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MSc Cybercrime


Next enrollment cycle

February 2024

See all cycles

First Year Course Fee

USD 7,315

Course Accredited By


  • 2 Years
  • Online and On-campus
  • Postgraduate
  • Degree

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. This is distinct from cyber security, which involves techniques of protecting digital technologies, electronic data, networks, and programmes against criminal or unauthorised access. 

Cyber security is a technical approach to preventing and tackling cybercrime.

The discipline of criminology, which seeks to uncover the underlying causes behind deviant and law-breaking actions, provides the foundation for our MSc Cybercrime. It will help you understand the behaviours and motivations that lead to cybercrime.

As more people and services look to digital technologies, the risks and threats of cybercrime continue to grow, exposing a shortfall in qualified professionals who understand that people are at the heart of this issue. Study our MSc Cybercrime and join the next generation of cybercrime researchers and investigators

All assessments for this course are based on coursework submitted online. Your performance is assessed through coursework including:

  • Academic essays
  • Briefing papers and reports
  • Blog posts
  • Narrated presentations
  • A dissertation

You can also test your skills and knowledge informally before assessments via online quizzes, group discussions, peer review activities and virtual seminars.

Tutors will provide feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve your work for the future.

With an MSc in Cybercrime, you'll gain the skills needed to meet the demand for experienced cybercrime investigators and help make the online world a safer place. On this course, you'll focus on the acts of cybercrime and the criminals behind them. You'll discover the motivations and behavioural aspects behind cybercrime and other online deviant behaviours such as harassment and bullying, to find out what leads people to harm others on the web. The critical and analytical knowledge you develop will ready you to act as a link between traditional police officers and technological forensic investigators. 
You'll take a global approach to cybercrime and investigate the international cooperation needed to tackle it.
You’ll also have opportunities to collaborate with specialists in the cybercrime field, through The University of Portsmouth's Cybercrime Awareness Clinic, and our affiliations with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), local constabularies and regional organised crime units. 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

Enrollment Cycles

  • February 2024
  • May 2024
  • September 2024
  • A second-class honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent, professional experience and/ or qualifications will be considered. 
  • English language proficiency at IELTS level 6.5 with no component score below 6.5 (or other acceptable proof), if English is not your first language

Cybercrime: Critical Perspectives (30 credits) This module equips you with the skills to prevent, detect and react to cybercrime by addressing motivations, current responses and investigations at the forefront of cybercrime research and professional practice. You’ll learn to locate and access information pertinent to cybercrime through digital and emerging technologies, and explore how current and emerging internet and related technologies are used to commit criminal and deviant acts.

Regulating Power Conflicts in Cyberspace (30 credits) Using case studies on major underlying conflicts on the internet, this module provides a core understanding of how the internet functions as a space of interacting influences. You'll focus on the different regulatory influences that impact online behavior and the shaping and function of the modern internet, and get an in-depth understanding of specialised areas at the forefront of cybercrime. 

The Global Landscape of Cybersecurity (30 credits) You’ll examine the full picture of cybersecurity on this module, evaluating it on a global scale as well as looking at current national and international strategies. You'll gain an in-depth and systematic knowledge of the nature of cybersecurity threats facing organisations and states, and feel confident analysing the challenges of national cybersecurity strategies and the impact of governance.

Research Methods and Research Ethics (30 credits) On this module, you’ll explore the wide range of research methods used to investigate cybercrime such as qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods. This experience will help you know how to apply them wherever appropriate. You’ll develop a research proposal based on your knowledge, and will evaluate challenges involved in ethical research and how to address them.

Dissertation (60 credits) Your dissertation will consist of a small-scale research project demonstrating your grasp of research design, methods and ethics as learned on your Master’s course. You can submit an academic dissertation or an applied work-based project report. Our association with the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office can help you access data or interview subjects for your dissertation or project and they can give you feedback on research questions.

including a £250 acceptance fee

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