Cyber security university courses

Whether you're looking to get into a cyber security career for the first time or are aiming to hone your existing talents, one of the best ways to demonstrate your skills to potential employers is with a specific qualification in the field.

While there are a range of professional organisations offering their own courses, an increasingly popular way to do this is with an academic qualification that specialises in cyber security.

A number of UK universities now offer courses dedicated to cyber security that have been tailored to the growing demands of employers. These help ensure people are well-prepared for whatever challenges the future holds for them and reassures recruiters that candidates will have the skills they need.

So what do you need to know if you're considering these options?

The types of courses available

Step one is to determine the type of course that will suit you. There are both undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses on offer that specialise in cyber security. Within this, you'll typically find modules that focus on critical areas such as digital forensics, data analysis and ethical hacking.

One of the most popular options is an MSc in Cyber Security, for which you'll usually need either a relevant Bachelor's degree or proven experience working in the field. Several of the UK's most prestigious universities now offer this qualification, with courses that have been designed to address the challenges faced by businesses.

Among the universities offering this highly sought-after qualification are:

  • Cranfield University

  • University of Derby

  • University of Liverpool

  • Staffordshire University

  • University of Greenwich

Some courses are also specifically certified by GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre, which means they have been approved by the country's top intelligence agency for both the quality of teaching and the course content. You can find GCHQ-certified courses at both Bachelor's and Master's level.

Finding a course that meets your needs

An essential decision is whether to opt for a full-time or part-time course. If you're a recent computer science graduate looking to start a career in cyber security, for example, a full-time Master's course in cyber security, which typically lasts one year, is an ideal way to make yourself attractive to employers and ensure you're picking up the skills you need.

If, however, you're looking to continue your studies alongside your current job, part-time courses are offered by many universities. For an MSc in Cyber Security, these typically last two years, but can take longer. 

There's also the issue of whether to opt for in-person or online learning. Many universities now offer fully remote courses for cyber security qualifications, and these can be ideal if you're looking to fit in studying around your working life, as they offer greater flexibility and less disruption. In-person learning, however, allows you to connect directly with instructors and fellow students, build up your networking skills and collaborate more closely.

The benefits of an academic cyber security qualification

Having a relevant university degree can open up many new opportunities when it comes to starting or advancing a cyber security career. Employers increasingly recognise the value of these courses, in particular how they can be applied to the real world. 

A qualification from a recognised university does more than just show potential employers you've got the technical skills they're looking for. It also demonstrates you have the commitment required to pursue a goal to completion, are up-to-date with all the latest developments, and have important soft skills, such as communication and teamwork.

This all helps you stand out from other candidates and can open many doors for you to further your career. Some of the key roles that are open to those with cyber security university qualifications include:

  • Digital Forensics Investigator

  • Penetration Tester

  • Security Administrator

  • Security Analyst

  • Security Architect

  • Security Consultant

A cyber security university qualification offers great prospects for advancement and can help you command a higher salary. UK education providers are highly-regarded and can enable you to work in exciting roles all over the world, or give you a step up the ladder in your existing company.

Check out our range of cyber security university courses today to take the next step in your career.