You will learn programming, so you can understand how malicious software works. You will learn forensics so you can diagnose attacks and determine the extent of damage. You will learn networking so you can understand penetration testing and Internet-based threats. You will learn how cryptography can be used to address security concerns, and you’ll learn risk management to help you realise it is about managing threats rather than solving problems. You will learm about evidence preservation and to work within an ethical framework.
Modern organisations hold large amounts of data – about their customers and about themselves. But they face many threats to the security of this information, and they have many legal obligations to take care of it. They don’t want to be featured in bad headlines in the newspapers after a compromise. They don’t want to end up in court for mishandling personal data, or end up bankrupt for losing control of their own critical information. They need help with this, and they need people who understand the problem from many perspectives. Salford’s course will give you more perspectives than most other courses.
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Through this course, you will learn enough about the inner workings of programmes, operating systems and networks to be able to understand the mechanisms of cyber-attacks – the attackers understand all that sort of detail really well, so it is vital the defenders do as well. You’ll understand enough about web applications to be able to find exploitable weaknesses and therefore to fix them. You’ll learn about gathering and preserving forensic evidence as part of a digital investigation, and identifying and controlling security risks. You will cultivate independent technical judgement in the use of techniques and tools associated with security The projects and modules you work through will help you to develop the ability to think conceptually, and will prepare you to enter a variety of security related roles.
During this course, you will be required to sign up to a code of ethical behaviour and you will be subject to an enhanced level of monitoring when using the university network. These are real skills you are learning, and you need to understand the responsibilities that you have.
On this course, you will have the opportunity to apply to spend a year in industry between the second and third year. This is an excellent opportunity to expand your CV and will give you the opportunity to apply your academic knowledge and interpersonal skills in a real-world environment, and to reflect on your own personal development and career choices. Successful completion of an industrial placement year, which you arrange with our support, will add 'with Professional Experience' to your degree title.
This module will give you a fundamental knowledge of database management systems, their design, implementation and applications. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles of relational database management system, and how to implement and maintain an efficient database system using emerging trends. Typical assessment work involves demonstrating (by examination) understanding database query concepts.
This module will provide you with an in-depth low-level knowledge of computer systems, concentrating on computer architecture, operating systems and communications technology. You will also start develop skills in the use of Unix-like operating systems at command-line level, writing and using simple scripts and batch files and the simple system administration of a standalone Linux PC.
This module will introduce you to a systematic approach to programming, and you will develop an appreciation of the software development cycle. You will be taught excellent programming practice through design, implementation and testing, and will be introduced to the basics of a structured programming language and the use of an integrated programming environment.
This module aims to build upon the syntax and semantics base of Java developed in the ‘Programming 1’ module. You will also develop an appreciation of recursion as well as your knowledge of dynamic data structures. Additionally, the ability to test and debug code will be developed, along with an appreciation of more sophisticated programming behaviour. Furthermore, you will be introduced to a non-BlueJ means of compiling and executing Java applications.
This module introduces you to the business context and the work of computing and information systems professional. The module teaches an understanding of the social, professional, ethical and legal issues surrounding business practices and the theory and process of project execution to a professional standard.
You will be introduced to theory and practice of website design and development and develop knowledge and understanding of human-computer interaction and techniques for designing and analysing user interfaces. You will also gain skills and practical experience of designing, developing and testing a website using HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
In this module you will be introduced to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Mining (DM) techniques for problem solving. You will become familiar with AI techniques and terminology for knowledge representation and searching, and gain an understanding of DM algorithms, and learn how these techniques are used in real world applications.
This module combines technical work in computer programming with personal development planning. You will work in a group to design, develop, document and demonstrate a solution to a problem, working to a professional standard using Java programming. This module also introduces agile techniques and methodologies and provides an opportunity for applying, evaluating and reflecting on these techniques.
In this module you will first be introduced to some of the most important data structures used in the design and implementation of computer software and shown how these are implemented using Java. You will then learn to analyse the requirements of algorithm resources to allow you to provide a sound basis for objective choice when dealing with competing algorithms.
In this module you will apply a range of techniques for penetration testing and vulnerability assessment, communicating the outcomes effectively and professionally. You will cover planning, scanning, web application testing, exploiting vulnerabilities, password attacks and wireless vulnerabilities.You will learn to consider the ethical and legal implications of penetration testing and will be expected to work within a strong ethical framework.
In this module you will learn in detail how the Internet works, from local area networks to global networks. This will include designing and troubleshooting networks, and configuring and testing network applications. You will also look at security vulnerabilities, cryptographic principles, protocols, C-I-A tradeoffs, firewalls and legal implications. You will apply these principles to designing solutions for some realistic case studies.
