Cyber Security - MSc

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£6,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

On our highly regarded MSc Cyber Security, you will work with internationally renowned experts from our Centre for Cyber Security.

What's covered in the course?

This course provides a broad foundation for Cyber Security concepts while delivering advanced knowledge and skills in key technical areas. Designed to meet the growing demand from global business and industry for robust cyber security systems, this course underpins the principles and practical professional skills you’ll need to meet the future challenges faced by organisations, particularly when it comes to strategic security planning.

This course provides future Cyber Security professionals with the knowledge and skills needed by the employers. Our strong links with industry enable us to teach the most demanding topics.  You will develop state of the art technical knowledge, intellectual know-how, management capabilities and hands-on practical skills to succeed in meeting the Cyber Security challenges faced by modern organisations.

Our academic staff members are actively engaged with government and industry to help solve their complex problems. These strong links provide you with plenty of professional opportunities that will help you to acquire valuable exposure to the real life challenges of Cyber Security.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our Centre for Cyber Security is at the forefront of advancing information security.
  • We provide research-led, practice-driven teaching underpinned by our research projects and strong industrial links.
  • Our teaching staff have rich professional experience and are engaged with government and industry, helping to solve complex problems.
  • You will have access to state-of-the-art, industry-standard equipment and laboratories with forensic software, network security software for penetration testing, and Cloud software.
  • We are home to a Cisco Systems, Oracle academy, and the Microsoft Academy Centre. We are one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies and we are a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We are also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC) – one of only 10 such instructor training centres in the UK.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Saturday 4 April 2017, between 12 and 3pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

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Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

We would normally expect you to hold at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in Computing, Engineering or Information Management.

Applicants without standard entry qualifications but with extensive industrial experience could be considered if they provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course.

International students
Essential

International applicants are required to have IELTS overall band of 6.0 or equivalent.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2017 FT 12 months £6,900 per year
PT 24 months £3,450 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2017 FT 12 months £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Course duration

Please note, there are no classes over the summer months (June to August) for postgraduate courses, so the total time spent in University for this course is:

  • September start (full-time) 12 months
  • September start (part-time) 20 months

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Module

Research Methods and Project Management
20 credits

This module will prepare you for the research project you will undertake towards the end of your Master’s course. It will also equip you with knowledge and transferable skills that will help you in your subsequent career. You will explore the research literature in your discipline, research methodology and research ethics, as well as project management tools, methods and techniques. A case study approach to learning and teaching will be utilised throughout the module and assessment, using live case studies where possible, supported by recent research and industry practice.

Digital Forensics
20 credits

This module will provide you with an understanding of forensic principles; modern techniques and support tools for analysing cyber security incidents; and current best practices for handling digital evidence in a forensically sound manner. In addition to handling incident response, you will also study judicial issues, relevant national and international laws and a range of scenarios based on professional case studies illustrating issues with the admissibility of digital evidence in court. You will gain hands-on skills to develop and deploy effective controls for monitoring, detecting and responding to information security incidents within the scope of criminal, civil and enterprise investigations.

Industrial Control Systems Security
20 credits

This module will provide you with guidance on how to secure Industrial Control Systems (ICS), including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, Distributed Control Systems (DCS), and other control system configurations such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). You will explore the unique performance, reliability, and safety requirements of these systems. You will gain an overview of ICS and typical system topologies, identify typical threats and vulnerabilities to these systems, and discover recommended security countermeasures to mitigate the associated risks.

Information Security Management
20 credits

This module will provide you with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the concepts, methods, processes, tools and practices underlying good information security management. The module emphasises the use of the concept of risk, and its associated body of knowledge, to interpret security threats in an organisation’s context and to communicate the impact of these threats to a variety of technical and managerial stakeholders. You will develop the analytical skills to identify security gaps and evaluate business risks using appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, and recommend cost-effective mitigations comprising careful combinations of technical, procedural and administrative controls.

Advanced Ethical Hacking
20 credits

This module will provide you with an understanding of security auditing and testing of computer networks and systems. You will work in our purpose-built network security labs, using different tools to apply ethical hacking techniques and gain a clear understanding of cyber security breaches. You will also gain an understanding of how to develop appropriate countermeasures for cyber-attacks at policy level and apply security policy enforcement rules to protect corporate assets in an organisational context.

Software Security and Cloud Security
20 credits

Cloud is now becoming commonplace for software deployment. This module will provide you with an insight into secure software development practices, such as threat modelling, automated code review and fuzz testing. You will develop an understanding of coding bugs and design flaws that make software vulnerable to attack. You will learn about vulnerability management to address software defects discovered after their deployment. You will also explore the integration of emerging protocols, such as OpenID Connect over OAuth 2.0, into the software development lifecycle so as to meet the security requirements of Cloud infrastructures.

Individual Master’s Project
60 credits

You will undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project, exploring an area of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide on your topic, which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. Your topic must be aligned to the programme you are studying and informed by the research strategy of your school. You should also consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development. You are expected to work independently but will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area.

 

The MSc is normally studied over one year full-time or two years part-time.

The course is divided into taught modules of 20 credits and a Master’s project of 60 credits.  Students complete 60 credits for Postgraduate Certificate, 120 credits for Postgraduate Diploma and 180 credits for the full MSc.  Each credit represents 10 notional hours of student learning and assessment.

A range of assessment methods are employed, assessment criteria being published in each assignment brief.  Knowledge and skills are assessed, formatively and summatively, by a number of methods: coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed-book), presentations, practical assignments, vivas, online forums, podcasts and project work.

Further Study

The University has a range of research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate degrees. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

Trips and visits

We have extensive industrial links and expect that students will have the opportunity to visit banks and data centres to complement their academic learning.

IISP logo

We are an academic partner of the Institute of Information Security Professionals.

Enhancing your employability skills

This course is designed to ensure that you are a very sought-after graduate with the necessary first-hand, practical expertise of cyber security issues as well as a rigorous academic understanding of the sector.

Globally there is a shortage of experts who can work in cyber security at this very high level, so you will focus on the important technical material you will need for effective decision-making in a highly demanding career.

You will be equipped for a range of careers requiring advanced skills, such as:

  • security architect
  • security analyst
  • security administrator
  • security manager
  • incident response manager
  • risk and compliance analyst. 

You will have the opportunity to get support for obtaining industry recognised Professional Certifications.

Professional certification

There is considerable activity under way to help recognise the professional capability of both individual specialists and training, and continuing education provision on offer to such cyber security specialists.

For instance, new IT Certification and Career Paths are arising such as the Cisco Cyber Security Specialist certification called 'The Securing Cisco Networks with Threat Detection and Analysis (SCYBER)'.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Employment Opportunities

Several reports, such as Cisco's 2014 Annual Security Report, claim that there is a severe shortage of more than a million security professionals globally.

Our courses emphasises the important technical material that must be understood in order to make effective cyber security decision-making.

The Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP) has identified eight main categories of jobs:

  • Incident and threat managers and forensic experts
  • Risk analysts and managers
  • Policy makers and strategists
  • Operations and security management
  • Engineering, architecture and design
  • Education, training and awareness
  • Research
  • Lawyers specialising in advice and prosecution for internet crime and data protection.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities
Syed Naqvi

Dr Syed Naqvi

Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security and Forensics; Course Director, MSc Cyber Security

As Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security and Forensics, Syed has vast experience in his field. Previously he worked in the Forensic Technology Solutions (FTS) arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Enterprise Advisory, as well as holding a Visiting Scientist position at University of Washington in Seattle.

Ron Austin

Associate Professor

Senior lecturer Ron Austin is the Associate Professor of the MSc Data Networks and Security course and teaches all network-related courses.

His expertise and areas of interest include: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), security technologies, and forensic and ethical hacking.

Prior to joining Birmingham City University, Ron spent 17 years in network management systems for companies including Telewest and Cable & Wireless. 

Dr Cain Evans

Senior Lecturer Computer Science, Programme Leader MSc Advanced Computer Science

Dr Evans is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science. He has been working in higher education since 1999 and at Birmingham City University since 2001. He has published articles on E-business, mobile computing and smart-care-space and been published in journals, conferences and edited books.  More recently, he has been focusing on Open Big Data and Smart City.

Dr Esther Palomar

Reader in Computing

Esther Palomar is a Reader of Computing at the University’s School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Joining Birmingham City University in 2013, Esther is currently researching in the fields of information assurance and security, as well as privacy issues, on a variety of technologies, including mobile networks, smart grids and the Internet of Things.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295