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Postgraduate study
Cyber Security (Online)

Cyber Security (Online) MSc

Cyber security is the practice of defending computers, networks and data from malicious attacks. It is one of the biggest threats to global security and graduates with advanced-level skills and knowledge are high demand by employers.


Course overview


This innovative new online course helps you build a critical understanding of technological threats and weaknesses across digital platforms in a range of contexts. You build the essential skillset necessary to assess threat, manage security technologies and understand the legal, social and political implications of cyber threats.

Students are central to the design of the course and as a result you develop knowledge and skills that meet the growing needs of industry in the rapidly changing landscape of cybersecurity. In the development of this degree we have worked closely with our partners, with input from leading international providers and national businesses to ensure that you have the depth and breadth of understanding to work anywhere in the world.

This future-facing course is also informed by cutting-edge research to ensure that when you complete the course you can be part of the next generation of network and security graduates to support and enhance the global economy, through social developments, medical systems, education, financial institutions or heavy industry.

The course starts with an investigation into data collection and the inherent security, ethical, legal, social and professional issues. You also study information security management principles including security for cloud-based systems, before exploring advanced security techniques. Network technologies provide the platform for managing cyber security and through your studies you explore a range of network platforms and learn about their applications. You also examine network virtualisation and virtual network security.

During the course you develop a network of like-minded peers and experts. Close collaboration with other students and practitioners in the field enables the sharing of knowledge and perspectives from many different backgrounds. Our purpose-built online learning space enhances the collaborative nature of your studies where you can build working relationships that will continue throughout your career.

This cyber security course not only covers technical skill development, it also identifies the issues surrounding the often neglected weakest link in security systems – people. You explore a range of topics from Hacking the Human, through to IoT, Mobile and Systems Security. You develop your understanding of technology, cryptography, infrastructure, and the human impact on security.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Computing Masters Project

You undertake a major, in-depth, individual study in an aspect of your course. Normally computing master’s projects are drawn from commercial, industrial or research-based problem areas. The project involves you in researching and investigating aspects of your area of study and then producing a major deliverable, for example software package or tool, design, web-site and research findings. You also critically evaluate your major deliverable, including obtaining third party evaluation where appropriate.

The major deliverable(s) are presented via a poster display, and also via a product demonstration or a conference-type presentation of the research and findings. The research, project process and evaluation is reported via a paper in the style of a specified academic conference or journal paper. The written report, the major deliverable and your presentation of the product are assessed.

The project management process affords supported opportunities for goal setting, reflection and critical evaluation of achievement.

Cyber Risk and Vulnerability Management

You explore cyber security risk assessment and guidance models, practices, tools and techniques to address threats or vulnerabilities. You also look at how to identify common threats and vulnerabilities using appropriate tools and techniques.

Hacking the Human

You explore what is increasingly recognised as one of the most important areas and greatest threats of cybersecurity - the human being. Criminals are increasingly targeting people as an easy way to access a computer system, this is summed up in a famous quote by a well-known writer on cybersecurity, Bruce Schneier ‘Only amateurs attack machines; professionals target people’.

You explore what these types of cybersecurity threats are and what steps individuals and organisations can take to mitigate against them.

Assessment is a case study, exploring cybersecurity event involving issues of human behaviour. You produce a 4000 - 5000 word report identifying and discussing these issues and proposing some solutions for future prevention.

IoT Security

There has been a rapid growth within the field of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is applied in environmental monitoring, smart homes, industrial controls and digital cities. IoT incorporates various techniques, including wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, ubiquitous computing, and machine learning that involve unique IoT devices with a distinct set of security risks.

You explore the important concepts in IoT - the use of Internet technologies to access and interact with objects in the physical world. You also develop the capability to understand potential security risks and produce security architecture of IoT systems. This incudes IoT architecture, IoT operating systems and platforms, low power communications, IoT data analysis, IoT security and identity recognition. You also gain experience of practical skills required for the programming of IoT devices.

Assessment is through 100% continuous assessment where you build a project, which addresses challenges in the IoT security area.

