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Electronic Security and Digital Forensics MSc

Learn about the course below
October 2021
EU/INT induction: September 2021
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£10,000 (UK) *
£14,500 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Sukhvinder Hara
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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.

Why study MSc Electronic Security and Digital Forensics at Middlesex University?

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 also have the opportunity to achieve XRY Logical certification during the course.

All sessions are held online in the 2020/21 academic year due to COVID-19, providing full access to the above technologies without the need to use any campus facilities.

Course highlights

  • We have strong links with industry - we work with companies such as Microsoft and Siemens, and we are a Cisco local academy and a Xilinx university partner.
  • The course is accredited by the British Computer Society for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status. This means that on graduation, you'll have fulfilled the academic requirements for achieving those titles, though you'll need to complete further professional development.
  • You'll also improve your communication, teamwork, time-management, organisational, analytical and critical skills.
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module

Find out more

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What you will study on the MSc Electronic Security and Digital Forensics?

This course will focus on IT law, professional and ethical issues, criminal law, theories of crime as well as looking at the legal system more generally. You’ll also focus on security regulations, contingency planning and risk management as well as intellectual property law, privacy and data protection law.

What will you gain?

As well as an in-depth knowledge of the subject, you will also gain an understanding in the prevention and detection of security breaches, developing and installing security policies and how to use network analysis tools. You’ll become an expert in the tools, techniques and procedures used in investigation, and you’ll learn how to collect, investigate, and document digital evidence for legal presentation.


  • Modules

    • Digital Investigation and Evidence Management (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Legal and Professional Aspects of Digital Forensics (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Information Security Management (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      The module focuses on both technical and managerial aspects of information security management and equips students with knowledge and skills required by the IT security professionals worldwide. The module will take an integrated approach to security management through the use of the security frameworks, policies and models guided by the international regulatory standards.

    • Corporate Compliance and Financial Crime Prevention (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Postgraduate Computing Project (60 Credits) - Compulsory

      To give students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to undertake work that is independent - shaped largely by one s own decisions and preferences; complete - accomplished from conception to delivery, via all stages in between; technically competent - employing techniques and exploiting knowledge gained during earlier parts of the programme; professionally and ethically compliant; supervised - working under the guidance but not instruction of a member of academic staff; academically sound - taking critical account of current knowledge and methods in the chosen specialist area.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MSc Electronic Security and Digital Forensics taught?

You’ll become proficient in forensic tools and techniques through our online sessions, 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.

All assessments will take place online during the 2020/21 academic year and all module leaders have a wealth of experience in setting, moderating, supporting and assessing e-assessments.

For your independent project and dissertation you will plan, conduct and critically analyse data on a research topic or case study of your choosing. You will be assessed on your research proposal, written report and possibly through a viva voce exam, in which you’ll justify and reflect on your work, and discuss possible further developments.

All supervisory sessions will be held online during the 2020/21 academic year and there will be no need to face to face meetings.

Teaching and learning - changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we currently plan to teach your course fully online through a mixture of live interactive sessions and independent learning. This will ensure you’re equipped with the same skills as on campus study, and offer you an engaging learning experience where you can meet and network with your lecturers and fellow students through online platforms. We are also exploring opportunities for face-to-face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible and we can make the appropriate arrangements. You will still be able to access bookable study spaces on campus, and any of the facilities and support services which are open, as well as our extensive online support.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes, the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Course delivered fully online while current social distancing measures are in place

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

12 hours workshops
3 hours for each module

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

24 to 36 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

1 hour

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

Our MSc in Electronic Security and Digital Forensics is accredited by British Computer Society (BCS).

How can the MSc in Electronic Security and Digital Forensics support your career?

There is a very high demand worldwide for well-qualified IT graduates and this course will leave you perfectly placed to for a variety of roles such as digital forensic investigator, data recovery expert, network management specialist or security consultant.

One of the largest employers of digital forensic scientists is the police and there are many opportunities available with other government agencies and departments, such as the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, MI5, the Serious Fraud Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. A number of our graduates have gone to work for IT companies, security consultancies, forensic computing firms, software developers, and games manufacturers.

Dr Carlisle George
Programme Leader

Dr Carlisle George holds an LLM Masters in Information Technology & Communications Law from LSE, and a Doctorate in Computer Science from the University of London (Goldsmiths). He currently leads the ALERT (Aspects of Law and Ethics Related to Technology) research group at Middlesex University.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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