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Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime (Dual Degree) BSc (Hons)

On this dual degree, you'll explore the evolving area of international terrorism and cybercrime, studying in Portsmouth and spending a year at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.

Key information

UCAS code:

L312

Typical offer:

120-136 UCAS points from 3 A levels or equivalent

See full entry requirements
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Overview

Terrorists and cybercriminals are a growing and constant menace to world security.

Learn how to fight this threat on the international stage as you study in the UK and Australia on this Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime dual degree.

You'll develop the skills, knowledge and tech know-how to help protect communities, businesses and government organisations from terrorism and cybersecurity threats.

In year three, you'll experience how Australian authorities deal with these threats when you spend a year studying at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth, Australia.

Course highlights

  • Graduate with two degrees – a BSc Cybercrime, Security and Intelligence from ECU alongside a BSc (Hons) Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime from the University of Portsmouth
  • Study with academics whose research in areas such as incel culture and the security of smart devices are shaping the future of the sector 
  • Develop knowledge and skills that intelligence services employers value in specialist topics like intelligence analysis, physical security, online terrorism, cyberlaw and cybersecurity, international security, radicalisation and extremism
  • Get practical experience in the computing labs at Portsmouth and ECU's Security Operations Centre (SOC) while you explore fields such as network security and digital forensics
  • Study alongside operational police units and learn directly from operational policing staff
  • Be taught by staff who have worked as intelligence analysts and investigators
  • Enhance your career prospects by building a professional network in the UK and Australia during your course
  • Have the opportunity to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, choosing from Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

Why do a dual degree?

This course is a dual degree (also known as a double degree).

When you complete the course successfully, you'll have 2 degrees – one from the University of Portsmouth and one from Edith Cowan University.

Dual degrees allow you to achieve 2 degrees in 3.5 or 4 years rather than 6 years.

You'll benefit from a global education experience and the high-calibre teaching expertise, latest research and modern facilities at two universities. You'll also develop a more comprehensive knowledge of communication and media than on a single degree and gain an understanding of different cultures, which will help you work more effectively with people from different backgrounds.

All of this will help you stand out in a competitive job market after you graduate.

You'll be based in Portsmouth in years one and two, and for six months or a year at the end of the course. You'll spend year three in Perth, Western Australia at Edith Cowan University.

You'll get support with travel arrangements, visas, finding accommodation and accessing loans and other funding that can help pay for your study and living costs when you're in Australia.

Edith Cowan University is one of the top 100 young universities in the world one of the top 100 universities in the Asia-Pacific regions (Times Higher Education 2019 and 2020). The Good Universities Guide 2021 gives the University 5 out of 5 stars for its learner resources, student support, teaching quality and overall experience.

Like Portsmouth, Perth offers a mix of city and outdoor living. It's a great base for exploring Western Australia and beyond.

Why study the Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime dual degree?

Meet your Course Leader, Dr Leah Fox, as she explains what you'll study on this Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime dual degree.

Dr Leah Fox: This course is bachelor of honours in Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime, and it's a dual award degree course, and in this case, students will be able to graduate with two degrees. Within the three and a half years, the first two years will be spent in the University of Portsmouth following that, students will study their third year in Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, and then they'll come back to complete their studies.

It's a multidisciplinary course that will allow students to gain a good, in-depth knowledge in three specific subject areas: counter terrorism, intelligence and cybercrime. They'll be covering cybercrime related subject areas or topics whilst they're studying in Portsmouth. The counter terrorism and intelligence aspects of the course will be covered whilst they're studying in Australia. Some of their modules that look into physical security, intelligence analysis, some of the applications of the intelligence techniques in relation to counter terrorism operations.

We're looking for an applicant who wants to make a change, who is open minded and prepared to be confronted with a number of challenges. But overall, someone who is curious and wants to learn. Studying in Australia brings a number of benefits. In addition to getting a more comprehensive and enhanced knowledge, students also will be able to get to network with other individuals from different countries.

They will enhance their overall experience. They'll be exposed to different cultures and it will help them tremendously in their future career prospects. They'll have access to an intelligence analysis in cyber security. They'll be able to become analysts, or they'll be able to pursue their career in policing. This will create an immense benefit in terms of their employment opportunities.

Even though they're geographically away, they'll still be able to get access to that same level of support as they were getting in the University of Portsmouth, so they'll have access to wellbeing, they'll have access to financial services, they'll have access to personal tutoring. In addition to that, students are able to still gain access to student loans in order to get support with traveling and accommodation. When the students come back from any study abroad, they are transformed. They're immensely competent. They are able to bring in their knowledge and share it with other students here locally.

They're confident and immensely proud for students and and to be able to see that achievement is fantastic.

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels – AAB–BBB
  • UCAS points – 120-136 points from 3 A levels or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels – Merit - Distinction
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDD–DDM
  • International Baccalaureate – 29–31

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Your facilities

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Cyber Security and Digital Forensics Laboratory

Equipped with everything you need to secure and analyse digital evidence, without leaving any trace of your analysis.

