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  • Network & Information Security / with Management Studies Masters (MSc)

Network & Information Security MSc

Why choose this course?

Cyber security, the umbrella term for computer, network and information security is of increasing importance – new legislation, technologies, vulnerabilities and threats necessitate frequent system updates. This course aims to equip you with technical knowledge of current and emerging technologies and an understanding of the underlying theory of cryptography, networking and network security technologies. You will learn to assess, plan, design and develop secure and reliable networks and systems. You can combine this course with management studies.

Key features

  • This course is a Provisionally NCSC Certified Master's and also accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
  • The course is taught in a specialist data communications lab with access to the latest networking and security equipment from vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft and Clavister. Current and emerging technology will also be demonstrated by representatives from industry.
  • You will have the option to work in one of our state-of-the-art research labs, called WMN (Wireless Multimedia and Networking). WMN is involved in EU and UK research collaborations and offers opportunities for advanced research and short-term research fellowships on completion of your MSc degree.

Network & Information Security MSc

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks September 2020
Part time 2–3 years Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks September 2020

Network & Information Security with Management Studies (MSc)

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks September 2020
Part time 2–3 years Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • The Cyber Pathway of this course is Provisionally Certified with the NCSC, which is a sign of national excellence.
  • You will have access to our state-of-the-art cyber lab, with specialist cyber security tools, resources and equipment. This enables you to work in a safe sandbox environment, for practical experiments with malware, penetration testing, port scanning and other ethical hacking activities.
  • You may combine this course with management studies, setting your knowledge in a management context.

Accreditation

British Computer Society

British Computer Society

British Computer Society

The British Computer Society (BCS) accredits this course. This means that you can gain some exemption against BCS professional examinations, leading to Chartered membership and CEng, IEng or CSci status. For full details of exemption and accreditation levels, please check the BCS course search.

Please note: The programme delivered at our partner institution overseas is not currently accredited by the BCS.

The Faculty is a long-time member of BCS. For many years we have hosted meetings of the local BCS Kingston and Croydon Branch, contributing to members' continuing professional development programmes.

What you will study

You will gain a critical awareness of the current developments and future trends in cryptography, network security and wireless security, starting from the mathematical principles behind cryptographic algorithms and moving on to secure network protocols.

As security and dependability are inextricably linked, the course also covers dependable and highly available architectures. Techniques and technologies to combat threats will be explored, from secure authentication mechanisms, through firewalls, to information policies and user education to combat social engineering and data leakage.

The Management Studies route will set your technical knowledge in a management context.

The full MSc course consists of an induction programme, four taught modules, and project dissertation. Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm). For further details please contact secpgstudentoffice@kingston.ac.uk.

Network and Information Security MSc modules

Network and Information Security MSc with Management Studies

Core modules

Cryptography and Applications

30 credits

This core module provides an overview of cryptography and various applications in information security, communication and computer science. This module deals with mathematical principles on which cryptography is based to include cryptographic algorithms, including practical examples of breaking codes. Additional techniques such as information hiding and secret sharing are progressively introduced. An introduction to advanced and emerging cryptographic techniques such as elliptic curve cryptography and quantum techniques.

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • review concepts in computational number theory and their relevance for the design of secure and efficient techniques in cryptography;
  • describe and deploy common symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms used as standards in modern cryptosystems;
  • compare and contrast the properties of hash functions and attacks on them, and be familiar with their use in digital signature algorithms and their role in security protocols;
  • explain techniques for information hiding and secret sharing, and analyse their applications in security;
  • analyse cryptographic protocols for implementing a wide range of security requirements; and
  • critically discuss applications of cryptography including the latest and future trends.
Network and Information Security

30 credits

The core module provides an overview of a wide range of security aspects and techniques of computer networks, both cabled and wireless. An introduction to basic aspects of information security progressing to cryptography. After studying fundamental concepts and algorithms, the topic of network security is introduced.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • critically discuss legal and ethical aspects of computer security;
  • compare and contrast data encryption algorithms suitable for encrypting, signing and protecting data and highlight their correct usages and significance in different security protocols;
  • analyse, model and evaluate the performance and security vulnerabilities, threats, risks and controls of cabled and wireless networks;
  • evaluate the role of firewalls, intrusion detection systems and vulnerability assessment tools in monitoring and securing a network, and analyse the protection provided by them;
  • discuss the statistical underpinnings of network traffic modelling including Erlang's theorems and queuing system in equilibrium; and
  • apply appropriate methodology to formulate the data, performance and security requirements of an organisation, to obtain potential solutions.
Data Communications

