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Computer Science for Cyber Security

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts

Start dates

September 2020



Course length

Full time: MSc - 1 year (12 months); MSc with placement 2 years (24 months); PG Dip - 6 months; PG Cert - 3 months

Part time: MSc - 2 years; Msc with placement 3 years (36 months); PG Dip - 18 months (12 months study time); PG Cert - 6 months


This course has received full certification by GCHQ.


Our Computer Science for Cyber Security course builds on the knowledge gained in a first degree. It will equip you with advanced computer science and cyber security skills needed to produce modern secure systems.

Our teaching staff have a wide range of expertise in computer science and cyber security. We put an emphasis on live projects, alongside group work modelled on industry standard working patterns.

You'll use industry standard tools and techniques in our dedicated security, server and networking laboratories. These labs provide a safe space for you to practice both offensive and defensive security techniques.

The UK government has highlighted cyber threats as one of the four main threats to the UK.  There is an increasing need to protect people, business and data from malicious attack. As a result, individuals skilled in computer science and cyber security who can design, build and maintain secure software and systems are in demand.

We are proud to announce that this course has been awarded full GCHQ certification, the gold standard for courses in Cyber Security. 

Computer with a virus

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

You should normally hold a first degree, equivalent to at least a British lower second-class bachelor’s degree, in an Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications, Computer Science or a related Engineering or Computing degree. Applicants whose first degree is not in these areas, but who have worked in a related industry, and have obtained good relevant experience and programming skills, can also be considered.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with 6.0 in all components.


An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£8,000 (Masters); £7,000 (Diploma); £4,000 (Certificate)

Home/EU part time

Home/EU sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home/EU full time
£8,200 (Masters); £4,100 (Diploma); £4,100 (Certificate)

Home/EU part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£8,000 (Masters); £7,000 (Diploma); £4,000 (Certificate)

Home/EU part time

Home/EU sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2021 / 22
Home/EU full time
£8,200 (Masters); £4,100 (Diploma); £4,100 (Certificate)

Home/EU part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

The full-time fees quoted are for the taught Year 1. Fees will be charged for the placement year in Year 2 and are available on request from in May 2020. For approximate fee levels of the placement year see the placement fee above.

Financial support and scholarships

The Department of Computing and Communication Technologies awards a limited number of scholarships for its taught postgraduate programmes, which are awarded on a competitive basis to UK, EU and international postgraduates each year. Further information can be found at /ecm/courses/scholarships/

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Students on placement are responsible for living costs associated with their placement.

Learning and assessment

The MSc in Computer Science for Cyber Security has a modular course-unit design. This gives you flexibility and choice.

To qualify for a master’s degree without placement you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits:

  • six taught modules (20 credits each)
  • 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.

To qualify for the Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science for Cyber Security you must pass modules amounting to 120 credits. 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).

To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Science for Cyber Security you must pass modules amounting to 60 credits. This comprises three taught modules (20 credits each).

Students connecting computer wires

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip and PGCert awards your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Research, Scholarship and Professional Skills in Cyber Security

This module 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

This module teaches the principles and practice of computer networking looking at how networks are used in modern enterprises.

Secure Systems Architecture

In this module 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.

Operating Systems Security and Development

This module builds on the foundations laid in Secure Systems Architecture to look at more complex operating systems concepts and technologies. It also covers systems development and you also learn low level systems programming which they put into practice by changing and extending existing operating systems.

Secure Programming

This module looks at the analysis, design, and implementation of secure software. It 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

This module 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.

Final project

Compulsory modules

MSc Dissertation

This module 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.


Optional modules


This 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 your 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 modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching methods, including:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • library and internet research
  • practical design and experimentation.

Our teaching staff are 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.


Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment methods include:

  • coursework exercises
  • presentations
  • lab work
  • reports
  • examinations.


The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is home to world-leading and award-winning research. Our focus is on user-inspired original research with real-world applications. And a wide range of activities from model-driven system design and empirical software engineering through to web technologies, cloud computing and big data, digital forensics and computer vision.

Staff and students collaborate on projects supported by the EPSRC, the EU, the DTI, and several major UK companies.

Computing achieved an excellent assessment of its UoA (Unit of Assessment) 11 return for REF 2014 (Research Excellence Framework).

Students on this course can be involved with research in the following research groups:

After you graduate

Career prospects

This programme allows graduates to undertake a wide range of roles in IT and cyber security. Common careers in this area are: 

  • ​IT security professionals
  • penetration testers
  • digital forensic investigators
  • software developers
  • systems engineers
  • technical analysts
  • IT managers
  • consultants

Programme Changes: 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 page.