MSc in Information / Computer Security - UCL / RHUL / Manchester / Bristol / Warwick

Watch
88naik
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hey there,
I am willing to pursue an MSc in Information/Computer Security in the UK. I had applied to UCL,Manchester,Bristol,RHUL & Warwick & I have received unconditional offers from all of them.

My Question here is which university do I go for?

From my personal research, I know that curriculum-wise, UCL & RHUL definitely stand out of the lot. But Bristol & Manchester have really good international prospects too.

Which one would you suggest? I am somewhat confused about the whole thing. I am inclined towards UCL and RHUL, mainly because of the course that they have. I have knowlege about the rankings of all the universities as well. I want some personal opinions from you guys.

These are the options I have at hand. I would really appreciate it if anyone with a first hand experience could guide me on factors like graduate prospects,etc.

1] University College London - MSc Information Security
2] Royal Holloway, University of London - MSc Information Security
3] University Of Manchester - MSc ACS Computer Security
4] University Of Warwick - MSc in Cyber Security & Management
5] University Of Bristol - MSc in Advanced Computing - Internet Technologies with Security

Eagerly awaiting your response......
0
reply
88naik
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#2
Guys.. Waiting for your reply....
0
reply
lionelmessi2
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#3
Report 8 years ago
#3
1] University College London - MSc Information Security
probably better than the rest of them, but still lacking a lot. although, that does not mean that the course is not out of date.

2] Royal Holloway, University of London - MSc Information Security lol astronomically irrelevant.
lacks technical skills, although a variety of outdated stuff.

3] University Of Manchester - MSc ACS Computer Security - not worth its price for a couple of policy teaching slides. no way.

4] University Of Warwick - MSc in Cyber Security & Management
they try to blend business and other stuff to
get people believe it is 'cyber security'. it justifies the management part.

5] University Of Bristol - MSc in Advanced Computing - Internet Technologies with Security >
lol... nice blend of irrelevant topics.
1
reply
pipsqueak
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
(Original post by lionelmessi2)
1] University College London - MSc Information Security
probably better than the rest of them, but still lacking a lot. although, that does not mean that the course is not out of date.

2] Royal Holloway, University of London - MSc Information Security lol astronomically irrelevant.
lacks technical skills, although a variety of outdated stuff.

----
.
Hi,

I am currently thinking about applying for the RHUL MSc in Information Security so I was really interested in your assessment.

Could you expand a bit on why you aren't impressed???

Really interested in all points of view....

Cheers,
0
reply
88naik
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#5
(Original post by lionelmessi2)
1] University College London - MSc Information Security
probably better than the rest of them, but still lacking a lot. although, that does not mean that the course is not out of date.

2] Royal Holloway, University of London - MSc Information Security lol astronomically irrelevant.
lacks technical skills, although a variety of outdated stuff.

3] University Of Manchester - MSc ACS Computer Security - not worth its price for a couple of policy teaching slides. no way.

4] University Of Warwick - MSc in Cyber Security & Management
they try to blend business and other stuff to
get people believe it is 'cyber security'. it justifies the management part.

5] University Of Bristol - MSc in Advanced Computing - Internet Technologies with Security >
lol... nice blend of irrelevant topics.
Thank you for your honest & rather blunt assessment. But that's exactly what I wanted
I am thinking UCL too. But I have heard Royal Holloway is godlike when it comes to InfoSec. Am I missing something here? Get a load of my pros & cons list here:

UCL:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PROS | CONS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of the best ranked universities | One of the costliest universities
Course content is awesome | Scolarship opprtunities are rather meagre
Research Quality is impeccable |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RHUL:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PROS | CONS
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Very well renowned for InfoSec | University ranking is rather ordinary
Good scholarship opportunities | Doubtful of the post education career prospects
Course content is awesome |
Manageable tuition fees |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shed some more light on this. Will you please?
0
reply
phoenixag
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report 8 years ago
#6
Um, sorry to bring this thread back up again, but its very relevant to the situation I am in now.

And am wondering what the OP finally decided to do?

And also, if anyone has further comments!
I am mainly looking at RHUL, Bristol, Warwick and Manchester for the same courses mentioned.
0
reply
tr1101
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
Hi,

I am applying to go to Warwick to study:
Cyber Security & Management.

I believe from my observations and speaking with students who are currently on this course at Warwick that it lacks technical insight. This is not to say its not there, and it seems to excel with the management side, which is not a bad thing. I think universities on the whole(UK) are still lacking world class Cyber Security teaching/education.

I will say though that some of the uni's you have mentioned for what it is worth have been recognised by GCHQ as a Centre of Excellence. Read the link for details.

I was looking at Lancaster too. However, I would have to move away and the cost would be even more expensive even though the Lancaster course is cheaper. The course fees assuming your EU/UK is 8k at Lancaster and 10.5k at Warwick, mainly because its always been a top 10 university since it was established back in 1965.

In addition, Warwick(WMG) also offer CISSP (ISC)2 accreditation as it has become a UK academic Partner with them.

Please do let us know how you get on. I myself am in a similar position.

http://www.gchq.gov.uk/press/pages/c...xcellence.aspx
0
reply
tr1101
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
good luck!
0
reply
phoenixag
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
You've brought up a thread which is almost 8 months old!