30 credits

This core module provides a working knowledge of data communications covering TCP/IP networks and digital communications. Topics covered include transport layer services, multiplexing, TCP congestion control, network layer – network service models, IP addressing and IP network design, routing principles, dynamic routing, digital transmission, modulation, multiplexing and channel coding.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Compare computer network architectures.
  • Evaluate the performance of TCP under varying flow control and congestion conditions.
  • Design an IP addressing scheme for a network.
  • Define and calculate transmission performance over a communication link.
  • Study and analyse characteristics of modulation methods.
Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the masters programme where you will carry out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Select, justify and use effectively the research methods and techniques appropriate for particular cases in order to carry out a literature search and an independent work of research.
  • Critically identify the need to position your research in the wider academic or business context and structure the dissertation format to agreed conventions.
  • Plan, manage and critically evaluate the project using the techniques and tools needed in order to bring it in successfully on time and within resourcing limits.
  • Identify and critically analyse real-world problems or knowledge gaps to which academic concepts and methods can be realistically applied to improve or resolve the problem situation.
  • Apply skills to show an ability to engage in academic and professional communication with others in their field through report and presentation.
  • Present critical awareness in applying appropriate legal, social or ethical obligations and when required, respond to the financial and other constraints of a corresponding business environment.

Optional modules

Wireless Communications and Networks

30 credits

This module addresses theory and practice of wireless communication systems and networks, including the most recent wireless communication standards. This module will focus on the propagation characteristics of wireless channels and the main techniques for efficient communication, including modulation and channel coding. Practical and useful knowledge of the wireless industry will be provided to include real-world wireless systems and networks covering wireless broadband systems and wireless sensor networks.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Develop an appreciation of a wide range of  wireless communication systems and networks.
  • A comprehension of the propagation characteristics of wireless channels.
  • An understanding of digital modulated transmission and of channel coding for wireless systems.
  • An understanding of multiplexing and multiple access techniques used for wireless networking.
  • The tools for system design and deployment, as well as performance estimation, evaluation and measurement for wireless networks.
  • An in-depth understanding of advanced  technologies, standards' update, system architecture and performance characteristics, in particular for All-IP networks WLANs, cellular / broadband wireless systems and wireless sensor networks, as well as relevant legal and regulatory aspects.
Mobile Security

30 credits

(For NCSC Certified Pathway)

This module will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge into the main areas of mobile computing and its security aspects. Mobile communication modalities will be covered, including 3G/4G communication networks, Wi-Fi and personal area networks, mobile privacy and ethical issues. The gained knowledge will be applied in different mobile computing business environments such as mobile healthcare (m-health), mobile commerce (m-commerce), mobile learning (m-learning) and mobile web services (m-WS). Mobile security assessment will be introduced in order to formulate appropriate security requirements. Key management protocols in typically ad hoc, wireless and location-dynamic environments will be presented and analysed. Emerging topics such as the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile clouds and distributed social network security will also be discussed. The module also provides hands-on practical exposure to apps development in location and context aware environments.

Multimedia Communications

30 credits

This module addresses the theory and practice of multimedia communication systems and networks, with a special focus on multimedia signals (audio, images and video) and relevant compression and transmission techniques.

The first part of the module focuses in particular on the representation of multimedia sources and on lossless and lossy compression methods for data, audio, image and video signals.

The second part of the module focuses in particular on the transmission of multimedia sources over communication systems and networks and on the strategies adopted to protect multimedia content from channel and network errors and losses.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Articulate the various types of multimedia networks and the trends in multimedia communications and networking.
  • Critically analyse specific source coding techniques for multimedia sources.
  • Critically analyse multimedia transmission systems and protocols.
  • Measure, analyse and specify the QoS support required by different multimedia sources.
  • Appraise different aspects in the design, operation, and implementation of advanced multimedia communication systems and apply the learned concepts in a laboratory environment.
  • Write succinct, accurate technical reports.

Core modules

Cryptography and Applications

30 credits

This core module provides an overview of cryptography and various applications in information security, communication and computer science. This module deals with mathematical principles on which cryptography is based to include cryptographic algorithms, including practical examples of breaking codes. Additional techniques such as information hiding and secret sharing are progressively introduced. An introduction to advanced and emerging cryptographic techniques such as elliptic curve cryptography and quantum techniques.

