Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Computer Science with Cyber Security with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Cyber criminals are using sophisticated techniques to infiltrate I.T systems and steal valuable data. Help businesses and organisations to fight back by building cyber security knowledge and skills. This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build a strong foundation in computer systems and programming so you are ready to progress to study the full BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Cyber Security degree.

This pathway is designed for students who want to study the full honours degree, but don’t meet the direct entry requirements. On successful completion of the foundation year, you'll progress to the full BSc Computer Science with Cyber Security degree course, which is accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

During your studies, you will complete specially-designed projects, as you develop the ability to think conceptually, and cultivate independent technical judgement. We’ll also help you to build a professional approach, by making you aware of laws, regulations and competences needed to work with other IT professionals.

Start your study journey 

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying computer science with cyber security, explore our facilities and meet the course team 

You will:

  • Build the technical skills and confidence ready to progress to the computer science with cyber security undergraduate degree
  • Learn forensics so you can diagnose attacks and determine the extent of damage.
  • Develop an understanding of cryptography to address security concerns
  • Learn about evidence preservation so you can work within an ethical framework
  • Learn risk management so you to actively manage threats rather than just solve problems

options available

This is for you if...


You want to study cyber security but don't have the requirements for direct entry onto the full Honours degree


You're interested in how things work rather than just wanting to use them


You've got a keen attention to detail, enjoy problem-solving and like to use your initiative

Course details

All about the course

Computer science students talking with tutor

Foundation year

The foundation year pathway is designed to help you to build solid knowledge and skills, so you are ready to progress on to one of our industry-accredited computing degree courses.

Along with introducing you to essential study skills, you will explore programming for standalone applications and websites. You will also enhance your mathematical problem-solving, and learn to describe how computer systems work.

On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress to the first year of the full BSc Computer Science with Cyber Security undergraduate course course.

BSc (Hons) degree

Course delivery

Delivered across three years - or four, if you choose to include an industry placement, our BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Cyber Security degree is designed to develop your in-depth knowledge and understanding of programming, computer systems, data mining, security and network penetration testing. 

In you're final year you'll take further cyber security-focused modules, including cyber investigation and malware and exploit analysis. You'll also complete an individual project that will demonstrate your knowledge and skills

Learn more about the course modules in the section below. 

Learning experience 

Embedding collaboration with industry and working on real-world projects is an essential aspect of studying computing at Salford. In your second year you'll have the opportunity to take-part in our three-week long industry challenge, Hackcamp. Working in a team with other second year computing students, you'll develop a web-hosted dashboard or application to meet a real-life brief, set by one of our industry partners. At the end of the three weeks students also have the chance to present their finished project at our Hackcamp showcase day. 

Working on real-world set briefs alongside your specialist studies will give you the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for an exciting career in tech. You will also bring all of your learning together by completing an individual project in your final year, where you can focus on an area of software engineering of your choice. 

Industry placement

On the full degree, you will have the opportunity to take an industrial placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your own placement, we will assign you a placement tutor to monitor your progress and assess your final report.

By completing a placement year, you can add 'with professional experience' to your degree award. Industry placements are an excellent way to improve your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections.

Foundation year

Computer Programming

This module will introduce object-oriented programming in Python using Visual Studio Code, covering console based and desktop applications.

Computer Systems

This module will explore low-level details of some key computer components. It will teach you how to decompose some real-world systems into smaller subsystems, and how to make complex operations out of simple operations.

Computing Mathematics FY

This module will cover some core mathematics in order to get you up to something between GCSE and A2 level. The maths included is targeted at what will be useful later in the course, such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, coordinate geometry, probability and statistics.

Web Programming

This module gives an introduction to developing content and applications for the Web. The module covers the basics of the WWW followed by core technologies and standards such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Further topics are design principles, development as a process, testing and validation. The module is delivered as a blend of lectures and hands-on workshops. Successful completion of this module will enable you to create standard compliant websites following best practice.

Inside Computer Systems

The module is delivered as a blend of lectures and hands-on workshops. Successful completion of this module will enable you to understand computer components and computer architecture, convert numbering systems from one type to another, and how to data pass through input, memory, processor and output.

Year one

Database Systems

This module will share 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.

Computer System Internals and Linux

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 to 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.

Programming 1

You will be introduced to a practical, hands-on approach to programming where workshops will provide focused practical activity on a managed learning curve. You will learn excellent programming practice through design, implementation and testing, and will be introduced to the basics of structured programming language using an integrated programming environment.

Programming 2

You will strengthen your syntax and semantics base of Java developed in the ‘Programming 1’ module. You will develop an appreciation of recursion as well as your knowledge of dynamic data structures. Additionally, you will learn how to test and debug code, along with an appreciation of more sophisticated programming behaviour.

Professional Development and Practices

You will be introduced to the business context and application of computing and information systems. You will explore this through societal, professional, ethical and legal issues surrounding business practices and the theory and process of project delivery to a professional standard.

Web Development and Human Computer Interfaces

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 websites using HTML5 & Cascading Sheets (CSS).

Year two

Client Server Systems

You will develop data-driven interactive web applications, with client-side and server-side components, using industry-standard software development tools and techniques. You will design, create, test and demonstrate software implementing a data-driven web application, programming, industry standard scripting languages (such as PHP and Javascript), connecting to industry standard databases, identifying security risks, and working within legal constraints such as data protection, accessibility and copyright.

Data Structures

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

Career Development

You will develop a range of employability 'soft skills' to give you an advantage when applying for (and carrying out) a placement as well as graduate roles. Employers value a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. This module will draw from our extensive industry contacts to demonstrate the range of skills needed to succeed in your career and to help you develop a career plan.

Networking and Security

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 trade-offs, firewalls and legal implications. You will apply these principles to designing solutions for some realistic case studies.

AI and Data Mining

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.

Software Projects with Agile Techniques

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.

Year three

Cyber Investigation

You will go further into digital investigation techniques and methodologies, covering specific forensic details for Windows, mobile devices, multimedia files and networks and using a variety of tools.

Malware and Exploit Analysis

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. You will evaluate and analyse incident management and recovery procedures.

Information Security Management

This 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 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.


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.

Plus an optional choice from the following:

Mobile Development

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.

Business Management

You will learn business and enterprise concepts so you can 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.

Virtual Reality and 3D Games

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.


Deep Learning

Introducing you to the field of deep learning and its applications, you will learn about the deep learning architectures and algorithms that are used in applications such as face recognition, speech recognition and medical diagnosis. You will also have the opportunity to develop your professional skills using the Python programming language and utilizing a deep learning framework to develop predictive models and applications. 

Advanced Web Development

You will learn the common stages of creating a large-scale web application. This consists of the following: development of a scalable web application using design patterns, frameworks and other industry best practices; discussion of the concepts of APIs; designing a fully RESTful API for the application; and create a client to consume the application API .

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?


You'll develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods. These include:

  • Practical laboratories
  • Case studies
  • Group work
  • Project work


You'll be assessed using a combination of formats. These include:

  • Examinations to assess your immediate response to a set of unseen problems
  • Assignments to assess your response to a larger problem
  • Practical tests to assess your ability to apply appropriate skills to a problem
  • Projects to assess your ability to create a plan, identify possibilities, make decisions, carry out the plan, and reflect on the choices and outcome
  • Software development tasks to demonstrate your work
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

What is computer science and cyber security?  

Computer science is the development and testing of software and systems. It involves working on areas such as mathematical models, data analysis and security, algorithms, and computational theory. 

Cyber security specifically focuses on the protection of technological systems from digital threats. These threats can include deliberate attacks to access, change, or destroy sensitive information, to interrupt business processes, or extort money from users via ransomware. These are only a few examples of cyber threats. 

Is computer science a good job?  

A degree in computer science will teach you a range of technical and non-technical skills that are greatly valued by employers. Computer technologies are integral to most industries in the modern day, so you will have plenty of choice when it comes to pursuing your career. Some of the roles you could explore include programmer, software developer, web developer, IT consultant, computer analyst, and systems administrator. 

Our computer science alumni have found employment with leading national companies across a range of industries, such as Sainsbury's, Cisco, Microsoft, SIS, Autotrader, HMRC, Ferranti and Civica, plus local firms emerging in the fast-growing tech community in the northwest. 

What GCSE and A Levels do you need for computer science?  

Most of our computing programmes require an English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) and a level 4 qualification (A Level, BTEC, or equivalent) in Computing or a related subject. The specific entry requirements for this programme can be found in the entry requirements section. 

Is computer science and cyber security difficult?  

Studying computer science and cyber security can be challenging since it involves many scientific and complex technological topics, however, our students find our programmes incredibly rewarding when gaining a wide range of skills during their studies.    

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a computing student, you will learn in our specialist computing suites and laboratories, including a networking laboratory and dedicated final year project laboratory. You can also use Cisco-enabled facilities with the option to gain Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) status.

Industry Collaboration and Research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global computing and informatics issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Computer scientist with two monitors


Once you complete the full honours degree, you'll graduate with exciting and rewarding careers opportunities ahead of you. With demonstrable programming skills, supported by a large portfolio of practical work, you'll have an excellent set of computer science skills and a specialism in cyber security. 

Designed to fill an emerging global skills gap, our fast-growing course will take your interest in computer science, and enhance it with a specialist cyber focus. There is currently a shortage of cyber security specialists, with a rise in demand for security analysts, penetration testers, security auditors and information security managers.

Our computer science alumni have found employment with leading national companies across a range of industries, including Sainsburys, Cisco, Microsoft, SIS, Autotrader, HMRC, Ferranti and Civica, plus local firms emerging in the fast-growing North West tech community.

Further study

You might find you want to learn more about computing. Building on our expertise, we offer postgraduate courses that can take your interests and career opportunities further. Salford graduates and alumni receive a significant fees discount.

A taste of what you could become

A security analyst

A risk consultant

A security auditor

A cyber security specialist

An information manager

And more...


What you need to know

Applicant profile

We're looking for applicants with a strong interest in computing and software. The Foundation Year is recommended for applicants who:

  • feel that their background makes them more 'keen users of computers' rather than 'curious about low-level details', but who want to increase their depth of knowledge
  • feel that their mathematics would benefit from some improvement before embarking on a degree course
  • have not studied a computing or numerate subject at school/college, but want to pursue a computing career
  • wish to return to education after a long time in employment

International students

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

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.

Standard entry requirements


English and Mathematics at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either Mathematics or Computing to A-Level or equivalent standard.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without Mathematics or Computing.


64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.

BTEC National Diploma

MPP from computing or a numerate subject.

MMP from other subjects.

Access to HE

Pass from a QAA-approved computer-related subject.

Scottish Highers

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 UCAS points where qualifications include either mathematics or computing.

72 UCAS points from any subject combination without mathematics or computing.

European Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information: admissionssee-ug@salford.ac.uk

International Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information: admissionssee-ug@salford.ac.uk

Alternative entry requirements

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.  To be considered for the scheme, you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2025/26 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID G4G5

Institution S03