Computer hacker working at laptop

Cybercrime, Terrorism and Security MSc

Enhance your cybercrime knowledge and become part of a passionate and research-driven criminology community with this full or part-time MSc Cybercrime, Terrorism and Security degree. 

Key information

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Overview

Be part of the next generation of cybercrime research and investigation experts with this full or part-time MSc Cybercrime, Terrorism and Security degree. 

You’ll explore different aspects of cybercrime, terrorism and security, while building your theoretical understanding of crime and offending behaviour in both a national and international context. You’ll investigate online terrorism, radicalisation, and security and risk management, and the ways in which your knowledge can be used to link technological forensics and police investigators.

You'll also develop skills in data analysis and critical perspectives with the option to study the global landscape of cyber security, money laundering, or dangerous offenders and vulnerable victims.

When you graduate, you'll understand the current needs of the cybersecurity security sector and have the skills to make a difference in the face of future digital threats.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

Course highlights

  • Follow a Master’s course designed by expert researchers and practitioners in cybercrime, terrorism and security from our School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and hear from industry expert guest speakers from around the world
  • Use our lab equipment to carry out your own research, such as our operational policing simulation spaces
  • Be part of our community of researchers by getting involved with our criminology research groups, such as the Cybercrime and Cybersecurity group, the Economic Crime group, and the Centre for Cybercrime and Economic Crime
  • Learn through real cybercrime case studies in interactive workshops that allow you to explore possibilities and share skills with fellow students
  • Complete a major project based on your chosen area of research, with the support of qualified and enthusiastic experts in the field

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Modules

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.

Full-time

Core modules

You'll do all core modules.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area.

  • Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge and be able to analyse and appraise both new and existing knowledge and respond to challenges, locate and access information pertinent to the subject area, using digital and emerging technologies.

  • Recognise and evaluate the importance of social justice issues.

  • Demonstrate clear communication skills to different audiences.

  • Demonstrate enterprising and innovative skills and be adaptive and flexible to new situations.

  • Identify personal career development needs and make informed career choices.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Be able to synthesise new and existing knowledge to generate ideas and develop creative solutions to the benefit of society, within a small-scale research project within their chosen field.

  • Design, apply and critically evaluate research methodologies within the chosen subject area, demonstrating a commitment to ethical practice.

  • Conduct a systematic, methodologically and ethically sound research process (literature based or empirical research).

  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and be able to communicate in a range of forms to audiences relevant to the academic and/or workplace community.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Recognise the challenges involved in undertaking ethical research and identify the research challenges that need to be accommodated within a proposal for a research project.

  • Construct a postgraduate research proposal with an ability to set out clear research objectives, and appropriate research design whilst able to select appropriate research methods.

  • Apply an appropriate research design, and deploy specific research method(s) to the research problem (or question) with a clear appreciation of how any ethical issues are addressed.

  • Effectively locate existing academic literature in their chosen field of research using bibliographic databases, with an appreciation of the breadth of other data sources, repositories and archives.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically evaluate theoretical approaches within contemporary terrorism studies.

  • Evaluate differing counter terrorist strategies and tactics, policies and practices, taking a globally comparative approaches.

  • Have a critical understanding of risk and security approaches.

  • To develop a critical awareness of online terrorism and associated security approaches.

Explore this module

Optional modules

You can do one optional module.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the concepts of dangerousness, risk and vulnerability within a criminal justice context.

  • Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the development of public protection policies, locate these within the broader development of criminal justice and victim-centred policies.

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary debates concerning the complex relationships between the state, the offender and the victim, within the wider context of citizenship and rights.

  • Critically evaluate the development and implementation of policies and legislation.

  • Demonstrate critical and reflective understanding of the subject area within the context of ethical practice and social justice issues.

  • Demonstrate an intellectual curiosity for the subject area and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation within and across discipline boundaries.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • To describe and examine different typologies, process, and methods of money laundering.

  • To develop a critical awareness of underlying regulatory and compliance frameworks.

  • To instil in students an appreciation of the business context in which money laundering occurs and is tackled.

  • To develop an integrated understanding of comparative strategies, structures and actions to tackle money laundering that will allow to engage in their critical evaluation.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

Explore this module

Part-time

Core modules

You'll do all core modules.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area.

  • Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge and be able to analyse and appraise both new and existing knowledge and respond to challenges, locate and access information pertinent to the subject area, using digital and emerging technologies.

  • Recognise and evaluate the importance of social justice issues.

  • Demonstrate clear communication skills to different audiences.

  • Demonstrate enterprising and innovative skills and be adaptive and flexible to new situations.

  • Identify personal career development needs and make informed career choices.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Critically evaluate theoretical approaches within contemporary terrorism studies.

  • Evaluate differing counter terrorist strategies and tactics, policies and practices, taking a globally comparative approaches.

  • Have a critical understanding of risk and security approaches.

  • To develop a critical awareness of online terrorism and associated security approaches.

Explore this module

Optional modules

You can do one optional module.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the concepts of dangerousness, risk and vulnerability within a criminal justice context.

  • Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the development of public protection policies, locate these within the broader development of criminal justice and victim-centred policies.

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary debates concerning the complex relationships between the state, the offender and the victim, within the wider context of citizenship and rights.

  • Critically evaluate the development and implementation of policies and legislation.

  • Demonstrate critical and reflective understanding of the subject area within the context of ethical practice and social justice issues.

  • Demonstrate an intellectual curiosity for the subject area and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation within and across discipline boundaries.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • To describe and examine different typologies, process, and methods of money laundering.

  • To develop a critical awareness of underlying regulatory and compliance frameworks.

  • To instil in students an appreciation of the business context in which money laundering occurs and is tackled.

  • To develop an integrated understanding of comparative strategies, structures and actions to tackle money laundering that will allow to engage in their critical evaluation.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

Explore this module

Core modules

You'll do all core modules.

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Be able to synthesise new and existing knowledge to generate ideas and develop creative solutions to the benefit of society, within a small-scale research project within their chosen field.

  • Design, apply and critically evaluate research methodologies within the chosen subject area, demonstrating a commitment to ethical practice.

  • Conduct a systematic, methodologically and ethically sound research process (literature based or empirical research).

  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and be able to communicate in a range of forms to audiences relevant to the academic and/or workplace community.

Explore this module

What you'll learn

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Recognise the challenges involved in undertaking ethical research and identify the research challenges that need to be accommodated within a proposal for a research project.

  • Construct a postgraduate research proposal with an ability to set out clear research objectives, and appropriate research design whilst able to select appropriate research methods.

  • Apply an appropriate research design, and deploy specific research method(s) to the research problem (or question) with a clear appreciation of how any ethical issues are addressed.

  • Effectively locate existing academic literature in their chosen field of research using bibliographic databases, with an appreciation of the breadth of other data sources, repositories and archives.

Explore this module

Changes to course content

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

Criminal Justice Master's courses

Discover the Master's courses offered by the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Dr Helen Earwaker: Here within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth, we run a diverse range of Master's level provision with content aligned to a host of different areas that link to the pursuit of justice. Students can choose to study on campus or through distance learning. Our distance learning courses enable students to learn as part of a diverse online community, balancing their other commitments with their learning.

Dr Helen Earwaker: On campus, we bring learning to life through interactive workshops, immersive learning and through using simulated environments.

Gary [Podcast]: "Hello, everyone, and welcome back. Today we are looking at the case of Simon Flint, who is reported missing by his wife. A missing persons case has been opened and there is an active investigation into his disappearance. There is some intelligence to suggest that Mr. Flint has been involved in fraudulent activity. Four days later, a body believed to be that of Mr. Flint is discovered in an abandoned warehouse.

So now that we've discussed the case, we're going to look at the different theoretical and practical aspects that spanned the disciplines connected with this case. For example, we're going to consider the economic crime and fraud investigation, forensic science and crime science, the application of victimology and psychology, the potential connectivity with cybercrime, and then we're going to see how all of these fit together within the criminal justice system. This is important because these are all the areas that are considered within our MSc provision."

Dr Helen Earwaker: Our MSc provision connects to the research centres that we have within our school and our students benefit from the world-leading research that goes on within these. Research is at the very heart of our MSc teaching with evidence-based practice a core theme throughout our courses. Our students learn in a multidisciplinary and cross-border environment, benefiting from a wide range of perspectives across criminal justice and beyond.

