MSc Cyber Security

Full Time
Degree of Master of Science

Key facts

(2014 Research Excellence Framework)

The MSc Cyber Security offers a multidisciplinary approach to a topic that is only going to become more important and central to all of our lives. The degree has been designed with a number of industrial partners to cover the technical, human, legal and organisational aspects of cyber security to provide students with the skills and knowledge to develop their future career in cyber security.

Due to the breadth of module choice this programme is available to students from a wide-range of subject areas, and is not limited to those with a computing background. This holistic approach to cyber security offers a platform to develop an understanding of the core issues surrounding security, privacy and trust.


We now have unprecedented access to information, like-minded individuals and a whole host of potential problems. Our MSc in Cyber Security will give you a well-rounded appreciation of the issues facing our hyperconnected society, and some of the technological, legislative and social issues that we now face.

Whether you are interested in the technical, human or legislative side of the subject, the MSc Cyber Security at UEA will give you the chance to develop a knowledge and understanding of the key areas. You will explore the many contributing factors that shape this complex and exciting subject. You will develop core cyber security knowledge along with essential intellectual skills such as communication, critical thinking and research that will be with you for the rest of your life.

Course Structure

Semester 1

During the first semester you will be introduced to the core concepts in cyber security. This includes an Introduction to Cyber Security, which covers fundamental ideas within security as well as a focus on the human-aspects of security like social engineering and phishing. You will also study the impact the law can have on security by considering things such as the computer misuse act, GDPR and issues around the internet (e.g. social media, net neutrality and privacy and surveillance). Finally, this semester offers you the chance to develop their programming skills, whether you are a complete beginner or a recent computer science graduate.

Semester 2

The second semester contains a compulsory industry-led module that allows you to understand real-world issues in cyber security. This semester then gives you the opportunity to specialise depending on your interests. The options include network security, developing secure software, privacy and cryptography. These choices allow you to focus on the areas of cyber security that really matter to you.

Semester 3

The final semester will allow you to specialise even further in your dissertation. This project allows you to explore an area of cyber security of your choice.

Teaching and Learning


You will be taught be experts in the field, with a wealth of experience both in academia and industry. Your learning will take the form of lectures, seminars, lab sessions and guest lectures. Your lectures will provide an excellent background in the subject and give you all of the theoretical tools that you need. Each module will have seminars, labs or a combination of the two to give you the chance to apply what you have learned. This kind of active learning is one of the best ways to cement the knowledge you gain throughout the course. The seminar sessions will allow you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and ideas in small, focused groups and are an excellent place to develop and discuss your own thoughts. Lab sessions give you the opportunity to put the skills that you have learned into practice in a technical setting.

Teaching and learning

During the taught phase of your MSc Cyber Security you will typically have around 12 hours of contact time per week, typically consisting of:

• Six hours of lectures

• Six hours of labs/seminars

Independent study

In addition to your contact hours you will also spend time carrying out independent study, whether that is researching in UEA’s state-of-the-art library, working in the cyber security lab or writing essays.

The degree provides an excellent grounding in cyber security, but it will also give you so much more. The course will give you an excellent balance of critical thinking, research, independent thinking and study skills that will allow you to develop as self-motivated learner and researcher. You will develop excellent time management skills and become organised and confident through self-directed study. Throughout your degree you will receive support, guidance and constructive feedback to allow you to develop to your full potential.


At the end of each year you will be assessed on the basis of coursework and, for some modules, project and examination results. For each module you will have the chance to test your skills with two practice or “formative” assignments. That assignment might be a coursework essay or project or an exam. Your final year is assessed by coursework, document work, a special subject dissertation and examinations on your special subject in the period after Easter.

The balance of assessment by coursework and exam depends on the modules you choose, but on average the MSc is 80% coursework and 20% exam.


You will get feedback on your practice assignments from your tutors. The purpose of the feedback is to help you improve your work before your final formal or “summative” assignment and we encourage you to discuss your feedback with your teachers.

For practice assignments we always aim to give you with feedback within 10 working days of hand-in. For formal assignments we aim for within 20 working days of hand-in.

After the course

After graduating you have a wealth of career choice open to you. Cyber security is a field that touches nearly every area of industry and government and as such you are likely to have a range of options. This could be in technically focused roles such as a software engineer, penetration tester or security architect or those that look at security more holistically such as a security analyst. Another option is to continue your studies and undertake a PhD in the area.

Career destinations

The School of Computing Sciences runs an employability fair every year, which includes a range of industry talks and stands.

  • Penetration tester
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Security architect

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module is presents cyber security from an industrial perspective. This looks at how cyber security is considered in industry and how mitigation can be put in place.




