MSc Cyber Security

Entry year
Course code
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
One year full-time; Two years part-time
Full-time; part-time; starts September and January
Programme leader
Dr Phil Legg

This course is open for applications.

Page last updated 13 April 2021


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.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Technology is transforming society in all sorts of ways; from the way that assembly lines are controlled to the way we socialize, we depend on computer systems. Increasingly that dependency means that we are vulnerable to cyber attacks which, if successful, could undermine our national institutions and critical infrastructures, steal our personal data or gain access to private exchanges.

The industry needs skilled, confident cyber security professionals who can help protect new and existing technologies.

Why study this course?

This MSc seeks to address the cyber skills gap, providing you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of cyber security issues.

Practical and technically focused, it's ideal for graduates of computing based degrees and related disciplines who wish to deepen and extend their knowledge in this area.

You'll study complex, mission critical systems and apply your learning through hands-on projects that solve real-world problems.  You will graduate well-prepared for rewarding roles within this field of work.

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 will need to succeed.

Through access to sophisticated equipment including simulation software and hardware, you will test your ideas and strategies and become an adaptable, capable security expert.



You will study:

  • Computer and Network Security (30 credits)  This module includes fundamental security concepts, encryption, intrusion detection, virtual private networking, and penetration testing. Students will design and implement a technical system that demonstrates their knowledge of networking security.
  • IoT System Security (15 credits)  This module includes IoT system security architecture, authentications and authorization, secure wireless technologies, and security over resource-limited IoT devices. Students will develop a technical security system to replicate IoT capabilities.
  •  Analysis and Verification of Concurrent Systems (15 credits) - This module includes formal verification and model checking techniques to analyse systems and protocols. Students will work with NuSMV to conduct verification of security systems.
  • Parallel Computing (15 credits) - This module includes implementing parallel software solutions, including hardware and software solutions. Students will explore multi-core CPU, GPU, and distributed techniques, using OpenMP, MPI, and CUDA system implementation.
  • 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 cyber protection and novel methods proposed in research.
  • Information Risk Management (15 credits)  This module includes concepts of threats, vulnerabilities, and risk, and quantitative and qualitative methodologies including ISO27001 and FAIR. Students will examine case studies, to apply and critique risk management techniques.
  •  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.
  • CSCT Masters Project (60 credits).  

These modules were developed in consultation with industry practitioners.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

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, EY and Lighthouse.

Gain knowledge and understanding of 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 will 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.

Study time

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 will complete practical tasks, including solving practical problems in information security. You will 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.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre.

Study facilities

We continually upgrade our facilities to ensure you'll have the software and hardware you need to succeed in your studies.

You will 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.


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 go on to work within a large corporate environment or an SME, taking on 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. You might also continue on to a PhD in a related subject.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.


Entry requirements

We normally require an honours degree at 2:2 or above in a computing based degree or a similar technical discipline. It is essential to have a good knowledge of programming, you should describe in detail your experience of programming and programming languages in your application.

We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirements, but who have relevant professional experience or qualifications. In your application, you should describe in detail your professional experience and qualifications.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are 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.

How to apply

Read more about postgraduate applications.

For further information