Taught course

Cybercrime (Distance Learning)

University of Portsmouth · School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (Social Science, Humanities, Law, Psychology, or Management subject). Information Technology or science related subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with equivalent professional experience in a relevant organisation will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content


Cybercrime is the term applied to criminal and harmful behaviours that are facilitated through the use of digital technologies, or that only occur due to the existence of such tools.

Unfortunately, as more people and services turn to digital technologies, the growing risk of cybercrime is exposing a shortfall in qualified professionals who realise that humans are at the heart of this issue. If you hold a keen interest in understanding and addressing the behavioural and social elements that motivate such actions, you may be well-suited for a career in this field.

The discipline of criminology, which seeks to uncover the underlying causes of crime and delinquency, provides the foundation for our MSc. Through exploring online power dynamics, social science research methods and more, you’ll develop into a confident and capable subject matter expert with the ability to help effect meaningful change for those vulnerable to cybercrime.

Note: Cybercrime is distinct from cyber security, which focuses on techniques of protecting digital technologies, networks, and data against criminal or unauthorised access. A straightforward way to differentiate the two is to think of cybercrime studies as addressing the reasons behind online deviant or criminal activity, whereas cyber security is a technical approach to preventing and tackling the activity itself.

What you’ll study

This course will give you the skills to pursue a career in combating cybercrime.

On this course, you'll:

  • Take a holistic approach to cybercrime, developing critical thinking around responses to technological, human, legal and management perspectives

  • Investigate sociological and criminological aspects of cybercrime, identifying offender characteristics and the main victims of cybercrime

  • Collaborate with experienced personnel such as members of Hampshire Police and the Crime Commissioner’s Office on your dissertation/major project

  • Explore debates surrounding the causes of cybercrimes, digital investigations and the methods and motivations of cybercriminals

  • Assess new harms online such as bullying, harassment and technology-facilitated sexual violence, as well as potential shortfalls in legislation

All course materials are available on-demand and can be accessed from wherever you are in the world. Find out more about how you'll learn with us.


Cybercrime: Critical Perspectives (30 credits)

Regulating Power Conflicts in Cyberspace (30 credits)

The Global Landscape of Cybersecurity (30 credits)

Research Methods and Research Ethics (30 credits)

Dissertation (60 credits)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

University Admissions Centre
+44 (0)23 9284 5566