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • review concepts in computational number theory and their relevance for the design of secure and efficient techniques in cryptography;
  • describe and deploy common symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms used as standards in modern cryptosystems;
  • compare and contrast the properties of hash functions and attacks on them, and be familiar with their use in digital signature algorithms and their role in security protocols;
  • explain techniques for information hiding and secret sharing, and analyse their applications in security;
  • analyse cryptographic protocols for implementing a wide range of security requirements; and
  • critically discuss applications of cryptography including the latest and future trends.
Network and Information Security

30 credits

The core module provides an overview of a wide range of security aspects and techniques of computer networks, both cabled and wireless. An introduction to basic aspects of information security progressing to cryptography. After studying fundamental concepts and algorithms, the topic of network security is introduced.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • critically discuss legal and ethical aspects of computer security;
  • compare and contrast data encryption algorithms suitable for encrypting, signing and protecting data and highlight their correct usages and significance in different security protocols;
  • analyse, model and evaluate the performance and security vulnerabilities, threats, risks and controls of cabled and wireless networks;
  • evaluate the role of firewalls, intrusion detection systems and vulnerability assessment tools in monitoring and securing a network, and analyse the protection provided by them;
  • discuss the statistical underpinnings of network traffic modelling including Erlang's theorems and queuing system in equilibrium; and
  • apply appropriate methodology to formulate the data, performance and security requirements of an organisation, to obtain potential solutions.
Data Communications

30 credits

This core module provides a working knowledge of data communications covering TCP/IP networks and digital communications. Topics covered include transport layer services, multiplexing, TCP congestion control, network layer – network service models, IP addressing and IP network design, routing principles, dynamic routing, digital transmission, modulation, multiplexing and channel coding.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Compare computer network architectures.
  • Evaluate the performance of TCP under varying flow control and congestion conditions.
  • Design an IP addressing scheme for a network.
  • Define and calculate transmission performance over a communication link.
  • Study and analyse characteristics of modulation methods.
Business in Practice

30 credits

This module runs on Saturdays.

This module is aimed at the practical needs of students from different academic contexts such as, but not limited to computing, science, medicine, biotechnology and the health services who are aspiring team leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs in business within the context of the commercial, public, voluntary, or academic sector.

The module introduces and uses activities and problem-solving to investigate business topics ranging from finance, accounting, budgeting, and marketing, to organisational management by developing the leadership skills to meet business challenges and cope with its complexity.

Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the masters programme where you will carry out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Select, justify and use effectively the research methods and techniques appropriate for particular cases in order to carry out a literature search and an independent work of research.
  • Critically identify the need to position your research in the wider academic or business context and structure the dissertation format to agreed conventions.
  • Plan, manage and critically evaluate the project using the techniques and tools needed in order to bring it in successfully on time and within resourcing limits.
  • Identify and critically analyse real-world problems or knowledge gaps to which academic concepts and methods can be realistically applied to improve or resolve the problem situation.
  • Apply skills to show an ability to engage in academic and professional communication with others in their field through report and presentation.
  • Present critical awareness in applying appropriate legal, social or ethical obligations and when required, respond to the financial and other constraints of a corresponding business environment.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses occurs in two stages. The standard course fee is payable in Year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in Year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2020 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,385 in September 2021. Students commencing the course in September 2021 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2022 (fee tbc).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • Good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or substantial work experience.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1 Core pathway:

Year 1 Management pathway

Year 1 Core pathway:
  • Scheduled teaching: 222 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1278 hours
Year 1 Management pathway
  • Scheduled teaching: 282 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1518 hours

Year 1 Core pathway: 15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Year 1 Management pathway: 16% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Core pathway

Management pathway

Core pathway
  • Coursework: 61%
  • Exams: 38%
  • Practical: 1%
Management pathway
  • Coursework: 65%
  • Exams: 30%
  • Practical: 5%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you may be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Computing and Information Systems in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Computing and Information Systems

The School of Computing and Information Systems offers high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses, designed to reflect the developing needs of business and industry. We deliver our teaching in an exciting and challenging learning environment, and make use of modern, well-equipped facilities.

Our courses cover the range of modern technologies in computer science, information systems and software engineering, with specialisations in games technology; network and wireless technologies; information security; electronic business; and embedded systems.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Facilities

Our modern teaching environment

There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • dedicated postgraduate computing laboratories, fully-equipped with fold-flat LCD screens, data-projection systems and high-spec processors;
  • state-of-the-art hardware and the latest software, including:
    • development software and tools - such as Linux, Microsoft.net, Dreamweaver MX, Flash 8, Eclipse, Java 2 Standard and Mobile Editions, tools for Motorola and Nokia phones, UML and CASE tools and NXP Processors Development Kits;
    • digital signal processors (dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers);
    • IP Set Top Box development environment (NXP's STB810);
    • electronics laboratory; and
    • a mix of wireless LAN technologies;
  • subject libraries, online database subscriptions and resource materials;
  • a postgraduate teaching suite; and
  • the dedicated Graduate Centre on campus, providing seminar rooms and social spaces.

