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Information Technology is a strategic resource within any business and is critical to the survival and success of an organisation and should therefore be carefully managed. Read more
Information Technology is a strategic resource within any business and is critical to the survival and success of an organisation and should therefore be carefully managed. A key issue in IT strategy is Information Security, which is becoming more critical with the interconnection of systems through the Internet and the sharing of resources with business partners, clients and customers.

This Masters degree is aimed at current or prospective system managers, system administrators and other IT professionals with a responsibility or aspiration for strategic IT and security management.

You will gain an understanding of current issues in information security and IT management, together with an in-depth knowledge of a variety of techniques for strategically managing IT, both as a resource as well as for analysing and controlling security risks. A key aspect of the programme is the systemic perspective that is taken; security is not simply a technical issue, but a component of the wider context of IT management.

What will I study?

You will study security from two perspectives: the concepts of computer and network security, together with a systemic approach to information security management. The programme of study is informed by ISO27000 legal compliance requirements and professional body knowledge requirements of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and the Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2. The study of computer forensics enables further specialisation.

IT Management is approached from a strategic and risk-based perspective, and includes business continuity and project management. A recent technology development that could have radical impact in both security and IT management is cloud computing, and the course provides an option to enable you to develop a sound understanding of the related issues and technology. Professional, ethical and contemporary issues in computing and research methods are also integrated into the programme.

How will I study?

The course is delivered primarily as taught modules. Each module typically involves a 3-hour face-to-face seminar every week for 12 weeks. You will study three modules each semester on the full-time programme, requiring attendance two days per week. For part-time students, modules are scheduled to enable evening study over two years.

Learning and teaching involves a variety of techniques, including lectures, case studies, problem-based learning, guest lectures from industry experts, student-led seminars and technology-enhanced learning (e.g. Virtual Learning Environment, wiki). Classes are highly interactive, with practical application of concepts a key factor, as well as cases drawn from real-life. The MSc Information Security and IT Management is designed around small groups so you can be sure that you will have plenty of individual discussion with your tutors.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the programme we will assess your vocational capability, academic critical thinking and intellectual development. Coursework, case studies, problem-solving exercises and exams may be used. You may be assessed individually or in a group.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic academics who are research-active and regularly engage within the wider business and academic environment. Staff specialise in particular subjects so you will benefit from a wide range of knowledge and experience.

What are my career prospects?

The MSc in Information Security and IT Management will provide you with the skills and knowledge to develop your interests as an IT security professional and IT manager. As organisations become ever more dependent on IT, there are increasing opportunities for specialist positions related to security. The course provides knowledge and skills which underpin Information Systems Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)2 and ISACA certifications.

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Computer and information security is a vital issue in today’s IT environment. This programme will provide you with the necessary skills to understand and apply specialised security knowledge in the identification and resolution of IT security threats facing modern organisations. Read more
Computer and information security is a vital issue in today’s IT environment. This programme will provide you with the necessary skills to understand and apply specialised security knowledge in the identification and resolution of IT security threats facing modern organisations. Develop a rounded view of key security domain topics such as security management and computer forensics, and gain the hands-on skills to confidently implement, configure and manage the tools you’ll face in practice.

Key features

-Be confident studying a degree accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The University has been awarded Academic Partner status by the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP), in recognition of the significant base of security-related expertise within the institution. This link encourages and enables a dialogue between academia and the wider community of security practitioners.
-Learn from research-active staff at the forefront of knowledge, conducting research within the Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research.
-Put your skills into practice in our high specification security, networking and digital forensic laboratories.
-Technology supported learning with free iPad mini and eBooks.
-Active Computer and Information Security Society (CISS) provide opportunities for networking, problem solving, speakers from industry as well as a valuable source of contacts.
-Build on the foundation which this course offers and take the opportunity to progress onto a research degree at MPhil or PhD level.
-Explore the option of completing the programme over two years with an integral work placement year.
-Benefit from the courses extensive links with major professional bodies and societies such as the BCS, ISACA, IFIP Technical Committee 11 and the Institute for Information Security Professionals (IISP).
-Take the opportunity to make career inroads through strong industrial links with major organisations such as Kaspersky Labs, Symantec, Orange, France-Telecom, and various UK government departments.
-Engage with the BCS South West branch programme, who hold many of their sessions at Plymouth University. The branch has a rich programme of events that contributes to broadening the knowledge and experience of the students.
-Continually under review to ensure all content is relevant and timely the programme has recently begun to offer AccessData Certification as a part of the cybercrime and investigation module, enabling you to achieve professional recognition as well as academic credit.

