MSc Cyber Security
This course is open for applications
To apply for entry to this course in January 2024 please visit the 2023/24 course page
Page last updated 7 December 2023
This course seeks to address the global cyber skills gap, providing you with the advanced knowledge and understanding of cyber security issues you need to succeed in this industry.
Technology is transforming our society in all sorts of ways. From how we do business to how we socialize, how we travel to how we communicate, we are dependent on computer systems that drive these processes. This dependency means we're vulnerable to cyber-attacks. If successful, our personal data can be stolen, and our national institutions, critical infrastructure and the technology that drives our society could be compromised.
We need skilled, confident cyber security professionals who understand the technology, and the challenges, so they're able to secure and protect our digital society.
Why study this course?
With a passion for technology and computer systems, this MSc will provide you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of cyber security issues. This ranges from low-level software vulnerabilities and weaknesses in encryption schemes, to information risk management issues and research challenges in cyber security.
With a practical and technical focus, the course is designed for graduates of computing-based degrees and related disciplines who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge in this area.
Study complex systems and apply your learning through hands-on projects that solve real-world problems. You'll graduate with a broad knowledge base in cyber security, well-prepared for diverse and rewarding roles within this field of work.
"The staff at UWE were very knowledgeable and approachable, and helped me to achieve my ambitions of working in this field. The course itself was fantastic leading to a solid technical understanding of concepts and providing a strong foundation for my career. The course helped me to secure a role as a Cyber Security Consultant at Fujitsu. Now, I get to use my knowledge and further develop my skills working in the industry." Kiran, MSc Cyber Security Alumni 2018-2019.
Why UWE Bristol?
Learn from dedicated, research-active staff with industrial experience and connections with industry. Hear from eminent industry figures as you develop the broad, practical skills you'll need to succeed.
UWE Bristol has been recognised by the NCSC as an Academic Centre for Excellence in Cyber Security Education (Gold Award). We're one of only 7 Gold ACE-CSEs in the UK, and the only one in the South West region. This award recognises our teaching, research, outreach and industry and external engagement across the region, positioning us by NCSC as "a beacon of cyber excellence for the region".
Through access to sophisticated equipment, including simulation software and hardware, you'll test your ideas and strategies and become an adaptable, capable security expert.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
You will study:
- Computer and Network Security (30 credits) - This module includes fundamental technical security concepts, including encryption, systems security, network communications, and penetration testing. Students will develop a practical portfolio to demonstrate their knowledge of technical security concepts.
- Information Risk Management (15 credits) - This module introduces concepts of information security, along with common threats and vulnerabilities, and how to manage risk using ISO27001 and FAIR methodologies to align operational, business and security needs.
- Cyber Security Analytics (15 credits) - This module addresses Security Operations and Incident Management, and cyber security big data analytics. Students will study SIEM tools and machine learning concepts to investigate complex security threats.
- IoT Systems Security (15 credits) - Students will study IoT system security architecture, authentications and authorization, and secure wireless technologies. They will develop wireless IoT security systems using resource-limited embedded hardware devices.
- Critical Systems Security (15 credits) - This module includes Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Students will examine and critique conventional ICS security and explore practical applications of ICS security.
- Cyber Security Futures Emerging Trends and Challenges (15 credits) - This module provides workshops, invited speakers, and student discussions, to explore future concepts in cyber security. Students will identify an emerging topic of choice to conduct a small-scale research study.
- Digital Forensics for Cyber Security (15 credits) - This module introduces students to the core principles and frameworks that form the foundation of digital investigations. Students will build upon this foundation to identify tools and employ practical digital forensic techniques to enable them to; profile user interaction with computer systems, extract/analyze evidential artefacts of interest and identify indicators of compromise that are created during a cyber attack.
- Cyber Security Research Paper (60 credits) - Students will design and develop a research project with guidance from an academic supervisor, to address a research enquiry in the scope of cyber security.
These modules were developed in consultation with industry practitioners.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules, taking the first three modules in Year 1 (Computers and Network Security, Information Risk Management, and Cyber Security Analytics), and the remaining modules in Year 2.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
Learn through practical labs, lectures, seminars, group work, workshops and guest lectures. Our academics have a range of connections with industry experts. In the past, the department has hosted speakers from CGI, Avon and Somerset High Tech Crime Unit, Ministry of Defence, Ernst and Young, and the NCSC.
Gain knowledge and understanding of the concepts and technologies used to establish and maintain computer and network security. Practical exercises will consolidate your knowledge through hands-on experience.
Discover how current methodological approaches and legal frameworks influence risk management and explore emerging threats and countermeasures. Case studies will bring these methodologies to life in an industry-relevant way.
Develop your ability to evaluate issues and design and implement robust security solutions. Build your communication and creative skills so you can respond in a clear, effective way to challenges.
You'll have opportunities to participate in UK and global security challenges that the department has a track-record of success in.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
This course is available for both full and part-time study. The part-time option will be delivered one day a week over a two-year period, making it suitable for those who wish to continue working alongside their studies.
Outside of formal lectures, you'll complete practical tasks, including solving practical problems in information security. You'll prepare for them by reading academic papers, professional/technical publications, and other material available online.
Your assessments will include practical problem-solving coursework, exams, presentations and reports.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
This course is accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre.
We continually upgrade our facilities to ensure you'll have the software and hardware you need to succeed in your studies.
You'll have access to industry standard facilities. Most teaching will make use of virtual machines loaded with software that you can configure. This, together with VMWare, will enable you to work flexibly.
Make use of any of the 14 general purpose labs and 3 Technology Enhanced Active Learning spaces, equipped with machines featuring software appropriate for the course.
Our emphasis on hands-on learning environments enables you to develop practical knowledge and real-world skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Take a Virtual Tour of the Computer Science and Creative Technologies facilities and see what's on offer here for you.
Careers / Further study
Graduates of this master's course will have the knowledge and skills required to take on senior technical roles within cyber security. You could work within a large corporate environment or an SME, in a role such as Security Engineer, Information Security Analyst, Information Security Manager or Senior IT Auditor.
You could also go on to managerial roles in cyber security or consulting work, or continue to a PhD in a related subject.
We normally require an honours degree at 2:2 or above in a computing-based degree or a similar technical discipline. It's essential to have a good knowledge of programming, so you should describe in detail your experience of programming languages in your application. C and Python are used extensively throughout the course and so ensuring you have a good understanding of these languages will be advantageous.
If you do not meet the above grade requirements but have at least 12 months relevant professional experience and/ or equivalent qualifications, we will consider you on an individual basis.
UWE Bristol's International College
If you're an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.
You are required to complete a personal statement for this course. Please read the personal statement guidance carefully and make sure that you answer the questions on the postgraduate application form within the personal statement tabs, keeping to the advised word count.
We are not able to offer deferrals for this course. However, we appreciate there may be extenuating circumstances to consider and therefore we will consider requests on a case by case basis.
English Language Requirement
International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The University accepts a large number of UK and international qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section.