CYBER SECURITY

BSc (Hons) / FdSc

Accredited by University College Birmingham

This course is subject to validation and approval

Choose Award
Duration

3 years FT (4 years with placement)

UCAS Code

L410

Placement

48 weeks (optional)

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

Engineering, Computing and Sustainable Construction
Choose Award
Duration

2 years FT

UCAS Code

L411

Placement

Opportunities available

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

Engineering, Computing and Sustainable Construction
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Saturday 25 June 2022

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Gain a broad range of cyber security knowledge studying up-to-date, industry-relevant topics

£50,000 average salary in cyber security*

*ITJobswatch.co.uk

Cyber activities are an important part of our daily lives, but also represent one of the major threats to national and global security, with the rise of cyber attacks and new cyber crime tactics constantly hitting the headlines. Cyber experts can help protect against such attacks but, according to recent statistics, the sector is facing a significant shortfall in skilled professionals. By taking our Cyber Security degree course, you can become part of the solution and join a rapidly-growing sector gaining considerable interest.

Our course will enable you to develop key cyber security skills such as analysing and diagnosing problems and causes, systematic problem-solving and the ability to organise and classify large amounts of information and risks. You will also explore technical subject areas such as computer systems, networking, programming, cyber security, infrastructure and system security, software and platform security, secure operations and incident management.

Studying our degree in cyber security will give you access to our state-of-the-art IT and computer facilities, including our dedicated cyber security laboratory where you can apply your training in a controlled environment. You’ll also have the chance to gain real-world experience on a paid placement, providing ideal preparation for a wide variety of jobs ranging from cyber security analyst to secure software developer, network security administrator and more.

Our Cyber Security foundation degree course also includes a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ) Level 4 in Cyber Security (subject to approval). Find out more below.

Why should I choose this course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT (BSc only) – Put your cyber training into real-life practice on an optional paid 48-week placement, with no tuition fees during your placement year
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Study in our cutting-edge computer labs, including our purpose-built cyber security laboratory featuring industry-standard equipment
  • IN-DEPTH RESEARCH – Explore an area of the cyber security field in depth by completing a major final year research project
  • HIGHER TECHNICAL QUALIFICATION (FdA only) - Students on our Cyber Security FdA will receive a Level 4 HTQ on successful completion of the first year of the course (subject to approval)

Our facilities

Students on our cyber security university course will have access to computing rooms with course-specific software installed, while our new cyber security laboratory will enable students to learn and participate in cyber-related activities in a controlled environment. You will also have access to our Digital Creative Studio featuring industry-standard media equipment.

Course breakdown

Students on the FdSc have the option of progressing onto the final year upon completion of the foundation degree.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Year 3/4

Core Modules

Cyber-Security Fundamentals

This module will teach the principles of security in web and cloud-based systems and how these principles apply in a range of different applications. You will learn about cyber security frameworks, standards and best practices, and how to apply these within an organisation. The module also covers the core technical elements of web and cloud-based security systems and the current trends in cyber security, threats, their importance and why they are difficult to deal with.

Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

This module introduces object-oriented software development and covers the development of simple software systems. You will gain an understanding of the software development process and learn to design and implement applications in a popular object-oriented programming language. This module covers the basic principles of computer programming: the features of classes and objects are introduced including constructors, methods, and fields. Method implementation through assignment, selection control structures, iterative control structures and other statements are introduced. Collection objects are also covered as well as the use of modules and library classes as building blocks.

Computer Systems

This module aims to give you an understanding of the fundamentals of computer hardware and the principles of operation of computers and peripheral devices. In addition, the module aims to give an overview of the main families of microprocessors and their differences. Some digital electronics are also covered, with hands-on experience in the lab with hardware in order to better understand computer fundamentals.

Computer Networks

This module will provide an overview of the problems and issues that must be dealt with in constructing future ICT applications as well as the underlying network protocols needed to support them. The module sets out the conceptual basis for computer networks rather than a detailed study of systems and standards.

Systems Analysis and Design

This module covers the basic concepts of information systems and the basic techniques for systems analysis and design. You will learn how to apply secure modelling concepts, capture requirements, analyse requirements, build secured models using UML and design systems including human computer interaction.

Professional Issues in the Computing Sector

The purpose of this module is to bring together material in the key areas of professionalism and careers, finance, health and safety, environmental concerns, law and intellectual property, in the context of the cyber industry. You will apply relevant computing-related legislation and professional codes of conduct to day-to-day situations that arise in business, and evaluate risks associated with those situations. You will also explain your five-year career plan and know what steps need to be taken to achieve it.

Core Modules

Cyber Forensics and Ethical Hacking

This module will enable you to develop a deep understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of ethical hacking and cyber forensics. It prepares you to use various forensic investigation approaches and tools necessary to start a computer forensics investigation. It also aims at increasing the knowledge and understanding of ethical hacking and allows you to get familiar with industry-standard hacking tools, as well as learning how to apply these in an ethical manner to determine system vulnerabilities.

Securing Networks

The main aim of this module is to provide you with in-depth coverage of the network security fundamental concepts, network threats and attacks, network defence perimeter and defence in depth. The module will cover several topics related to data and network security, namely cryptography (including private and public-key cryptography), cryptographic protocols, IP and network security protocols, email and web security, viruses and the configuration of firewalls, switches and routers. The concepts introduced in lectures are reinforced with the help of extensive hands-on laboratory workshops and allow you to explore the wider impact of security via a consideration of related legal, ethical and social issues.

Operating Systems and Virtualisation Security

This module aims to explore security mechanisms for operating system functions, virtualisation technologies and associated security mechanisms. It will also guide you through theory and practical exercises, techniques of resource management including memory management, scheduling, synchronisation, inter-process communication, file systems and hardware I/O. This module also covers virtual machines (VM) and their threats and how VMs can improve security.

Databases

This module will provide you with the underlying principles and practical experience of the design and implementation of scalable, secure databases. You will carry out the analysis of a simple problem susceptible to solution using database technology, designing and implementing a database application to solve a specific problem. You will use the SQL language and database triggers. The module also covers relational database management system features such as transaction management, locking and consistent backups and will investigate SQL optimisation issues.

Web Development

This module will provide you with the opportunity to improve your understanding of web development, and your judgement of the effectiveness of different development techniques, both in theory and in practice. You will cover important techniques and security issues in designing and building large scale web systems, as well as considering development methods and patterns which enhance maintainability and testability, such as web components, model-view-controller, object relation mapping and HTML template engines. The module will familiarise you with relevant web development frameworks such as ASP.NET, and compare this with alternatives such as Object-Oriented PHP, Enterprise Java, and server-side JavaScript.

Introduction to Research

This module will provide a deep and systematic understanding of the nature and conduct of computer science research. It will equip you with the ability to undertake independent research. You will also consider the legal, social, ethical and professional (LSEP) issues applicable to the computer industry.

Work Placement

Work Placement (optional – for BSc (Hons) students only)

You will gain valuable work experience on a 48-week work placement. This is an exciting opportunity to put what you have learned into practice, broaden your experience and demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.

Core Modules

Cyber Security Emerging Trends

This module introduces you to contemporary topics in cyber security and considers the latest and emerging trends, techniques and tools in the cyber security arena. This can include machine learning and its applications, blockchain technology and zero-trust network access (ZTNA) for cyber security. ZTNA has recently emerged as a more secure option for controlling remote access to sensitive data and reducing the likelihood of an attack. This module will emphasise how to protect organisations from cyber threats by adopting emerging trends.

Secure Programming

This module will cover secure programming of effective system analysis, design and implementation to ensure the developed program is safe from cyber attacks. You will be introduced to various techniques that can be applied for secure software development and to ensure the system is not exposed to cyber attacks. You will preferably use Object-Oriented programming languages and be exposed to advanced programming features which make a program efficient, effective and secure. You will develop advanced programming skills with a selected programming language.

Cyber Security Incident Management

This module will provide an opportunity for you to learn the cyber security incident management process which includes reporting, investigation, corrective action – incident response, assessment, and review. You will learn a mature approach to handling computer security incidents, once an incident has been identified, how systems should be set up to notify that a response is required and then a process of containment, eradication, recovery and education should be followed.

