Study programme

Study programme

SECCLO Master's programme in Security and Cloud Computing (120 ECTS) is a two-year engineering programme which gives students a broad understanding of the latest and future technologies for secure cloud and mobile computing systems. The students study at two partner universities and, at completion, receive two officially recognized M.Sc. degrees.

Program content

Studies in the Security and Cloud Computing program give students a broad understanding of the latest and future technologies for secure cloud and mobile computing systems. Students will gain both practical engineering knowledge and theoretical insights into secure systems engineering, distributed application development, network and service architectures, and cloud and mobile platforms. They can specialize in communications systems design, information security, reliable distributed systems, cryptography, or big data security. We believe in combining theoretical knowledge and security expertise with product development skills. The studies are also closely linked with research at the partner universities. The graduates are well prepared for industrial R&D jobs on the global job market, security engineering and consulting, various expert roles, and doctoral studies at the partner universities and internationally.

The 120 ECTS credits will be divided into two blocks: two semesters of courses (60 ECTS) will be provided by the entry university Aalto. The first year of the program at Aalto covers fundamental concepts, methods and the latest technologies on secure systems engineering, distributed application development, network and service architectures, ubiquitous computing, and cloud and mobile computing platforms. The first year ends in a summer school and internship. For the second year, the student move to their exit university where they are able to specialize (30 ECTS) in communications systems (KTH), information security (NTNU), reliable distributed systems (DTU), cryptography (UT) or big data security (EURECOM). The fourth semester is dedicated to master’s thesis research and writing (30 ECTS) .The thesis is usually written in a research and development project either in industry or in academia.

The program is organized by a consortium of six European universities. It builds on the success of the earlier Security and Mobile Computing (NordSecMob) Erasmus Mundus program in 2006-2017. The program structure and curriculum have been revised based on the latest research trends and industry requirements.

Learning outcomes

SECCLO aims to educate professional engineers who are able to take on the most demanding R&D tasks and drive the development of future products and services. More specifically, the learning outcomes are the following:

  • Students have the theoretical understanding of information security and practical skills for designing and critically analysing secure computing systems.
  • Students understand the architectural principles of distributed services and applications. They are able to design, analyse, and implement cloud-based and distributed computing systems.
  • Students have in-depth knowledge of their chosen specialization area and can apply it to solving technical and scientific problems. They are able to contribute to the knowledge and practices in their field.  
  • Students have strong software development skills and other technical and professional skills that enable them to take responsible roles in an industrial research and development environment, and they are qualified to continue to doctoral studies in academia.

Learning methods

Engineers must be able to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world engineering tasks. Therefore, the program combines theoretical studies with integrated hand-on exercises and projects where the new knowledge is applied. Much of the students’ time is spent on group and individual assignments that train problem solving, research, and advanced engineering skills. In particular, the graduates must be able to write software code for the most demanding cloud and distributed applications, and they must be able to apply state-of-the-art security technologies to new products and services. Therefore, the studies include demanding software engineering tasks in each semester. Throughout the program, the students gain experience of collaboration in multicultural teams. In the courses that involve classroom teaching, it takes varied forms from traditional lectures and exercise sessions to discussion of group projects and student presentations. All students participate in an academic writing course and at least one seminar course where they learn to write a technical or research article, survey research literature, and present their own work.

The studies include opportunities for networking with local and European companies. Many of the teachers have industry background, and our partner companies contribute to some courses and projects. The program includes a summer internship in industry or academic research, and a majority of the master’s thesis projects are done in industry in paid projects.

Specializations and mobility

The program starts with a common year at Aalto University in Finland, which lays the foundations of knowledge on security and cloud services. For the second year, the students continue to their specialization at another Nordic partner university.


Programme structure

First-year studies

The first year of the program (60 ECTS) covers fundamental concepts, methods and the latest technologies on secure systems engineering, distributed application development, network and service architectures, ubiquitous computing, and cloud and mobile computing platforms. Students are also able to choose specialized courses on topics such as network and mobile platform security, computer networking, verification, and data mining. The teaching methods combine theory with hands-on exercises and software development on cloud platforms and mobile devices. Students also practice writing and presentation skills and learn to follow the latest research. The 60 ECTS of the first year comprises 28 ECTS of mandatory courses, 22-25 ECTS of elective courses, and 7-10 ECTS of summers school and internship.

The mandatory courses are listed below. Students who have studied similar content at another university should contact the program staff to discuss their personal study plan.

1st year

Common studies in Aalto University

Course descriptions and schedules will be published in late spring 2020 (available then behind the course code link).

Mandatory studies

CourseCodeECTS
CS-C3130Information Security5
CS-E4190Cloud Software and Systems5
CS-E4340Cryptography5
CS-E4670Full Stack Web Development5
LC-1310Academic Communication for MSc Students3
CS-E4000Seminar in Computer Science5

Mandatory courses in total28
CS-EVSECCLO summer school5
SCI.itra/
SCI.trai
Summer internship2-5

Mandatory studies in total35-38

Elective studies

CourseCodeECTS
CS-C3170Web Software Development5
CS-E4260Multimedia Services in Internet5
CS-E4640Big Data Platforms5
CS-E4580Programming Parallel Computers5
CS-E3190Principles of Algorithmic Techniques5
ELEC-E7320Internet Protocols5
CS-E4350Security Engineering5
CS-E4300Network Security5
MS-E1687Advanced Topics in Cryptography V5
CS-E4160Laboratory Works in Networking and Security5
CS-E4330Special Course in Information Security5
CS-C3240Machine Learning5
CS-E4650Methods of Data Mining5
CS-E4003Special Assignment in Computer Science1-10
CS-E5370Law in Digital Society5
CS-E5480Digital Ethics3-5
TU-C2090Starting Up2

Elective courses in total22-25

Total number of ECTS during 1st yearminimum 60


Elective courses: Students should choose enough elective courses from the list above to meet the required number of credits for the first year. Students should follow announcements about the special courses with annually changing topics and teaching periods. Students who have previously taken similar courses can be given permission to take a more advanced course instead. Other Master-level courses on relevant topics including computer-science, mathematics, communications technology and entrepreneurship may be included with prior agreement of the program staff.

Summer school (5 ECTS): In the summer school, the students work in groups on a timely topic in information security. The school is organized by one of the partner universities at the end of the first study year. The students prepare for the summer school by reading research literature and working together on the provided problems. In the summer school, they complete a group project or exercise. All SECCLO students are required to participate in the summer school.

Summer internship (2-5 ECTS): Between the first and second academic year, students take an internship in industry or in an applied research project. Students work in a real R&D environment or expert organization as members of a project team or research group. The students receive up to 5 ECTS for an internship, at the rate of one ECTS credit per two weeks of full-time equivalent. The learning goals of the internship are the following:

  • The students have experience of working in an R&D environment or expert organization in Europe.
  • The students develop personal contacts in European industry and research institutions.
  • The students are familiar with several career paths options available to them.
  • The students know how to apply for a job in industry, including preparation of the application letter and CV and an interview.

Master's thesis (30 ECTS): The final semester of the SECCLO programme is dedicated to the Master’s thesis (30 ECTS), jointly supervised by professors from both universities the student has studied in. The thesis is usually written in a research and development project either in industry or in academia.

SECCLO curriculum and learning outcomes also available at SECCLO website: https://secclo.eu/programme/programme/ .