Our dedicated team of IT technicians support the labs and are always on hand to provide assistance.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey from central London. Here you can access a wealth of additional libraries and archives, including the British Library and the Institute of Engineering and Technology. 

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £15,200
  • MSc part time £8,360

After you graduate

Where this course will take you

Computer, network and information security are current 'hot topics'. They are here to stay, as we will never be able to design or build a system without having to take into account its security in an operational scenario. 

Many companies are actively recruiting security specialists at the moment and the major software houses are training their coders in security. In fact, it can be hard to get a job with a large company, even as a software developer, without some appreciation of security.

Have a look at ITJobsWatch.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

What our students say

I chose to study at Kingston University because of its high ranking for teaching quality. I've found this reputation to be justified – all the lecturers I've come across have been very friendly, helpful and encouraging.

I received a teaching assistant scholarship from the faculty which teaches my course. This not only provided me with financial support, but also an opportunity to interact with undergraduate students. There are people from all different countries studying at the University, which provides a great opportunity to understand different cultures and lifestyles.

After I complete my MSc, I'd like to gain some experience working in the UK and then go back and work in my home country. Kingston University has a number of job fairs for students throughout the year for part-time, summer internship and full-time jobs. They also advise on CV writing and other attributes needed to get a job. I would recommend studying at Kingston University to anyone who wants to enjoy a good studying environment, meet people from different cultural backgrounds, and experience the colourful life in Kingston town.

Reema Patel - Network and Information Security with Management Studies MSc

Working in industry after my degree gave me relevant experience and a working knowledge of IT systems which was helpful while studying towards my masters degree. Since starting the MSc I have changed job and I recently started work as technical consultant for the global industry leader organisation in mobile device management, AirWatch.

I believe even studying towards my MSc qualification helped me to get my current role and I hope after my graduation I will be able to move to a senior position. As my MSc course is covering some business and management modules, longer term I'm hoping to achieve a team lead role in the company.

I think in the current economic climate obtaining extra qualifications is a benefit and it makes a difference when applying for new job.

Simon Kudzma - Computer Science (Network Communications) BSc(Hons) and Networking and Information Security with Management Studies MSc

What this course offers you

  • The Network and Information Security course gives you the knowledge and skills needed to equip you with a technical knowledge of current and emerging technologies.
  • The project/dissertation gives you the chance to study an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. It is usually relevant to your career so provides an excellent selling point when you are looking for a job or promotion.
  • If you are an overseas student, we will help you to carry out a project either based in your home country or that will be of specific relevance when you return home.
  • We teach the course in a specialist laboratory, with access to state-of-the-art networking and security equipment. Industry contacts provide demonstrations of current technology for you to explore.
  • We also organise vendor seminars to expose you to current and emerging technologies.
  • Teaching staff are research active, which keeps your learning cutting-edge (read more in our Research areas section)

The taught modules aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your academic studies, you will gain skills in: 

  • problem solving and organisation
  • data collation, review and synopsis
  • communication (oral, written and electronic)
  • time management
  • co-operation and teamwork
  • data collation, review and synopsis

Each module offers a stimulating balance of study, which may include lectures, practical lab work, group working, case studies and presentations. Industry experts often teach on the courses, enhancing your studies.

You also have the chance to network with other professionals in the same situation as yourself. Our postgraduate students often set up study groups to support and encourage to each other.

Kingston offers a part-time option to help you fit your studies around other commitments. We also offer a course in Network and Information Security with Management Studies, which allows you to develop key business and management skills.

Links with business and industry

Industrial Advisory Board

To ensure your studies are kept up to date and answer the needs of business, our courses are created and reviewed in consultation with an advisory board of key industry experts and senior academics. The Board also provides input and advice on our research portfolio.

With members from Google, Microsoft, Easyjet, games developer Colossal and Chief Information Officers from local government – our Advisory Board represents the diverse spectrum of industries and public sector organisations that make up the jobs market for our graduates

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Computing research activities are focused around the following main research centres:

  • Digital Imaging Research Centre - offering expertise in computer vision, medical imaging, visual surveillance, ambient intelligence, machine learning and computer graphic.

Extra activities for this course

The range of events and lectures in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing enhances your studies and adds an extra perspective to your learning.

For example, the Digital Information Research Centre (DIRC) runs seminars which have recently covered:

  • how social media affects police operations
  • dimensionality issues in weighted differential entropy
  • link quality based routing framework for wireless sensor networks
  • data integration for smart urban transport
  • HTTP video streaming adaptation
Postgraduate study
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