This course builds on your previous knowledge of computer science and Information Technology (IT), and aims to provide you with an in-depth specialism in the fields of cyber security, cyber threat intelligence and digital forensics. You will gain advanced and in-depth knowledge of penetration testing, cyber forensics, malware reverse engineering and software vulnerability and will exploit research using a very hands-on approach. You will gain practical and real-world skills in all major areas of cyber security including penetration testing, digital forensics, cyber warfare and threat intelligence. Moreover, you will learn how to apply your skills in analysis, testing and maintenance of software systems or enterprise networks from a cyber security perspective.
You will use your penetration testing and vulnerability assessment skills in finding weaknesses in existing devices and applications and to advise developers or network administrators to secure their application or environment. Your cyber forensics skills can be used to identify, collect, preserve and analyse a wide range of digital evidences and present them in the court of law. You will use your knowledge of programming to analyse different malwares to determine how they work and how countermeasures can be developed. Only a small percentage of cyber security professionals are capable of analysing advanced persistent threats and are capable of understanding and managing malware campaigns. Finally, your cyber threat intelligence knowledge and skills will help you to strategically fight against organised cyber crimes, understand and analyse cyber warfare activities and propose appropriate defensive and offensive mechanisms to reduce or eliminate those risks.
You will have close and active contact with industry experts with the opportunity to attend regular industry guest lecture programs in cyber security while you operate within a well-formed professional and ethical framework.
Graduates from this course can work in a wide variety of technical security roles within business, banking, software, networking, government, consultancy, etc. This would include roles such as malware analyzer, penetration tester, information security manager, security consultant, forensics investigator or security programmer. There is a significant worldwide skills shortage in this area, particularly for graduates with the in-depth technical knowledge and skills that are developed by this course.
This course has contacts with local industry such as software companies (such as Web Applications UK), infrastructure providers (such as UKFast) and security consultants (such as KPMG). These companies will provide you with a real-world perspective to help you appreciate the barriers that exist and the compromises that must be made to manage conflicting demands (known as the C-I-A triad).
Your MSc project will need you to demonstrate “originality in the application of knowledge”. Given a suitable topic, this may be able to be developed into an area where you can undertake a higher research degree to demonstrate “an original contribution to knowledge” which is the target for a PhD. You will get a chance to learn about the research interests of the University’s research active staff in order to help you develop a suitable topic. This may be directly in a security field, or applications of other fields of computing such as artificial intelligence or big data in cyber security and cyber forensics.