Network Security and Pen Testing MS/PGDip/PGCert | Middlesex University London
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Network Security and Pen Testing MS/PGDip/PGCert

Learn about the course below
Code
PGG425
Start
October 2017
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£8,500 (UK/EU)
£12,500 (INT)
Course leader
Mahdi Aiash

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.

Why study MS/PGDip/PGCert Network Security and Pen Testing at Middlesex University?

This course provides both intensive practical training and a profound theoretical education, extending beyond the technicalities of network security to cover strategic and organisational issues. During your studies, you will work with our LTE test bed and Blade Server, and you will learn how to access and configure cloud-based networks.

You will be encouraged to learn, explore and work within our award-winning technology centre and its five specialist laboratories equipped with the latest industry-standard hardware and software, including OPNET, Wireshark, MATLAB, Simulink, OpNet Modeller 17.0, OMNeT++ , NI and Cisco technology such as Packet Tracer.

Practical work is an important part of every module, and unless you're already in employment, we'll encourage and support you to finding a placement for up to 12 weeks, during which you'll work on your independent research project.

Our strong research profile ensures our courses remain innovative. We have developed our own WSN, Senso LAB, and have also undertaken notable research in areas such as MIMO, LTE and LTE Advanced

The course is designed for those students who have previously studied computing at university level or who are currently working in the sector, and are looking to develop an advanced mastery of the subject.

Course highlights

  • You'll have the opportunity to gain practical experience in our industry-standard networking labs
  • We encourage students to explore new concepts and developments and were delighted when three of our students were crowned winners at the Young Professional Engineering Challenge
  • Middlesex University is an official Cisco Academy and as part of your studies, you'll have the chance to work towards a Cisco CCNA professional certification
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the MS/PGDip/PGCert Network Security and Pen Testing?

This Masters degree gives you an in-depth understanding of network design and construction, programming and operating systems, and the legal, ethical and professional issues which surround this sector. You will also study online security risks, installing the relevant procedures to ensure data is transmitted and stored securely, and developing measures that can be taken not only to prevent breaches but to minimise damage if they do occur.

What will you gain?

You will be equipped with the knowledge and expertise to analyse and build security systems, software and hardware applications, secure transactions, authentication measures, and cryptography and encryption techniques.

You will become familiar with the configurations of different systems in laboratories and learn to choose the appropriate measures and applications for a network. In addition to your proficiency in the subject, you will also have developed your mathematical, problem solving, communication, time management and critical skills.

  • Modules

    • Computer Networks and Internetworking (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      During this module you will develop a systematic understanding of the concepts, protocols and standards for computer networks and internetworking, used in current and future communication infrastructures. It is vital in today's networking market that network managers, administrators and engineers have a critical insight and practical experience of the essential tools used for monitoring, managing and evaluating computer networks. This module, which includes at least 12 hours spent working in labs, is designed to equip you with these problem solving and practical skills.

    • Operating Systems and Application Environments (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the design and implementation of the modern operating systems and application environments used to build commercial, online applications. The module involves at least 12 hours of lab work and examines key operating concepts including processes and threads, memory management, scheduling, inter-process communication (IPC), device drivers, storage systems, multiprocessor systems, micro-kernels and networking interfaces. You will concentrate on Linux, Windows, Apple iOS and Android operating systems before focusing on a detailed study of key application environments including the Eclipse IDE, XCode, and Android SDK. Finally, we look at the concept of virtual machines and building applications for the cloud using the Google GAE SDK.

    • Security Architectures and Mechanisms (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      All of the key concepts and critical issues of network security are covered in this module, with particular emphasis on standards, protocols and applications. The module will provide you with an understanding of network security technologies, algorithms and protocols, the design criteria in cryptography and data security, as well as developing basic system analysis and solution synthesis.

    • Penetration Testing and Forensics (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to provide you with the knowledge and experience in methodological approach to computer forensics and evidence analysis. It will familiarise you with the methods intruders use to gain unauthorised access to an organisation's networked systems and then compromise them. The extensive module involves at least 72 hours spent working in labs, developing in-depth experience of pen- testing methodologies and various vulnerability assessment procedures.

