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Course content

The Information Security MSc offers a specialist programme designed to provide a fundamental understanding of information security and to convey practical engineering skills. There are good prospects for highly trained information security professionals and there is a shortage of trained personnel in this area.

About this degree

Students develop an advanced knowledge of information security and an awareness of the context in which information security operates in terms of safety, environmental, social and economic aspects. They gain a wide range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills, enabling them to develop a flexible professional career in IT.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Computer Security I (15 credits)
  • Computer Security II (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Cryptography (15 credits)
  • Research in Information Security (15 credits)

Optional modules

Students choose 60 credits from the following:

  • Applied Cryptography (15 credits)
  • Cryptanalysis (15 credits)
  • Cybercrime (15 credits)
  • Distributed Systems and Security (15 credits)
  • Information Security Management (15 credits)
  • Language Based Security (15 credits)
  • Malware (15 credits)
  • People and Security (15 credits)
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Security and Privacy (15 credits)
  • Privacy Enhancing Technologies (15 credits)

Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation (maximum length of 120 pages) and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, problem classes, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. Assessment is through written examinations, presentations, vivas, tests, coursework, written reports, formal presentations and the research project.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Information Security MSc

Careers

UCL graduates are keenly sought after by the world's leading organisations. UCL Computer Science graduates are particularly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London. Our graduates secure careers in a wide variety of organisations, e.g. with global IT consultancies, as IT analysts with City banks, or as IT specialists within manufacturing industries.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Information Security Expert, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic
  • IT Risk and Cyber Security Associate, PwC
  • PhD Research Student in Computer Science, UCL
  • Security Engineer, Morgan Stanley
  • Technical Analyst, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

Employability

Some of the brightest alumni of the degree go on to careers in academia. The majority of our students take jobs in the software and consultancy industries, usually in a security-related role such as security standards compliance, secure software design or security consultancy. Students have the opportunity to do industrially based projects with companies such as BT and McAfee. The department is recognised as an academic centre of excellence on cyber security and further opportunities to expand both academic and industrial contacts arise through the ACE-CS guest lecture series integrated into the degree.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research.

UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

This MSc is taught by academics who conduct world-leading research, most notably in cryptography and human-centred approaches to security, privacy and trust. Access to industry-led projects and guest lecturers from academia and industry will enhance post-graduation opportunities for careers in security-related research, or employment in cyber security roles. 

UCL's central London location enables students to enjoy the full benefits of life in a vibrant world city with easy access to excellent scientific and cultural centres.

Accreditation

Information Security has been successfully awarded full certification from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Students who wish to gain the certification with their degree need to choose COMPGA14 Information Security Management as one of their optional modules.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Computer Science

96% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Information Security (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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