Please note Middlesex University will be closing its Malta campus in September 2022. The programme you are interested in is open for 2019/20 entry because it can be completed during that period. We encourage you to discuss your application with our Admissions team who will be happy to answer any enquiries.
From national security to the privacy of personal communications, the smooth running of societies and economies depends on the security of computer networks. With a security breach potentially costing a company millions, highly skilled experts who can provide protection are sought-after across the globe. Technology is constantly developing and security issues are too, making this a challenging and rapidly evolving specialism.
Why study MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing at Middlesex?
Students on this programme will gain an understanding of the fundamental importance of computer networks, and communication systems security within an organisation. They will learn to involve management and user in awareness, decision-making and implementation with regard to network security and pen testing.
Students will develop the skills and knowledge required to analyse security risks within a communication system and to propose or devise solutions; to evaluate new threats to authentication, confidentiality and privacy, and to implement solutions to combat them; to make a functional security design for a communication system and implement it successfully; and they will acquire the skills to test systems' ability to withstand risks whilst undertaking test analysis and performing security management.
The course offers a balance of theory, advanced practical skills and experience to enable students to develop a sound knowledge and analytical ability to facilitate their intellectual and professional development.
What will you study on the MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing?
This Masters degree gives you an in-depth understanding of network design and construction, programming and operating systems, and the legal, ethical and professional issues which surround this sector. You will also study online security risks, installing the relevant procedures to ensure data is transmitted and stored securely, and developing measures that can be taken not only to prevent breaches but to minimise damage if they do occur.
What will you gain?
You will be equipped with the knowledge and expertise to analyse and build security systems, software and hardware applications, secure transactions, authentication measures, and cryptography and encryption techniques.
You will become familiar with the configurations of different systems in laboratories and learn to choose the appropriate measures and applications for a network. In addition to your proficiency in the subject, you will also have developed your mathematical, problem solving, communication, time management and critical skills.
Computer Networks and Internetworking
During this module you will develop a systematic understanding of the concepts, protocols and standards for computer networks and internetworking, used in current and future communication infrastructures. It is vital in today's networking market that network managers, administrators and engineers have a critical insight and practical experience of the essential tools used for monitoring, managing and evaluating computer networks. This module, which includes at least 12 hours spent working in labs, is designed to equip you with these problem solving and practical skills.
Operating Systems and Application Environments
This module focuses on the design and implementation of the modern operating systems and application environments used to build commercial, online applications. The module involves at least 12 hours of lab work and examines key operating concepts including processes and threads, memory management, scheduling, inter-process communication (IPC), device drivers, storage systems, multiprocessor systems, micro-kernels and networking interfaces. You will concentrate on Linux, Windows, Apple iOS and Android operating systems before focusing on a detailed study of key application environments including the Eclipse IDE, XCode, and Android SDK. Finally, we look at the concept of virtual machines and building applications for the cloud using the Google GAE SDK.
Security Solutions and Applications
This module covers the concepts and critical issues of security with emphasis on security architecture and mechanisms, standards, protocols, solutions and applications. It will provide you with an understanding of security technologies, algorithms and solutions as well as an understanding of the design criteria in security, basic system security analysis, and security solution synthesis.
Penetration Testing and Forensics
The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and experience in methodological approach to computer forensics and evidence analysis. It will familiarise you with the methods intruders use to gain unauthorised access to an organisation's networked systems and then compromise them. The extensive module involves at least 72 hours spent working in labs, developing in-depth experience of pen- testing methodologies and various vulnerability assessment procedures.
Network Security and Mechanisms
This is module covers the principles and foundations of network security. It aims at providing students with security issues, technologies, algorithms and protocols used in securing computer networks and associated systems. It will also provide an understanding of possible security breaches, security risk analysis and mechanisms to protect computer and network communication systems. It also studies an in-depth review of commonly-used security mechanisms and techniques, security threats and network-based attacks.
Cyber Security and Legal Regulations
This module provides you with a solid introduction to the subject of cyber security and information assurance. This includes a broad understanding of the security technologies available to support information assurance and security requirements and vulnerabilities corresponding to attack vectors. It will also explore regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, E-commerce Bill, key escrow.
Individual PG Project
This module is an independent piece of work shaped largely by one’s own decisions and preferences to accomplish and deliver a task via prescribed stages. The module aims to facilitate students’ understanding of designing, planning and conducting applied research. The module encourages students to apply and test theory and to contribute to applications, through enhancing students’ ability to handle data for problem solving and evaluation; to test theory using analysis and simulations, integrating the learning from other modules.
As well as exams, tests and your research project, you’ll be assessed through practical assignments, including laboratory work, and coursework including essays, reports, presentations and class discussions. Some assessed work will be group work. You will receive regular feedback on your work, including your assessed coursework and your exams.
For your independent project you will plan, conduct and produce an original piece of research relevant to the industry – either using existing or emerging technology to solve a practical problem, or extending the theoretical understanding of new technology. You will be assessed on your research proposal, written report and via oral examination.
To be accepted to study on the MSc Computer Networks and Pen Testing course, we normally require graduates with a good honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications and individuals with a minimum of three years' work experience. Those without formal qualifications need to demonstrate relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.
English language requirements
You must have competence in English language. The most common English Language requirement for international students is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum grade 6.0 in all four components), or equivalent. If you are unsure whether you meet the minimum requirements please contact the Malta campus admissions office.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, one-on-one meetings with our admissions team are being held online upon your request.