Mastère Spécialisé de l'ESIEA : sécurité informatique

Specialised Masters NIS

It’s a very specialised and highly technical one-year educational program in Network and Information Security taught in English. This intensive curriculum fuses academic study with a hands-on internship component.

Starting in September 2016, gain practical technical skills and prepare yourself for an exciting career in Network and Information Security or in cyberwarfare techniques!

Presentation of the NIS Specialised Masters

The Specialised Masters “NIS” trains experts in information and systems security. Our graduates learn to approach security challenges from the attacker’s point of view while gaining a comprehensive vision of information systems – and of information itself – as a whole. This innovative approach makes our graduates better able to protect those systems by reacting quickly and effectively to the wide variety of security challenges and crises arising more and more frequently in today’s world.

The Specialised Masters “NIS” targets candidates at M2 level, or at M1 level for candidates with professional experience in computer science. Candidates need to know how to program, know the basics of computer networks and possess a solid level of English (courses taught exclusively in English). The Specialised Masters “NIS” is particularly interested in attracting candidates at the managerial level who wish to specialize in information security.

After successfully completing the programme, graduates are able to evaluate the security of information systems, define a plan to protect the systems that have been entrusted to them, design and implement the appropriate technical solutions and get the solutions up and running. Our graduates work as operations managers, engineers, consultants or team leaders for projects in information and network security, development of secure applications, reverse engineering, active audits and risk evaluation.


NIS Organization


Strengths of the NIS Specialised Masters

1 – A degree recognised in acadamia and in industry

In French higher education, a Specialised Masters is a qualification that comes after a Masters degree and is of at least 2 semesters in length. It includes theoretical courses, a personal research project in industry and a professional thesis presented in front of a jury. This degree is accredited by the “Conférence des Grandes Ecoles”, the accrediting body of an elite network of French engineering and business schools (similar to the American “Ivy League”).

The Specialised Masters (MS) label is a collective registered trademark belonging to the “Conférence des Grandes Ecoles”. It was created in 1983 to meet the need of French industry to recruit graduates possessing skills in highly specialised areas, targeting very precise sectors. The degree guarantees the high level of professionalism, the thoroughness and the technical level of the courses delivered. It allows students to develop their strengths and provides a springboard to professional success.

2 – Comprehensive training

The Specialised Masters “NIS” is a demanding programme that goes from ISO 27001 through secure programming, economic intelligence, Windows security or microchip programming, all the way to Reverse Engineering, virology, cryptology, and forensic techniques.

3 – Teaching methods adapted to the needs of students, to meet the needs of industry

Created in 2009, the Specialised Masters “NIS” has graduated more than 100 students. The programme combines the state of the art in information and systems security with the specialised teaching expertise of ESIEA and is continually enriched by the research performed in the CNS laboratory, whose members all publish in the most important international conferences on security and hacking (Black Hat, CCC, CanSecWest…).

As is the case for all of the specialised degrees delivered at by ESIEA, the teaching methods used for the Specialised Masters “NIS” recognises its students’ former studies and accomplishments and is based on constant hands-on projects, in which students can actively manage their own learning.

To accustom the students to situations reflecting the realities of industry, crisis scenarios are simulated in real time in our security laboratory, often with competing teams which alternately defend or attack a system or an application. The academic semester is rounded off with a comprehensive exercise over two weeks, giving students the opportunity to practise on real systems within the framework of agreements between the CNS laboratory and members of industry.

4 – Lecturers who are recognized experts in the field of security

The Specialised Masters “NIS” calls upon more than 50 experts to deliver its coursework, including designers of specialised tools and founders of start-ups.

5 – An internationally recognized research laboratory

The CNS laboratory at ESIEA is one of the rare actors from the field of higher education cited in Senator Bockel’s July 2012 report on cyberdefence. The laboratory’s research team in operational cryptology and virology is also the designer and project manager of the DAVFI project, involving the development of an open-source antivirus “made in France” and financed by the state as part of the national “Investments in the Future” programme.

Pratical information about the NIS Specialised Masters

Who can apply to the NIS Specialised Masters?

In general we recruit computer engineers or those who have completed a university course in computing. Of course we require applicants to have knowledge and skills but, above all, to be motivated and to have professional ambitions compatible with this Masters course.

