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Cyber Security and Technology (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time blended learning

Start date
Cyber Security Research Lab
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Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

An advanced cyber security programme developed by Cardiff University in partnership with PwC and supported by funding from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, to prepare high-class, employment ready cyber security professionals sought after by organisations worldwide.

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Developed in partnership with industry

Our MSc programme has been developed by world-class cyber security researchers at Cardiff University in partnership with PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security team. PwC experts regularly deliver hands-on masterclasses, supporting the development of hands-on technical skills.

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Funded studentships

Funded studentships for this course are available to selected students on a competitive basis.

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Cutting edge research and industry practice

You will be taught by internationally recognised researchers along with PwC technical experts who will help deliver modules and will provide industry tutoring.

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Hands on development experience

Develop theoretical knowledge and advanced understanding as you work on real life problems in facilities such as our world class cyber security and forensics laboratory.

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University provided equipment

You will be provided with a laptop with all the required software installed and ready for you to use for the duration of the programme.

This unique MSc programme offers you a clear path to a successful career in the fast-moving and exciting area of cybersecurity. The programme has been developed by leading researchers at the Cardiff Centre for Cyber Security Research in close collaboration with industry experts from PwC.

We aim to equip you with an in-depth understanding of the ever-changing cyber threat landscape and the wide range of cyberattacks on operating systems, computer networks and web-applications. The course helps you develop a solid understanding of underlying technologies, their weaknesses and how they can be efficiently secured. In addition to covering theoretical foundations of computer science and cyber security, the programme includes a significant, hands-on component of practical application.

The security techniques and methods taught include, but are not limited to, network traffic analysis, network enumeration, port scanning, network segmentation, prevention of injection attacks, prevention of common web-app attacks (injection attacks, XSS, CSRF), secure configuration of cloud-based IT environments. You will learn to perform digital and network forensic investigations and analysis using modern forensics tools and software packages. The programme will also inform you about the human-factors affecting cyber security, privacy issues, cyber security legislation and regulations.

This is an exciting opportunity to learn from world-class cyber security researchers and industry practitioners, acquainting you with state-of-the-art technologies, research ideas, and industry standards.

On completing this course, you will have learned how to assess, identify and resolve cyber security threats as a professional. You will also be able to navigate business needs alongside an organisation’s cyber security needs, and influence business decisions by effectively communicating the importance of cyber security measures to different audiences.

Funded studentships are available to selected students on a competitive basis.

Where you'll study

School of Computer Science and Informatics

Our degree programmes are shaped by multidisciplinary research, making them relevant to today's employers and well placed to take advantage of tomorrow's developments.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4812
  • MarkerSenghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4AG

Admissions criteria

Academic requirements: 

Typically, you will need to have either:

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as computer science, IT or software engineering, or an equivalent international degree
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification

English Language requirements: 

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent. 

Other essential requirements: 

You may choose to supplement your application with:

  • a detailed CV
  • or any other supporting material you may consider to be appropriate.

Application deadline: 

The application deadline is 1 July. You must submit all the evidence listed in the entry criteria by the deadline in order to be considered. If you submit an application after this date, we will only consider it if places are still available.

Selection process:

Following the deadline, applications will be reviewed and ranked. The top-scoring applicants will be made an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

You will study taught modules to a total of 120 credits during the Diploma stage of your degree. There are 6 taught modules, each worth 20 credits.

The final stage of your degree will be an individual Master’s project (worth 60 credits) which you will write up as a dissertation, after the Diploma stage. This project will be carried out during the summer under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

This is a full-time course undertaken over one academic year. 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

As a full-time student, you will complete all compulsory 20-credit modules to a total of 120 credits during the taught stage, followed by your 60-credit dissertation project.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The School of Computer Science and Informatics has a strong and active research culture which informs and directs our teaching. We are committed to providing teaching of the highest standard.

