Cyber Security and Forensic Information Technology MSc
MSc Cyber Security and Forensic Information Technology
If you're looking to further specialise your IT career and branch into digital forensics, this course is the perfect next step. This MSc Cyber Security and Forensic Information Technology Master's degree will develop your IT skillset and give you the lowdown on civil, corporate and criminal litigation procedures.
You'll unpack the core themes in Cyber Security and Forensic Information Technology, including data analysis, risk management, computer security and cybercrime. You'll learn to apply your skills to the generation and presentation of digital evidence for use by the courts, in legal or other formal proceedings.
Once you graduate, you'll be equipped to tackle a career in forensic information technology within law firms, enforcement agencies and IT practices.
This course is accredited by BCS (British Computer Society), the UK's Chartered Institute for IT and meets the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP).
It also partially meets the academic requirement for registration either as a Chartered Scientist (CSci), or (on behalf of the Engineering Council) as a Chartered Engineer (CEng), when the Master's Engineering Project is completed.
Qualifications or experience
- A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, including Computer Sciences, Legal or Social Sciences, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Investigate hacking, fraud and deception using a range of digital forensic tools
- Learn how to identify the digital trail left by intruders and detect inappropriate use of internet applications, in order to compile detailed evidence for prosecution
- Investigate case studies based on real life and experience investigation in realistic simulations, crime scenes and court.
- Study the approaches to protect information systems (cyber security) and the techniques used to penetrate systems (ethical hacking).
- Use our specialist facilities, including multi-platform network suites, pervasive computing lab for high performance computing, usability lab with eye-tracking equipment, and forensics lab
- Complete your own engineering or study project, relevant to the field of forensic IT
- Have 24/7 access to the extensive facilities in our university library, including books, ejournals and newspapers
Careers and opportunities
Police investigations and civil disputes increasingly involve the investigation of computer systems, mobile phones or other information devices, and the skills you'll get on this course are in demand in both the public and private sectors.
When you graduate, you'll be qualified to work in fields including:
- Law enforcement
- IT auditing
- Information security
- High-tech crime units
- Commercial investigation
- National security bodies
- Systems administration
- Security analysis
You could also go on to further research study at PhD level.
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
What you'll study
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.
Core modules currently include:
- Computer Forensic Investigation and Cryptography
- Master's Engineering Project or Master's Study Project
- Mobile Forensics: Issue and Practice
- Systems, Security and Hacking
Optional modules currently include:
- Big Data Applications
- Global Landscape of Cyber Security
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional module may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the field of forensic IT.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- practical exercises
- guest speakers
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks:
- September to December (October to December for some courses in 2020/21 only) – teaching block 1
- January to May (early February to May for some courses in 2020/21 only) – teaching block 2
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- written assignments
- group and individual lab-based assessments
You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve in future.
Tuition fees (2020 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £7,800 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part-time: £2,600 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full-time: £16,400 (subject to annual increase)
- Part-time: £5,470 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
There may be travel costs for optional internships/placements. These will vary depending on the nature of internship/placement and can range from £50 - £1000.
October 2020 start
January 2021 start
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.