Protecting digital information from unauthorised access and use, and ensuring the resilience of the underlying network infrastructure and systems, are key challenges for the continued technological development of our society.
The science behind our Information Security MSc connects various disciplines; from computer science, electronic engineering and mathematics, to design concepts, mechanisms and technologies for effective protection of digital information, communication infrastructures and computing systems.
Focused on key information security concepts, mechanisms and technologies, our programme examines fundamental and advanced topics in important areas of modern information security, striving to achieve a balance between theoretical foundations and practical experience.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over three academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The programme will:
Knowledge and understanding
Students will gain:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Students will leave the programme with the ability to:
Professional practical skills
Students will gain the ability to:
Key / transferable skills
Students will have:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
The Master of European Social Security is a one-year advanced master's programme organised by KU Leuven's Faculty of Law dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense, including cash benefit schemes, pensions and health care systems.
The programme provides an in-depth study of social security and social protection from a legal, economical, sociological, administrative and philosophical perspective. In addition to being multidisciplinary, the curriculum contains a strong comparative and multinational component focusing on the provision of social protection rights across Europe. This gives you the opportunity to understand the many different approaches to social security that co-exist within our old continent. At the same time, you will gain a better understanding of your own national system. The programme also includes careful study of the role of international bodies such as the European Union.
As a student in the programme, you become part of an international network of experts in the field of social security. Students come from various European countries and beyond and have different academic backgrounds. The teaching staff consists of renowned professors from KU Leuven and other European universities specialising in various disciplines related to social security.
The programme comprises 60ECTS and starts with the summer school in August. The programme concludes the following academic year (July of next year).
The Master's programme is offered in two options:
The two tracks share 30 ECTS in common coursework and 30 ECTS in specialised, track-specific coursework.
Admission to the research-oriented track is based on your end results of the examinations organised at the end of the Executive Summer School and is subject to the decision of an Academic Selection Committee. Only a maximum of six students are admitted to this track every year.
The classes and workshops organised in Leuven (Belgium) are grouped into a limited number of weeks. Remaining coursework is completed via digital learning platform. The platform connects you to Europe's best lecturers who guide you through their specially designed course materials remotely.
This unique teaching platform offers the best of both worlds: an authentic university experience at one of Europe's foremost universities during your two stays on campus and the flexibility to complete the majority of the programme from home. Throughout the programme, you will be connected to a unique international network of universities and be in contact with teaching staff and fellow participants from all over Europe.
The ideal prospective student should:
While all prospective students should have knowledge of social security acquired by study, those with practical experience, e.g. experience working in a social security administration, are particularly valued. Some previous exposure to European social affairs and/or foreign social security systems is also helpful.
The programme is a specialised, research-based education, dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense. It provides the students with an in-depth study of social protection from a legal, economic, sociological and administrative perspective, confronting the students with the most recent research and several national backgrounds, thus stimulating individual reflection.
At the end of the programme the participants should be able to :
Graduates are professionally active in areas related to social security (social or private insurance institutions, social administrations, social and economic policy-makers).
A world renowned programme; the first of its kind in the world, this Information Security course looks at both technical and management aspects of cyber security and teaches you about technologies including cryptography, computer security, fraud detection, and digital forensics.
- You will gain cyber security skills for senior level careers by focusing on principles and issues, and you will learn how information security can best be managed.
- You will benefit from Royal Holloway’s wealth of research, expertise and practical consulting experience, which ensures that the degree is up to date and commercially relevant.
- You can study most modules on a stand alone basis and earn CPE credits. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from new graduates through to senior security managers in blue chip enterprises seeking a formal qualification in Information Security.
“Achieving the Masters has significantly benefited my career in Information Security; previously, I provided specific technical advice to customers, but now, with the breadth and depth of knowledge gained during the MSc, I also deliver security strategy consulting to senior executives.” Paul Schwarzenberger, MSc Information Security
The programme has been developed by academics within the Information Security Group (ISG) [external link] at Royal Holloway, University of London, one of the foremost academic security groups in the world.
ISG awarded Centre of Excellence status - Royal Holloway, University of London has been recognised for its world class research in the field of cyber security by UK intelligence agencies GCHQ.
The ISG is at the cutting edge of research into the design and evaluation of smart cards, electronic commerce, security management, mobile telecommunications security, and the integration of security techniques into specific applications. The ISG was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize in 1998 in recognition of it providing "a unique national resource for the training of information security specialists".
"A pioneering course that continues to provide students with the essential knowledge and understanding of information security, with many graduates going on to fill senior roles." Malcolm Marshall, Partner, KPMG.
Graduates of the programme can be found in many organisations, ranging from large financial institutions to technology and research- oriented organisations, as well as security specialists. The MSc is also a foundation for further postgraduate research.
You can study any of the compulsory core modules, plus the optional module 'Digital forensics', on a stand-alone basis and earn CPE credits. On successful completion of each module you will receive a University of London certificate.
This programme is offered online, enabling you to fit your studies around work and family commitments. To complete in the minimum study period you will need to study 24 hours per week during the academic session (September-April). To complete the degree in four years, which is normal for those in full time employment, you will need to study about 12 hours per week over the academic session.
Fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment, you will take part in online tutor-supported seminars and discussions; a virtual student cafe allows you to interact and network with other students.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.