|Study location||United Kingdom, Egham, Surrey|
|Type||Master courses, full-time|
|Nominal duration||2 year|
|Tuition fee||To be confirmed|
Undergraduate diploma (or higher)
2:2 (Honours) or equivalent.
Students without the required first degree but with appropriate industrial experience will also be considered.
The entry qualification documents are accepted in the following languages: English.
Often you can get a suitable transcript from your school. If this is not the case, you will need official translations along with verified copies of the original.
IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores)
At least 2 reference(s) must be provided.
A motivation letter must be added to your application.
Our two-year Information Security programme with a year in industry will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to join the rapidly expanding field of information security. We will prepare you to work at the forefront of some of the most exciting developments in 21st century technology. You will gain first-hand experience of working in professional teams and applying your academic studies to real-world problems and scenarios. The mass creation, transmission and storage of electronic data is one of the defining features of our age. Whilst the associated technologies bring us untold benefits, they also expose us to threats that require the specialist skills and experience of cyber security experts.
Our postgraduate Information Security programmes were the first of their kind in the world. They are certified by GCHQ, the UK Government Communications Headquarters, and led by academics and industrial partners in one of the largest and most established Information Security Groups (ISGs) in the world. Our groundbreaking ISG is a UK Academic Centre of Excellence for research and an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training.
In year 1 you will learn about cryptography, fraud detection, system security, network security, device security and all the technical, legal and commercial aspects of the industry, including how security itself should be managed. Your second year will include a full-time work placement, which will attract a salary and be assessed towards your final degree. On returning to campus you will complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice. If you decide not to complete the second year you can revert to the standard MSc Information Security (1221) and complete your dissertation a year early to graduate at the end of year 1.
Our academic staff are renowned specialists in the field, with backgrounds in computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics and social sciences. You will have access to our virtualisation software for experimenting with network security settings and ideas, as well as our Penetration Testing Laboratory and industry-sponsored Smart Card Centre.
We offer a friendly, supportive learning environment and you will have a dedicated personal advisor to guide you through your studies. The skills you gain will provide a solid foundation if you wish to progress to a PhD. Our graduates are in demand for their cutting-edge grasp of the field, their first-hand work experience, and their transferable skills such as data handling, analysis, problem solving, research, time management, team working, self-motivation and professionalism.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the need for effective security management. You will look at alternative security strategies and examine methods for responding to security management problems. You will critically evaluate different approaches and consider security management requirements. Sessions will be delivered by a combination of security practioners, information managers and academics and you will be encourage to actively discuss the subject matter, engaging in an online discussion forum.
Introduction to Cryptography and Security Mechanisms
In this module you will develop an understanding of the uses of cryptography. You will look at the basic cryptographic mechanisms used to provide core security services and examine differences between them, identifying suitations in which they are most usefully employed. You will consider the issues than need to be addressed to ‘secure’ an application, and evaluate the limitations of cryptography and methods for supporting it within a full security architecture.
You will carry out a major individual piece of work. It can be of academic nature focussing on a specific area of information security, or may document the ability to deal with a practical aspect of information security. You will produce a well-structured report of between 10,000 and 20,000 words, with introduction, motivation, analysis and relevant references to existing work.
You will also take either:
Core A – Network Security and Computer Security (Operating Systems) or
Core B – Secure Business Architectures and Security Technologies
The module is concerned with the protection of data transferred over digital networks, including computer and telecommunications networks. We review networking concepts, particularly the concepts of services and protocols, and study how services are incorporated in network communications by specifying protocols. We extend the discussion of services to address security concerns, considering how cryptographic primitives may be used to provide confidentiality, integrity and authentication services. We illustrate these concepts by considering case studies, including WEP/WPA/WPA2, GSM and UMTS, IPsec and SSL/TLS. We also study non-cryptographic countermeasures, including packet-filtering and intrusion detection.
Computer Security (Operating Systems)
In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of security mechanisms for modern computer systems, including both hardware and software. You will look at the mechanisms that are used to implement security policies, considering core concepts such as security models, subjects and objects, authorisation and access rights. You will examine the use and operation of a range of access and control methods and authentication mechanisms, such as tokens an biometrics. You will also and evaluate the main issues relating to software security and their effect on the security of compter systems, in particular the practical implementation of access control.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the construction of information networks, specifically the architecture and operation of the internet protocol suite. You will look at the construction of a modern computer system, considering hardware and software components which support multiprocessing. You will examine the causes and potential effects of vulnerabilities that affect computer systems and identify appropriate countermeasures, including user authentication and access control mechanisms. You will evaluate authentication and key exchange protocols, such as how SSL and TLS are applied to the internet, and analyse the key security threats faced in network environments.
Secure Business Architectures
In this module you will develop an understanding of the design and implementation of security architectures in the business environment. You will look at example systems and architectures which focus on delivering security service common to many modern businesses. You will examine the concept of the security lifecycle in relation to specific security architectures, and consider the high-level components of a risk assessment and how to apply these. You will also analyse governance, risk and compliance issues related to business architectures and see how organisations manage their security policies.
You may choose to register for one of the following pathways, which will constrain your choices as follows:
Cybercrime – Core A, Cyber Crime, Digital Forensics, and a Project related to cybercrime
Smart Cards, RFIDs and Embedded Systems Security – Core A, Smart Cards, RFIDs and Embedded Systems Security, and a Project related to smart cards, RFIDs or embedded systems
Cyber Security – Core A or Core B, Cyber Security, and a Project related to cyber security
Security Testing – Core A, Security Testing – Theory and Practice, and a Project related to security testing
Digital Forensics – Core A, Digital Forensics, and a Project related to digital forensics
Secure Digital Business – Core B, Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Electronic Commerce and a Project related to secure digital business
You will spend this year on a work placement. You will be supported by the Information Security Group and the Royal Holloway Careers and Employability Service to find a suitable placement. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme and you will be asked to complete assessed work. The mark for this work will count towards your final degree classification.
Your year in industry will set you apart when it comes to applying for jobs in the information security industry. By the end of the two years you will have the ideal basis for forging a successful, high-level career or moving on to further postgraduate research. You will have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the latest breakthroughs and techniques, as well as key challenges and opportunities in the field. You will also have first-hand experience of applying your skills to real-world scenarios in the world of work. You will gain valuable transferable skills such as advanced IT skills, data handling, analysis, research, communication, problem solving, time management, adaptability and self-motivation.
Our graduates are highly employable and in recent years they have gone on to forge successful careers in a wide range of sectors, including: banking, telecommunications, security consultancies, the civil service, public utilities and the retail sector.
You will be assigned a personal advisor to guide you through your studies and advise you on further postgraduate opportunities. The campus Careers team will be on hand to offer advice and guidance on your chosen career and the University of London Careers Advisory Service organises regular sessions on finding summer internships or vacation employment and securing employment after graduation.