MSc Computer Science for Cyber Security

The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date

Heriot-Watt's computing cyber security masters is one of only 11 such programmes in the UK to have received provisional certification from the National Cyber Security Centre within GCHQ.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Our MSc Computer Science for Cyber Security programme will give you the chance to develop advanced specialised skills and expertise in the security of software, computer systems and networks.

As Heriot-Watt University is situated on the edge of Edinburgh, we have excellent links to the technology sector of Scotland which is at the forefront of digital innovation in cyber security. This masters degree is designed to give you practical, specialist knowledge whilst fine-tuning your professional skills, your research skills and your advanced communication skills. During this course, you will lead on an independent research project of your own and gain insight into the computing side of cyber security. Computer Science at Heriot-Watt is ranked 6th in Scotland by The Complete University league tables (2021).

The MSc Computer Science for Cyber Security programme is structured to give you access to a range of advanced topics in computer science with a focus on security. These include theoretical and applied knowledge in software engineering, programming, parallel technology, systems programming, cryptography, network security, information security, digital forensics.

Course duration

  • MSc: 12 months (full-time), 24 months (part-time)
  • PG Diploma: 9 months

The full-time programme starts in September and lasts one year.

September 2024 entry

The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.


The MSc in Computer Science for Cyber Security has received certification from the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of the UK Government's national communications intelligence agency GCHQ.

Course content

Full-time students take 4 courses each semester and must normally take all core courses.

Semester 1

  • Computer Network Security
  • Rigorous Methods of Software Engineering
  • Industrial Programming
  • Systems Programming

Semester 2

  • Advanced Network Security
  • Distributed and Parallel Technology
  • Digital Forencics
  • Research Methods and Project Plan 

After semester 2, students continue full-time on the MSc project.


In the third semester (May-August) students undertake a specialist MSc project which is written up as a 15,000 word dissertation. This project enables further development and consolidation of skills introduced in the taught courses, applying them to a challenging practical problem in this subject area.

Entry requirements

Entry requires a good honours degree in computer science. 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 course work are at MSc level.


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £10600 £5300 £1325
Overseas £24496 £12248 £3062


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.