hello World – By Hannah Fry
  • Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions – by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
  • New Thinking – Book by Dagogo Altraide

Suggested materials

Throughout your studies you will have access to absolutely all of the facilities and equipment you will need, however some students like to purchase equipment before they start their studies. If you would like to purchase any of this equipment before you start your studies, we recommend looking into pre-owned options.

  • Portable Hard Disk Drive – Whilst you can store files online, we strongly recommend that you purchase a 500GB shock proof USB 3 portable self-powered hard disk drive (approx. £50) which will be invaluable, especially for multimedia work.
  • Computer – We have excellent computer labs, but for those who prefer the independence of using their own machines we recommend a machine which has the following specification:
    • 8GB RAM
    • 750GB HDD
    • Intel i5 (or equivalent AMD processor)
    • (15” Screen Desirable)
  • Security, Network and Forensics related software (you can optionally take a first look into these pieces of software that we will learn and explore in more detail during the course)
    • Wireshark (free software, can be downloaded online)
    • Kali Linux (free, can be downloaded online)
    • The Autopsy digital forensic tool (free software, can be downloaded online)

Useful websites

You can start to learn how to programme in Python through the Code Academy free course.  

You can also use the WIRED website to catch up on the latest developments in computing.

Explore the current tech job market on IT Jobs Watch and join a developer community on DZone.

Things to do over summer

Here are a couple of ideas for you to try some computing related fun:

  • Start to tackle a programming language, we recommend learning Python which you can do through the mobile app Solo Learn
  • Explore the area of computing you’re interested in via books, blogs and websites
  • Develop your own app ideas and explore the tech used to create them

As in all specialised fields of sciences, computing studies students benefit from basic skills in reading and writing documents along with skills in maths that will be useful in solving problems and programming. Although not essential, making sure you have basic reading and writing skills will help when you need to read moderately technical articles during your studies.

Meet your programme leader

Additional ways to prepare

Preparing to start

This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.

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Find out more about who you are

The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.

Start preparing yourself