MSc in Information Security provides the foundations for a rewarding career in the growing cyber security industry or further doctoral research. International security experts teach a balance of established theory and cutting-edge practice, equipping graduates with the broad expertise necessary to succeed as cybersecurity experts, practitioners, or researchers. The course is supported by industry experts and leading companies who engage with students through joint projects and guest lectures.
The Academic Centre of Excellence status has been awarded by GCHQ in partnership with the Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties Programme (RCUK) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). Other universities will also become Centres in the near future as part of an ongoing process.
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.
MSc in Information Security awarded full certification by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
UCL’s Department of Computer Science’s MSc in Information Security has been successfully awarded full certification from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
Master’s degree programmes in cyber security can broaden the understanding of security concepts and technologies and provide a bridge between undergraduate education and careers in cyber security. However, with so many UK universities running Master’s degrees containing cyber security content, it can be difficult for students and employers alike to assess the quality on offer and identify the degree that best suits someone’s preferred career path.
NCSC’s aim is to identify and recognise the very best cyber security education in the UK and UCL's MSc Information Security now joins an exclusive list of degree programmes that should attract high quality students from around the world; attract employers to recruit skilled staff and develop the cyber skills of existing employees; and attract prospective students to make better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification.
The MSc in Information Security NCSC full certification lasts five years, and students will need to select Information Security Management as one of their optional modules to receive the NCSC certification.
2017-18 MSc Information Security Programme Director Dr Emiliano de Cristofaro says:
"This is a very important step for our programme as it allows us to join a global community of leaders in information security education. We look forward to continue moving forward together with this community and train the future engineers, researchers, and practitioners who will keep our systems and infrastructures secure, building on the excellence and rigour deeply ingrained in UCL Computer Science's fabric."
Upcoming Open Days and Events
Every few months, we organise open day events with presentations and Q&As for our MSc in Information Security, both in person (at UCL) and virtual (via webinars). The events can be attended by anyone and are free of charge.
If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject "MSc ISec Open Day", and we will let you know next time we have an event.
Inside Information Security...
- Weekly Information Security Seminars with distinguished lectures and research talks
MSc Information Security comprises 8 taught modules and a Dissertation. Of the taught modules, 4 are core modules, with 4 option modules. Students who wish to gain GCHQ certification with their degree need to choose COMP0059 Information Security Management as one of their optional modules.
Compulsory / Core Modules
- COMP0054 - Computer Security I (15 credits)
- COMP0055 - Computer Security II (15 credits)
- COMP0025 - Introduction to Cryptography (15 credits)
- COMP0057 - Research in Information Security (15 credits)
- COMP0064 - Dissertation (60 credits)
All modules in this group are compulsory.
- COMP0058 - Applied Cryptography (15 credits)
- COMP0143 - Cryptocurrencies (15 credits)
- COMP0133 - Distributed Systems and Security (15 credits)
- COMP0059 - Information Security Management (15 credits)
- COMP0060 - Malware (15 credits)
- COMP0056 - People and Security (15 credits)
- COMP0063 - Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Security and Privacy (15 credits)
- COMP0061 - Privacy Enhancing Technologies (15 credits)
- SECU0043 - Cybercrime (15 credits)
Choose 60 credits from the optional modules.
All choices are subject to timetabling constraints and the approval of the relevant Module Tutor and the Programme Director.
Syllabus content for all postgraduate modules can we found in the Department of Computer Science 2018/19 online syllabus pages.
Programme diet (modules available to you)
Your programme has a set curriculum (also called a diet) which prescribes in what combinations modules can be taken, any restrictions on doing so, and how much credit can and must be taken. The programme information pages show which modules form part of each programme, with links to descriptions and module syllabus information. Modules within a programme can be core, optional, or elective, which reflects whether they must be taken or are optionally taken.
Core modules are fundamental to your programme’s core curriculum and are mandatory. You will automatically be registered on your programme's core modules, so will not have to select them. You are guaranteed a place on modules that are core for your programme. There will be no timetable clashes between core modules within a programme.
Optional modules are usually closely related to the programme's core curriculum and you will be able to choose which to take; choices are usually made from within specific groups (for example, choose two optional modules from one group and three from another, etc.) You are not guaranteed a place on optional modules as space is strictly limited. We allocate places on a first come, first serve basis, with preference given to Computer Science students over those of other departments. Bear in mind that some modules have prerequisites that must be met in order to be eligible for a place (see the module syllabus for information.)
Elective modules are usually not specifically related to the programme's curriculum. There is no guarantee of being accepted onto an elective module; they are core and/ or optional on other programme diets, so students on those programmes will be given priority. As with optional modules, some electives have prerequisites that must be met.
Deciding which modules to select
The programme information pages show which modules form part of each programme, with links to detailed module syllabus information and reading lists. You may be able to virtually audit lectures for some modules to get a sense of how the module is delivered. You can look up the timetable for each module via the common timetable to get a sense of the timetable that would eventuate from your module choices, which is an important consideration when making your final choices; you should aim to achieve a timetable that is feasible and will not stretch you too thinly.
Bear in mind that places on optional and elective modules are not guaranteed, so you might not always be able to take all your first choices. In that case, it is a good idea to have a second preference in mind.
A minimum of an upper-second class UK Bachelor's degree* in computer science, electrical engineering or mathematics, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account.
*We recommend applicants to have done at least one university level module in mathematics since the Introduction to Cryptography module uses probability theory to reason about security guarantees.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
2019/20 Study Modes
Please note that for 2019/20 we will not be accepting part-time applications.
2019/20 Tuition Fees
UK/EU Fees (FT):
£12510 for 2019/20
UK/EU Fees (PT):
N/A for 2019/20
Overseas Fees (FT):
£28410 for 2019/20
Overseas Fees (PT):
N/A for 2019/20
The Department of Computer Science is offering Excellence Scholarships to our taught postgraduate students. To check your eligibility and to apply, see the Computer Science Excellence Scholarship application form.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarship and Funding website.
Tuition Fee Deposit
This programme requires that applicants firmly accepting their offer pay a deposit. This allows UCL to effectively plan student numbers, as students are more demonstrably committed towards commencing their studies with us.
For full details about the UCL tuition fee deposit, please see the central UCL pages.
Tuition fee deposits within the Department of Computer Science are currently listed as:
|*only applicable where part-time is an available mode of study|
ISec graduate destinations:
ISec graduate roles:
Further study destinations:
Average starting salary £31,200 (Graduate Surveys, January 2015).
To apply now click here.
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Deadline 14th June 2019.