The electronic handling of information is one of the defining technologies of our age. Enormous volumes of information are routinely stored and transmitted worldwide and most aspects of our daily lives would come to a halt should the information infrastructure fail.
However, with the benefits deriving from the ability to automatically manage so much information, come major threats to businesses, governments and individuals. These threats include possible fraud through information manipulation, deliberate damage to stored and transmitted information, and blackmail associated with the threat of damage.
The field of Information Security, namely the study of countermeasures to these real and serious threats, has grown up very rapidly in recent years. The subject embraces a range of technologies such as cryptography, computer security, and fraud detection, and also includes the study of how security can best be managed.
This advanced course is taught by the Information Security Group (ISG), and security experts from industry. It is designed to produce a comprehensive education in the technical, legal and commercial aspects of Information Security and is available through two distinct pathways: Technical (Main) Pathway and Secure Digital Business Pathway.
There are two pathways available: Technical (Main) Pathway and Secure Digital Business Pathway. To complete the MSc, students must take four core units, two electives, and the MSc project.
Core course units:
Security Management- You will be provided with perspectives on information security management. Eleven lectures are provided by eleven different speakers with expertise in varying aspects of information security management. You will be expected to build a picture of what information security management is, form a view as to the purposes of information security management and recognize the benefits it can bring to an organization. Recent lectures have been given by representatives from Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Accenture, BP, HBOS and O2 UK.
An Introduction to Cryptography and Security Mechanisms- The approach of this module is non-technical. The primary objectives are to explain why cryptography is needed, what it provides, how basic cryptographic mechanisms work and what issues need to be addressed when implementing cryptography. The mathematical content of this module is minimal and mathematics tutorial support will be provided for those who require it.
Network Security (Technical Pathway)- You will explore the protection of data transferred over commercial information networks, including computer and telecommunications networks. You will study current networking concepts, a variety of generic security technologies, including user identification techniques, authentication protocols and key distribution mechanisms. You will also look at security solutions for a variety of types of practical networks, including LANs, WANs, proprietary computer networks, mobile networks and electronic mail.
Computer Security (Technical Pathway)-
You will explore the core concepts of security: security policies, security models, subjects and objects, and access rights; user authentication, including the use of tokens and biometrics; and important access control models and policies. You will also study how access control can be implemented in hardware, operating systems and software; how access control is implemented in commercial products; why operating systems and computer systems remain vulnerable to attack; and how vulnerable systems can be strengthened to increase their resistance to attackers.
Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Electronic Commerce (Secure Digital Business Pathway)-
This is an introduction to non-lawyers of basic legal concepts and rules which apply to e-commerce activities, basic legal risk management techniques for information security managers, and to the most significant of the regulatory aspects which apply to secure electronic commerce. The legal coverage of the unit is directed almost entirely to non-criminal law, with an emphasis on legal obligations and liabilities between private parties.
Security Technologies (Secure Digital Business Pathway)- You will look at core technologies of information security in todays IT infrastructures. The unit combines elements of both network security and computer security, the first of which is concerned with the protection of data over networks and the latter with the protection of data at end user systems.
MSc Project- This is a compulsory unit that contributes 25% to the total marks of the MSc. This project is a major individual piece of work. It can be of academic nature and aim at acquiring and demonstrating understanding and the ability to reason about some specific area of information security. Alternatively, the project work may document the ability to deal with a practical aspect of information security.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.