MSc in Software and Systems Security | University of Oxford
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MSc in Software and Systems Security

About the course

A security professional needs to understand principles of architecture, design, management, interoperability, and evolution, and to apply them effectively in a world of rapidly-changing technologies and expectations. The MSc in Software and Systems Security teaches these principles and their application.

You will take between two and four years to complete a minimum of ten courses on the MSc in Software and Systems Security, typically at a rate of three courses per year, earning your degree while in full time professional employment. 

Each short course is based around a week of intensive teaching in Oxford, with some initial reading to consider beforehand, and a six-week assignment to complete afterwards. The teaching week allows you the chance to explore a subject in depth, with expert teaching and supervision, away from the demands of work and family. The reading gives you the opportunity to prepare yourself; the assignment, an opportunity to deepen and to demonstrate your understanding.

The programme also offers an alternative master’s degree, the MSc in Software Engineering.

Graduate destinations

Students are usually in full-time employment and return to the same jobs after completing their degree.

Related courses

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Information regarding the entry requirements for this course can be accessed at the following location:

MSc in Software and Systems Security entry requirements

The Department of Computer Science offers IT support and access to its library during office hours. Access is offered for other University libraries, such as the Radcliffe Science Library, the Bodleian Library and the Hooke Library.

The programme has two dedicated teaching facilities with lecture and lab space, dedicated tea and coffee making facilities and a student break area.

The department holds an annual dinner with academic and support staff, for current students to meet and network with alumni of the programme.


There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available for courses starting in 2016-17. Full scholarships will cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. Information about the full range of funding available can be found in the Fees and funding section.

For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria and apply by the relevant January deadline, you will be automatically considered. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out whether you are eligible for scholarships which require an additional application. If you are, the tool will include links to full details of how to apply.

Divisional funding opportunities

There are many different funding opportunities for students studying in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division at Oxford. Funding covering fees and living costs is available for a substantial number of doctoral training programmes. Research Council and other funding opportunities are also available for doctoral programmes in MPLS subjects.

Departmental funding opportunities

Additional funding opportunities may also be offered by your department. Department scholarships are included in the funding search tool, with links to further information. More details on funding opportunities may also be available on the department’s website.


Modular fees for entry in 2016-17

The fees for this course are charged on a modular basis. Students enrolled on this course pay a programme or registration fee and an additional fee for each module studied. The fees for this course can be found on our Tuition fees page.

For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of the website.

Additional information

Please note that this course requires that you attend in Oxford for teaching, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Further, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2016-17 academic year, the range of likely living costs is between £970 and £1433 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page.

The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Software and Systems Security:

Admission to the Software Engineering programme is administered directly by the programme office. To apply and for further details about the programme, please see the Computer Science website.

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