This course builds on your previous knowledge of computer science and Information Technology (IT), and aims to provide you with an in-depth specialism in the fields of cyber security, cyber threat intelligence and digital forensics. You will gain advanced and in-depth knowledge of penetration testing, cyber forensics, malware reverse engineering and software vulnerability and will exploit research using a very hands-on approach. You will gain practical and real-world skills in all major areas of cyber security including penetration testing, digital forensics, cyber warfare and threat intelligence. Moreover, you will learn how to apply your skills in analysis, testing and maintenance of software systems or enterprise networks from a cyber security perspective.
You will use your penetration testing and vulnerability assessment skills in finding weaknesses in existing devices and applications and to advise developers or network administrators to secure their application or environment. Your cyber forensics skills can be used to identify, collect, preserve and analyse a wide range of digital evidences and present them in the court of law. You will use your knowledge of programming to analyse different malwares to determine how they work and how countermeasures can be developed. Only a small percentage of cyber security professionals are capable of analysing advanced persistent threats and are capable of understanding and managing malware campaigns. Finally, your cyber threat intelligence knowledge and skills will help you to strategically fight against organised cyber crimes, understand and analyse cyber warfare activities and propose appropriate defensive and offensive mechanisms to reduce or eliminate those risks.
You will have close and active contact with industry experts with the opportunity to attend regular industry guest lecture programs in cyber security while you operate within a well-formed professional and ethical framework.
Graduates from this course can work in a wide variety of technical security roles within business, banking, software, networking, government, consultancy, etc. This would include roles such as malware analyzer, penetration tester, information security manager, security consultant, forensics investigator or security programmer. There is a significant worldwide skills shortage in this area, particularly for graduates with the in-depth technical knowledge and skills that are developed by this course.
This course has contacts with local industry such as software companies (such as Web Applications UK), infrastructure providers (such as UKFast) and security consultants (such as KPMG). These companies will provide you with a real-world perspective to help you appreciate the barriers that exist and the compromises that must be made to manage conflicting demands (known as the C-I-A triad).
Your MSc project will need you to demonstrate “originality in the application of knowledge”. Given a suitable topic, this may be able to be developed into an area where you can undertake a higher research degree to demonstrate “an original contribution to knowledge” which is the target for a PhD. You will get a chance to learn about the research interests of the University’s research active staff in order to help you develop a suitable topic. This may be directly in a security field, or applications of other fields of computing such as artificial intelligence or big data in cyber security and cyber forensics.
Within conservation science there is increasing recognition of the value of genetic data to support management decisions, however scientists and managers with the skills and knowledge to apply population genetic theory to conservation practice are lacking. Within this arena, wildlife forensics is an exciting new field that is attracting increasing global attention in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
The Cert/Dip/MSc in Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics aims to provide a blend of theoretical and practical education in the application of genetic data to wildlife management and conservation law enforcement. The programme will cover all essential aspects, from population genetic theory, through data analysis, to the considerations involved in the interpretation and transfer of scientific findings to management, policy and criminal investigation.
Students will have the choice to specialise in either applied conservation genetics or wildlife forensics, with both options providing transferable scientific skills relating to knowledge acquisition and application, problem solving, science communication and decision making. The overall aim of the programme is to equip current and future wildlife professionals with the knowledge, skills and global networks to address modern challenges in conservation management and law enforcement.
The programme is designed as an institutional collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), a government facility which houses the UK wildlife DNA forensics laboratory. Students will have a unique opportunity to learn from internationally recognised specialists in the application of genetic analysis to conservation management and wildlife forensics.
In addition, individual courses will engage a number of external tutors from local and international organisations with specific expertise in the subject matter. Course materials will based on actual examples from wildlife management projects and forensic casework.
Suitable participants include wildlife professionals interested in learning how DNA analysis can be applied to conservation management, from captive breeding programmes to reintroductions and natural population management.
The programme will also be appropriate for those working in wildlife law enforcement or wildlife policy sectors who want to understand how genetic data is now relied upon to inform conservation decision-making, trade regulation and criminal investigations.
As a comprehensive introduction to the fields of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics, the programme is will also provide a valuable stepping stone to students seeking to pursue an advanced scientific career in these fields.
Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh's excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
Beyond gaining factual knowledge of the immediate subject matter, programme participation is designed to achieve a series of key learning outcomes:
Knowledge and Understanding
The student will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of practical and ethical issues relating to the application of conservation genetics and wildlife forensics.
Practice: applied knowledge, skills and understanding
The student will be able to demonstrate how to plan, apply and interpret the outputs of appropriate research and forensic techniques.
Generic cognitive skills
The student will be able to analyse complex issues and identify solutions, even in the absence of complete or consistent information.
Communication, ICT, Numeracy Skills
The student will be able to communicate relevant scientific concepts and results, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise.
Autonomy, accountability and working with others
The student will be able to manage complex wildlife conservation and law enforcement issues and make or contribute to informed judgements that address current challenges in these fields.
The Master of Chemistry in Environmental Forensics programme is an exciting opportunity, using active learning and providing practical experience in close cooperation with industry and environmental researchers.
Environmental forensics is the systematic and scientific evaluation using various disciplines for the purpose of developing defensible scientific and legal conclusions regarding the source, age and history of chemical pollutants released into the environment. You, together with industry and leading researchers, have the opportunity to develop the knowledge needed for you to contribute to a future resilient society.
The programme offers insight into several disciplines including analytical and environmental analysis, in order to characterise the source and amount of chemical pollutants in the environment as well as describe their history. In order to facilitate a broad understanding of the specialities involved in environmental forensics, the curriculum will include a wide-range of multidisciplinary expertise within natural sciences such as environmental science, isotope chemistry, environmental sampling, human health, advanced statistics, and transportation modelling. To ensure that students gain practical field experience, real-life cases are provided in collaboration with industry. The programme uses problem-based learning (PBL) to encourage active learning and to develop problem solving abilities. These skills will be used to identify sources and history of environmental pollution.
It is a two-year programme, but can be finished after one year resulting in a 60-credit Master of Science in Chemistry. Year one deals with distribution of environmental pollutions, environmental toxicology, human exposure, sustainability and environmental regulations, and forensic analytical methods. Year two includes advanced statistical methods, research methodology and project management. Both alternatives conclude with project work in a research group and/or with industry.