Modules are delivered through blended learning. Students will be guided through learning activities appropriate to a module, which may include: 

  • weekly on-line interactive sessions to work with other students and staff (e.g. live streaming of presentations, discussions, guest sessions from industry practitioners, live-coding, team meetings, supervised hands-on practical sessions and lab exercises) 
  • on-line resources that students will be guided through and can work through at their own pace (e.g. videos, web resources, e-books, quizzes), 
  • face to face small group sessions (e.g. help classes, feedback sessions, practical hands-on activities) 

We regularly invite guest lecturers from industry, and we pride ourselves on our hands-on experiences of practical cyber security. Our industry partner – PWC - is actively involved in the delivery of two taught modules and MSc dissertation supervision.

Most of your taught modules will have further information for you to study and you will be expected to work through this in your own time according to the guidance provided by the lecturer for that module.

How will I be assessed?

Modules will be assessed via a combination of assessment of different types including coursework, examination, and presentations.

How will I be supported?

Cardiff University and the School of Computer Science and Informatics provides a supportive environment in which we are able to help and encourage our students.

At the start of your course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who is an academic member of staff in the School and serves as a point of contact to advise on both academic and personal matters in an informal and confidential manner. Your Personal Tutor will monitor your progress throughout your time at university and will support you in your Personal Development Planning.

Outside of scheduled tutor sessions, our Senior Personal Tutor runs an open-door policy, being on hand to advise and respond to any personal matters as they arise.

In addition, this MSc programme offers you a unique opportunity to benefit from industrial mentoring.

You will be provided with regular feedback on formative and summative via written comments on work submitted or by provision of ‘model’ answers and/or through discussion in contact sessions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you.

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Critically analyse a comprehensive range of complex cyber security problems utilising a range of knowledge of key cyber security concepts and terminology, cyber security governance and management, risk assessment, secure system and application development, malware analysis and penetration testing, digital and network forensics.
  • Critically analyse and solve a comprehensive range of complex cyber security problems utilising knowledge of database systems security, cloud security, Operating Systems (OS) and OS security.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Critically evaluate the security landscape an unseen IT and organisational environment, utilising original thinking, appropriate solutions and methods to present the case for a suitable cyber security solution.
  • Exercise original thinking, initiative and personal responsibility in decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations. 
  • Choose (with justification) and apply creative methods for dealing with complex issues; make sound judgement in the absence of complete data. 

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Conduct risk assessments and develop security strategy and policies, including considerations of technical security configurations, human factors affecting security policy, forensic responses and security monitoring, and accounting for professional roles and responsibilities in cyber security.
  • Utilise a comprehensive range of effective tactics for response to cyber security threats, vulnerabilities and attacks in computer networks and operating systems.
  • Protect cloud-based IT environments, database systems and Operating Systems of different types using a comprehensive range of techniques (including configuring secure cloud-based IT environments, mitigating common OS flaws and hardening OSs).
  • Communicate cyber security ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and practical means to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. 
  • Apply a range of security methods and techniques (e.g. risk assessment methodologies) using a wide range of the fundamental concepts behind development of secure systems and applications.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Work effectively both in a team and independently, taking responsibility for continuing professional development.
  • Apply original, logical and analytic thinking to complex problems.
  • Work independently to choose and defend appropriate research methodology, techniques and tools.
  • Identify gaps in existing research and new practical cyber security problem that needs addressing.
  • Develop and write an original academic report presenting persuasive argument which relies on trustworthy evidence.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £10,200 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2022/23 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £24,950 £1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Career prospects

Our graduates are well prepared for leadership roles in cyber security and for a career in industrial, commercial, or governmental organisations with particular responsibility for information and cyber security, including cyber security management and risk assessment, network security and operating system security, penetrating testing and forensic investigations.

Career destinations include: information security manager, cyber security risk manager, technical security roles in IT and computer forensics, identity management roles, secure systems developer, and industrial and university research.

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2022 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

MSc Cyber Security and Technology Funded Studentships and Bursaries

Fifteen funded studentships providing funding towards tuition fees and living costs are available to students who fulfil the eligibility criteria and these will be allocated on a competitive basis.

Next steps

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19, published by HESA in June 2021.