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Applied Cyber Security (PGCert)

PgCert|Postgraduate Taught

Applied Cyber Security

Entry year
Entry requirements
9 months (Part Time)
Places available
TBC (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

    PgCert Applied Cybersecurity addresses the Skills Shortage in Cybersecurity as identified in the Strategic Framework for Action. Cybersecurity is vital to all sectors and industries as every aspect of daily life becomes increasingly connected, including contactless and online payments, health, and wellness monitoring devices, connected cars, and connected devices within our homes. Cybersecurity skills are essential to every business and organisation.

    This PgCert Applied Cybersecurity plays a vital role in the overall cybersecurity architecture by developing specialist cybersecurity skills. The PgCert:

    - The skills identified are recognised and valued by employers.
    - It will attract talented individuals who wish to improve their skills and mobility within the cybersecurity sector.
    - Candidates who complete the PgCert will see a recognisable career value and be sought after as part of career progression.
    - A flexible part-time delivery model will enable those already employed to undertake the course while minimising disruption to their regular work.

    This programme is aimed at:

    - Experienced software engineers who wish to upskill into cybersecurity,
    - New graduates in Software who are seeking an accelerated route into cybersecurity.
    - Career changes which have been in generic IT roles and have recently completed a software degree or PgCert.

    By completing this PG Cert successfully with 60 CAT points, you will be eligible to progress directly into Year 2 of study on the MSc Applied Cybersecurity.

    ABOUT THE COURSE This innovative programme is at the forefront of technical advances in cutting-edge cybersecurity topics such as Network Security & Monitoring, Software Assurance and Penetration Testing. 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 2022 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.


  • Course content

    Course Structure


    Course DetailsPEN Testing - 20 CATS
    This module seeks to develop a student's skills in penetration testing, in line with recommendations in Cybok. Students will develop a methodical approach to evaluating the security profile of companies and applications by using best practices in Pen-testing and Ethical Hacking. The student will develop an understanding of test infrastructures for vulnerabilities and malicious attack.

    Software Assurance - 20 CATS
    On completion of this module, the successful student will have achieved the following learning outcomes:
    Understand and analyse the cyber security threat landscape; apply software assurance best practice;
    manage and implement software assurance processes; critically assess security requirements;
    identify risks and vulnerabilities in software components; implement secure coding standards and software verification.

    Network Security & Monitoring - 20 CATS
    On completion of this module, the successful student will have achieved the following learning outcomes:
    Comprehensive understanding of key problems in network security and the treat landscape. Critical awareness of how network traffic can be manipulated and the network misused to enable attacks, the consequent risks, and an ability to select mitigation measures. Ability to devise, analyse and make judgements on the effectiveness of prevention, monitoring and detection tools and methodologies. Ability to design and assess a network architecture.

    Modules are regularly updated to reflect new developments in the dynamic field of cyber security. Modules offered may be subject to change.

    People teaching you

    Dr Philip O'Kane
    Course Director

    Email: or

    Career Prospects


    Learning and Teaching





    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    Assessment criteria are linked to the learning outcomes for each module.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    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 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 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 note that a non-refundable deposit of £400 is required (which will be deducted from tuition fees).

    Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 30th June 2022 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.

    International Students

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

    English Language Requirements

    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:

    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)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £2,150
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £2,150
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £2,417
    EU Other 3 £7,133
    International £7,133

    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, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.

    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 2021-22, 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.

    NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published in December. International postgraduate fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here:

    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.

    How do I fund my study?

    The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 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 £10,609 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

  • Apply

    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.

    Download a prospectus