Three years full-time.
Four and a half to nine years part-time.
2023-24 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
This course is provided as a pathway on our BSc (Hons) Computing degree. All students begin their studies on the BSc (Hons) Computing degree before choosing the cyber security pathway towards the end of their first year of study. Students who complete this pathway will receive the specialist BSc (Hons) Computing (Cyber Security) award at graduation.
As more time is spent online, the amount of data we create increases. Often this data contains personal or sensitive information that is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The networks and systems themselves can also be disrupted causing millions in damages and lost revenue. The cyber security pathway on our BSc (Hons) Computing degree provides you with the skills and knowledge to prevent and defend from these attacks.
There has never been a better time to begin your career as a cyber security professional. Global spending on cyber security alone is expected to exceed £68 billion by 2025. Here in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reports around 60 ‘high-level’ cyber-attacks a month, many of which threaten national security.
- Access to our state-of-the-art cyber security range allowing students to simulate attack and defence scenarios
- Learn how to secure enterprise computer networks in our new Juniper Networking Lab
- Access to resources from some of the largest tech companies including Amazon Web Services, Juniper, Oracle and our new Google Student Club
- An opportunity to start your own cyber security business with the University of Suffolk’s Innovation Centre (IWIC) and gain guidance from business leaders and academics.
Our cyber security pathway combines a solid grounding in computer systems with the expertise required for a successful career in the field of cyber security.
By completion of this degree, we prepare you to take the certification exams for (ISC)2’s Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) qualifications – should you wish.
How will you be taught?
You will be taught by experienced lecturers who use their years of industry and research knowledge to demonstrate best practices, industry standards and innovative technologies. You will experience a variety of teaching methods including lectures and seminar sessions, totalling at least 12 hours of contact time per week. You will also have access to our virtual learning environment, Brightspace allowing you 24/7 access to lecture material and activities, both on and off campus.
Students also have access to our computing Slack channel allowing them to collaborate and chat with each other. New computing students joining the university will receive access to our ‘New Student’ Slack channel in the weeks before the course commences. This allows new students to get to know each other and make friends before they arrive on campus.
How will you be assessed?
Throughout the course, the emphasis is placed on students completing hands-on projects that they can later present in their professional portfolio to employers. A variety of assessment methods are used, including individual and group-based practical projects, quizzes, technical reports and presentations. There are opportunities for feedback on your work throughout and you will receive the support you need through your lecturers and our academic support and library services teams.
How do you ask a question?
You can click here at any time to contact a lecturer or student studying on our computing degree. Do feel free to ask any questions about the computing course, our pathways, the university, student life and services or anything else.
How do you apply?
To join our cyber security pathway, please apply for our BSc (Hons) Computing degree (UCAS code I103). All our students begin on this degree and then have the option of selecting a specialist pathway in cyber security, web and mobile development or artificial intelligence towards the end of their first year.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.
All students on the cyber security pathway will take the following six required modules in their first year:
This module covers the principles of computer systems, hardware components, the essence of operating systems, and relevant computing-related mathematics. This module will provide the foundational underpinning to enable students to progress deeper into the disciplines of computing and networking, and a grasp of the history of computing, recent developments and its possible future.
Introduction to Networking
This module introduces the concepts of communications and networking. It explores the Open Systems Interconnectivity (OSI) 7-layer reference model and TCP/IP Routing Suite (the 5-layer Internet reference model). TCP/IP is the model which is most commonly deployed in the majority of modern-day networks.
Introduction to Web Design
Introduction to Programming
This module introduces students to the concepts and practice of computer programming. It is aimed at providing students with an understanding of the fundamentals of computer programming by having them work through a range of tasks focused upon layout, structure and functionality. The core language taught is Python but C++ is also introduced.
- Introduction to Cyber Security
This module provides an understanding of why cyber security matters to business, to society and to individuals, coupled with knowledge of basic concepts, attack techniques, attacker types, and the core elements of cyber assurance.
All students on the cyber security pathway will take the following six required modules in their second year:
Software Design, Development and Engineering
This module focuses on all phases of the modern software engineering lifecycle and advanced software engineering topics, including critical software, secure software, formal methods and project management from the practitioner’s perspective. This will be put into practice through the requirements gathering, design, implementation and testing of an extensive project that meets the needs of a particular enterprise.
This module provides essential knowledge and appreciation of the role of relational database systems, including basic principles and practice of design, implementation and development for both system designers and software engineers. It will include practical exercises in Structured Query Language.
Computing Research Skills, Professional Practice and Ethics
Research skills are an essential set of capabilities in the toolkit of a professional software engineer. In this module, students will develop knowledge and understanding of the purpose, processes, methods (surveys, experiments, interviews, case studies, etc.), analysis (qualitative and quantitative), and outputs of research and will be able to apply them. This module also delves into the professional, legal and ethical standards and guidelines that inform and guide best practice in business and computing.
