Cybersecurity BSc

Gain a qualification in cyber security with our dedicated degree course, created to meet demand from employers for graduates with skills in this area.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 years

UCAS code(s)

I190

Start date

This course is currently available through Clearing.

Call 0800 917 5923 or apply online.

Entry requirements:


A Level: BCC 

BTEC UnREF: DDM | BTEC REF: DMM

GCSEs at C/4 in English and C/4 Maths

Overview
Explore Cybersecurity at Aston University

Computer Science alumni Minita Unadkat talks about her experience of studying in the Computer Science department at Aston.

Denver Fernandes

“The teaching was very good. All the lecturers seemed to know a lot about what they were teaching and were very passionate about it. In addition, the lecturers were open to explaining everything in more detail when asked about it.”

Denver Fernandes
Graduate Software Developer, PCMS Group PLC

Denver Fernandes

“The teaching was very good. All the lecturers seemed to know a lot about what they were teaching and were very passionate about it. In addition, the lecturers were open to explaining everything in more detail when asked about it.”

Denver Fernandes
Graduate Software Developer, PCMS Group PLC

Course outline and modules

Get prepared for a career in an area that needs skilled graduates to prevent security threats. Cybersecurity experts need to think like the hacker in order to effectively protect against cyber attacks, and this is what Aston will teach you.

On this new course, you’ll work in a specialist computer lab, testing systems by attempting to hack in. This is a critical part of your learning to identify and protect against security threats.

What you’ll learn

You will learn how to help organisations to keep their businesses and customers safe with this practical course that will develop your professional and technical skills.

The practical orientation of our programme, and industry input, will enable you to gain the full range of professional skills you need to start a career in cybersecurity.

Throughout the course, you will develop expertise in cybersecurity and the key applications of computing science with a particular emphasis on applications in industry and commerce.

You’ll be given a grounding in computer science early in your course before focusing on a range of topics including security management, designing secure systems and human factors in security.

If you choose our four year programme, you’ll spend your third year in a paid professional placement of direct relevance to your studies. This placement will give you invaluable practical experience in a real work environment and further enhance your career prospects. Our staff will help you find a suitable placement and support you during your year.

Our current and recent placement employers include companies in the UK and abroad such as: IBM, 3M, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Intel, BT, Corus and TNT.

In your final year, you’ll undertake a project to enable you to further explore a particular subject. Your project could be based on a topic from an extensive list or you can suggest your own, perhaps based on your professional placement.

The Computer Science group provide opportunities to get involved in the student-run software development organisation, Beautiful Canoe, through the provision of a number of summer internships every year. There is also an Industry Club, open to everyone, which gives you opportunities to meet with employers and showcase your work, increasing your chance of securing that all-important graduate job or placement.

Modules

Year 1

•    Professional and Social Aspects of Computing
•    Security Thinking and Fundamentals
•    Computer Systems
•    Internet Applications and Database Design
•    Mathematics for Computing Professionals
•    Object Oriented Programming

Year 2

•    Team Project
•    Operating Systems
•    Secure Network Services
•    Introduction to Distributed Systems
•    Data Encryption, Data Integrity and Authentication
•    Human Factors in Security
•    Programming Language Concepts

Year 3 - Placement Year

Find out more about the Aston placement year.

•    EAS Study Placement Year 
•    EAS Industrial Placement Year 
•    EAS Study/Work Placement Year

Final Year 

Core Modules:

•    Individual Project
•    Secure Programming
•    Security Governance, Risk Management and Policy

Optional Modules:

•    Delivering Secure Software 
•    System Management, Access and Control
•    Cyber Crime, Cyber Law and Privacy
•    Digital Forensics
•    System Administration
•    Techniques for Data Analysis (Data Mining)

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham, it’s also a great place to live.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with one of our foundation programmes will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey.

We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes. https://www2.aston.ac.uk/international-students

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBB, BBC if grade B achieved in EPQ or Core Maths, BCC Contextual/DTUS offer

IB

31 overall points with 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects

BTEC, Access & other

BTEC

  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma: DDM
  • National Diploma and Diploma: DM plus 1 A-level at minimum Grade B
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma: DM plus 2 A-level minimum grade B
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma: M plus 2 A-level minimum Grade B
  • Certificate/ National Certificate Level 3: Not accepted
     

Access to Higher Education 

Subject related Access with at least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits at level 3


Non-standard qualifications

Degree

  • Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a 1st year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
     
  • Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 65% overall and 120 credits  on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
     
  • Year 3: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3. 

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation.

Please note this programme includes a compulsory placement year for which employers will require a vetting and checking process. The checks will vary depending on the employer's needs. You will most probably be asked about past Criminal Convictions and be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if you are a UK student. If you are an international student, you may need to provide a suitable police check/letter from your home country. You may also be required to complete a health screening questionnaire and provide employers with details of past international travel and residence history. For further information, please contact ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk 

GCSEs

Additionally to our Level 3 requirement, you will also need to have achieved:

GCSE Maths Grade C/4 and English Grade C/4


View our Admissions Policy

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year maybe offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Your learning experience will be a combination of lectures and seminars and more practical teaching, including lab exercises, practical classes and computer-aided learning.

This variety enables you to develop the skills and experience you’ll need to create, analyse and test cybersecurity systems. Assessment will be through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments.

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £16,700*

During placement year: £2,500

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

The government has identified a shortage in qualified graduates in the area of cybersecurity, calling it a 'national vulnerability that must be resolved' in its National Cybersecurity Strategy.

Our graduates will be in high demand and will find stimulating and rewarding positions with high-profile organisations, either in cybersecurity roles or across a range of computer science careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Cybersecurity at Aston? 

Cybersecurity skills are in high demand in many different sectors. If you’re interested in how computer science can enable the identification and mitigation of security threats then this course could be of interest to you.

What will I be doing on the Cybersecurity course at Aston? 

You will learn how organisations can keep their businesses and customers safe though this practical course that will develop your professional and technical skills.  

You’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need in a range of ways - from lectures to lab exercises - as well as having opportunities to spend time in industry and explore a subject in greater depth through your final year project. 

Why would I take a year out in industry? 

The optional placement year is available with all our computing courses, giving you invaluable practical experience and enhancing your career prospects through a paid professional placement in the UK or abroad.  
We have excellent links with industry and will help to arrange this placement for you. 

Why should international students choose Aston University? 

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live. 

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.  

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. 

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