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Security MSc by Research

Learn about the course below
October 2022
January 2022
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£4,700 (UK/EU)
£13,500 (INT)
Course leader
Florian Kammueller

With our Security research masters you can undertake your own security or privacy-related research project from a wide variety of interdisciplinary domains.

Why study the MSc Security by Research at Middlesex University?

Security is a huge challenge in computer science involving high-end technical challenges as well as an understanding and appreciation of the human aspects of systems. Nowadays, computer security is a cross cutting discipline ranging from cryptography via networks and programming, through to data science and the social sciences.

This research masters in Security allows students to work closely with one of our security experts to develop and carry out an in-depth research project of their own choice. The interdisciplinary study enables you to become an expert in a specific area of security and equip yourself with the skills and experience to advance a career in the security sector.

We currently have supervisors available in:

  • Insider threats
  • Cyber Security
  • Cloud Security and Future Internet Security
  • Networks and Operating systems
  • Visualisation of Security related Data
  • Multi-modal Biometrics
  • Malware Analysis
  • Financial Crime
  • Digital Forensics
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Forensics
  • Crypto-currencies
  • Anonymity and Social Network Analysis
  • Profiling
  • Programming Language Based Security
  • Assessment of Security using Reverse Engineering
  • Penetration Testing
  • Security and Trust
  • Privacy and Human Behaviour
  • Probabilistic Modelling
  • Cryptography
  • Security Protocols
  • Verification and Analysis

Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc Security by Research?

This MSc by Research degree aims to bring together, in an interdisciplinary fashion, security and privacy-related activities from across the University. These may vary depending on your chosen subject, but there are common core activities in network security, security engineering, human aspects, visualisation, forensics, analysis and verification. These will work together to support applications-driven security scenarios.

To support the interdisciplinary nature of this programme, you will have a core activity supervisor (networks, security, verification, visualisation) as well as a supervisor specialising in your chosen application area.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

How is the MSc Security by Research taught?

This degree is an entirely research-based master's programme. The majority of your time will be spent working on your research project in the library, laboratories or elsewhere under the direction of your supervisors.

Alongside your independent study, you will also have tutorial lectures in key areas of security. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to review progress and plan future activities. You may also spend brief periods at partner sites, for example where your project involves collaboration with industry.

Full-time students are expected to attend for an average of 35 hours per week and part-time students for an average of 12 hours per week.


Assessment will be based on a final dissertation of approximately 30,000 words. Two independent examiners will be appointed who will read and evaluate the dissertation, following which you will be invited to make an oral defence of your work.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs

How can the MSc Security by Research support your career?

This degree is specifically designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to fulfil corporate security requirements and allow them to progress to the post of security analyst or security architect.

Security analysts are responsible for the security within company infrastructures. They work closely with IT, network administration and security services to explore and understand the security needs within an organisation and support it with adequate measures like enforcing new policies and implementing dedicated security training for staff. The security analyst is also the detective who finds attacks and finds way to prevent them or at least to bin the evidence for forensic purposes. A security analyst works hand in hand with a security architect who is the designer of security controls and their placement within the corporate infrastructure.

Below are all of the project supervisors and their areas of expertise. Please email them if you would like to discuss your project idea in more detail before submitting a research proposal.

Mahdi Aiash

  • Security in the "Future Internet" (IoTs, ICNs, SDNs and Cloud Computing) which involves AAA mechanisms, access control, key management, security design and verification.
  • Aspects of practical (hands-on security) i.e. exploitation research, deploying penetration testing and reverse engineering techniques to assess the implementation of security.

Email Mahdi Aiash

Giuseppe Primiero

  • Security problems in computing paired with companion epistemological problems, privacy and Trust.
  • What does it mean for a system to allow privacy and how can privacy breaks be analysed? How is a trustable user or behaviour defined and how is the dynamic of trust inside the system modelled?
  • Investigations in the area of Privacy and Trust require conceptual understanding, formal design, and application development.

Email Giuseppe Primiero

Taolue Chen

  • Insider threats, verification and analysis, applications to security using probabilistic modelling, e.g. Bayes Networks, Markov Decision Processes and related analysis.

Email Taolue Chen

Xiaochun Chen

  • IDS, security protocol analysis, cryptography, biometrics.
  • Attack static signature and dynamic behaviour analyses, such as Android malware analysis and relevant 0 day attack detection.

Email Xiaochun Chen

Sukhvinder Hara

  • Financial crime, digital forensics, new technology investigations, crypto-currencies.
  • Anonymity and social network analysis, profiling, forensic frameworks.

Email Sukhvinder Hara

Florian Kammueller

  • Insider threats, logical modelling and analysis of security applications, including: authentication protocols, security policies of organisations, and programming languages like security type systems for object-orientation, information flow security.

Email Florian Kammueller

David Windridge

  • Biometrics, in particular multi-modal biometrics (the combination of heterogeneous biometric signals [e.g. iris scans, finger prints] to produce a more reliable identification)

Email David Windridge

Kai Xu

  • Visualising security-related data, such as network (hardware) status and access
  • Attempts, to provide the 'big picture', i.e. overall how well is the system and/or if there is any systematic attack, etc.

Email Kai Xu

Ian Mitchell

  • Digital forensics, AI forensics, SSD forensics and file systems analysis.

Email Ian Mitchell

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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Code: PGY000

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