Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 Year, Part-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£850 per 20 credits* (2019/20)

International fee

£14,250 for the full programme (2019/20)

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

It prepares you for a dynamic career in a field which has become crucially important to corporations and governments nationally and internationally. 

Employable Graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016. 

If you are from a technical background, the MSc Digital Forensics and Computer Security will extend your professional interests and raise your profile in an area that has become critical to organisations worldwide.

Become part of the battle against cyber threats

As computer security threats hit the headlines on a regular basis, there is an urgent need for more digital forensics and computer security specialists in our industries.

Highly skilled professionals are required not only to defend the security of computer systems, but also to retrieve digital evidence when a computer is involved in criminal activity or when a security incident develops. In the face of rising cyber threat levels, there is a particular need for intelligence gathering and analysis, investigation of digital devices and the skills to tackle complex attacks.

With the popularity of the Internet contributing to the increase in malicious activity taking place in the online world, there is also a growing demand for more research and innovation in this field.

A powerful combination of skills

This forward-thinking MSc programme combines the core skills of computer forensics and security. You will explore fundamental as well as advanced research concepts in both areas.

There is an emphasis on professional research throughout. You will have exciting opportunities to get involved with key research initiatives – including industry-based projects developed through our excellent links with employers.

What you will study

This course is made up of three stages – Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and MSc.

You will study modules such as:

Studying at Masters Level and Research Methods

This module develops the skills and abilities you will require for studying and researching within the specific context of the Computing discipline.

Advanced Concepts and Research in Digital Forensics

This module nurtures your research ethic and places a strong emphasis on engagement with important research within digital forensic investigation. Our academics will identify current cutting-edge research themes and you will pursue a core area of research from these. You will develop your research over the duration of the module and will be required to present and share your findings at key milestones, such as the completion of a literature survey, identification of current limitations of knowledge and establishment of the research in question.

Security: Attacks and Countermeasures

Using a blend of practical and theoretical approaches, this module will equip you with the analytical tools to perform pragmatic and ethical system penetration testing. Using popular open source tools, you will be given a framework to research and develop innovative methods which can be used to uncover security vulnerabilities in modern network environments. You will undertake research into how to circumvent real world attacks using appropriate detection and prevention techniques. Through investigation, analysis and creative design, you will become adept in protecting systems against internal and external threats.

Advanced Security Protocols

This module aims to equip you with the advanced knowledge and understanding you need to analyse complex security protocols. The module focuses on protocols required to ensure security over remote networks.

Digital Forensics

This module aims to familiarise you with the investigation process. You will study different investigation methodologies and gain practical experience in the analysis of digital media, along with experience of report writing and presentation of evidence. The module will prepare you for acquiring professional qualifications in the area of digital forensics.

Cybercrime Analysis and Investigation

You will develop a critical understanding of the analysis and investigation of cybercrime, an area which is constantly changing in line with the rapid advancement of digital devices and the Internet. The need to prevent cybercrime plays an integral role in today’s cybersecurity world and your studies will rely strongly on legal, technological and social approaches. You will build extensive knowledge around cybercrime, law, society and technology from a computing perspective.

Independent Scholarship

This is your opportunity to consolidate and extend your studies of the subject area as developed through stages 1 and 2 of the course. Through this module, you will demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills at masters level. At this stage of the course, you will be able to formulate and tackle research questions competently, efficiently, independently, and with relevance to a particular problem and/or application.

How you will learn

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work. Assessment is primarily through in-course assessment.

Entry requirements

You will require:

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)


£850 per 20 credits*

£850 per 20 credits*


£14,250 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply


The MSc Digital Forensics and Computer Security delivers comprehensive training to ensure you develop a wide range of skills and competencies and are ideally prepared for a variety of career opportunities in the fields of computer forensics or information security. There is a huge demand for graduates with these skills across all industries today.

Alternatively, you could undertake further research leading to a PhD or you could set your sights on working in a research and development environment.

Programme leader

Dr Virginia Franqueira

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.