Information Security MSc


The Masters in Information Security provides you with a thorough grounding in professional software development, together with experience of conducting a development project, preparing you for responsible positions in the IT industry.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • The University of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science is consistently highly ranked achieving 1st in Scotland and 2nd in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2014)
  • With a 97% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014, the School of Computing Science continues to meet student expectations combining both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.
  • The School is a member of the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance: SICSA. This collaboration of Scottish universities aims to develop Scotland's place as a world leader in Informatics and Computer Science research and education.
  • You will have opportunities to meet employers who come to make recruitment presentations, and often seek to recruit our graduates during the programme.
  • You will benefit from having 24-hour access to a computer laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software.

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Information Security include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.

Core courses

  • Cyber security
  • Human-centred security
  • Research methods and techniques
  • Safety critical systems
  • Masters team project.

Optional courses

  • Advanced networking and communications
  • Advanced operating systems
  • Algorithmics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data: sytems, programming and management
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer vision methods and applications
  • Constraint programming
  • Distributed algorithms and systems
  • Enterprise computing
  • Functional programming
  • Human computer interaction
  • Human computer interaction: design and evaluation
  • Information retrieval
  • Internet technology
  • IT architecture
  • Machine learning
  • Mobile human computer interaction
  • Modelling reactive systems.

Depending on staff availability, the optional courses listed here may change.

If you wish to engage in part-time study, please be aware that dependent upon your optional taught courses, you may still be expected to be on campus on most week days.


  • To complete the MSc degree you must undertake a project worth 60 credits. This is a project chosen by you to investigate a challenging but constrained information security problem.
  • The project will integrate the subject knowledge and generic skills that you will acquire during your Masters.
  • We offer a wide range of projects, and each student is normally allocated a different project. We take your preferences into account when we allocate the projects.
  • You will also have the opportunity to propose your own project, subject to academic approval.

Example projects

Here are some typical project titles from recent years:

  • Comparing doodles using graph matching
  • Comparing the usability of doodle and Mikon passwords
  • Family-based authentication
  • Perception of risk towards trading fraud incidents

Furthermore for students hoping to continue into research, we have seven major research groups: computer vision and graphics; embedded, networked, and distributed systems; formal analysis, theory, and algorithms; human computer interaction; inference, dynamics, and interaction; information retrieval; software engineering and information security. Most MSc students choose projects offered by these groups, giving them an opportunity to go on to PhD study. You can find details of our research here.


MSc Information Security is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS)

Industry links and employability

  • Computer systems are frequently compromised by the efforts of opportunistic hackers. In many countries, legislation is forcing companies to take information security more seriously. Information security requires a clear understanding of relevant technological, social, and organizational issues, as well as the relationships between them.
  • The programme includes a thorough grounding in professional software development, together with experience of developing a project proposal and conducting a development project. The programme will prepare you for a responsible position in the IT industry.
  • The School of Computing Science has extensive contacts with industrial partners who contribute to several of their taught courses, through active teaching, curriculum development, and panel discussion. Recent contributors include representatives from IBM, J.P. Morgan, Amazon, Adobe and Red Hat.
  • During the programme students have an opportunity to develop and practice relevant professional and transferrable skills, and to meet and learn from employers about working in the IT industry.

What our students say

Below are testimonials from some of our recent graduates:

“My first degree was BTech Computer Science & Engineering from Amity School of Engineering & Technology, India. I found out through various reliable sources that the School of Computing Science at University of Glasgow is one of the top Computing Science departments in the UK. Apart from this, the vast amount of research being conducted by the various research groups in the school made it obvious for me to choose Glasgow. The MSc programme was very planned and gave me a range of subjects as electives which were very new for me as well as very useful for getting a job in industry. The programme not only helped to sharpen my technical skills but it had technical courses that immensely developed my research, writing, speaking and most importantly presentation skills. My MSc project was about comparing the usability and security of different images used as passwords in graphical authentication systems. I also compared the usability and security of the different ways of producing the password image like drawing the image or selecting the image from a collection of images. Currently I am doing my PhD in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow with funding from the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance. I am extending the work that I have done in my MSc project and investigating ways to improve the usability as well as security of graphical authentication mechanisms.”

Soumyadeb Chowdhury, former Computing Science student, University of Glasgow. Soumyadeb is currently studying a PhD at the University of Glasgow.

“My first degree was Bachelor of Technology in IT at Hindustan College of Science and Technology. I came to Glasgow University because it is one of the renowned universities of the world. The course MSc Computing Science was very challenging. The course demanded hard work and regularity all round the session. This course has raised a professional confidence in me and honed my skills in multiple areas of computing science. I did my MSc project on an electronic voting data management system. I am now working as a software engineer for Graham Technology, and involved in developing contact centre software for various blue chip companies.”

Vikrant Sidhu, former Computing Science student, University of Glasgow.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

A minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent (eg GPA 3.0 or equivalent) with computing as a major subject.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17


Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£18900


Home and EU
Full time fee£2317
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£6300


Home and EU
Full time fee£4633
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£12600

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only


The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme: please see: Deposits for entry in 2015/16

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

Accredited by the BCS and IETYou will be well qualified for responsible software development positions, not only in the IT sector but also in many other sectors such as education, engineering, health services, financial services, government, manufacturing, retail, and transport. Expertise in information security is particularly prized by employers. You will also be well qualified to proceed to a PhD in computing science.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as:
Web Developer at Bazookas Studios.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now