MSc Cybercrime and E-investigation

Why choose this course?

Cybercrime is a rapidly evolving area which presents new and complex challenges to the investigator. If you’re already working in crime enforcement or you have an interest in criminality in the digital age, this innovative masters degree is for you.

  • Advance your career in a field which has become critically important to organisations worldwide
  • Build a powerful combination of academic and practical skills covering recognised investigation methods and analysis techniques
  • Learn how to manage an e-investigation rigorously and to present evidence in court effectively
  • Benefit from hands-on training supported by practitioners in the technical aspects of cybercrime and e-investigation
  • Develop the expertise to respond efficiently to computer crime within your own organisation 
  • Choose from a fascinating range of optional modules to match your personal interests and career ambitions.
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Fact file

Course code: MM2AC

Start date: September and January

Course length: Full time: one year. Part time: two years

Campus: One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

College: College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences

About this course

This course equips you with the key skills to pursue a career in cybercrime detection and investigation. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of the legal and technical elements of cybercrime - without having to be a law or technology insider already.

Tackling an urgent problem

Cybercrime costs the UK economy at least £27 billion a year.* The main loser is UK business which suffers from high levels of intellectual property theft and industrial espionage but there is a considerable impact on citizens and government too.

Offering both a practical and academic focus, our MSc takes an in-depth look at the rapidly changing forms of crime which involve the use of technology and digital media. The course has been introduced at a time when there is a growing need for skilled professionals who can detect and prevent cybercrime and have the capacity to undertake thorough e-investigations.

High-level skills

The course focuses on recognised and accepted investigation methods and the analysis techniques required to prove them. Working alongside experts with in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of cybercrime, you will gain an understanding of complex technology as well as the principles and practice of criminal investigation.

You will also develop your research skills so that you can keep up to date with the way cybercrime continues to evolve.

Conducting rigorous investigations

Reinforcing the need for proper investigation, our MSc emphasises the importance of evidence, the continuity of evidence and the identification of case issues. You’ll gain skills in the process of locating, recovering, investigating, handling, preserving and presenting evidence. You’ll also become acquainted with the legal, ethical and professional considerations that must be taken into account in every investigation.

Presenting evidence

You’ll develop your ability to communicate complex information - including presenting your evidence in court effectively and efficiently. You can even pit your wits against qualified advocates in our custom-built court room on campus.

Benefits for your organisation

Through our hands-on training, you’ll gain the knowledge, tools and practical experience to deal swiftly and proficiently with many types of computer crime at work. You can also help your organisation to establish robust incident response practices and policies.

Variety and choice

While our core modules offer a strong foundation of knowledge in key areas, you can also choose optional modules based on your interests and career aspirations - covering everything from transnational crime to intellectual property, investigating sexual offences to vulnerable victims and witnesses.

You’ll study alongside students from different professional backgrounds and experience with whom you can share insights. Being exposed to multiple perspectives will enrich your learning experience.

*The Cost of Cyber Crime: A Detica report in partnership with the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance in the Cabinet Office 2011.

What you will cover

The course is made up of three stages - Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.

Postgraduate Certificate

You’ll study these modules:

Evidence and Digital Investigation
You’ll examine the legalities surrounding recovery of evidence from hardware, including digital storage media. This module explores ways of monitoring or examining digital information devices for forensic or security purposes and the rules covering how facts may be proved in a court of law.

Cybercrime and Internet
Exploring the evolution, relevance, nature and forms of cybercrime, this module also takes an in-depth look at international responses to - and policing of - cyber criminality.

Applied Research in Criminal Justice Systems
You’ll develop the skills, knowledge and practical expertise to undertake advanced applied research at masters level. You will receive training in qualitative and quantitative research and you will consider the politics and ethics of research.

Postgraduate Diploma

You’ll study this module:

Investigation and Prosecution of Cybercrime
This module addresses issues relating to the investigation and prosecution of transnational crime and covers how businesses and criminals alike use information technologies to target customers and victims.

You’ll also choose two optional modules from the following: 

  • Clinic - a chance to address, under close supervision, legal issues arising from a real client base in either a work placement or through problems brought to the University
  • Data Protection, Privacy and Freedom of Information Law - exploring legislation concerning personal privacy which aims to help society work towards transparency, accountability and democracy
  • Information and Communication Technology Law - examining laws applying to the control and operation of the internet, communication systems and interactive technologies
  • International Criminal Law - providing a comprehensive knowledge of the growing body of International Criminal law concepts
  • Internatinal Protection of Intellectual Property Rights - Examining how owners of intellectual property enforce their rights through national courts
  • Intellectual Property in the Digital Age - considering the legal principles and procedures covering ownership, use and control of information in the context of the internet and other media
  • Investigating Sexual Offences - looking at the sociological history of sexual offences, the impact of the internet and how society can protect citizens
  • Investigating Serious Crime - understanding homocide and organised crime and critically analysing the impact of police investigative practices
  • Open Source Intelligence and Privacy - exploring how businesses and agencies collect private and personal data through open and covert means 


You’ll study this module:

Independent Study in Investigation
During this triple module, you will use the knowledge and intellectual skills you’ve gained to carry out an extensive investigation of a significant topic.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2:2 from your first degree, or equivalent
  • If your first language is not English you will need to evidence a proficiency in English (IELTS 7)

We also welcome applicants who do not have a first degree but who have substantial and relevant professional experience.

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria contact the Programme Leader who will be happy to supply further advice.

How to apply

UK/EU students

International students

Information for international applicants

Applying for a postgraduate degree

Fees and finance

2015/16 fees

UK/EU students

  • £550 per module (you usually take the equivalent of 9 single modules)

International students

  • Full time: £11,440

These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2015 and August 2016. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.

How you will learn

Teaching and learning

The course is delivered both on campus and via interactive online classroom sessions. It is fully supported by materials on our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, which means that you have constant access to lecture notes, additional materials, suggested reading and general information to support your studies.

Throughout the programme you will develop your abilities and knowledge via a process of self-assessment, action-planning, acquisition of relevant skills and experience, and reflection and review.


All modules are assessed by coursework.

Flexible study options

Alongside the one-year full-time route to the MSc, we also offer a two-year part-time route so that you can study at a time and pace to suit your own circumstances.

Careers and employability

Cybercrime is a developing and expanding area. Anyone who uses a computer is susceptible to cybercrime - so experts are increasingly required to prevent and detect it.

You can pursue a career in detection, investigation and prosecution in all areas of civil and criminal law. In addition, many corporate institutions are starting to recruit specialists in this area or to contract work to independent e-investigators.

Ongoing careers support

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course - and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.

What our students say

"I often appear in court to give technical evidence. The course content, especially the courtroom training, gives me the confidence to deliver my evidence in a clear and understandable manner, without being nervous. I now know what to expect in the courtroom. Covering the specific laws around cybercrime has been extremely helpful. I often point out other offences to officers in charge of a case that they were unaware of."

Dave Martin, eForensics Analyst

Contact details

Course leader: Kevin Bampton
T: +44 (0)1332 591858

College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences
T: +44 (0)1332 591896

Where will I study?

One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus