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Short courses & CPD
Computing & Cyber Security

Hacking the Human (Online) University Certificate in Postgraduate Professional Development

You explore what is increasingly recognised as one of the most important areas and greatest threats of cybersecurity, the human being as criminals are increasingly targeting people as an easy way to access a computer system.


12 weeks

100% online


Course overview

You develop an understanding how some basic human behaviours play out in cyberspace and investigate the impact these behaviours can have on organisations, using real-world case-studies and news stories.

You consider the issue of social engineering and discuss ways to protect against this threat both personally and in the workplace.

You learn about the types of cybersecurity threats and what steps individuals and organisations can take to mitigate against them.

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Course details

What you study

• Human concepts and principles such as cognitive load, personal bias, in-attentional blindness, recognition, recollection and interference.
• The impact of social media on groups, organisations, society, and individuals.
• Concepts to encourage safe behaviour online and look at concepts such as nudging, developing a human firewall and overcoming resistance behaviour.
• The complex needs of organisations and how people interact with technology in the workplace. This includes developing trust, employee deviance and compliance and the role of data governance.
• What exactly hacking the human is and the concepts that surround it, such as information gathering, elicitation, pretexting, mind tricks, and the power of persuasion.
• You identify social engineering attacks and explore some real-life cases to apply your knowledge and look at ethics and morality in cyberspace.

How you learn

You learn through our purpose-built, online environment.

You have access to a wealth of learning and are supported by expert staff in this field, and you work collaboratively to develop your technical skills and knowledge.

Content is provided in bite-size blocks utilising a range of tools, including:
• recorded keynotes
• video materials with associated activities
• readings and accompanying interactive exercises
• podcast/vodcast discussions and demonstrations
• discussion forums
• online case study analysis
• recordings of practical activities
• virtual classroom activities
• online supervision.

How you are assessed

You produce a 4000 to 5000 word report.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A UK undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate subject, or cyber/information security relevant knowledge and skills acquired through work experience



Career opportunities

The credits gained from completing this short course could be used towards further study on our MSc Cyber Security (Online) course, or the on-campus equivalent, MSc Cyber Security.

An IT security analyst and admin at entry level can earn from £42,000 to around £55,000. With experience and career progression, you could earn between £60,000 to £78,000 as an IT security manager, and £75,000 to £90,000 as an IT security architect.



Learning platform

Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is the platform you use to access your online course


Teesside University online learning courses are delivered through the Brightspace Learning Environment.

Here are some of the benefits.

  • You can use it on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
  • And you can use it anytime, so that you can plan your learning to fit your own schedule.
  • It's easy to use and navigate.
  • Modules are set out by topics and themes. You can use the progress bar to understand where you are in your modules, and appreciate your achievements.
  • We support you to become familiar with your VLE, helping you to start learning quickly.
  • You get feedback, help and guidance from tutors throughout your course through the VLE, and you can ask questions at any time.
  • Our tutors use a live activity feed to keep you updated about your course.
  • You can create a student profile, collaborate with other students and take part in online discussion forums.

Software requirements


Online learning

Online learning allows you to get a university-level qualification from the comfort of your own home or workplace. You'll have access to all of the world-class teaching and support that Teesside University has to offer, but all of your lectures, tutorials and assessments will take place online.

Find out more

University of the Year

Teesside University was named University of the Year at the Edufuturists Awards 2022.


2024/25 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: 12 weeks
  • 100% online
  • Start date: January

Apply online


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