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Open Source Evidential Exploitation Course

In association with Chenega

Discover the unlimited opportunities that arise from the power of social media with an investigative 3-day short course.

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Course overview

  • What is the course?

    Open Source Evidential Exploitation (OSEEC) is defined as collecting, processing, (to include foreign language translation) refining and exploiting multiple sources of information from publically available digital media to an appropriate audience for the purpose of a specific investigative requirement. Exploitation technology and software produces real-time streaming, trends, leaderboards, influencers, visuals and reports.

    The intelligence gained from open source evidential exploitation can be utilised by a range of sectors, such as business, marketing, law enforcement, security and government. Examples of open source evidential exploitation in use can include: to support criminal investigators and investigations; to determine public sentiment in current interest areas and to explore market opportunities in untested interest areas. OSEEC has been designed to give students a detailed insight into open source information outlets and provide practical training in investigative resources and advanced research techniques.

    The course utilises a social media monitoring system (WeLink) that accurately extracts open source data from 16 different social networking sites through 'listening lens' technology. Through this training students will become adept in network and link analysis and understand the potential for predictive analysis through open source information. As an area for research and analysis, open source evidential exploitation is fraught with legal and ethical implications. Participants will learn how to assess the validity of their work within a legal context.


    • Intensive 3 day short course format
    • Fully interactive learning environment allowing students to turn theory into practice during three half day lab sessions
    • Case study model allows students to observe real world impacts in their learning and course work
    • The short course fully accredited allowing students to earn 15 credit points

  • Course Content

    Course Prerequisites

    A preparatory module will be available on Blackboard Learn (BBL) prior to course commencement with course specific prerequisite material on social networking, web browsers and search engines. Before attending the course, students are expected to utilise the prerequisite material should they require a refreshers course or knowledge does not meet entry level standards. A brief overview of this material and short competency quiz will then be administered on Day 1 (see course timetable) to ensure all students commence learning on an equal standing. Successfully completing the prerequisite competency quiz is mandatory in order to receive academic accreditation at the end of the course.

    Module Programme

    This is an intensive short course taught over a three-day period covering the following:

    • Introduction to key terminology, data mining tools and research techniques used to exploit open source and digital media.
    • Insight into open source information outlets, encrypted networks, blocked web services and anonymisers.
    • Practical training and case study exercises using investigative resources, metrics and analytics.
    • Overview of the legal and ethical implications of analysing open source information.
    • Utilisation of a social media monitoring system (WeLink) that extracts open source data from 16 different social networking sites through 'listening lens' technology.
    • Practical training in user based searches, keyword based searches and geographical based searches using a lens, polygon or line.
    • Critical and analytical thinking using features associated with real-time streaming, statistics, variables, trends, leaderboards, influencers, visuals and reports.
    • Evidential exploitation through various research methodologies, including: network analysis; link analysis; document and content analysis; discourse analysis; sentiment analysis; image, video and communication exploitation.
    • Applying practical training to real life case studies and scenarios, including: weapons; narcotics and terrorism.

    Course Teaching and Assessment

    The course will comprise of IT focused classroom presentations delivered by Subject Matter Experts. The use of didactic lessons and group work will be the primary teaching methods employed. The candidates will be asked to participate in short exercises designed to illustrate these competencies on an individual basis.

    The course will take place in Mac Lab BA-03-027 on the Belfast City Centre campus, students will each have access to their own Mac desktop computer for practical training and in-class exercises.

    Students will be assessed using a range of practical exercises, formative tests, reflective logs and presentations. Students will also submit a written assignment (500 words) which will be a synopsis of a current event when open source evidential exploitation could have assisted law enforcement to prosecute, intercept or prevent a crime.

    All candidates will receive a personalised written report on their performance. This includes detailed feedback on competency and exercise performance and certificate of completion.


    The course will run in Ulster University, Belfast Campus (Mac Lab BA-03-027).

  • Who is suitable for the course?

    The social media course is open to everyone who is interested in learning how exploit the opportunities that social media presents. In particular, this course will benefit those in professions who are looking to use social media to collect and analyse data:

    • Law Enforcement
    • Government
    • Banks/those in the financial sector
    • Risk/Due Diligence
    • Cyber Security
    • Community Planning
    • Law students
    • SME managers/directors across sectors
  • When and Where

    Dates: Delivery of the course is flexible to student requirements.

    Venue: Ulster University, Belfast Campus (Room Mac Lab BA-03-027).

  • Fees and How to Apply

    The cost of undertaking the course is £1200.

    A 10% discount is available to eligible Ulster University alumni. You will be asked at application to provide details of eligibility. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount, offer or scholarship.

    To apply for this course, click here.

    To find out more about fees click here.

    For any questions regarding your application please contact:

    Michael Davidson
    028 90368407

    Abbie McKenna

  • Profiles of course team

    Find out more about the team of experts delivering the course:

    Jessica Alexandra Matchett

    Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages (French and Spanish). She is  also proficient in German and  Italian. Recently, she completed research towards a Masters in International Relations. This concerned a dissertation on the challenge of the ISIS threat, specifically its origins in Iraq and Syria, and various radicalisation methodologies and terrorist tactics ISIS has successfully used to gain power in uniquely controlling territory. An area the research highlighted was the ability of ISIS to spread its ideology geographically through military conquests and Salifi jihadist propaganda (including the use of social media) and its capacity to attract new converts from Muslim countries and Western nations. Another is how the ISIS threat also transcends generations, grievances being handed down from one generation of militants to another. In January 2016 Jessica was invited to CTTSO (Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office) 'Threat Day' in Washington DC, which examined the modern threat of ISIS. Currently, she is self-­‐studying Arabic prior to starting a course in February at Queen's University, Belfast.

    John Roberts

    John is a security cleared Law Enforcement practitioner with a history of involvement in counter terrorist investigations. He has an accredited career over 4 decades within the UK security forces. He has experience of working with partner security agencies within the UK, EU, the Middle East and the USA. John has been active in the design and implementation of training courses throughout his career and. is an associate lecturer of Ulster University. He holds a BA in Leadership and Management, and an MA in Financial Investigation and Financial Crime.

    Christie Campagna

    Has worked in this industry for 21 years, 15 of which have been as a Chenega employee or consultant. She has worked on programs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the High Performance Computing Center for DoD and USSOUTHCOM.  She has experience as a trainer, programmer, network engineer, systems analyst and program manager.

    Raymond 'Al' Burroughs

    Raymond has 28 years experience as an intelligence professional for DoD and commercial organizations.  He served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer, during which he led a multi-national, theater-level Intelligence detachment which achieved proven results during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as the USSOUTHCOM theater where he developed comprehensive intelligence products resulting in multiple successful operations against narco-terrorists and insurgent organizations. Al joined Chenega in 2014 as an accounts manager/intelligence analyst. He has trained customers and analysts in basic and advanced software analytical techniques.