MSc Advanced Security and Cybercrime

Postgraduate, Part-time

Enhance your knowledge of cyber security and develop the skills to adapt to challenging situations across a global computing infrastructure.

  • Napier code:

    56740MM

  • Course type:

    Part-time

  • Duration:

    18 months

  • Award:

    MSc

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

This course is focused on the fast-developing areas of networking and cybersecurity, and allows a full-time employee to graduate with an MSc in 18 months.

The course awards significant credit for the application of course-derived knowledge to your employer’s systems or procedures.

Additionally you study modules designed to enhance your current skills using flexible learning material and practical activities which can be completed online or remotely. Finally, a dissertation project is undertaken which further strengthens your cybersecurity skillset.


Claudia Chepkpor

The Masters degree in Advanced Security and Cybercrime focuses on extending your knowledge into leading-edge issues related to network and computer security technologies and processes, both generally and with a particular focus on the growing threats from cybercrime. The course blends hands-on technical knowledge with theoretical understanding, utilizing a range of remotely accessible resources to allow access to specialised computer configurations.

These remote systems allow you to engage with the practical activities of the course from home or work. We also have well-equipped labs, which you can use if you wish to attend the campus.

This course is designed for professionals already employed in the area of computing who wish to develop their skills into the areas of computer security and cybercrime. It allows employees to gain significant course credits by applying knowledge and skills gained from this course to their own company’s procedures and systems. Your knowledge is further enhanced via a number of taught modules, which are available on a distance-learning basis.

Some credits are derived from your employment activities, so you must be already employed in a company which allows you to demonstrate your developing course knowledge. Please discuss your current employment with the course leader before applying to ensure your role is suitable for the course.

Subjects included in the taught modules include:

  • Host-Based Forensics
  • Network Security
  • Security Audit & Compliance

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

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Participation in this course will develop your technical and managerial skills and enhance your chances of promotion. It may also open doors to more specialist jobs including:

  • security consultant
  • forensic investigator
  • audit/compliance consultant
  • security advisor/auditor
  • cybercrime consultant


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent. We look for applicants to have a background in a Computing discipline and 2 years relevant work experience in order to be eligible for this programme.

We may also consider lesser qualified applications if you have 5 years of sufficient work experience within the industry.

Applicants with no qualifications but have 7 years of sufficient work experience may also be considered for this course.

Additionally, please note that since significant credits in the course are based on employment-based activities, you must already be employed in an area relating to networking or security which would allow you to apply course knowledge in an aspect of your employment, and also have the support of your employer.

  • English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
All students - Taught modules *£570 *£890
All students-Dissertation £1,080 tba
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Full MSc cost £4,500 tba
Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Advanced Cloud and Network Forensics ( CSN11123 )

The aim of the module is to develop a deep understanding of advanced areas related to security and live/network forensics, with a strong focus on virtualised and Cloud-based environments, that will allow graduates to act professionally in the design, analysis, implementation, and reporting of enhanced software systems, security strategies, and in forensic computing investigations. An outline of the main areas includes: • Cloud-based Security Threats, Security Models, Security Evaluation, and Mitigation Strategies. This involves an in-depth analysis of a range of current cloud-based threats, such as DoS, Botnets, scanning and so on. • Cloud-based System Architectures and Devices. SoA, Business Continuity, Failover, Secure Architecture, Disaster Recovery, Distributed Storage/Clustering, Load Balancing, SIEM, Virtualised Device Configuration (Firewall/IDS/IPS), Coverage of a range of cloud infrastructures such as Amazon Web Services (S3/EC2); VMWare ESXi/vCenter; Open Nebula; Google Cloud; and Microsoft Azure. Identity Infrastructures (OAuth, WS-*). • Big Data Storage and Analysis. Creating large-scale data infrastructure and analysis methods such as Hardoop, security analysis using Big Data, and cross-log analysis (such as Splunk). . • Performance Evaluation. Evaluation of cloud-based infrastructures and test frameworks. • Cloud-based Cryptography. Relevant cryptography methods for security –, authentication- and identification-in-the-cloud, including tunnelling, federated identity and secure cloud-based storage. • Live Forensics. Code Analysis., Host/Network Analysis, Malware Analysis, Reverse Engineering, Mobile/x86 architecture, Machine Code Analysis, Vulnerability Analysis, Sandboxed analysis. • Network Forensics. Advanced Network Protocol Analysis, Advanced Trace Analysis, and Security Threat Network Traces. • e-Discovery. Cloud-based trials for evidence. Cross-correlation, Log analysis and cracking. • Data Loss Detection/Prevention. This part of the module will virtualise a complete networked infrastructure in order to investigate the key data loss elements and methods used within Data Loss Detection / Prevention, including: network/host detection: cryptography protection/ detection; and data at rest, data in-motion, and data in-use. • Current Related Research.

