Jamie completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Security & Forensics and decided to stay at Edinburgh Napier to enhance his knowledge in cyber security and focus on individual research started in his undergraduate studies.

Napier student Jamie O'Hare

“The course has a great reputation not only among the Edinburgh area but also UK-wide through the NCSC certification.” 

Prior to studying the MSc Advanced Security & Digital Forensics (now MSc Cyber Security) degree, I had just completed the BEng Computer Security & Forensics (now BEng Cybersecurity & Forensics) at Edinburgh Napier University. During this time, I also completed a research internship at Edinburgh Napier over the summer months of 2017 and 2018. 

My honours dissertation supervisor encouraged me to produce an academic publication, leading me to continue my studies and eventually deciding to join academia to become a lecturer focusing on cyber security and research.

Having direct weekly communication with the programme leader through supervisor meetings and being introduced to past graduates in the Edinburgh area such as Alex and Charley from Secarma, I was sure this was the right course for me. The course has a great reputation not only among the Edinburgh area but also UK-wide through the NCSC accreditation. These factors, as well as being already familiar with many of the academics, made the decision to study my masters degree at Edinburgh Napier University quite easy.  

Transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate study at Edinburgh Napier 

Coming from an associated undergraduate degree, I wasn’t totally unaware of the course contents, however, the course did introduce and allow for further exploration of interesting advanced topics. The written assessments and dissertation allowed for a deep dive in specific cyber security subjects which interested me. Overall, my masters provided me with a greater breadth and depth in the cyber security domain. Various assessments allowed for the refinement of my critical analysis and research skills, along with analytical problem solving and industry-desired soft skills. 

Going from undergraduate to postgraduate at the same university also means there were no teething problems. I knew the staff, some students who had also made the jump, how the university worked and what was expected of me. One of the largest benefits was being able to keep participating in the awesome Edinburgh Napier University Security Society (ENUSEC) events.  

Cyber security community  Jamie O'Hare with his friends

While doing my masters, I was voted President of the ENUSEC society. With over 100 members that year, students across all levels would attend weekly talks and workshops held in the University and run by current or former students, along with external speakers or organisations. Additionally, ENUSEC members contribute to the larger Edinburgh and Scotland cyber security community, such as Cyber Scotland Connect. ENUSEC members attended conferences far and wide, allowing for networking of professionals and students alike.

In 2019, I led the ENUSEC team who hosted its annual event Le Tour De Hack (LTDH19), a student cyber conference and CTF over two days, which was attended by over 200 students. (Find ENUSEC on Twitter: @ENUSEC)

“The NCSC accredited masters course at Edinburgh Napier provides a comprehensive coverage of cyber security domain allowing for students to delve deeper where they are interested.” 

Before I graduated from MSc Advanced Security & Digital Forensics (now MSc Cyber Security), I had secured a teaching position at another university teaching cyber security. I am still in the position, and I am currently working towards a PhD.  

While these skills are extremely relevant as I have gone onto a teaching and research role, those same skills are highly sought after in industry.  

My postgraduate studies really helped hone my research and writing skills which is now assisting me greatly in my PhD studies. 

I would highly recommend the MSc Advanced Security & Digital Forensics (now MSc Cyber Security) course at Edinburgh Napier. The NCSC-certified course provides a comprehensive coverage of cyber security domain, allowing for students to delve deeper where they are interested. While the course provides a great understanding of a wide array of topics in cyber security, the course also provides a great launchpad for those who wish to go further by doing their own reading and research.