Information Security MSc

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Why Surrey?

Our Masters in Information Security benefits from the internationally visible, high-quality research activity and multiple links with academia and industry of the Department of Computer Science and Surrey Centre for Cyber Security.

Our course is provisionally certified by GCHQ and taught by experts, and equips you with the theoretical grounding and hands-on experience demanded by the information-security sector.

Programme overview

Protecting digital information from unauthorised access and use, and ensuring the resilience of the underlying network infrastructure and systems, are key challenges for the continued technological development of our society.

The science behind our Information Security MSc connects various disciplines; from computer science, electronic engineering and mathematics, to design concepts, mechanisms and technologies for effective protection of digital information, communication infrastructures and computing systems.

Focused on key information security concepts, mechanisms and technologies, our programme examines fundamental and advanced topics in important areas of modern information security, striving to achieve a balance between theoretical foundations and practical experience.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over three academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The programme will:

  • Provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of information security theory and concepts
  • Teach foundations and methods from several information security disciplines such as data security, network security, cryptography, formal security analysis, secure systems and web applications, multimedia security, digital forensics, privacy-enhancing technologies, and human-centred security
  • Teach students to apply their knowledge of scientific methods and gained information security skills in practice through lab sessions and individual dissertation projects where students will be offered an opportunity to analyse, evaluate and interpret existing information security mechanisms and/or carry out their own research activities
  • Support students in carrying out their own scientific investigation under the guidance and advice of their supervisor. Students will be able to identify information security problems and find suitable information security protection mechanisms based on their skills and relevant literature sources

Programme learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Students will gain:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the general information security aims and challenges
  • Knowledge and understanding of technical and mathematical concepts and mechanisms for the protection of digital data and information
  • Knowledge and understanding of technical concepts and mechanisms for securing network communications and infrastructures
  • Knowledge and understanding of technical concepts and mechanisms for digital forensics
  • Knowledge and understanding of technical concepts and mechanisms for the development of secure computing systems and applications
  • The ability to critically evaluate information security mechanisms and technologies with respect to their functionality, security properties and application challenges
  • The ability to implement or apply existing information security mechanisms and technologies in practice
  • The ability to design, develop and analyse secure systems and applications by taking into account both technical and non-technical perspectives
  • The ability to critically evaluate new ideas, develop own ideas and conduct supervised research in information security

Intellectual / cognitive skills

Students will leave the programme with the ability to:

  • Analyse and solve problems of technical nature under consideration of various risks and constraints
  • Make effective and efficient decisions in an environment of conflicting interests
  • Think strategically 
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate the work of others
  • Apply fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies
  • Carry out an independent research investigation aiming to improve the state-of- the-art knowledge in the field

Professional practical skills

Students will gain the ability to:

  • Come up with technical solutions to a range of problems
  • Use concepts and theories to make judgements on the suitability of solutions, their advantages and disadvantages
  • Implement mechanisms and apply them in a wider context of more complex systems
  • Present their opinions and findings and to produce a high-quality report

Key / transferable skills

Students will have:

  • The ability to communicate concepts and results in a clear and effective manner
  • The time and resource management planning
  • The ability to work with available resources, to collect and analyse research-oriented material

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Lee Gillam

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 36 months

Start date:

Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

Candidates should have a first degree in computing or cognate discipline from a UK university or the international equivalent. They should have obtained the degree at 2.2 level or higher.

In exceptional circumstances, work experience may also be considered if the candidate has achieved less than a 2.2.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

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.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2017 £8,700 £19,000
Part-time Sep 2017 £4,400 £9,500

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Our alumni