Discover the laboratory

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

Security Operations Centre (SOC)

Get training in monitoring, detecting and responding to cyber security incidents in ECU’s security operations centre.

How incels use TikTok

Discover how social media is increasingly a breeding ground for so-called ‘Incel’ content, perpetuating misinformation, misogyny, sexism and even violence.

Hello and thanks for watching This Life Solved video. I'm Robyn Montague And in these videos, we get to meet the University of Portsmouth researchers who are sharing their work in the latest series of the Life Solved podcast.

Now, this is work that's changing our world for the better in all sorts of ways. In this episode, we take a look at how social media is increasingly a breeding ground for Incel content, Incel being a shortened term for involuntary celibate.

I'm joined by Anda Solea, Ph.D. researcher and teaching fellow alongside Lisa Sugiura, Associate Professor in Cybercrime and Gender in the School of Criminology and Justice here at the University of Portsmouth.

Anda was the lead author of a recent study that discovered how incels aren't simply hiding in the shadows of the Internet.

And are surprisingly prominent on the likes of the social media video app TikTok. And Lisa is the author of The Incel Rebellion.

So thank you very much for joining me today. And before we get started, I just want to pay attention to where we are. Now, this isn't a styling choice or something where we've decided to just paint the whole room black. We're actually in a dark room here at the University of Portsmouth.

And this is where students come to study criminology and upstairs we've got some really fantastic crime scene simulation spaces.

So if you are interested, anything to do with crime scenes, it's definitely worth checking out. And while some crimes, a lot of crimes are obviously in the physical realm, we're talking about virtual crime today.

So perfect space. Let's start right from the basics then. The area of criminology, it's quite broad.

But what drew you to this area of research? If we start with yourself. So I started being interested in studying the Internet and Internet communities because as a young person, I was using, you know, social media in particular, YouTube quite a lot.

So I come from quite a neglectful and violent background. So having access to Internet and to be able to interact with it and sort of exchange experiences, similar experiences, has been very useful for my development.

And I found, you know, belonging and community there. But then as the years progressed, I realised that this is not the experience that everybody has had.

So a lot of groups, particularly minorities, whether their gender, minorities or the LGBTQ plus, or, you know, ethnicities, different ethnicities, they experience a lot of hate and abuse online.

And when, you know, you would have young people trying to find community online and sort of escape their home environment, they want to go online.

But then rather than having my experience, they experience a lot of an additional harms and abuse.

So that would be, you know, something that made me interested in this, particularly looking at what type of abuse we have online and what can we done to sort of stop or limit this to enable other young people to use social media in a positive way.

So similarly, I was brought up in kind of the Internet generation where you had things like Myspace and stuff.

If anyone remembers that. Myspace, which was great for building on those communities, but they were also kind of bullying spaces as well.

They were incidents of people saying some pretty horrible things to friends at school and stuff online. So yeah, I suppose it's you can either have a really good experience or really bad or mix it.

Both, Yeah. And what about yourself, Lisa? So I've been working in the field of cybercrime for nearly 13 years, focusing more on the human dimensions of cybercrime and cyber security. So looking at areas like online deviance, how are people using technology to abuse and misuse?

And initially my PhD wasn't anything to do with what I do now in regards to sort of looking at how sexual violence is facilitated online and gendered issues.

It was actually about online pharmaceutical purchasing. Still online deviants. But whilst I was studying that particular topic, I think it was around about 2015, 2014, there were so many different events that made me question my values, my worldview, and to really develop my passions in looking at this sort of more gendered perspectives online.

So there was the incident Gamergate where you had female journalists in the gaming industry that were being abused and they were receiving death threats.

You had the iCloud hack of various celebrities, and the intimate images were released without the consent and the trauma that followed that.

And then you also had the Isla Vista attack, which was one of the first mass killings associated with the Intel community.

So I started developing that interest looking more acts of misogynistic activity online and hate speech and inequalities and how certain persons some marginalised communities are more targeted online and started working then on a particular project looking at the language of cyber sexism in 2017.

And it was from there that I really sort of started delving more into online misogyny and in particular the involuntary celibate community, in particular misogynistic incels.

So it was more series of events that really caught your attention and you thought, Oh, there's clearly a pattern in emerging with the developing technology.

And obviously that's where we come onto incels, and the community of incels. So why should we be concerned about this particular group of people?

Right. So first, it would be useful to define incels. So answers are an online subculture of men that describe themselves as unable to have sexual or romantic relationships.

And so they have a very deterministic outlook in life. They believe that your looks and particularly your attractiveness, determines where you are going to find a partner or not.

And incels define themselves as very unattractive and very much at the bottom of this hierarchy.

And they blame women for their lack of sexual and romantic interactions. As Lisa has mentioned earlier, so the incel subculture, and particularly members that identify, as incels, have engaged in several mass shooting and mass casualty events.

So we have the Isla Vista killings in 2014, but also the Plymouth shootings in 2020 on here in England.

