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Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity MSci/BSc (Hons) 2019/20 entry

Course code:

GG45
I120

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2019

 

Fees:

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £9,250

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


Overview

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

Employability

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.

88%

of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (153kb)

Modules

Overview

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.

Modules

  • Digital Forensics Fundamentals

  • Introduction to Computer Security

  • Computer Architecture and Networks

  • Introduction to Computing

  • Introduction to Algorithms

  • Logic and Sets

Add+vantage

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.

Overview

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.

Modules

  • 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

Add+vantage

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.

Overview

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.

Modules

  • Optional Placement or Study Abroad

Overview

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.

Modules

  • 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

Add+vantage

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.

Overview

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.

Modules

  • Ethical Hacking

  • Network Forensics

  • Forensic Computing Methods

  • Internet Systems Development

  • Master’s Research Project

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

13th

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.

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

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 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

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 2016/17)


3,482

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17



21,000

and counting

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


12

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

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: EECU007 (BSc)
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
ABB-BBB to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or Computing. Excludes General Studies. DDM-DMM in IT or a technical subject. 29 points to include either Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or IT at Higher level. 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English Language and Mathematics, or specified equivalents.



University Course Code: EECU007 (MSci)
A Level BTEC GCSE requirement
AAB-ABB to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or Computing. Excludes General Studies. DDD-DDM in IT or a technical subject. 5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English Language and Mathematics, or specified equivalents.

A-Levels

A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

The Access Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits in either Maths, Physics, Computer Science or Statistics, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade A*-C, or specified equivalents.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Portfolio

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: the International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2018.

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.

Starts

Fee


September 2019

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

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.

Starts

Fee


September 2019

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

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!

Starts

Fee


September 2019

2019/20 fees TBC
2018/19 fees - £14,850 (per year)


Scholarships

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.

91%

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.

£23K

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
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase for UK and EU Students is expected to be in line with inflation. For international students, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.