This MSc Cyber Security 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.
At the forefront of advancing information security - Our Centre for Cyber Security is at the forefront of advancing information security.
Research-led, practice-driven teaching - Our teaching is underpinned by our versatile research projects and strong industry links.
Experienced academic staff - Our teaching staff have rich professional experience and are engaged with government and industry, helping to solve complex problems.
State-of-the-art equipment and laboratories - Our industry-standard facilities enable access to forensic software, network security software for penetration testing, and Cloud software.
Home to Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft Academies - 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 one of only 10 Cisco Instructor Training Centres (ITC) in the UK.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
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 applicants are required to have IELTS overall band of 6.0 or equivalent.
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
Starting: Sep 2020
Starting: Sep 2020
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Please note, there are no taught classes over the summer months (June to August) for postgraduate courses, so the total time spent in University for this course is:
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:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 £10,906 for some courses and options?
Information Security Management
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.
Industrial Control Systems Security
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 Embedded-devices especially those used in Critical Systems. The module addresses their unique performance, reliability and safety requirements. The module provides an overview of OT and typical system topologies, identifies typical threats and vulnerabilities to these systems, and provides recommended security countermeasures to mitigate the associated risks, along with codes of practice and standards used in different industries such as Manufacturing, Power, Automotive or Medical.
Digital forensic investigation techniques are an essential part of the body of knowledge of every cyber security specialist. They facilitate informed timely management of cyber security breaches. Their understanding is important to develop and deploy effective controls for monitoring, detecting and responding to information security incidents within the scope of criminal, civil and enterprise investigations.
Software Security and Cloud Security
Coding bugs and design flaws make software (such as web applications and services) vulnerable to attack. Vulnerability management addresses software defects discovered after deployment. To avoid the introduction of vulnerabilities in the first place, however, requires the adoption of secure software development practices, such as threat modelling, automated code review and fuzz testing.
Advanced Ethical Hacking
The module provides you with an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of Advanced 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.
Research Methods and Project Management
This module prepares you for the research project that you will undertake towards the end of your master’s course. It equips you with knowledge and transferable skills that will also help you in your subsequent career, for example, when you are asked to write a report or to carry out an IT project. You will become familiar with the research literature in your discipline, research methodology and research ethics, as well as project management tools, methods and techniques.
Individual Master’s Project
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Level 7 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 informed by the research strategy of your school, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
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.
The University has a range of research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate degrees. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.
We have extensive industrial links and expect that students will have the opportunity to visit banks and data centres to complement their academic learning.
We are an academic partner of the Institute of Information Security Professionals.
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:
You will have the opportunity to get support for obtaining industry recognised Professional Certifications.
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: 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.
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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.