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  1. Management of Information Security and Risk
    1. 2016
    2. 2017
Courses

Management of Information Security and Risk

MSc |
Learn about both the technical and the business issues that can bridge the gap between IT security and business risk.

Key Information

Start date

Autumn 2016

Duration

Part-time: 28 months

The modules will be delivered in block mode with two modules per term. Modules can also be taken individually for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

See more about duration

UK/EU

Part-time: £5,000 per year

Non-EU

Part-time: £7,500 per year

Who is it for?

This Masters course is aimed at IT professionals with about five years' experience and is intended to provide them with the skills that they need to progress to a management role in information security and risk. Hence it aims to prepare these professionals for the management roles in Information Security including Security Architect, Chief Information Risk Manager, Chief Security Officer or Chief Information Security Officer. It covers both technical issues such as information security, quantitative risk assessment, and assurance, as well as more business oriented issues such as information leadership and executive development. It will be led from academics by the School of Informatics, with input from Cass Business School and experts from industry.

Objectives

Concerns about cyber security and information risk have led to a growing market for technical specialists, but there is also a need for more senior professionals with an awareness of both the technical and the business issues who can bridge the gap between IT security and business risk. Such professionals would be responsible for drawing up organisation strategies for managing risk, identifying trade-offs between multiple risks and the cost of protection, and advising higher management on these issues. Typical roles of these professionals might include Security Architect, Chief Information Risk Manager, or Chief Security Officer.

Why you should study for the MSc in Management of Information Security and Risk (MISR) at City, University of London:

  • Learn about both the technical and the business issues that can bridge the gap between IT security and business risk.
  • Understand how to communicate these risks to both the technical staff and the executive business team (CEO, CIO, CFO and COO) in a language they share.
  • Focus on human-machine interaction and decision making within today's increasingly complex Political-Economical-Socio-Technical (PEST) systems.
  • Find out about latest industry and government standards, legislation and best practice from leading technical experts.
  • Network with your peers to compare and contrast best practices from different industries.

Learn more about how the programme can protect your organisation.

How is the course taught?

All modules are taught in block mode of two long weekends (Thursday evening, all day Friday and all day Saturday).

The course is taught part-time only and in block mode of two long weekends per module on our campus at City, University of London from 5:00pm.

Applicants can also apply to enrol on individual modules as CPDs. It will then be possible for you to gradually build credits for the MSc should you wish to take this route. City, University of London is also an approved MoD Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) scheme provider (ID-1538).

Our part of London is well-served by the Northern Line (City branch), as well as the combination of the Circle/District/Metropolitan/Hammersmith & City lines, and by the Central Line. We are in close proximity to both Kings Cross St Pancras Station (serving the international Eurostar train line) and London Airports, including City Airport.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution in a cognate subject.

Applicants should hold a second class honours degree or the equivalent from an international institution in a cognate subject.

Applicants should also have approximately five years of relevant professional experience (absolute minimum of two years in exceptional circumstances). In some circumstances, professional experience and qualifications are accepted in lieu of a degree.

INTO Postgraduate preparation Programmes

If you do not qualify for direct entry, our partner INTO City, University of London offers academic preparation programmes which focus on the skills you need. Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Science and Engineering at INTO City, University of London means guaranteed progression to this degree.

English requirements

For overseas students whose first language is not English, the following qualification is required:

  • IELTS: 7.0

Due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

INTO English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City, University of London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

We invite all suitable applicants living within a 200-mile radius of London to an open evening and/or interview session; these are held monthly between March and July. Overseas and more distant applicants are sent a questionnaire, which may be supplemented by a telephone interview or email discussion. Such students are welcome to visit the Department if they are in or near London at some stage.

You should submit your application by one of the following two methods:

1. Completing the online form; or

2. Completing a hard copy of the application form and sending this to the address below.

Please ensure you include your supporting documentation with your application. If you are applying online you should note that confidential references are only acceptable as originals sent in signed and sealed envelopes by post to the address below. References attached as supporting documentation to an online application cannot be considered.

International students: it is important you submit your application to us in sufficient time for you to arrange your visa before the start of the course.

You will be able to attach electronic copies of your supporting documents. However, you will be required to submit your confidential references in hard copy (in signed and sealed envelopes) to the address below, together with any supporting documents you do not attach when applying online.