IT Ethics and Law

You explore the key legal issues to consider if you are anticipating a career in the IT industry. Key topics include introduction to the English legal system, intellectual property rights, computer crime, computer contracts and liability, privacy and data protection. You apply the legal principles studied to realistic scenarios and case studies from the real-world.

You are assessed through a continuous assessment which explores a current IT or computing issue from a legal and ethical point of view in the form of a mini investigative report.

Mobile Systems and Cyber Security

You gain a thorough understanding of the concepts and technologies used in modern mobile devices such as phones, PDAs and laptops. You learn about the hardware used by mobile devices and the networking technologies that allow them to communicate with each other and the outside world. You also explore data compression techniques and security. You attend a series of lectures, tutorials and seminars.

You are assessed by a 100% ICA. You work individually researching an agreed topic and produce a research report (4,000 words).

Network and Systems Security

You cover theoretical concepts including cryptography and cyber security models alongside the practical issues of cyber attacks and countermeasures. You study topics in access control, symmetric and public key cryptography protocols, digital signatures, authentication protocols, wireless network and security, firewall, network security attacks, penetration testing, intrusion detection and access control lists.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Your learning is supported through our purpose-built, online learning environment. You have access to a wealth of learning materials that have been designed and developed by staff embedded in the field of cyber security. Throughout your learning journey you are supported by experienced staff who provide advice and guidance. The opportunities to network with both staff and peers (other students in cybersecurity) enable you to work collaboratively to develop your technical skills and knowledge in a professional and supportive space.

The assessments across the course are designed to enhance your learning experiences, providing the opportunity for application of skills and knowledge leading to deeper learning and understanding. These will include case-studies provided by our industry partners, providing an insight to and experience of real world cyber security projects.

Input from our business partners ensures that your learning experience and materials match their skills requirements and include not just technical learning but also professional and ethical knowledge to work in the industry.

The Cyber Security Project involves a major piece of work and provides an opportunity for you to explore a specific area of cybersecurity in depth. You are supported throughout by an academic supervisor to ensure an appropriate academic and technical level. This piece of work is student-driven and builds on your previous studies, developing project management and autonomous learning skills.

How you are assessed

The programme assessment strategy has been designed to assess your subject specific knowledge, cognitive and intellectual skills and transferable skills applicable to the workplace. It ensures that you are provided with formative assessment opportunities throughout the programme which support your summative assessments. The assessments will include assignments, tests, case studies, presentations, research proposal and literature review, and the production of a dissertation. The assessments may include individual or group essays or reports. The assessment criteria, where appropriate, will include assessment of presentation skills and report writing.


Entry requirements

You will normally have a first degree in related discipline (2.2 minimum) or relevant experience or equivalent qualifications. Relevant disciplines include artificial intelligence, computer forensics, computer science, computer security, computing, cyber security, data science, digital forensics, games programming, information technology, software engineering.

In addition, international students will require IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

From course inception and design through to the content and delivery of the course materials we work closely with our business partners to ensure that you develop the skills and knowledge required by the cyber security industry. You develop an understanding of the theoretical concepts surrounding cyber security and reinforce this learning with practical application of this knowledge. Your industry relevant skills will enable you to:

  • understand the risks faced by business and how to mitigate these
  • develop innovative approaches to protect networks
  • understand the role of the human factor in cyber security

Your assessments are designed to build on both your technical and professional skills contributing to your industry readiness.

This course prepares you for careers including:

  • security architect
  • risk assessor
  • security engineer
  • IT security manager

The rapid growth in cyber threat accompanied by business awareness has opened up global opportunities for individuals with skills that help businesses protect their operations across the security lifecycle. The MSc Cyber Security (Online) produces graduates that meet and address these requirements.


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


Professional accreditation

bcs Accredited Degree

This degree is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). Accreditation entitles you to professional membership of the BCS, which is key for becoming a Chartered IT Professional. Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and it is more likely to be recognised internationally.

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.


  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for all applicants
£6,498 (£722 for each 20 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: up to 24 months
  • Attendance: 100% online
  • Start date: September, January or May
  • Semester dates

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