Congratulations to the Class of 2021 - MSc Forensic Computing & Cybercrime Investigation

In December, UCD held in-person conferring ceremonies in the O’Reilly Hall, for the first time since the pandemic began. 

This year, 170 students graduated with the MSc in Forensic Computing & Cybercrime Investigation. This is a distance learning programme for law enforcement officers. Students are all working full time while they study.

22 members of the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána, and 12 from the Irish Defence Forces graduated with the MSc this year. International graduates work in law enforcement in 12 other countries: Canada (18), Denmark (1), Germany (3), Lebanon, Luxembourg (2), Netherlands (21), Singapore (2), Switzerland (3), Trinidad & Tobago (2), UK (8) and USA (4). 14 graduates from Romania received financial support from the EEA and Norway Grants fund which aims to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and to strengthen bilateral relations between countries. Students on this programme make valuable international law enforcement contacts that can help to investigate transnational organised crime.

An Garda Síochána Postgraduate Certificate in Fraud and Economic Crime Investigation

As well as the Masters graduates, 50 Garda officers were conferred with the UCD Graduate Certificate in Forensic Computing and Cybercrime Investigation (financial fraud and ecrime stream).

This certificate course is for officers of An Garda Síochána specialising in Fraud and Economic Crime Investigation. The first cohort completed this course in 2017. The course is delivered by the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity & Cybercrime Investigation.

The FCCI programme helps law enforcement officers to investigate crimes by undertaking forensic analysis of digital devices including computer systems, networks and mobile devices, and to present the evidence in court so as to convict perpetrators and bring justice for victims. 

Graduates include officers from police and defence forces, as well as from government ministries and agencies, tax and revenue, competition and regulatory organisations, national security and intelligence agencies, international law enforcement agencies such as Europol, Interpol, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and EU Monitoring Missions. 

2021 MSc FCCI Prize Winners

The winner of the 2021 An Garda Síochána Commissioner’s medal is Shuo Yan who is a forensic Investigation Specialist with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. He also receives a UCD School of Computer Science prize along with the runner-up Benjamin Braendle who is a Cybercrime Instructor with the Hochschule für Polizei Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany. The winners are selected on the basis of their Grade Point Average and the quality of their dissertation. Neither the prize winner or the runner up were able to attend on the day. Winner Shuo Yan nominated Course Director Assist. Prof. Dr Nhien-An Le-Khac to receive his award on his behalf.  Later in the day, we convened a short informal Zoom meeting to congratulate the winners with the Head of School Assoc. Prof. Chris Bleakley and Dean of Science Professor Jeremy Simpson joining in, along with the Course Directors Assist. Prof Nhien-An le-Khac and Assist. Prof Mark Scanlon.

Watch a recording of the call here (8 minutes, with comments from prize winners reflecting their personal opinions and experience, and not that of their employer).

Dr Nhien-An Le-Khac accepting Shuo Yan’s prize on his behalf from the UCD Dean of Science Professor Jeremy Simpson.

Head of School of Computer Science Assoc. Prof. Chris Bleakley presented the UCD School of Computer Science prize to this year’s MSc graduate with the highest GPA and best dissertation (an engraved glass plaque) to winner Shuo Yan (also accepted on his behalf by Dr Nhien-An Le-Khac - FCCI Course Director. 

UCD Forensic Computing & Cybercrime Investigation education programme

This is a distance learning programme for law enforcement officers leading to MSc, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate awards. Students are all working full time while they study.  Approximately 300 students are currently studying on the programme from all over the world. 1000 students from 70 countries have been awarded the MSc to date, all from law enforcement agencies.

Over the past 15 years we have had 325 students from the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána.  They are specialist investigators in the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, Counter-Terrorism, Immigration, Telecommunications and IT.

As well as officers from police and defence forces, we have had students from government ministries and agencies, tax and revenue, competition and regulatory organisations, national security and intelligence agencies, international law enforcement agencies such as Europol, Interpol, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and EU Monitoring Missions.

On the programme, students learn how to:

  • conduct forensic analysis of a computer and use common network investigation techniques
  • investigate malware-based intrusions
  • perform mobile phone forensics
  • preserve and analyse volatile evidence contained in the main memory (RAM)
  • use Linux forensics analysis tools and techniques
  • write custom tools for data analysis and build forensic applications
  • analyse databases recovered during an investigation
  • overcome investigative challenges of VoIP and locating mobile users
  • investigate money laundering and trace illicit funds 
  • investigate cases of child sexual exploitation on the Internet
  • find, select, acquire information from publicly available sources and analyse it to produce actionable intelligence

UCD’s education and training programmes are helping law enforcement worldwide to upskill to fight cybercrime and cyber enabled crime. They learn advanced digital forensic investigation skills to uncover evidence that can convict perpetrators of crimes.  Skills learned on the programme are also valuable in preventing organised criminal and terrorist groups threatening nations, organisations and individuals.

More information here

Published 28.01.22