Course details

During your year of study you will gain an understanding of key topics such as security management, cryptography, network and system security, computer forensics, and protection in application scenarios. You'll also benefit from being taught a wide variety of hands-on skills, which enable you to implement, configure and manage many of the typical controls you will encounter in practice - including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, authentication and access mechanisms, and forensic case management tools. The project will enable you to explore and develop in-depth knowledge on a particular area of security. You'll become a subject expert and push the boundaries of the current understanding.

Core modules
-SEC501 Information Security Management and Governance
-SEC503 Intrusion Analysis and Incident Management
-BPIE500 Masters Stage 1 Placement Preparation
-PROJ513 MSc Project (September)
-SEC502 Network Security and Penetration Testing
-SEC505 Digital Forensic Investigation
-SEC504 Secure Systems Architectures and Mechanisms
-FTGS507 Professional and Research Skills with Entrepreneurship

Optional placement year
-BPIE501 Computing Masters Industrial Placement

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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Cybercrime threats are growing as the economy increasingly depends on the Internet, such as through cloud computing, electronic communication and e-commerce, with estimates showing that they cost the UK up to £27 billion annually. Read more
Cybercrime threats are growing as the economy increasingly depends on the Internet, such as through cloud computing, electronic communication and e-commerce, with estimates showing that they cost the UK up to £27 billion annually.

In addition, surveys from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show a significant shortage of information security professionals and a lack of security awareness, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), indicating an urgent need for student education, the provision of up-to-date educational resources, industry training and the embedding of good practice.

This MSc in Cyber Security addresses these requirements by increasing relevant knowledge and skills in line with the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy, while also addressing the national skills shortage in information security.

You will develop an understanding of current issues in information security and cyber security, as well as gain in-depth knowledge of a variety of techniques for strategically managing IT, both as a resource and for analysing and controlling security risks.

What will I study?

You will study cyber security from the perspectives of technical aspects of network security, penetration testing and computer forensics, while also adopting a systematic approach to information security management.

The programme will cover topics including information security management; information risk management; implementing secure systems; information assurance methodologies and testing; operational security management; incident management; audit, assurance and review; and business continuity management.

How will I study?

The course is delivered primarily as taught modules. Each module typically involves a 3-hour face-to-face seminar every week for 12 weeks. You will study three modules each semester on the full-time programme, requiring attendance two days per week. For part-time students, modules are scheduled to enable evening study over two years.

Learning and teaching involves a variety of techniques, including lectures, case studies, problem-based learning, guest lectures from industry experts, student-led seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and technology-enhanced learning (such as via a virtual learning environment). Classes are highly interactive, with the practical application of concepts being a key factor, as well as case studies drawn from real-life.

How will I be assessed?

We will assess your vocational capability, academic critical thinking and intellectual development throughout the programme. Coursework, case studies, exams and problem-solving exercises may be used. You may be assessed individually or in a group.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic academic staff who are research-active and fully engaged with the wider business and academic community.

What are my career prospects?

The MSc has been designed to meet the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) certification criteria for Masters degrees, as well as satisfying the professional body knowledge requirements of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)².

The programme also aligns with international standards (ISO27001/2) for information security management systems and is informed by the PAS 555:2013 Cyber Security Risk Governance and Management Specification.

On successful completion of the course, you will be equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to work as a cyber security professional, or information security professional, in roles such as an information security engineer/manager, ISO27001 auditor, computer forensic analyst, cyber security specialist or security engineer.

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