CVs will be considered on a case by case basis. After ten years’ experience it is evident that those with little knowledge or skills in networks but who are comfortable in computer development, manage very well.


Requests for information should be addressed to

Applications should be made by post and accompanied by a CV which should allow the programme director to decide on the eligibility of your application.

If you are considered eligible, we will send you an application form to be duly completed and returned by post along with a cheque for 125 € to cover administration costs.

After all the applications have been studied, those who are successful will be called for two interviews with researchers from the CNS laboratory (for those living abroad, these will be undertaken by Skype or by telephone).
Candidates chosen for the Masters course will be notified in writing after the interviews and within a month of the application closing date. The final decision will be made by the Director General of ESIEA on the recommendation of the course director. Enrolment is subject to payment of the fees. Applications for the first round of recruitment must be received by 30 May 2016.

The number of places is limited to around 20.

Candidates are advised to apply as early as possible, particularly those who will be requesting financial aid from FONGECIF and those living abroad who will require a visa.

All teaching is carried out on ESIEA’s Laval Campus

⇒ 38 rue des Drs Calmette et Guérin, 53000 Laval, France

There is a dedicated room for this Masters and each student will have access to cutting edge pedagogical resources and will have administration rights of his or her own computer under Windows and Linux.

ESIEA offers no canteen or accommodation facilities but is able to help students from abroad in finding accommodation in Laval and with standard administrative requirements

Study Validation

The length of study is dependent on the results of certain examinations and projects.

To remain in the programme, students are required to obtain an average of at least 10/20 throughout the period of study. The internship is evaluated by a panel of four and is given a mark which takes into account the degree of success of the internship itself, the final report and presentation. For a final degree to be awarded, the student must have obtained a general grade point average of at least 10/20.


This course of study requires, above all, a high level of personal motivation and availability but, in addition, there are a number of technical requirements, notably :

  • In Mathematics: The basics of probability and discrete mathematics.
  • Good knowledge of C programming and, if possible, Java.
  • General knowledge of systems architecture and networks
  • A satisfactory level of English (TOEIC 785 or equivalent).

Costs for 2016/2017

  • 10 150 € (before tax) for students and job seekers (payment on account)
  • 14 500 € for those in work
  • Administration charge: 125 €

Scientific Programme of the NIS Specialised Masters


  • C programming basics (20 hours)
  • Python et Java programming basics (30 hours)
  • Unix/Linux Architecture basics (20 hours)
  • Windows Architecture basi. (20 hours)


  • Algorithmics of Security (10 hours)
  • Secure programming (25 hours)
  • Introduction to cryptology and to cryptographic protocols (30 hours)
  • Computer virology (30 hours)
  • Smart cards (20 hours)
  • Security of Operating Systems (20 hours)
  • Forensics Analysis I (30 hours)
  • Security policies and Risk Analysis (20 hours)
  • Fundamentals of Networks (25 hours)
  • Wireless Networks (15 hours)
  • Security Network Architecture (30 hours)


  • Steganography (15 hours)
  • Cryptanalysis (20 hours)
  • Advanced Computer Virology (40 hours)
  • Physical security (30 hours)
  • Forensics Analysis II (40 hours)
  • Software vulnerabilities and Fuzzing techniques (30 hours)
  • Social engineering, Open Source Intelligence (30 hours)
  • Security of Office Applications (20 hours)
  • Network Control & Auditing (30 hours)
  • Network Security Drill & Training (60 hours)
  • Arkoon certification (30 hours)


  • French Language and Culture (50 hours)
  • Scientific and Technical English (50 hours)

Career Prospect

Our specialised master “Network and Information Security” (NIS) program is a springboard to a variety of exciting careers in security information ranging from computer network administrator, IT security expert or cyberwarfare expert for the Department of Defense to security officer in charge of the IT security in an international firm.

Through theoretical and practical study, the NIS program will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to work in today’s fast moving information security landscape. It is the only program of this kind in France as it offers a different and new approach to information security by considering the attacker’s view point. This program also offers you the opportunity to focus on application areas such as active auditing or cyber warfare techniques and concepts, helping you to choose your career path. Our program emphasizes hands-on, practical training providing you with an additional learning opportunity that is best-suited for real world demands.