Taught course

Computer Science for Cyber Security

Oxford Brookes University · Department of Computing and Communication Technologies

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a first degree, equivalent to at least a British lower second-class bachelor’s degree, in an Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications, Computer Science or a related Engineering or Computing degree. Applicants whose first degree is not in these areas, but who have worked in a related industry, and have obtained good relevant experience and programming skills, can also be considered. For entry to the Postgraduate Certificate Research Project you should provide evidence of experience in research and study methods at an appropriate level.

Months of entry


Course content

Cyber threats are on the increase and have been highlighted by the UK government as one of the 4 main threats to the UK. There is an increasing demand from business and government for individuals skilled in computer science and cyber security who can design, build, and maintain secure software and systems that can protect people, business and data from malicious attack.

This programme builds on the knowledge gained in a first degree to equip you with advanced computer science and cyber security skills necessary to produce modern secure systems. The theory taught in the lectures is reinforced in the practicals where you have the opportunity to use industry standard tools and techniques in our dedicated security, server and networking laboratories which provide a safe space for you to practice both offensive and defensive security techniques.
The MSc in Computer Science for Cyber Security has a modular course-unit design providing you with maximum flexibility and choice. To qualify for a master’s degree without placement, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits). To qualify for a master's degree with placement you need to undertake a one year placement in between the taught component and the dissertation.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science for Cyber Security allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to brush up their skills. To qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass modules amounting to 120 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each). In some cases, it may be possible for a student on a Postgraduate Diploma to do 3 taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).
The Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Science for Cyber Security allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the computing industry who wish to learn a specific area in this rapidly changing discipline. To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, you must pass modules amounting to 60 credits. This comprises three taught modules (20 credits each).
Semester 1 has the following modules:
  • Research and Scholarship Methods (compulsory for MSc) is designed to equip students with the tools necessary for the scholarship and research skills needed for the computer science and cyber security fields as well as equipping them with the professional skills and outlook needed for a lifelong career in the communications industry.
  • Network Principles (compulsory for MSc) teaches the principles and practice of computer networking with an emphasis on data communications and local area network technologies and design.
  • Secure Systems Architecture (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip), in which you will study the fundamentals of computer and network security and the ways that computer systems can be secured. This module will look at both the technological and human issues involved in securing and assessing the security level of a modern networked computer system. It also introduces basic concepts of operating systems and architecture.
Semester 2 has the following modules:
  • Operating Systems Development (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) builds on the foundations laid in Secure Systems Architecture to look at more complex operating systems concepts and technologies. This module also covers systems development and students also learn low level systems programming which they put into practice by changing and extending existing operating systems.
  • Secure Programming (compulsory for MSc) looks at the analysis, design, and implementation of secure software. This module considers what software engineering principles can and should be used to help ensure the security of software in a range of environments. Students will be taught the common classes of vulnerability at design and implementation stages and how they can defended and mitigated against.
  • Low level Techniques and Tools (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) looks at low level programming tools and techniques for the creation, detection and defence against malware. Students will learn how to examine code at the assembler level using reverse engineering techniques, as well as network level analysis of command and control structures, to obtain detailed information on malware. Students will also investigate advanced malware anti-forensics tools, such as code obfuscation, and utilise mechanisms for defeating them.
As courses are reviewed regularly, the list of taught modules offered may vary from the list here.
If you are studying for an MSc you will also take:
  • MSc Dissertation, which is an individual research and development project that allows you to study a topic of your choice in depth, guided by your supervisor. The work may be undertaken in close co-operation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation. You will undertake your dissertation over the summer period.
MSc students have the option to apply to undertake a placement. Placement positions are not guaranteed, however the department will help and support students in finding a placement. Students on the placement will also take:
  • Work Experience Placement, which is an optional element of all the department's CCT programmes, and provides professional and practical experience in the computing, communications, or media industries. The nature of the work undertaken will be relevant to a student’s programme, and may provide a basis for the development of the dissertation.

Information for international students

If your first language is not English you must satisfy our English language requirement by providing us with evidence of a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with an IELTS score of 6.0 or greater in the reading and writing component OR an equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0) 1865 485706