Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity BSc | Coventry U...

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Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity MSci/BSc (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
4 years full-time, 5 years sandwich or study abroad


Coventry University


September 2018



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


With high profile incidents like the recent WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks making headlines, there is an increasing demand for highly trained individuals who can advise businesses and organisations, government and law enforcement agencies alike on the best ways to protect their computer networks and the valuable, commercially sensitive information stored within them.

The specialist skills and knowledge to thoroughly test the security of computer systems, make them secure and investigate properly if they are compromised are not typically taught within a standard computer science course. In contrast, our British Computer Society (BCS) accredited course has been developed to provide a good practical and theoretical understanding of cybersecurity, hacking, digital forensics and the underlying computer science.

We have an outstanding track record for graduate employability – with 100% of students finding work or continuing their education within six months. You can also progress from successful completion your undergraduate degree straight to a Master’s level qualification, further preparing you for a career in this fast-growing industry on graduation.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

The British Computer Society (BCS)

Accreditation by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional; partially meeting the Academic Requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist; and, on behalf of the Engineering Council, partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

What our students say

Overcoming the challenges posed by this course nurtured my passion for this industry and put me on the path to an exciting new career.

Tudor Muntean-Cojan

Course information

On this professionally accredited course, you will have the opportunity to learn to identify and analyse the threats posed to modern information structures and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to advise a company on how to set up secure systems.

We essentially cover two core themes: general purpose computer systems technology and specialist security topics in the computing field, including ethical hacking, digital forensics and encryption algorithms. This combination aims to enable you to devise methods to test a system’s security in the future, apply appropriate defences against threats and possess the technical computing skills needed to break into systems that have vulnerabilities.


of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (165kb)



The first year focuses on enabling students from a diverse range of backgrounds to make a solid start on their degree courses and understand fundamental principles.


  • Digital Forensics Fundamentals

  • Introduction to Computer Security

  • Computer Architecture and Networks

  • Introduction to Computing

  • Introduction to Algorithms

  • Logic and Sets


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


In the second year, we explore security-related topics in more depth, from more complex forensic analyses to penetration-testing of black-box networked systems. Providing experience of effective team working, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a group project tackling problems which have previously included drone firmware security and sniffing non-802 wireless communications.


  • Real-World Project

  • Operating Systems, Security and Networks

  • Intermediate Digital Forensics

  • Ethical Hacking 1

  • Networked System Architectures

  • Technology and its Social, Legal and Ethical Context


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution.

Past students have undertaken placements working in cybersecurity companies such as Nettitude, networking organisations like Janet or in the security teams of organisations such as the BBC.


  • Optional Placement or Study Abroad


The final year of the BSc course covers advanced topics at the forefront of contemporary practice, such as malware analysis, exploit development and live-memory forensics.

You will have the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have previously learned by undertaking an in-depth individual project. For example, previous students have taken on projects such as automated detection of social engineering, DNS RPZ implementations and multi-source social-media analysis for generating spear-phishing campaigns.


  • Ethical Hacking 2

  • Systems Security

  • Advanced Network Management and Design

  • Individual Project

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • Data Recovery and Advanced Digital Forensic Analysis
    • Secure Programming and Exploit Development


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


If you choose to progress to the optional Master’s programme, you will have the opportunity to acquire specialised knowledge in more advanced topics from ethical hacking, digital forensic and network computing, while also studying cutting-edge research in security and forensics.


  • Ethical Hacking

  • Network Forensics

  • Forensic Computing Methods

  • Internet Systems Development

  • Master’s Research Project


We are ranked as the 13th best University in the United Kingdom in The Guardian University Guide 2019

In more detail...