In this module, each Masters student is required to carry out project work with substantial research and practical elements on a specified topic for their MSc dissertation from January to late August. The topic can be chosen and allocated from the lists of proposals from faculty members, or proposed by students themselves with an agreement from their supervisor and also an approval from the module organiser. The work may be undertaken as part of a large collaborative or group project. A dissertation must be written as the outcome of the module.




Legal issues relating to Internet use are increasingly important. You are introduced to the key principles of Internet law, including competing views on its status and its relationship with other legal principles. You will also consider the question of the relationship between law and technology. You will explore case studies of alternative forms of governance, including international co-operation and stakeholder-driven processes, in the context of issues such as domain names, social networking and the regulation of Internet service providers. Current issues in Internet law are included on the syllabus each year.




This module will provide you with a broad understanding of the key topics and issues relating to cyber security. In the module we will use real-world examples and case studies to illustrate the importance of security. You will learn about a variety of cyber security topics including: the value of information and data, vulnerabilities and exploits, tools for defence and mitigation and the human elements of cyber security. Security is fast becoming an essential part of all aspects of our daily lives and this module will provide you with the fundamental skills and knowledge for working in a range of industries.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


You will cover advanced programming topics and state of the art software engineering concepts as part of medium to large software product development. More specifically, the following subjects are included: 1. Programming languages: Covering the vast array of programming languages, including older languages (both surviving and obsolete ones), current popular languages and new kids on the block. Different programming paradigms are discussed with code samples and applications to illustrate the underlying theoretical concepts. 2. Advanced software engineering including design patterns, modern iterative and incremental methods such as agile programming and software testing. 3. Program optimisation, parallel programming and high performance computing (HPC): Including underlying laws (Amdahl, Gustafson-Barsis), multi-threading, various languages and/or platforms, GPU programming (CUDA and OpenCL). 4. State of the art coverage of specific languages including C, F#, C#, C++11,14 etc. 5. Specific architectures such as Window's .NET/CLR, DLL programming, templates and type systems.




The module aims to establish a clear understanding of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) and essential Objected Oriented Methodologies for developing application software. It teaches Java programming language and uses it as a vehicle to learn important concepts, such as objects, classes, inheritance, encapsulation and polymorphism. It also covers the Unified Modelling Language (UML) as a tool for object-oriented analysis and design, software development life cycle models, software testing strategies and techniques and version control.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


Cryptography is the science of coding and decoding messages to keep them secure, and has been used throughout history. While previously only a few people in authority used cryptography, the internet and e-commerce mean that we now all have transactions that we want to keep secret. The speed of modern computers means messages encrypted using techniques from just a few decades ago can now be broken in seconds; thus the methods of encryption have also become more sophisticated. In this module, you will explore some of the mathematics behind cryptography and how to apply it. This includes standard material from elementary number theory, including primality testing and methods of factorization and their application to symmetric key and public key cryptography, including Diffie-Hellman Key exchange, RSA and ElGamal. The last section of the course will be on elliptic curve cryptography. There will be additional material on an advanced topic, to be determined.




This module will focus on the methods and techniques for delivering robust, maintainable and secure software. Students will learn about the importance of security when designing and developing software. The module will include a broad range of software security threats and vulnerabilities and methods of mitigating these issues. The module will cover ethical hacking, penetration testing and structured approaches to security testing.




This will provide students with a broad understanding of the core principles of networking and network security. The students will develop an understanding and knowledge of the threats of varying levels of sophistication. The module will teach students about protocols and other methods of developing secure network systems.




In the intrusive, multi-faceted world that exists today, with 24/7 media and an ever-expanding internet, the potential for damage to reputation and interference with privacy has never been greater. This module focuses on the various ways in which the law protects rights to reputation and privacy and examines ways in which the law can be used to manage reputations in this complex world. You will focus on the law of defamation, the laws relating to the protection of privacy interests, and the developing interplay between law and technology. While the approach taken by English law will form a significant part of the module's content, comparative study will also be made of the laws of America and other common law jurisdictions as well as the laws of the European Union and some specific European countries.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • UEA Award

    Develop your skills, build a strong CV and focus your extra-curricular activities while studying with our employer-valued UEA award.

    Read it UEA Award

    Discover our new building for the next generation of Scientists and Engineers.

    Read it OPENING IN SUMMER 2019
  • Ask a Student

    This is your chance to ask UEA's students about UEA, university life, Norwich and anything else you would like an answer to.

    Read it Ask a Student
  • University Taster Events

    Come to one of our taster events and experience university life for yourself. Book now.

    Read it University Taster Events
  • Hear from our students

    Find out what it’s like to be a part of the School of Computing Sciences at UEA.

    Read it Hear from our students

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Classification Bachelors degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent)
  • Special Entry Requirements Successful applicants will demonstrate an interest in cyber security, as well as proven communication and problem solving skills.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,850 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,400 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).


Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.



A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study. Please click here for more detailed information about funding for prospective students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515