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Electronic Security and Digital Forensics MSc

Learn about the course below
October 2020
EU/INT induction: September 2020
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£9,700 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Carlisle George
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We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

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 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.

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.
  • The course is led by Dr Carlisle George, a former barrister who has co-edited two books on regulatory issues in healthcare information. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics and leads the university's ALERT (Aspects of Law and Ethics Related to Technology) research group.
  • 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.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. 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 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.

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.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. 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.

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