MSc Internet Computing
- Programme director
- Mark Manulis
- Programme length
- Full-time: 12 months
- Programme start date
- September 2013
Develop your expertise in key technologies and shape the internet of the future.
The internet has changed the way we use computers, and it is still changing. This programme will develop expertise in key technologies and shape the internet of the future, including security, computational intelligence and cloud computing.
The programme is expected to help alleviate skills shortages within the UK and overseas in the area of well-trained internet professionals with solid foundations in the key disciplines required.
Graduates of the programme will have an in-depth understanding of the key principles of internet computing, including enabling software systems and security, together with the ability to critically evaluate software systems and tools related to internet technology.
The programme benefits directly from the research expertise of the Department, especially from the extensive activities in computational intelligence, distributed systems and information security.
The programme has been designed to produce graduates who will assume responsibility for the planning, design and implementation of internetbased information systems as high-calibre systems analysts, technical managers or consultants.
Candidates should have a Bachelors degree in computing or a cognate discipline from a UK university or the international equivalent. They should have obtained a minimum 2.1. In exceptional circumstances, work experience may also be considered if the candidate has achieved less than a 2.1.
English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 6.5
IELTS minimum by component:
We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Fees and funding
All fees are subject to increase or review for subsequent academic years. Please note that not all visa routes permit part-time study and overseas students entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa will not be permitted to study on a part-time basis.
|Programme name||Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees|
|MSc Internet Computing||Full-time||Sept 2013||£6,720||£15,160|
- Challenges for Computing Professionals
- Cloud Computing
- Collective Intelligence
- Enterprise Systems Development
- Information Security Management
- Network Technologies and Security
- Web-Hacking Countermeasures
- Databases and Knowledge Discovery
- Project Management and Business Strategy
- Technologies and Applications
Challenges for Computing Professionals
IT professionals need to appreciate that technologies do not exist in isolation; they require a broad understanding of law and ethics that will enable them to assess the potential risks of, rather than to, a project, from a variety of perspectives in any technology-related undertaking.
This module provides an understanding of how and why cloud computing is quickly becoming a strategically important consideration for future industrial and research activities.
Collective intelligence is an emerging field for the combining of behaviour, preferences or ideas of a group of people to create novel insights. This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the concepts, algorithms and techniques for setting up collective intelligence methods. It covers ways to extract meaning from data through various comprehensive collections of computational methods with practical examples for relating vast amounts of data on the internet.
Enterprise Systems Development
Internet computing in general aims to harness distributed systems technologies and techniques in order to develop useful large-scale systems. This module focuses on the applicability of internet computing techniques in the domain of enterprise-wide systems. You will explore advanced Java programming in order to develop prototype client-server systems to automate processes within a corporate environment. The module is highly practical as it involves a series of interactive programming laboratory sessions.
Information Security Management
Security is one of the greatest challenges for computer and information systems in the near future. Information security is a managerial problem as well as a technical one, and good security solutions depend on an ability to identify security requirements based on business needs and business processes. Thus, this module has a two-fold objective. It will look at how information systems can be managed and designed to fill actual business needs. It will also raise an awareness of the great range of security threats and how protection depends on a holistic view of the system.
Network Technologies and Security
The internet is built up from many millions of connected computers, which employ a range of networking equipment, and these must all operate together and be dynamically reconfigured. This module explores the characteristics of these devices and then shows how communication protocols can provide the static and mobile communication services that we all use today.
During the last 15 years, web technologies have considerably changed the way we view and use computer systems. The open access nature makes web-based systems harder to keep secure than traditional systems and therefore have been the target to malicious cyber attacks. This module builds on modules taught in the autumn semester, related to computer security and in Web application development, and looks at ways that security can be applied to web-based systems in order to make them safe to attacks.
Optional modules include:
Databases and Knowledge Discovery
A key benefit of information systems is their capability to store and organise large amounts of information. A database system is the core part which allows storage and retrieval of such data, and effective design and implementation of the database is often critical for the performance of the system. This module has two aims. Firstly, to develop the necessary skills and familiarity to use state-of-the-art technologies to design, implement and manage database systems, and secondly to use data mining and information retrieval tools to discover data patterns and retrieve information from the database.
