This free course, Digital forensics, which is an introduction to computer forensics and investigation, has given you a taster for the full course, which is M812. It has given you a broad view of the scope of digital forensics, including topics which are covered in greater depth in M812. As you have seen, both forensics (in general) and digital forensics (in particular) encompass a wide range of distinct disciplines.
You have learned something of the history of forensics from the 19th century onwards and seen how many of the principles laid down by early investigators can be applied to modern technologies. You have also been introduced to some of the guidelines used by digital forensic investigators.
A clear distinction between scientific investigations for research purposes and forensic investigations using scientific methods has been made. It is vital to remember this distinction. Scientific research is always subject to revision whereas forensic investigations should result in a clear-cut result and any limitations on that result made clear to a court.
You also had your first chance to experience a forensic investigation. In The Case of the Stolen Exams; you saw how a poor investigation could compromise any subsequent trial, and how proper investigative techniques help to preserve evidence for further investigations.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.