Postgraduate Factfile: Computer Network Security MSc

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Course at a glance

Mode of study: Full Time (1 year) & Part Time (2 years)
Start date: September

  • Delivered by academics active in research
  • Opportunity to carry out novel research project in an area of your choice
  • High quality teaching and excellent learning resources commended by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
  • £6 million state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching facilities
  • Excellent career prospects in areas including secure networked systems development, network security management, computer crime detection and network security consultancy

Course overview

The greatest challenge faced by those undertaking electronic commerce is about how to secure computer systems operating on networks, particularly the Internet. The strong and urgent demand for effective security technologies and the corresponding initiatives are stimulating a fast growth of the computer security technology market.

The overall aim of the programme is to provide you with the opportunity to enhance your career prospects and become network security professionals by gaining additional knowledge and skills in the areas of computer network security and its applications.

You will study the following core modules: Research Methods, Computer Networks, Computer Security, Internetworking, Network Security and Advanced Topics in Network Security.  You will also complete 2 option modules chosen from the following list: Computer Systems Technology, Information Systems Development and Management, Management of e-Business, Software Engineering Technology, Database Design and Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Software Development – JAVA, Mobile Computing, Wireless Networks and Network Forensics. Please note availability of option modules varies depending on student demand.

A major component of the course is the project module. This is an extensive piece of research work in an applications domain relevant to your academic or professional interests. It is intended to provide you with an opportunity to undertake a major investigation and produce a major dissertation on the outcome of the work. Assessment of the project will be based on this dissertation and presentations of the work. The work carried out during the project is expected to have a strong research component and will, in many cases, be appropriate in forming the basis of further academic research - for example a PhD programme.

You will be based in LJMU’s Byrom Street campus, which is engineered to guarantee your success thanks to the investment of £6million in state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching facilities. Our computer laboratories provide access to over 150 high-performance computers, including PC/Linux Workstations and Networked Multimedia PCs for general use, in addition to the campus computing cluster. The teaching rooms are designed to enable the multimedia delivery of teaching materials and demonstrations and the School’s laboratory infrastructure and technical support were commended in a recent professional body accreditation visit.

The campus includes an exclusive Game Technology Lab, a Computer Forensics Lab, two Multimedia Labs, a Distance Learning Lab and specialist labs for our research students in Network Security and Networked Appliances.

Staff at the School are active in research areas including: applied artificial intelligence, distributed multimedia systems and security, information systems development, mathematics education, neural computation and statistics, and computer games.  The research within the school is recognized internationally in the area of Networked Systems and Security, Computer Entertainment, and Neural Networks with funding from EPSRC, BBC, European Union to name a few.   This research drives and informs all programmes taught at the school.

What do past and present students say about the course?

 “The core modules are highly relevant and help understand prevailing and up-to-date technologies available in this area of study.  Module delivery has been very interactive, enhancing better understanding of subject areas.”

Quote from Board of Study meeting.

Introduction to the School

In an increasingly technological world, there are great challenges and opportunities for professionals with advanced qualifications in computing. The School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences will help you prepare for the career of your choice by providing you with a wide range of programmes at postgraduate level, including taught masters and research programmes (MPhil/PhD).

Whether you choose to study our courses full or part-time, you can be confident that you will be taught and supervised by subject specialists, in a vibrant and supportive environment. Classroom and lab-based activities, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work, offer a varied and diverse range of experiences as you prepare for the career of your choice. You will also be encouraged to attend School seminars and locally held conferences, participating in the research culture of our School.

Internationally-recognised expertise

We aim to promote and advance internationally leading research in a number of important areas including critical infrastructure protection, computer security, networked appliances, computer games, software engineering, neural computing and statistics. These areas are of great economic and social impacts, and involve many emerging research challenges requiring significant and long-term research efforts.
Our research is conducted via centres, labs and groups led by experts with international reputation, including Professor Madjid  Merabti in networking, Professor Paolo Lisboa in neural computing, Professor Abdennour El Rhalibi in computer games, and Professor Qi Shi in cyber security.

