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MSc Computer and Information Security

Course Description

Why take this course?

Suitable for current and training security professionals, this course provides a detailed and contemporary education in computer and IT security.

It covers security at various stages of the software development process – its specification, implementation and its capability of digital forensics analysis, resulting in your deep understanding of the value of security.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Learn to select and apply security mechanisms and methods such as cryptographic software operations to improve the security of a computer system
Manage a real-life computer engineering or study project using appropriate techniques for writing and reasoning about security policies
Use a range of digital forensic tools in the context of a digital investigation

What opportunities might lead to?

In an increasingly complex digital world, where threats towards personal sensitive data and digital assets relevant to areas of national defence, IT industry and large-scale sciences, are becoming ever more subtle, this course in computer security leads to new prospects for building a professional career in this exciting and important field of security.

Module Details

You will study four key topics which will collaboratively increase your knowledge and ability to develop security solutions for computer systems and analyse security risks in existing systems. You will also get to build your own test system as part of your final project or perform an extensive study into existing and emergent security solutions.

Here are the units you will study:

Computer Security: Introducing computer and information security concepts and their practical application in both closed and interconnected systems, this unit aims to develop your critical analysis skills required for building secure systems.

Computer Forensic Investigation and Cryptography: This unit covers the practical aspects of conducting forensic investigation and includes an introduction to cryptographic and steganalysis methods and techniques necessary for the discovery and recovery of hidden information.

Formal Approaches to Software Development: This unit will develop your knowledge in mathematically rigorous approaches to system specification and development.

Risk Management and Data Analysis: This unit will provide you with the necessary analytical skills for assessing levels of risk in complex computer systems, as well as learning data mining techniques using machine learning, expert systems and statistical methods in making sense of Big Data, with applications to areas of business, science and government.

Master’s Project: In the final part of the course, you will undertake a substantial project, which will be either engineering-based; where you will apply the skills and knowledge from the taught part of the course to build and test a system in response to a practical computer and information security problem, or study-based; where you will perform an extensive study generating new insights into existing and emergent security solutions and technologies.

Programme Assessment

You will be taught using a combination of formal lectures, tutorials and lab sessions. You’ll also be required to spend a significant amount of time in private study, which may involve additional software development or research as appropriate to the topic you are currently studying.

You will encounter a range of assessment styles depending on the content and nature of the unit topic. This can include written assignments, presentations as well as group and individual lab-based assessments. However, the most significant assessment element is the final dissertation, which reports and reflects on your final project.

Student Destinations

Computer and information security remains at the forefront of the global digital economy and national defence. Potential career roles can include security engineer, security architect, R&D researcher in security-related projects and forensic analyst.

The course will also strengthen your research skills, enabling you to pursue an academic and industry research career. Our collaborative ties, maintained by the Computer Security and Digital Forensics Group (part of the Pervasive Computing Research Group) in the School of Computing, with various scientific and industrial sectors, both at the national and the EU levels, will also enhance this.

Visit the MSc Computer and Information Security page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A second class honours degree in a relevant subject such as Computer Sciences, Information Security, Software Engineering, Forensics or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications in IT security.English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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Recipient: University of Portsmouth
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