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Cyber Security and Digital Forensics MSc

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024

6 January 2025


1 year full-time

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. Professional Accreditation - Our course is provisionally certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and will equip you with highly marketable cyber security, computer security and digital forensics skills.
  2. Boosted Career Prospects – 88.2% of our graduates from the School of Computing and Engineering were in work or further study 15 months after graduation.* 
  3. Research-informed teaching - You will be taught by members of our Centre for Cyber Security which has world leading expertise in cyber security and conducts research with a strong end user focus.

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 19/20 

Passionate about protecting against cyber-attacks and recovering and investigating artefacts on digital devices? If so, an MSc in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics at The University of Huddersfield can help you take the next step in your career.

This advanced course meets the demand for experts with a wide range of security, investigative and general computing skills, including cyber security, computer security and digital forensics skills.

Our programme aims to equip you with the ability and knowledge to evaluate existing and emerging cyber forensics technologies, implement cyber security solutions and acquire, preserve and analyse digital evidence.

Develop the competencies and technical skills necessary for such high demand roles as computer forensics investigator and information security analyst.

Why study Cyber Security and Digital Forensics at Huddersfield?

Develop your confidence, knowledge base and skillset to thrive as a cyber security and digital forensics professional after graduation. At the end of the course, you’ll put your newfound experiences and skills to the test in a hands-on final Individual Project module.

Your tutors will encourage you to tackle challenging problems, ensuring you are in the best position to make a real difference in the computing sector. Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities, and you'll find many of our academics are at the forefront of impactful research. The University's Centre for Cyber Security, for example, aims to develop and demonstrate advanced knowledge beneficial to understanding and mitigating cyber threats.

A vibrant town surrounded by beautiful countryside, Huddersfield is a friendly and diverse place from which to study, offering lots of things to do and see.

We also offer this course as a part-time Distance Learning route.

Course detail

Effective Research and Professional Practice

This module aims to provide you with skills that are key to helping you become a successful computing researcher or practitioner. You'll get the opportunity to study topics including the nature of research, the scientific method, research methods, literature review and referencing. The module aims to cover the structure of research papers and project reports, reviewing research papers, ethical issues (including plagiarism), defining projects, project management, writing project reports and making presentations.

Applied Cryptography

The goal of cryptography is to make information secret so that only trusted individuals can access it. Cryptography has become critically important in the digital age. It is the cornerstone of secure communication and data storage, particularly in the area of e-commerce. This module aims to provide you with knowledge and critical understanding of the key concepts in cryptography. You will study the fundamental principles of cryptography. To aid your understanding, you will explore commonly used symmetric and asymmetric encryption and digital signature schemes in detail. Furthermore, you will be exposed to current state of the art developments in relation to cryptography. Finally, this module seeks to give you practical development skills in applying cryptographic techniques to a specific application scenario.

Data Mining

Data mining is a collection of tools, methods and statistical techniques for exploring and extracting meaningful information from large data sets. It is a rapidly growing field due to the increasing quantity of data gathered by organisations. There is a potential high value in discovering the patterns contained within such data collections. In this module you will look at different data mining techniques and use appropriate data-mining tools in order to evaluate the quality of the discovered knowledge. You will study approaches to preparing data for exploration, supervised and un-supervised approaches to data mining, exploring unstructured data and the social impact of data mining. You will be expected to develop your knowledge such that you are able to contribute to discussions around current application areas and research topics and to increase your background knowledge and understanding of issues and developments associated with data mining.

Foundations of Cyber Security

Upon completion of this module, you will have a critical understanding of threats to digital systems and how these threats are possible, usually by exploiting weaknesses in digital systems. You will explore a number of key cyber security techniques, such as, for example, cryptography and access control, and gain an understanding of how these techniques protect systems. You will also be enabled to critically evaluate and engage in scholarship in the discipline, including proposing and testing both research and investigative hypotheses.