But then it is important to recognise way these events are, you know, extremist and terrible, he says.

Incels also engage in day to day cyber violence. For example, they go online and harass women.

They engage in a lot of trolling and they've been associated with other things such as hate speech directed towards women, sexual and physical traits.

And then particularly when we talk about mainstream social media and video sharing platforms such as TikTok, it becomes more dangerous.

When you, when we was previously taught and particularly we get previous research was looking at the Incel community on 4chan, incelease and some subreddits it was so that they are just you know in some of these niche platforms where it's you need to to know what an incel is and you need to want to engage with a community to see their content.

But now to our study on TikTok, which is the first study that has examined the Internet community on TikTok, we sort of demonstrated an analysis of accounts in videos, the videos promoting the Incel ideology as well as their memes and linguistic drops are existing to TikTok and they are being spread to, you know, wider audiences.

So this is particularly concerning because of the content that they share. So often in these videos they promote misogyny, sexism, and they portray women in very derogatory ways.

So they just go forward with these, you know, gender stereotypes that are already within, you know, present within society with their photo reinforced.

But then we need to think about, you know, the role mainstream sort of media platforms play in this. Right? Because it's on TikTok where you have a wider audience, also heterogenous audience.

So it would be members of the public who might not know what an incel is. They might not know this ideology, but they might agree with it when they see it.

And then also, obviously, TikTok is very much popular with younger audiences, young men and women.

And it's very you know, it goes viral, easy to share anything with, you know, other communities as well.

So we'll get to TikTok in a minute. But I just again, want to focus on Incels as a community or a community or group of people.

This isn't something that's just begun on the Internet. Incels and the attitudes of, you know, misogyny and stuff there's a history to that. Lisa But where does this sort of play into it? Yeah, it's I think that's a really important point to make, is that Incels don't exist in a vacuum.

I think it's problematic to kind of treat them as something spectacular or unique because that distracts from wider societal misogyny and the everyday experiences that women have, often at the hands of men and talking about male violence, misogyny, we're talking about discrimination and sexism.

And of course, that predates the Intel community. It predates the technology. But what happens is this being reinforced and exacerbated by digital technologies.

And if we look at incels in particular, that kind of ideology where men present themselves as the victims, that they need to kind of fight back for the very survival.

Again, that is not anything particularly novel or contemporary. If we look back to the 1970s with the men's rights movement that developed alongside second wave feminism and in fact were actually allies, a second wave feminism completely recognised the harmful effects of patriarchal systems to everybody, irrespective of gender.

But what happened there was a splintering where some men that were dissatisfied within the original men's rights movement sort of came away and became very much about anti feminism and taken away from women's gains and women's rights and those sort of attitudes never gone away.

They've continued to exist. And what's happened is where we see or where society seems to be progressive on the surface is that underground, this resentment is continuing to simmer away.

And where you then have technology and the Internet and all the affordances that come with being online like the the reach and the engagement and being able to interact with people who ordinarily couldn't.

And you got the audience and you get to disseminate your ideas in new and what seems like novel ways.

That is the perfect storm where it's been able to then breed these new or what seems like these these new communities but said in fact, actually it's the same ideology underpinning it all.

And what you said about, Anda about TikTok in particular being a bit of a cause of concern is that people may not go out seeking these attitudes or these ideas like you would do on other platforms like Reddit, or if you were to physically go along to a meeting of people that believed in the same things as you.

You're getting them fed to you by usually AI or something like that.

It filters out content to anything you might be interested in. As soon as you click on that and you watch it, you're probably likely to get more of it just because of how these platforms work.

And that's worrying in itself, isn't it? Yes, it is. And we see on TikTok that, you know, you might have a person that goes on there and tries to look at advice on dating, which might not necessarily be misogynistic.

Like there are different types of people that do give like genuine advice about dating. But then slowly and surely, you get to see, you know, pick up artists who are a lot more misogynistic in their style.

And then you could get, you know, videos related to the Incel ideology, which is wanting to particularly focus a lot on on looks and also anti social hierarchy and demonstrating that women are not attracted to like short men or particular types of men that don't have a well-defined jaw.

And also within TikTok, you have these built in connections. So, for example, content creators can create content together.

So it's called like stitching, so you take the content of a person and then you really do it in your own way. Then you also have hashtags that are used and disseminated to many people.

For example, in some of my TikTok sample I have these content creators that put hashtag 'for you page', men, hashtag men, hashtag women.

So very, you say unconspicuous right, there are not related to the ideologies, but they are put there to draw, you know, wider audiences to the particular video and to gain views in an audience.

And social media platforms Tthey always argue that they're against hate speech and they have huge efforts in order to reduce the amount of hate speech that people can find on the platforms.

But I suppose there are ways around that. And did you find that in your study that, you know, in some communities have worked out ways of of getting around the system?

Yes. So that's very much so. So for example, in the case of TikTok, if you look for the term incel, this term is banned and TikTok that tell you that it is associated with the hateful community. However, if you know a little bit more about Incel community, you don't need to know much.