Postal applications and supporting documents

Alternatively, to receive an application pack in the post please contact the Programmes Office:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7040 0248
Email: smcsepg@city.ac.uk

Please send your completed paper application form, together with supporting documents, to:

Programmes Office
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

More about funding

If a student leaves City after commencing but before completing their course, City reserves the right to charge the student the tuition/course fee for the full academic year (or full course for capacity limited post-graduate courses - up to a maximum of 2 years fees) in question. The student may be charged the full fee for that year or course as applicable unless the student is able to present justification that exceptional and unforeseeable reasons for their withdrawal exist.

How to pay

City has introduced an instalment payment scheme which is available to certain categories of students, including taught postgraduate students. For students following the normal academic year, the annual fee may be paid in two equal instalments: the first on registering, the second on 31st January. If you wish to pay your fees by instalment you must pay the first instalment at or before registration, by cheque or credit/debit card. You must also supply your bank details or credit card details for payment of your second instalment which will be deducted automatically from your bank or credit card account on 31st January.

Funding

For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning


The modules will be delivered in block mode, with students taking two modules per term. Each module consists of two blocks as follows:

  • Thursday evening: 5pm - 9pm
  • Friday: 9am-5pm
  • Saturday: 9am-5pm

Modules can also be taken individually for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

In summary, assuming attendance at the Thursday evening sessions can be done without having to take any time off from work, the students are expected to take eight Fridays off from work in a calendar year (though some employers may allow their employees to take these times off as study leave), and they will need to also attend classes for a further eight Saturdays (i.e. two Fridays and two Saturdays per module). Timetables are for guidance only and are subject to change.

Semester one (October-December)

IT Risk and Resilience

IT Risk Management for effective performance and the prevention of fraud, error and disaster

Semester two (January- April)

Quantitative Risk Analysis

Executive Development

Semester one (October-December)

Information Security Management

Information Leadership

Semester two (January- April)

Socio-Technical Systems

Assurance Cases

Read the full programme specification

Modules

Led by the internationally respected Centre for Software Reliability, the course is delivered with the multidisciplinary Centre for Cyber Security Science and Cass Business School. The course is aimed at IT professionals with around five years' experience. It covers the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in senior roles in information security and risk.

The course supports the extra breadth of knowledge required by people with professional experience to progress towards target roles in management or consulting on security, assurance and risk. This extra breadth is in the directions of:

  • principles of security and resilience
  • understanding of risk as a socio-technical rather than technical issue
  • a common framework for considering risks with technical and human, accidental and malicious causes
  • analysis of assurance (systems and policies) beyond mere compliance with standards and rules
  • as well as professional development and leadership

Modules providing Professional Skills

Information Leadership (15 credits)

  • The role of the CIO/information leader past, present and future
  • Relationships with key executive posts such as CEO, COO, CFO
  • Talent management: the information leader's team, key IT functional roles and technology specific issues
  • Financial context: budgeting, corporate/public sector financial reporting, balance sheets, cash flow, income/expenditure, etc. Management accounting issues
  • Purchasing, third-party and customer/supplier management
  • Introduction to IT governance, legal/regulatory issues and the role of policy and standards
  • Information as a source of competitive advantage: when IT does and doesn't matter.

Executive Development (15 credits)

  • Competency frameworks, qualifications and CPD, including; IISP, SFIA, ITIL, BCS and industry certifications
  • Personal SWOT analyses and action planning
  • Developing behavioural competencies in an organisational context; leadership, team working, communication, negotiation, and influencing
  • Reflection, performance appraisal, mentoring and coaching
  • Project, programme and change management in uncertain environments
  • Communities of practice and professional identity.

Socio-technical Systems (15 credits)

  • The concept of socio-technical system; examples of errors caused by technical-only analysis of IT-based systems
  • Introduction to Human Factors, cognitive processes, assessment of human performance and human error
  • Unexpected effects of automation on work organisation, behaviour and performance
  • The psychology of risk perception and communication
  • Models and empirical studies of responsibility, trust and trustworthiness
  • Psychology of security and social engineering attacks
  • Organisational factors: roles of culture and incentives
  • Approaches to the study of risk and risk management in socio-technical systems: "Normal accidents", "High reliability organisations", "Resilience engineering".

IT Risk Management for effective performance and the prevention of fraud, error and disaster (15 credits)

  • The assurance gap -  how to identify the black hole between the Board's understanding of the governance of the organisation and the operational reality
  • IT Risk Management - how to ensure that IT risks are part of the enterprise risk management process
  • IT Audit - the multi-layered approach to identifying the effectiveness of controls over the systems life cycle, the operational efficacy and the security of the IT resource
  • IT Governance - demonstrating the need for transparency and integration of the IT resource
  • Continuous Monitoring and Continuous Audit - the new dynamic - providing assurance that events - specifically IT related events - are controlled in real time - or close to real time
  • Best Practice IT workshop including case studies showing the causes of major IT failures
  • Prevention of Fraud, denial of service.