We are proud of our growing research reputation and have a long-standing history of working with local, regional and national industries through student placement, research, consultancy, short course activity and Teaching Company Schemes. We also have a number of collaborative partnerships both locally and internationally.

Our research was rated as 'world leading or internationally excellent' in the latest Research Assessment Exercise in 2008. To further advance our world leading research, we recently established a Research Centre for Critical Infrastructure Computer Technology and Protection – PROTECT – to bring together researchers across a number of areas, including computer networks, network security, computer games technology and software engineering, to address emerging research challenges to the protection of critical infrastructure systems.

A modern computing environment

In addition to University-wide IT facilities, you will have access to up-to-date specialist computing facilities within the School itself. We have nine specialist teaching laboratories, with over 400 workstations, managed by a team of ten technical staff. The laboratories contain Linux Workstations / Unix facilities, IBM PC compatible machines and multimedia equipment. All computer laboratories are fitted with air conditioning, ergonomic seating and category2 lighting, state-of-the-art design technology for a modern computing environment.

To find out more, read our brochure or visit:

Other related courses

MSc Advanced Computer Studies,  MSc Computing and Information Systems.

Employment and careers

This course offers more than an education in your chosen specialist subject. It also enhances your transferable skills, such as IT, problem solving, report writing, giving presentations and working in teams. These skills allow you to operate effectively in an ever changing world of work and are highly regarded by employers.

Graduates can expect career opportunities in a number of areas including secure networked systems development , secure electronic/mobile commerce applications development, secure middleware development, networked systems security evaluation, trusted internet service providers, network security management, computer crime detection, mobile devices protection, network security consultancy, or further research by PhD.

As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.

LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.

Our World of Work Programme – endorsed by FTSE 100 companies and leading business organisations – offers you the chance to get an additional certificate proving to potential employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. No other university in the UK or internationally, offers students the chance to develop these skills and organisations backing the scheme include the Confederation of British Industry, United Utilities, Sony, Siemens, Peugeot Citroen and Marks and Spencer.

Map of UK

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University from September 2014 onwards.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni
Name of scholarship Level of study Value of scholarship Number available Additional eligibility criteria
John Moores International Undergraduate Scholarship Postgraduate taught and research degrees (MSc, MA, MRes, MPhil / PhD) A full tuition fee waiver worth up to £12,000 8 You must:
  • have an English IELTS score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component) or recognised equivalent
  • be a self-funded student
  • have a valid offer to study a masters programme at LJMU in September 2014
  • submit a completed scholarship application form
Developing Global Citizens Postgraduate Scholarship Postgraduate taught degrees (MSc, MA, MRes) A one-off £4,000 fee waiver 20 You must
  • be a self-funded student from Africa, the ASEAN countries, the People’s Republic of China or Commonwealth country
  • have a valid offer to study a masters degree or research programme at LJMU in September 2014
  • submit a completed scholarship application form

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary is worth £700 and takes the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

English language requirements


6.0 (Min. 5.5 in each component)

Entry requirements

An Honours degree in Computing or a Computing-related subject, including subjects with a significant core of computing, or a professional qualification with equivalent standing.

Non-UK applicants will be expected to have demonstrated competence in English language equivalent to a minimum of IELTS 6.0.  Applicants who have studied and successfully achieved a UK degree within 24 months of the start of the MSc are exempt from this requirement.

Fees information

Please contact the Faculty of Technology and Environment for up to date information regarding fees. The Faculty can be contacted by email at or telephone 0151 231 2777.

Financial support

How to apply

Further information

Please contact the Faculty of Technology and Environment on:
tel: 0151 231 2777
fax: 0151 231 2879
web: Faculty web site

If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:

Course Enquiries
tel: +44(0)151 231 5090

Please apply via the online application form

LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.

International students

LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.

Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.

Page last modified by Marketing and Corporate Communications on 22 July 2014.
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