Cyber security is a global concern for companies and governments, but there is a recognised shortage of cyber security practitioners with the breadth of skills required to understand and manage the risk of cyber attacks. MSc Cyber Security Risk Management, the only UK cyber security programme to be offered within a business school rather than a computer science department, is designed to fill this gap.
Rather than focusing purely on the technical aspects of cyber security, MSc Cyber Security Risk Management offers a unique combination of modules encompassing business risk management, computer science and cyber security. You’ll gain a grounding in the essential technical aspects of the subject, but you’ll also develop the managerial and analytical skills needed to identify risks, communicate them within an organisation and put effective cyber risk management approaches into practice.
Southampton’s expertise in cyber risk research has been recognised with the award of an Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research, funded by GCHQ and the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the UK government’s national cyber security strategy. Our academics are active partners in the Centre’s work and bring their research insights to the course. You’ll also benefit from expertise within the Business School’s Centre for Risk Research, the only specialist centre of its type in a Russell Group university.
We welcome applicants from a range of academic backgrounds. Many of our students bring some professional experience to their studies, while some join us straight from their undergraduate studies.
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
This is a full-time, one-year course. For the first nine months you’ll study compulsory and optional modules, drawn from the Business School, Social Sciences and Electronics and Computer Science. You’ll spend the final three months of the course on your dissertation.
In the first semester, you’ll cover the principles of risk management, explore corporate risk and security management, and gain a foundation in real-world cyber risk issues. In the second semester you’ll explore cyber crime in more depth, looking at topics such as hacking, ‘dark markets’ and policing the Web. You’ll also gain a greater understanding of the behavioural aspects of risk taking and decision making, and study research methods in preparation for your dissertation.
In both semesters you’ll have the opportunity to select from a range of optional modules, so you can focus on your strengths and interests. The options include:
- computer science modules on topics such as secure systems and the implementation of cyber security practices
- statistical and quantitative modules, such as Multivariate Statistics for Data Mining
- modules that offer a more in-depth insight into business and management topics, such as project risk management, business ethics and insurance
You can tailor the course further by choosing a dissertation topic in an area that will further your interests and career aspirations. Because of our close links with the Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Research, it may be possible to contribute to a real-world GCHQ cyber security project through your dissertation.
Our academics are active researchers, many of whom are working on current cyber security and risk issues with industry and government partners, such as EY and GCHQ. They incorporate the latest thinking into their teaching and use real examples to illustrate theories and concepts.
- Programme leader Dr Tiejun Ma, who designed the programme, works closely with colleagues in Electronics and Computer Science on a range of projects including research into aspects of cyber resilience and cyber risk analysis.
- Professor Johnnie Johnson, a world-renowned expert in the field of decision making in uncertain environments, teaches the popular Risk Taking and Decision Making module.
- The optional Project Risk Management module is taught by Professor Chris Chapman. He is a highly influential researcher in the field of risk, and co-author of the leading text How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk.
As well as benefiting from the expertise of our academics, on some modules you’ll be taught by external risk practitioners, including an experienced risk management consultant and the chief risk officer of a major insurance firm.
Our industry connections help to ensure you are up to date with the latest sector issues. We attract guest speakers from global companies such as J.P. Morgan, Zurich Insurance and Goldman Sachs, as well as from the main risk and insurance professional bodies. In addition, through the IBM Academic Initiative, we regularly host guest lectures by IBM senior managers and facilitate IBM graduate opportunities for our students.
Our academics are actively involved in the work of the internationally renowned Centre for Risk Research, which has a wide range of collaborations with partners in the finance industry. It has been awarded a number of major funding grants to explore risk taking and decision making in fast-changing financial markets, such as a project with London Capital Group Holdings plc on real-time modelling of financial decisions. Collaborations like this one can provide excellent opportunities for postgraduate projects.
The only UK cyber security masters degree with a multidisciplinary approach rather than a purely technical focus.
Gain a foundation in technical skills and develop your management capabilities through a unique combination of business, computer science and criminology modules.
Taught by leading academics in risk management and cyber security, and informed by the activities of Southampton’s prestigious Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security.
Additional learning opportunities include industry seminars and the possibility of participation in real-world research projects, internships or placements.
Accredited by the Institute of Risk Management and the Chartered Insurance Institute, enabling you to apply for credits towards professional qualifications.
Graduates have gone on to work for PwC, Accenture, Marsh and Goldman Sachs.
Typical entry requirements
2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent
Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.
Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology
Required module areas: No specific entry requirement
Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies
Work experience in a related field can compensate for degree subject/grades.
The University’s Admissions Policy, available at www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_policy, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.
If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.
The following scores are accepted for direct entry:
- IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking
All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.
For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.
If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.
Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.
This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about
entry requirements and qualifications for your country.
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Costs associated with this course
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
|Stationery||You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.|
|Books||Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.|
|Printing and copying||In most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student.
The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing|
|Travel||Some modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.|
|Other||Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.|
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.