The fascination of forensics combines with the complexity of computing in this stimulating course. A relatively new specialism, electronic security and digital forensics is an area of expertise that's challenging and rapidly evolving- technology is constantly developing, and therefore so are the problems that go along with it.
The smooth running of societies and economies is now dependent on the security of computer networks, and cyber crime, from fraud, identity theft and cyber stalking to terrorism and espionage, can affect anyone and is at the forefront of government policy. But many court cases have collapsed because of a lack of experts trained in the meticulous art of tracking down evidence. Our innovative course was created to meet the demand for skills in an area that's chronically short of well-qualified graduates.
The course has a strong practical focus, with an emphasis on both in-depth technical and legal theory and hands-on project work. You'll work in our specialist computer forensics laboratory in our award-winning technology centre, using the latest forensic software, including Forensic Toolkit version 5.0, Encase version 7.0 and Micro Systemation XRY Complete. You'll also have the opportunity to achieve XRY Logical certification during the course.
You’ll study four modules: legal and professional aspects of digital forensics, digital evidence management and forensic processes, information security management, and digital investigation and digital technology. The taught modules will be followed by your independent project.
On the forensic side, you’ll become an expert in the tools, techniques, procedures, hardware and software used in investigation. You’ll learn how to collect, investigate, handle and document digital evidence from computers and mobile or hand-held devices and how to present it in court. As well as IT law and professional and ethical issues, you’ll look at the legal system more generally: criminal law, theories of crime, the justice system and law enforcement, as well as intellectual property law, privacy and data protection law.
On the security side, you’ll learn how to prevent and detect security breaches, how to develop and put in place a security policy and how to use network analysis tools. You’ll also cover security regulations, contingency planning and risk management.
For your independent project, you’ll choose a research topic or case study to investigate, and will plan and carry out your research, collect and analyse your data and present your findings in a written report. The module includes workshops on reviewing research literature, project planning and research methods to help prepare you, and you’ll work under the guidance of an academic supervisor, meeting with him or her regularly and receiving frequent feedback. You’ll be assessed on the basis of your research proposal, your report and possibly a viva.
The module aims to give student a sound understanding of the relationship between digital investigations and digital technologies, as well as an in-depth knowledge of evidence management and the consequences of mismanagement. This practical module will equip students with the skills necessary to remove electronic digital media from their sources using industry tools and conduct forensic investigations (using commercial software) on case studies. Students will learn about the planning of investigations, technology management strategies and how their actions could affect evidential continuity. Students will be equipped with the awareness that digital forensics is as much about documentation, processes and validity as it is about technical investigations.
This module focuses on legal and professional aspects of digital forensics. The module gives student a sound grounding in the English legal system, theories of crime and deviancy, the criminal justice system and law enforcement among other topics. It also gives students knowledge and understanding of legal and regulatory issues relevant to carrying out digital investigations (related to civil and criminal matters) as well as handling and presenting digital evidence in a court of law. In addition to the above the module covers professional (including ethical) issues relevant to the digital forensics professional.
The module aims to give students a broad understanding of regulatory compliance and the detection, investigation and prevention of financial crime (e.g. fraud, electronic crime, money laundering) in corporate environments. Students will gain an understanding of the nature and purposes of regulation in the area of financial services, and how compliance is managed in practice. Students will gain knowledge and skills related to the use of digital forensic tools and techniques to manage compliance, mitigate risks and investigate financial crime. The module will focus on the UK regulatory framework as well as international models, conventions and standards.
You’ll become proficient in forensic tools and techniques through sessions in our computer laboratories, where you’ll work on case studies and carry out mock searches. Interactive lectures will focus on both theory and practice, while at seminars you’ll have a chance to ask questions, take part in discussions and receive feedback. There may also be talks from guest speakers. You’ll work on problem-solving exercises and critical analyses, and will do some work in groups. In your spare time you’ll do your own independent study, including online study.
You will be assessed through exams, your research project and other coursework, including reports, presentations and critical analyses. Some assessed work will be done in groups. You will receive regular feedback on your work throughout the course, including your assessed work.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Entry onto this course does not require an interview, portfolio or audition.
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
There is a very high demand worldwide for well-qualified IT graduates. The European Commission stated in 2012 that there were 700,000 unfilled IT jobs across the continent – a number which it predicted would increase by three per cent each year, while the number of suitably qualified graduates shrinks. A report from e-skills UK in the same year confirmed that there is a skills shortage in the IT industry.
One of the largest employers of digital forensic scientists is the police – every police force in the UK has its own computer forensics department. As well as IT companies, such as security consultancies, forensic computing firms, software developers and games manufacturers, plenty of roles are available with government agencies and departments, including the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, MI5, GCHQ, HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Further opportunities exist with private companies such as financial institutions and accountancy firms.
A variety of roles will be open to you, including digital forensic investigator, analyst or consultant, data recovery expert, security consultant, network management specialist, and penetration tester. You could also work in a more general computing role, for example in system development, management, maintenance or administration.
As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, our course will provide you with many transferable skills. It will improve your your research, data collection and interpretation, communication, teamwork, presentation, analytical and critical skills, as well as your confidence and your ability to work under your own initiative and manage your own time.
Find out about our wide range of postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
MSc Electronic Security and Digital Forensics
This course is offered full time or part time. The fees below refer to the 2017/18 academic year unless otherwise stated.
Full-time students: £8,500
Part-time per taught credit: £57
Part-time per dissertation credit: £28
Full-time students: £12,500
Part-time per taught credit: £84
Part-time per dissertation credit: £42
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.*Course fees are subject to annual inflation so the total costs for part time study are shown here as a guide