You just know that they subscribe to the Blackpill ideology. You could search for the term Blackpill, and you can spell it differently, so it doesn't need to be spelled correctly.

And then you get a lot of hashtags that are related to the Blackpill. But I spelled in such ways that they escape content moderation to this.

So I search for this hashtag and I find a lot of accounts and a lot of videos posted on the day.

So you could say that, you know, the platform is trying to ban incels because you can search for Incel, but you can search for the Blackpill ideology.

It's so interesting because, you know, you assume that you're protected when you you know, you give a certain level of trust to the social media companies when you go to these platforms.

But it is a huge undertaking, especially because the amount of people that use platforms like TikTok, the range of ages, how is it even possible to be able to filter through all that content and really offer that level of protection that you expect?

I mean, your work, Lisa, do you do you find that these people who partake in, you know, incel behaviour, do they really understand how severe that is?

I mean, that's what it's about. Well, what we mean by incel behaviour as well as is that I think, you know, we need to be kind of careful about treating it as something, you know, particularly novel.

You know, what we're talking about is misogyny or male's supremisism. And, you know, that belief that men, you know, should be in a dominant position over women.

Women should be subservient, and they want to change society to get back to that sort of romanticised ideal for them.

But yeah, in terms of that sort of responsibility and what we can do about it, obviously what we're up against is the fact that this is a whole societal problem.

This isn't just content online. What we're seeing is that those ideologies, which may seem more extreme, more overt online, but the been reinforced and validated in offline and often by people with a platform in the mainstream media as well.

You know, the former president of the United States who infamously said something about cats, which I'm not going to repeat here.

There was there was obviously no you know, there was no punishment for that. That was you know, he was still able to take his presidency even after that came out.

So what does that do? That just validates the fact that women are able to be objectified and spoken about in this way.

So that's the problem we're up against, is that the the the approach could not just be about technology, it has to involve education has to involve policy, has to involve involve a cultural shift as well, which of course isn't something can just happen overnight.

I suppose it's an argument as well that seems to always crop up, including in Donald Trump's case is free speech and a right to have an opinion.

Where do you draw the line and why is free speech getting mucked up into the whole argument?

Okay, so whilst I am certainly not in favour of a completely controlled internet or anything like that, and certainly, you know, just handing over all our civil rights to, you know, to governments, you know, we really have to unpack what we mean by freedom of speech here as well.

Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to abuse. It is not a licence to say absolutely anything you like without thinking about the harm it's going to have on people

and also thinking about if we just allow anybody to say anything they like, well, whose privileges are being prioritised as well because.

What you find is that the people who are most marginalised in our communities, they continue to be silenced.

And that's what's happening online. Technology is reproducing those inequalities. So it's about recognising the fact that, yes, we have certain protections and they should be our civil rights.

But it also isn't a complete, you know, freedom to do whatever you like and certainly not to abuse.

I think it's really interesting what you said about not trivialising incels and misogyny,

because I imagine there they're probably people on TikTok or other platforms who maybe engage in misogyny and incel,

you know, content and they think, oh, it doesn't count because it's not in person.

Did you did you find that some of the content maybe, or some of the attitudes towards it aren't as strong as maybe if it was an in-person,

you know, in-person behaviour or a meeting?

Yes. So I think that relates also allowed to trolling online. So where you know, you are anonymous and you also are not you know, you don't know the victim and you can see their suffering, right?

So then you'll feel more more free to say whatever you want to say and behave in ways that you would not count is,

you know, acceptable within day to day, every day spaces in when somebody is in front of you.

So definitely see a lot of that. And then I think particularly because of the way, you know, the incel content on TikTok is distributed and created,

it makes you sound more like implicit, so it doesn't sound as harmful.

So within our paper, we analysed these TikTok accounts and videos and we realised that again, because of the platform moderation, they cannot be so explicit.

So they cannot say, you know, kill this person or you know, worse things, but they can express their content through more covert language.

So for example, we found that on TikTok instead use pseudoscientific evidence to further the claims.

So they would, for example, present a graph that is about the height of men in the graph has like a normal distribution, Right?

And the narrator is very confident and he says that this is, you know, a real study and that, you know, for example, if you are 5'10, 15% of women will reject you.

So it's all about men and their heights. And then he argues that if you're 5'4, then 90% of women will reject you and you will have no chance to ever find a partner.

Right. So he's very confident in what he's saying. And he's using this graph, which he doesn't have any sources who don't know, you know, what research has been done.

Where does it come from? Is it even real easy, just a graph purely drawn in Excel and has like no scientific background.

But then a lot of people within the comment section, they agree with this graph. They're like, see, he provides evidence and it just shows that women are, you know, just thinking about looks.

They don't care about personalities. They are just very shallow. And you just, you know, it perpetrates gender beliefs that women just care about looks.

So it's basically just selling fiction or misinformation as facts and being clever in the way that you package it.

It's fraud isn't it at the end of the day, and as a consumer of media or consumer of social media, I suppose it's it's noticing these irregularities in what they're seeing.

Like you said, that there's no research has been cited whatsoever. So how can you be better, you know, how can you better prepare yourself and people that you know, children, etc., against this harmful information online?

Well I mean, I think if so, if you're a parent and you were worried about your children sort of accessing this content, which unfortunately the odds are they will it's it's readily available.

It's about having open conversations in a non-judgmental way. The inclination might be to try to shut it down and say, you know, this is this is discriminatory, it's abusive or whatever.

But, you know, that's probably not the best way to engage. It's about hearing why people are watching it, what they think about it, and then unpacking some of that pseudoscientific nature that's involved in it.

You know, ask for what's the evidence for that was the fact. It's about developing critical thinking, being able to kind of question, you know, miss and disinformation online and also about values, about your world values.

You know, just kind of, you know, do you really think women are evil or do you really think women and persons who do not fit the the hegemonic ideal norm, you know, white able bodied, cis and all of that?

Do you think that, you know, they they've got right to be to be better, more privileged than other people. So you might say having those healthy, proactive discussions as well.

I think so We've covered, you know, TikTok and social media platforms like Instagram and things like that.

But YouTube seems to be a platform that we need to keep our eye on as well. Why is that?

So for my PhD research, I look at cross platforms, so cross platforms.

So I look at TikTok and also YouTube shorts. So kind of similar to TikTok. I look at these YouTube shorts because they are like short videos.

They're easy to disseminate and they attract large audiences. And you have also this cross-platform posting.

So in my sample I have a lot of videos from TikTok that are posted on YouTube and the other way around.

And then from my preliminary findings, we are still writing a paper on YouTube. So we have analysed, we have five accounts, 400 videos of these accounts as well as, you know, pretty large comment sections.

We see that the content moderation is actually even worse on YouTube. So for example, in YouTube you can search for the term incel like it's not banned.

And you can see the content creators on YouTube are a lot more prolific. So some of the accounts that I have in my sample, they have been on YouTube posting their content for the last 3 to 4 years,

and they have hundreds and hundreds of videos and they have not been taken down. And just to provide a comparison, the accounts I have on TikTok, they are around one year and a half old and they usually don't have that many videos.

So oftentimes you would see new accounts are created, they have five videos and they get taken down on TikTok, while some are more longstanding.

But on YouTube, it's been going for years and they're not really regulating it in any way. And then another interesting aspect of YouTube, it seems that the followers of these particular accounts are a lot more engaged with the accounts creators than the ones on TikTok.

So they you know, they follow the content on these on these YouTube channels. They engage with them. They ask for more content and they discuss very, and say like theoretical incel debates, rights,

sort of quite similar debates that you would see on for 4Chan or on incel.ease. They really question the theories and they you know, they use specific terms to describe women and these goes again with that implicity or, you know, covert language.

For example, some on YouTube, some commenters refer to women as a 304.

And this is a derogatory term to refer to promiscuous women as well as sex workers.

So they just say these 304 does this and that. And obviously, if you look at content moderation, then, you know,

if you have like AI looking at it, they are not going to recognise this number is being something derogatory towards women.

But this is what's being used to sort of escape this moderation on YouTube. It's very dehumanising texts and phrases and stuff.

I, yeah, for, for you'd have to sit through, sift through that I give you major props.

But you said about prolific accounts. It would be difficult for us to talk about misogyny and incels without mentioning Andrew Tate.

So if you haven't heard about Andrew Tate, how about we just start with a bit of a background on him? Keep it brief because he doesn't need more attention than he already has.

He really doesn't. But yes. So he's a former champion kickboxer. He was a big Brother UK contestant who got moved early from the house because video surfaced of him beating a former female partner of hers.

Since then, he has managed to commodify his misogynistic and violent behaviour to the extent that he became one of the most Googled people in the in the world a few years ago.

He has many shady businesses which are, in effect, either sex trafficking or pyramid schemes.

I mean, I should say alleged sex trafficking, although no, he was prosecuted, was prosecuted in Romania. So we can say that actually.

But but yet what he's essentially done is made a business out of conning vulnerable men into believing that they need to somehow follow this alpha model of what it is to be a man.

But again. This is not a new thing. There are examples throughout history of people following an alpha man or what's considered an alpha man,

and it kind of plays in a little bit to what you said Anda at the start about you found a community on YouTube and social media that really supported you through some quite dark times.

And I suppose with incels on someone like Andrew Tate the reason why people gravitate because it's he's giving them an out or potentially a group of people that they can feel like a family with.

Yeah. And that's what, that's what he's done in creating these communities and he's had you know he's had Husslers University and now real world.

So to draw attention to those things as well you know which he's trying to present it in that sort of valid light and he really does present that appeal that, you know, well, you know, we love you.

I love you. No one else loves you. Society's left you behind. And in effect, that's what he has done.