Specialised Security and Risk Modules

Information Security Management (15 credits)

  • Information Security in the 21st century, evolving threats and defences
  • Security policies and governance; Role of standards, guidelines and legislation
  • Communicating security and risk issues to general and executive audiences
  • Selecting and evaluating strategies and technologies for organization wide security.

IT Risk and Resilience (15 credits)

  • Basic concepts, definitions and types of requirements in dependability, security, resilience including reference to the relevant international standards and adopted good practices
  • Systematic methods for identifying vulnerabilities and threats; basic concepts and examples about means for achieving resilience and security: avoidance, prevention, removal, mitigation and recovery at the technical and at the organisational levels
  • Fundamental design trade-offs in formulating information security/resilience strategies; introduction to the means for assessing dependability and resilience and information assurance methodologies
  • Basic concept of the risks due to the interdependencies between critical infrastructures (i.e. power grid reliance on telecommunication and vice versa, etc.) and methods of its quantification and management (interdependency analysis).

Quantitative Risk Analysis (15 credits)

  • Quantifying risk. Probabilistic models. Statistical inference
  • Subjective probabilities and Bayesian inference
  • Dependent events. Dependent random values
  • Worst / best case estimates of probabilities and random values
  • Models of defence / protection
  • Presenting results of risk analysis

Assurance Cases (15 credits)

  • The nature of the assurance and evaluation problem for computer-based systems
  • Deriving and structuring of claims in an assurance case; claim expansion from architecture; from dependability attributes.
  • The role of standards, policies and regulations in deriving claims and argument strategies
  • Evidence and arguments for different attributes
  • Reviewing and assessing cases; improving communication. Developing cases for a range of stakeholders - from "boardroom to back office"
  • Cases for specific classes of systems. Issues of scalability
  • The use of tools for assurance cases (e.g. ASCE).

Students also take an independent individual project, which applies the technical contents of the course to a concrete problem. The project may be executed during an internship in an outside organisation, within a successful internship scheme.

  • Academic expert
    Professor of System and Software Dependability working in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer working in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.
  • Academic expert
    Professor of Systems Engineering working in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.
  • Academic expert
    Lecturer working in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer working in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.
  • Student
    The course offered me the unique opportunity to understand the complexities of information security whilst being able to articulate them to senior members of a business.

Career prospects

This course will appeal to companies and professionals that need to develop or improve their capability in managing IT-related security, in order to enter markets with higher demands of dependability and security, comply with new regulations, or re-qualify for new roles. Graduates should be suitable for consideration as the CSO or Security Architects and Senior Information Risk Managers and would also greatly help them in information security Consultancy and Auditing roles.

Our previous and existing cohort of students attending MISR have all been full-time employed in various companies, ranging from multi-billion pound turnover multi-nationals in the aviation industry, auditing multi-national companies (e.g. KPMG), media companies (e.g. Sky and Sony), companies in the financial sector (e.g. Deutsche Bank and Charles Stanley) in the City of London, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), government department and NHS trusts. The programme helps students build a strong network with their peers as well as maintaining the network as part of their career development.

After the successful completion of the course candidates may also consider a PhD degree, towards an academic/research career.

Learn more about how the programme can protect your organisation.


We invite all suitable applicants living within a 200-mile radius of London to an open evening and/or interview session; these are held monthly between March and July. Overseas and more distant applicants are sent a questionnaire, which may be supplemented by a telephone interview or email discussion. Such students are welcome to visit the Department if they are in or near London at some stage.

You should submit your application by one of the following two methods:

1. Completing the online form; or

2. Completing a hard copy of the application form and sending this to the address below.

Please ensure you include your supporting documentation with your application. If you are applying online you should note that confidential references are only acceptable as originals sent in signed and sealed envelopes by post to the address below. References attached as supporting documentation to an online application cannot be considered.

International students: it is important you submit your application to us in sufficient time for you to arrange your visa before the start of the course.

You will be able to attach electronic copies of your supporting documents. However, you will be required to submit your confidential references in hard copy (in signed and sealed envelopes) to the address below, together with any supporting documents you do not attach when applying online.

Postal applications and supporting documents

Alternatively, to receive an application pack in the post please contact the Programmes Office:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7040 0248
Email: smcsepg@city.ac.uk

Please send your completed paper application form, together with supporting documents, to:

Programmes Office
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB

Contact details

Programmes Office (room A302)

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London EC1V 0HB

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.