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Cybersecurity (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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Open day

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

Why study this course

Addresses the key security issues that are faced by global communications and information systems and develop your practical skills through exposure to real-world problems and datasets.

Developed in conjunction with industry and aligned with GCHQ recommendations, our cybersecurity course teaches you the very latest security principles, practices, tools and techniques. Led by a team of specialist staff in our newly updated computer laboratories, our MSc in Cybersecurity will prepare you for one of the most in-demand roles of our time or a related research career.

As well as studying areas such as secure application development, risk management, malware analysis and digital forensics, you will gain an understanding of the business continuity and transformation aspects that are crucial to cyber resilience in an ever-evolving threat landscape. Using case-based analysis, you will have the opportunity to learn about security operations and forensic approaches to investigation across multiple platforms.

After graduation, you will be well placed to progress into a variety of roles in digital security and data science or a related research career.

This one-year degree falls under the umbrella of the Data Science Academy (DSA), run by the School of Computer Science and Informatics, in partnership with the School of Mathematics. You will benefit from the shared knowledge and skills of both Schools. However, your degree will still be run by the School of Computer Science & Informatics. 

Distinctive features

  • This course incorporates project-based learning using real-world datasets and problems.
  • Enjoy access to our dedicated Cybersecurity and Forensics Laboratory where you can explore the security challenges facing today’s professionals through experiments with genuine attacks in real-world scenarios.
  • Gain valuable work experience on professional work placements and projects with leading industrial security practitioners.
  • Some of your modules will be taught in our newly-renovated Turing Suite.
  • You will be provided with a laptop during induction week that will remain with you throughout the duration of the course.

Accreditations

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.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4812
  • Marker5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA

Admissions criteria

We welcome applications from computer literate graduates who have a good honours degree, or equivalent professional qualification in a subject such as Computer Science or a related subject.

Applicants will possess a 2:2 honours degree in computer science, computing or a cognate subject.

If your first language is not English you must provide evidence of competence in English. Our standard requirement is an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no area less than 5.5.  The University offers English language courses that can help you achieve this.

Please feel free to supplement your application with a detailed CV or any other supporting material you may consider to be appropriate.

Programmes start in September each year but applications are considered as they arrive throughout the year. You apply directly to the University online for a postgraduate taught course.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 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. All taught modules are worth 20 credits.

The Master’s stage of your degree will be an individual 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. It is also available as a part-time course taken over three years.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

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 in Year One.

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 a series of either full or half-day contact sessions, which include lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and laboratory classes. We regularly invite guest lecturers from industry and we pride ourselves on our hands-on experiences of practical cybersecurity

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 either by coursework, examination, or a combination of both.

Feedback:

Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, by provision of ‘model’ answers and/or through discussion in contact sessions.

How will I be supported?

We pride ourselves on providing 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.

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:

Knowledge & Understanding:

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

  1. Knowledge of risk assessment, secure application development, network security, malware analysis, vulnerability assessment, cybersecurity operations, digital forensics and business continuity
  2. Understanding of carrying out risk assessments and developing security policies – including technical security configurations, human factors affecting security policy, forensic responses and security monitoring
  3. Understanding of the cybersecurity landscape and professional roles within cybersecurity 

Intellectual Skills:

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

  1. Critical assessment of an unseen environment for security vulnerabilities, evaluate the security landscape and select appropriate solutions and methods to present the case for a suitable cybersecurity solution.
  2. Initiative and personal responsibility in decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations. 
  3. Analytical and systematic  methods for dealing with complex issues; sound judgement making in the absence of complete data. 

Professional Practical Skills:

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

  1. Hands-on experience of applying security methods (e.g. risk assessment standards) and the fundamental concepts behind security tools (e.g. forensic toolkits and security operations centres)

Transferable/Key Skills:

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

  1. The ability to communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and practical means to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. 
  2. Effective working in a team and as an individual. 
  3. The ability to apply logical and analytic thinking to problems. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2021/22)

Tuition feeDeposit
££

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

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.

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. The Welsh Government has not yet confirmed fees and funding for EU students starting in 2021/22. We will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2021/22)

Tuition feeDeposit
££

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

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

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

A relatively recent laptop will be beneficial.

Career prospects

Graduates are well prepared for a career in industrial, commercial, or governmental organisations with particular responsibility for information, network and process security.

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

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarship

This award worth £3000 is open to UK and EU students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps

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