Further information

Advanced Cloud and Network Forensics (DL) ( CSN11124 )

The aim of the module is to develop a deep understanding of advanced areas related to security and live/network forensics, with a strong focus on virtualised and Cloud-based environments, that will allow graduates to act professionally in the design, analysis, implementation, and reporting of enhanced software systems, security strategies, and in forensic computing investigations. An outline of the main areas includes: • Cloud-based Security Threats, Security Models, Security Evaluation, and Mitigation Strategies. This involves an in-depth analysis of a range of current cloud-based threats, such as DoS, Botnets, scanning and so on. • Cloud-based System Architectures and Devices. SoA, Business Continuity, Failover, Secure Architecture, Disaster Recovery, Distributed Storage/Clustering, Load Balancing, SIEM, Virtualised Device Configuration (Firewall/IDS/IPS), Coverage of a range of cloud infrastructures such as Amazon Web Services (S3/EC2); VMWare ESXi/vCenter; Open Nebula; Google Cloud; and Microsoft Azure. Identity Infrastructures (OAuth, WS-*). • Big Data Storage and Analysis. Creating large-scale data infrastructure and analysis methods such as Hardoop, security analysis using Big Data, and cross-log analysis (such as Splunk). . • Performance Evaluation. Evaluation of cloud-based infrastructures and test frameworks. • Cloud-based Cryptography. Relevant cryptography methods for security –, authentication- and identification-in-the-cloud, including tunnelling, federated identity and secure cloud-based storage. • Live Forensics. Code Analysis., Host/Network Analysis, Malware Analysis, Reverse Engineering, Mobile/x86 architecture, Machine Code Analysis, Vulnerability Analysis, Sandboxed analysis. • Network Forensics. Advanced Network Protocol Analysis, Advanced Trace Analysis, and Security Threat Network Traces. • e-Discovery. Cloud-based trials for evidence. Cross-correlation, Log analysis and cracking. • Data Loss Detection/Prevention. This part of the module will virtualise a complete networked infrastructure in order to investigate the key data loss elements and methods used within Data Loss Detection / Prevention, including: network/host detection: cryptography protection/ detection; and data at rest, data in-motion, and data in-use. • Current Related Research.

Further information

Advanced Professional Practice ( SOC11107 )

Reflective practice – using different models and frameworks to maximise both personal and team performance Career development through mentoring and subject specific skills development

Further information

Computer Penetration Testing ( CSN11127 )

This module will cover a range of elements concerned with digital penetration testing and security testing. Initial lectures consider important soft skills such as documentation techniques, reporting, the law, and risk assessment and management. The practical skills and their related theoretical knowledge include operating system weaknesses, information gathering (both passive and active), and various ethical hacking techniques and processes. Considerable practical focus is made on available tools to assist in auditing and penetration testing. Aspects targeted include operating systems, common network services, and network-based applications.

Further information

Host-Based Forensics ( CSN11125 )

This module will cover elements of operating system disk-level architectures, such as Windows and Linux. This will allow students to study how operating systems store system and user data, and thus students will gain an understanding as to what information could technically be held on such systems. This data could include user files, as well as user activities such as login session data, browsing histories, operating system manipulation, and general user interactions with a variety of operating system tools. This understanding will be expanded through theoretical knowledge and practical exercises in extracting information from systems, using a variety of open source and commercial forensic analysis tools, and documenting the results of such a process using consistent and thorough evidential procedures. This includes the production of event timelines, as well as the analysis of system logs, operating system state, file systems, and application data. The module will also consider the ethical and professional issues related to digital forensics.