Project Management and Business Strategy
Management is a pervasive, but frequently misunderstood, concept concerned with achieving satisfactory results in continually changing circumstances, particularly within organisations and involving people. Strategy is an important, but not always obvious, element in this activity. You will be better equipped for your life’s work, both in IT and beyond, if you have a basic understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of good management, together with the strengths and limitations of the strategic planning and implementation process.
Technologies and Applications
In this module, guest lecturers from industry give different perspectives on security challenges and solutions in their respective businesses, and of applications of security technologies in an industrial setting. Through a group project, you will explore a topic of your choice, setting material from other modules in an industrial context.
The programme is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) and counts towards Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status. It is also partially recognised toward CSci and CEng.
Taught master’s programmes in the Department of Computing utilise our research-active staff in conjunction with state-of-the-art facilities. We provide a range of learning experiences including lectures, tutorials, directed study, practical laboratories and project work which prepare graduates for their professional life.
We are particularly keen to develop, in all our students, a broad range of generic skills to complement the core technical or scientific competencies of their chosen subject area. Our modular programme format, coupled with the increasing use of innovative teaching and learning strategies such as e-learning and industrially focused short courses, provides a flexible study environment whilst maintaining academic rigour and quality.
Our record of graduate employment is outstanding, with Surrey graduates consistently being in high demand across all sectors.
The MSc dissertation project makes up one third of the degree programme, starting at the end of the first semester and completing at the end of the summer. During the project, you are supervised by a member of academic staff to advise and guide you to completion. At the end of the project you must submit your bound dissertation, which forms a complete record of the project, which is then held in the University Library.
The project focuses in depth on a subject at the leading edge of computing. For example, projects can undertake the development of a software system to solve a particular problem, possibly in collaboration with an industrial partner.
Alternatively, projects can be research-based, in which case an aspect of computing is investigated, perhaps to evaluate particular techniques or propose a new algorithm. These projects are usually closely linked to the Department’s research strengths.
Whatever the topic, you are expected to develop a critical understanding of the methods and technologies needed, then implement and evaluate your chosen solution to a professional standard. Project planning and time management are important parts of the experience.
David Lundin – E-voting Project
Elections across the globe have become high-profile events, not least because of their controversy, such as the American presidential election of 2000. One way in which elections can be made more reliable is through the use of electronic voting systems, which can provide security and verifiability.
Some electronic voting systems, such as Prêt à Voter and Punchscan, use a pre-printed paper ballot form, part of which is destroyed to create an encrypted receipt of the vote. The voter can use this receipt to check online that his or her vote has been included in the tally, but as the receipt is encrypted, it cannot be used to prove which candidate the vote is for. The problem with these ballot forms is that anyone who can see them before they are used has sufficient knowledge to check the contents of an encrypted receipt without it having to be properly decrypted.
In David’s MSc project, he developed a method based on visual encryption of the candidate list that hides the content of the ballot form until the moment when it is used by the voter in the voting booth. When the top layer, printed on the ballot form, is properly aligned over the bottom layer, displayed on a computer screen, the candidate list appears in plain text. When the form is removed from the screen, the content of the form is once again hidden.
Ian Golledge – Identifying and Classifying Electronic Spam
This project presents a prototype model for implementing a self-organising map as a spam filter. A method is shown where emails are converted into feature vectors, where features represent keywords. Keywords are selected from an analysis of an email corpus, with the results ranked based on word frequency measurements. The project describes phases of design which attempt to improve on feature selection and conclude on a prototype model for spam filtering using the self-organising map.
This prototype model is evaluated over six datasets of fluctuating ratios of ham and spam, with testing designed to emulate the incremental re-training of a personalised spam filter. The results are compared to common techniques in spam filtering. Initial results show the model can outperform popular Naive Bayesian techniques. The feature vector representation is then further developed and the model shows results that compare strongly against other classifiers identified in research, demonstrating effective application of self-organising maps for spam filtering.