He has capitalised on this perfect storm of three things. One is the fact that, yes, young men in particular do have real anxieties and vulnerabilities today.

Today it's really hard. It's, you know, the socioeconomic pressures. There's lots of issues.

But that doesn't mean that it's okay to blame women and to completely take the victim label

and forget about sort of things like privilege and things and also just to sort of espouse hatred. And that's the second thing, the fact that misogyny continues to be so prolific in our societies that is selling for some reason.

So you've got vulnerabilities, you've got misogyny, and then unless you've got the misinformation and you've got the ability to sort of sort of

capitalise on this rhetoric online, but it's presented in this way that seems valid, as Anda has been saying, about that pseudoscientific appeal as well.

So what he's done is he's taken all of that and created this brand. You know, that's often his sort of excuse as well, that, you know, well, I'm not, you know, I'm just a character.

So, you know, so, you know, I can't be held responsible if there is any sort of hatred, which he often denies anyway.

He says that he's not misogynist and that in the end, you know, that people do interpret that, you know, completely, you know, fabricating it and misunderstanding him as well.

So, you know, he's trying to use that kind of excuse, but this is what he's done. He's essentially it's all about profit, is all about exploitation of, you know, predominantly men, but obviously at women's expense.

You know, I have often heard him talk about how he loves women and just feel like he needs to re-evaluate that phrase because he's wrong.

I might add. So these issues are also like self-reinforcing. So he can think, as you say, like a vulnerable young man,

right. That looks online for advice. He finds the advice of, you know, pick up artist or for people such as Andrew Tate.

They sort of tried that advice whether it's getting to be more confident or working out and having muscles,

or you know, doing some shady business to have money. But they still don't get to be successful with women.

So then they start being frustrated and angry that these measures have not worked. But rather than being, you know, Andrew Tate and people like him are the problem from reinforcing these masculine, you know, tropes,

they are angry at women for not falling for these tactics. And is that the risk of where it would go from trolling or posting something online that's misogynistic to maybe real life, you know,

issues or using that putting people at risk outside of just the Internet space?

Well, I don't think we should overlook the fact that 1 in 4 women in the UK is a victim of domestic abuse.

So all of these tropes, all of these narratives that are being espoused about controlling your woman, you know that you should be coercive

to be a real man, you have to subjugate women. I mean, that message is obviously going out to people that are already perpetrators as well.

So it's just reinforcing and validating their everyday activity. And we know that these attitudes about inequality and that women is somehow seen as lesser to men.

That is a key driver of gender based violence. So we know we can't kind of forget that impact.

I suppose it's also important to remember that it's not just young men or men generally that absorbing this content is also women too.

So devaluing themselves and their attitudes about what it what it is to be a woman are also changing.

Yeah, I mean, it seems really uncomfortable, but there are female followers of Andrew Tate.

Now cynical me does sort of question some of the ones that are more in the public eye if they are seeing an opportunity to capitalise on as well as a jumping on the bandwagon.

You do get women. There's a link with these extremist ideologies, you know, in all sorts of areas as well.

So it's not you know, it's not uncommon. But certainly, you know, the fact that all of us grow up in the same society, in a patriarchal society where we're told that there's gender inequality.

So, of course, why would women therefore be inescapable to that go into internalise it as well?

And we spoke about consumers being more critical when it comes to social medi,

YouTube or just generally. It's always good to be a critical consumer, even of news.

But what else could be done in order to better regulate this sort of behaviour online?

Well, we just got the Online Safety Act. It has just been made into legislation.

So I was part of a consortium that was campaigning to get violence against women and girls explicitly mentioned in that legislation because it was completely overlooked.

It's actually recognising that many online harms are gendered. Is is the fact that women and persons from marginalised communities are targeted by virtue of being just who they are, their identities.

And so for the four years that that legislation was going in and out of parliament and committees and things, it was just saying, you know, we just need this written.

So the platforms will have an accountability, a responsibility to to women, girls and marginalised persons.

It was a couple of months ago, actually. Women and girls are now in their I think it's about four times that mentioned in that it's not the code of if we want to do violence against women and girls code of conduct.

It's not quite there. But the fact that the law has specifically mentioned women and girls, it's obviously a step in the right direction.

Of course, Ofcom now need to develop guidance for social media companies to follow, so that is all great.

But as I as I mentioned earlier, this is an all society problem, needs an all societal response.

You know, we can't just legislate out misogyny. We can't we can't engineer out misogyny with attack either.

We can educate, but we can't just educate if obviously it's been allowed elsewhere.

So it is from from all areas in the set. We are talking about a cultural shift. So, you know, this could take a generation, which, you know, I'm quite optimistic for because I do think the fact we're having this discussion is a really positive thing.

You know, we are making inroads into into laws. But it's you know, I think it you know, it's a multi-stakeholder response.

Brilliant, well thank you again for talking with me today. It's been really interesting and hopefully informative.

The word incel might be a relatively new term to you, but the issues surrounding incels online are growing at speeds.

