UCL MSc Information Security 2016 Watch

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cosimodm
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#1
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Hi guys,
anyone who is or has been enrolled in this MSc??

- What do teachers value most about students?
- Name the one thing that you like most about this program!
- Are there any students that come from a non-STEM bachelor degree?
- Anything else you consider relevant for an applicant to know! (Application tips?)

Any help is really appreciated!!!!!!!
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asabovesobelow
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Hello!I was actually in a similar position a couple of years ago...and I even posted questions here.I finished the MSc last year and all in all I am very happy with my choice. At the time, I was contemplating if I should choose UCL or some other InfoSec MSc.
(Original post by cosimodm)
Hi guys,- What do teachers value most about students?- Name the one thing that you like most about this program!- Are there any students that come from a non-STEM bachelor degree?- Anything else you consider relevant for an applicant to know! (Application tips?)


Well, the MSc (any Msc I would say) is mostly about what you want to get out of it, and not what the lecturers expect from you. Are you interested in just finishing with a "pass"? Are you interested in getting awesome grades? Or maybe use UCL to get a grad position? Or a full position?
I have seen all of these happening...

The InfoSec group is well-known, but I think the UCL pedigree helps too, regardless of what you decide to do afterwards.

There are lots of students from different backgrounds. The lecturers know this and they schedule additional tutorials etc, or even private meetings, but it is basically up to you to study a lot.

Be careful, when choosing the optional modules. I would recommend you to pick the ones that you are interested in and not the seemingly "easy" ones. After all you are paying for it. With that being said, stock some extra coffee. It's not stressful all the time, but the deadlines tend to cluster.

What I liked the most? Hmm.... I would say the fact that there were numerous opportunities to do stuff (e.g., CTF competitions). To the point that I could be very picky with what I attend and still have a schedule full of activities...
All in all, I have zero regrets for my choice. Not to say that everything is perfect, but I enjoyed it!
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cosimodm
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Hi and thank you so much for taking the time to reply!!

Can you recommend any readings that you think would be useful to prepare for the core courses? Thank you, I'm glad that you enjoyed the degree, I really look forward to it!
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asabovesobelow
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Hello!

I don't know much about your background, so my suggestions will be generic.

If you want to improve your math skills (useful for intro to crypto), try familiarizing yourself with modular arithmetic and maybe read a bit on rsa, diffie hellman. But you will have time within the year to do so as well (not that you will have plenty of time though).

However, what I would do is read generally news and articles about security, to get an idea of what I like. This will help you decide on the optional modules.
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J_Ly
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The class is about under 30 people and particularly in my cryptanalysis class (of about 15 students), 3 of us do maths and others do computer science. Most of the students are international students. For anyone planning to apply, there will be some maths (depending on the modules ofc) but it can be quite heavy (especially if you decide to go more into the cryptography route rather than consulting (people) route. For non-STEMS applications, while I personally think it would be challenge to learn everything, it is not impossible, they do build from the ground up

I highly suggest to read about the latest infosec blogs such as krebs and schneier from now, even if you don't understand it completely. If those articles interest you, then the course is for you! if not, think about why you want to do the course. Another thing which would be helpful (but will be taught, so dont worry!!!) to do over the summer holidays, is to learn linux + how to use terminal, do some CTF challenges, understand how memory works a bit (stack and heap), brush up on your maths (check out modular, groups,...), understand tcp/udp and a bit about how the internet works (routers, dns, packets...). The professors are very kind and helpful and I have yet to find a problem with any of them.

If anyone has any question about the course, do pm me!
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sebast93
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(Original post by J_Ly)
The class is about under 30 people and particularly in my cryptanalysis class (of about 15 students), 3 of us do maths and others do computer science. Most of the students are international students. For anyone planning to apply, there will be some maths (depending on the modules ofc) but it can be quite heavy (especially if you decide to go more into the cryptography route rather than consulting (people) route. For non-STEMS applications, while I personally think it would be challenge to learn everything, it is not impossible, they do build from the ground up

I highly suggest to read about the latest infosec blogs such as krebs and schneier from now, even if you don't understand it completely. If those articles interest you, then the course is for you! if not, think about why you want to do the course. Another thing which would be helpful (but will be taught, so dont worry!!!) to do over the summer holidays, is to learn linux + how to use terminal, do some CTF challenges, understand how memory works a bit (stack and heap), brush up on your maths (check out modular, groups,...), understand tcp/udp and a bit about how the internet works (routers, dns, packets...). The professors are very kind and helpful and I have yet to find a problem with any of them.

If anyone has any question about the course, do pm me!
Your message is very much appreciated. I've been looking in the forums for information about the MSc information Security bur it seems that people don't talk too much about it, maybe not so many people apply to this program?

I applied to the program to start this September but haven't received a reply yet. Is that a bad sign? It's been 7 weeks and nothing my application shows "under assesment". I'm a little worried since I am an electrical engineer, and not a CS major, but I hold a Java Programming certification so I hope that helps. However my toefl scores are not what UCL requested. Unfortunately I didn't have time to retake the test before the deadline. I comply with the 100 mark since I got a 103, but I didn't score 24/30 in writting as requested and got a 22/30 instead.

The wait is killing me, from your experience do you think I have a shot to be accepted?

I graduated from electrical engineering with a GPA of 3.65, worked two years a software consultant (non security software), and took 3 courses in Ethical hacking, Digital Forensics, and web hacking
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Alghss0e
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Thank you for being sooo kind and for the great answer. Do I have to know programming? If yes, which language?
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