Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship

The MSc Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship aims to develop the next generation of industry leaders and address the shortage of cyber security professionals globally. The emphasis of the programme is to provide graduates with a comprehensive understanding of the cyber security challenges facing industry and society, and equipping them with the skills necessary to address those challenges. The programme provides a strong education in the core areas of cyber security and offers applied practical skills training in key software tools and programs. Our MSc is one of an elite number of UK master's degrees in cyber security to achieve GCHQ Certification.

The school will, where possible, facilitate students to apply for suitable Professional Internships normally lasting up to 1 year, with local, national and international employers. At least 6 months of the internship must be research focused, and forms an integral part of the Individual Research Project module.

Students enrolled on the 2-year MSc Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship who are unable to secure an internship during the facilitation process will be required to transfer to the 1-year programme.

Course Details
The syllabus is informed by the world-class research being undertaken at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT). CSIT is a GCHQ-accredited Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and is the UK's largest university research lab in this field. CSIT is fast developing a reputation as a global innovation hub for cyber security and is influenced throughout by its strong history of commercial engagement with world leading companies including Allstate, BAE Systems, Equiniti, Euronext, IBM, Infosys, McAfee, Roke, and Thales. In 2015 Queen Elizabeth awarded CSIT a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its work in strengthening global cyber security and protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world.

The MSc in Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship is only available in a full-time option:

Full-time (2-years +): Students study all taught modules (120 CATS points) up to the end of the May exam period.

Pending satisfactory completion of taught modules, students will normally commence their Professional Internship sometime between July-September for a period of up to 12 months. The exact time of commencement may depend upon internship procedures of the host company.

The Individual Research Project (60 CATS points) will operate as an integral part of the Professional Internship, under the regular supervision of an academic staff member and a staff member of the host organisation.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical and/or Electronic Engineering, Mathematics with Computer Science, Physics with Computer Science or a related discipline.

Applicants who hold a 2.2 Honours degree and a Master's degree (or equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University) in one of the above disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All applicants will be expected to have mathematical ability and significant programming experience as evidenced either through the content of their primary degree or through another appropriate formal qualification. It would be beneficial if applicants have experience programming in C and working in a Linux environment.

Applications may be considered from those who do not meet the above requirements but can provide evidence of recent relevant technical experience in industry, for example, in programming. An application under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) may be required. Please visit for the University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and information on application procedures.

Please note: a non-refundable deposit (which will be deducted from tuition fees) of £1,000 is required.

International Students
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

English language requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.


2 years full-time.

The six taught modules are normally each delivered over a four week period. In the first week students carry out background work based on material supplied specifically for each module in preparation for the rest of the module. The second week is spent in the classroom/lab, where attendance is required across the week (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm). This week includes lectures, tutorials, and assessed work in the lab. In the final two weeks students carry out coursework and independent tutorial study, as well as timetabled CSIT-linked activities.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
The aim of the programme is to offer a multi-disciplinary education in cyber security that prepares graduates for employment in technical development, cyber risk analysis, managerial positions such as Chief Information Security Officer, entrepreneurial endeavours, or as preparation for further research.

Our graduates have found that holding a prestigious MSc qualification from Queen's, at one of the UK's top engineering Schools, has significantly enhanced their job opportunities and employment prospects. With demand for cyber security experts growing at 12 times the rate of the overall job market, students can expect their career prospects to be enhanced significantly after graduation. Prospects for research and academic career paths in cyber security will also be enhanced by the MSc.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while our innovative MSc Applied Cyber Security programme integrates a range of unique and exciting opportunities to interact and engage with business and research leaders in cyber security, ensuring we help our students to gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

Dr Kieran McLaughlin
Course Director
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Subjects taught

The modules are:
• Network Security & Monitoring
• Ethical & Legal Issues in Cyber Security
• Software Assurance
• Computer Forensics
• Malware
• Applied Cryptography

These modules are assessed through a combination of practical laboratory sessions, independent coursework, and written examinations. An Individual Research Project is also undertaken that focuses on applying taught skills to a leading edge issue in cyber security research. A dissertation is required to be produced for the project. The project may be taken in the context of a summer placement at a company, for the 1-year programme, or as part of a year-long Professional Internship as an integral part of the 2-year programme.


Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship highlights
Our MSc is one of an elite number of UK master's degrees in cyber security to achieve GCHQ Certification.

Professional accreditations
• Our MSc is one of an elite number of UK master's degrees in cyber security to achieve GCHQ Certification.

Career development
• MSc Applied Cyber Security students will be given unique access to a full range of applied skills development and networking opportunities normally reserved for researchers, engineers and industry partners at CSIT. Students will have the opportunity to register for events such as: industry expert seminars, Lunchtime Learning research talks, access to CSITs employability and entrepreneurship programmes, participation in CSIT Accelerating Value Creation workshops, research lab tours, personal CV development, and an exclusive invitation to the gala dinner of CSIT's 'World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit', which is an invite-only gathering of 100 global leaders in cyber security.

Internationally renowned experts
• CSIT is a GCHQ-accredited Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and is the UK's largest university research lab in this field, and was recently awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education by Her Majesty the Queen.

Student experience
• Students taking the MSc will be offered opportunities for summer internships during which they can undertake their research project in cyber security. Students enrolled on the 2-year MSc with professional internship can apply for year-long internships. We will facilitate a process for students to apply for internships but cannot guarantee that students will be placed. An integral part of the course is an Employability Programme where students are offered personal assistance to develop their CVs, interview skills, and prepare for undertaking project internships. Internships have previously been provided by the following companies and organisations across the UK and Europe: Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Facebook, Fintrax Group, IBM, McAfee, PwC, RepKnight, Roke, Seven Technologies Group,Thales, United Technologies Research Centre (UTRC), and others.

Assessment method

Assessment criteria are linked to the learning outcomes for each module. A range of assessment instruments are used including laboratory-based assignments, individual projects, practical exams, presentations, written coursework and unseen written exams.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught
Closing dates do apply for some of our courses, and details of these are available on our Course Finder. We advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply. See application weblink below.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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