Applied Cyber Security (MSc) | Courses | Queen's University Belfast
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Applied Cyber Security (MSc)

MSc|Postgraduate Taught

Applied Cyber Security

Entry year
2023
Entry requirements
2.1
Duration
1 year (Full Time)
2 years (Part Time)
Places available
N/A (Full Time)
N/A (Part Time)

The world’s online security depends on you. Step up to the plate with this fascinating Master’s course, taught by experts at one of the world’s leading cyber security hubs.

ABOUT YOU

You’ll be analytical, technical and a modern-day codebreaker. Cyber security is a challenge that will not go away, affecting companies, individuals and even governments. You could be:

A recent graduate – possibly a maths or engineering graduate with good programming skills, or you might be a good developer but have little knowledge of cyber security.

Already working in industry – experienced in technical software development, and looking to upskill and enhance your professional development.

An international student looking to study a UK master’s degree, to meet the global need for cyber security skills.

ABOUT THE COURSE

This course is certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK’s leading cyber security organisation. This certification provides a benchmark for the course by assuring the quality of both the content and its delivery.

This innovative programme is at the forefront of technical advances in cutting-edge cyber security topics such as cryptography, computer forensics, network security, secure software-development and penetration testing, as well as investigating the increasingly important legal and ethical issues in cyber security.

This is an applied course, which mixes theoretical skills with practical work in the lab to give you hands-on experience.

PLEASE NOTE:

Applications for this course received after 30th June 2023 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.

Applied Cyber Security highlights

The demand for certified cyber security professionals is currently growing at over 12 times the rate of the overall job market.

Professional Accreditations

World Class Facilities

  • The syllabus, teaching materials and labs are informed by the world-class research being undertaken at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen's University Belfast. In addition to GCHQ/NCSC Master’s certification, CSIT itself is also certified as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by GCHQ/NCSC.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/ecit/CSIT/
Our MSc is informed by the world-class research being undertaken at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).

In 2015 Queen Elizabeth II awarded CSIT a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its work in strengthening global cyber security and protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world.

Belfast is rapidly developing a reputation as a global hub for cyber security, and we hope students will be inspired to thrive in this dynamic and exciting environment.

Dr Niall McLaughlin
Course Director

Course Structure

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Course DetailsThe course, comprising seven taught modules and a research project, provides a broad foundation in cyber security.

The MSc in Applied Cyber Security is available in a full-time or a part-time option.

Full-time (1-year): Consists of seven taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 3-4 month practical project of a research nature (60 CATS). Students study seven taught modules (120 CATS). They will also commence an individual research project (60 CATS).

Part-time (2+ years): Part-time students are normally enrolled for two years. The first year will normally compromise four taught modules (60 CATS).

The individual Research Project focuses on applying taught skills to a leading-edge issue in cyber security research. A dissertation is required for the project. Following tutor approval, the project may be undertaken as a summer placement at a company.

Modules are regularly updated to reflect new developments in the dynamic field of cyber security. Modules offered may be subject to change.
Full-Time/Part-TimeThe MSc in Applied Cyber Security is available in a full-time or a part-time option:

Full-time (1-year): Consists of six taught modules (120 CATS) and a 3-4 month practical project of a research nature/work placement (60 CATS).

Students study all taught modules (120 CATS points) up to the end of the Semester 2 exam period. They will also commence an individual research project (60 CATS points) and continue this through to month 12.

As an integral part of the ELE8095 Individual Research Project, students may undertake summer work placements/internships lasting 3-4 months with local, national and international employers, under the regular supervision of an academic staff member and a staff member of the host organisation.

Part-time (2+ years): Part-time students are normally enrolled for two years. The first year will normally compromise the following modules: Fundamentals of Cyber Security, Network Security & Monitoring and Software Assurance. The second year normally comprises Computer Forensics, Pen-testing, Applied Cryptography, Data Privacy and the Law and an individual research project. The part-time MSc consists of Seven taught modules (120 CATS) which are delivered alongside full-time students over a two-year period (normally), and a practical research project (60 CATS) which may be on a work-based research project following tutor approval.

Students normally take three taught modules (50 CATS points) during Year 1, and four taught modules (70 CATS points) during Year 2. During Year 2 students will undertake the individual research project (60 CATS points).

People teaching you

Course Director

EEECS
Email: askeps@qub.ac.uk or pgt-admin-eeecs@qub.ac.uk

Career Prospects

Introduction
In keeping with the aims of GCHQ/NCSC certified Master’s courses, this programme is intended to provide:

• a deeper understanding of cyber security concepts, principles, technologies and practices.
• a bridge between undergraduate degrees and careers in cyber security.
• a platform for further research at Doctoral level.
• an effective way for people in mid-career to enhance their knowledge of the subject or to move into cyber security as a change of career path.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Learning and Teaching

The course mixes lectures with practical, hands-on learning sessions. You will learn in a sandbox environment where you can experiment and make mistakes, enabling you to put your new skills into practice in hands-on cyber challenges.

You’ll meet our researchers and learn how they apply the cutting-edge research being developed here to cyber security technologies.

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Assessment

Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

Research project dissertation

Assessment criteria are linked to the learning outcomes for each module. A range of assessment instruments are used including laboratory-based assignments, individual projects and practical exams.

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Modules

Modules

The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2022/23). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Software Assurance (20 credits)
    Computer Forensics (20 credits)
    Cryptography (20 credits)

Entrance requirements

Graduate
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical and/or Electronic Engineering, Mathematics with Computer Science, Physics with Computer Science or a related discipline. Applicants must normally have achieved 2:1 standard or above in relevant modules.

Applicants who hold a 2.2 Honours degree and a Master’s degree (or equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University) in one of the above disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

All applicants will be expected to have mathematical ability and significant programming experience as evidenced either through the content of their primary degree or through another appropriate formal qualification. It would be beneficial if applicants have experience programming in C and working in a Linux environment.

Applications may be considered from those who do not meet the above requirements but can provide evidence of recent relevant technical experience in industry, for example, in programming.

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 30th June 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note: A deposit will be required to secure a place on this course.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Career Prospects

Introduction
In keeping with the aims of GCHQ/NCSC certified Master’s courses, this programme is intended to provide:

• a deeper understanding of cyber security concepts, principles, technologies and practices.
• a bridge between undergraduate degrees and careers in cyber security.
• a platform for further research at Doctoral level.
• an effective way for people in mid-career to enhance their knowledge of the subject or to move into cyber security as a change of career path.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £6,980
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,980
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £8,360
EU Other 3 £23,150
International £23,150

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2023-24, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Applied Cyber Security costs

Students undertaking a 3 month summer placement or a one year professional internship are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary significantly depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider.
Where students are undertaking a professional internship they are required to pay a placement charge to the University. The placement charge in academic year 2022/23 was £890 and will be subject to annual inflationary uplifts.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/international-students/international-scholarships/.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.


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