- MSc Cyber Security
- School of Creative Industries
- Campus or location
- Newton Park
- Course length
- One year full time. Two years part time.
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our postgraduate programmes.
See "What we look for in potential students" for more information.
Learn how to make operational level decisions on cyber security that protect modern businesses.
- Understand the scope of the cyber security threat landscape – from actors to tools and techniques.
- Design and develop governance and risk compliance structures that enable businesses to operate securely and efficiently.
- Develop strategies for maintaining operational resilience to keep organisations moving in the face of cyber attack.
Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.
The UK is a globally leading digital economy, yet its prosperity is reliant upon an ability to secure businesses, data and networks from cyber threats. Costs of cyber security failure are substantial for companies and nation states, with often hidden consequences for wider society. To manage risk, the cyber sector needs rational and resilient people that hold an industry-informed, holistic understanding of current issues and future directions of travel.
This Cyber Security course focuses on the operational level decisions that business and public sector leaders need to make in order to develop, monitor and evaluate cost effective cyber risk management strategies. You’ll learn to formulate digital-era leadership techniques that deliver genuine business benefits.
What you'll learn
MSc Cyber Security has been designed in collaboration with some of the UK’s cyber business leaders. We prioritise the ‘complete picture’ to give you the insight and toolkit needed to make effective operation decisions that protect organisations at risk of cyber attack.
You begin by building knowledge of the fundamentals of cyber security before examining existing and emerging defence and offense strategies. Equipped with a good understanding of vulnerabilities and attack vectors, you then explore how to build an active cyber defence armoury. Modules on law and regulation, systems of governance, operational resilience and risk assessment provide the conceptual context needed to engage the practical realities of cyber security management.
Cyber Security Bootcamp offers a holistic perspective of cyber security. You’ll learn about threat detection and prevention strategies, risk management, investigative tools, and the way in which each are leveraged by organisations to secure operations and minimise disruption.
Critical Vulnerability Analysis exposes specific strategies for evaluating and reporting, for example, structural vulnerabilities and inadequate cybersecurity safeguards. Business preparations that include a degree of penetration testing are examined.
Business Security Architecture aims to develop your understanding of how to define an appropriate security architecture for a business. You also learn about established architectures, trade-offs between security and business functionality, and strategies of information governance.
Offensive and Defensive Cyber Operations aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the techniques used in computer and network defence. As cyber defenders you learn about the strategies and technical skills to protect and harden cyber systems such as collecting appropriate data through logging, detecting persistent hacking attempts, and responding to intrusions.
Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) is about learning to define the relevant CNI for your country and analyse its potential impact on a chosen business or sector. You explore the unique operational resilience challenges and the emerging industry and government standards for that sector. Protecting CNI is of developing concern that is rising up the national risk registers internationally. An understanding of this topic is therefore a key part of a cyber security professionals knowledge base.
Cyber War is about who the threat actors currently are, and who they may be in the near future. It examines how attackers identify targets of opportunity and how they work to disrupt them. Across the module you analyse case studies of past cyberwars with a view to understanding their motivations, attack strategies and impacts.
Dissertation: taking into account relevant theories, practice and organisational contexts, you first identify a target for enquiry in agreement with your supervisor. Following approval of your plan, you proceed to conduct the research, evaluate data, and articulate findings and recommendations in the form of an academic report. The final stage of your dissertation is a viva in which you defend your arguments.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more details on which modules are core, required or optional.
- Cyber Security Bootcamp
- Business Security Architecture
- Critical Vulnerability Analysis
- Offensive and Defensive Cyber Operations
- Critical National Infrastructure
- Cyber War
How will I be assessed?
You're assessed by a combination of reports, presentations, and set exercises. Tasks such as table top scenarios and cyber wargames give assessment a real-world edge, while providing insight into practical methods of communicating complex cyber security topics to key stakeholders.
How will I be taught?
Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and discussion forums alongside a wide range of practical activities such as scenario simulations that require continual action. Our learning methods are designed not only to help you build critical knowledge, but also to cultivate the interpersonal skills and disposition you need to operate effectively as a future cyber security leader.
Work placements, industry links and internships
In addition to the teaching staff discussing their research and practise in cyber security, the course engages guest lecturers to offer additional insight into the active edge of the subject.
Students have benefitted from guest talks from government, industry, the public sector and local cyber security companies. These included recognised specialists from the UK and the USA in social engineering, the insider threat, the Dark Web, the Cyber Cold War, running a cyber security business, and pentesters.
For graduates of Computing disciplines, MSc Cyber Security supports entry into a range of IT roles where cyber security is an integral component but not necessarily an entire responsibility. You’ll be able to demonstrate your value to a range of companies quickly, and later build on the management skills gained during your study to compete for more senior positions.
For those already employed in the IT field, this Cyber Security Master's provides opportunities for professional upskilling. The programme helps improve your prospects of transitioning to cyber security roles and decision-making positions. The knowledge you gain on the course will in addition help you increase your profile within your company, while benefiting the teams you work within.
Cyber security career roles include, but are not limited to:
- Cyber Security Analyst
- Cyber Security Specialist
- Network Intrusion Analyst
- Targeted Attack Specialist
- Security Management
- Data Protection Officer
- Threat Intelligence Analyst.
Facilities and resources
Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.
UK students full time
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
|2023/24 entry||Published Jan 2023|
UK students part time
Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.
|Year 2||Published Jan 2022|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2022|
|Year 2||Published Jan 2023|
|Year 1||Published Jan 2023|
|Year 2||Published Jan 2024|
International students full time
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
|2023/24 entry||Published Jan 2023|
Interested in applying?
What we look for in potential students
We’re looking for motivated, inquisitive people that have a good baseline understanding of computing. You should have an agile mindset and a clear desire to pursue cyber security as a chosen career.
You should have a good honours degree in Computing or a related subject. However, we'll consider applications from you, without a relevant degree, if you're able to demonstrate that you have relevant skills in computing and a passion for the subject.
How do I apply?
Interview and portfolio guidance
Regularly following the security section of The Register is useful, as is membership of the British Computer Society. If you’re an international student or based overseas, web-based interviews may be offered.
Want to apply for this year?
Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.
Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.
Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.
Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Course leader: John Curry