The work was published at an international IEEE-sponsored conference in Italy:Vrusias, B. and Golledge, I. (2008). ‘Adaptable text filters and unsupervised neural classifiers for spam detection’. Advances in Soft Computing, 53, 195–202.
Aaron Randall – Authentication and Self-Restoration of Watermarked Images
In an age where digital media use is prolific, accessible and cost-effective, the requirement for digital images to be used in such situations as evidence in court, medical imaging, traffic enforcement and forensics is increasingly important.
However, along with digital media use, many different techniques to alter media files digitally have been developed – some with very realistic results. The ramifications of using potentially tampered digital media as evidence in court, for example, could cause the difference between an innocent or guilty verdict. This is an issue that digital watermark authentication and restoration attempts to answer.
Aaron’s MSc project was to develop an image authentication and restoration system capable of localising manipulated regions of an image. Through iterative restoration techniques and the extraction of hidden data from the image itself, he would then attempt to restore damaged regions. The first step of authentication highlighted any regions of the image that the application believed to have been tampered with in some way (such as cropping, blurring or other image manipulation techniques). The restoration stage then looked at fixing the regions highlighted as tampered. This step extracted hidden data from the image and inserted it back into the relevant damaged regions.
The Department of Computing is an active department within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. There are 19 full-time academic staff and around 400 students at all levels – from undergraduate through to PhD. The Department is proud of its friendly reputation and aims to provide a supportive environment for students.
The Computing degree programmes at the University of Surrey and the all-round student experience are highly rated in the National Student Survey and league table results. The undergraduate and MSc postgraduate degree programmes are stimulating and challenging, with a high level of practical content. The Department is constantly exploring the use of new technology in teaching – such as podcasts and voting handsets – to support greater interactivity, accessibility and enjoyment of lectures. It also organises extra-curricular activities for those who want to explore other aspects of computing in more depth, while supporting local schools and colleges to bring some of the exciting aspects of computing to school pupils.
The Department’s research interests are many and varied – ranging across the research groups of Digital Ecosystems, Formal Methods and Security, Multimedia Security and Forensics, and Nature-Inspired Computing and Engineering. With a strong research culture and a growing research profile, the Department of Computing has won several prizes, including the University Voting Systems Competition System Design award in 2007 and the prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology Innovation in Engineering Security award in 2006.
Our degree programmes
The Department offers four MSc programmes. Each with its own distinct focus, all of them offer a taste of the Department’s specialisms.
Internet Computing, Security Technologies and Applications, and Computational Intelligence and Computational Biology are technical degrees requiring a solid background in computing or a cognate discipline.
The MSc in Information Systems is a more generalist degree, accepting students from a wider range of backgrounds. It takes a more high-level, overall view of information technologies, and prepares students for managerial rather than technical roles in their future careers. It covers business and management topics as well as technical computing subjects.
The MSc in Security Technologies and Applications is specialised towards the Department’s multiple activities in relation to the technologies and principles that underlie a variety of information security techniques and technologies.
The MSc in Internet Computing is concerned with distributed information and computing resources, and builds from the Department’s activities relating to the Web and the Cloud.
The programme also has a strong element of more general, technical computer science and software development skills.
The MSc in Computational Intelligence and Computational Biology is the latest addition to the portfolio of programmes, following the appointment of a Professor of Computational Intelligence and the subsequent growth of a nature-inspired computing theme in the Department.
All of the programmes benefit from the strong research community and industrial partnerships of the Department. In particular, the dissertation project allows students to work on a topic in one of the key research areas. Even though the programmes share many modules, each has its own focus and direction.
Regardless of which programme you choose, we are committed to making your year at Surrey a valuable and enjoyable experience.
Industry sponsors and prizes
The Department benefits greatly from strong links with industry, and our industry partners support the programme in various ways, some with guest lectures and some with prizes for the best student performance (typically £150–200 per prize).