Course overview

This course will prepare you for a successful career in an exciting and in-demand sector. 

In this cutting-edge course, you'll delve into security dynamics and the art of risk management, exploring the human factors that shape cyber threats. You will gain a holistic understanding of cybersecurity, as the curriculum uniquely intertwines cybersecurity concepts with the power of computer science skills.

However, you won't just learn about cybersecurity you will gain practical training that exposes you to real-world scenarios. Engage in simulated cyber-attack and defence exercises that sharpen your problem-solving skills and give you a taste of the cybersecurity sector.

People smiling

“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

Why Cybersecurity at Aston University?

Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold- the highest possible rating for Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
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Ranked 13th in the UK
For median earnings on average £33,200 in the first year after graduation (LEO, 2023)
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Thriving student life
Aston Students’ Union was rated 8th in the UK in the 2022 What Uni League Table

Course description

BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity

The BSc Cybersecurity degree at Aston University equips you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to thrive in the tech world. 

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second largest city, delivered by experienced and seasoned cybersecurity professionals and academics who bring a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom. Use of state-of-the-art facilities, including modern computer labs. To ensure all our students have sufficient equipment to excel in their studies we provide all cybersecurity students with a brand-new high-spec laptop to keep.

We are an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry. To find out more, visit here.

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What you will provide 
Are you captivated by the ever-evolving digital landscape? We are looking for individuals passionate about technology, with a curiosity to uncover the inner workings of systems, applications, and networks. Problem-solving and logical thinking are critical on this course, as cybersecurity is as much about adapting to the evolving threat landscape as it is about pre-emptively countering those threats.

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What skills we teach
From mastering a range of programming languages to nailing pen-testing (a simulated attack performed on a computer system to evaluate its security). You will also gain soft skills critical to the workplace like project management, time management, communication, and teamwork. Making you a sought-after professional in the digital age.

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Placement year
The compulsory placements year is a fantastic opportunity and mandatory with Aston University’s BSc Cybersecurity course. Our award-winning careers and placement team will help you find an exciting and relevant placement and support you during your year. Previous students have gained experience with leading companies, such as IBM, 3M, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Intel, BT, Corus and TNT.

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Career prospects
The government has identified a shortage in qualified graduates in cybersecurity, calling it a 'national vulnerability that must be resolved' in its National Cybersecurity Strategy.  Our 2023 graduates from this versatile and in-demand degree have gone on to successful roles such as Cybersecurity Analyst, Technical Consultant and Information Security Analyst for leading companies like American Express, Seven Trent Water and Capgemini.

How you will learn

Your teaching will take place predominately on campus with online resources available to support your learning. Our teaching methods range from engaging lectures to interactive workshops and practical lab sessions, allowing you to absorb knowledge through multiple angles and put theory into practice. 

We have strong connections with leading companies and organisations in the tech sector, through our Computer Science Industry Club. So, you will also benefit from guest lectures, placements and networking opportunities that provide a direct link to potential employers.

Here at Aston University, we are passionate about supporting our students. You will have a personal tutor throughout your studies to provide support and guidance, and a dedicated programming support officer for additional support. The Learning Development Centre is there to provide maths support, academic writing development, advice, and strategies for managing your studies.  You will also have the opportunity to get involved in PAL sessions, learning from your peers who have been through the course content before you.

Extracurricular activities:

  • You can join a vibrant community of like-minded individuals in our Aston Computer Science Society
  • Become a member of the 'Industry Club'. Where you'll gain access to hands-on industry experience, internships, and projects with tech companies. Helping you build your professional network from the get-go.
  • Challenge yourself in the annual Aston Hack hackathon, a frenzied 24 hours of designing, coding, and making.
  • Let your creativity run wild in our Design Challenge, whilst you tackle real-world engineering problems and propose innovative solutions.
  • Join our Formula Student team where you will design, build, and race your very own formula-style car.

What you will learn

The BSc Cybersecurity curriculum is meticulously designed to cover a wide spectrum of cybersecurity aspects. This comprehensive approach ensures you graduate with a holistic understanding of the field, ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way.

First year

Through hands-on projects, critical exploration of ethical issues, and the application of security fundamentals, you'll develop a powerful grounding in computer science and start to acquire the skills and knowledge essential to cybersecurity professionals.

