MSc Network Security

The course

Delivery type
Weekdays (full-time) / Weekends (part-time)
1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time)
Intake date
September, January* (* part-time only)



This unique cybersecurity programme provides international students with the opportunity to study, in one full time or two years part time, fundamental and advanced cybersecurity topics such as cryptography, penetration testing, digital forensics, IT security management, and ISO 27001. Heriot-Watt University is proud to be the first university in the UAE to make available to international students an MSc in Cybersecurity with such advanced topics.


Read more about the UAE Federal Accreditation.

Course content

The aim of both the MSc and the Postgraduate Diploma in Network Security is to provide our graduates with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills required for a Cybersecurity-related professional position in an organisation.

The programme covers topics such as securing enterprise Infrastructures, building and securing wireless networks, penetration testing (ethical hacking) and security audit, as well as network and security administration.

Students undertake four courses in semester 1 and a further four courses in semester 2.

Semester 1


  • Computer Network Security


  • Databases and Information Systems
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Rigorous Methods for Software Engineering
  • Industrial Programming
  • Software Engineering Foundations
  • Systems Programming
  • Data Communications and Networking

Semester 2


  • Advanced Network Security
  • Digital Forensics
  • Research Methods and Project Planning


  • Project Management
  • Applied Development and Operations (DevOps)
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Big Data Management

Semester 3


  • Masters Project and Dissertation


New career opportunities and prospects for career enhancement are both excellent. Security vulnerabilities, and hence countermeasures, appear on a daily basis. The new security threats target industry, commerce and the public sector resulting in an increasing demand for experts who can design, implement and maintain secure infrastructures.

Entry requirements

Entry requires a good honours degree (first or second class) that includes substantial academic and practical knowledge of computing and IT.

Candidates holding a little less than a good honours degree or its equivalent but with compensating qualifications or experience may be admitted to the Postgraduate Diploma programme. Transfer to the MSc will be possible later on if exam and coursework performance are at MSc level.

To find out about the entry requirements for this programme, please send an email to

English language requirements

Where English was not the medium of instruction at secondary school, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 (with all elements passed at 6.0 or above). Applicants who have completed secondary and tertiary education will need to provide documentary evidence. A minimum of one year full-time study in English will be required.

Fees and funding

  • AED 91990*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of degree entry, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD scholarships and discounts.