As we've heard, a combination of regulation and education is needed to keep our communities safe, and we should all have our eyes open when it comes to protect the vulnerable from falling down an internet rabbit hole that ultimately will put themselves and others around them at risk. If you'd like to listen to our full episode of Life Solved, where we explore how the likes of TikTok can be a breeding ground for Incel content then head to the University of Portsmouth website or download it on your favourite podcast app now.

You can click the link in the comments box below or head to port.ac.uk/research to find out more about this School of Criminology and criminal justice as well.

Next time we ask what powers do protesters have and what it means for democracy as governments across the world tighten up free speech laws. See you then.

Careers and opportunities

Terrorism and cybercrime are among the biggest threats to international security. In the 18 years from 2000 to 2018, it's estimated that terrorism has cost the world economy more than $800 billion and resulted in thousands of deaths. The economic cost of cybercrime is even higher, estimated at $1 trillion a year in 2020. 

Graduates with the skills, knowledge and experience to identify and manage the cybersecurity threats posed by terrorists and cybercriminals are in high demand, in the UK and abroad. 

What sectors can you work in with a Counter Terrorism, Intelligence and Cybercrime degree?

When you complete this course, you'll be prepared for a career in specialised cybercrime, cybersecurity and counter terrorism units in police, government agencies and private organisations.

The international perspective and additional knowledge you gain at an overseas university should give you a distinct advantage when progressing your career after the course.

You could work in areas such as:

  • counter terrorism
  • crime prevention
  • criminological research
  • intelligence analysis
  • digital investigations
  • security consultancy

You could also work in the prison system or further your studies at postgraduate level.

Ongoing career support - up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role.
Female student at computer
Futureproof your career
Hands on a laptop keyboard

Using your skills in the Cybercrime Awareness Clinic

Put what you learn into practice and enhance your CV by providing advice to individuals, community groups, schools, colleges and businesses in our Cybercrime Awareness Clinic.

Find out more about the Clinic

Modules

Each module on this course is worth 15, 20 or 40 credits.

In years 1, 2 and 3 you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

In your final year (which lasts 6 months), you'll complete your dissertation worth 40 credits, plus a module worth 20 credits.

Your locations

In Years 1, 2 and 4, you'll be studying at the University of Portsmouth.

In Year 3, you'll be studying at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.

What you'll study

Core modules:

  • Criminal Justice - 20 credits
  • Cyberspace, Subculture and Online Deviance - 20 credits
  • Essential Skills for Criminologists - 40 credits
  • Introduction to Digital Forensic Investigations - 20 credits
  • Understanding Criminology - 20 credits

Optional modules:

  • Cyber Security and Forensics Essentials - 20 credits

Core modules:

  • Cyberlaw Governance and Human Rights - 20 credits
  • Questioning Criminology - 20 credits
  • Researching Criminology - 20 credits

Optional modules:

  • Crimes of the Powerful - 20 credits
  • Cybercrime Clinic - 20 credits
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation — 20 credits
  • Gang Crime - 20 credits
  • Global Environmental Justice - 20 credits
  • Global Security - 20 credits
  • Hate Crime - 20 credits
  • Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) - 20 credits
  • Online Activism, Cyberterrorism and Cyberwarfare - 20 credits
  • Penology and Prison - 20 credits
  • Policing and Society - 20 credits
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation - 20 credits
  • Professional Experience L5 - 20 credits
  • Psychology and Security - 20 credits
  • The Dark Web: Threats, Freedoms and Responses - 20 credits
  • Underworlds: Crime, Deviance and Punishment in Britain, 1500-1900 - 20 credits
  • Victims of Crime: Key Players in Criminal Justice - 20 credits
  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response - 20 credits
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice - 20 credits

Core modules:

  • Applied Intelligence - 15 credits
  • Counter Intelligence - 15 credits
  • Counter Terrorism - 15 credits
  • Intelligence Analysis - 15 credits
  • Intelligence Foundations - 15 credits
  • Physical Security - 15 credits
  • Radicalism and Political Extremism - 15 credits
  • Terrorism and International Security - 15 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Cybersecurity: Theory and Practice — 20 credits
  • Dissertation / Major Project — 40 credits

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.

What is a dual degree?

Learn about our dual degree programmes with Edith Cowan University in Australia.

Chris Chang: We have a strategic partnership with Edith Cowan University in Australia, particularly for students who have not travelled abroad or lived abroad, that gives them the opportunity to experience a dual degree. The design of our programmes means that we have developed the programme from the ground up, which doesn't require you to study that much more time for a degree programme.

Heather Massey: There's lots of reasons why people might want to come and study this dual award course at the University of Portsmouth. Learning in a different environment from different tutors and the facilities that they have at Edith Cowan are absolutely first-class.

Chris Chang: Students have the opportunity to travel for a year and the question that some students will have is "how will I be able to afford this?" Now the UK Government has launched the Turing programme and what this programme does is fund them to do study abroad, internships, placements. It makes it accessible to all students from different groups, whether they are international students or students from the UK.

