Mode of StudyPart-time
Start dateSeptember 2023, January 2024
Enhance your cybersecurity career with a Master’s in Information Security and Risk, earned while you work.
You can use your existing skills and experience to earn credits toward this MSc, and you’ll study complementary modules that round out the additional parts of your course. You’ll be able to use this degree, designed in collaboration with the Defence College of Policing and Guarding at Southwick Park, to demonstrate your readiness for senior roles in the information security industry.
You'll enhance your understanding of the theoretical issues and emerging practice in the field, with options to shape your study to your interests. You can earn module credits for topics you already know through our Recognition of Prior Learning scheme, and use the MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Service (ELCAS) funding to pay for your studies. The way you learn is flexible, so you can study wherever is most convenient for you and schedule your studies around your existing commitments.
When you complete the course, you'll have developed the skills and knowledge to better meet your employer's objectives, and to support you in your career aspirations.
This course is only available to serving and former military personnel.
Because the course is work-based, you need to already be in a full-time, part-time or voluntary role.
MSc Information Security and Risk Master's degree (Learning at Work) entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A degree or equivalent. Other qualifications such as HNDs and Foundation degrees, supported by several years of relevant post-qualification experience in responsible posts, may also be acceptable.
- Applicants are usually working at a professional level.
- If you do not hold a level 6 qualification you may be required to present evidence of your ability to study at level 6.
- Military personnel and former military personnel who have undertaken training and gained recognised experience at four distinct levels will be able to gain entry onto level 5, level 6 and level 7 programmes.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Choose modules and study topics that match your personal and professional goals, as well as your employer's objectives
- Develop your ability to analyse problems, research and propose solutions, and make sound professional judgements when faced with the organisational, financial and management aspects of a business
- Take part in work-based learning (WBL) projects that form part of your daily workload, which ensure that the knowledge you develop is relevant to your employer's business
- Get an optional 1-day induction in Portsmouth at the start of the course and have the opportunity to study on campus, if it suits you
- Develop your learning plan with the University and your employer, so you can make an effective contribution to your workplace as you learn
- Have full access to our student support services and community including study support, sports and recreation facilities, and the Students' Union
- Tap in to our Library's electronic resources, which you can access from anywhere with a Web connection
- Choose a Workplace Mentor to support your learning – someone at work who can offer advice, guidance, and moral support
- Have support from an academic tutor specialising in your area of study and a University learning manager who oversees your programme
- Use online tutorials and lectures to help you with study skills, including your analytical and writing skills
This course isn't tied to the University's timetables or academic calendar. So you can work at your own pace, in your own time and in your own location. You must complete the course within 5 years.
You can complete the course more quickly if you have relevant work experience, training or qualifications that you can put towards your degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 120 of the 180 credits you need to accumulate to get your Master's degree.
We recommend you study modules worth 60 credits a year. Typically, a student who enters with the maximum RPL of 120 credits and has only 60 credits to study would take 12-18 months to complete the course.
Careers and opportunities
When you finish the course, you'll have the skills and knowledge to advance your career with your current employer and boost your long-term career prospects.
After the course, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
What you'll study
At the start of the course, you'll put together a Learning Contract with the University and your employer that outlines what you'll study.
To get a Master's degree, you need to accumulate a total of 180 credits. If you leave the course before you accumulate 180 credits, you can get a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if you've accumulated 60 credits or a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if you've accumulated 120 credits. You can get these credits in 3 ways:
1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
You can get credit for the qualifications and experience you already have such as a PgCert or PgDip in a computing subject. This can also include in-service training courses and qualifications as well as learning from on-the-job experience.
This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 120 (two thirds) of the 180 credits you need to get your degree.
Contact us to find out if you can receive RPL credit for your current qualifications or work experience.
2. Work-based learning (WBL) projects
Most of your learning will come from work-based learning (WBL) projects. These are projects that are valuable to your employer, which you complete at work.
Examples of WBL projects include Adaptation of Existing Systems to Increase Reliability and Developing New Software Solutions.
These projects won't involve activities you do in your day-to-day job as they need to involve new learning for you. You'll do most of the work for these projects in your normal working hours.
You can study campus-based or distance learning modules to expand your knowledge and understanding or to develop new skills in a more structured way.
Modules that previous students have studied include Computer Security, Computer Forensics, Programming Skills for the Web, Web Asset and Application Development, and Information Systems Development and Management.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
To help you juggle this course alongside your work and home life, you'll get extra support from:
- a Workplace Mentor chosen by you – someone at work who can offer advice, guidance, and moral support
- an Academic Tutor specialising in your area of study
- a Learning Manager who oversees your programme
How you're taught will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.
Most of the course is delivered via our interactive virtual learning environment. With access to all the study material you’ll need, discussion forums and the chance to connect with peers and lecturers via chat sessions, you’ll have plenty of academic support and heaps of resources.
Depending on the modules you study and your location, you may also be able to study on campus, experiencing face-to-face teaching methods.
How you're assessed
The way you're assessed will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.
Course costs and funding
Your tuition fee depends on if you have been awarded any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and how many credits you need to study. To achieve an undergraduate Bachelor's degree you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits. Tuition fees may be subject to annual increase.
- 60 credits – £3,630
- 90 credits – £5,450
- 120 credits – £7,270
- 150 credits – £9,080
- 180 credits – £10,900
We'll apply an even yearly split to your course fee as listed in the schedule above. If you want us to consider an alternative schedule of payments, please contact us before the course start date.
Until RPL has been confirmed, you'll need to pay the full course fee.
If you're an armed forces student in receipt of funding, e.g. ELCAS, any documentation must show the correct start date and tuition fee. If not, we can't accept it and you'll have to pay the course fee yourself.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
If you choose to study online modules you may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module. Most texts are available online through the library.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
There's a fee before you start the course if we need to assess a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) portfolio. If you're starting in September 2023 or January 2024, the fee is £1,070. If you're starting in September 2024 or January 2025, the fee is £1,125.
Contact us if you want to do this course. Before you apply, we'll work with you to develop a programme of study that's tailored to your aspirations and work objectives. Read our information about the application process to find out more.
When you're ready to begin your application, follow the link below:
Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities and tour the campus.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.
Recognition of work-based and distance learning courses
Our Learning at Work degrees at levels 6 and 7 are approved by the University under its powers to award degrees. They comply with the Office for Students (OFS) and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) standards in the United Kingdom.
These qualifications are generally recognised internationally but as with distance learning type courses, each country will have its own regulations and rules on work based and distance learning education. You should check with the qualification recognition authority in the country you reside in or intend to use the degrees to secure employment, that the Learning at Work degrees are recognised by them before you commit to studying with us.
We also strongly recommend you check that your employer recognises the value of our work based/distance learning courses. Some countries, including Singapore, state the 'value of the qualification is subject to the employer'.
Applications from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar
We are currently unable to offer our courses to applicants who are nationals of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.
If you're not a national citizen but are working or living in these countries, you can enrol onto our Learning at Work courses. You'll need to sign an Applicant Declaration Letter to confirm you understand that the University of Portsmouth won't accept any liability issues you may have with the recognition of your distance learning course, with your government or employer.
Applications from India and China
If you’re a national or foreign national in India or China, you can enrol onto our Learning at Work courses. You'll need to sign an Applicant Declaration Letter to confirm you understand that the University of Portsmouth won't accept any liability issues you may have with the recognition of your distance learning course, with your government or employer.
Applications from Oman
We're unable to accept enrolment from nationals or foreign nationals from Oman.