Second year

In your second year, you'll delve deeper into core cybersecurity topics, mastering skills in data encryption, data integrity, and authentication, and exploring the human factors related to security. Your learnings will be put to the test in a team project where you will collaborate with BSc Computer Science students on a professional brief. 

Placement year

Consolidating your learnings in a work environment. BSc Cybersecurity students have a compulsory placement year in industry during their degree. We will support you to find paid, professional placement in the field you will one day thrive within. This placement will help you gain invaluable practical experience in a real work environment giving you a huge boost to future career prospects.

Final year

In your final year, you will be able to choose a specialism you are passionate about by selecting from a broad range of cybersecurity sector-focused options, whilst continuing to study core modules that are important cybersecurity areas of learning, such as risk analysis skills and secure programming techniques. You will then consolidate all your learnings from the course and apply them to an in-depth final project, based on a defined cybersecurity topic of your choice.  

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My Aston Experience

Lionel shares his experience about studying computing at Aston


Aston University campus is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including modern computer labs, collaborative spaces, and resources to aid your studies and research. We have dedicated lab officers and laptop support technician’s available to all students. 

BSc Cybersecurity students will learn in our isolated CyberLab, a virtualised infrastructure, dedicated to mimic actual security operations centres, giving you an authentic but safe environment to refine your skills.

As part of our innovative, modern delivery model we provide a free laptop to all enrolling first years on Cybersecurity. These will support you throughout your studies with us and the laptop is yours to keep at the end of your studies. We ensure these laptops are fitted out with a specification to suit the range of our teaching.

We also have a range of high-spec gadgets such as Augmented Reality headsets, Driving Simulator, and Pepper the AI Robot, which can be utilised for individual student projects.

Course objectives

  1. Provides a broad computing-based foundation with an emphasis on security that cuts across a range of cybersecurity specialisations.
  2. Produces graduates who possess essential cybersecurity knowledge and skills.
  3. Produces graduates who have high ethical and professional values.
  4. Produces graduates who are highly attractive to employers and well prepared for a rewarding career as cybersecurity professionals, adaptable to a wide range of employment opportunities.
  5. Enables you to enhance your career preparation through a period of structured professional training.


Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Professional and Social Aspects of Computing 15
Security Thinking and Fundamentals 15
Computer Systems 15
Internet Applications and Database Design 30
Mathematics for Computing Professionals 15
Object Oriented Programming 30

Year 1 outcomes 

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate computational thinking and problem-solving ability.
  • Explain the basic principles of cybersecurity in the context of the general computing environment.
  • Describe cryptographic, computability, mathematical and statistical principles, with a particular focus on cybersecurity.
  • Construct reliable, secure and usable software and information systems.
  • Communicate essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories relating to computing and computer applications as appropriate to the programme of study.
  • Recognise and analyse criteria and specifications appropriate to specific problems and plan strategies for their solutions.
  • Describe the purposes and general organisation of a computer system and the principles of computer hardware architecture.
  • Be able to demonstrate basic knowledge of the architecture and construction of web-based systems, including their security vulnerabilities, threats and mitigations.


Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Team Project 30
Operating Systems 15
Secure Network Services 15
Introduction to Distributed Systems 15
BuData Encryption, Data Integrity and Authentication 15
Human Factors in Security 15
Programming Language Concepts 15

Year 2 outcomes 

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Recognise the legal, social, ethical and professional issues involved in the exploitation of computer technology and be guided by the adoption of appropriate professional, ethical and legal practices.
  • Identify information security threats and describe measures to mitigate those threats.
  • Select and apply methods, techniques and tools for information modelling, management and security.
  • Explain essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to computing and computer applications in modelling and design.
  • Deploy effectively the tools used for the construction and documentation of computer applications, with particular emphasis on understanding the whole process involved in the effective deployment of computers to solve practical problems.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work as a member of a development team recognising the different roles within a team and different ways of organising teams.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of systems architecture and related technologies for developing information systems.
  • Apply intellectual skills in the context of critical thinking; making a case; information literacy. The ability to construct well-argued and grammatically correct documents. Research and describe relevant ideas, ensuring these are correctly and accurately referenced and attributed.

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement Year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of business and the relevant commercial environment and/or intercultural study and their role within it.
  • Gain knowledge of key aspects of good practice relevant to industry and/or intercultural study context.
  • Develop new knowledge and understanding appropriate to the industrial, business, study or research sector related to degree programme.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of ways in a professional and industrial environment and/or in an intercultural study context.

