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


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

Semester 2


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


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

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

For MSc entry, a good relevant Honours degree (first or second class) with a substantial academic component of computing or IT that includes study of databases and programming will be considered. Applicants with an engineering or mathematics background may also be considered.

To find out more about the specific entry requirements for your country, please refer to our International Entry Requirements.

If you hold a degree from a different background and believe you may qualify for this programme or to find out more 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 99349*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

Scholarships and bursaries

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