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Data breaches are on the rise, but you can become part of the solution. With this specialised postgraduate degree, you can enhance your existing computer science and IT knowledge, and gain in-depth skills ready to build a career in cyber security, cyber threat intelligence and digital forensics.

Criminals are using more sophisticated techniques to infiltrate IT systems, organisations need talented people to reduce their risk and help to keep systems secure. In response, there is huge demand for talented computing and IT graduates and professionals who can help organisations of all shapes and sizes mitigate their data risks. 

This industry-aligned course provides specialist cyber security knowledge, and a hands-on ethos, so you gain the skills and knowledge ready to fight cyber-crime. You'll learn about both attack(red team) and defence (blue team). You'll consider established attack surfaces (networking, social engineering) and modern issues (IoT, Cloud). You will also examine trade-offs between security and availability, and between privacy and audit.

Salford is a leading regional study centre for computer science and cyber security. We are part of the recently announced GM Cyber Foundry, the Greater Manchester city region's blueprint to be a global leader in cyber and digital research and intelligence, a plan which will also see GCHQ open operations in Manchester.

You will:

  • Develop practical and real-world skills in all major areas of cyber security
  • Have contact with industry experts and active cyber security researchers
  • Build cyber threat intelligence to learn how to fight against Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).
  • Gain advanced knowledge of penetration testing, cyber forensics, malware reverse engineering, privacy, and risk management

This course is for you if:

  • You're a computing graduate keen to build a career in cyber security management
  • You have a curious mind and want to learn how criminals infiltrate data networks
  • You want to use your programming and networking skills to learn how to combat cyber attacks

Course Details

This course is available in flexible study formats, including full and part-time pathways. It comprises four 30 credit taught modules, followed by a 60 credit dissertation project. For full-time students, taught modules take place in trimesters one and two, followed by the project module in trimester three. For part-time students, taught modules are spread over trimesters one and two of two years, followed by the project module in year three.

Visit the website for further information on modules.

Teaching and Assessment

The majority of teaching and learning is delivered through tutorial and seminar groups. You will benefit from the supply of a range of high-quality teaching materials and software. Interaction is face-to-face wherever practical, but we also use web-based learning support packages (databases of materials, discussion boards etc.) and there is a strong focus on guided self-learning.

Group activities develop your team working and professional skills (though all assessment is individual). Supervised work in computer laboratories puts into practice principles you have covered in supporting lectures.

Projects and assignments used in the course assessment strive to apply your learning to a realistic problem. We aim to develop your independent learning skills and your ability to make decisions in uncertain situations. Professionalism and ethics are woven throughout the programme, and the identification of these issues is an integral part of all assignments and projects.

  • Practical work (33%) where you will use some offensive and defensive tools and write a report critiquing your strategy.
  • Coursework (33%) where you will receive a research-oriented task with a longer deadline to assess your considered and in-depth response to a larger problem.
  • Project (33%) where you will work independently, to plan a significant activity and, in carrying out the plan, demonstrate originality in the application of your knowledge. You will have flexibility in choosing the area of your project to match the areas of the course, or your future career plans.

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering (CSE) seeks to improve lives through proactive collaboration with industry and society. Our stimulating, industry-accredited courses and research programmes explore engineering, physics, acoustics, computing, mathematics and robotics. Through our award-winning lecturers, world-class facilities and research-led teaching, CSE produces highly employable graduates ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.


There is a significant worldwide skills shortage in this area, particularly for graduates with the in-depth cyber security technical knowledge. Course graduates will be ready to find work in a wide variety of technical security roles within business, banking, software, networking, government, consultancy, etc. Typical roles could include malware analyser, penetration tester, information security manager, security consultant or security programmer.

Some of our graduates progress to postgraduate and doctoral research in our Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC). The Centre aims to build on our world-class research and provide industries with guidance and expertise in the advancement of technology for business success and economic growth. 

Visit the Cyber Security, Threat Intelligence and Forensics - MSc/PGDip page on the University of Salford website for more details!





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