Physics

This new Master's degree teaches STEM graduates the skills needed to address the world of national security.

Key information

Start date: September 2019
Campus: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits

Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Course video

Applications are now closed

Overview

You will study the increasing need for security and resilience responses in a globalised world.

Security and resilience are increasing in importance due to the technological revolution seen from the first widely available programmable home computer in 1981.

This phenomenal growth in the use of technology has prompted the need to be resilient – the ability of a society and its organisations to accommodate stress through the understanding of risk.

Security is to mitigate and remove threat to vital societal structures, both physical and psychological.

Our course differs significantly to security courses at other universities, where the focus is often policy aspects without a STEM context, or risk analysis with purely numeric solutions.

This course sits between the two, offering you the study of science and technology, human activity, policy and implementation.

It has been designed in line with the research from the Institute of Security Science and Technology – a cross-faculty institute of engineers and natural scientists.

The course is primarily aimed at STEM graduates. You will be equipped with the fundamental conceptual tools and technologies to address a wide range of issues.

Careers

NCSCGraduates of this course will be well placed to seek relevant roles in government, academia and industry.

You will also be well prepared to pursue entrepreneurial STEM concepts and exploitable ideas.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Structure

Core modules

Behavioural Research Methods

This module examines behavioural data and how best to obtain reliable information from sources such as interviews, focus groups, sorting tasks, existing sources and observational materials. The module then turns to the systematic analysis of behavioural data in order to convert raw material into reliable and valid research data.

Behavioural Science and Security

This module examines the ways in which behavioural science research has been used to inform security. The different types of threat actors are considered, such as terrorists, spies, hackers, political activists and insiders, as well as their aims and targets. The media, and managing the positive and negative potential of both the mainstream and social media is discussed.

Cyber Threats: Cyber Solutions

This module covers the threats and solutions of information security, including general concepts with examples of common vulnerabilities, malware, web-based vulnerabilities and social engineering. Data analysis - an important component of cyber security - is introduced, including applications of Machine Learning.

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive: the Physical Threat Space

This module provides an understanding of the history and underlying science of CBRNE, and environmental security. For each of the CBRNE elements, physical properties, detection/measurement techniques, impacts and mitigation will be discussed. Finally, the Environmental security component will be addressed in terms of impact of non-CBRNE interventions and extreme weather events on personnel and critical infrastructure.

Sensors: Electronic and Natural

In this module the principles of sensing the environment will be given, highlighting the context of point and standoff detection/sensor systems. A range of different detection technologies will be covered, including structure-based, chemistry-based and function-based sensors. Key performance indicators will be used to show how to assess a variety of sensor technologies for their intended application.

Infrastructure and Transport Security

This module focuses in on security of critical national infrastructure and transport systems, introducing the student to key concepts of both, and how security vulnerabilities are analysed. The effects of Blast and Impact on the built environment are looked at. Mitigation techniques and the implications these have for policy are covered, and the concept of ‘secure by design’ is introduced relating to transport systems.

Security in Context

Security in Context module brings the technical, engineering and science aspects together. It outlines, through a series of vignettes and interaction with practising security professionals, the relevance and applications of the concepts in the core modules and places the elective components in context. The needs and effects of political decisions and regulatory process is brought out in this module.

Individual MSc Research Project

You complete a four month individual research project with the guidance of an academic supervisor.

Optional modules

  • Research Skills Training
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Physical Protection of Nuclear Installations
  • Introduction to Shock Physics
  • Shock Physics in Context

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Computational exercises
  • Laboratory work
  • Lectures
  • Individual project work
  • Online discussions
  • Workshops and case studies

Assessment methods

  • Independent project (four months)
  • Oral examinations
  • Problem sheets
  • Practical work
  • Short group projects
  • Written examinations

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 UK Honour's degree in engineering, a mathematical or physical sciences subject.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.

How to apply

Making an application

To apply for this course, you need to use our online application system.

You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is required for all Non-EEA/Swiss nationals who require a visa to study in the UK.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptor
CAH10-01-09  Chemical, process and energy engineering

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.
For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2019 entry
Full-time £10,900 per year
Part-time £5,450 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Please note: this fee may differ from what was previously published on our website and what is currently included in our printed postgraduate marketing materials.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2019 entry
Full-time £27,600 per year
Part-time £13,800 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Please note: this fee may differ from what was previously published on our website and what is currently included in our printed postgraduate marketing materials.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,906 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Physics

Got a question?

E: securityscience@imperial.ac.uk
T: +44 (0) 20 7594 8864

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