Information Security MSc
The MSc Information Security at UCL provides students with a fundamental understanding of information security and practical engineering skills. Students will develop specialist knowledge, which can lead to highly skilled careers in information technology and in information security.
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme startsSeptember 2022
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree (or international qualification of an equivalent standard) in computer science, electrical engineering, or mathematics. Relevant work experience may also be considered.
- 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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.
About this degree
As a student on the MSc Information Security, you will 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. You will develop a wide range of intellectual, practical, and transferable skills, enabling you to pursue a flexible professional career in IT.
Students on this programme will take modules to the value of 180 credits, on successful completion of which they will be awarded MSc in Information Security.
Who this course is for
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.
What this course will give you
- UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
- We take an experimental approach to our subject, enjoy the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships, and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.
- UCL Computer Science graduates are highly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London.
- The programme 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.
- The department is recognised as an academic centre of excellence on cyber security and further opportunities to expand both academic and industrial contacts arise through the ACE-CSR guest lecture series integrated into the degree.
The foundation of your career
Alumni from this programme have pursued careers in software and consultancy industries, usually in security-related roles such as security standards compliance, secure software design or security consultancy, whilst others have gone on to pursue further study or a career in academia.
The programme is designed to enhance your career prospects through the advanced study of information security topics. It aims to educate you to make an early and substantial contribution to your future employer in broad areas, from threat modelling and risk analysis over vulnerability exploitation to secure system design. You are prepared to assume key security-related roles in your field, such as security standards compliance, secure software design, or security consultancy, being able to apply independent and critical analysis to a variety of cybersecurity disciplines. The research-based curriculum promotes strong research skills, enabling you to evaluate and add to the evidence-base of the profession.
AccreditationMSc Information Security has full certification by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Certification applies for students entering the programme from 2016/17 to 2021/22 inclusive; renewal is expected from 2022/23. To be eligible for certification, students must take Information Security Management (COMP0059) as an optional module and meet the programme’s Award Requirements.
Teaching and learning
You will be assessed through a range of methods across the programme, which will vary depending on any optional or elective module choices. The programme’s core curriculum is typically assessed by methods including coursework, lab work, individual and group projects, class tests, written examinations, oral assessments, and, in all cases, culminating in a final research project/ dissertation.
Contact time takes a variety of forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervisions, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, visits, placements, office hours (where staff are available for consultation), email, videoconference, or other media, and situations where feedback on assessed work is given (one-to-one or in a group).
Each module has a credit value that indicates the total notional learning hours a learner will spend on average to achieve its learning outcomes. One credit is typically described as being equal to 10 hours of notional learning, which includes all contact time, self-directed study, and assessment.
The contact time for each of your 15 credit taught modules will typically include 22-30 hours of teaching activity (classroom based and/ or online) over the term of its delivery, with the balance then comprised of self-directed learning and working on your assessments. You will have ongoing contact with teaching staff via each module’s online discussion forum, which is typically used for discussing and clarifying concepts or assessment matters, and will have the opportunity to access additional support via regular office hours with module leaders and programme directors.
Your research project/ dissertation module is 60 credits and will include regular contact with your project supervisor(s), who will guide and support you throughout your project. You will dedicate most of your time on this module to carrying out research in connection with your project and writing up your final report.
The MSc Information Security is a one-year programme.
In term one, you will study topics that introduce you to security concepts and techniques, including the core security principles required to engineer systems providing confidentiality, integrity and availability, and the foundations of cryptography and information security. You will choose from a range of optional topics, which may include cryptocurrencies, malware, the philosophy, politics and economics of security, and distributed systems and security.
In term two, you will study topics that deepen and extend your knowledge of computer security and develop an advanced understanding of network and computer security vulnerabilities, as well as countermeasures, in real-world systems. You will learn what research in information security is about, how to identify a contribution, what the quality standards in scientific publications are, and to study selected technical sub-topics in depth. You will choose from a range of optional topics, which may include, people and security, information security management, privacy enhancing technologies, practical program analysis, and cybercrime. You will also begin preparation for your final research project/ dissertation.
In term 3, you will primarily focus on your final research project/ dissertation and any examination that take place in the main examination period.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Information Security.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£16,500||£8,250|
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£32,100||£16,050|
The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000.
Students will require a modern computer (PC or Mac). The minimum specifications should be 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A computer with the stated specifications will cost approximately £500.
Some students run Linux on their PCs while others run Windows with Linux Virtual Machines installed.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Funding your studies
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.
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.
Due to competition for places on this programme, no late applications will be considered. Students with visa requirements or applying for scholarships are advised to apply early.
Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021