About this course
Improve your understanding of cyber security on this master’s degree at the University of Southampton. This course is one of only 25 MSc Cyber Security programmes in the UK to be awarded a full certification against the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Certified Master’s standard.
We’re recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by the UK government, and our academics have helped establish a European Data Science Academy.
Cyber security is critically important to commercial and academic organisations, as well as to governments and the public. There is currently a global shortage of experts in this field, and demand for their skills is growing significantly.
Our master's in cyber security offers a multi-disciplinary approach, covering both technical and non-technical subjects, to give you a well-rounded collection of skills that will make you attractive to future employers. Our researchers draw on their own research to offer modules on topics such as:
- network and web-based security
- software security
- risk management
- machine learning
We’ll give you access to specialist project labs, computer workstations, and online tools to support your learning in an ideal environment. Our researchers will equip you to handle new and unique challenges in a variety of cyber security fields. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to design, build, analyse and problem-solve in many areas relating to cyber security.
Your course leader has research interests in distributed and ubiquitous computing, semantics of programming languages, and models of computation. Visit Dr Julian Rathke’s staff profile to learn more about his work.
This course is accredited by:
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in computer science or a closely related subject.
You must also have an upper 2:1 score in the following modules:
- a programming language
- a computer networks module
- a computer science module, such as: cryptography, software, data structures, databases, machine learning, web, networks
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 9 months (semesters 1 and 2) you'll study the taught part of your course.
This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options. You'll take exams at the end of both semesters.
You’ll also begin preparing for your research project during semester 1, and continue this work in semester 2.
For the last 3 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently to research and write your dissertation. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- small group teaching and one-on-one tutorials
- computer-based practical work
- group design exercises
- individual and group projects
- independent learning
We'll assess you through a combination of:
- lab and exercise reports
- your dissertation
This is an opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of all relevant techniques and methods of enquiry. You will carry out a research project lasting 3 to 4 months, assessed by a 15,000-word dissertation.
You’ll have access to:
- a personal tutor to give you advice, help you choose modules, and provide general support if you need it
- the Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) Student Advisory Team for pastoral support
- postgraduate demonstrators for additional support on your design projects
On completion of the course, you’ll be ready for a career in the cyber security field or further research in industry or academia. You’ll graduate with a strong understanding of the technical aspects of cyber security, as well as the broader context in which these sit.
Our graduates go on to careers in:
- designing and marketing security products
- emerging cyber security professions to analyse cyber-threats and design defences
- cyber security consultancy companies who study and analyse trends in cyber security
- the military, intelligence agencies, crime prevention and investigation
- government departments (for example: the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BiS)
Alternatively, you can continue towards a PhD qualification or research assistant position.
We also support aspiring entrepreneurs through a blend of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus start-up incubator. Find out more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £25,450.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
For the best chance of being offered a place you should apply as early as possible. Applications will be reviewed and offers made to candidates in 4 rounds.
If you plan to apply later, there’s a risk that we may have filled all places in previous stages and we reserve the right not to open the later rounds.
The deadlines for each round for 2020 entry, for international and UK/EU applicants, are:
- 29 November 2019
- 31 January 2020
- 24 April 2020
- 10 July 2020 (International only), 8 August 2020 (UK/EU only)
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll tell you if you're successful 3 weeks after the deadline of the round that you applied in.
We'll typically make one of four decisions. We will:
- offer you a place on this course
- offer you a place on a different course which we believe suits you better
- tell you that your application will be considered a second time in the next round of applications
- tell you that your application isn't successful
If we make you an offer, you will need to:
- accept it within 30 working days
- pay a deposit within 32 working days
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000