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MSc in Cyber Security

Course Description


Our MSc in Cyber Security aims to develop the next generation of industry leaders and address the shortage of cyber security professionals globally. The emphasis of the MSc is to provide graduates with a comprehensive understanding of the cyber security challenges facing industry and society, today and in the future, and equipping them with the skills necessary to address those challenges.

This taught programme provides a strong foundational education in the core areas of cyber security and offers practical training in key software tools and programs. Applied practical skills will be developed further in specialised projects exploring leading edge issues in cyber security research.

The MSc offers students a syllabus informed by the world-class research in the areas of data, network, media and physical security, being undertaken at Queen's University Belfast's Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).

CSIT is a GCHQ accredited Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and is the UK's largest university research lab in this field. CSIT is fast developing a reputation as a global innovation hub for cyber security and is influenced throughout by its strong history of commercial engagement with world leading companies including Infosys, Cisco, IBM, Thales, BAE Systems, McAfee, Roke, and Altera.

Programme Content

The MSc in Cyber Security is available in two options, lasting either 1 or 2 years:

The 1-year MSc consists of six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 4-5 months practical project of a research nature/work placement (60 CATS points).

The 2-year MSc consists of six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 12 months practical project of a research nature/work placement (60 CATS points).

One compulsory module and a choice of five from seven other modules as listed below:
• Applied Cryptography
• Computer Forensics
• Network Security and Monitoring
• Software Assurance
• Malware
• Media Security
• Intelligent Information Systems
• Ethical & Legal Issues in Cyber Security (Compulsory)

In any given year further specialist topics may be available for selection or listed topics may not be offered.


Comprises written examination and coursework/lab work in six modules; and a dissertation on your research project (180 CATS points total).

Opportunities for Careers

Strong Industry Engagement
A key differentiator of our MSc programme will be the opportunity to closely engage with CSIT industry partners. The programme offers an enhanced education experience, including the facilitation of industrial internships and work placements with leading security professionals, as well as other commercially specified projects. Our Scholarships and Work Placements programme offers a significant opportunity for students to enhance career prospects by directly engaging with potential employers.

Opportunities for placements are being provided by the following companies: Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Facebook, IBM, McAfee, PwC, RepKnight, Roke, Thales, and United Technologies Research CEntre (UTRC).

Professional Skills Training
Students will be offered a range of personal development and transferable skills training to improve their professional skills and increase their employability. Courses will cover: project management, presentation skills, communication strategies, networking skills, public engagement and entrepreneurship. Invited seminars and special guest lectures from industrial and academic leaders offer students a chance to engage with leaders in the cyber security profession.

Our graduates have found that holding a prestigious MSc qualification from Queen's (one of the UK's top engineering schools) has significantly enhanced their job opportunities and employment prospects. With demand for cyber security experts growing at 12 times the rate of the overall job market, students can expect their career prospects to be enhanced significantly after graduation.

Our MSc in Cyber Security will prepare graduates for successful careers in secure systems development, security architecture development, network security, data analytics, and right up to board level positions such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Prospects for research and academic career paths in cyber security will also be enhanced by the MSc.

Special Features

Work Placements and Scholarships Programme
A number of scholarships, internships and work placement opportunities will be open to students accepted for enrolment on the MSc in Cyber Security degree programme. These opportunities are being provided on a competitive basis by CSIT's industrial partners and others affiliated with the Work Placements and Scholarships Programme. Once accepted for this masters degree you will be eligible to apply for opportunities made available via the programme.


A number of scholarships, internships and work placement opportunities will be open to students accepted for enrolment on the MSc in Cyber Security course via our Work Placements and Scholarships Programme.

Scholarship Opportunities:
CSIT Scholarships (x2) – UK/EU
- Open to UK/EU applicants to the 1-year MSc in Cyber Security
- Only students who are graduating in 2014 with an Undergraduate course in relevant discipline areas are eligible to apply
- Scholarships cover fees and a paid summer internship at CSIT
- How to Apply: Eligible students who apply for the 1-year MSc in Cyber Security will automatically be considered for these scholarships.

GREAT Queen’s University Belfast Scholarships (x2) – India
- Open to India students
- Scholarship value: £1500
- For further information and how to apply see:

Full details and further announcements about our Scholarships and Work Placements programme are available at http://www.csit.qub.ac.uk/msc

Visit the MSc in Cyber Security page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Minimum entry requirement is a 2.1 UK Honours-equivalent first degree in:- Computer Science- Software Engineering- Electrical and/or Electronic Engineering- Mathematics with Computer Science- Physics with Computer Science- or related discipline. All applicants will be expected to have mathematical ability and significant programming experience as evidenced either through the content of their primary degree or through another appropriate formal qualification. Applicants with non-standard qualifications may be considered on an individual basis.International Students require an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or equivalent. *Taken within the last 2 yrs.

Course Fees

2015/16 Fees: Home/EU £5,060International £17,035

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Recipient: Queen’s University Belfast

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