City University London has launched a new Masters degree course specifically dedicated to preventing, fighting and repairing large-scale IT failure.

The course will be taught at the university’s Centre for Software Reliability (CSR), and will aim to help graduates cope with “constant threats” to systems, including physical failures, malicious attack, design faults and user error.

The CSR has an international reputation for research in software dependability modelling, software fault tolerance, software metrics and quality assurance and safety critical systems.

A “unified, system-level understanding of both the technical and the human components of resilience” was needed to combat all the threats of IT failure, according to the university.

The full title of the course is MSc in Resilience, Assurance and Risk Management for Computer-Based Systems. Classes begin at the end of the month, and it is a two year part-time course, with an option of a six month internship in a professional IT environment.

Professor Robin Bloomfield, head of the centre for software reliability at the university, said: “This MSc aims to teach not only specific safety, reliability or security techniques but also a broader knowledge of risk required in advanced technical or management roles within system development, procurement, operation or licensing.”

Modules on the course include: introduction to dependability and resilience; fault tolerance, redundancy and diversity; information security assurance and digital forensics; socio-technical systems, risk and resilience; probabilistic modelling of dependability for computer-based systems; assurance cases for security, safety, dependability; software dependability and software risk management; and techniques for software correctness.

City University also offers a number of courses to those who are or aspire to be chief information officers, including short masterclasses on beating the recession and an MA degree dedicated to nurturing the CIOs of the future.

In August it appointed David Chan, the BBC’s former head of business systems, as director of its new CIO centre.