Cyber Security with Foundation - BSc (Hons)
Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.
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.
STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking
Our brand new £70 million pound building, STEAMhouse, will become the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year.
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.
This course is accredited by:
"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?
- Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This state-of-the-art building will become the new home for its School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects
- 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
Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.
Next Open Day: March 2023
These entry requirements apply for entry in 2023/24.
All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.
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|
|GCSE||GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.|
|Scottish National 5||English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications|
|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
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)
|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
Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2023
- Full Time
- 4 years
- £9,250 in 2023/24
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2023
- Full Time
- 4 years
- £13,980 in 2023/24
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.
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
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
Within the Computer Systems Module, you will gain knowledge and experience of computers and computer hardware.
This module presents a holistic view of how computer systems work and it also provides the underpinning knowledge required:
- for the design of computer architecture
- to show how software interacts with hardware
- to apply electronics principles
- to use number systems for computer technology
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 builds on your foundational programming knowledge and skills developed during the Level 4 Computer Programming module to extend and focus these towards the area of network engineering. It provides an essential skillset for network engineers to manage and develop networks/networking applications. This aids the management of complex networks by allowing the automation of regular tasks and the potential reduction of human error when configuring multiple devices.
Professional Placement Year (Optional)
In order to qualify for the award of Bachelor of Science with Honours Cyber Security with Foundation Year and Professional Placement Year, a student must successfully complete all of the modules listed as well as the following Level 5 module:
This module is designed to provide you with the opportunity to undertake a credit bearing, 40- week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Undergraduate Degree.
The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.
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.
Download course specificationDownload now
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”.
Athena Swan Bronze Award
We have successfully secured the Athena SWAN Departmental Bronze Award recognising a commitment to gender equality.
The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.
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.
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 & Staff
As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.
We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.
Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.
Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
Senior lecturer Ron Austin is the Associate Professor of the MSc Advanced Computer Networks 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...More about Ron