Digital Forensics

Digital Forensics (DF) is the process of identifying, acquiring, analysing and reporting on digital evidence (DE) used in a wide range of investigations. Digital Forensic Investigations (DFIs) have a variety of applications, being used in civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings in pursuit of DE. A typical DFI would involve the investigation of crimes such as hacking, digital espionage, counter- terrorism and possession of illegal imagery, etc. The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and critical understanding of the key concepts in Digital Forensics. Through this module, you will be taught how to identify, preserve, extract and analyse digital evidence in a forensically-sound manner and report on your findings. Furthermore, this module will equip you with practical skills in applying specialised forensic tools, such as FTK Imager and Autopsy, and techniques, such as data carving and file system analysis, to a specific application scenario.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the study and development of intelligent behaviour exhibited in computational form. Its purpose is to demonstrate intelligent characteristics that provide enriched system functionality beyond that of traditional software systems. The benefits of AI spreads across many application areas, and one such area is that of cyber security. Artificial intelligence can be loosely categorised into symbolic and statistical approaches, which are often used depending on application requirements. In this module, you will study the different types of AI systems and focus on their different application use cases in cyber security. You will learn different techniques, such as Hidden Markov Models, Support Vector Machines to understand the fundamentals of AI technology. This module has a strong application focus, ensuring you gain knowledge and experience of how these techniques can be used in security in applications such as malware analysis, intrusion detection, and security policy analysis.

Network Security

Upon completion of this module, you will acquire a thorough understanding of the security attacks that may threaten wired and wireless networked systems and how these attacks are possible, usually by exploiting vulnerabilities in the design, implementation, or operation of network protocols. You will explore several key network security techniques, such as IP security and network authentication protocols, and gain an understanding of how these techniques protect networks. You will also learn how to identify security vulnerabilities in enterprise networks and propose sophisticated secure designs to face such threats.

Distributed Ledger Technologies

In this module you will explore current state of the art developments in relation to Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT). DLT are the foundation by which electronic transactions can be recorded and shared in a way that offers transparency without the need for a centralised authority, such as a bank in the finance industry. The module will enable you to develop strategies to evaluate and select DLT that are most appropriate for a chosen domain, including Internet of Things and FinTech.

Individual Project

This module enables you to work independently on a project related to a self-selected problem. A key feature in this final stage of the course is that you will be encouraged to undertake an in-company project with an external Client. Where appropriate, however, the Project may be undertaken with an internal Client - research-active staff - on larger research and knowledge transfer projects. The Project is intended to be integrative, a culmination of knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences acquired in other modules, coupled with further development of these assets. In the case where an external client is involved, both the Client and Student will be required to sign a learning agreement that clearly outlines scope, responsibilities and ownership of the project and its products or other deliverables. The Project will be student-driven, with the clear onus on you to negotiate agreement, and communicate effectively, with all parties involved at each stage of the Project.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in Computing or related subject or an equivalent professional qualification
  • Other qualifications and/or experience that demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at an Honours degree level
  • Substantial (3 years) relevant industry experience

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Why study with us?

Hear from our academic staff and students to discover what it's like to study as a Postgraduate Student at the University of Huddersfield.

Enhance your career

Previous graduates from courses in this subject area have gone on to work in a variety of roles such as senior information security specialist, service desk analyst, web developer, and head of information technology in both public and private sector companies based in the UK and overseas.**

You could also go on to further study and the University has many options available for postgraduate research which may interest you.

*  Percentage of graduates from the School of Computing and Engineering who are in work and/or further study fifteen months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 19/20, UK domiciled graduates)

** Source: LinkedIn


Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Computing and Engineering, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Support Office: A one stop shop for students studying within the School. The team deal with every aspect of student life from enrolment, module queries, timetabling, exams, assessments, course-related committees and graduation. They are the first place to go with any query, and they can also signpost to other support networks.

Student Guidance Office: Students can book an appointment with a Guidance Adviser at any time during their studies; we are here to help with navigating any challenges they may face while studying. Our Advisers are skilled in providing advice and guidance to students on a range of issues including personal circumstances and academic issues and can help students to understand University regulations. The Guidance Team also offer study skills appointments to support with developing academic skills, such as; research and project planning, referencing and paraphrasing, essay writing, critical thinking, understanding assessments and to develop Maths skills. The team also encourage students to develop effective study habits such as good time management to meet deadlines by supporting with planning and organising work schedules.

Technical Support: technicians support our students across each department. Based in our labs with different specialisms and knowledge they are on hand to provide support, guide and advise where students can access our technician’s expertise/knowledge during lectures and seminars as well as during self-study. An IT Support Helpdesk is also available to all students within the School of Computing and Engineering to help troubleshoot any computer issues/problems or to loan hardware and software.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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