Dr Helen Earwaker: We work closely with partner organisations across the justice sector, enabling our students to combine theory and practice throughout their studies. An MSc within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice will equip you to be evidence informed, forward thinking and to go on to challenge the status quo in the pursuit of justice.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's prepares you for

Cybercrime is continuing to rise in scale and complexity, affecting essential services, businesses and private individuals alike (National Crime Agency). Studying this complex subject within the wider contexts of terrorism and international security is crucial to creating a safer world.

Once you graduate from this MSc Cybercrime, Terrorism and Security degree, you'll have the skills and knowledge demanded by this growing sector. You'll be ready for a career working to the highest standards of professional cybersecurity practice and seeking new solutions that contribute to keeping the field moving forward.

You’ll be able to demonstrate your ability to develop the strategies against cybercrime threats demanded by roles within criminal justice agencies, law enforcement, probation or data analysis and intelligence, and for organisations such as the Civil Service, local government, private security, businesses and charities. You'll also be well placed to move on to further study in cybercrime from a legal, technical or investigatory perspective.

If you already work in the field of criminal justice, you'll be ready to pursue higher-level roles, or to break into a different area of the discipline. If you're preparing to start your career in criminal justice, you'll gain the knowledge and advanced research problem-solving skills you need to stand out to employers and contribute positively to justice system reform.

You could also go on to a graduate scheme such as PoliceNow or the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme.

Graduates of this course can go on to roles such as:

  • policing (as an officer or civilian staff)
  • crime, security and intelligence analysis
  • cybersecurity
  • private security

Graduates of this course can go on to work for organisations such as:

  • national and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • international government agencies and departments
  • probation and prison service
  • the Courts
  • local administration / authorities
  • charities

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • 1-to-1 appointments  
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Facilities and specialist equipment

Collaboration of Forensic Interviewing

CoFI researches interviewing techniques and the issues that affect how information is gathered in a forensic context. Depending on the modules you study, you'll have access to CoFI's interviewing simulation activities.
Two police officers in high visibility uniform
Learn more about CoFI

Crime scene simulation spaces

Use the latest forensic advances and immersive learning technologies, including evidence analysis equipment and interpretation spaces, to delve into crime scene investigation in our realistic simulation areas.
Close up of gloved hands examining crime evidence with torch
Explore the spaces
Three students sat laughing and smiling holding notebooks and pens

Hydra immersive learning suite

Engage in dynamic simulated scenarios that replicate operational challenges, developing your problem solving, decision making and critical thinking skills.

VR headset, controller, and keyboard

Virtual Reality (VR) lab

Use immersive VR technologies to explore new ways of learning about criminal activities – from tracking eye movement to identifying unconscious behaviour.

STANDARD LICENSE; PLEASE SEE ADDITIONAL ASSET FOR FULL LICENSE TERMS.

Wildlife crime related artefacts

Enrich your studies with access to our range of rare wildlife crime related artefacts, including ivory, traps, and snares.

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 1 year (full-time study starting in September)
  • 16 months (full-time study starting in January)
  • 2 years (part-time study)

You can expect:

  • Up to 4 hours of teaching time every week (lectures, seminars or workshops). This will be pro rata for part-time students.
  • 30–35 hours of independent study each week if you study full-time, or 15–18 hours each week if you study part-time.

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • group discussions
  • practical workshops

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • reports
  • oral presentations
  • projects and portfolios
  • seminar participation and engagement
  • dissertation / major report

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 the future.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Aram Robert Ghaemmaghami Portrait

Dr Aram Ghaemmaghami

Lecturer

Aram.Ghaemmaghami@port.ac.uk

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Supporting you

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty 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
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Café offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Full-time: £10,400
  • Part-time: £5,200 per year

Including the Transition Scholarship for EU students

  • Full-time: £10,400
  • Part-time: £5,200 per year

  • Full-time: £17,200
  • Part-time: £8,600 per year

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Female Master's student
Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

Postgrad students on campus
Explore funding

Additional 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. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: Such as photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

September 2024 / January 2025

Qualifications or experience

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (Social Science, Humanities, Law, Psychology, or Management subject). Information Technology or science related subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Applicants with equivalent professional experience in a relevant organisation will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not 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.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also 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.

Ready to apply?

Start this course in September 2024

Apply now (Full-time, 1 year)

Apply now (Part-time, 2 years)

Start this course in January 2025

Apply now (Full-time, 16 months)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2023, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.