You will undertake an individual project that will demonstrate your understanding of security issues. You can select your own area of study, identify and develop a realistic problem and, working independently and in a professional manner, organise, sustain and report on your project in a way which is both detailed and reflective.
You will learn to examine a range of exploits, malware and malicious programmes, using network and system monitoring tools and disassemblers to determine what they do and how they avoid detection, and you will evaluate and analyse incident management and recovery procedures.
IThis module will prepare you for the creation and implementation of information security policies in organisations, with an emphasis on risk management and business continuity planning, taking account both of the practicalities of implementation in a real-world setting, and the various legal and ethical issues involved. You’ll learn to identify assets, vulnerabilities, threats and controls and to consider issues of security culture.
The module will provide an introduction to the key technologies used to provide interactive web sites and interactive applications for use with mobile devices, taking into account the unique environment in which these applications operate. Consideration will be given to how to use these technologies whilst still maintaining web standards, particularly accessibility.
This module aims to provide students with business and enterprise concepts to allow them to analyse and evaluate business practices, concepts, theories and frameworks and their relationship to the strategic and operational management of an enterprise or a project. This is intended to complement the technical project management content of the course and provide a real-world context linked to current enterprise activities at the university. You will also learn about freelancing.
This module will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the principles, practices and measures of virtual reality technology and the development of interactive 3D worlds. Applications of the technology that will be used are from across sectors including the computer games industry, medicine, energy, engineering and science. You will develop your programming to an advanced level of understanding and experience of modern interactive 3D engine development.
Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.
GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
112-120 points- including a computing subject or a numerate subject (Maths/Physics/Chemistry)
BTEC National Diploma
DDM in a computer related subject
Irish Leaving Certificate
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
English Language Requirements
International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.
We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in computing. This implies having an interest in how things work rather than just wanting to be a user of them, and it implies doing things on your own initiative rather than just things you’ve been told to do as part of your coursework. An attention to detail and a good work ethic are important to this course particularly with industrial placement opportunities.
We positively welcome applications from students who have relevant industry experience even if they do not meet the stated entry criteria.. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Please contact Andrew Young for further information.
A variety of delivery methods are adopted to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Broadly speaking, these are:
Practical modules include supervised laboratories to put into practice principles covered in supporting lectures
Case studies are used to develop your ability to apply your knowledge and develop skills
Group work is used to develop team working and professional skills
Projects enable you to apply what they have learnt to a realistic problem
Professional issues are delivered through the combination of a dedicated module to provide a broad context and other modules to provide a specific context that relates theory to the your own practical experiences and career plans
Key skills are developed throughout the programme
Assessment methods used and associated weightings vary from module to module.
Examinations are used to assess your immediate response to a set of small or medium unseen problems
Assignments are used to assess your considered and in-depth response to a larger problem
Practical tests are used to assess your ability to apply appropriate skills to a problem
Projects are used to assess your ability to create a plan, to identify possibilities and make decisions, to carry out the plan, and to reflect on the choices you’ve made and the results achieved
Software development tasks will generally require you to demonstrate your work and to write a report
When you graduate you will have excellent web development skills supported by a large portfolio of practical work which can be used to demonstrate your abilities to prospective employers. You can expect to work as a web designer or developer in companies, consultancies and the public sector. Web technologies are integral to virtually all organisations now and many of our graduates have gained employment in the area even before their formal graduation.
Most graduates take up positions in the digital sector in small to medium sized enterprises and the BBC move from London to Salford has caused this area to expand tremendously around Manchester in recent years with a strong prediction that it will continue.
With the skills provided on the course a number of graduates have started their own web design businesses, while others have gone on to take postgraduate qualifications.
When you graduate you will have broad knowledge of security and forensics, both of which are areas where there is a significant skills shortage in industry. Companies need security analysts, penetration testers, security auditors, information security managers. They need people who can understand attack vectors and who can sift through information to determine what has happened, and who can preserve evidence to support legal processes. The combination of security skills, forensics skills, programming skills and general computer science knowledge will make you extremely employable in a wide variety of roles.
Links with Industry
We operate an industrial liaison committee who provide us with advice on our courses, and who help us to ensure that our modules are up-to-date. Companies involved include Web Applications UK, AutoTrader, Cooperative, DAI and FastWebMedia. This comprises a mixture of companies for whom IT is their primary business, and companies who make advanced use of IT to operate other types of business.
This diversity ensures we see the IT industry from multiple perspectives, which makes our courses as relevant as possible. This committee is clear that graduates from this course will be very employable and that the course name makes it very clear to them that the graduates combine general skills and a specialism.