  • Opportunity to gain Forensic Toolkit (FTK) certification.
  • Opportunity to demonstrate your portfolio of work to potential employers at the annual Coventry New Wizards Showcase.
  • Option to join the CISCO Academy Programme leading to an industry-recognised CISCO Certified Networked Associate (CCNA) qualification (additional costs may apply).
  • Active Computer Club that organises a range of extracurricular activities, such as LAN gaming, robot programming challenges and hackathons, to experience the most up-to-date technologies.
  • Accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS), fully meets the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered IT Professional and provides partial fulfilment for Chartered Scientist and Chartered Engineer.
  • Regular guest lecturers from current practitioners, which in recent years, speakers have included senior professors from Sheffield, Lincoln and Birmingham universities and the European Bioinformatics Centre Cambridge.
  • Our ‘computer science’ courses enjoy high levels of student satisfaction – 90% overall in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016 and 90% for the quality of undergraduate teaching in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Support applying for short and long-term placements with technology companies to gain the experience employers desire. Past students have worked for Microsoft UK Ltd, Intel and Accenture, as well as a range of medium sized companies in web, media and the creative industries.
  • £50m Engineering and Computing building features a large range of specialised computing laboratories in computer security, communications and signal processing, electrical, electronics and microprocessors, ethical hacking and forensic computing, together with a games and multimedia studio and open access computer facilities, featuring industry-standard software from Kali Linux to wireshark and FTK.

Excellent track record in employability – with 91% of graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15).

Your main study themes are:

  • Digital forensics: You will be introduced to digital forensics and digital crime scene investigation, including concepts of digital evidence, digital forensic investigation methodology, legacy and current file systems essentials, registry files, password recovery, data acquisition and forensic examination of computer systems using current commercial forensic tools. We will also consider UK and European Commission rules of evidence, legislative frameworks and how the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Digital Evidence Principles (2012) govern investigations in a law enforcement and corporate environment.
  • Computer security: Businesses, the public sector and private individuals increasingly rely on digital systems, which has increased their size, scope and complexity making security and assurance significantly more difficult. There is a correlation between the advances made in computer and network technology, the increased complexity created in its usage and the rise in the level of security required. Digital security may have a strong technological component, but it also has an equally strong physical, social and ethical dimension through the people who both use it and try to subvert it. We will explore the digital security landscape, its technologies and strategies for protection to provide you with a good theoretical underpinning for assessing security requirements and preparing strategies.
  • Ethical hacking: We will study different types of network and computer attack vectors and penetration tests. You should become familiar with some of the standard tools, techniques and frameworks which are used to identify weaknesses within computer systems, from scanning and finding vulnerabilities to exploitation and maintaining access..
  • Programming: You will be taught the concepts and algorithms behind programming to enable you to use whatever programming language that best suits the problem being faced. You will have the opportunity to develop core skills in programming by learning and applying syntax, problem-solving strategies, and theory common to most programming languages. We also examine professional practices associated with the industry, including key software development concepts such as testing code, version control, functional decomposition and event driven programming, as well as how to interact with non-technical colleagues and clients.
  • Software Development: We offer a practical guide to the software development process with associated tools and techniques, such as project management. We focus on modern iterative process models using object-oriented (OO) modelling methods and tools, including techniques for requirements engineering and analysis, architectural design and detailed software design with patterns, through to software implementation and testing.
  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems:  We investigate and analyse the origin, structure and use of the fundamental components of computers, how they represent data, the operating systems (OS) used and networking approaches. We will explore basic OS concepts, such as processes, memory management, drivers and file systems. We cover the main features of Linux, Windows, Unix and Mac OSI, among others.

The programme allows you to study full-time over three years to achieve Bachelor’s level or four years if you wish to progress to Master’s level.

Your course will be based on a series of lectures, with associated seminars and project based practical classes. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.

Throughout the course, great emphasis is placed on the practical development of work, with a significant portion of your time being spent on assisted lab tasks, which often involve live practical hacking challenges, seminars discussing topics such as cryptography and forward secrecy or project-based classes, which may involve more in-depth work developing secure systems in hostile environments.

Regular external talks, by our academic and research staff, as well as visiting lecturers, bring you the latest issues on a wide range of topics, which have recently covered exfiltration methods and social-engineering in banking.

We organise a wide range of optional field trips, here in the UK or abroad, with past students visiting Bletchley Park, the central site for Britain's codebreakers during World War II, and the Internet of Things Expo in London (subject to availability and additional costs). We also encourage you to attend the annual Securi-Tay conference, which is held at Abertay University.

