M.Sc. In Information Security

M.Sc. In Information Security

The M.Sc. in Information Security degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete the taught courses and thesis requirements of the program. The program is targeted for students with diverse backgrounds, including graduates of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Communication Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics, or other pertinent specializations. The program follows a “width before depth” approach, starting with common core courses that cover essential Information Security topics. Subsequently, elective courses cover extra topics to deepen the student’s knowledge in specialized areas not covered in the core. Students are encouraged to choose their area of specialization around one of three main themes: Cryptology, Digital Forensics and E-Business Security. The thesis is usually undertaken on research topics identified by the supervisors. Alternatively, where applicable, students may propose thesis topics of their own or work on solving problems of their sponsoring organizations.

The educational goals (objectives) of the M.Sc. in Information Security program are to produce graduates who:

  • Advance professionally and are recognized as leaders in their chosen fields.
  • Apply their technical expertise to address the needs of society in critical, creative, ethical, and innovative manner.
  • Further develop their knowledge and skills through graduate education and professional schools.


A student graduating with the M.Sc. in Information Security  program will be able to:

  • Identify, formulate, and solve advanced information security problems through the application of advanced knowledge of information security.
  • Acquire knowledge of contemporary issues and demonstrate an advanced level of understanding in the field of information security.
  • Design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze, interpret data and make decisions.
  • Conduct research in a chosen area of specialization, document and defend the research results.
  • Use techniques and modern tools necessary for information security practice.
  • Function on teams and communicate effectively.
  • Understand professional and ethical responsibilities.

Overall Structure and Requirements

The M.Sc. in Information Security is equivalent to 36 credit hours. The program consists of two main components:

Taught Courses Component: in this component the student is required to complete a program of advanced study in information security. This component is equivalent to 24 credit hours and consists of 8 courses, with 3 credit hours each and the Seminar in Research Methods course which has a zero credit rating. The 8 courses (24 credit hours) are: 4 core  courses (12 credit hours), 2 theme courses (6 credit hours) and 2 optional courses (6 credit hours) selected from a list of electives.

Thesis Component: in this component the student is required to carry out an independent project in information security. This component is equivalent to 12 credit hours.

Summary of M.Sc. in ISEC Degree Program Structure and Requirements

Category Credits Required
Program Core 12
Seminar in Research Methods 0
Program Theme 6
Program Electives 6
ISEC Master’s Thesis 12
Total 36

Summary of M.Sc. in ISEC Degree Program Structure and Requirements

Category Credits Required
Program Core 12
Seminar in Research Methods 0
Program Theme 6
Program Electives 6
ISEC Master’s Thesis 12
Total 36

Program Requirements

The taught courses component of the program is equivalent to 24 credit hours. It consists of 8 courses, with 3 credit hours each, as follows:

• 4 core courses (12 credits). These are:
– ISEC 602 Introduction to Cryptography
– ISEC 614 Mathematics for Information Security
– ISEC 615 Computer and Network Security
– One of the following two courses depending on the theme:
• ISEC 601 Information Security Management (for the E-Business Security and the Digital Forensics themes), or
• ISEC 616 Algebra for Cryptology (for the Cryptology theme)

• ENGR 695 Seminar in Research Methods (0 credits)

• 2 theme courses (6 credits) that belong to one of the following themes:
– Theme 1: E-Business Security
(ISEC 605 Web and E-Business Security and ISEC 606 Software and Database Security)
– Theme 2: Digital Forensics
(ISEC 607 Advanced Operating Systems and ISEC 608 E-Forensics and Computer Crime)
– Theme 3: Cryptology
(ISEC 611 Advanced Cryptography and ISEC 617 Cryptanalysis)

• 2 elective courses (6 credits) selected from the following list:
– ISEC 609 Wireless Networks and Mobile Security
– ISEC 610 Identity Management
– ISEC 612 Trusted Computing
– ISEC 618 Cryptographic Algorithm Design
– ISEC 619 Information and Coding Theory
– ISEC 620 Cryptographic Hardware and Embedding
– ISEC 621 Hardware and System Architecture Security
– ISEC 622 Penetration Testing
– ISEC 694 Selected Topics in Information Security

Information Security Master’s Thesis
ISEC 699 Master’s Thesis (12 credits)
A student must complete a Master’s thesis that involves creative research oriented work within the broad field of Information Security under the direct supervision of at least one full-time faculty advisor. The research findings must be documented in a formal thesis and defended successfully in a viva voce examination.

Study Plan
Typical study plans for full-time and part-time students enrolled in the M.Sc. in Information Security program are shown below. Each student is expected to select the courses in consultation with her/his academic advisor.

Typical Study Plan for Full-Time Students
  Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1
  • ISEC Core course 1
  • ISEC Core course 2
  • ISEC Core course 3
  • ISEC Core course 4
  • ENGR 695 Seminar in Research Methods
  • Theme course 1
  • Theme course 2
  • ISEC 699 Master’s Thesis
Year 2
  • Elective course 1
  • Elective course 2
  • ISEC 699 Master’s  Thesis
  • ISEC 699 Master’s Thesis
Typical Study Plan for Part-Time Students
  Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1
  • ISEC Core course 1
  • ISEC Core course 2
  • ENGR 695 Seminar in Research Methods
  • ISEC Core course 3
  • ISEC Core course 4
Year 2
  • Theme course 1
  • Theme course 2
  • Elective course 1
  • Elective course 2
Year 3
  • ISEC 699 Master’s Thesis
  • ISEC 699 Master’s Thesis