Data Structures, Algorithms and Advanced Programming
This module focuses on data structures (e.g. linked lists, trees, heaps, hash tables, etc), algorithms (sorting, searching, dynamic programming, greedy, graph, geometric, cryptographic, string matching and compression algorithms, etc), and advanced programming techniques and other language paradigms.
Human and System Cyber Security
Software, networks and databases do not exist in isolation, but form part of systems. Few systems are purely technical, but are socio-technical and info-socio-technical in nature, where human beings may be central or peripheral to the system, yet be the weakest link in their security. This module introduces, in the context of cyber security, system thinking and human behaviour, and how social engineering and open-source intelligence may be used in both attack and defence of systems and individuals.
Security for Computer Networks
This module covers basic and advanced security concepts related to wired and wireless networks, and builds upon the network knowledge previously covered in Level 4 study. Students will learn about the main challenges faced by a variety of wired and wireless environments. Further, the module presents common defence techniques and tools used to counter different security threats, and also explores some of the latest network security challenges posed by recent technology developments.
All students on the cyber security pathway will take the following four module in their third year:
Project and Dissertation
The module provides the opportunity for students to apply and develop some of the knowledge and skills acquired in their degree by engaging in a significant project in a specialist area of computing, typically software or networks. It will enable and require students to utilise practical, intellectual and decision-making skills in novel situations and develop their autonomy and self-direction.
There has been a triple convergence of computing, communications and the physical world, leading to the creation of complex cyber-physical systems, a reliance on strong cryptography, and the need to instil security into software and cyber-physical systems in the face of an ever-evolving threat landscape.
Strategic Cyber Security
Cyber security is now an executive-level concern in most organisations. Cyber security specialists will be required to deliver strategic value to their organisations by ensuring security is intrinsic to system architectures by design and by default, by applying appropriate standards in risk analysis, systems modelling and policy design, and scanning the horizon of emergent threat landscapes to discern new issues.
Cyber Forensics and Intrusion Management
Cyber attacks are increasing in frequency and diversity with hostile actors probing for vulnerabilities, cooperating to develop exploits, and deploying these on an industrial scale. Many organisations are essentially under continuous attack from multiple actors. Eternal vigilance through monitoring and logging is essential for reactive and proactive responses. Inevitably some attacks will be successful and effective actions are required to handle these incidents, limit breaches, and collect evidence for investigation.
In addition to the above module, students are required to choose one of the below optional modules:
This covers the full range of skills and knowledge required for “Big Data” including parallel and NoSQL databases, statistical modelling and programming, machine learning, data analytics and visualisation. These skills are essential for making sense of security-related Big Data.
This module provides a systematic understanding of distributed operating systems, software services and applications in terms of their architectures, functionality and behaviour. It includes case studies on the “Internet of Things” and cloud computing as well as topics on parallel programming.
Mobile Application Development
The module is intended to provide students with an understanding of development for mobile devices with a focus on the constraints of mobile hardware, including interface and networking. Students will learn to integrate input from hardware sensors and work with networked data and services.
Our pathway in cyber security will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to become a career-ready graduate. The University of Suffolk’s Innovation Centre (IWIC) provides students will the opportunity to start a business with business and academic guidance, facilities and support. Students who graduate on this pathway could also pursue a career in one of the following roles:
- Cyber Security Expert
- Cyber Security Analyst
- Cyber Security Consultant
- IT Security Administrator
- IT Security Engineer
- Information Security Analyst
- IT Security Manager
- Penetration Tester
- SOC Analyst
Fees and finance
- UK full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
- UK part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
- International full-time tuition fee: £14,598 p.a
At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.
* 2023-24 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.
2023-24 entry; 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
Applicants are also required to have GCSE Maths grade 4/C or above, or equivalent Level 2 qualification. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
Facilities and Resources
The majority of teaching on this degree will take place on our main Ipswich Waterfront campus. This location was opened in 2016 and received a £5.5 million-pound investment in both the building and the facilities on offer. The top floor of the Atrium houses four high-end computer laboratories complete with industry-standard software and tools.
Specialist modules in data science, artificial intelligence and cyber security may also take place in our state-of-the-art DigiTech Centre at Adastral Park, which was unveiled by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal in November 2019 and launched in the summer of 2021. A collaboration between the University of Suffolk and BT, with funding from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the centre has been established to provide training in cutting-edge digital skills for people looking to pursue careers in the nationally-important information and communications technology (ICT) sector, as well as fuelling high tech businesses who increasingly require access to a talented technology workforce.