Research course


University of Portsmouth · Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant social science subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or training within a criminal justice organisation or private cybercrime and security sectors. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This programme will help you join and create the next generation of cybercrime research and investigation experts in both professional and academic research fields.

You will study the critical knowledge and analytical skills needed to meet the growing challenges of cybercrime, allowing you to facilitate investigations and to operate as a link between the traditional police officer and the technological forensic investigators.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Experience high-level academic experts in cybercrime, whilst drawing upon relevant specialist industry, policing and government expertise via an external speaker programme.
  • Undertake a supervised research project with the opportunity for staff-student collaborative research and/or research projects for industry.
  • Engage in practical scenarios to deconstruct cybercrime issues, gain unique skills to develop appropriate strategies against the cybercrime threat and be in a position to be a future leader in tackling cybercrime.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Existing professional links between the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies and academic researchers will lead to a clear understanding of both the academic research and professional employment prospects for graduates. This includes, for example, the existing relationship with the Hampshire High Tech Crime Unit, as well as the National Crime Agency, and the consequent research collaboration opportunities from both of these organisations.

The applied nature of the course, with engagement from expert practioners and opportunities for research projects and internships, will help you prepare for a role in the public or private sector, potentially investigating hacking, online drug markets, the dark web, sexual exploitation/child protection online and more.

Module Details

Core units:

  • Cybercrime: Critical Perspectives
  • Online Governance and Regulation
  • Research Methods and Research Management
  • Dissertation

You will take one further optional unit, chosen from:

  • Dangerous Offenders and Vulnerable Victims (campus based only)
  • Cybersecurity
  • Investigation and Psychology

Additional opportunities to gain professional qualifications include:

  • Accredited Counter Fraud Technician – Foundation Level (ACFTech)
  • Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist – Foundation Level (ACFS)
  • Certificate of Knowledge in Policing (CKP)

Please note that the course structure may vary from year to year; course content and learning opportunities will not be diminished by this.

Programme Assessment

Campus teaching will be undertaken by multidisciplinary academic experts in the field of cybercrime research and investigation, with additional specialist guest speakers from industry, police and government. Sessions will range from lectures and seminars covering theoretical material, to interactive workshops applying knowledge and skills.

Forms of assessment are academic and applied including:

  • Traditional academic essays and presentations
  • Practitioner reports and risk assessments
  • Group project work
  • Literature review and research proposal, and
  • Research project thesis.

Student Destinations

Our graduates have taken up roles in:

  • academia
  • cybersecurity
  • policing
  • military
  • civil Service
  • government

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team - ICJS
023 9284 3933