MSc in Information Security and Biometrics


Program Description

Secure information systems are critically important to modern day businesses and societies. From banking systems and medical systems to power infrastructures or a simple home PC, security is vitally important as they are usually all interconnected directly or indirectly via the Internet or telephony system.

This Master’s programme combines modern engineering and technology with digital media and equips students with the skill set to develop modern security systems with an emphasis on biometric identity management. Graduates of this programme are then capable of adapting to changes in the field and of leading it in innovation.

Course structure

This programme is taught jointly with the School of Computing. Both schools are at the forefront of research in their areas.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has an excellent reputation for research in various aspects of biometrics, including individual biometric modalities, the management of complexity in biometric systems and the testing and evaluation of biometric systems; while the School of Computing has participated in the development of X.509 international standard and the first X.509 privilege management infrastructure (PMI) was built by members of this school.

This Master's programme offers an advanced level of learning by providing students with a thorough understanding of the theories, concepts and techniques for the design, development and effective use of secure information systems, and producing graduates who are capable of adapting to changes in the field and leading it in innovation.

The course is designed for practitioners, professionals and graduates with an interest in information security, access control technologies, and application domains using biometric identification and verification systems.

Teaching and Assessment

The project module is examined by a presentation and dissertation. The Research Methods and Project Design module is examined by several components of continuous assessment. The other modules are assessed by examinations and smaller components of continuous assessment. MSc students must gain credit from all the modules.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • produce graduate engineers with a broad understanding of how to provide effective information security, and how to develop and use modern security systems, with a particular emphasis on biometric identity management.
  • equip trained engineers with the necessary system development skills to allow them to adapt to a dynamic and fast-changing industrial environment.
  • provide you with proper academic guidance and welfare support.
  • create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer you an environment where you can develop your potential.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • information security and biometrics (including the importance of taking a systems-wide approach to maintaining information security) and an awareness of developing technologies in this field.
  • mathematical and computer models for analysis of information security and biometric systems (including the design and analysis of modern systems for encryption, authentication, authorisation and identification).
  • design processes relevant to technologies such as networks and pattern classification and supporting methodologies such as system design and software engineering.
  • ethical and legal issues, relevant standards and the mechanisms by which such standards are agreed.
  • the current industrial context in which biometric and secure systems are developed and employed.
  • extensive knowledge of characteristics of equipment, processes, algorithms and products, such as encryption systems, face and fingerprint recognition systems and biometric sensors.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • how to think critically, reason and reflect.
  • the ability to produce a specification of the operation of a complex system, based on an understanding of the component parts.
  • the ability to undertake a critical appraisal of a candidate system design and reflect upon its merits.
  • the ability to use fundamental knowledge to explore new and emerging technologies.
  • the ability to understand the limitations of mathematical and computer-based problem-solving and assess the impact in particular cases.
  • the ability to extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem and apply it to the solution.
  • the ability to apply engineering techniques taking account of commercial and industrial constraints.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to analyse the information security requirements of an organisation.
  • the ability to analyse and comprehend a biometrically-based secure system engineering problem, using appropriate formal analysis methods.
  • the ability to apply knowledge of design processes in unfamiliar situations and to generate innovative designs to fulfil new needs, particularly in the fields of complex biometric and secure systems.
  • the ability to select and employ appropriate development tools for modern biometric and secure systems.
  • the ability to select, install and configure different security components to work together to form a complex security system.
  • the use of appropriate software tools, techniques and packages to produce and develop security systems, including biometrically-based ones.
  • the ability to devise tests of a software system through experiment and simulation and to critically appraise the results.
  • the use of software development kits and tools to analyse problems and develop solutions.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data.
  • use of information and communications technology.
  • personal and interpersonal skills, working as a member of a team.
  • an ability to communicate effectively, in writing, verbally and through drawings.
  • the ability for critical thinking, reasoning and reflection.
  • the ability to learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development.
  • the ability to manage time and resources within an individual and group project.


We have developed the programme with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students will be in a strong position to build long-term careers in this important discipline.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has an excellent record of student employability. We are committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, to equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a competitive, fast-moving, knowledge-based economy.

Graduates who can show that they have developed transferable skills and valuable experience are better prepared to start their careers and are more attractive to potential employers. Within the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, you can develop the skills and capabilities that employers seek. These include problem-solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.

Entry requirements

A 2.2 or higher honours degree in electronics, computing or a subject with a strong IT component.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

Last updated Nov 2018

About the School

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has an excellent reputation for both its teaching and research.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has an excellent reputation for both its teaching and research. Read less