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Computer Systems Security (MSc)

Course Description

As the use of information systems is now widespread in the lives of individuals, business and society, the security of computer systems is increasingly important. The significance of information security and the demand for relevant skills has been emphasised recently by high-profile incidents concerning the privacy of personal data and security of financial information.

This specialist MSc course focuses on the technical aspects of computer systems security and systems administration, particularly penetration testing. It is accredited by the Tiger Scheme and will give you exemption from some of its professional examinations.

You will be taught by an internationally recognised team from the University’s Information Security Research Group, and external speakers contribute to delivering the latest expertise and developments.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/254-msc-computer-systems-security

What you will study

Modules include:
- Network Security
- Practical Windows Security
- Practical UNIX Security
- Vulnerability Development
- Professional Skills Development
- Advanced Research Methods
- Project Management
- Research Project: an investigation of your choice, related to the course
- MSc Project: the development and evaluation of a significant application or task, related to the course

Learning and teaching methods

The course is delivered in four major blocks to offer an intensive but focused learning pattern, with two start points each year – February and September. Full-time students will typically spend 12 hours in classes each week. If you choose to study part-time, this is reduced to around six hours each week. You will study through lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, seminars and projects.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

Career opportunities are excellent – the demand for specialists in this area continues to rise as companies become increasingly dependent on computers and the internet. On graduation, you will be equipped for careers that require in-depth knowledge of technical security issues. Potential roles include systems administrator, security penetration tester or information security consultant, and skills gained strongly relate to the roles of information security analyst and IT security co-ordinator.

With education to Masters level now the recognised professional level of competence, graduates will be better placed to pursue careers in industry, or continue their interest in computer systems security through research at PhD level.

Assessment methods

You will need to spend a significant amount of time working independently, reading and preparing for assessments. Assessment is primarily by coursework, varying from a research-style paper or essay to programming assignments. You will also work on a significant research project and a major project of your own choice, where strong independent thinking, critical analysis and project management skills will be important.


We have a full range of high-specification computer labs and an ongoing investment programme to ensure that our facilities stay at the forefront of computing developments.

Visit the Computer Systems Security (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

This course is designed for graduates with a minimum 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent. Candidates should have a computing background with very good IT skills or extensive experience of the relevant sector. The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

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