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Advanced Security and Digital Forensics (MSc)

Course Description

This popular and high-quality GCHQ-accredited Masters degree delivers modern enterprise Cyber Security, coupled with Digital Forensics for investigation and incident response.

Computer security is one of the key challenges in contemporary computing. You will gain critical knowledge within the cyber security and digital forensic domains, combining academic principles and industrial practice. The course is informed by current research in security and digital forensics, and is underpinned by our experience with external partners in law enforcement, financial institutions, and other knowledge transfer activities. Course specialisms include network security, penetration testing, incident response, malware analysis, cryptography, audit and compliance, and host and mobile digital forensics.

The specialisation you gain in the taught modules is further developed through an extensive research-based MSc dissertation project, leading towards a mastery of a subject area and enhancing your particular specialism.

See the website http://www.napier.ac.uk/en/Courses/MSc-Advanced-Security-and-Digital-Forensics-Postgraduate-FullTime

What you’ll learn

This course focuses on the areas of securing computer, network and communications systems, incident response, and the forensic investigation of digital devices and networks. Computer security is a growth industry, and is vital in modern computing environments. You will gain foundation knowledge in all the key areas of computing cyber security, both defensive and offensive, as well as post incident response. The digital forensic aspects of the course include network and computer forensics, allowing you to develop the knowledge required to conduct computer-related investigations across networks, systems, and other digital devices. Cyber security and digital forensics are becoming significant computing disciplines, with an acknowledged skill shortage coupled with growing employment opportunities.

Our industry informed course combines thorough coverage of academic theory aligned with extensive hands-on practical activities, supported by online and blended materials with virtualised lab environments that complement our on-campus specialist facilities.

The School of Computing has developed close ties with industry, law enforcement, and the public sector, through partnerships with organisations such as Cisco Systems, Guidance Software, Dell Secure Works, NCA, NCC, Police Scotland, and many others. The course benefits from this by including many guest lecturers by industry experts. Through the dedicated cyber security and forensic research group extensive cutting edge research is also carried out in key domains by an ever growing cohort of Phd students. The programme also has an affiliation with The Cyber Academy here at Edinburgh Napier, which integrates formally with a range of international initiatives including into a European Centre of Excellence, along with the EU-funded DFET project, which is building a world class virtualised infrastructure for Cyber Security teaching and training, with strong links into law enforcement industry and academia across the World.

The MSc is also one of a very small number of courses certified by GCHQ, recognising UK universities which are excellent in Cyber Security.

What you will study

- Host-Based Forensics
- Network Security
- Security Audit and Compliance
- e-Security
- Incident Response and Malware Analysis
- Computer Penetration Testing
- Dissertation

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


The continued growth in the current requirement for cyber security and digital forensics professionals means there are a wide range of careers which can be followed after graduating from the course, such as security consultant/analyst, penetration tester, network security analyst, forensic investigator, audit/compliance consultant, security certification engineer, incident response analyst, cisco security engineer/architect, sys admin, network engineer.

The programme develops a range of key skills currently needed in industry, covering areas such as network security, penetration testing, security monitoring, incident response, malware analysis, operating systems, network and computer forensics, virtualisation and malware analysis. Materials from many professional courses are integrated into the curriculum, towards helping students prepare for sought after professional certification such as Cisco Security Certifications, CISSP, and CREST.

School of Computing

The world of computing offers many different and rewarding career paths for specialists with the appropriate skills. With professional accreditation from the British Computer Society, our wide range of innovative courses is designed to meet industry needs.

Our courses are very practical and give you the necessary skills to join dynamic, hard working IT teams.

At Masters level, you can study anything from one module right up to a full MSc, full or part time. Modules include technologies such as .NET, Cisco, UML, SAP, Java, PHP, Ajax, all studied at Masters level. Choose to study full or part time.

There are also Executive Masters degrees available, including MSc Strategic ICT Leadership, MSc Advanced Security and Cybercrime, MSc Project and Programme Management and MSc Sound Design, where the majority of learning and study takes place at work or draws on your workplace experience. And the GCHQ accredited MSc Advanced Security and Digital Forensics can even be studied via distance learning.

The School of Computing is a member of a number of software alliance schemes which allows us to offer students of the school a large range of free software. Membership currently includes the Microsoft Academic Alliance (MSAA), the VMWare Academic Program (VMAP) and the iPhone Developer University Program. We are one of only two NVIDIA CUDA Teaching Centres in Scotland, a Cisco Academy Support Centre and an Encase Partner. Students benefit through access to the latest hardware, software and expertise.

Visit the Advanced Security and Digital Forensics (MSc) page on the Edinburgh Napier University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An Honours degree in a computing discipline at 2:2 or above, or equivalent. If English is not your first language, it is usually required that you sit an English language test in order to gain entry onto our postgraduate programmes. This course requires the standard IELTS 6.0 with no individual component score of less than 5.5 or equivalent.

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