The Information Security MSc offers a specialist programme designed to provide a fundamental understanding of information security and to convey practical engineering skills. There are good prospects for highly trained information security professionals and there is a shortage of trained personnel in this area.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £11,800 (FT) £6,010 (PT)
- £25,890 (FT) £12,950 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
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.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
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.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
- Computer Security I (15 credits)
- Computer Security II (15 credits)
- Introduction to Cryptography (15 credits)
- Research in Information Security (15 credits)
Students choose 60 credits from the following:
- Applied Cryptography (15 credits)
- Cryptanalysis (15 credits)
- Cybercrime (15 credits)
- Distributed Systems and Security (15 credits)
- Information Security Management (15 credits)
- Language Based Security (15 credits)
- Malware (15 credits)
- People and Security (15 credits)
- Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Security and Privacy (15 credits)
- Privacy Enhancing Technologies (15 credits)
Please note: the availability and delivery of modules may vary, based on your selected options.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation (maximum length of 120 pages) and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, problem classes, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. Assessment is through written examinations, presentations, vivas, tests, coursework, written reports, formal presentations and the research project.
4 MSc Scholarships, worth £4000 each, are made available by the Department of Computer Science to UK/EU offer holders with a record of excellent academic achievement. The closing date is 30 June 2017. For more information, please see the department pages.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
UCL graduates are keenly sought by the world's leading organisations. UCL Computer Science graduates are particularly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London. Our graduates secure careers in a wide variety of organisations, e.g. with global IT consultancies, as IT analysts with City banks, or as IT specialists within manufacturing industries.
Top career destinations for this degree
- Risk IT RTB Support Administrator, Lloyds Banking Group
- Technical Analyst, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
- IT Lead Developer, MOVE Guides
- Software Developer, Oracle
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching, Cisco
Some of the brightest alumni of the degree go on to careers in academia. The majority of our students take jobs in the software and consultancy industries, usually in a security-related role such as security standards compliance, secure software design or security consultancy. Students have the opportunity to do industrially based projects with companies such as BT and McAfee. The department is recognised as an academic centre of excellence on cyber security and further opportunities to expand both academic and industrial contacts occur through the ACE-CS guest lecture series integrated into the course.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research, and was one of the top-rated departments in the UK government's recent Research Excellence Framework.
This MSc is taught by academics who conduct world-leading research, most notably in cryptography and human-centred approaches to security, privacy and trust. Access to industry-led projects and guest lecturers from academia and industry will enhance post-graduation opportunities for careers in security-related research, or employment in cyber security roles. Students from the degree won the first UK Cyber Security Challenge in code cracking in 2013.
UCL's central London location enables students to enjoy the full benefits of life in a vibrant world city with easy access to excellent scientific and cultural centres.
The MSc Information Security has been successfully certified to the 'GCHQ Certified Master's degree in General Cyber Security' standard.
Department: Computer Science
Student / staff numbers
› 200 staff
including 120 postdocs
› 650 taught students
› 180 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Computer Science
96% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
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.
Who can apply?
This MSc is designed to appeal to computer science, electrical engineering and mathematics graduates who wish to be involved with the security aspects of information technology. The programme is intended as a foundation to a rewarding career at the more advanced levels of information security.
- All applicants
- 17 June 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Information Security at graduate level
- why you want to study Information Security at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
- what programming experience you have
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
Successful applicants to this programme will be required to pay a tuition fee deposit dependent on their mode of study and fee status as given below:
- UK/EU full-time: £2,000
- UK/EU part-time: £1,000
- Overseas full-time: £2,000
- Overseas part-time: £1,000
Further details can be found on the Fees and funding page.