MSc in Software and Systems Security | University of Oxford
The Oxford skyline at sunset
(Image Credit: Tejvan Pettinger / Flickr)

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.

Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18

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 across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

For students applying to programmes within the MPLS Division at Oxford, Research Council and other funding opportunities available, subject to eligibility. These opportunities are included in the Fees, funding and scholarship search.


Modular course fees

The fees for this course are charged on a modular basis. You will pay a programme or registration fee and an additional fee for each module studied. This registration fee is split into four instalments, which are due at or before the beginning of each year of study. This MSc can be undertaken in a minimum of two and a maximum of four years and all instalments will be due regardless of duration of study. Extension fees will apply at £100 per term beyond the four years.

Fees for the 2016-17 academic year (up to and including Trinity Term 2017 intake)

Fee status

Registration fee

Fee per module

Total estimated fees

(including Islands)
£8,040£1,850Please see the department’s website for further details

Fees for the 2017-18 academic year

Fee status

Registration fee

Fee per module

Total estimated fees

(including Islands)
£8,280£1,910Please see the department’s website for further details

The fees shown above include college fees. For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

For more information about tuition fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details on the impact of the result of the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union.

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

For the 2017-18 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between £1,002 and £1,471 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. If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.


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

How to apply

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.

Apply via CS