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 become part of the solution. With this specialised postgraduate degree, you can enhance your existing computing knowledge, and develop applied skills ready to build a career in the exciting and in-demand cyber security and intelligence field.
Available with full and part-time study routes, this BCS-accredited course provides learners with specialist cyber security knowledge, and a hands-on skillset, ready to fight cyber-crime. Start dates are available each January and September.
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 also examine trade-offs between security and availability, and between privacy and audit.
The University of Salford is a leading regional study centre for computer science - and a great place for you to further your cyber security journey. We are excited to be part of the GM Cyber Foundry, the Greater Manchester city region's blueprint to be a global leader in cyber and digital research and intelligence.
- 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
This postgraduate course is available in flexible study formats, including full and part-time pathways. The course comprises four 30 credit taught modules, followed by a 60 credit dissertation project. You can choose to start in either January or September.
- Full-time students will take modules in trimesters one and two, and complete the project module in trimester three.
- Part-time students will spread their studies over trimesters one and two of two years, and complete the project module in year three.
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 rapidly-changing world, our multi-disciplinary courses will shape the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Delivered by a team of dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment, where you can take your 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.
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.
Course graduates will be ready to find work in a wide variety of technical security 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.
Some graduates choose to continue their subject interest with postgraduate research. The Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC) is home to our world-class research focused on the advancement of informatics, knowledge discovery and semantic web, software engineering, big data, data mining and analytics, cyber security, information visualisation, and virtual environments.
Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available through our Doctoral School.
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
International applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGY APPROVAL SCHEME (ATAS)
International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studies. To comply with Home Office regulations, you must obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK. Please refer to your offer conditions.
This degree is partially-accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. A partially-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.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.