Cyber Security, Threat Intelligence and Forensics
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
In a nutshell
Data security breaches are on the rise, but you can be part of the solution. With our Cyber Security, Threat Intelligence and Forensics postgraduate degree, you can expand your existing computing knowledge, and develop an applied skill set, ready to build a career in this exciting, in-demand intelligence field.
Available with full and part-time study routes starting each January and September, this Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) part-accredited course will provide you with both a specialist cyber security knowledge base and real-world skills, so you are ready to fight cyber crime.
During your studies, you will learn about attack (red team) and defence (blue team) strategies. You will consider established attack surfaces (networking, social engineering) and modern issues (IoT, Cloud). You will examine the trade-offs taken between security, privacy and availability.
You can learn more about studying cyber security, explore course modules and speak to the course team, by joining our next online Open Day.
- Develop practical and real-world skills in all major areas of cyber security
- Engage with industry experts and active cyber security researchers during your studies
- Build cyber threat intelligence to learn how to fight against Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
- Gain advanced knowledge of penetration testing, cyber forensics, malware reverse engineering, privacy, and risk management
This is for you if...
You're a computing graduate keen to build a career in cyber security management
You have a curious mind and want to learn how criminals infiltrate data networks
You want to use your programming and networking skills to learn how to combat cyber attacks
All about the course
The Cyber Security, Threat Intelligence and Forensics postgraduate degree course at Salford meets industry needs by providing formal qualifications for graduates and professionals looking to develop a computer science-based skillset. By drawing on our industry knowledge and partnerships, the course provides you with a platform for future career success in cyber security management.
The course is delivered through a range of highly-focused modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises four taught modules, plus a research dissertation. The 120-credit PgDip award comprises four taught modules.
Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course full-time or part-time on campus, with start dates in January and September:
- Full-time students will complete taught modules in each of the first two trimesters, and complete the 60-credit dissertation project in trimester three
- Part-time students will complete taught modules in years one and two, and complete the dissertation project in year three
The course explores cyber security from both attack and defense (red and blue issues) positions, so you can develop comprehensive subject knowledge. We regularly review module content with our industry partners to ensure your acquired knowledge and skillset reflects trends and needs within professional and business communities.
Current course topics include cyber forensics, information security, privacy and network security and threat intelligence. Knowledge is delivered using activities that will sharpen your computer science skills, and help you to develop both a strategic mindset and an analytical approach.
Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.
You will develop the skills, methodologies and processes to conduct in-depth computer and network investigation, also looking at emerging platforms such as cloud and Internet of Things. You will also consider legal and ethical aspects of cyber investigation.
Information Security in Practice
You will study threats to information security, technologies used to assess and control risks, and learn about the techniques and tools used to manage and investigate incidents. Attack and defense (red and blue issues) are studied together to highlight that information security has considerable broader scope than cyber security.
Privacy and Network Security
You will study how the applied use of cryptography can provide enhanced security for networked systems (including emerging systems such as blockchain, cloud and IoT), and enhanced privacy for users of networked systems (including social networks and vehicular networks) but that all design decisions are subject to multiple trade-offs that balance the different needs of diverse views of the systems.
Cyber Threat Intelligence
You will study techniques for detecting, responding to and defeating organised cyber crimes and cyber war activities, analysing successful and unsuccessful advanced persistent threats and malware campaigns. You will also cover malware analysis and reversing techniques.
You will work under the direction of an academic supervisor to research a suitable problem, and to develop and evaluate a solution that demonstrates originality in the application of your knowledge.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
The majority of teaching and learning is delivered through tutorial and seminar groups. You will benefit from the supply of a range of high-quality teaching materials and software. Interaction is face-to-face wherever practical, but we also use web-based learning support packages (databases of materials, discussion boards etc.) and there is a strong focus on guided self-learning.
Group activities develop your team working and professional skills (though all assessment is individual). Supervised work in computer laboratories puts into practice principles you have covered in supporting lectures.
Projects and assignments used in the course assessment strive to apply your learning to a realistic problem. We aim to develop your independent learning skills and your ability to make decisions in uncertain situations. Professionalism and ethics are woven throughout the programme, and the identification of these issues is an integral part of all assignments and projects.
- Practical work (33%) where you will use some offensive and defensive tools and write a report critiquing your strategy.
- Coursework (33%) where you will receive a research-oriented task with a longer deadline to assess your considered and in-depth response to a larger problem.
- Project (34%) where you will work independently, to plan a significant activity and, in carrying out the plan, demonstrate originality in the application of your knowledge. You will have flexibility in choosing the area of your project to match the areas of the course, or your future career plans.
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and industry leaders.
Shaped by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the skills to take your career potential further.
During your studies, you will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software.
As a cyber security student, you will use computing suites equipped with specialist software required for exploring database systems, networking and network simulation, internet security, and computer forensics.
The Cyber Security, Threat Intelligence and Forensics postgraduate programme is delivered by an academic team with extensive industry experience and research connections.
The University of Salford is a key partner in both the Greater Manchester Cyber Foundry and the Greater Manchester AI Foundry.
The Cyber Foundry is a collaborative programme that provides support to regional SMEs with business growth, stability and security.
The AI Foundry is an innovative programme that provides support to SMEs to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) to become innovation ready, and enhance or develop new products and services.
What about after uni?
There is a significant worldwide skills shortage in this area, particularly for graduates with the in-depth cyber security technical knowledge.
As a cyber security graduate, you will be ready to secure a wide variety of technical security-based roles within business, banking, software, networking, government, consultancy, etc. Typical roles could include malware analyser, penetration tester, information security manager, security consultant or security programmer.
You might also choose to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. The Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) is home to Informatics PhD and Research Master’s opportunities in knowledge discovery and semantic web, software engineering, big data, data mining and analytics, cyber security, information visualisation and virtual environments.
Explore our Doctoral School to learn more about research training, support and opportunities.
Salford leads an industrial liaison committee to gain advice on our computing programmes and course content. Companies involved in this initiative rely on IT and data for their operations. This approach ensures we understand industry needs from multiple perspectives and helps us to nurture graduates with strong employability and transferable skill sets.
This course has contacts with local industry such as software companies (such as Web Applications UK), infrastructure providers (such as UKFast) and security consultants (such as KPMG). These companies will provide you with a real-world perspective to help you appreciate the barriers that exist and the compromises that must be made to manage conflicting demands (known as the C-I-A triad).
What you need to know
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.
Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY APPROVAL SCHEME (ATAS)
International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin their studies. You need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.
If you have a query relating to ATAS, please contact: Salford-ATAS@salford.ac.uk
This degree is partially-accredited for Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP) by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. An accredited degree provides a valuable contribution towards professional membership and evidencing breadth of knowledge. Some employers give preference to applicants who have accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.
The minimum entry requirement is a 2.2 honours in computer science, or a related subject with coverage of programming and IPv4 networking, preferably with experience of command line usage.
Other applicants with a strong cyber security background are welcome to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We also welcome applications from industry professionals with relevant security experience who might not have formal qualifications.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£8,640per year|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,030per year|
|Part-time||2021/22||£1,440 per 30 credits|
Having your own laptop (16GB of RAM and an Ethernet port) is not essential, but it will give you more flexibility in where and how you engage with the software you will need to use during your studies (software is provided as part of the course).
You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
International student scholarships
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. We offer a range of scholarships worth between £3,000-£5,000.
Learn more about our latest international scholarships.