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Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering

College of Computing and Informatics
Computer Engineering
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
33 Cr.Hrs
2-4 Years
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time and Part Time

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering


The Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering Program (MSCSE) aims to offer the graduate student foundational and advanced knowledge in the topics related to cybersecurity from an Engineering perspective.

The program is intended to accept incoming students from varied computing related undergraduate programs. Keeping in mind that incoming students may not have foundational knowledge, the program offers the needed background in the required core courses before embarking on advanced topics in the electives.

The program requires completion of a substantial research component culminated with a formal thesis (equivalent to 9 credit hours of course work).

The program has a compulsory component that ensures a common knowledge base for all students. The compulsory courses were selected to match the minimum compulsory knowledge that every student needs. Then an appropriate group of elective courses were selected to offer students variety of depth topics for specialization.

Program Objectives

Upon the successful completion of the program, student will be able to:

  1. Apply advanced theories and methodologies in the field of Cybersecurity Engineering.
  2. Propose advanced engineering solutions with sustainability factors in global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  3. Communicate effectively in oral and written forms to present complex and diverse problems to a variety of audience.
  4. Evaluate professional ethics issues and develop fair and valid judgments in Cybersecurity Engineering contexts.
  5. Function on multidisciplinary teams with management and leadership capabilities.
  6. Design and conduct experiments/simulation for research in Cybersecurity Engineering related fields.
  7. Use proper tools to analyze and interpret data.

To be admitted to the MSCSE Program the following requirements:

  1. The student must hold a bachelor's degree (in any Computer Science (or a closely-related field) from a university recognized by the MOHE at the UAE with a minimum or equivalent CGPA of 3 on a 4-point scale. Students with a CGPA of 2.5 to 2.99 may be admitted conditionally provided that they register maximum (6) credit hours in the first semester of their study and obtain a "3" average. If he/she does not meet this requirement, the student is entitled to register only 3 credit hours in the second semester. The student will be expelled from the program, if he/she does not obtain "3" average at the end of the second semester.These candidates are required to enroll in prerequisite courses, which they have not taken in their prior studies, as deemed necessary by the Department's "Graduate Studies Committee" and approved by the College and University. These prerequisite courses should be completed within no more than two semesters (Full-Time) and will not be considered as part of the required credit load for the graduate degree.
  2. The undergraduate degree should be in a subject that will qualify students for the graduate specialization of their choice. Otherwise, students may be admitted upon the recommendation of the Department and after their study for required prerequisite courses assigned by the Department.
  3. The graduate admission committee may grant conditional admittance to an applicant whose GPA is between 2.5 t0 2.99 and may require a GPA of at least 3.00 in the last 33 credit hours of their major courses, including courses that are related to their desired specialization. Conditionally accepted applicants must attain a grade point average of 3.00 or higher during their first semester with at least 9 credit hours before being fully admitted into the program.Applicants must provide certified transcripts from the institution where they received their B.Sc. degree, along with course descriptions, and must provide letter(s) of reference.
  4. Candidates are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by obtaining:  A minimum of 550 on the Institutional TOEFL (administered at the University of Sharjah) or its equivalent on the iBT or CBT; or 6 on the academic IELTS for programs taught in English. Students may be admitted conditionally if they obtain 530 or higher on TOEFL provided that they enroll in an English language course and receive a TOFEL score of 550 by the end of their first semester of study. Students who do not meet these two conditions will be dismissed from the program.
Applications will be reviewed and recommended for acceptance by the "Research and Graduate Studies Committee" by the Department and approved by the "Department Council".

Program Structure & Requirements

The total number of credit hours needed for graduation with a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity Engineering is 33 credits.
Requirements ​ Compulsory ​ Elective ​ Total ​
Courses Credit Hours Courses Credit Hours Courses Credit Hours
Courses 3 9 5 15 8 24
Thesis 1
9 - - 1 9
Total Credit Hours 18 15 33

Study Plan
Study Plan: Course List

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours Pre-requisite
Compulsory Courses ​ ​ ​
1502501 Engineering Research Methodology 3 Grad. Standing
1502503 Foundations of Cryptography and Security 3 Grad. Standing
1502504 Information security management and policies 3 Grad. Standing
1502599 Master's Thesis 9 Grad. Standing
Elective Courses ​
1502510 Network Security 3 Grad. Standing
1502511 Internet, web, and e-business Security 3 Grad. Standing
1502512 Cloud and Data Security 3 Grad. Standing
1502513 Software Security and testing 3 Grad. Standing
1502514 Database Security and Privacy 3 Grad. Standing
1502515 Operating System Security 3 Grad. Standing
1502516 Security Attacks and Defenses 3 Grad. Standing
1502517 Secure Computing Practices 3 Grad. Standing
1502518 Cybercrime Investigation and Digital Forensics 3 Grad. Standing
1502531 Modeling and Simulation 3 Grad. Standing
1502532 Performance Evaluation of Computer and Network Systems 3 Grad. Standing
1502560 Security of E-Systems 3 Grad. Standing
1502561 Trusted Computing 3 Grad. Standing
1502563 Hardware Security 3 Grad. Standing
1502580 Special Topics in Cybersecurity Engineering 3 Grad. Standing
1502589 Independent Studies in Cybersecurity Engineering 3 Grad. Standing

