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Information Security MSc

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£11,800 (FT) £6,010 (PT)
£25,890 (FT) £12,950 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 17 June 2017

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.

Accreditation: GCHQ Certified Master's degree in General Cyber Security
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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.

International students

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:

Degree information

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).

Core modules

  • Computer Security I
  • Computer Security II
  • Introduction to Cryptography
  • Research in Information Security

Optional modules

Students choose four of the following:

  • Distributed Systems and Security
  • People and Security
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Information Security Management
  • Language Based Security
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Security and Privacy
  • Malware
  • Cryptanalysis
  • Cybercrime
  • Privacy Enhancing Technologies
  • Relevant options from other MSc degree programmes


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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Information Security MSc


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

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
64% 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.

Application deadlines

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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