MSc ACS: Computer Security

Year of entry: 2021

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Overview

Degree awarded
MSc
Duration
12 Months. [Full-Time, September-September only]
Entry requirements
We require a First or strong Upper Second class honours degree or equivalent in Computer Science or in a joint degree with at least 50% Computer Science content. Applicants with extensive Computer Science industrial experience and a good honours degree in Computer Science, or its overseas equivalent, may also be considered for admission. We also require that all applicants have a strong background in Computer Science reflected, for example, in solid programming and software development skills.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

As there is high demand for this course we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year.  Due to the competition for places, we give preference to applicants with grades above our minimum entry requirements.  

Applications for 2021 entry:

Stage 1:  Application received by  13 November 2020;  Decision by  12 January 2021.

Stage 2:  Application received by  8 January 2021;  Decision by  12 March 2021.

Stage 3:  Application received by  5 March 2021;  Decision by  23 April 2021.

Stage 4:  Application received by  28 May 2021;  Decision by  25 June 2021.

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date. If this is the case we will let you know after the deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y N N N

Course description

Individuals, governments and organizations now routinely connect their computers to the Internet to communicate, provide services, and access massive stores of shared information. These on-line activities, many conducted beyond national boundaries, have opened up enormous opportunities for security attacks such as identity thefts, computer hackings, privacy breaches, technical sabotages, etc. Addressing security threats and attacks in this vast and complex distributed environment is an immensely challenging task.

The Computer Security pathway is centred round a core Security theme that introduces students to fundamental security topics that arise in the design, analysis, and implementation of networked and distributed systems. Subsidiary themes allow students to investigate broader areas in which they may apply their newly acquired skills. The pathway is designed for students who wish to specialize in the security aspect of the Information Technology field.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £26,500

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

Department
Department of Computer Science
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 6181
Email
Website
https://www.manchester.ac.uk/cs
School/Faculty

The School of Engineering creates a world of possibilities for students pursuing skills and understanding. Through dynamic research and teaching we develop engineering solutions that make a difference to society in an ethical and sustainable way.  Science-based engineering is at the heart of what we do, and through collaboration we support the engineers and scientists of tomorrow to become technically strong, analytically innovative and creative. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require a First or strong Upper Second class honours degree or equivalent in Computer Science or in a joint degree with at least 50% Computer Science content. Applicants with extensive Computer Science industrial experience and a good honours degree in Computer Science, or its overseas equivalent, may also be considered for admission. We also require that all applicants have a strong background in Computer Science reflected, for example, in solid programming and software development skills.

English language

In order to be accepted onto an MSc programme in the Department of Computer Science, applicants need to provide evidence of having achieved the required level in a recognised English language qualification.

We also accept many other English language qualifications from overseas, depending on the qualification, the scores obtained and the University's assessment of its academic suitability.

Please contact pgt.compsci@manchester.ac.uk  and we will be able to advise further.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course. Please contact us for further information: pgt-compsci@manchester.ac.uk

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

As there is high demand for this course we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year.  Due to the competition for places, we give preference to applicants with grades above our minimum entry requirements.  

Applications for 2021 entry:

Stage 1:  Application received by  13 November 2020;  Decision by  12 January 2021.

Stage 2:  Application received by  8 January 2021;  Decision by  12 March 2021.

Stage 3:  Application received by  5 March 2021;  Decision by  23 April 2021.

Stage 4:  Application received by  28 May 2021;  Decision by  25 June 2021.

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the deadline date, in some instances due to the competition for places and the volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date. If this is the case we will let you know after the deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion.

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which course units you have taken and the marks obtained. Even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant course units in our final decision making.

If you graduated more than three years ago, we will also consider the information contained on your CV and any relevant work experience you have to assess if you are still able to fulfil the entry criteria.

Interview requirements

No interview is required for this course.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

If you have previously studied in the UK on a Tier 4 visa as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, please send a copy of your previous CAS statement to us as it will assist with the issue of your new CAS statement. This includes study in the UK on study abroad programmes and any study that you did not complete.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. The Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are not accepted for this course. If you receive an offer for 2021 entry and decide not to accept it, should you subsequently wish to be considered for 2022 entry you must re-apply.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Individuals, governments and organizations now routinely connect their computers to the Internet to communicate, provide services, and access massive stores of shared information. These on-line activities, many conducted beyond national boundaries, have opened up enormous opportunities for security attacks such as identity thefts, computer hackings, privacy breaches, technical sabotages, etc. Addressing security threats and attacks in this vast and complex distributed environment is an immensely challenging task.

The Computer Security pathway is centred round a core Security theme that introduces students to fundamental security topics that arise in the design, analysis, and implementation of networked and distributed systems. Subsidiary themes allow students to investigate broader areas in which they may apply their newly acquired skills. The pathway is designed for students who wish to specialize in the security aspect of the Information Technology field.

Teaching and learning

Computational thinking is becoming increasingly pervasive and is informing our understanding of phenomena across a range of areas; from engineering and physical sciences, to business and society. This is reflected in the way the Manchester course is taught, with students able to choose from an extremely broad range of units that not only cover core computer science topics, but that draw on our interdisciplinary research strengths in areas such as Medical and Health Sciences, Life Sciences and Humanities.

Coursework and assessment

Lectures and seminars are supported by practical exercises that impart skills as well as knowledge. These skills are augmented through an MSc project that enables students to put into practice the techniques they have been taught throughout the course.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Automated Reasoning and Verification COMP60332 15 Mandatory
Cryptography COMP61411 15 Mandatory
Cyber Security COMP61421 15 Mandatory
Software Security COMP63342 15 Mandatory
Masters Project COMP66090 90 Mandatory
Modelling Data on the Web COMP60411 15 Optional
Data Engineering COMP60711 15 Optional
Systems Governance COMP60721 15 Optional
Foundations of Machine Learning COMP61011 15 Optional
Representation Learning COMP61021 15 Optional
Software Engineering Concepts in Practice COMP61511 15 Optional
Querying Data on the Web COMP62421 15 Optional
Agile and Test-Driven Development COMP62521 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units

Additional fee information

Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

The MSc in Advanced Computer Science has an excellent record of employment for its graduates. Opportunities exist in fields as diverse as finance, films and games, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, consumer products, and public services - virtually all areas of business and society. Manchester Computer Science MSc courses are considered among the best in the country and our graduates are actively targeted for the very top jobs in industry and academia.

Security plays a role in almost all areas where computers are being used, including, for example, finance, healthcare, consumer products, and public services.  Thus students who have followed the Computer Security pathway will be ideally placed in any of these areas, especially in positions where they need to be aware of security issues and solutions.

We maintain close relationships with potential employers and run various activities throughout the year, including career fairs, guest lectures, and projects run jointly with partners from industry. This is managed by our Employability Tutor; see the Department of Computer Science's employability pages for more information.