    • Network Security and Services (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      Network services and security mechanisms are the primary focus of this module, which involves a minimum 12 hours of lab work. You will study the security of services deployed using the internet and the mechanisms which make them secure. During the module you will also investigate various networking technologies, including wired and wireless Ethernet, server hardware such as Blade Server Technology, networking architectures including IP networking and the Y-Comm Architecture, commercial Web servers using LAMP and the .NET Framework, Grid Computing and Cloud Computing. After this you will examine security mechanisms including Firewalls, the Secure Socket Layer (SSL), Network Address Translation (NAT), IPSec Framework and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). The course then explores new security mechanisms such as the Security Layers of the Y-Comm framework, Proxy Certificates and Certificate Authorities used in Grid and Cloud Computing.

    • Cyber Security and Legal Regulations (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with a solid introduction 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. It will also explore regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, E-commerce Bill, key escrow.

    • Project Research and Communication Skills (0 Credits) - Compulsory

      This zero-credit module is designed to develop your understanding of the process behind designing, planning and conducting applied research – which is essential before embarking upon your final 60-credit project. The research methods module covers research techniques, data collection and analysis, academic writing, referencing and citation, and how to develop a research proposal before you present your project through a written thesis and an oral exam.The module encourages you to apply and test theory and contribute to applications. It will also enhance your ability to handle data for problem solving and evaluation, and to test theory using analysis and simulations – integrating the learning from other modules. The module will also give you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues in the context of computer communications.

    • Postgraduate Project in Computer and Communications Engineering (60 Credits) - Compulsory

      Your final module is a large project on a topic you are a passionate about which is worth one third of the total masters. The project gives you the chance to combine your general and specialist computer and communications engineering knowledge and understanding, applying an existing or emerging technology to the solution of a practical problem. You could instead choose to carry out research to contribute and extend the theoretical understanding of new and advancing technology and its application. Through your project will also be able to demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards, recognising obligations to society, the profession and the environment, while also becoming a specialist in a particular area of computer and communications engineering.Recent areas students have chosen to investigate have included evaluating WSNs, VANETs and open queueing networks with unreliable servers.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the MS/PGDip/PGCert Network Security and Pen Testing taught?

This is an intensive course and much of your study will be independent. Full-time students should expect to spend a maximum of three days a week in classes and part-time students should expect one or two days a week. You will develop your practical skills in laboratory sessions, and deepen your theoretical knowledge by attending lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

Assessment

As well as exams, tests and your research project, you’ll be assessed through practical assignments, including laboratory work, and coursework including essays, reports, presentations and class discussions. Some assessed work will be group work. You will receive regular feedback on your work, including your assessed coursework and your exams.

For your independent project you will plan, conduct and produce an original piece of research relevant to the industry – either using existing or emerging technology to solve a practical problem, or extending the theoretical understanding of new technology. You will be assessed on your research proposal, written report and via oral examination.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the MS/PGDip/PGCert Network Security and Pen Testing support your career?

This masters degree will leave you ideally placed for a role as training specialist, systems dispenser, business analysis manager or university lecturer. The majority of our graduates are in roles directly related to their studies and working in programming, telecommunications engineering, network management, and computer and network security. You could even start your own business or you may wish to pursue a career in academia.

Our graduates have gone onto achieve many successes since leaving Middlesex and a number have even started working for such companies as:

  • IBM
  • L'Oréal
  • Hutchinson 3G
  • Halcrow Group
  • Cyberspace Network
  • AK Electronics
  • One Hundred Computers
  • Pilat Media
  • F5 Networks
  • Middlesex staff profile

    Hadi Sanei

    Graduate

    Completing my MSc course gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself and my capabilities. I learnt how to deal with complex problems, how to analyse them and how to find the best solutions. The modules on systems simulations and modelling completely changed my career plans. I found the topic so interesting that I based my final project around it, which was later published and presented as a conference paper in the UK and Italy.

    I now work for Halcrow as a systems engineer. We provide consultancy services and design for a variety of rail systems globally. In the last four years, I have worked on many major rail projects in the UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Canada and Brazil.

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