Final year modules

In your final year, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Individual Project 45
Secure Programming 15
Security Governance, Risk Management and Policy 15

Select 45 credits from the following optional modules*:

Module TitleCredits
Delivering Secure Software 15
System Management, Access and Control 15
Cyber Crime, Cyber Law and Privacy15
Digital Forensics 15
System Administration 15
Techniques for Data Analysis (Data Mining) 15


*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Final Year Outcomes 

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Analyse the extent to which a computer based-system meets the criteria defined for its current use and future development, with a particular focus on security.
  • Apply appropriate theory and practices and deploy tools for the specification, design, implementation, and evaluation of secure computer-based systems.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the commercial and economic context of the development, use and maintenance of information systems.
  • Select and apply management techniques that may be used to achieve objectives within a computing context.
  • Critically evaluate systems in terms of security and other quality attributes and possible trade-offs presented within the given problem.
  • Recognise any risks or security aspects that may be involved in the operation of computing and information systems within a given context.
  • Make informed decisions on the methods and issues involved in deploying systems to meet business goals subject to security threats.
  • Follow appropriate theoretical and practical processes to specify and deploy, verify and maintain information systems, including working with technical uncertainty.
  • Define a problem, research its background, recognize the security threats, analyse customer and user needs, make appropriate design trade-offs based upon risk, ensure fitness for purpose and manage the design process and evaluate outcomes.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBB (standard offer)
    BBC if grade B is achieved in EPQ or Core Maths*
    BCC (contextual offer)

    *List of core maths qualifications we accept:  AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies, City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics, NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Everyday Life, OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving, OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning, Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context, WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life and Level 3 Core Maths.

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma: DDM
  • Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with an overall grade of Distinction
  • National Diploma and Diploma: DM plus 1 A-level at minimum Grade B
  • Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with an overall grade of Distinction 
  • 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
  • 31 overall points with 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects

Access with at least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits at Level 3.

Non-standard qualifications


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 

The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Accounting Grade D
  • Agriculture, Land Management and Production Grade D
  • Animal Care and Management Grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D
  • Catering Grade D
  • Craft and Design Grade D
  • Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing Grade D
  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D#
  • Digital Business Services Grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Development Grade D
  • Digital Support Services Grade D
  • Education and Childcare Grade D
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control Grade D
  • Finance Grade D
  • Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy Grade D
  • Legal Services Grade D
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing Grade D
  • Management and Administration Grade D
  • Media, Broadcast and Production Grade D
  • Onsite Construction Grade D
  • Health Grade D
  • Healthcare Science Grade D
  • Science Grade D

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

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

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. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

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. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students

Annual tuition fees:£21,100
During placement year:£2,500

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.


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.

Explore our scholarships 


The BSc Cybersecurity degree employs a range of authentic assessment methods, including portfolio work, coursework, quizzes, and exams.  

The initial two years have a 50/50 balance between immersive coursework and exams. As you head into the final year, there will be a shift towards more closed book exams.

The assessment methods will reflect the most effective and relevant way to review your performance for each module. Therefore, each module will be assessed in a variety of ways to reflect your knowledge from that module and how you would apply it in the real world.

Career prospects

This programme will position you at the forefront of this exciting field. Whether you aspire to work as a penetration tester, cybersecurity analyst, incident responder, software or network engineer or consultant, the BSc Cybersecurity program equips you with the skills that employers are desperately seeking.

Our 2023 graduates from this versatile and in-demand degree have gone on to successful roles such as Cybersecurity Analyst, Technical Consultant and Information Security Analyst for leading companies like American Express, Seven Trent Water and Capgemini.


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Cybersecurity at Aston University?

This course will prepare you for a successful career in an exciting and in-demand sector. 

In this cutting-edge course, you'll delve into security dynamics and the art of risk management, exploring the human factors that shape cyber threats. You will gain a holistic understanding of cybersecurity, as the curriculum uniquely intertwines cybersecurity concepts with the power of computer science skills.

How will a placement year benefit me?

We think that the knowledge you gain through your studies are best applied to real life and the most effective way to do this is by working in a company. As well as the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned, you’ll also gain invaluable communication and team skills. 

We have excellent links with industry and will help to arrange this placement for you. 

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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