Dr Sarah Reynolds: Experiencing life in a different country. You would mature and develop your confidence during that time and definitely walk out of the degree, I think standing up a bit taller than if you hadn't.

Chris Chang: Now the benefits of this is that you can actually show to employers that you have two degrees from two different universities in two different countries. Jobs these days have changed quite substantially. Your future job may not be in the UK and employers are looking for the kind of employees that are able to work in different contexts, different cultures be able to work in multidisciplinary and multinational teams.

One of the other benefits of this programme is that you can actually travel around, not just, Australia but around the ASEAN region because from Perth it's a very short flight to Hong Kong; to Singapore; to Malaysia.

Heather Massey: It's an amazing opportunity to learn both from experts in their field, but also learn about how different people in a different culture operate.

Chris Chang: There are inter-semester breaks of two-three months and you should use that opportunity to see the world. The other thing that you have is having studied a year abroad, you will make friends who could in the future be your supporters, be your allies, and be your collaborators of the future.

Dr Leah Fox: Even though they're geographically away. They'll still be able to get access to that same level of support as they were getting in Portsmouth. They'll have access to wellbeing, they'll have access to financial services, they'll have access to personal tutoring.

Chris Chang: These courses that we have delivered so far: Global Sport Management, Cybersecurity, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Environmental Science and Management are all in very specialist and niche areas. Means that wherever you end up working or living, you're prepared for it. The demand for these courses are high, so we want highly motivated students who will benefit from this programme and benefit from a year abroad.

Dr Leah Fox: We're looking for an applicant who wants to make a change, who is open minded and prepared to be confronted with a number of challenges. But overall, someone who is curious and wants to learn.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • interactive workshops
  • lectures
  • seminars

Teaching staff at Portsmouth and Edith Cowan University in Perth are from relevant law enforcement and security backgrounds.

Teaching staff at both universities are also engaged in research. This means you learn about the latest theories and concepts, which is especially important in the fields of counter terrorism, cybersecurity and cybercrime where new technologies and types of crime are constantly emerging.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

Teaching staff profiles

Leah Alexandra Fox Portrait

Dr Leah Fox

Associate Head (Global Engagement)

leah.fox@port.ac.uk

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Read more
Gizem Guney Portrait

Dr Gizem Guney

Senior Lecturer

Gizem.Guney@port.ac.uk

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Read more

This is a unique opportunity to develop an international perspective of counter terrorism, intelligence and cybercrime in a global environment. Studying in a new country enables countless opportunities to experience new cultures and values, develop interpersonal skills and build connections.

Dr Leah Fox, Course Leader

How you're assessed

  • reports
  • project plans
  • case study work
  • presentations
  • essays
  • annotated bibliographies

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 all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your dual degree.

In your first year, you'll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops for about 7–9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2, 3 and 4 but this depends which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term times

The academic year at University of Portsmouth runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

You'll finish your final year in December.

The academic year at Edith Cowan University runs from February to November with breaks at Easter and in June. It's divided into 2 semesters and 2 exam periods:

  • February to May – semester 1 (includes Easter break)
  • June – exam period 1
  • July to October – semester 2 
  • November – exam period 2

You'll start year 3 at ECU in semester 2 in July, finishing in semester 1 in May.

Where you'll study (year 3)

You'll study at Edith Cowan University's Joondalup Campus during your third year and student accommodation is available on the Mount Lawley Campus. Both campuses offer a library, computer labs, cafes, bars, a fitness centre, student support and counselling services.

Edith Cowan University building

 

Students at Edith Cowan University

 

Students at Edith Cowan University

 

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face, video and phone support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

You'll have a personal tutor from the University of Portsmouth and a country link tutor from Edith Cowan University when you're studying in Perth in year 3.

Your personal tutors help you make the transition to independent study and give you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You’ll have regular contact with them in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support. They'll be available virtually in year 3 when you're in Australia.

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.

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.

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

UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Year 1 – £9,250
  • Year 2  TBC
  • Year 3 – TBC
  • Year 4 – TBC

EU students (including our Transition Scholarship)

  • Year 1 – £9,250
  • Year 2  TBC
  • Year 3 – TBC
  • Year 4 – TBC

International students

  • Year 1 – £17,200
  • Year 2 – TBC
  • Year 3 – TBC
  • Year 4 – TBC

Fees may be 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.

Additional costs

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.

You'll need to cover your living costs and pay additional costs of £3,000–£4,000 to cover travel to and from Australia in year 3. You can cover these costs using a UK Government student loan.

We can advise you on travel arrangements, visas, finding accommodation and accessing a student loan that can help pay for your study and living costs when you're in Australia.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L312
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Don't worry if you change your mind about studying abroad after you start the course. It's easy to transfer to a similar course once you're at Portsmouth or study this course as a single degree if you decide not to attend Edith Cowan University in year 3.

Come to an Open Day

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.

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.