The MSc in Computer Science for Cyber Security has a modular course-unit design providing you with maximum flexibility and choice. To qualify for a master’s degree without placement, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits). To qualify for a master's degree with placement you need to undertake a one-year placement in between the taught component and the dissertation.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science for Cyber Security allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to brush up their skills. To qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass modules amounting to 120 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each). In some cases, it may be possible for a student on a Postgraduate Diploma to do 3 taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).
The Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Science for Cyber Security allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to learn a specific area in this rapidly changing discipline. To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, you must pass modules amounting to 60 credits. This comprises three taught modules (20 credits each).
Semester 1 has the following modules:
- Research, Scholarship and Professional Skills in Cyber Security (compulsory for MSc) is designed to equip you with the tools necessary for the scholarship and research skills needed for the computer science and cyber security fields as well as developing the professional skills and outlook needed for a lifelong career in the computing industry.
- Enterprise Networking (compulsory for MSc) teaches the principles and practice of computer networking looking at how networks are used in modern enterprises.
- Secure Systems Architecture (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip), in which you will study the fundamentals of computer and network security and the ways that computer systems can be secured. This module will look at both the technological and human issues involved in securing and assessing the security level of a modern networked computer system. It also introduces basic concepts of operating systems and architecture.
Semester 2 has the following modules:
- Operating Systems Security and Development (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) builds on the foundations laid in Secure Systems Architecture to look at more complex operating systems concepts and technologies. This module also covers systems development and students also learn low level systems programming which they put into practice by changing and extending existing operating systems.
- Secure Programming (compulsory for MSc) looks at the analysis, design, and implementation of secure software. This module considers what software engineering principles can and should be used to help ensure the security of software in a range of environments. You will be taught the common classes of vulnerability at design and implementation stages and how they can defended and mitigated against.
- Malware Analysis (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) looks at low level programming tools and techniques for the creation, detection and defence against malware. You will learn how to examine code at the assembler level using reverse engineering techniques, as well as network level analysis of command and control structures, to obtain detailed information on malware. You will also investigate advanced malware anti-forensics tools, such as code obfuscation, and use mechanisms for defeating them.
If you are studying for an MSc you will also take:
- MSc Dissertation, which is an individual research and development project that allows you to study a topic of your choice in depth, guided by your supervisor. The work may be undertaken in close co-operation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation. You will undertake your dissertation over the summer period.
MSc students have the option to apply to undertake a placement. Placement positions are not guaranteed, however the department will help and support students in finding a placement. Students on the placement will also take:
- Work Experience Placement, which is an optional element of all the School's Computing programmes, and provides professional and practical experience in the computing, communications, or media industries. The nature of the work undertaken will be relevant to a student’s programme, and may provide a basis for the development of the dissertation.
Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of taught modules offered may vary from the list here.
Teaching and learning
The taught modules include lectures, seminars, library and internet research, and practical design and experimentation.
Teaching staff include experienced academic staff and practitioners in the field of Computer Science and Cyber Security. Visiting speakers from business and industry help to maintain relevance to the evolution of the industry.
Laboratory facilities include dedicated security, server and networking laboratories.
Approach to assessment
Assessments include coursework exercises, presentations, lab work, reports and examinations.
Our labs are equipped with industry-standard equipment and software tools. This enables students to develop skills of immediate relevance to industry needs while also providing a sound practical basis that enhances their understanding of theoretical concepts.
Our security lab is on an isolated network with both investigation and victim machines to give students hands on experience of cyber security issues and techniques without risk to the rest of the network giving students the opportunity to learn offensive security analysis techniques. In addition to the physical machines in the lab, there is a dedicated Virtualisation Platform for use in cloud based scenarios.
Our server lab has a mixture of client PCs and Dell servers to allow students to set up a wide variety of complex IT systems. Students have access to a range of Microsoft systems software, VMWare virtualisation management software and a wide range of other software to enable them to recreate a variety of realistic business scenarios.
Networking laboratories are equipped with modern Cisco routers, switches and security devices to enable design construction and testing of complete high bandwidth, secure, wired and wireless networks.
Students on placement are responsible for living costs associated with their placement.
Part time study is an option on this programme for students who wish to combine their study with work. Where possible we try to ensure that part time students only need to attend for 1 day a week, although students will be expected to undertake additional independent study.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes