School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

MSc Computer and Information Security

Computer and information security is a vital issue in today’s IT environment. This programme will provide you with the necessary skills to understand and apply specialised security knowledge in the identification and resolution of IT security threats facing modern organisations. Develop a rounded view of key security domain topics such as security management and computer forensics, and gain the hands-on skills to confidently implement, configure and manage the tools you’ll face in practice.

Key features

  • Be confident studying a degree accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The University has been awarded Academic Partner status by the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP), in recognition of the significant base of security-related expertise within the institution. This link encourages and enables a dialogue between academia and the wider community of security practitioners.
  • Learn from research-active staff at the forefront of knowledge, conducting research within the Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research.
  • Put your skills into practice in our high specification security, networking and digital forensic laboratories.
  • Technology supported learning with free iPad mini and eBooks.
  • Active Computer and Information Security Society (CISS) provide opportunities for networking, problem solving, speakers from industry as well as a valuable source of contacts.
  • Build on the foundation which this course offers and take the opportunity to progress onto a research degree at MPhil or PhD level.
  • Explore the option of completing the programme over two years with an integral work placement year.
  • Benefit from the courses extensive links with major professional bodies and societies such as the BCS, ISACA, IFIP Technical Committee 11 and the Institute for Information Security Professionals (IISP). 
  • Take the opportunity to make career inroads through strong industrial links with major organisations such as Kaspersky Labs, Symantec, Orange, France-Telecom, and various UK government departments.
  • Engage with the BCS South West branch programme, who hold many of their sessions at Plymouth University. The branch has a rich programme of events that contributes to broadening the knowledge and experience of the students.
  • Continually under review to ensure all content is relevant and timely the programme has recently begun to offer AccessData Certification as a part of the cybercrime and investigation module, enabling you to achieve professional recognition as well as academic credit.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • During your year of study you will gain an understanding of key topics such as security management, cryptography, network and system security, computer forensics, and protection in application scenarios. You'll also benefit from being taught a wide variety of hands-on skills, which enable you to implement, configure and manage many of the typical controls you will encounter in practice - including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, authentication and access mechanisms, and forensic case management tools. The project will enable you to explore and develop in-depth knowledge on a particular area of security. You'll become a subject expert and push the boundaries of the current understanding.
    Core modules
    • BPIE500 Masters Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who will be undertaking an industrial placement as part of their masters programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement, and preparation for the placement itself.

    • PROJ513 MSc Project (September)

      The student will complete a research project of their choosing (from a Project Catalogue - or self-proposed), and communicate their motivation, methodology, and conclusions through a formal dissertation and presentation of a paper summarising their dissertation.

    • SEC502 Network Security and Penetration Testing

      This module looks at the defensive techniques used in protecting network systems in contrast with the offensive techniques used in Penetration Testing (the use of security tools and techniques to identify and demonstrate the exploitability of weaknesses in IT systems security). The module also considers the related ethical/legal issues.

    • SEC505 Digital Forensic Investigation

      This module examines the procedures, tools and techniques utilised within the field of digital forensics. It will introduce a fundamental understanding of the volatility of data, the procedural steps taken to ensure the integrity of data and how to undertake an investigation.

    • SEC504 Secure Systems Architectures and Mechanisms

      System security addresses protection mechanisms appropriate to various IT systems and architectures, focusing upon technologies that are appropriate regardless of whether a system is implemented as part of a network. These mechanisms and cryptographic protocols help to provide confidentiality, integrity of data as well as authentication and authorisation.

    • FTGS507 Professional and Research Skills with Entrepreneurship

      The module reviews and develops personal and professional skills using CPD as a theme. It also prepares, develops and launches the student into the research environment and their individual project. The module also develops entrepreneurial awareness and understanding, particularly relating to the research project.

    • SEC501 Information Security Management and Governance

      This module looks at the issues surrounding the management and governance of information security within an organisational context. Consideration is given to the need for related policy, analysis of risk, and the management of organisational assets. Coverage also includes legal and personnel aspects of security, giving an overview of the wide range of laws and regulations governing systems and information security.

