MSc Advanced Security & Digital Forensics

Computer security is a growth industry and is vital in modern computing environments. You will gain foundation knowledge in all the key areas of cyber security, both defensive and offensive, as well as post-incident response and malware analysis.

The digital forensic aspects of the course include network and computer forensics, allowing you to develop the knowledge required to conduct computer-related investigations across networks, systems, and other digital devices.

The School of Computing has developed close ties with industry, law enforcement, and the public sector, through partnerships with organisations such as Cisco Systems, Guidance Software, Symantec, NCC Group, NCA, Police Scotland, and many others.

This helps inform the course, and provides guest lecturers by industry experts. Innovative research is also carried out in key domains by academics and PhD students in our dedicated cyber security and forensic research group.

Our industry-informed course combines thorough coverage of academic theory aligned with extensive hands-on practical activities, supported by online and blended materials with virtualised lab environments that complement our on-campus specialist cybersecurity and forensic labs and facilities.

This is a full-time course and is split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September.


  • September starts: 12 months
  • January starts: 18 months with a three-month break over the summer (after the first taught trimester)
  • Your knowledge of the information security taught subjects on the course is assessed via a variety of different assessment mechanisms including exams, written reports and essays, and practical scenario-based assessments.

The course is taught at the Merchiston campus, in our specialist cyber security and digital forensic practical labs. You will have access to extensive online and blended materials with virtualised lab safe environments for authentic scenario-based practical work such as malware analysis and offensive network security exercises.