Study Plan: Course Distribution
First Year ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Fall Semester ​ ​   Spring Semester ​ ​  
Crs. Code Course Title Type Hrs Crs. Code Course Title Type Hrs
1502501 Engineering Research Methodology C 3 1502504 Information Security Management & Policies C 3
1502503 Foundations of Cryptography & Security C 3   Elective Course E 3
  Elective Course E 3   Elective Course E 3
Total 9 Total 9
Second Year ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
Fall Semester ​ ​   Spring Semester ​ ​  
Crs. Code Course Title Type Hrs Crs. Code Course Title Type Hrs
  Elective Course E 3   Thesis C 6
  Elective Course E 3        
  Thesis C 3        
Total 9 Total 6

Course type:

C: Compulsory
E: Elective

Course Description
The following are the course descriptions for the courses in the Program:

Compulsory Core Courses
Engineering Research Methodology (3 - 0 : 3)
Students learn how to apply the engineering research process and methods of inquiry to solve engineering problems.  Literature survey for research work, building expertise in the areas of interest, this involves critiquing current research work. Basic principles of experimental designs; analyze and evaluate the results. Evaluate the quality of the results and limitations. They will also learn how to communicate findings in specific engineering formats to specialist audiences. Students will learn basic project management and team work skills in addition to research ethics. Course project will allow the students to apply research methodology components on research problems of their choice. Students, possibly in small teams, are expected to present and defend their research proposals. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1502503 Foundations of Cryptography and Cybersecurity (3 - 0 : 3)
The course introduces some of the encryption / decryption principals, e.g., one-key encryption, two-key encryption in addition to the use of hashing in integrity verification and public key cryptosystems. The course also introduces basic mathematical principles necessary for encryption. Students are expected to be trained on Codebreaking techniques and design of Cryptographic protocols. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

Information security management and policies (3 - 0 : 3)
The intent of this course is to provide insight into enterprise security from a management perspective. Students will understand the need for policies and procedures by identifying security threats and vulnerabilities in the organization. The course provides knowledge and skills for students to effectively implement and/or oversee security policies. Materials of the course include: access control, dissemination control, accountability, security storage, security education, confidential information transmission disposal, and destruction; security violations and compromises, and program oversight. Students will discuss problems, issues, ideas, possible solutions, and the interaction between executive branches in the organizations. Legal and ethical implications of security management are also considered. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

Master's Thesis Course Descriptions
Master's Thesis (0 - 0 : 9)
The student has to undertake and complete a research topic under the supervision of a faculty member. The thesis work should provide the student with in-depth perspective of a particular research problem in his chosen field of specialization.  It is anticipated that the student be able to carry out this research fairly independently under the direction of the supervisor.  The student is required to submit a final thesis documenting the research and defend the work in front of a committee. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Completion of at least 12 credits ​ ​

