Information Security MSc - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey

Framework

FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MSc Information Security
MSc Information Security with Professional Postgraduate Year

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Information Security
PGCert Information Security
PGDip Information Security with Professional Postgraduate Year
PGCert Information Security with Professional Postgraduate Year

Professional recognition

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
Our course has received Full Certification from GCHQ, is taught by experts, and equips you with the theoretical grounding and hands-on experience demanded by the information-security sector.

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PGA61007 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits
Full-time with Placement PGA71001 240 credits and 120 ECTS credits
Part-time PGA61008 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Computing (Master)

Other internal and / or external reference points

N/A

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Programme Leader

RADOMIROVIC Sasa (CS & EE)

Date of production/revision of spec

01/03/2024

Educational aims of the programme

  • The programme will provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of information security theory and concepts. The programme will 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.
  • The programme will 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.
  • The programme will 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

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Knowledge and understanding of the general information security aims and challenges K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Knowledge and understanding of technical and mathematical concepts and mechanisms for the protection of digital data and information K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Knowledge and understanding of technical concepts and mechanisms for digital forensics K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Knowledge and understanding of technical concepts and mechanisms for the development of secure computing systems and applications K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Knowledge and understanding of technical concepts and mechanisms for securing network communications and infrastructures K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to critically evaluate information security mechanisms and technologies with respect to their functionality, security properties and application challenges K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to implement or apply existing information security mechanisms and technologies in practice K PGDip, MSc
The ability to design, develop and analyse secure systems and applications by taking into account both technical and non-technical perspectives K PGDip, MSc
The ability to critically evaluate new ideas, develop own ideas and conduct supervised research in information security K MSc
The ability to analyse and solve problems of technical nature under consideration of various risks and constraints C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to make effective and efficient decisions in an environment of conflicting interests C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to think strategically C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
The ability to synthesise and critically evaluate the work of others C PGDip, MSc
The ability to apply fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies C PGDip, MSc
The ability to carry out an independent research investigation aiming to improve the state-of-the-art knowledge in the field C MSc
Ability to come up with technical solutions to a range of problems P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to use concepts and theories to make judgements on the suitability of solutions, their advantages and disadvantages P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to implement mechanisms and apply them in a wider context of more complex systems P PGDip, MSc
Ability to present their opinions and findings and to produce a high-quality report P PGDip, MSc
Ability to communicate concepts and results in a clear and effective manner T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Time and resource management planning T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Ability to work with available resources, to collect and analyse research-oriented material T PGDip, MSc

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Full-time with Placement

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over 24 months, consisting of 240 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Part-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied part-time over three academic years, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)

N/A

Modules

Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose 2 out of 4 optional modules.

Students starting the programme in February will undertake the below module 'Across Academic Years' rather then Year-Long:
COMM002

Year 1 (full-time with placement - 2 years) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time with placement - 2 years) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose 1 optional module in semester 1 and 1 optional module in semester 2.

Year 2 (full-time with placement - 2 years) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 2 (full-time with placement - 2 years) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must choose 1 optional module in semester 1 and 1 optional module in semester 2.

Students starting the programme in February will undertake the below module 'Across Academic Years' rather then Year-Long:
COMM002

Year 3 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module code Module title Status Credits Semester
COMM002 MSC DISSERTATION Core 60 Year-long
COMM002 MSC DISSERTATION Core 60 Cross Year

Module Selection for Year 3 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students starting the programme in February will undertake the below module 'Across Academic Years' rather then Year-Long:
COMM002

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y Yes: possible as summer internship within the dissertation projects (up to 2 months)
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Digital Capabilities
Information Security is critical in any digital workspace and this programme provides both a solid technical grounding in the theory and key practical skills that will allow students to apply their knowledge in the workplace. Students will develop solutions to real world challenges in modules such as Information and Network Security learning skills that will be directly applicable in industry. Digital skills are key for many industry jobs and this programme aims to develop both the foundational underpinning as well as industry ready digital skills.

Employability
This programme provides the foundational theory and practical skills that allow our students to work in a range of different industries such as tech, or finance. Wherever possible we use industry standard software to provide students with the practical skills that will allow them to compete for technical information security jobs. On top of this, we ensure students have an understanding of the fundamental key principles of Information Security as this will allow them to apply their knowledge to new technologies and new situations. Wherever possible, we work with real world problems and modules such as Architectural Thinking for Security will allow students to work together to solve a large scale problem in a situation similar to what would be expected of them in an industry context. This programme offer a placement option which gives students the benefit of a year working in industry to improve their employment prospects.

Global and Cultural Skills
Computer Science is a global language and the tools and languages used on this programme can be used internationally. Students learn work together in groups with other students from different backgrounds to solve a problem. This programme allows students to develop skills that will allow them to build or work with applications with global reach and collaborate with their peers around the world.

Resourcefulness and Resilience
This programme requires practical problem-solving skills that teach a student how to reason about and solve new unseen problems starting with a problem scenario and designing and developing a complex and practical solution to the problem. A typical coursework will present a scenario (often in real world context) and ask students to develop a solution. This requires not just technical development skills but the planning and problems-solving skill to approach a large problem, break it down into smaller chunks and solve and integrate these chunks into a working solution. We encourage an open ended nature to our practical work where possible. This encourages students to go beyond the taught material and deliver innovative solutions to large scale problems. A module such as Architectural Thinking for Security teaches students how to work in group to plan and execute a complex project. The MSc Dissertation module requires student to use these skills to take an idea concept through to implementation and write a professional report detailing their work.

Sustainability
Computers are embedded within almost every industry including industries such as energy and agriculture to enhance sustainability. As part of the MSc Dissertation module, students have the opportunity to work in many areas including supporting the UN Sustainability goals.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality-enhancement-standards

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.