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More in this section Prospective MSc students

Why you should study here

Professor Keith Mayes
Director of the Information Security Group
Royal Holloway, University of London

Keith Mayes

There are many reasons why you may be considering further study, for example to improve your skills, to get a better job, boost your status and reputation or you are driven by a strong interest and curiosity for the subject.  For some students it is a continuation through the educational process, for others it is a mid-career activity and in some cases it is unfinished business when perhaps financial, family or other constraints prevented earlier study.  Of course the first big question is where to study?

The Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) is of course the correct answer to the question when you are interested in information/cyber security, although it is easy to be distracted with many institutions trying to exploit the current wave of interest in cyber security education.

ISG has been offering information/cyber security education at Masters level since 1992 in fact we were the pioneers and in 1998 received a Queen's anniversary award with the citation"

This pioneering Group provides a unique national resource for the training of information security specialists and the development of highly secure communications and computer systems. It offers world-leading independent expertise in a field of crucial importance where trust and integrity are paramount.

With over 23 years of experience in this field we have educated more than 3000 specialist postgraduates from 100+ countries around the world, many of whom are now senior figures in the security world; and will be looking for similarly trained expert employees.  This powerful and active alumni community is one of the reasons that our student employment statistics are so fantastic.  Another reason is that our courses have always been created with employment in mind; with industry and government experts contributing to the design, delivery and evolution of our courses.  The resultant training is very relevant for employers, broad in scope, and offers in-depth coverage of the fundamental skills required for today's security professionals.

Our training is certified by GCHQ (UK Government security authority) and underpinned by our extensive research activities, which have inspired many MSc students to continue to PhD level where we currently have more than 70 students.  The ISG is a GCHQ certified Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) and hosts one of only two Cyber Security Centres for Doctorial Training in the UK.  It also hosts industry focus centres/labs including Smart Card Centre and the Systems Security Research Lab.

If you study with the ISG you become a permanent part of the ISG and it's extended family.  While at RHUL you have the opportunity to take additional professional training (e.g. CISSP revision) that would otherwise be very costly, and we offer careers training and internships to help you towards your dream job.  Following your successful studies you will join the very large alumni community, with active chapters around the world, and then benefit from meetings, conferences and the many job vacancies that are posts to and from our ex-students.

Hopefully you are by now convinced that the ISG is the place for you, but you might still be hesitating, thinking you are not able to fit study into your hectic life.  Well hesitate no more as the ISG offers the most flexible training options around.  A one-year full-time campus based course is still the best all-round experience if you can manage it, but if not, you could try the popular two-year part-time option.  If committing the same days each week for study does not fit your schedule, you could attend the block mode courses where we deliver a whole module in a week.  If a more drawn-out period of study suits you then consider the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) route where you build up course credits over time.  Your location is no excuse not to study, as our Distance Learning option is available worldwide and carried the same GCHQ certification as our campus training.

Given our close links with industry it is only natural that we offer internship opportunities for students who would like to study and also gain work experience.  Our one-year in industry option stretches our one-year campus MSc to two years by including a one-year internship, for which a normal student visa is sufficient.

Our futures are shaped by the choices we make and if you chose to study with the ISG you will have made a very wise and pivotal decision, as did the thousands before you.

I look forward to welcoming you at Royal Holloway



Professor Keith Mayes
Director of the Information Security Group
Royal Holloway, University of London


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