Further information

Host-Based Forensics (DL) ( CSN11126 )

This module will cover elements of operating system disk-level architectures, such as Windows and Linux. This will allow students to study how operating systems store system and user data, and thus students will gain an understanding as to what information could technically be held on such systems. This data could include user files, as well as user activities such as login session data, browsing histories, operating system manipulation, and general user interactions with a variety of operating system tools. This understanding will be expanded through theoretical knowledge and practical exercises in extracting information from systems, using a variety of open source and commercial forensic analysis tools, and documenting the results of such a process using consistent and thorough evidential procedures. This includes the production of event timelines, as well as the analysis of system logs, operating system state, file systems, and application data. The module will also consider the ethical and professional issues related to digital forensics.

Further information

Leadership, Learning and Development ( HRM11109 )

Leadership Learning and Development is concerned with enabling you to assess your own leadership skills and prior learning in respect to carrying out an organisational analysis. It will develop your higher-level leadership skills and knowledge, enabling you to promote reflective management practice and make a positive contribution within an organisation and transfer these skills to new situations. You will commence your studies with a critical evaluation of the theories of leadership and management, which provides the context for examining learning and development processes and procedures. Current approaches to career management will be then be evaluated. It examines external and internal influences and relationships on leadership development, with a particular emphasis on organisational learning and knowledge management. The module concludes with evaluating the individual level development of enhanced personal competence and capability; and at the organisational level with enhanced effectiveness.

Further information

Management of Software Projects ( INF11103 )

Managing project start-up through project requirements evaluation and project planning techniques. Comparing and contrasting big up front and appropriate design approaches Comparative analysis of software project management approaches and Bodies of Knowledge (BoK) applied to software development projects The assessment of project risk management approaches and metrics for project monitoring and control within an agile project management approach. Analysis of software development process improvement approaches through Agile software standards and maturity models Evaluation of software development teams and group dynamics as key factors in the successful delivery of projects Utilisation of a tailored project management methodology such as Scrum or XP to manage the delivery of an assessment instrument

Further information

Network Security ( CSN11111 )

The aim of the module is to develop a deep understanding of advanced areas related to security and digital forensics that will allow graduates to act professionally in the design, analysis, implementation, and reporting of network security strategies. An outline of the main areas includes: • Introduction. Networking Concepts; Network Security Concepts; Network Threats and Attacks; Network Defense - Perimeter, Defence in Depth • Firewalls. Concepts; Types - Host, Network; Technologies - Static packet filtering; Stateful packet filtering; Multilayer firewall; Architectures; Polices; and Implementation and Deployment. • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS). Concepts; Types; Alert Monitoring and Sensor Tuning; behavioural analysis, in-line/out-of-line. • Access Control and Authentication. Concepts: Trust and Identity; Attacks; Models - Access Control Models; Network Device Access Control; AAA, Layer 2; Device Hardening. • Remote Access and VPNs. Concepts; Cryptography; Types - L2, L3 and L4/5; Technologies; IPSec and SSL. • Wireless Security. Wireless Overview; Attacks; Encryption; Authentication. • CCNA Certification - Concepts. CIA; Attacks on CIA; Data Classification; Law and Ethics; Network policies; Risk Management and Secure Network Design; Security in the SDLC; Cisco self-defending network; Secure Administration. • CCNA Certification - Secure Infrastructure and Extending Security. Cisco Layer 2 Security; Cisco IOS Firewalls. Cisco IOS IPS; Cisco VPN and Cryptographic Solutions; Digital Signatures and PKI.

Further information

Network Security (D/L) ( CSN11118 )

The aim of the module is to develop a deep understanding of advanced areas related to security and digital forensics that will allow graduates to act professionally in the design, analysis, implementation, and reporting of network security strategies. An outline of the main areas includes: • Introduction. Networking Concepts; Network Security Concepts; Network Threats and Attacks; Network Defence - Perimeter, Defence in Depth • Firewalls. Concepts; Types - Host, Network; Technologies - Static packet filtering; Stateful packet filtering; Multilayer firewall; Architectures; Polices; Implementation and Deployment. • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS). Concepts; Types; Alert Monitoring and Sensor Tuning; behavioural analysis, in-line/out-of-line. • Access Control and Authentication. Concepts: Trust and Identity; Attacks; Models - Access Control Models; Network Device Access Control; AAA, Layer 2; Device Hardening. • Remote Access and VPNs. Concepts; Cryptography; Types - L2, L3 and L4/5; Technologies; IPSec and SSL. • Wireless Security. Wireless Overview; Attacks; Encryption; Authentication. • CCNA Certification - Concepts. CIA; Attacks on CIA; Data Classification; Law and Ethics; Network policies; Risk Management and Secure Network Design; Security in the SDLC; Cisco self-defending network; Secure Administration. • CCNA Certification - Secure Infrastructure and Extending Security. Cisco Layer 2 Security; Cisco IOS Firewalls. Cisco IOS IPS; Cisco VPN and Cryptographic Solutions; Digital Signatures and PKI.

