Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity MSci/BSc (Hons)


Course Code

UCAS Code: GG45
International Code: EECU044 (BSc)
International Code: EECU045 (MSci)


Coventry University (Coventry)


Study mode



3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
4 years full-time
5 years sandwich

Start date

September 2022

Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity MSci/BSc (Hons) has been developed to provide you with a good practical and theoretical understanding of cybersecurity, hacking, digital forensics, and the underlying computer science.

High profile incidents like the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks making headlines in 2017 have led to 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.

Studying Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity at Coventry University will provide you with the opportunity to learn to identify and analyse the threats posed to modern information structures and the chance to develop the knowledge and skills to be able to advise a company on how to set up secure systems.

Coventry University has over 10 years’ experience of teaching cybersecurity, producing graduates who have gone on to successful careers in the sector. Previous graduates have gone on to become security consultants, security engineers, penetration testers and other sector specific roles.

With a strong emphasis on practical application of academic and theoretical aspects, the course aims to teach the key skills and competencies required by a cybersecurity professional, using specialised physical and virtual labs (subject to availability).

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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • Opportunity to gain Forensic Toolkit (FTK) certification (Please note that this opportunity is separate to the degree level course mentioned and students can apply to seek such certification themselves, which will be subject to competitive application, availability, exams, and additional costs may apply). Please visit the website for further information.
  • Opportunity to demonstrate your portfolio of work to potential employers at events such as the Coventry New Wizards Showcase (subject to availability).
  • Option to join the CISCO Academy Programme leading to an industry-recognised CISCO Certified Networked Associate (CCNA) qualification upon successful completion (subject to competitive application and additional costs may apply).
  • Active Computer Club that usually organises a range of extracurricular activities, which may include LAN gaming, robot programming challenges and hackathons (subject to availability).
  • Regular and free to attend guest lectures from current practitioners (subject to availability). In recent years, speakers have included senior professors from Sheffield, Lincoln and Birmingham universities and the European Bioinformatics Centre Cambridge.
  • Support applying for short and long-term placements with technology companies, providing the opportunity 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 (subject to availability).

Practical learning builds my skills

Jennifer Sau Yan Wan is a second year Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security BSc (Hons) student in the Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing.

Read Jennifer's story
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What you'll study

The first year focuses on supporting you to make a solid start on your degree course and explore fundamental principles of ethical hacking and cybersecurity.


  • This module introduces you to the legal and ethical landscape in which cyber security and, more generally, computer science sit.


  • This module will introduce you to digital forensics and digital crime scene investigation. The main topics covered will include concepts of digital evidence, forensic investigation acquisition in the context of forensic examination.


  • This module introduces you to programming. While one key object-oriented language will be used for much of the work in the module, we will also introduce other languages (such as C and assembly) and paradigms (such as functional and event-driven programming).


  • In this module, you will work with the fundamentals of web-based applications and databases. This module will make use of on-line materials and supported lab sessions, giving you a practical understanding of the core concepts.


  • This module provides a regular laboratory session and materials designed to foster fundamental technical skills in IT and Cyber Security. A skills test, examined formally in a separate module, will be administered that requires you to demonstrate your abilities.


  • This module aims to teach you the core concepts and methods of cyber security and how they can be applied to assess the security of networks and devices. Security issues will be examined from attack and defence standpoints, and you should develop skills in exploiting vulnerabilities as well as mitigating or removing them.


  • By undertaking this module, you will learn the fundamentals of networking, from standards and protocols to typical hardware and architectures for moderately complex networks.


  • In this module, you will be challenged to consider the professional aspects of careers in cyber security. Through a simulated business and talks from industry professionals, you will have the opportunity to consider how your decisions and performance affect a business.


  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.


    Assessment: Coursework and exam

The second year extends the topics introduced in the first year and focuses on more practical and professional aspects of the cybersecurity sector.


  • In this module, you will extend your learning from Programming and Algorithms 1 and begin to use more advanced algorithms and concepts in your software development.


  • In this module you will study the theoretical and practical aspects of penetration testing and security audit. Common tools and techniques will be explored, with a focus on building a good understanding of the underlying theoretical concepts of systems exploitation.


  • This module aims to equip you with the skills and in-depth understanding of networks and security issues for today's internetworking technologies.


  • Building on the Digital Forensics Fundamentals module, you will be exposed to industry-standard tools and methods to analyse and report on desktop/laptop system and mobile devices.


  • This is a course level practical skills test. The test is intended to allow you to demonstrate the core practical skills in Cyber Security.


  • This module aims to equip you with skills and knowledge around Web security, including protocols, digital certificates and authentication, session management, stealing and manipulating cookies, as well as methods of protect web applications.


  • This module discusses Operating System internals and their impact on good programming practice and security. The topics covered will include fundamental OS concepts such as process, memory, and file system management.


  • This module aims to equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to help start your career as a security professional and provide you with the opportunity to gain insight into industry and relevant employment issues and policies.


  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.


    Assessment: Coursework and exam

Following Year 2 there is an option for you to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution. During the placement year, this should include 2 visits from an assigned placement tutor which can take place in person or virtually. Placements can vary in duration.

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


  • Optional

  • Optional

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


  • This module introduces the concepts of security audit processes as well as formal assessment methodologies.


  • This module aims to provide a thorough understanding of vulnerability testing techniques and tools and equip students with the skills required to plan, manage, and perform penetration testing, identify vulnerabilities, interpret and analyse the results, and suggest protection measures.


  • This is a course level practical skills test. The test is intended to allow you to demonstrate the core practical skills required to progress to the next level of study.