Anyway, my personal decision was to go to Royal Holloway. I toyed with the idea of both Bristol and Warwick, as they both are better ranked universities, but in the end the course content at Royal Holloway won.
Also, Royal Holloway seems to be number in Info/Cyber Security in Europe.

The problem with the course at Warwick is that it doesn't know what it is. Is it a cyber security course? Or a management course? Of course, Management is Warwick's strength so they play to that. But you should be aware of what you are getting into.

Bristol's course is technically advanced, but it's sole focus is not security.

RHUL has an extremely flexible course and you can have it as technical or non-technical as you like. Plus, the ex-head of Cyber Crime, Scotland Yard teaches here himself. He basically wrote the Computer Misuse Act of 1990 in the UK.

Honestly, no course in cyber security is going to make you an expert. That requires hours of self study. And experimentation. You cannot learn to become a 'hacker' by joining a course, even if they do their best to teach you the basics.

RHUL also offers the CISSP cert and is recognised by the GCHQ.

I am not saying it's like heaven and the best place to go to, but trying to put things into perspective.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
0
reply
tr1101
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#10
Report 7 years ago
#10
Yea sorry for the closed thread response. I am not as fussed about the "hacker" aspect, because that is something ive developed to quite an advanced level, as well as sharing with friends who have attented cyber security camps at Lancaster. Some of them are really advanced and have no quals whats so ever, but would wipe the floor with any/most masters student studying cyber security related degree in things like packet capture/inspection and countermeasures. At the CyberChallengeUK the scenario was to hack into each others nuclear power plant, was awesome.

However, thank you for further insight, i would agree myself that RHUL looks like is has good course content. For me it will probably fall between Warwick and Bristol, mainly because I think they have a good reputation and well ranked, course looks pretty good. The management aspect at Warwick is also something sort after.

You may be surprised but these intelligence agencies although they welcome your technical skills they believe it is just if not more important to have good leadership/management/communication skills as technical skills will be developed further on the job and something that can be learned quite quickly. This is what I was told by GCHQ at a careers fair.
0
reply
phoenixag
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
I absolutely agree.

RHUL has subjects like Security Management and Secure Business Architectures which have a lot of management in them, including GRC, ISO 27001, etc.

Though for me personally, as I already had an MBA, the technical skills and also the skills to implement those technical skills in management are important.
If you are after a brand name uni, look at it this way:

Bristol is 100 years old, Warwick about 50. Both have excelled ever since they started.
Bristol is a city university, Warwick is a campus uni. Both have different environments.
They would have about similar fee structures.
I personally chose Bristol first, but then decided against it based on course structure.
Warwick, I decided against due to the management part. I feared there might not be as much emphasis on cyber security, plus they have no reputation in the field.
Lancaster sounds good, but it has been getting good reviews and ratings only recently. Plus, as I see it, they are supposed to be good in their management school too, so that's a thought if management interests you.

You need to figure out what your priorities are. For me, it was infosec. RHUL is the best out of any of these in it, the course was started in 1992, most of the textbooks on the subject have been written by past and current lecturers.
If you want a brand name, UCL, Warwick or Bristol will give it to you.
If you want management, go to Warwick.
If you want detailed study into algorithms and super computers, go to Bristol.

Hope this helps
0
reply
tr1101
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
Yea, it is really difficult to choose. I will most likely choose Warwick, hoping that the brand, world rep and my own knowledge can really be a great attribute to the course. Although the course is in its early stages I can be apart of developing the course and make a difference while there.

I believe places like Warwick will do the trick and will provide you with a job as a security professional. Obviously with you own hard work also. At the end of the day, I think Lancaster, Bristol, UCL, Warwick, RHUL will be a great asset on your CV and each Cybersec course they offer will be sufficient, and as you said some more technical than others. Thanks again, I really hope all goes well for you at RHUL.
0
reply
dr.oxide
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#13
Report 7 years ago
#13
Trying to decide between RHUL and UCL...the difference is that I am aiming for the academia and not the industry.
The UCL master appears to be a new one, while the RHUL msc is one the first security programs.
On the other hand, a UCL degree carries much more weight, I think.
0
reply
gbuchanan
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#14
Report 7 years ago
#14
To be honest, as someone with close ties to both RHUL and UCL, if you are serious about security, Holloway is pretty much in a league of its own.

The RHUL course is more established, and while it has a reputation for being theoretical, there is no way of avoiding the fact that you have to understand the underlying principles to be able to do fulfill the demands of the highest-level jobs in technical security. It is not at all a matter of understanding how to configure things. To develop and maintain an effective strategy, or build new systems, you have to grasp and be able to model and control the threats. I run my own webservers, and understand the practice, but frankly, as a researcher in another area of CS, I'm aware of how little insight that actually gives you. There is a reason why RHUL graduates are ubiquitous in the higher echelons of security management - and that in itself shows how misinformed the "theory versus practice" debate is in the field.