Further information

Security Audit & Compliance ( INF11109 )

The aim of the module is to let you develop a deep understanding of the framework that information security operates in, and to give you an opportunity to express this in the form of professional written reports. Topics covered include: • Overview of relevant laws and regulations: national and international, covering Data Protection, computer misuse and other legal issues. • The relation between governance models and frameworks including: ISACA’s COBIT and ISO Standards (ISO27000 in particular) • Role of the professions; difference between audit, forensics and security management. Professional ethics and codes of practice • Risk management, contingency and continuity planning • Understanding and application of the COBIT domains

Further information

e-Security ( CSN11102 )

The aim of the module is to develop a deep understanding of advanced areas related to security that will allow graduates to act professionally in the design, analysis, implementation, evaluation, and reporting of security strategies. An outline of the main areas includes: ? Security Threats, Secure Infrastructures, Threat Detection. ? Encryption Techniques, Algorithms, Key Management and Exchange Methods, Weaknesses. ? Authentication methods. ? Message hash (MD5, SHA), Digital Signatures, and Digital certificates, MAC methods, Biometrics, Claims-based Identity, Multi-factor authentication, Kerberos. ? Advanced Secure communications and crypto-systems such as SSL ? Intrusion Detection Systems: Techniques applied IDS using Snort, Distributed/Agent-based, Signature/ Anomaly detection and current research. ? Security in Network Architectures: Overview of interconnected security systems, Domain infrastructures, OS/Web Stacks, Password Security, Identity Infrastructures, Backups/File Synchronisation, Web/Data Infrastructures. ? Software security: .NET framework security, Obfuscation, Role-based security, bugs vs vulnerabilities vs exploits, malware, software threats, compiled v interpreted languages, Run-time Environments, Sandboxing, Trusted Computing, Software Security Compliance Testing, Secure Coding, good practice. * Wireless Security: Layered security and wireless protocols, Encryption/Authentication Infrastructures, Challenge-based protocols, Wireless Cyber Threats and Mitigation (such as DoS, Attack Vectors, and MITM).

Further information

e-Security (D/L) ( CSN11117 )

The aim of the module is to develop a deep understanding of advanced areas related to security that will allow graduates to act professionally in the design, analysis, implementation, evaluation, and reporting of security strategies. An outline of the main areas includes: * Security Threats, Secure Infrastructures, Threat Detection. * Encryption Techniques, Algorithms, Key Management and Exchange Methods, Weaknesses. * Authentication Methods. Message hash (MD5, SHA), Digital Signatures, and Digital Certificates, MAC Methods, Biometrics, Claims-based Identity, Multi-factor Authentication, Kerberos. Advanced * Secure Communications and Crypto-systems such as SSL. * Intrusion Detection Systems. Techniques applied IDS using Snort, Distributed/Agent-based, Signature/ Anomaly detection and current research. * Security in Network Architectures. Overview of Interconnected Security Systems. Domain Infrastructures. OS/Web Stacks. Password Security. Identity Infrastructures. Backups/File Synchronisation. Web/Data Infrastructures. * Software Security. .NET Framework Security, Obfuscation, Role-based Security, Bugs vs Vulnerabilities vs Exploits, Malware, Software Threats, Compiled v Interpreted Languages. Run-time Environments. Sandboxing. Trusted Computing. Software Security Compliance Testing. Secure Coding, Good Practice. * Wireless Security. Layered Security and Wireless Protocols. Encryption/Authentication Infrastructures. Challenge-based Protocols. Wireless Cyber Threats and Mitigation (such as DoS, Attack Vectors, and MITM).

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Executive Masters

This forms part of a suite of Executive Masters courses for organisations looking to upskill their staff and professionals looking to develop new skills and advance their career.

School of Computing courses