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Master's degree in Information Security

InformationCourse/CS accredited by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES).
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are today indispensable for the normal functioning of society. We are dependent to a large extent of the correct and regular operative status of information systems, communication infrastructures and mechanisms that provide the legal guarantees of the rights and liberties of citizens. Threats against these systems attacking their availability, integrity and confidentiality can have dire consequences to the normal activity of institutions. The problems with cybersecurity are not restricted to the physical frontiers of an institution, region or country, as such they constitute one of the great international challenge that needs to be addressed. Cooperation (regional, national and international) among the several players is essential to achieve high levels of security and thus contribute effectively to the regular society working status.
Cybersecurity is also a topic that has been deserving the spotlight in the media. The impact of security incidents and attacks has been constantly in the public information space, illustrating the impact they have on society.
In face of the constant evolution of technology and the increasing sophistication of security attacks, it is up to Universities, as knowledge providers, to participate in the creation of responses that society needs to deal with these challenges. The knowledge developed with the study and investigation on the causes and mechanisms that have been used as attacks vectors is the primary information to transmit to the society. The masters in informatics security places itself as a privileged opportunity for sharing this knowledge in a context of a “learning through doing” environment, where the student is challenged to connect the theoretical concepts and principles with the best practices. This allows her/him to elaborate and implement security policies, rules and mechanisms that are effective against the concrete threats and challenges that organizations currently face in the real world.
In this masters, the student will learn how to use and integrate advanced security tools so to be able to plan and project complex networks and systems so to withstand concrete threats. This requires an ample assortment of knowledge and technical capabilities that, allied with sound principles of security and best practices, allow the course graduates to project and/or consolidate effectively the security in the institutions that they integrate or come to integrate.


The master in informatics security aims to provide advanced education to professionals and researchers in the area of cybersecurity. In the course we strive to improve the technical knowledge and practical skills of informatics security of students that intend to rapidly pursuit a successful professional carrier in the area, and simultaneously strengthen the theoretical concepts of those who wish to undertake an academic carrier.
At the end of the course the students should:
  • Have deep knowledge on the scientific area of informatics security, developed through research activities, of innovation or strengthening professional competences;
  • Ability to comprehend and solve problems in new situations or in broadened and multidisciplinary contexts in the environment of a professional activity or research;
  • Ability to integrate knowledge, deal with complex questions, develop solutions or reason in situation of limited or incomplete information, including reflections about the implication and ethical and moral responsibilities that may derive;
  • Be capable of communication knowledge, conclusions and their underlying reasons in a clear and correct manner either to specialists or non-specialists;
  • Obtain competences that allow them an autonomic development of their skills and knowledge through life.


The course is a masters open to international students. Lecturing and its materials are available either in Portuguese or English, it will be given priority to English if there are students that do not master Portuguese. As such, candidates to the master should have good English proficiency.

Employment Prospects

The graduates of this course are habilitated to the different roles of informatics security in the different types of companies. In the masters the various components of security are dealt with, so managing security in computer systems involving databases, system administration, communication networks, web development, mobile applications are areas where these Masters can work in. These capabilities can be used in a specialized level or as a general consultant in the systems area, in a way that can be applied to different companies’ profiles. Institutes, public bodies, etc. Pursuing a research carrier is also a possible carrier choice for graduates.

Admission Requirements

  • Holders of a bachelor's degree or equivalent degree under the conditions described in the law, in the areas of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or similar.
  • Undergraduate students who will be able to complete a degree as above before the end of the enrollment term for the cycle of studies; in this case candidates should provide evidence of having completed at the time of application at least 85% of the degree's credits.

Note: in the registration phase, applications that do not prove having completed the degree (or equivalent) by the end of the enrollment deadline will be excluded.

Selection Criteria and Results

The ranking will be done according to the following criteria and sub-criteria:

  • Criterion 1: academic curriculum (adequacy and grade) (85%)
    • Sub-criterion 1.1: bachelor’s degree adequacy (10%)

      The degree adequacy will be scored on a scale of 0 to 20 according to the following principles:

      • degrees that provide a solid background in the fundamental areas of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, and Electrotechnical Engineering, will get a score of 20;
      • other degrees with a solid background in mathematics and / or technologies in areas related to the cycle of studies will get a score of 15;
      • applications that do not fit in the previous cases will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis; the score in this sub-criterion will be determined according to the Curricular Units carried out in the relevant areas for the cycle of studies.
    • Sub-criterion 1.2: adjusted bachelor’s degree grade (75%)

      The adjusted grade is obtained by normalising the grade to the 0-20 scale, adding the value of ln(R/r), and rounding to the nearest integer in the 0-20 scale, with ln expressing the natural logarithm and R and r being, respectively for the University of Porto and the university issuing the degree, the positions in the world ranking published in http://www.webometrics.info

      For admitted applications where the degree has not yet been concluded, the previous formula applies, replacing the bachelor’s degree final grade with the weighted average of the curricular units completed on the application date rounded to the nearest integer.

  • Criterion 2: scientific curriculum and professional experience (15%)

    The scientific curriculum and professional experience are classified from 0 to 20 according to the following two sub-criteria, considering the relevance of the indicators for the area of the cycle of studies.

    • 2.1 Sub-criterion 1: technical and / or scientific publications and communications (50%)
    • 2.2 Sub-criterion 2: professional experience in industry, participation in research projects or internships (50%)

Tie breaks:
In the event of a tie, the ranking of the higher education institution considered in sub-criterion 1.2 will be used as the first tie break criterion, and the result of an interview as the second tie break criterion.

Grades of completed curricular units must be certified by an official transcript to be presented by the candidate, including, whenever possible, their weighted average. In case the candidate does not hold a bachelor's degree, the average grade should be certified in the official transcript, or (if this is not available) be explicitly mentioned in the comments field of the application form.



Course Director: m.si.diretor@fc.up.pt
Postgraduate Section: pos.graduacao@fc.up.pt
Students: m.si@fc.up.pt

This information is provided strictly for informational purposes
and does not preclude consultation of the Official Gazette.

General information

Official Code: 6955
Director: Manuel Barbosa
Acronym: M:SI
Academic Degree: Master
Type of course/cycle of study: Masters Degree
Start: 2014/2015
Duration: 4 Semesters

Study Plan


  • Master's degree in Information Security (120 ECTS credits)
  • Specialization in Security of Information Systems (72 ECTS credits)

Predominant Scientific Areas

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Last update: 2022-01-11 I  Page created on: 2022-01-21 at 06:04:25