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BSc (Hons) Computing (Networks, Cyber Security and Forensics) course preparation

To help you feel prepared for your BSc (Hons) Computing (Networks, Cyber Security and Forensics) studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Read on 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, if you can, before starting your degree. 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 online, we’d recommend:

  • 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.
  • Charles J. Brooks, Christopher Grow , Philip Craig and Donald Short (20 Sept. 2018). Cybersecurity Essentials Paperback

Additional 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

Hardware advice

Whilst at Edge Hill, you’ll have access to all the facilities and equipment you need to complete your studies and we have excellent computer labs. But, if you would like to purchase equipment before you start your studies, we’d recommend looking into pre-owned options. Items could include

  • Portable Hard Disk Drive. You can store files online (in places such as Dropbox) or purchase a portable disk drive. A 500GB shock proof USB 3.0 self-powered hard disk drive (approx. £50 in 2022) will be sufficient and is invaluable for backing up your work.
  • Computer. We have excellent computer labs that you will have full access to. But, if you would prefer to use your own machine we recommend one with the following specification:
    • 16GB RAM (minimum 8GB RAM)
    • 750GB HDD
    • Intel i5 (or equivalent AMD processor)
    • (15” Screen Desirable)

Software advice

Before your course begins, you take a first look into these pieces of software that we will learn and explore in more detail during the course.

  • Wireshark (free, can be downloaded online)
  • Kali Linux (free, can be downloaded online)
  • The Autopsy digital forensic tool (free, 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.

Suggested tasks for 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