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 programme provides international students with the opportunity to study, in one full time or two years part time, fundamental and advanced security 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 Network Security with such advanced topics.


The Dubai Campus is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and fully licensed to teach its degrees in Dubai.  All graduates receive a British degree that is accredited by Royal Charter in the UK.

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 Network Security-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.

On this programme, the following taught courses are mandatory:

  • Computer Network Security
  • Industrial Programming
  • Advanced Network Security
  • Research Methods and Project Planning

Students can then choose four courses from the following:

  • Network Applications
  • Mobile Communications and Programming
  • Database and Information Systems
  • Software Engineering Foundations
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Big Data Management
  • Rigorous Methods for Software Engineering
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Data Communications and Networking
  • Digital Forensics

In addition to these taught courses, students pursuing the MSc qualification undertake a Master’s project, which culminates in a 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 85050*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

Scholarships and bursaries

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