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MSc Cyber Security

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Computing and Communications (School of)
UCAS Code: Duration/Length: 1 Year(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Computing Director of Studies: Professor MA Rashid
Total Credit Points: 180

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • The specific objectives of the programme are to enable the students to develop:

    a fundamental understanding of security technologies appropriate for an IT infrastructure. This will cover access control, telecommunications and network security, cryptographic techniques and security Architectures and Models.

    security management skills and techniques appropriate to manage an IT infrastructure. Students will explore areas such as security policy design, basic risk management and analysis, Business Continuity Planning. Further, students will investigate issues surrounding Law, regulatory investigation and Ethics.

    an awareness of the attack vectors that may be used against modern IT infrastructures. IT infrastructures will be examined from the ground up, exploring exploits at all communication levels, from network communication protocols to applications. Further, information gathering techniques for recognisance and social engineering will be explored.

    the skills required to exploit and defend against common attack vectors. Students will explore how theseskills may be used in conjunction to perform a complete penetration test, including non technical elements involving social engineering.

    a knowledge of the regulation, ethics and process behind computer forensics investigation. This will cover investigative processes covering a variety of scenarios.

    an understanding of the tools and techniques to perform forensic analysis on a range of electronic devices. A student will be able to understand the mechanism by which information is hidden and appropriate mechanism by which to recover such information for investigative purposes.

    an understanding of the current research and thinking behind the economics of security.

    an understanding of the main concepts of risk management within the context of information security.

    an understanding of quantitative risk assessment approaches for high reliability organisation of systems.

    a detailed knowledge of the current research in types of cybercrime that are critical to their investigative area. Further, students will be able to discuss the social explanations of crime and be able to apply these frameworks to help comprehend the actions of individuals and groups.

    identify, describe, compare, and critically discuss different types of cybercrime and develop an understanding in the relationship between crime, deviance, ICTs, and ICT users within various historical, cultural, socio-economic and socio-political contexts.

    analyse policing, legal, corporate, electronic, social, and other measures designed to combat cybercrime and identify their main strengths and weaknesses and critically analyse criminological and sociological theories of cyberspace and coherently apply these theories to the specific field of cybercrime.

    an ability to select an appropriate problem and evaluate appropriate sources for solutions. Further students will develop skills to design a research programme and demonstrate appropriate research and investigative skills.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Subject specific knowledge, understanding and skills

    On successful completion of this scheme of study students will possess a solid understanding of the technical and human elements of the field of Information System Security. Further, the student will have gained a broad awareness of current practice and issues. They will also have gain enough understanding in order for them to critically evaluate current research and best practice within the realm of Information Security Systems.

    Successful students will also have gained enough understanding in order to make informed judgements on the appropriate application of a range of methodologies and technologies to a wide range of Information Systems in order to improve or enhance their security. Students will be able to take a methodical and creative approach to applying their knowledge and communicating their findings to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

    Successful students will also be able to demonstrate a self-directing capability in conducting their work and an originality in problem solving in the field of human-computer security engineering.

    General knowledge, understanding and skills

    On successful completion of this scheme of study students will have gained a range of general qualities and transferable skills that will assist them in either carrying out further study/research (e.g. at PhD level) or in holding down professional positions that require the qualities such as the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; technical decision making in complex and unpredictable situations; and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development. Students will develop the ability and skills to:

    reason critically;

    apply relevant theoretical concepts;

    identify and solve problems, both individually and working in groups and formulate appropriate methods for troubleshooting;

    demonstrate and exercise independence of mind and thought;

    evaluate research and different types of information and evidence arguments critically;

    synthesise and select appropriate information from a number of sources;

    structure and communicate ideas effectively in writing;

    plan, undertake and report on an individual piece of research-based work.

Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • Learning and teaching will be carried out over eight, one week intensively delivered modules (Typically Mon-Fri, 9:00am-6:00pm). Each delivery week will be followed up with guided private study in order to further reinforce the intensive week's learning. The one-week modules will provide the necessary breadth and depth of coverage whilst the follow up study will reinforce the learning outcomes. Each of the one week modules is self-contained and there are no pre-requisites across modules enabling them to be taken in any order. The modules will contain appropriate opportunities to provide formative and summative assessment opportunities. Depending on the module summative assessment will take the form of coursework and/or examinations. Formative assessment will be through practical laboratory or group work.

    Each one week module will be delivered using a range of learning and teaching approaches including, lectures, group discussions, technical debates, workshops, student presentations, written and technical exercises, and tutorials. Each module will employ these techniques as appropriate dependant on its focus. Each module provides the students with ongoing coursework and exercises as part of a guided study programme in order to allow students to continue learning after the one week of delivery.

    There is effective support for student learning and development of practical skills through laboratory or group based work. The laboratories are supervised by academic staff or lab tutors and group work led by academic staff. During these sessions, supervisors provide informal feedback, with formal feedback given as part of the summative assessment process.

    General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills (to include personal development and employability skills) The students will be exposed to a range of teaching and learning modes as outlined and will be guided in the development and/or enhancement of their skills in a range of areas, such as: Research evaluation Technical presentation Technical writing Effective participation in technical and non-technical interactions

    The Dissertation/project will play a major role in the development/enhancement of such knowledge, understanding and skills. As a reuslt of the deepening experience offered by the dissertation research, students will be capable of applying strategies learned during their MSc to a range of further technical areas that they will inevitably encounter in their furture work, study or research. The Dissertation is an essential part of the MSc SoS as it enables the students to combine the skills and knowledge for the different areas and apply it to a specific problem space.  The ability to combine skills and complete in depth research is a fundamental skill set required for next generation security staff.

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Within this programme the assessments mechanisms have been designed to be in keeping with the particular module based on its specific needs and delivery approach. The modules are all assessed on the basis of coursework. This is particularly suited to part-time students working away from Lancaster but also provides full-time students the opportunity to work on large-scale problems over an extended period of time instead of a limited time examination.

External Benchmarks

  • The QAA benchmarking for Computing provided essential reference points in the development of this programme, along with comparisons of equivalent industry-standard qualifications and their measurement against the National Qualifications Framework.

    Comparisons were also made with equivalent (albeit more generic) programmes elsewhere. Where appropriate relevant industrial programmes were also examined for equivalencies.

    Discussions about the appropraiteness of the level of the material was also discussed with colleagues from the Computing Department.

Contact Information

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