MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing
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    MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing

    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.

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    • Overview - Why Sign Up?

      Network security is a rapidly evolving sector of industry. The MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing programme is designed to meet the demands imposed by the changing corporate needs in networking and the concurrent challenges in network security. Security extends beyond the technical sphere of activity to include strategic, organisational and managerial remits across the enterprise. Developing policies, strategies and working plans to address network security, minimise security breaches incidence, mitigate its damage and shorten recovery time are essential elements for the enterprise.

      Graduates of the programme will be equipped with professional and employable skills and attributes such as:

      • rigorous technical cyber security and penetration testing skills.
      • wired and wireless network attack processes, advanced hacking techniques and defensive measures.
      • the ability to ability to apply, to critically analyse, to synthesize, to evaluate models, architectures, methods,  solutions for network and computer security.
      • the ability to deploy and manage security solution projects.
      • and the ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams.
    • Course Highlights

      • The Penetration Testing and Digital Forensics module provide students with vital hands-on experience in utilising advanced hacking techniques and their countermeasures as part of their coursework.
      • The Cyber Security and Legal Regulations module give students the opportunity to learn how to develop and appraise corporate security policies, security programs, procedures, and standards.
      • As part of their end-of-programme project module, students can choose projects from a range of computer and network security-related fields and can incorporate things like AI, virtualisation, Software-defined networking (SDN), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain…etc.
      • The programme will provide opportunities to initiate and conduct state-of-the-art research in a variety of fields.
      • Students will be able to develop the ability to create and publish scientific and research publications in internationally recognised IEEE conferences and journals.

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    What will you study on the MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing Programme?

    The programme is comprised of eight compulsory modules over two semesters. Amongst these, you will have the opportunity to undertake an individual project with a supervisor with specialist knowledge of their field. The programme has two 30 credit modules, four 15 credit modules and one zero credit module. Students must pass all taught modules in order to progress to the dissertation stage. Each module will have 3 contact hours per week, usually with 12 workshops/seminars and 12 laboratory sessions timetabled over 24 weeks for full-time students.

    • Associated Modules

      • Computer Networks and Internetworking (15cps) – Compulsory

        This module provides students with a systematic understanding of the concepts, protocols and standards for computer networks and internetworking, used in current and future communication infrastructures. It is essential in today’s market of networking to provide students with critical insights and practical experiences of essential tools used for monitoring, managing and evaluating computer networks for them to be better network managers, network administrators or network engineers with both problem solving and practical skills such as selecting and configuring appropriate protocols, network devices, and managing network design.

      • Operating Systems and Application Environment (15cps) – Compulsory

        This module focuses on the design and implementation of modern Operating Systems and Application Environments that are used to build mobile applications. The module examines key operating concepts including: processes and threads, memory management, file systems, network interfaces, inter-process communication (IPC), synchronisation, networking interfaces and socket programming.  Additionally, the module then focuses on a detailed study of key application environments including building applications using Android Studio.  Practical experience of modern Operating Systems will be provided using labs on Linux, Windows and Android.

      • Security Solutions and Applications (30cps) – Compulsory

        This module covers the concepts and critical issues of security with emphasis on security architecture and mechanisms, standards, protocols, solutions and applications. It aims at providing students with an understanding of security technologies, algorithms and solutions. It will also provide an understanding of the design criteria in security, basic system security analysis, and security solution synthesis.

      • Penetration Testing and Digital Forensics (30cps) – Compulsory

        The aim of this module is to provide the students with the knowledge and experience of advanced hacking techniques and their countermeasures. The module aims to develop critical and reflective thinking with regards to the methods used to carry out an attack and the countermeasures to stop hackers. The module will furnish students with skills to test IT infrastructures for vulnerabilities and enable them to understand the attack lifecycle.

      • Network Security and Mechanisms (15cps) – Compulsory

        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 (15cps) – Compulsory

        This module covers the fundamental concepts and methods to maintain and preserve Cyber security. The module provides you with a command 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.

      • Individual PG Project (60cps) - Compulsory

        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.

    What will you gain?

    • A rigorous theoretical knowledge and understanding of current research issues as well as detailed practical experience of network security policy design, security issues, technologies, algorithms and protocols used in securing computer networks and associated systems. Skills that will enable students to contribute to future developments in the field of Cyber Security.
    • An understanding of possible security breaches, security risk analysis and mechanisms to protect computer and network communication systems.
    • The ability to evaluate the vulnerabilities of wired and wireless computer networks using advanced hacking techniques and forensics tools.
    • Knowledge and understanding of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues related to cyber security and pen testing.
    • Skills required in developing research as well problem-solving techniques through practical project experience. By extending students’ knowledge and skills in a specialized area they will be prepared for careers in advanced research and/or industry.

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    About the MDX Mauritius Campus

    Our new campus demonstrates what can be achieved when all stakeholders share a clear vision. The concept was developed by a London architect, Graham Wilson, who also is credited for developing many of Middlesex buildings in Hendon.

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    Fees and Funding

    Course fees are subject to annual inflation. An international Admin Fee is also applicable for international students. For more details, see link to respective fees and payment plans below.

    Payment Plans

    • Teaching and Learning

      You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of Cyber Security and Pen Testing Programme.  As well as developing your practical skills in laboratory sessions, you'll attend lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, where you'll deepen your theoretical knowledge, work on activities and case studies, and develop your analytical and problem-solving skills.

      You will do research, produce written reports, give presentations and take part in group discussions and group work, supplementing all this with your own independent study. Such active approaches aim to put you at the centre of your learning so you are involved and engaged in all aspects of your assessment and learning. Your programme will require your active participation in learning activities and engagement with your fellow students both individually and collaboratively, working and learning with other students as part of a small group.  Learning activities may also occur both within and outside the classroom.

