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Cybersecurity (MSc) Part-time

This degree addresses the key security issues that are faced by global communications and information systems and develops your practical skills by exposing you to real-world problems and datasets.

Our MSc Cybersecurity addresses the key security issues that are faced by global communications and information systems.

The programme, which has been shaped with input from large and small corporations via our industry advisory board, provides a mix of business context with core security, trust and privacy issues that challenge the IT sector. The learning outcomes in the programme are designed to align with the recommendations of GCHQ for a Masters level cybersecurity curriculum. The course builds on previous skills in computer science, to strengthen understanding of this emerging area.

As well as studying themes such as secure application development, network security, malware analysis, security operations and digital forensics, you will gain an understanding of the risk management and business continuity aspects that are crucial to cyber resilience in an ever-evolving threat landscape. This combined business/security approach provides valuable training for interacting with organisations, and understanding their business functions in a deeper context.

Using case-based analysis, you will have the opportunity to learn about security operations and forensic approaches to investigation across multiple platforms.

Distinctive features

  • Researcher-led modules integrate the latest research ideas with current best practice.
  • The programme is guided and supported by security practitioners from industry, ensuring high relevance and employability.
  • Students will have access to our Cybersecurity and Forensics Laboratory. In this dedicated network, they can explore the security challenges facing today’s professionals through experiments with real attacks in realistic real-world scenarios.
  • Professionally accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
  • Placement opportunities with world-leading industrial security practitioners.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
Other ways to study this course
Accreditations"BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT"

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

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 your third year under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

This is a part-time course undertaken over three academic years. It is also available as a full-time course taken over one year.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

As a part-time student, you will complete three 20-credit modules in Year One. 

Year two

As a part-time student, you will complete three 20-credit modules in Year Two. 

Year three

As a part-time student, you will complete your 60-credit dissertation project in Year Three. 

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationCMT40060 credits
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.

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 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.

How will I be assessed?

Modules will be assessed either by coursework, examination, or a combination of both.


Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, 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:

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 how to conduct risk assessments and develop 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. The ability to assess an unseen environment, 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. Systematic and creative 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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

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. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

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

A relatively recent laptop will be beneficial.

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.