MSc Cyber Security

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About the course

Overview
The details
Location: Online
Mode of study: Part-time
Qualification: MSc
Indicative duration: 2 years
Start date: 23 April 2024, 23 July 2024, 15 October 2024
Awarding body: University of Essex
Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning
 
In today’s always connected environment, it is important for organisations to implement robust cyber defences capable of mitigating an increasing range of cyber attacks.

Our MSc Cyber Security, delivered 100% online and part-time, will introduce you to the key concepts, tools, guidelines and approaches used to protect an organisation’s online environment. The course goes beyond technical competencies to consider managerial and psychological concerns, while simultaneously developing essential skills such as teamwork, risk assessment and decision making.

This conversion course starts with an overview of the fundamental aspects of cyber security, highlighting the trends and developments in this field.  In later modules, you will explore topics such as:

  • fundamentals of network security and information security governance principles
  • an inter-disciplinary perspective involving psychology that considers the human factor in cyber security challenges
  • traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle models and how they are affected by risk management considerations

Towards the end of your studies, you will consider a topic of interest within the Cyber Security Body of Knowledge and produce an individual project on that topic. If anything captures your interest during the course that you to want to study in more detail, this is your opportunity to spend a third of the course focusing on it.

This degree has been accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. An accredited degree entitles you to professional membership of BCS, which is an important part of the criteria for achieving Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status through the Institute.

Why we’re great

  • This cross-disciplinary course considers not just the technical skills, but also commercial and legal factors within cyber security.
  • There’s no need to download lots of different software packages – all programming languages are included within the tuition fee and all work is carried out in our online development environment.
  • No need to take a career break – complete this course 100% online and part-time.

The MSc Cyber Security is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 180 credits.

Level 7

Component 01: Core
Launching into Cyber Security
(20 credits)

Component 02: Compulsory
Network Security
(10 credits)

Component 03: Compulsory
Security and Risk Management
(20 credits)

Component 04: Compulsory
Secure Software Development
(10 credits)

Component 05: Compulsory
The Human Factor
(10 credits)

Component 06: Compulsory
Secure Systems Architecture
(10 credits)

Component 07: Compulsory
Principles of Digital Forensics and Cyber Law
(20 credits)

Component 08: Core
Research Methods and Professional Practice
(20 credits)

Component 09: Core
MSc Cyber Security Project
(60 credits)


Learning and assessments
Teaching methods
Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you will have access to your study materials 24/7, including:

  • multimedia lecture casts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students
  • live seminar sessions with your tutors
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals

support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team
To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at around 20 students.

In order to meet the technical requirements for this course, students will need access to a computer with at least 8GB RAM.

Assessment methods
Our varied assessment methods allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the course content in a wide range of ways. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing programming exercises, participating in team projects, completing reflective journal entries and an e-portfolio, by submitting longer written pieces or by undertaking timed open-book tests at home, without the need to travel to an assessment centre.

We are committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback through the following ways:

  • Our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent.
  • You will always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme.
  • You will be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log onto the learning platform.

There is a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work.
You will have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise.
 

Study duration
Our MSc Cyber Security has an indicative study duration of 2 years, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.

All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.

On successful completion of your degree, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.

Your future
This course will give you a breadth of knowledge and skills to enable you to move into the exciting world of cyber security. Upon completion, you’ll be able to succeed in a range of roles, such as policy maker, software developer, risk analyst, secure systems designer/programmer, information systems administrator or forensic analyst.

Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees and a BCS-accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Gaining a postgraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed:

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10%


Entry Requirements 
We know that many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to take a short aptitude test which is designed to test your ability to handle the intellectual and practical demands of the course. Please note that we will consider your performance in the aptitude test as part of your overall application, so if you don’t pass the test you may still be accepted onto the course. Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue your studies.

Academic entry route
In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our MSc Cyber Security, as a minimum you must have an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree, or a relevant professional qualification.

Work experience entry route
In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our MSc Cyber Security, you must have at least three years’ relevant work experience.

English language requirements
As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Fees and funding
Full tuition fee:  

£12,167 UK / £12,428 International (2023-24) Δ 

  • Designated for postgraduate student loans in England. 
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Regional scholarship available for international students based overseas in eligible countries. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online. 
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us. 
  • 10% anniversary scholarship available for students who enrol by 31 July 2023.
  • 20% impact scholarship available for our April 2024 intake

Please note, a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits.  

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

 

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