MSc Advice, Which Uni?

tntcodatntcoda Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi,

I'm interested in doing an MSc in Information Security, im in the UK and it seems the two most popular universities for the course are UCL and Royal Holloway.

UCL costs £15,000+ for the year!
Royal Holloway costs about £6,000 for the year.

Now UCL is in ranked about the 9th best university in the world, so it seems I would be paying for where it comes from more than anything else.

Do you guys think it matters if i go for the cheaper option? Both seem to have very respectable research departments in the field, and i certainly don't want to pay £15k if it isn't gonna have a significant advantage over the cheaper one.

Thanks for any advice,

Jack
CompTIA Linux+
EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker

Comments

  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Man, That is ALOT of money! its hard to answer your question really. If you have the choice out of both uni's and have been accepted, not just assuming you'll get in, then i would start writing down the pro's and cons of each and take it from there.

    From personal experiance ive found employers still ride on the back of the name of the uni you went to rather than the course content etc. I have been to 2 universities to do my degree and my current employer thinks the 2nd one is great (because of its reputation) but i know for a fact that the first uni had better course content and i was learning alot more.

    I think if you were going for a very high end job then the school you go to will play more of a role but i think regardless of where you get your masters it will be a good thing for you.

    Overall i dont think it will be that much of a difference if you go for the "cheaper" option because you will still be getting a masters at the end of it.

    Does the uni have to be in london? as there are other good universities throughout the UK offering them for less than 6K?
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

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    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • tntcodatntcoda Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi nel,

    Thanks for the response, I know what you mean about it being a hell of alot of money! The uni doesn't have to be in London at all.

    It just seems that from the all be it limited research that ive done so far, those two i mentioned seem to be the best in the UK for the info sec MSc and not many others even offer the info sec course. I don't suppose you can recommend any others to take a look at? Would going out to the US for a year to do the MSc there be worth considering (moneys saving wise).

    Thanks again,
    Jack
    CompTIA Linux+
    EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi mate,

    well you will have to sit down and way up the costs. Not just for the course fee, but if you move away from home then your living costs - rent, food etc - aswell. Living costs can sometimes cost just as much as your course fee's. and london isnt a cheap place to live.

    check this link:http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial&hs=lKy&q=msc+information+security&btnG=Search&meta=cr%3DcountryUK%7CcountryGB

    That is just a quick google, obviously info sec courses can vary per university but its a good start. there are tons of uni's on there offering info sec courses.

    Or if you have a specific course in mind - find its UCAS code and search for it here:

    http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/coursesearch/coursesearch2009/

    It will allow you to view which uni does that specific course within the UK.

    As for moving to the US i dont know but i would think there would be a higher cost for your course fee with you being a foreign student, then again you would have to consider costs of moving there (flights etc), whether you would be accepted to uni's there, costs of living etc. but again this is something you would have to look into with more detail because i dont think you can "just go" to the US to study, i think you need a green card etc - but to be honest im not familiar with there system so i cant comment on it entirely.

    Maybe someone from the US can fill him in on that?


    Maybe these 2 links will hold some info for studying in the US:

    http://www.educationusa.state.gov/

    http://www.unitedstatesvisas.gov/studying.html
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • astorrsastorrs Member Posts: 3,139 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Do you have any experience in the field? If so how much and at what level?
  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    nel wrote:
    From personal experiance ive found employers still ride on the back of the name of the uni you went to rather than the course content etc.

    Aye, name recognition goes a long way.
    Bachelor of Computer Science

    [Forum moderators are my friends]
  • tntcodatntcoda Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    astorrs wrote:
    Do you have any experience in the field? If so how much and at what level?

    I don't sadly have any field experience, just next year hopefully 1st BSc in Computer Science, + a couple of certs. I really just want to do the info sec MSc before going to work in the field.

    Sounds like if I can get the money to pay for a better named uni then thats the best option, assuming I could get a place that is.
    CompTIA Linux+
    EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    tntcoda wrote:
    astorrs wrote:
    Do you have any experience in the field? If so how much and at what level?

    I don't sadly have any field experience, just next year hopefully 1st BSc in Computer Science, + a couple of certs. I really just want to do the info sec MSc before going to work in the field.

    Sounds like if I can get the money to pay for a better named uni then thats the best option, assuming I could get a place that is.

    If you get a first or an upper second for your degree you should be accepted. It's a personal thing you have to decide for yourself, but against the cost of the course you have to live for a year and you also forgo one years fulltime earnings while you are studying. You might be better off going into work after your degree and perhaps picking up a Masters parttime. Once you have worked in the field a while you may find security isn't for you anyway. In terms of job prospects, it wouldn't hurt to have the MSc on your resume but a lot of folks do that sort of thing after they have a few years experience under their belt. In security experience counts for a lot if you want decent work.
  • astorrsastorrs Member Posts: 3,139 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I agree with Turgon, I would get a job in IT security after your BSc and then do the masters part time over 3-5 years or so. At that point the experience coupled with the masters level degree should allow you to get a better job no matter which university you had recieved it from (assuming they were all accredited of course :) )
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    tntcoda wrote:
    Hi,

    I'm interested in doing an MSc in Information Security, im in the UK and it seems the two most popular universities for the course are UCL and Royal Holloway.

    UCL costs £15,000+ for the year!
    Royal Holloway costs about £6,000 for the year.

    Now UCL is in ranked about the 9th best university in the world, so it seems I would be paying for where it comes from more than anything else.

    Do you guys think it matters if i go for the cheaper option? Both seem to have very respectable research departments in the field, and i certainly don't want to pay £15k if it isn't gonna have a significant advantage over the cheaper one.

    Thanks for any advice,

    Jack

    Postscript. Be careful about those ratings for the best Universities in the World, the statistics are skewed..sure UCL came 9th overall based on whatever it is they are measuring. but that doesn't mean the MSc in Security is up there. Some backwater Universities kick the pants out of Ivy League Colleges in some specific disciplines, but they don't have the scale to get to the top of this list. Where the hell is Moscow State University on this list for example? I have studied at Cambridge University, overall great, but in some areas not as good as other places. Yes some folks are impressed by the school, but as you are paying get the *best* education you can for your buck!
  • tntcodatntcoda Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the advice guys, gives me lots to think about :) Hard decisions ahead!
    CompTIA Linux+
    EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    tntcoda wrote:
    Thanks for all the advice guys, gives me lots to think about :) Hard decisions ahead!

    Postscript. Be careful about those ratings for the best Universities in the World, the statistics are skewed..sure UCL came 9th overall based on whatever it is they are measuring. but that doesn't mean the MSc in Security is up there. Some backwater Universities kick the pants out of Ivy League Colleges in some specific disciplines, but they don't have the scale to get to the top of this list. Where the hell is Moscow State University on this list for example? I have studied at Cambridge University, overall great, but in some areas not as good as other places. Yes some folks are impressed by the school, but as you are paying get the *best* education you can for your buck!
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