Heriot-Watt University
MSc Network Security
Department of Computer Science
Edinburgh Castle from north

MSc in Network Security icon

This programme teaches graduates with an IT background the theory, methods and tools of the art of computer network security.

Students will acquire the theory and skills needed to elicit security requirements, analyse threats, formulate security policies, devise security regimes of mechanisms and services, deploy computer network security solutions and validate their effectiveness. They will also acquire detailed understanding and knowledge of contemporary issues in computer network security research areas.

This full-time programme starts in mid September and lasts one year. Admission requires a 1st or 2nd class honours degree or its overseas equivalent with a substantial academic component of computing or IT.

The F2N3 MSc programme can also be taken part-time over two years or as a 9 month F2N2 Postgraduate Diploma. Last year's timetables can be found here.

Full time students take 4 courses in semester 1 and 4 courses in semester 2 and must normally take courses in bold.

Semester 1
F21CN Computer Network Security
F29DC Data Communications and Networking
F21DL Data Mining and Machine Learning
F21SC Industrial Programming
F21RS Rigorous Methods for Software Engineering †
B31TF Sensors, Actuators and IoT
F21SF Software Engineering Foundations †
Semester 2
F21AN Advanced Network Security
F21AS Advanced Software Engineering
F21BD Big Data Management
F21DP Distributed and Parallel Technologies
C11PA Project Management
F21RP Research Methods and Project Planning

† F21RS and F21SF cannot be studied at the same time.

After semester 2, students continue full time on the MSc project F21MP until the programme ends in August.

Various schemes are available for financing study on this programme. Applications are made to the programme Admissions Officer at the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Related Research Activities

Our academic work in this research area is described in our Cyber Security Activities page.

English Requirements

Non-native English speakers are expected to be proficient in English at the CEF level of B2 (upper intermediate). This can be established by an IELTS Academic English score of 6.5 or in other ways. English language training courses can be taken at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh during the summer before postgraduate study begins.

Postgraduate Diploma Programme

The 8 taught courses can also be studied over 9 months as part of a Postgraduate Diploma programme with the same title. Students who perform at MSc level on the Postgraduate Diploma programme may transfer when it ends to the MSc programme and complete their project F21MP for an MSc.

Candidates holding a little less than a 1st or second class honours degree or its equivalent may be admitted to the Postgraduate Diploma programme and are eligible for transfer to the MSc programme under the normal conditions.

Part-time Study

Part-time study for the MSc over two years is also possible by special arrangement with the programme director. A typical arrangement would be for students to take 2 courses in semesters 1 and 2 in the first year, 2 courses in semesters 1 and 2 in the second year and split the research and implementation of the MSc project over 2 years.

Programme Requirements

To qualify for an MSc or Postgraduate Diploma, students must successfully complete 8 lectured courses at the appropriate level. The assessment of these courses is by examination and course work.

MSc students must also complete the project course F21MP at MSc level.

Further Information

For further information on the programme or to arrange a visit to the Department contact the admissions officer.

The Department reserves the right to modify the list of courses and may not run every course every year. It may not be possible to take all combinations of courses, students must satisfy the prerequisites of any courses and any course choice must be made in consultation with the programme director.