Artificial Intelligence

The module will introduce the field of artificial intelligence and study the principal ideas and techniques in key topic areas including problem solving, knowledge representation and machine learning. The module will cover problem solving (problem representation, uninformed and informed search), knowledge representation (logic-based languages, e.g. description logic, and ontologies and the semantic web), and machine learning (symbolic learning, decision trees and Bayesian learning).

Final Year Project

This module will provide an opportunity for you to conduct research into an unfamiliar aspect of cyber security and enable you to develop and apply cyber skills to a substantial problem. You will synthesise what you have learned from other modules and be provided with an opportunity to work independently.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements 

Cyber Security BSc (Hons)

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of BCC-CCC.

T-levels: A T-level graded Pass with a core component of grade C.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of DMM-MMM. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 104-96 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 104-96 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

GCSEs: You should also have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics, or Functional Skills Level 2. 

Cyber Security FdSc

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CD-DD.

T-levels: A T-level graded Pass with a core component profile less than C.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PPP-PP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 56-32 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 56-32 UCAS Tariff points.

Non-tariff: Non-UCAS Tariff-based Level 3 qualifications are also considered for entry. Please complete our enquiry form here to check your eligibility.

GCSEs: You should also have a minimum grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics, or Functional Skills Level 2.

Work-based: We also give equal consideration to applicants who are currently in work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, you must have a minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, demonstrating management or supervisory duties. Your application must also include a reference from your line manager supporting your entry to higher education. For further details, please contact Admissions.

EU/international students

For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.

Teaching

Example of a typical teaching week (up to 14 contact hours):

  • Group teaching – 6 hours
  • Subject-related workshops – 6 hours
  • Tutorials – 2 hours

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time.

Assessment

Estimated breakdown of assessment for this course:

  • Coursework – 50%
  • Practical assessment/projects – 50%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student enrolling on a standard length Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half-year tuition fee is £4,625. There will be no change to this tuition fee for the forthcoming two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24).

View undergraduate fees

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2022/23, your fee for this academic year will be £13,500 per year.

If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year, or £250 for a half-year placement.

View international fees

Kick-Start Scheme

As a new student studying this course full-time, you will receive £300 per year through our Kick-Start Scheme (UK students only, eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You may also qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Find out more about the Kick-Start Scheme here.

UCBconnect - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, we have created a platform called UCBconnect, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation via text and email to complete your user registration and join UCBconnect. For more information, please visit ucb.ac.uk/ucbconnect.

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)

Approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), Higher Technical Qualifications are brand new qualifications designed to give you knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been identified by employers to meet the occupational standards for your chosen sector.

Unlike apprenticeships – which combine study with practical training on the job – HTQs are largely classroom-based, giving the opportunity for you to learn practical skills in an education setting, such as through workshops and simulated work environments.

Our Cyber Security foundation degree has been mapped to the criteria of the HTQ Level 4 in Cyber Security (subject to approval). This means on successful completion of the first year of your FdA course, you will also be awarded an HTQ without needing to complete any additional work or assessments, and you will be ready to progress within your chosen occupation or sector.

For further details about HTQs, please visit the GOV.UK website.

Percentage
70%

of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them


Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our BSc Cyber Security course features the option of a paid 48-week work placement, during which you will not incur any tuition fees.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, please be aware that opportunities to travel abroad for placements, project work or residential trips may be affected by government travel restrictions. Please visit our updates and FAQs page for information.

Now is the perfect time to start pursuing a career in cyber security. According to recent reports, the UK sector is estimated to be facing a shortfall of around 10,000 workers a year in the coming years. Our course covers a range of key skills and study topics that will put you in prime position for many different jobs and enable you to make an impact on this hugely important industry.

Fahmida Abedin Senior lecturer

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Cyber security analyst

Average Salary: £35,000

Cyber security consultant

Average Salary: £45,000

Cyber security engineer

Average Salary: £45,000

Systems analyst

Average salary: £30,000 – £40,000

Network security administrator

Average Salary: £38,500

Penetration tester

Average Salary: £40,000

hired@UCB

We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

 

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Ed’s Story

With substantial knowledge and experience in computing and software development, Ed explains the benefits of studying our cyber security degree.

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