Cyber Security University Courses in the UK
Cyber security is an expanding technological field and as this digital revolution continues to expand at an exponential rate, more individuals are needed to address the risks of cyber-attacks and to implement effective solutions. The term ‘cyber security’ relates to the protection of systems, data and networks by the development and applications of technologies, processes and controls that minimise or eliminate the threat of digital attacks, whether these may be to access personal information, changing or removing sensitive data, extortion, the general disruption of an organisation’s day to day processes or alternative means. As society embraces a wealth of digital devices, perhaps almost like additional appendages, keeping our information safe is becoming more challenging and ‘cyber pests’ as I shall call them, are becoming more and more creative in their methods.
The rise in awareness and the need for skilled experts has led more universities to offer specific degrees in the area of cyber security. From undergraduate degrees to PhD roles, if this is an area which interests you, then there are opportunities all around the world. Yet, for the purpose of this article, we will be focussing on some key courses available in the UK. For more information, please contact the specific university department. These are just a selection of what is on offer. For the rest, google is your friend.
The University of Sheffield
Amongst the lovely goings on in the city of Sheffield, you can embark on an MSc in Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence, through the Department of Computer Science. This one-year, full time, project-based, post-graduate masters course delivers valuable hands-on experience by teaching you how to apply what you learn in business and industry, anywhere in the world. Core modules include Machine Learning and Adaptive Intelligence, Scalable Machine Learning, Text Processing, Fundamental Security Properties and Mechanisms, Cyber Threat Hunting and Digital Forensics and Security of Control and Embedded Systems.
As with most master’s programmes, you do need to demonstrate previous experience in a similar discipline such as a computer science or software related bachelor’s degree, and the university will recommend you become familiar, if not already, with the Python Programming Language.
Or you could be lounging having coffee in the Northern Quarter of Manchester…hunched over a laptop of course, I mean you are at University, it’s expected…
The University of Manchester
Here you can while away the hours studying for an MSc in Computer Security, centring around a core security theme, introducing students to key security topics that arise in the design, analysis, and implementation of networked and distributed systems. In brief, this is a well-grounded full-time only course, covering identity-theft, computer-hacking and a vast array of security threats giving you a great armoury of cyber defences to equip you for a strong career.
Again, previous study at undergraduate level with at least 50% of this related to computer science is expected. If you do take up this option I highly recommend the 8th Day café placed perfectly in the University Quarter, it is one of my favourites for brain fuel!
Masters again is the name of the game. Yet if you do not have the undergraduate degree under your belt yet, read on, as we have plenty more to recommend! Another Cyber Security MSc is on offer in stunning Lancaster (do have a walk around the formed prison, also known as Lancaster Castle, whilst there, it’s quite wonderful). The university prepares you, and I quote “for an exciting and rewarding career in cyber security, application and software security, and cyber law enforcement, among others”. Exciting stuff right here.
You can study within InfoLab21, the university world-class ICT Centre of Excellence and will work through modules and a personalised research topic. Lots of collaboration to be done here too.
Staying in the sunny north, you may be closer to Bradford, in which case we can stay with the exact same degree title, makes life easier…
The University of Bradford
Study for this MSc in Cyber Security and build a foundation which may take you onto further PhD study, research opportunities or to evolve into key practitioners in the field of data security. Two interesting modules are ‘Lead Implementer’ and ‘Ethical Hacking’. Want to know more? It is always worth getting on touch with departments and tutors to get a feel for if this is the right course for you!
Maybe you would like to grab the undergraduate and the masters at the same university, well then, the next listings might be tailored just for you…
The University of Salford
Students have the option, on this undergraduate course, of 3 years full time or 4 year full time with a placement on the BSc (Hons) Computer science with cyber security. You will learn all about programming to understand how malicious software works, along with forensics so that you can get to the roots of the problem and networking to have a thorough understanding of digital threats. Throw in some cryptography and risk management and you have what looks like a superb degree package.
Or at masters level, and I like the title of this one, you can opt for an MSc in Cyber security, threat intelligence and forensics, developing real world skills in, as you would expect, cyber security, cyber forensics, cyber warfare and cyber threat intelligence. You can also study this course on a part-time basis.
Let’s stick with the double for the next one too, this time we move south to Greenwich.
Greenwich is on the Thames so you can always take a break from study and go for a nice boat ride. There are undergraduate and post graduate options here also…. such as this delightful combination..
Computer Security and Forensics, BSc Hons, developed to meet the industry demand for specialists, covering networks, users and applications, computer crime, police and forensic methods and legal evidence collecting and their Msc Operational Cyber Security , a 1 year full-time or 2 year part-time course which states it is suitable for newcomers to computer security and forensics, covering a range of theoretical and practical modules, including hands-on training in current forensic tools as used by the police.
Oh go on then, one more double offering, just to keep things neat and tidy..!
University of Westminster
You can study here for an undergraduate degree such as the Computer Network Security BSc Honours focussing on communication, network design, implementation and security. Graduates here have gone on to roles within well-known companies such as Dell, Google Enterprises, BT, HP and Cisco (Westminster is also a Cisco academy) or if it is a masters you are looking for you can study for the Cyber Security and Forensics MSc, using a broad array of state of the art equipment an technologies, including Encase, FTK and open source forensic tools. You will have input from guest lecturers and over 20 university computing laboratories. Seems plenty here to get stuck into!
City, University of London
Two promising masters programmes here. There is an MSc in Cyber Security, again offering modules which include ethical hacking, penetration testing and network security and an MSci (Hons) which I have to be honest an had not heard of before, in Computer Science with Cyber Security, which focuses more on a broader knowledge of computer science yet incorporates the elements of cyber security to provide those key skills.
Pop along to Camden market when you need to switch off! Staying put…obviously now in Camden with a herbal tea, we spot another London university with some good courses on offer..
Known as London’s Global University, UCL offers an MSc in Information Security, combining a fundamental grounding in the subject, alongside practical security skills. Again, the course include cryptography alongside optional modules including cybercrime, Distributed Systems and Security and Malware.
University of Sussex
If you need a bit of competition to get you going then Sussex may be a preferred option as here not only can you study for an undergraduate BSc in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence but you can also maybe join in such shenanigans as the Cyber Security University Cipher Challenge – and try saying that after you have been in the student union bar for a few…
The University of Oxford
If you wish to consider Doctoral training, then head over to the University of Oxford and their Cyber Security Centre. This 4 year programme can be approached from a range of angles incorporating computer science, social science, business and international relations. Some innovative seminar happening here too!
There is also the Oxford Internet Institute in this neck of the woods. Well worth checking out.
Then there is always a different route if you want to walk off the beaten track…
The Virginia International University
Have a look at the School of Computer Information Systems as there is quite a lot of choice on offer here. Although not standard degrees, these programmes may be of interest to some wishing to gain an understanding of computing and cyber security or perhaps a bridge between more recognised programmes.