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. The assessment will be marked on how well you achieve these learning outcomes with feedback that will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade. Students are required to achieve above 40% to pass; anything above 70% is classified as ‘outstanding’.

The assessment for the modules vary and include a diverse set of approaches, such as examinations, vivas, in-class tests and quizzes either online or paper-based, portfolios of practical laboratory investigations with reflection, case study/scenario-based investigations and reports, posters of research material and your dissertation. Some modules are assessed by 100% coursework, typically two or three exams at stage one, one or two at both stages two and three.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: The underlying technology, design methods and programming languages required to practice in the domain cybersecurity; the cultural, commercial, ethical and professional issues connected with Ethical Hacking, Digital Forensics and Ethical Hacking and professional practice within them; emergent technologies.
  • Apply appropriate design and problem-solving techniques to computing, ethical hacking, cybersecurity and digital forensics requirements or issues.
  • Conduct an in-depth investigation and make recommendations relating to the development and implementation of a product in a domain appropriate to Ethical Hacking and Network Security.
  • Use design, production and programming tools relevant to cybersecurity, in exploit development and associated areas.
  • Apply usability human computer interaction (HCI) design techniques in the context of a product relevant to cybersecurity.

A typical second-year module might encompass two hours of lectures per week plus four hours of laboratory work or tutorials.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 18 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 6 hours of tutorials and, later, individual project supervision, each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 6 hours of practical laboratory classes each week
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed study each week eg. working on course assignments and taking part in the flipped classroom activities.

Cybersecurity is a global problem affecting all types of organisations throughout the world and, consequently, the course is international by its very nature. For example, when considering the legal and ethical dimensions of ethical hacking, we will study case studies selected from different countries and jurisdictions, such as the USA.

We have also encouraged students to participate in Online International Learning (OIL) projects in conjunction with their colleagues at Middle East College and are currently developing a project with Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia.

Coventry University has links with many universities around the globe. To increase your employment prospects after graduation, we encourage you to study abroad as part of your degree and previous students have benefited from links with universities in Europe (through the Erasmus scheme), America and Asia (study abroad is subject to application). Staff on this course have links with the Emirates Aviation University in Dubai, which provides additional opportunities for collaborative work in research, module delivery, placement, project sponsorship and supervision. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our students say

Overcoming the challenges posed by this course nurtured my passion for this industry and put me on the path to an exciting new career.

Tudor Muntean-Cojan

What our students say

Overcoming the challenges posed by this course nurtured my passion for this industry and put me on the path to an exciting new career.

Tudor Muntean-Cojan

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

£14,850 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

Additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip
  • Optional personal computer and software: £500+
  • Media consumable items: £30+ per year

What our students say

Overcoming the challenges posed by this course nurtured my passion for this industry and put me on the path to an exciting new career.

Tudor Muntean-Cojan

Career prospects

The practical nature of our course places an emphasis on your future employability, developing a wide range of technical, analytical, design and professional skills, many of which are gained from placement experiences. The technical content is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect what is currently important and in demand in industry..

In the past, students on placements at IT security firms have engaged in real client projects, involving various aspects of penetration testing of systems and vulnerability analysis, as well as malware analysis and static and dynamic testing of programs and applications.

We place a strong emphasis on sound investigative procedures, logging and reporting, which is particularly suited to work within law enforcement agencies, as well as consultant organisations. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of different operating systems and a number of investigative, development and hacking tools.

Our award-winning Faculty careers service, EC Futures, which won the ‘Best Placement Service in the UK’ award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in 2015 and 2016, will help you in finding work experience while you study and employment on graduation.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.


of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DLHE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Our graduates find employment in ethical hacking and penetration testing roles, malware and software security analysis, telecoms security, digital forensics and evidence gathering, network and security administration within organisations, government organisations, insurance companies. Others go on to pursue more general computing careers in other areas of IT.


Our graduates earn an average salary of £23,000 six months after the course (DLHE 2014/15)

What our students say

Overcoming the challenges posed by this course nurtured my passion for this industry and put me on the path to an exciting new career.

Tudor Muntean-Cojan

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 18/19 Contract can be found here.