      Your learning will also be supported by technology. Increasingly your tutors will be using existing and emerging learning technologies to engage you in e-learning activities. Your programme will be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools which will allow you flexible access to a diverse range of online resources, quizzes and learning materials as well as collaborative tools with which you can engage and learn with your peers. Not confined by the time and space associated with traditional teaching methods you may take part in online discussions and learning activities from wherever you are studying.

      By engaging with e-learning you will also be developing skills, which are essential for your learning and are also highly valued by employers. These include but are not limited to: working flexibly, communication, understanding of IT, team working and creating shared understandings based on quality resources and access to global expertise. In addition, you can arrange one to one sessions with your personal tutor or module leader. You will also have access to and use resources to support your learning including library support, and a broad range of available software throughout your course.

      During your academic year, your weekly timetable will typically consist of: 1 hours of lectures; 2 hours of bi-weekly supervised practicals and seminars; regular meetings with your end-of-programme project supervisor.

      Independent Learning

      When not attending your teaching, sessions mentioned above, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research, and preparing for assessments including coursework, presentations and examinations. Your independent learning is supported by the facilities available including the library, Study Rooms and online materials accessible via MyUniHub.

      Overall Workload

      Each 30cps module involves approximately 180 hours of study and each 15 cps involves approximately 90 hours of study.  There is a notional number of approximately 1,800 hours learning hours per year on the MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing Programme. This includes attendance at lectures, tutorials, laboratory activities and study at home or in industry.  All modules on the programme are compulsory.

      Teaching Staff

      You will be taught by an experienced teaching team who possess the expertise, knowledge and experience closely aligned to the content of the modules on offer. The team includes academics, professional practitioners, and technical staff. The programme involves extensive team teaching drawing on the collective knowledge and expertise of the entire department. Most staff teaching on the programme have PhDs. A few have professional qualifications (CCNA, LPI, CISSP, CEH…) as well as or instead of a PhD.

    • Assessment

      Assessment is an integral part of learning and you may hear it referred to as formative or summative.

      Formative assessment is designed to give you feedback on your performance and how it can be improved.  As a result you will get detailed feedback on formative assessment but not a grade.  Formative assessment is an important part of the learning process and has been shown to help students improve both their grades and their learning style.

      Summative assessment is designed to measure the extent to which you have achieved the learning outcomes of a module and therefore the grade you will be awarded. Learning outcomes are the specific skills and knowledge that you are expected to demonstrate as a result of taking a module.  Summative assessment should assess achievement of all learning outcomes in a secure, fair and accurate manner and on your programme this will mainly comprise of exams, seminar tests, lab tests, essays etc.

      Assessment may also involve self, peer or group approaches. For example, you may be asked to self-assess your own work, indicating where you feel you have clearly demonstrated your understanding and also identifying areas where can see you have room to improve. Assessment may also be a peer process where students, individually or as groups, offer feedback on one another’s work. Group assessment may also be part of your programme where part of the assessment requires you to demonstrate your ability to work as part of a group and possibly receive a group mark. Assessments are reviewed annually and may be updated based on student feedback, to suit content or based on feedback from an external examiner.

      Percentage of course assessed by coursework

      The balance of assessment will depend on the modules. The varies per module from 100% coursework on some modules, to a percentage mix of unseen exams, lab assessments and coursework on others.


      You will receive feedback on formative assessment and written summative assessments. Feedback on examination performance can be requested from the module coordinator.  Feedback is intended to help you learn and progress, and you are encouraged to review and discuss your feedback with your module or personal tutor.

      We will aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days  of submission.

      Details of progression and pass marks for assessment can be found in the university regulations.

      Academic Support

      You will have access to academic support services that you assist you in the following areas;

      • Study Skills, including academic writing, reading and numeracy skills.
      • Employability, with workshops and tutorials on CV writing, interview and presentation skills.
      • Library Support, including sessions on finding, and choosing the right resources and software and tutorials on referencing and plagiarism.
      • Progression and Support Advisors to assist you with if you experience difficulties with your studies.

      More information on how to access these services would be provided to you at your induction.

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    How can the MSc Cyber Security and Pen Testing Programme support your career?

    Equipped with a hybrid skill set, you will be able to pursue several different career pathways in a promising field of industry where business operations merge with information technologies.

    • Your career options may include:

      • Information Security Analyst

        This job is listed as #4 among Best Technology Jobs and #40 overall by U.S. News & World Report. In this role your main duty will be to protect sensitive information. You will create the plans and implement strategies for preventing attacks, develop policies to protect the organization against such attacks, ensure compliance of policies, monitor data access and train other employees.

      • Software Security Engineer

        Typically working as part of a team of security experts, analysing and assessing risk, developing secure software and identifying vulnerabilities.

      • Security Architect

        A security architect is responsible for analysing security threats and recommending solutions to protect information and data. They may participate in the development of security hardware and software, oversee and educate staff on security policies, design security models and install VPNs, firewalls and more.

      • Penetration Tester

        Penetration testers are in charge of identifying vulnerabilities in an organizations network. They do this through constantly probing and testing the network using various tools and software.

      • Information Security Crime Investigator/Forensics Expert

        A forensics expert is a cybercrime-fighting Sherlock Holmes who investigates cyber-attacks and tries to identify flaws in the system that allow for an attack, along with clues left by the attackers. Related job titles include Cybersecurity Forensics Analyst, Cybersecurity Incident Responder, and Cyber Forensics Analyst.

      • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

        The CISO is a senior level role in charge of developing, implementing and maintaining security processes that protect the company from threats and risk.

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