COIT20267 - Computer Forensics

General Information

Unit Synopsis

The continual integration of computers and the Internet into business and personal activities is creating opportunities for crimes utilising these technologies. The investigation of these electronic crimes requires specialised computer-based techniques to collect and analyse evidence. This unit equips you with a broad understanding of how electronic crimes are conducted, as well as in-depth knowledge of computer forensic investigations. Through the use of industry-leading digital forensic tools in a laboratory environment, you will develop practical skills applicable to all phases of forensic investigations. You will learn different approaches for identifying, gathering and analysing digital evidence, as well as addressing legal issues in computer forensic investigations.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Pre-requisite: COIT20261 Network Routing and Switching

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2019

Term 2 - 2019 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 20%
2. Written Assessment 35%
3. Written Assessment 45%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

No previous feedback available

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Self-reflection
No extension on the first assessment item
Indicate in the unit profile, in the Task Description component, that extensions cannot be granted for the online quiz assessment because answers will be released to students upon completion of the quiz.
Action Taken
Extensions in the quiz are still possible, therefore the Unit Profile was not modified to exclude extensions. If extensions are granted, then the release of answers is delayed
Source: Self-reflection and student feedback
Australia and U.S. Jurisdiction
The unit should highlight and compare the differences between U.S. and Australian laws on criminal procedure and privacy.
Action Taken
The comparison between US and Australian legislation was emphasised in relevant lectures. Resources, e.g. websites, with Australian specific information was provided to students.
Source: Students feedback
More comprehensive and constructive feedback should be given to students assessments.
Develop detailed marking criteria for assessments and encourage tutors to write detailed and constructive feedback as inline comments in the Word submission files.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback and staff feedback
The software (e.g. OSForensics) installed in the lab is not fully compatible with lab tasks in the latest version of the Lab manual.
Update software versions in the Lab to the recommended version in the Lab manual.
Action Taken
Source: Self-reflection and staff feedback
Lab files are too large and take up too much time for students to download in the lab. Some of the required files for the lab are more than 2GB, and therefore cannot be uploaded into Moodle.
Provide alternative methods for students to access large files in class, e.g. several USB drives for distribution in class, Cloudstor for downloads.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss the different types of electronic crime and the need for a computer forensics investigation
  2. Analyse the role of computer forensic professionals in enabling successful investigation and prevention of electronic crime in business environments
  3. Apply a systematic approach in a digital investigation through the conduct of computer forensics procedures and the use of computer forensic tools
  4. Apply the necessary steps required for collecting, storing, analysing and validating digital evidence
  5. Explain the legal issues involved in a computer forensic investigation
  6. Evaluate current industry best practices for analysing computer forensic case scenarios.

Australian Computer Society (ACS) recognises the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). SFIA is in use in over 100 countries and provides a widely used and consistent definition of ICT skills. SFIA is increasingly being used when developing job descriptions and role profiles.
ACS members can use the tool MySFIA to build a skills profile at
This unit contributes to the following workplace skills as defined by SFIA. The SFIA code is included:
  • Information Security (SCTY)
  • Digital forensics (DGFS)
  • Data analysis (DTAN)
  • Testing (TEST)
  • Network Support (NTAS)
  • Application Support (ASUP).

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment