Cyber Security with Foundation - BSc (Hons)
Want to study a Cyber Security degree? Cyber Security with a Foundation Year ensures you will develop a range of academic and technical skills relevant to cyber security. The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four)....
Want to study a Cyber Security degree? Cyber Security with a Foundation Year ensures you will develop a range of academic and technical skills relevant to cyber security.
The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate..
The BSc Cyber Security course is designed to equip you with state-of-the-art technical knowledge, intellectual know-how, management capabilities and practical skills that will enable you to succeed in meeting the cyber security challenges facing modern organisations. In the 21st century, data has become a necessary commodity, which has value in isolation and more so when viewed as a larger data set for trends and habits. Data is key to the functioning of modern business and the protection of this data is key to the ongoing success of the digital economy.
As systems, such as IoT, both generate and consume data grow in capability and complexity, the need to protect the data created, stored and transited across public and private networks intensifies. Due to this, the need for suitably qualified cyber security practitioners has never been greater. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed by the employers. Our strong links with industry enable us to teach the most demanding and up-to-date topics. You will learn 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.
This course is supported by a vibrant research environment within the centres for Cyber Security and Cloud Computing at BCU and by traditionally strong industrial links with CISCO, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, UK Fast, Linux Professional Institute and BT.
What's covered in this course?
Secure information technologies form the bedrock of our modern connected mobile society. Our BSc Cyber Security course will equip you to enter this growing and important industry. The course takes a practice-led approach, making use of equipment and tools found in the industry to give you the best preparation for a successful career.
Our approach prioritises the practical skills sought by industry, backing this up with a thorough understanding of theory. The course delivers the latest in computing, network and security technologies, with the opportunity to gain additional accreditation from Cisco, Juniper, Huawei and the Linux Professional Institute. The course delivers a well-rounded curriculum in the security of the communication networks; the security of computer processing and storage equipment and the software that runs on it, both private and public, and both local and cloud based; the security and accuracy of information and information systems; and the forensic analysis of threats and attacks, as well as management-level skills such as project and change management, maximising your career potential.
Studying computing with us puts you at the heart of an exciting, innovative community. Upon graduation you could progress into a career as a cyber-security engineer, network administrator, and cyber security analyst or network security architect.
"I always recommend Birmingham City University to students wishing to go to the UK for studies and six of them so far have listened to my advice!”
Muhammad Sagir Usman
Why Choose Us?
- Home to Cisco Systems and Microsoft Academy Centre - We are one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academics and we are a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. This means we are able to use various Microsoft software products and online resources for research.
- Industry connections - We are also a Cisco ASC and one of only ten Cisco Instructor Training Centre’s in the UK.
- State-of-the-art facilities - You will be based at Millennium Point, within our City Centre Campus that has recently received £6.5 million investment in IT facilities and software, allowing you to work with industry-standard software development and simulation tools.
- Gain professional qualifications - From vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft and Linux Professional Institute. You will also have an opportunity to undertake an industry placement.
- Work on real life projects - Join our Curzon Software House and take part in industry projects to build up skills for your CV.
Where our students go
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
- Arrow ECS
- Clearswift Ltd
- Gloucester Royal Hospital
And in jobs such as:
- Cloud Support Engineer
- Technical Support Engineer
- IT Support
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish Intermediate 2||
|Scottish Credit Standard Grade||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
International Baccalaureate Diploma
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 4 years
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 4 years
- Register interest
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.
Microsoft Certifications (optional)
The exams required to gain Microsoft Office (MOS), Microsoft Technical Certification (MTC) and Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) certifications are currently free for our students. We also provide free self-paced resources and access to practice exams via dedicated Moodle pages. Find out more about the exams available, and the objectives covered.
Certification training (optional)
Training is provided by the University to prepare you for the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) and CISCO Certifications without any extra costs. For certification costs, please see information below.
Project materials (mandatory)
This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.
Placement expenses (optional)
If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.
Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Certification (optional)
Students wishing to gain certification will need to purchase an exam voucher in order to sit the exam required for certification. The cost of a voucher for students at the University is normally around £50 (around 50% of the normal price). The exam is sat on campus.
CISCO Certification (optional)
If you wish to take the exam required for CISCO certification, you will need to pay to take the exam(s) required. Currently, students who achieve over 70% in the Cisco CCNA 3, or CCNA Security finals (depending upon which degree you study) will receive a 50% discount from Cisco for the cost of the exams. The CCNA Routing and Switching exam currently costs $325-$330. The CCNA Security is currently around $465.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Guidance for UK students
UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
Applying through UCAS
Register with UCAS
Login to UCAS
Complete your details
Select your course
Write a personal statement
Get a reference
Pay your application fee
Send UCAS your application
Course in Depth
The Foundation Mathematics module provides the basic knowledge and mathematical skills which will equip the students to continue their studies to an undergraduate programme. The module will be focused on mathematics related to the field of computing.
The interactive taught sessions will use fundamental mathematical in discussions to broaden understanding of the theory and practice introduced in the module. Additional support materials will be made available on the module Moodle website.
Academic and personal study skills are essential elements which should be applied in order to be successful in Higher Education. This module aims to help you in developing basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills. These skills are inevitably important and will support your transition to the higher education levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.
This module will provide you with an introduction to digital media technology and will allow you to explore technology-driven change in the media industry.
This module will introduce the fundamentals of audio / video capture and editing allowing you to explore workflow practices. You will document your development process, including aspects such as storyboarding and risk assessments and will create an artefact that relates to technology in your chosen degree or industry.
This module provides the skills necessary to design a web based application around a clear understanding of the business information requirements, a structured design of an interface and the development skills necessary to implement a solution.
This module focuses on varied technologies relating to the design and development of application to meet the information needs of a business. The module will analyse and design an application that meets current web standards.
During the journey within higher education, developing your independent study is an essential skill to support shaping the knowledge to become more useful and applied within practice. This module aims to provide you with necessary skills and tips that should support you to work independently within your discipline and to successfully apply project management tools and techniques to a mini project related to your subject discipline.
Foundations of programming aims to provide you with the fundamental principles and practice-based activities needed to begin developing software programs. The module details the anatomy of a structured software program that includes the creation of a program algorithm, a logical, simple and organised program flow and the generation of pseudo and programming code.
The module uses a combination of theory and practice-based sessions designed to engage students in group and individual activities to identify the components of a software program and to apply their knowledge into hands-on software programming activities. During the module sessions you will acquire the basic skills to design and create software programs.
Computer Systems 20 credits
This module provides an introduction to the core principles of a typical computer forensic investigation. It aims to develop a firm grounding in the underpinning knowledge and skills required to analyse and evaluate data from a computer and related data storage devices in a forensically sound manner.
This module emphasises a “hands-on” approach to learning forensic computing techniques using opensource and commercial forensic tools. The module will teach you the fundamental data structures applicable to computer forensics and how various tools can be exploited to analyse these structures in a variety of case types.
In this module, you learn how modern operating systems are the glue that bind computer hardware and networks together and how they manage the user experience for individual computers and wider networks. We will focus on the function and purpose of operating systems, with a focus on hands-on practical skills.
We will build on learning from your networking, programming and computer systems modules, enhancing and extending skills in all these areas. You will make heavy use of Open Source Software, demonstrating what can be achieved with this huge publicly shareable resource on a very limited budget.
Within the module of Computer Programming you will learn the key skills of Programming and how this relates to technology and communications. Programming is an engineering tool that plays a vital role to drive most of the modern technologies surrounding us, including the technological devices for communication, transportation and entertainment.
In other words, it can be said that our modern lifestyles are heavily dependent on programming. Moreover, businesses increasingly rely on computers and the software run on them. Programming skills and a broader and deeper understanding of programming are therefore becoming increasingly important to the jobs market.
The module gives you the opportunity to learn mathematical concepts and methods and critically reflect on how they relate to computing and communication systems. You will develop core mathematical and statistical skills which are fundamental in computing and technical work in general. You will be expected to solve mathematical and statistical problems on paper and on a computer
The module provides the opportunity to learn and critically reflect the skills required in building and designing basic networks and their requirements within a network infrastructure. This module builds on the underpinning knowledge and theory of networking systems.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
Software is ubiquitous. Not only is it deployed on traditional computing platforms (such as workstations and servers) but it is also embedded in network equipment (such as routers and firewalls) and consumer devices (such as hearing aids and smartphones). This module introduces you to a system programming language and the edit-compile-link-execute process. It continues the software theme that you began at Level 4 when you studied Computer Programming and Applied Operating Systems
The module has been designed to provide you with the necessary theoretical framework, foundations and practical support for understanding security solutions with reference to the application of cryptography, access control and a wider range of security attack categories and defensive approaches and systems.
This module develops comprehensive practical skills and theoretical knowledge for the forensic examination of personal computer systems using proprietary and open-source software tools. You will acquire the keys skills necessary in conducting and auditing a systematic forensic investigation of a computer system for user activity, operating system operation and configuration and connectivity.
