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 MSc Network Security and Pen Testing at Middlesex?

Students on this programme will gain an understanding of the fundamental importance of computer networks, and communication systems security within an organisation. They will learn to involve management and user in awareness, decision-making and implementation with regard to network security and pen testing.

Students will develop the skills and knowledge required to analyze security risks within a communication system and to propose or devise solutions; to evaluate new threats to authentication, confidentiality and privacy, and to implement solutions to combat them; to make a functional security design for a communication system and implement it successfully; and they will acquire the skills to test systems' ability to withstand risks whilst undertaking test analysis and performing security management.

The course offers a balance of theory, advanced practical skills and experience to enable students to develop a sound knowledge and analytical ability to facilitate their intellectual and professional development.

Course Content

Our master's degree in MSc Network Security and Pen Testing gives you an in-depth understanding of online security risks, the steps needed to ensure that data is transmitted and stored securely, and measures that can be taken not only to prevent breaches but to minimise damage if they do occur.

There are seven compulsory modules plus a research methods module which complements your independent project. This is a major part of the course, worth a third of your overall mark, whereby you produce a piece of original 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'll design, analyse and build security systems, software and hardware applications, becoming familiar with the configurations of different systems in our laboratories and learning to choose the appropriate measures and applications for a network. Secure transactions, authentication measures, cryptography and encryption techniques, intrusion detection, penetration testing, firewalls, AAA and more are all covered during the masters degree.

The course also looks at network design and construction, and programming and operating systems more generally, as well as legal, ethical and professional issues. In addition to your expertise in your subject, the course will improve your mathematical, problem solving, teamwork, communication, time management and critical skills.

Module Description

  • Security Architecture and Mechanisms
  • Penetration Testing and Forensics
  • Computer Networks and Internetworking
  • Operating Systems and Applications Environment
  • Cyber Security and Legal Regulations
  • Network Security and Services
  • Project Research and Communication Skill
  • Postgraduate Project in Computer Communications


Each module is assessed through a combination of group and/or individual coursework, presentations and an unseen examination or a major piece of coursework. In general, the coursework component of each module accounts for 30%-50% of the module grade, while the unseen examination accounts for 50%-70% depending on the nature of the module. The Postgraduate Project in Computer Communications, undertaken at the end of the programme, gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate in a practical way the knowledge and skills acquired from the programme as a whole, including the student's own self-directed learning and research.

Entry Requirements

To be accepted to study on the MSc Computer Networks and Pen Testing course, we normally require graduates with a good honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications and individuals with a minimum of three years' work experience. Those without formal qualifications need to demonstrate relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.

English language requirements

You must have competence in English language. The most common English Language requirement for international students is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum grade 6.0 in all four components), or equivalent. If you are unsure whether you meet the minimum requirements please contact the Malta campus admissions office.

Program taught in:
Last updated November 19, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Oct 2019
1 - 2 years
10,000 EUR
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