Edinburgh Napier University is launching a new part-time MSc in Advanced Security and Cybercrime.

Aimed at professionals already working in computer security, the master’s course will arm students with the skills to combat a wide range of threats including phishing scams, online financial and identity theft, as well as virus and network intrusions.

Professor Bill Buchannan, director of Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Distributed Computing and Security, said: “Computer hacking and other IT security breaches cost the UK economy millions of pounds every year.

“There is a major skills shortage among IT professionals to deal with the rapidly evolving threat. There’s an unprecedented opportunity for those already working in IT or with a background in telecoms to retrain to become ‘cyber professionals’."

Buchannan said the new MSc is suited to developing skills in cybercrime, forensics and computer security, while allowing a student to continue in full-time employment.

Students will develop practical skills in areas like network security, operating system security, cloud security, security auditing, digital forensics and network forensics. Modules can be completed from home or work and a full-time employee can graduate with an MSc in 18 months.

The course will begin in September and will also have intakes in January and May.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is making grants available for universities to run postgraduate courses to train future cyber security experts.