Elective Courses
1532510 Network Security (3 - 0 : 3)
The course discusses different types of malicious attacks on computer networks, and methods of responding to them. Students learn how to protect computer networks. The course concentrates mainly on layers below the application layer. The course will also discuss IPSec, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), firewalls. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532511 Web, Internet, and e-business Security (3 - 0 : 3)
This course covers protocols and specifications for secure communication such as WWW and Web Services security (SSL, SET), E-mail security (PGP). Other topics include application-level threats, malware, social engineering attacks, operating system holes, web security, privacy and e-mail hacking. The course will be mainly concerned with security at the Application layer and above. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532512 Cloud and Data Security (3 - 0 : 3)
This course covers cloud and data security, addressing known risks and vulnerabilities and focuses on sound architectural design for secure computing. It covers management, governance, audit, legal issues, and meeting regulatory compliance. It also covers how to deploy critical security mechanisms related to secure isolation, application security, data protection, access control, privacy, key management, provisioning, identity and authorization management, high-availability, management, and compliance in a cloud-enabled environment. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532513 Software Security and Testing (3 - 0 : 3)
This course describes malicious software, infection process, detection approaches, obfuscation. The course also covers security testing and evaluation approaches: static analysis, dynamic analysis, software fingerprinting, reverse-engineering, code certification. The course will also cover security standards, vulnerability analysis and risk analysis, security plan elaboration. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532514 Database Security and Privacy (3 - 0 : 3)
Students are expected to learn about the application of security concepts to database technology. More specifically, the course covers topics related to fundamentals of data security, risks and vulnerabilities in BDMS, data privacy and confidentiality, query privacy, database integrity, understand the various database security models, confidentiality of the databases on the cloud, hiding query patterns. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532515 Operating Systems Security (3 - 0 : 3)
This course covers advanced topics in operating systems including process management and communication, remote procedure calls, memory management (including shared memory and virtual memory), checkpointing and recovery, file system, I/O subsystem and device management, distributed file systems and security. Other topics include identifying security threats and monitoring network security implementations. Students will learn how to use best practices to configure operating systems to industry security standards. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532516 Security Attacks and Defenses (3 - 0 : 3)
This course describes some of the well-known security attacks and vulnerabilities in general software, networks and web applications. The course also covers important defense mechanisms used to protect against these attacks. Topics include man-in-the-middle attacks, denial-of-service attacks, DNS attacks, cross-site scripting attacks, cross-site request forgery attacks, and SQL injection attacks. The course takes a hands-on approach and provides an in-depth understanding of how the security attacks and countermeasures work. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532517 Secure Computing Practices (3 - 0 : 3)
This course describes fundamental security practices adopted to implement security in computer systems, networks and web applications. The course follows a hands-on approach and provides an in-depth understanding of fundamental security principles and cryptographic methods used to protect the confidentiality, integrity and authentication of users' private information. Topics include hashing, secret-key encryption, public-key encryption, digital signatures, digital certificates and public-key infrastructures. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532518 Cybercrime Investigations and Digital Forensics (3 - 0 : 3)
This course describes the prominent methods that are used to conduct computer crime investigations. The course gives an in-depth knowledge of evidence collection and management, the different steps involved in the making of a search warrant and how to handle the evidence gathered following the search. The course also describes the needed steps to achieve a full investigation report. Topics include introduction to cybercrimes; Legal aspects and computer crime laws; Investigation process, evidence identification and preservation; Reporting process: investigation and analysis reports. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1531531 Modeling and Simulation (3 - 0 : 3)
Elements of modeling and simulation, Simulation techniques,  Review of probability theory basics, Discrete-event simulations, Design of simulation models, Generation of pseudo random numbers, Testing Random Number Generators (RNG), Random variates generation, Commonly used distributions in modeling & simulation, Statistical analysis of the output of simulations, Verification and Validation, Simulation languages and Packages, Applications of modeling and simulation to computer science and engineering. A term paper and a final project are required from each student. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532532 Performance Evaluation of Computer and Network Systems (3 - 0 : 3)
Performance Evaluation of Computer and Network Systems (PECNS) has become an increasingly important issue given their general pervasiveness. The course will provide an up-to-date treatment of the fundamental techniques, concepts, algorithms and applications of computer and network systems performance analytic and queueing modeling, simulation and measurement. The application of these techniques will be demonstrated by case studies and examples. A final project will be required. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532560 Security of e-Systems (3 - 0 : 3)
This course covers security aspects of electronic systems and wireless networks. Topics include e-commerce, e-government, e-services, biometrics-based security, wireless networks security, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), intrusion detection systems, and computer network security risk management. A refresher of fundamentals of e-security concepts including e-security tools, like Public key cryptosystems, and trust management systems. A term paper and a final project are required from each student. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532561 Trusted Computing (3 - 0 : 3)
Trusted computing concepts, Trusted Computing Technology Components, Trusted Boot, The Trusted Software Stack, the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), TPM Keys, Secure Storage, Administration of Trusted Devices, Privacy and Direct Anonymous Attestation, Virtualization and Trusted Computing, Applications of Trusted Computing, Trusted Computing Policy Issues. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532563 Hardware Security (3 - 0 : 3)
Vulnerabilities in current digital system design flow and the physical attacks on digital systems. Building secure and trusted hardware. Design Intellectual Property Protection and Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs). Physical and Side Channel Attacks and Countermeasures. Hardware Trojans. Hardware-based random number generators, watermarking of intellectual property (IP) blocks, FPGA security, passive and active metering for piracy prevention. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532580 Special Topics in Cybersecurity Engineering (3 - 0 : 3)
This course covers emerging and advanced topics in Cybersecurity Engineering. The contents will vary depending on the topic ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​

1532589 Independent Studies in Cybersecurity Engineering (3 - 0 : 3)
The student is expected to carry out an independent study on a current issue in a selected area of Cybersecurity Engineering. This study is to be supervised by a faculty member and requires the approval of the department. The student is required to produce a formal report, which will be evaluated by his instructor. ​ ​
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing ​ ​