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Case Study

Martin Wilson

MSc Cybersecurity


Having worked with the University in his role as a police officer, specialising in cybercrime prevention, Martin Wilson knew Sunderland was the right place for him to study MSc Cybersecurity. He enjoyed learning about human factors and behaviour and believes he now has more of an understanding of key topics, like big data. He is currently undertaking a PhD, examining SME cybersecurity adoption, alongside continuing his work as a police officer.

I’m a police officer who specialises in cybercrime prevention. I’ve worked extensively across the North East region, with businesses and the public to help them shore up their cyber defenses. The University was always very supportive of my work, and together we held cyber events for businesses such as promoting the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP). Having worked with the University before, I was impressed with their ethos and can-do attitude, and on that basis, it was a no brainer that if I was to do an MSc it would be with Sunderland. I had established a very positive relationship with Professor Alastair Irons, who was a massive advocate for Sunderland’s Cybersecurity course. This perked my interest and combined with my policing roles in cybercrime prevention, the course seemed like a natural fit for me and two colleagues.

The MSc provides a good overview of several key cybersecurity issues, giving you a well-rounded cyber education. This, combined with the opportunity to conduct research, supported by a brilliant library team and very helpful academic staff, makes Sunderland a good choice to further your education. I really enjoyed learning about human factors, understanding how humans interact with phishing emails, the psychology behind phishing, and human behaviour. The course has also given me an understanding of topics that I knew very little about previously, such as big data. I can now hold more technical conversations in my work, as and when I need to.

While I continue my work as a police officer in North East Business Resilience Centre, I am undertaking a PhD at Sunderland, examining SME cybersecurity adoption. I put what I have learned from my MSc to good use, protecting businesses from cybercrime.

You get out what you put in, at times the course was challenging, but it should be, anything worth having doesn’t come easily, and I am incredibly proud that a mature student like myself can go on and achieve in higher education. This is a testament to the encouragement that the staff at Sunderland have given me, and I would like to thank them for all their support.”

Published 7 July 2021

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