About the course
This course is accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). This means your qualification is recognised in the industry, giving you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.
Please note two start dates are available for this course: September 2021 or January 2022. If you would like to apply for the January option, please ensure that you select the ‘January 2022 start’ version of your course title when you apply. January option applies to full-time students only, and is not available on our Distance Learning option.
Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time
Institution code: R72
UK fees: £12,200
International/EU fees: £26,200
Information Security with a Year in Industry
Information Security (MSc)
The creation, transmission and storage of huge volumes of electronic data is one of the defining features of our age. Whilst these technologies bring us untold benefits, they also expose businesses, governments and individuals to repeated threats, such as fraud through data manipulation, deliberate sabotage and blackmail. As a result, businesses, governments and individuals around the world rely on the expertise and innovations of information security specialists, without which global communications systems would grind to a halt.
Want to join this expanding field and learn from the very best? Our flagship Information Security programme was the first of its kind in the world. It is certified by GCHQ, the UK Government Communications Headquarters, and taught by academics and industrial partners in one of the largest and most established Information Security Groups in the world. We are a UK Academic Centre of Excellence for cyber security research, and an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training in cyber security. We work closely with industry, and much of our curriculum and research is informed and audited by the industry itself. Our teachers are specialists in the field, with backgrounds in computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics and the social sciences.
Our broad curriculum encompasses cryptography, fraud detection, system security, network security, device security and the study of how security itself should be managed. You will learn about the technical, legal and commercial aspects of the industry and have the chance to complete a supervised dissertation on a topic of your choice. In a typical year you could benefit from lectures and seminars given by as many as 50 different guest speakers. You will also have access to our virtualisation software, for experimenting with network security settings and ideas, as well as to our Penetration Testing Laboratory and industry-sponsored Smart Card Centre.
We offer a friendly, supportive learning environment and you will have a dedicated personal adviser to guide you through your studies. The skills you gain will open up a range of high-level career options and provide a solid foundation if you wish to progress to a PhD. Our graduates are in demand for their cutting-edge grasp of the field as well as their technical expertise and transferrable skills such as data handling, analysis, problem solving and research. The programme can be completed in one year full-time, two years part-time, three to five years through Continuous Professional Development (CPD), or two to four years through distance learning.
Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to work at a high level in the information security industry or move into postgraduate research.
Our strong ties with industry mean we understand the needs of employers and can ensure that you are well prepared to enter the world of work.
We have a strong track record of helping graduates into successful, high-level careers in a wide range of sectors.
Our MSc Information Security has been awarded GCHQ- certified status
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience, and this is particularly the case as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.
The MSc in Information Security has three main elements: A Core element made up of four modules, an Options element made up of two optional modules and a Project element. The four modules in the core element are comprised of Security Management and Introduction to Cryptography, and two modules from either Core A (Network Security and Computer Security) or Core B (Secure Business Architectures and Security Technologies).
Introduction to Cryptography and Security Mechanisms
You will also take Core A:
Computer Security (Operating Systems)
or Core B:
Secure Business Architectures
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Information Security
Smart Cards, RFIDs and Embedded Systems Security
Human Aspects of Security and Privacy
Teaching & assessment
We use a range of teaching methods, including seminars, lectures and practical lab work. There is a strong focus on small group teaching. The programme has a flexible, modular structure, combining a supervised dissertation and mandatory courses that together make up 120 of the 180 credits required to pass, with a range of optional modules on specialist topics, worth 20 credits each.
Assessment is through a combination of end-of-year examinations sat in May or June and the written dissertation, which has to be submitted in September.
UK Honours degree or equivalent.
Normally we require a UK 2:2 (Honours) or equivalent. Students without the required first degree but with appropriate industrial experience will also be considered.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
IELTS: 6.5 overall. No subscore lower than 5.5.
Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. No subscore lower than 51.
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
By the end of this programme you will possess the knowledge and skills to pursue a career as a cybersecurity professional, and an ideal basis for moving on to further postgraduate research if you prefer. You will have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the latest breakthroughs and techniques, as well as key challenges and opportunities in the field. This programme will also give you valuable transferable skills such as advanced IT skills, data handling, analysis, research, communication, problem solving, time management, adaptability and self-motivation.
Our graduates are highly employable and in recent years they have gone on to forge successful careers in a wide range of sectors, including: banking, telecommunications, security consultancies, the civil service, public utilities and the retail sector.
You will be assigned a personal advisor to guide you through your studies and advise you on further postgraduate opportunities. The campus Careers team will be on hand to offer advice and guidance on your chosen career and the University of London Careers Advisory Service runs regular sessions on finding summer internships or vacation employment and securing employment after graduation.