The module provides you with an opportunity to build on the learning and to develop knowledge of cyber security and how it relates to information and network security. This module builds on Hardware and Security Fundamentals module and will allow you to protect a network system from issues of cyber-crime, based on security principles and the principles of how to defend networks from attack
In this module you will have the opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills required for Network Technologies. This module builds your knowledge and underpinning theory for the networking modules and you will review the requirements from a small to medium scale network deployment engineering context.
This module provides an introduction to the main features of the English legal system and the substantive law relating to IT. The module aims to give students an overview of the workings of the English legal system as a whole, and then move to a more detailed look at the specific area of IT law which is relevant to the Computer Forensics degree.
Understanding how the English legal system is structured and administered provides essential context for the study of IT law
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
The module provides you with an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of Ethical Hacking and information security within a global context. This module builds on the knowledge and underpinning theory from the networking modules and reviews the requirements for a secure network communication system.
The module provides you with an opportunity to build on the learning and to develop knowledge of Cybersecurity and how it relates to information and data communication security. This module builds upon Cyber Security Operations Module.
This module provides students with knowledge and practical skills essential for the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of evidence obtained from wired and wireless networked computers and storage systems. Emphasis is also placed on the evidence harboured by network hardware devices, such as routers and switches.
You will learn how to effectively retrieve valuable information from the Microsoft Windows Server operating systems and analyse the Active Directory for evidence pertaining to user policies, privileges and violations. You will also learn how to formulate and implement a strategy to acquire drive images as evidence files over networked computers.
One of the major objective of the computer science program is to introduce the theory, principles and technologies underlying the construction of modern computing systems. This module introduces, Cloud Computing which is the technology that enables on-demand computing resources (everything from applications to data centres) over the internet.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed group project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, your group will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material.
The main consideration when choosing your group’s topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development
Security measures for adequate protection of valuable information assets are essential not only to guard business success and reputation but also because it is an obligation to comply with legal requirements, appropriate standards and relevant domain regulations. This module provides students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the concepts, methods, processes, tools and practices underlying good information security management.
This module is designed to provide you with the essential knowledge and skills required to understand the concepts, tools and techniques for the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) and the use of big data and statistical and qualitative analysis, in conjunction with explanatory and predictive models, to guide and identify issues warranting further review in the context of forensic analysis.
This module provides guidance on how to secure Operational Technologies of which Industrial Control Systems (ICS) take a central position. It covers includes Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, Distributed Control Systems (DCS), Internet-of-Things, and otherwise Embeddeddevices especially those used in Critical Systems.
This module covers advanced topics in digital forensics. The module will begin with an introduction to the detection and analysis of obfuscated data and anti-forensic techniques; this will progress on to advanced steganographic and steganalytic techniques for media formats. Further topics covered include Root-Kit and Malware analysis using sophisticated specialist techniques that require access to intricate operating system features.
We think it’s important that you are assessed in a number of different ways during your Computer Networks and Security BSc (Hons) course. These will include including continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.
Our Erasmus scheme will allow you to undertake part of your studies abroad, allowing you to experience life and studying in another EU country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance a student’s CV and experience new cultures.
The course I am studying is part of a four-year joint programme of studies with Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NUST). The first two years were at NUST and the final two years are at Birmingham City University, providing me with a unique opportunity to gain a Bachelor’s degree.
The HOST UK scheme arranges visits for international students to British families’ homes. Birmingham City University will pay the cost for you to apply for a visit. It is a good way to experience British culture. I have really enjoyed it.
Apart from gaining a UK degree and expanding my knowledge, the Computer Networks and Security course has embedded in it the latest vendor-specific curriculum, which offers the opportunity to attain the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) professional qualification.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification
There’s no disputing Austin Moses’ determination to succeed. The tenacious student put himself through university by working full-time in an off-licence – and still found the energy to achieve a first class honours degree, a sought-after prize and a position with Cisco.
Although he has dyslexia, Austin clearly didn’t let it stand in his way. He is full of praise for the University’s support systems. “I received extra tuition and proof reading that not only helped me polish up the work I was handing in but also taught me ‘survival’ skills that I can use to not be so disadvantaged,” he says. He also has great respect for the teaching staff and enjoyed ”learning from people with a passion and experience in the field in which they are teaching”.
Enhancing your employability
Your studies here will equip you with the practical and academic skills that will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role.
Because we have strong links with companies such as SAS, Microsoft, Cisco and Capgemini, you have the chance to work with and understand the workings of real-life industry from early on in your degree studies.
You will have access to world-class facilities throughout your time here and these will help you to be a highly employable graduate.
The University has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.
You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.
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.
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:
Facilities and Staff
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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.
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.
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 systemsTo 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.
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.
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.More about Ron