BSc (Hons) / FdSc

Accredited by University College Birmingham

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3 years FT (4 years with placement)




48 weeks (optional)




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Department of Digital
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2 years FT




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Department of Digital
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Saturday 29 June 2024

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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*


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 cyber threats 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 course also includes an additional Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ) Level 4 in Cyber Security. Find out more below.

Why should I choose this course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT (BSc only) – Put your cyber security 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 cyber security laboratory purpose-built for our cyber security course
  • IN-DEPTH RESEARCH – Explore an area of the cyber security field in depth by completing a major final year research project
  • HIGHER TECHNICAL QUALIFICATION - Students on our Cyber Security university course will receive a Level 4 HTQ on successful completion of the first year of study
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023)

Our facilities

Students on our computer science and cyber security university courses 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

Core modules

Cyber Security Fundamentals

This module covers the basic cyber security essentials and the challenges faced by industry in the Cyber Security field. This module develops the understanding of cyber risks and their impact on commercial operations. It investigates the threats and their countermeasures, the strategies employed and the role of the security officer. Legal obligations and international data processing regulations and an introduction to digital forensics.

Introduction to Computer Systems

This module develops the understanding of the architectural and logical structure of computers and gain an understanding of why operating systems and computer systems remain vulnerable to attack and how they can be strengthened. The computer industry is synonymous with change, both the impact of computing on society and the economy, and in the rate of change in the technology itself. A strong understanding of the technical and logical platform will help to understand the rate and direction of change in this sector and the opportunities that this might reveal. The vulnerability of computer systems to information security threats is also explored.

Introduction to Professional Issues in Cyber Security

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 within computing sector. You will apply relevant cyber-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.

Principles of 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 secure 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 is introduced. Collection objects are also covered as well as the use of modules and library classes as building blocks.

Networks and Communication

This module covers the demands of secure network design and deployment in the real world. It covers the considerations and issues in the evolution of a commercial network over time, the integration of legacy systems and network demands, as well as analysing the latest thinking in Computer networking, looking at Software Defined Networking, hybrid networks and private cloud.

Secure Systems Analysis and Design

This module covers the basic concepts of software systems and the basic techniques for systems analysis and design. You will learn how to apply modelling concepts, capture requirements, analyse requirements, build models using UML and design systems including human computer interaction highlighting security issues. This module will focus on design principles that can be used to improve the security level of the systems under development.

Core modules

Cyber Forensics

This module will enable you to develop a deep understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of cyber forensics. It prepares you to use various forensic investigation approaches and tools necessary to start a cyber forensics investigation. It introduces methodologies that guide the digital investigative process (i.e., collection, interpretation, analysis and reporting), and key techniques that can be applied for interpretation and analysis of digital evidence in the context of cyber forensics.

Database Technology

This module will teach you the underlying principles and provide you with practical experience to design and implement scalable, secure databases. You will carry out the analysis, design and implementation of 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.

Dynamic 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 issues in designing and building large scale web systems, as well as considering development methods and patterns which enhance security, maintainability, and testability. The module will familiarise you with relevant web development client side and server-side scripting languages.

Ethical Hacking

This module is designed to develop understanding, knowledge and skills associated with the various malicious hacking attacks targeting computer systems and the appropriate safeguards needed to minimise such attacks. It also aims at increasing the knowledge and understanding of ethical hacking and also allow you to get familiar with industry-standard hacking tools and learn how to apply these in an ethical manner to determine system vulnerabilities.

Research Methods for Cyber Security

This module will provide a deep and systematic understanding of the nature and conduct of cyber security 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 cyber industry.

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, 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.

Optional Placement module

Work Placement

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

Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

The module blends the domains of cyber security and artificial intelligence (AI). This covers the fundamentals of AI for Security and how AI can solve problems in the cyber security space. This cyber security module presents and demonstrates AI approaches including problem solving, knowledge representation and machine learning that can be adapted to detect potential attacks and protect your systems.

Cyber Security and Emerging Trends

This module introduces students to contemporary topics in cyber security and considers the latest and emerging trends, techniques, and tools in the cyber security arena. This can include cloud computing, virtualisation, 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 emphasis on how to protect organisations from cyber threats by adopting emerging trends.

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 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.

Cyber Security Individual 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 Security skills to a substantial problem. You will synthesise what you have learned from other modules and be provided with an opportunity to work independently.

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. Students 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.

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 CCC.

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

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of 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 96 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 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 DD.

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

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PPP. 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 48 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 48 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.

International students

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

Please note: As an International Student, when choosing optional placement, a visa extension may be required.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

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


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.


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 (2023/24 and 2024/25).

View undergraduate fees

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be £13,500 per year. The course fee for academic year 2024/2025 is £14,000 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.

Unibuddy Community - 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, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, 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 email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.

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 degree has been mapped to the criteria of the HTQ Level 4 in Cyber Security. This means on successful completion of all first year modules on your BSc/FdSc programme, you will also be awarded an additional HTQ without needing to complete any extra 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.


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 team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our BSc Cyber Security course features the option of a paid 48-week placement to build your real-life work experience. You will not incur any tuition fees during the placement.

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


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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