MSc Information Security and Digital Forensics
Architecture, Computing and Engineering
The threat of cyber security attacks is increasingly apparent to individuals and organisations across the globe.
From hacking to phishing, scamming to grooming, and botnets to cyber-terrorism, the variety and ingenuity of exploits appear to expand constantly.
In this context, this programme addresses system vulnerabilities and the preventative measures that may counter cyber-attacks, including steps to repair systems weaknesses, prevent repeat occurrences, and collecting and examining digital evidence using a variety of digital and mobile forensics tools such as FTK and Cellbrite.
You will also develop a detailed understanding of comprehensive cyber risk management practices for ensuring overall security.
This course is also available as a two year masters with an industrial placement year.
The embedded industrial placement offers a unique opportunity to apply the skills learnt on real-life projects. This, in turn, prepares graduates of the programme for successful careers in both the Information Security & Digital Forensics professions.
Our MSc Programme is the only cyber security course in the UK that covers interdisciplinary topics, such as Information Security & Digital Forensics, under one title.
The Programme is reviewed and enhanced every year to keep pace with the rapid changes and challenges in cyber space. Our syllabus is designed and delivered with the assistance of our industrial Liaison board.
Developed with industry
Our modules are delivered in collaboration with lecturers from industry and law enforcement agencies.
What we're researching
Our research focuses on key aspects of information security and digital forensics. Our Information Security research was rated world-leading during the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. We continually work towards the design of solutions to detect, prevent, and analyse cyber security attacks. Many of our staff are at the forefront of the battle against hackers and criminals who relentlessly target our digital society. The near future may favour criminals even more as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand possible avenues of attack.
The research dissertation is a key element of this programme and it counts as a double module. Research topics are often developed from work based problems and many are supported by research collaborations with companies. Students will be required to demonstrate that the research undertaken has been completed to an appropriate level for a master’s award.
Making a difference
UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.
How you'll learn
Our specialist laboratories have everything you will need to develop a thorough, critical understanding of which procedures and techniques to use when you investigate computer-based crime and misuse.
Our dedicated and specialist staff will be around to support you, and you will have a personal tutor, a course tutor and module tutors to oversee your progress.
Formal lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical classes and lab sessions will help you develop your knowledge. Industry experts also give external lectures and there is a virtual learning environment to enhance connections between teacher and student.
As a key element of this course you will be asked to complete a dissertation on an aspect of information security of your choice, and you will attend research methods classes to prepare you for this.
Whatever topic you choose, your dissertation needs to make a contribution to the field, and you will be supervised by a tutor with relevant research interests. Throughout, you will be encouraged to focus on real needs in the world around you.
About the industrial placement year
This course is also available as a two year masters with an industrial placement year. The industrial placement is designed to address the demands of the profession and give students a competitive edge when it comes to their career. The placement component is up to 12 months in duration, which starts after you have successfully completed the taught modules, and before the dissertation stage.
It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to secure their placement. The University will offer guidance and support and recommend students to many of our industrial partners that have expressed strong support and interest in the programme.
If you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa, your CAS will have a course duration of two years, subject to your meeting the UKVI’s standard requirements. During the industrial placement period, you undertake an internship within a partner organisation and complete a zero-credit Industrial Placement Module. The criteria for progression to industrial placement is the successful completion of the MSc taught modules with minimum 50% pass mark.
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths.
What you'll learn
The danger of cybercrime is growing and is affecting individuals, governments and organisations across the world. From phishing to hacking, scamming to grooming, and botnets to cyberterrorism, the range and variety of threats seems to expand constantly.
This MSC in Information and Digital Forensics addresses system vulnerabilities and explores preventative measures, repair and detection.
You will learn to collect and examine digital evidence with a variety of forensics tools. You will find out how to secure virtual crime scenes, and how to put protection in place.
You will also apply modelling techniques to simulate and evaluate mobile communication networks, computer system architecture and data centres.
This MSc enjoys a high exposure with industry, and external specialist lecturers deliver their knowledge through lectures and seminars.
What you'll study
How you'll be assessed
Modules are allocated a mark out of 100%. The pass mark for each module is based on an aggregate mark of 50%. The aggregate mark comprises marks from components whose threshold is 40%. Assessment may incorporate one, two or three components.
The module specifications specify the mode of assessment for each module. Assessment methods include formal examinations, coursework, project work and group exercises.
Your future career
There is a shortage of skilled personnel in the fields of information security and digital forensics, and graduates of this programme can progress to work in multinational organisations including cybercrime-fighting agencies. In addition, the course will prepare you to sit for ACE Certification (FTK).
“It says it is "gravely concerned" that some police forces do not have enough resources to investigate online abuse. Some forces are seizing hundreds of computers each year but have only a handful of officers to examine them.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29470001