    • SEC503 Intrusion Analysis and Incident Management

      This module will examine the field of intrusion prevention, detection and response and the role it plays within modern information security systems. It will introduce key concepts in the analysis of network traffic for signs of intrusions, as well as the process of responding to computer incidents.

  • Optional placement year
  • Optional modules
    • BPIE501 Computing Masters Industrial Placement

      This module enables students to take a lengthy placement linked to their programme. Assessment is based on Progress Reports, Regional Tutor evaluation, Employer evaluation and self-evaluation via reflective report (or portfolio).

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Computer and Information Security Sept Programme Specification 3836

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A good first degree in computing or a computing-related discipline. A lower degree classification may be considered if you can demonstrate a significant level of experience in the security area, with competence in computer programming. Professional experience may also be taken into consideration.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is 6.5.

English language requirements

No graduates of BSc (Hons) Computer and Information Security from Plymouth University will be accepted.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2016 2017
Home/EU Check with School ​£6,500
International Check with School £13,250
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School £350
Part time (International) Check with School Check with School
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

International students

Scholarships are available for international students.

How to apply

Applying for postgraduate taught study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

If you would like any further information please contact the Postgraduate and Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

 

Applying for postgraduate research study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. The Graduate School are available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.  If  you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

If you would like any further information please contact the Graduate School:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 587640

Email: graduateschool@plymouth.ac.uk


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Dedicated laboratory facilities

As well as accessing our standard computing laboratories, you’ll be able to make extensive use of a 42-seat dedicated security and digital forensics laboratory, purpose-built to represent a range of network topologies and monitoring conditions.

Practical activities and tools used include: Webgoat, secure coding, analysis of honeynet challenges, scapy, nmap, metasploit, Snort, and FTK.

Computer and Information Security Society (CISS)

You’ll get the chance to join the active student-led Computer and Information Security Society (CISS), which organises additional seminars and other activities in order to further enhance your experience at Plymouth.

Previous activities have included a trip to the historic WWII code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park.

Pursue industry-recognised certification

Benefit from the University’s agreement with the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) to provide courseware scholarships for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification.

You can also get access to the AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE) courseware, to improve your proficiency with Forensic Toolkit FTK.

Find out more about the industry recognised certification

Industry participation and endorsement

Plymouth's security degree provides a really strong foundation for those looking for a career in the industry.

Ram Herkanaidu (Kaspersky Lab’s UK Education Manager)

Find out more industry participation and endorsement

Watch our podcasts

An extensive range of podcasts are available on the Plymouth University iTunes U site.

Including segments from our lectures, invited presentations, interviews and other activities linked to our teaching, research and industry engagement.

Watch the iTunes U collection of videos

Jean-Paul Fizaine - current student quote

I initially chose to study at Plymouth as the University has a partnership agreement with my engineering school in France. Now I have been here a few months I have seen for myself the good facilities at the University.

Jean-Paul has relished the experience of meeting and speaking to people from all over Europe and the rest of the world.

ESIEA (Ecole Superieure d’Informatique Electronique Automatique, France

Research in computer and information security

This programme is closely linked with research activities within the Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN).

Find out more about our research in this area

People

GREAT scholarship for students of Indian nationality

Level/course of study: any post graduate taught degree programme. 

Minimum eligibility criteria for consideration for award: Students of Indian nationality with a first class with distinction (70 per cent) or equivalent in their undergraduate degree.

Value of award: £5,000

Application: Please complete the GREAT application form above and return this, along with all requested documents, to the email address specified. 

Please note: You must already hold an offer from the Plymouth University for September 2017 entry, for a postgraduate taught degree programme, before completing and submitting this form. Please do not complete or submit this form if you do not hold a relevant offer, as your application will not be considered. See terms and conditions for details. 

Closing date for award: 30 June 2017.