MSc Computer Systems Security
As the use of information systems is now widespread in the lives of individuals, business and society, the security of computer systems is increasingly important.
The significance of information security and the demand for relevant skills has been emphasised recently by high-profile incidents concerning the privacy of personal data and security of financial information.
This specialist Computer Systems Security masters focuses on the technical aspects of computer systems security and systems administration, including penetration testing.
You will be taught by an internationally recognised team from the department’s Cybersecurity Research Group, and external speakers contribute to delivering the latest expertise and developments.
You will study the following modules:
- Project Management and Research Methodology (20 credits)
- Network Security (20 credits)
- Security Management (20 credits)
- Incident Management and Response (20 credits)
- Practical Application Security (20 credits)
- Secure Code and Vulnerability Development (20 credits)
- MSc Project (60 credits)
This postgraduate computing course is delivered in four major blocks to offer an intensive but focused learning pattern. Full-time students will typically spend 12 hours in classes each week. If you choose to study part-time, this is reduced to around six hours each week. You will study through lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, seminars and projects.
You will need to spend a significant amount of time working independently, reading and preparing for assessments. Assessment is primarily by coursework, varying from a research-style paper or essay to programming assignments. You will also work on a significant research project and a major project of your own choice, where strong independent thinking, critical analysis and project management skills will be important.
Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.
We have a full range of high-specification computer labs and an ongoing investment programme to ensure that our facilities stay at the forefront of computing developments.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
This course is designed for graduates with a minimum 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent. Candidates should have a computing background with very good IT skills or extensive experience of the relevant sector.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9500
Full-time International: £15100
Part-time UK: £1055 per 20 credits
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: £16000
Part-time UK: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24
Career opportunities are excellent – the demand for specialists in this area continues to rise as companies become increasingly dependent on computers and the internet. On graduation, you will be equipped for careers that require in-depth knowledge of technical security issues. Potential roles include systems administrator, security penetration tester or information security consultant, and skills gained strongly relate to the roles of information security analyst and IT security co-ordinator.
With education to Masters level now the recognised professional level of competence, graduates will be better placed to pursue careers in industry, or continue their interest in computer systems security through a computing research degree or computing PhD.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.