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MSc Cyber Security

Course Overview

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 is a hands-on course, so you will learn by participating in scenario-based activities and undertaking detailed case studies. Visiting lecturers from industry will complement the course timetable, while you will also have the opportunity to benefit from the cutting-edge research that our large cohort of PhD students are undertaking in the field of cyber security.

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

Key information

    Course name

    MSc Cyber Security

    Total academic credits

    180 credits

    Qualification awarded


    Awarding body

    Birmingham City University

    Professional recognition


    Academic level

    Postgraduate (QCF_NQF Level 7)

    Study mode

    Full time – Classroom & Laboratory based



    Tuition fees




    Work placement


    Course location


Academic entry requirements

Candidates should hold at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline such as Digital Broadcast Technology, Broadcast Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering or Networking.

English entry requirements

Students for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.

Progression route

Further academic study at MPhil or PhD levels or professional career.

Career opportunities

This course is designed to ensure that you are a very sought-after graduate who has the necessary first-hand, practical expertise of cyber security issues as well as the 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 that 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 incident and threat manager, risk analyst, security architect, security administrator and security analyst.


Semester 1

  • Professional Skills and Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Information Security: Threats and Defences (15 credits)
  • Network Security (15 credits)
  • Digital Forensics (15 credits)


Semester 2

  • Cloud Security and Privacy (15 credits)
  • Information Risk Management (15 credits)
  • Security Assurance, Testing and Ethical Hacking (15 credits)
  • Engineering Secure Systems (15 credits)


Semester 3

  • Masters Project (60 credits)

The dissertation project undertaken by students over the summer is carried out individually, supervised by a member of academic staff from the Centre for Cyber Security. It may involve working with an external organisation. Students are also encouraged to work with academic staff to create projects of interest to them.


Assessment methods
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, project work.


What you will learn in this course

In this study of Cyber Security at Postgraduate level, you will:

  • be introduced to research methods, academic writing and project management that will help you to complete your Master's project. This module also covers professional skills, including consultancy, and IT ethics and standards
  • develop an in-depth understanding of the necessary theoretical framework, foundations and practical support required for creating security solutions and will examine data / information, processing and procedures, networks, communications and physical security
  • develop your critical capabilities, evaluating key infrastructure security defences such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, and you’ll gain hands-on experience in implementing practical network security functions. You’ll also develop an in-depth knowledge of the design, configuration and deployment for securing computer network systems
  • develop your technical investigative skills so that you can detect security breaches, gather information from compromised systems and carrying out digital forensic investigations. You’ll learn how to seize digital evidence in accordance with legal guidelines, while minimising disruptions to your organisation and maintaining the legal admissibility of the evidence
  • will equip students with competency skills to critically analyse risks and recommend appropriate mitigations to current security challenges in the adoption of cloud solutions
  • develop an in-depth understanding of the concepts, methods, processes, tools and practices underlying good information security management. You’ll build on your analytical skills to identify security gaps, evaluate business risks using appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, and recommend cost-effective mitigations comprising careful combinations of technical, procedural and administrative controls
  • be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to plan and carry out a variety of security testing strategies on IT infrastructures (wired and wireless), middle-ware and applications. You’ll be given practical experience of using tools and techniques to carry out a variety of testing strategies including penetration testing, fuzzy testing and ethical hacking
  • understand the different approaches, design principles and professional best practices that are used to engineer secure systems, focusing on the importance of building in security, privacy and resilience in the initial design. You’ll scrutinise practical case studies and use hands-on threat modelling tools