YouTube lecture channel to support GCHQ-certified MSc hits 2,000+ subscribers.


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One of the Youtube channels used to host some of the on-line content for the MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics has just hit the 2,000 subscriber mark here, with over one million minutes watched.

The GCHQ-cerfitifed MSc also hosts many other on-line lectures from Richard Macfarlane, Dr Gordon Russell, Robert Ludwiniak, Peter Cruikshank, and Dr Elias Ekonomou. 

The excellence of the programme was further highlighted last week when students from the MSc applied the skills they are learning on the course to beat of competition from Royal Holloway, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Teeside, Sunderland and Bristol to win the GCHQ-assessed University Cipher Challenge 2015. More information here.

Overall, the MSc in Advanced Security has been a key focus for the School of Computing in supporting academic work with a wide range of innovative Web content (inc and with virtualised environments for computer security and digital forensics, including LinuxZoo (developed by Dr Gordon Russell) and DFET (developed by Prof Bill Buchanan, Bruce Ramsay and Richard Macfarlane).

MSc programme

The programme has three modes of study:

The School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier have innovated a wide range of education systems within Cyber education, and have an extensive range of research projects, linking with collaborators across the UK and EU.


The MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics (full-time/part-time) is run within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. The programme has core modules of:

  • e-Security. 20 credits. CSN11102. Provides fundamental security principles, including for encryption, digital certificates, authentication, and so on. This module provides some core fundamentals within computer security and includes a foundation in IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) and Software/Network Security.
  • Network Security. 20 credits. CSN11111. Provides a focus on network level architecture and security, with a focus on the key principles used in secure infrastructures, and in the implementation within networked devices.
  • Advanced Cloud and Network Forensics. CSN11123. 20 credits. Provides a focus on cloud security with a key focus on virtualised infrastructures and in deeply understanding the network-based threats and the traces of network traffic created. A key feature is the analysis of trails of evidence that are left across hosts and network devices for attacks. It includes an extensive analysis of SIEM (Security Incident and Event Manage) in order to aggregate logs across multiple systems.
  • Computer Penetration Testing. 20 credits. CSN11127. Provides a solid foundation for the network security testing, with a focus on understanding adversarial roles in computer security.
  • Security, Audit and Compliance. 20 credits. Focuses on the GRC drivers of information security, and relationship between risks, controls and the audit process.
  • Host-based Forensics.  CSN11125. 20 credits. This focuses on understanding the trails of evidence on hosts. The module focuses on current industry practice, and has been developed in co-operation with Police Scotland.

The exit awards are:

  • Post graduate certificate: 60 credits (three taught modules).
  • Post-graduate Diploma: 120 credits (normally either six taught modules).
  • MSc: 180 credits (120 credits, and a 60 credit dissertation). The dissertation is original research which includes a literature review, design/methodology, implementation and evaluation.
For each module that addresses a Security Discipline, please provide a module description to include the syllabus/topics covered and the expected learning outcomes.


The programme includes an extensive underpinning from research, industry, and public sector.  At present the research centre has a number of projects with industry and law enforcement partners. This includes the integration of the EU 2Center Centre of Excellence, and an existing EU Project which focuses on creating an Advanced Cloud-based Training infrastructure for computer security and digital forensics.

The EU project includes academic departments across Europe, including Jo┼żef Stefan Institute (JSI), Police Scotland and Stockholm University (SU). The DFET project has been co-funded by the Prevention of Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union. This project has a lead over Europe, and innovates in terms of teaching advanced computer security and digital forensics within a dynamic cloud-based infrastructure.

Full details on the MSc are here.

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Associated people

William Buchanan
Director of CDCS
+44 131 455 2759
Elias Ekonomou
+44 131 455 2789
Bruce Ramsay
Senior Research Fellow
+44 131 455 2746
Peter Cruickshank
+44 131 455 2309
Richard Macfarlane
+44 131 455 2335
Gordon Russell
Senior Lecturer
+44 131 455 2754
Dynamic Forensics Evaluation and Training (DFET)
Dynamic Forensics Evaluation and Training (DFET) will create new training methods/techniques to support judicial authorities, law enforcement agencies and associated stakeholders in the fight against cybercrime through the development of a virtual (cloud-based) cybercrime training environment to...
Electronic information now plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. So the need for a secure and trustworthy online infrastructure is more important than ever. without it, not only the growth of the internet but our personal interactions and the economy itself could be at risk.