All the best in your decision,

George
1
reply
Rosh17
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#15
Report 7 years ago
#15
Hi,

How would you rate MSc Cyber Security from University of York?
Which one would you prefer among RHUL, UCL, Lancaster and York?

Thanks!
0
reply
ebee
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#16
Report 7 years ago
#16
(Original post by Rosh17)
Hi,

How would you rate MSc Cyber Security from University of York?
Which one would you prefer among RHUL, UCL, Lancaster and York?

Thanks!
Hi!

So, I'm currently on the MSc in Cyber Security course at York and I just saw this thread. I thought the commenter could use an answer despite the thread being old.

I personally rate the MSc here very highly. When I was looking for security courses, I wanted one which would be technical, useful, interesting and help prepare me equally well for a researcher career or a career in industry as a security professional. One great thing about this particular course is that it's very practical; you actually implement correlation attacks against a stream cipher, you actually use differential cryptanalysis to break a block cipher, you run security scans and use metasploit to break into a (virtual!) machine, you analyse a packet capture file to study an attack on your network, etc. You need to be able to program effectively, but there is nothing specifically complicated about it - you can use whatever language you like (I learned Python for the occasion) and there are people who can help in lab sessions. There are no sit-down exams, just assignments.

As for RHUL, they are probably your next best bet. The course content is similar, but it appears to be less practical i.e. you're not going to be implementing any crypto attacks, etc. I can't comment on UCL or Lancaster. If you would like a practical MSc, York is a good choice. They have had a lot of applications this year however, so if you want to apply I would do so soon!
1
reply
g0su
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#17
Report 7 years ago
#17
Hi,

I am new in the forum. I was looking for information related with master security in United Kingdom and I found this post.

I have applyed to RHUL, UCL, Manchester and York. However, my GPA is really bad because I was working at the same time I was studying. Do you know if the UK universities give more importance to the GPA than the work experience, publications related with security or other security certifications?

On the other hand, I was looking the program of these masters, and I am really afraid because I didn't read anything about incident handling, malware behaviour/reversing, computer forensics, intrusion detection, web assessment, ethical hacking, hardening, etc. Maybe more than 50% is not useful

Could someone tell me what kind of subject are you learning in this masters? Because I have the subject names but not more.

Thank you so much
0
reply
ebee
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#18
Report 7 years ago
#18
(Original post by g0su)
Hi,

I am new in the forum. I was looking for information related with master security in United Kingdom and I found this post.

I have applyed to RHUL, UCL, Manchester and York. However, my GPA is really bad because I was working at the same time I was studying. Do you know if the UK universities give more importance to the GPA than the work experience, publications related with security or other security certifications?

On the other hand, I was looking the program of these masters, and I am really afraid because I didn't read anything about incident handling, malware behaviour/reversing, computer forensics, intrusion detection, web assessment, ethical hacking, hardening, etc. Maybe more than 50% is not useful

Could someone tell me what kind of subject are you learning in this masters? Because I have the subject names but not more.

Thank you so much
Universities will look at your complete application; work experience, your personal statement, you grades, any publications and potentially your interview will all be taken into account. However, be aware that the universities that you've mentioned are all very well respected institutions and competition for them will be tough.

As far as the course material is concerned, at York we have:

- Applied linear and differential cryptanalysis to determine the key used to encrypt some data

- Designed and justified a biometric security system for the university (in essay format, and not in masses of detail)

- Diagnosed what happened during a security incident by studying two packet capture files from two different sections of a small business network

- Designed a network architecture for the same small business above, based on secure networking principles

- Constructed a fault tree for a hospital power system, and used discrete-time Markov chain analysis to model and determine the properties of a system

- Used nmap and Metasploit to identify vulnerable services running on a machine, compromise the machine, create an additional Administrator user and cover our tracks afterwards

- Looked at the control software for a major botnet

- Use XSS and SQL injection to impersonate other users on a forum.

- Looked at how to perform security risk assessments for medium-scale businesses

In addition, students do a project: I am looking at applying artificial intelligence techniques to cryptanalysis, but others are looking at the security of mobile applications, malware identification, etc. The practical work identified above is a sample of the kinds of things we have done, and there is also a lot of theoretical work. Lectures are delivered 9-5, Monday to Friday, over one week per module with two weeks with no contact hours during which students are expected to do the assignments.

Hope this helps!
1
reply
g0su
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#19
Report 7 years ago
#19
Dear Ebee,

I really apreciate your information. Sincerely I hope I will learn new and usefully things, but I am not sure. I want to expend one year more of my life studying to be a better professional, but when I read the subjects I feel like there were writting by profesor that like security, but they never worked in a security company.

In my opinion the only master that I think really has a good list of topics is from the CM:
http://www.ini.cmu.edu/degrees/pgh_msistm/index.html

However, it is so expensive and the requirements from the GPA are quiete high.

See you!
0
reply
tr1101
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#20
Report 7 years ago
#20
I assume your from the US, as the other chap mentioned they consider your whole application and I could not really say how they look at your GPA. I think a GPA of 3.0 is ok?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (185)
14.14%
I'm not sure (59)
4.51%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (383)
29.28%
I have already dropped out (37)
2.83%
I'm not a current university student (644)
49.24%

Watched Threads

View All