Aston University, Birmingham

Degree level: Undergraduate

Cyber Security

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Course summary

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Our BSc Cybersecurity course is offered as either a four year course with integrated placement year. We aim to produce computing graduates who specialise in cybersecurity. The practical orientation of our programmes, and industry input, will enable you to gain the range of professional and technical skills you will need to start a career in cybersecurity. Throughout the course, you will develop expertise in cybersecurity and the key applications of computing science in each year of the programme. Particular emphasis is placed on applications in industry and commerce. You will focus on a range of topics including security management, designing secure systems and human factors in security. Career prospects continue to be strong for our students with their sound understanding of the principles and practical applications of computing. The majority of our Computer Science graduates find stimulating and rewarding positions in computing related activities with suppliers and users or within a wide range of careers for which a university degree is a prerequisite. Key course benefits:

  • Our placement year offers you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set your studies in the context of a working environment, designed to boost your future employment prospects.

Course details


Security Fundamentals: Scene-setting module introducing the fundamental concepts of cyber security. Networks, distributed Systems and Network Security: A 30-credit wide-ranging module that goes from basic networking principles to networking protocols to network topologies to the OSI stack and TCP/IP, then introduces distributed systems, distributed system architectures and (e.g.) contemporary issues such as the cloud and Internet of Things. The final 10 credits will revisit many of these with a focus on network security; vulnerabilities, threats and mitigations (secure protocols, key exchange, PKI, network analytics, firewalls, and so on. Secure Programming: Now students have the basics of programming, helping them learn about developing secure code; defensive programming, memory usage and vulnerabilities (e.g. buffer overflows, code injections), introducing V&V strategies. Security Threats, Vulnerabilities and Mitigations: Building on these concepts introduced in outline in Security Fundamentals. Case-study based. Large element on cryptography and cryptanalysis. Information Assurance Methodologies and Testing: Draws on existing module on testing and reliability. Places security in the context of other dependability attributes (reliability, availability, safety, …) and outlines a range of V&V techniques for these in general, and for security in particular. Large element on penetration testing. Likely to be heavily lab-based. Security Management: Security policy, access control, culture and governance, operational security hygiene. Ethical, Legal and Business Issues: Ethical issues around use and misuse of data (lots of case studies). Business obligations, governance and risk (financial, reputational, etc.). The law as it applies to the management and collection of data (e.g. GDPR). Designing Secure Systems: Module that specializes the existing Software Engineering module with a focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to analyse problems from a security perspective (e.g. misuse cases) and develop a solution design with the appropriate architecture and design-level mitigations to deal with the identified threats. Introduces notion of risk. Likely to be groupwork-based. Human Factors in Security: Draws on material form existing HCI modules with additional material on (e.g.) how poor HCI compromises security (e.g. requiring people to remember long passwords). Large element on human factors and social engineering. Security Risk Management: How to identify assets, and assess their value and the vulnerabilities and threats that apply to them. More on corporate governance. Security Forensics: Part introduction to digital forensics (data storage media, operating systems, networks and mobile devices, …), and part introduction to forensic linguistics to (e.g.) profile chatroom grooming.

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2020.

If you already have a 2020 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice in Track – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £16700 Year 1

Additional fee information

For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/EU students and £2,500 for International students. * Please note that the tuition fees stated are for 2020 entry. 2021 tuition fees are subject to approval and will be published on this website at the earliest opportunity **The latest information relating to EU fees for 2021 can be found on the UCAS website at: The University is currently reviewing EU fees in response to recent government announcements and will publish EU fees for 2021 in due course. *** International Students: Tuition fees for international students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.
Cyber Security at Aston University, Birmingham - UCAS