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Cyber Security - MSc

Course Description

This course is available full-time over one year, or part-time over three years.

It is made up of 8 assessed modules taught in week-long blocks and an individual project module.

This course is suitable for those with a Computer Science related degree and is for those students who already possess a strong computer science, software engineering or information technology background.

Security of our systems is one of the most challenging topics of our time. There is an international consensus that the level of security skills will have to be increased in order to respond to the number and sophistication of threats we face.

Our new MSc in Cyber Security is a forward-looking course that gives you the skills and knowledge you need in the core areas of cyber security. It emphasises the important technical material that will help you make effective cyber security decisions, and addresses issues such as:
-Trust and reputation
-Network security
-Malware and intrusion detection
-Risk management
-Development of high assurance systems

If you are looking to follow a career in industry or government, this course will provide you with a broad education in cyber security, that allows you to make technically informed principled decisions. This course will also prepare you if you are seeking a research career in cyber security - a research skills module is a mandatory part of the course.

It has been designed for students who already possess a strong computer science, software engineering or information technology background who want to broaden their knowledge about the specific challenges in cyber security and of possible solutions to those challenges.

Course structure
The MSc in Cyber Security is offered as a one-year full-time course, or can be taken part-time over three years.

The first half of the course is taken up by taught modules. Each module comprises a mix of lectures, problem classes and practical classes, plus a personal study time. In the second half of the course, students undertake an individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff.

Course aims
-To educate students in the theories, principles, practices and technologies of cyber security.
-To provide the knowledge and understanding of the principles underpinning effective approaches to cyberdefence.

Learning outcomes
When you graduate from the MSc in Cyber Security, you will have developed a detailed understanding of the fundamental aspects of cyber security. The course emphasises the important technical material that must be understood in order to make effective cyber security decision making.

You will understand extant threats to current and emerging system types, and understand and be familiar with a range of technologies that can be brought to bear to reduce risks.

This course will equip you for a career in industry or government, particularly in strategic cyber security decision making, or if you are seeking a research career in this area.


The dissertation project undertaken by students over the summer is carried out individually, supervised by a member of academic staff. It may involve working with an external organisation. Students are also encouraged to work with academic staff to create projects of interest to them.

All projects are vetted to ensure suitability for the MSc. Provided academic criteria are met, there is considerable flexibility in the choice of cyber security topics for the project. Though many projects may follow naturally from the taught material, projects may also investigate suitably challenging topics outside that material.

The outputs from this module are a project dissertation together with a conference paper length summary of the work.

Projects are worth 5/9 of the total mark for the MSc.

Visit the Cyber Security - MSc page on the University of York website for more details!

Student Profiles

Department of Computer Science Postgraduate Taught Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

Each year a number of departmental studentships are available to candidates enrolling on any full-time taught MSc course in the Department of Computer Science. For up to date information on these departmental studentships and for details of co-sponsored opportunities such as the DCMS Bursary for students undertaking our GCHQ-certified MSc course in Cyber Security, please visit our website: https://www.cs.york.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught-courses/scholarship/

Value of Scholarship(s)



See link for more details.

Application Procedure

See link for more details.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Typically, you will have achieved at least an upper second class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a computing-related discipline. The course has been designed for students who already possess a strong computer science, software engineering or information technology background. We are willing to consider applications from those who do not fit this profile. We will, for example, consider applicants who do not have an appropriate qualification but have appropriate industrial experience.

Last Updated

14 February 2017

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