Cyber Defence and Information Assurance MSc ( Part time)

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About the course

Cyber Defence and Information Assurance MSc

Designed to develop professionals who can lead in a cyber environment, to effectively exploit the threats and opportunities of cyberspace at the organisational level. The course focuses on understanding and articulating the executive-level responses to serious present and emerging threats in the information domain.
Start date: September 
Duration MSc: up to five years part-time. PgDip : up to four years part-time. PgCert: up to 3 years part-time
Delivery: The course is delivered via blended learning, with a mixture of residential and online teaching, and assessment is through coursework, group practicals, presentations and (MSc only) an individual dissertation.
Qualification MSc, PgDip, PgCert
Study type Executive / Part-time
Campus Cranfield University at Shrivenham
Entry requirements
Who is it for?
Students will be government, corporate and critical information infrastructure staff who are one or more of the following:
  • managers or leaders in a cyber environment who need to understand information risk and respond to cyber threats,
  • procurement staff commissioning critical or sensitive projects,
  • policy and planning staff interested in computer network and security operations,
  • those charged with accreditation and assessment of security measures,
  • those holding the positions of, or aspiring to be, Chief Information Officers (CIO) or Chief Information Security Officers (CISO).
Why this course?
The course will specifically focus on responses to serious, present and emerging threats in the information domain. The course enables the student to gain an organisational view of cyber, the domain, the drivers and constraints. Whilst a technical understanding is of value, the course is designed to ensure that the bigger, contextual, aspects of cyber is understood thereby enabling decision making in relation to cyber to be undertaken within an organisation.
Informed by Industry
The course has an External Advisory Panel, chaired by Sir Edmund Burton, with expert representation from government and industry, including Fujitsu, GSK and the MOD.
Course details
The course is taught through a flexible blend of compulsory residential courses, online Virtual Learning Environment activities and interaction and project-based learning.
It has three components: a taught component comprising ten 10-credit modules (PGCert/PGDip/MSc); a 20 credit module; and (MSc only) an 80 credit research project assessed by dissertation.
Course delivery
The course is delivered via blended learning, with a mixture of residential and online teaching, and assessment is through coursework, group practicals, presentations and (MSc only) an individual dissertation.
Students taking the MSc must develop and demonstrate their expertise, independent learning abilities and critical appraisal skills by producing a clear and coherent research-based dissertation.
Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.
To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.
Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course:
Applied Cyber Concepts Project
Critical Networks and Process Control
Cyber Attack - Threats and Opportunities
Cyber Systems Thinking and Practice
Foundations: Management of Cyber
Incident Management
Research Methods
Social Technologies
The Human Dimension
Understanding Risk
Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course:
Data-led Decision Support
Emerging Technology Monitoring
Teaching team
You will be taught by Cranfield's leading experts with many years' industrial experience as well as external speakers from industry and defence.
This course is supported by the UK Government’s Cabinet Office and Office of Cyber Security and Information Security.
Your career
This qualification will take you on to become one of the next generation of managers who can understand and effectively manage and exploit the threats and opportunities of cyberspace at the organisational level. Crucially, it will also enable graduates to communicate cyber issues to senior management or executive board level.
The course is directly relevant to those wishing to improve their knowledge and skills as, or those aspiring to become, a CIO or CISO.
How to apply
Applicants may be invited to attend an interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.
European Union students applying for university places in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (28 May 2019).
Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.
Course fees
Home fees
Overseas fees
MSc Full-time £19,500
MSc Part-time £19,500 *
PgDip Full-time £15,700
PgDip Part-time £15,700 *
PgCert Full-time £7,850
PgCert Part-time £7,850 *
* Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.
Fee notes
The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022.
All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period.
For self-funded students a non-refundable £500 deposit is required, which is offset against the tuition fee.
Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
Eligibility for Home fee status is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle UK or Irish nationals who are ordinarily resident in either the UK or Republic of Ireland pay Home tuition fees. All other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.
Funding Opportunities
Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England
A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK applicants to help you pay for your master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK.
Future Finance Student Loans
Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all students at Cranfield University.
Women Techmakers Scholars Programme
Through the Women Techmakers Scholars Program - formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program - Google is furthering Dr Anita Borg’s vision of creating gender equality in the field of computer science by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology and become active leaders and role models in the field.
ISC Information Security Scholarship
These scholarships from the Centre for Cyber Safety and Education allow students studying cybersecurity or information assurance to receive awards of up to US$5,000.
Cranfield Defence and Security Alumni Discount Scheme
Graduates of Cranfield Defence and Security may be entitled to a 10% discount on taught or research based degrees if they are self-funded 
To find out about funding for UK MoD staff, please visit the MoD funding and eligibility page.


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