Security and resilience class

Train in the science and cutting-edge technologies that underpin national security

Award titles

Postgraduate Certificate

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
(standalone course)

Postgraduate Diploma

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
(including PG Cert)

MSc

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
(including PG Cert and PG Dip)

Key information

Start dateOctober 2021
Campus: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits

Duration:
1 year full-time
2 years part-time

This MSc course was created by the Institute for Security Science and Technology and is run together with the Department of Physics

Course video
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Overview

Study the increasing need for security and resilience responses in a globalised world through a course designed for STEM graduates and security professionals.

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

You’ll graduate with industry-ready skills for a career in the growing security and resilience sector. The curriculum has been designed with significant input from industry, academia and policymakers.

This course is unique in covering the science, technology, human activity, policy and implementation of security and resilience.

Course content

You’ll be equipped with essential skills in the security and resilience and allied sectors. You'll cover a range of topics and skills. These will include core training in risk evaluation and qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Topics include:

  • Detection and sensing technologies
  • Threat mitigation and policy
  • Behavioural science
  • Critical infrastructure
  • CBRNE
  • Cyber security
  • Transport security

Methods and techniques covered include:

  • Monte Carlo risk analysis
  • Data analysis
  • Machine learning
  • Cryptographic protocols
  • Behavioural analysis
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Social network analysis
  • Spectroscopy

Careers

Graduates of this course will be well placed to pursue a range of exciting careers.

  • Industry: Your skills will be sought by companies in the security and resilience sector, which employs over 100,000 people in the UK. We have connections and collaborations with major companies in security and resilience, giving you valuable insight into potential employers.
  • Policy: Governments need staff who understand how the science and technology behind security and resilience can inform policy. You will also learn from staff who have experience of working with multiple UK government departments.
  • Academia: You’ll join a research-intensive university and a community of world-class researchers at Imperial. You’ll have the chance to work alongside leading experts, discuss cutting-edge developments and actively engage with the latest discoveries in the security sciences. This lays a solid foundation for graduates looking to move onto PhD study.
  • Entrepreneurship: Recent start-ups launched at the College working cyber security, next-generation armour and facial recognition. As a student, you’ll have access to our Enterprise Lab and Advanced Hackspace, which offer state-of-the-art spaces for building prototypes or co-working. They provide support including mentoring, skills-building programmes and competitions for funding

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 programme 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

Postgraduate Certificate

Core modules

You will complete all core modules for this course.

Key Concepts: 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 other modules. The needs and effects of political decisions and regulatory process is also explored out in this module.

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.

Network and Web Security

In this module you will have the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge of network and web security from the network to the application layer. The emphasis of the course is both on the underlying principles and techniques, and on examples of how such principles are applied in practice.

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 the 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.

Postgraduate Diploma

Core modules

You will complete all core modules for this course.

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 also explored out in this module.

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.

Network and Web Security

In this module you will have the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge of network and web security from the network to the application layer. The emphasis of the course is both on the underlying principles and techniques, and on examples of how such principles are applied in practice.

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 the 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 the 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.

Individual Research Review

You will also complete an individual research review.

Optional modules

You will choose one optional module.

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

Master's degree (MSc)

Core modules

You will complete all core modules for this course.

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 also explored out in this module.

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.

Network and Web Security

In this module you will have the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge of network and web security from the network to the application layer. The emphasis of the course is both on the underlying principles and techniques, and on examples of how such principles are applied in practice.

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 the 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 the 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.

Individual Research Project

You will complete an individual research project with the guidance of an academic supervisor.

Optional modules

You will choose two optional modules.

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

Part-time study option

The MSc is available part-time or full-time. The part-time option is spread over two academic years. It’s designed to be suitable for completion alongside employment.

Part-time students are expected to attend regular group working sessions and lectures. Lectures will be recorded (sometimes audio only) and available online. We expect part-time students to attend as many as possible. You should budget approximately two days per week for lectures/workshops on campus.

You have some flexibility to pick the order of your modules to fit your timetable. The exact timetable is published before the start of term.

For further queries on this please email secres-msc@imperial.ac.uk.

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.

However, we may also consider applicants who have obtained a degree in a social science/humanities subject, should they be able to demonstrate relevant exposure to the subject matter of the MSc course, either through their studies or work experience and, ideally, exposure to relevant technical and/or mathematic concepts.

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.

Competence standards

Our competence standards highlight the core skills students should be able to demonstrate by the end of this course.

View the Department of Physics's competence standards [pdf]

We believe in providing the widest practicable access to all of our degree programmes and will make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support your study. For more information, please contact the Department using the contact details below.

Department of Physics

T: +44 (0)20 7594 7512
E: l.sanchez@imperial.ac.uk

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

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

Application fee

For 2021–22 entry, we are introducing a pilot application fee for our Master's courses. This helps cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications we receive.

This fee will be £80 per application and not per course. 

We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.

There is no application fee for Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or PhDs. The fee for MBA applications to the Imperial College Business School is £135. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate (overseas candidates)

An ATAS certificate is required for all visa-nationals, with the exception of EEA/Swiss nationals and nationals of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme’s Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’, as well as your university supervisor name. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptorSupervisor name
CAH10-01-09 chemical, process and energy engineering Professor Michele Dougherty

Your student 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.

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, Visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

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.

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

MSc

Full fee - £12,900
Top-up fee* - £2,580

Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)

Full fee - £10,320
Top-up fee* - £3,870

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Full fee - £6,450

You may apply to enter this programme at any level of study.

If you enter the MSc, without having studied the PG Cert or PG Dip, then you will pay the full fee listed for the MSc.

If you complete a PG Cert or PG Dip level award and return following a break to complete a higher award, you will pay the top-up fee instead of the full fee for your chosen course.

If you continue uninterrupted from one award to the next, you will pay the top-up fee above, plus any annual inflationary increases that have subsequently been applied by the College to the entry fee.

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 for April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication).

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021. 

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

MSc

Full fee - £29,900
Top-up fee* - £5,980

Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)

Full fee - £23,920
Top-up fee* - £8,970

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Full fee - £14,950

You may apply to enter this programme at any level of study.

If you enter the MSc, without having studied the PG Cert or PG Dip, then you will pay the full fee listed for the MSc.

If you complete a PG Cert or PG Dip level award and return following a break to complete a higher award, you will pay the top-up fee instead of the full fee for your chosen course.

If you continue uninterrupted from one award to the next, you will pay the top-up fee above, plus any annual inflationary increases that have subsequently been applied by the College to the entry fee.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication).

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021. 

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2020-21 entry, the maximum amount was of £11,222. 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.

See what opportunities you may be eligible for.

If you are an Iranian national and are accepted to study at Imperial starting this October, you may be eligible to apply for the Irani family scholarship.

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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