About the course
Understanding data is becoming increasingly important for us all. This is especially true for the intelligence analyst working for a police intelligence unit or business analytics department.
The work boundaries of the traditional police intelligence analyst and digital forensic investigator are becoming blurred – today’s analysts need to be cyber aware, understanding how communication records and web search histories can be extracted and analysed.
This course covers these areas as well as theories that provide a better sense of the causes of crime and the prevention measures that can be put in place to stabilise and reverse these trends. Analysts shouldn’t be phased by data simply because of its size, complexity or format. This course provides you with the skills to work effectively with large datasets, allowing you to make more informed decisions in relation to criminal investigations. Key features include writing code to quickly clean up data and packaging it so it’s suitable for analysis and visualisation. You will discover that the world constantly presents data in data frames or spreadsheets – our daily activities are invariably logged by a time, date, geolocation. You develop these skills along with your confidence in applying them to make more sense of the data – analysing Twitter downloads, searched words and images, geolocation points or big data. This course also explores strategies employed in forensic investigation. It gives you the space and opportunity to develop your own area of interest in a 60-credit research project where your supervisor enables you to maximise your skillsets from academic writing to data analytics.
What you study
For the PgDip award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules. For the MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.
PgDip and MSc core modules
- Coding for Intelligence Analysts
- Crime Science: Theories, Principles and Intelligence Sources
- Cyber Security and Digital Investigation
- Forensic Investigative Strategy
- Legal Issues and Evidence Reporting
- Research Methods and Proposal
- Research Project
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You learn through a range of lectures, seminars, tutorials and IT laboratories using a variety of software. Simulated problems and scenarios are posed in much the same way that analysts would face in the real world. You can expect to use software that is found in real-world intelligence analysis/digital forensic units and data science. An element of the learning is through peer engagement, learning from others to achieve solutions. Much of the software you use in class can be downloaded for home use.
How you are assessed
You are assessed in formal examination settings as well as through structured coursework.
You could expect to apply for intelligence researcher and intelligence analyst roles in a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from security, policing and business.