Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (generally an Upper Second Class) in a computing-related discipline from a UK university or overseas equivalent. If your first degree does not have a strong computing content, you will need to demonstrate you have sufficient knowledge or industry experience of computing. Work experience and other qualifications may also be taken in to account.You must submit a statement of purpose with your application in which you should present your key interests and career aspirations, how you believe the course can help you to achieve these, and what relevant personal qualities and experience you will bring to the course.

Months of entry


Course content

All students take the core modules which are designed to give a comprehensive introduction to this specialist field. They cover basic digital forensics and network security, and also cover computer system tools and the unix operating system. Dealing with digital evidence in a professional manner (that includes adhering to appropriate legal guidelines) is also covered. You then follow the Cyber Security or Digital Forensics pathway within the course. All students will take a Research Methods module and a project module.

The course offers the opportunity to examine a variety of tools available on the open market, and the use of forensic tools to retrieve data from electronic sources. It will also consider the analysis of professional and ethical issues relating to computer security and forensics, and the development of professional competencies, such as report writing and presenting evidence in court.

Teaching methods include lab-based sessions, student-led tutorials and lectures by internal staff and guest speakers from industry. Our courses are offered by friendly, highly experienced staff, and benefit from the diverse specialist knowledge and skills within the Faculty. Assessments will be carried out mostly through practical or research-based course work.


Computer Forensics Fundamentals
This module gives you an introduction to some of the general concepts of computer forensics, as well as helping you to develop the skills that will be needed on other modules. You will cover in detail the layout of volumes on storage devices, and file systems within volumes, with particular emphasis on the FAT file system.

Computer System Tools
This module commences by giving you a hands-on introduction to the unix operating system. You will look at a range of tools that might be used by a forensic examiner: this will include high-level tools like EnCase, FTK and Autopsy, although your main focus will be on low-level tools such as dd and the Sleuthkit tools, as these help to develop your understanding of what (and how) the higher level tools are actually doing.

Network Security
The module will cover the basics of how networks work, what the specific threats to networks are, and how they might be ameliorated.

Evidence and Procedure
You will examine the legal obligations of computer forensics, gaining an understanding of the relevant statutes and industry guidelines, and of proving the authenticity of evidence via a chain of custody from collecting evidence through to presenting findings in a professional manner.

Research methods
This module is shared with other MSc courses run by the Department. Its main focus is on introducing you to research, and developing the skills you need to read and evaluate original research literature.

Postgraduate Project Module
This module is the culmination of the course. It is an opportunity for you to put into practise many of the skills learned on the course. It is a major piece of work on a topic chosen by you.

Data Recovery and Analysis
Advanced Computer Forensics

Cyber Security
Threats and Countermeasures

Information for international students

If your first language is not English you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

Fees and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)20 7911 5000