  • In this module you will make practical use of cryptography for encrypting, signing, and verifying data in a number of forms. The underlying theory will be examined in the abstract, with a focus on practical application and developing software with cryptographic primitives.


  • This module studies techniques for examining programs and protocols where the source code may not be available, by investigating the way that software behaves with a given set of inputs and examining the binary representation of a program with the aim of developing an understanding of the original program.


  • This module aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of information security concepts and an understanding of how they are applied and evaluated, taking into consideration customer and user needs.


  • In this module you will examine how vulnerabilities in software can be exploited to compromise a system or network. You will examine how "off the shelf" exploit code can be detected by security mechanisms, and how common protection techniques such as Antivirus and firewalls can be bypassed.


  • This module provides you with the opportunity and support to conduct primary and secondary research in cyber security. You will undertake a substantial project which will exercise the in-depth technical, problem-solving, creative and other skills required of a professional practitioner.


  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.


    Assessment: Coursework and exam

The additional fourth year is designed to extend the course learning of the Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity BSc (Hons) programme into more advanced topics such as ethical hacking, artificial neural networks, automotive cybersecurity, and cybersecurity auditing. It also provides you with the opportunity to investigate areas at the forefront of computer science research and industry.


  • This module will introduce technical security controls used to prevent, detect, and recover from security violations at the application or system level.


  • This module provides you with a thorough comprehension of the concepts, theory and application of cryptographic techniques to cyber security.


  • This module aims to develop your critical knowledge in the field of automotive cybersecurity, which poses a major challenge to connected and autonomous vehicles.


  • This module introduces you to the concepts used in neural networks and their application in solving real-world problems.


  • This module focuses on risk assessment and the performance of security audits primarily in accordance with the guidelines of ISO27002:2005(BS17799).


  • This module seeks to provide you with an appreciation of information security concepts and an understanding of how they are applied using Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobile Device (MD) technologies.


  • In this module you will exercise and extend your skills in gathering, understanding and critically evaluating literature, performing research, and analysing findings. You will undertake a research project in cyber security or related subject areas.


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.

How you'll learn

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 provide 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 may 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 academic and research staff, as well as visiting lecturers (subject to availability), are designed to bring you the latest issues on a wide range of topics, which in the past have covered exfiltration methods and social engineering in banking.

Actual teaching contact hours will vary depending on the level of study and the requirements of a particular semester. In a typical week your contact hours will be divided amongst personal tutorials and small group teaching; medium group teaching (e.g. seminars, tutorial sessions, lab sessions and workshops); and large group teaching (lectures).

In addition, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study each week depending on the demands of individual modules. The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 17 contact hours per week in the first and second years dropping to around 12 contact hours per week in the final year as you should become a more independent learner.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include formal examinations, coursework, online and in-class tests, essays, practical or project work, group work, presentations, and posters.

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.

Job ready

Upon successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and a broad and deep understanding of the functioning of common software, platforms and systems, with the ability to build and secure such systems as well as analyse and reverse engineer their function and develop exploits for their flaws.
  • Create working solutions to a variety of computational and real-world problems using an appropriate programming language (or languages) for the task.
  • Understand the underlying architecture that supports the modern computer, including both traditional operating systems and modern internet-based infrastructure.
  • Create software and systems that use appropriate tools, techniques, standards and best practices in order to minimise the chance of exploitable errors and be able to analyse third-party code to determine level of risk.
  • Use a range of tools, from simple and general-purpose tools such as nmap and netcat, to specialist tools such as OpenVas or Metasploit, perform penetration tests on systems and networks with good coverage and professional reporting.
  • Understand professional practices of the modern cyber security and wider IT industry, including technical (e.g. version control / automated testing) but also social, ethical & legal responsibilities.
  • Apply a wide variety of degree level transferable skills including time management, team working, written and verbal presentation to both experts and non-experts, and critical reflection on own and others work.
  • Apply the above to advanced topics selected according to your interests or module themes.

International experience opportunities

Cybersecurity is a global problem affecting all types of organisations throughout the world and, consequently, the course is designed to be 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.

In the past, we have also encouraged students to participate in Online International Learning (OIL) projects in conjunction with colleagues at Middle East College and are currently developing projects with other international partners.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BSc (Hons): BBB to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing or Design Technology. Excludes General Studies.
MSci: ABB to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing or Design Technology. Excludes General Studies.
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4 including English and Mathematics, or specified equivalents.
BTEC BSc (Hons): DMM in IT or a technical subject.
MSci: DDM in IT or a technical subject.
IB Diploma BSc (Hons): 29 points to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or IT at Higher level.
MSci: 31 points to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or IT at Higher level.
Access Diplomas The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits all at merit or above in either Maths, Physics, Computer Science or Statistics. Plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 or above.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

Fair Access Scheme

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Computing will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £18,050 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


The faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing boasts modern, multifunctional teaching and research buildings that support hands-on learning. Laboratories and workshops are equipped to commercial and industrial standards and are available to students both in and out of class time (subject to availability).

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Cisco lab

The Cisco lab is used for working with general networking and towards accreditation by Cisco. Optional modules allow students to work in the lab to develop skills in preparation for the Cisco certification exam.

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Virtual labs

Our virtual labs provide a cutting-edge environment to create entire virtual networks, complete with services, users and even attackers. Students can access this environment from anywhere on or off campus.

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Games Technology lab

This lab contains high-end gaming PCs with the capacity to run industry standard games engines and programming environments. It also supports Virtual Reality (VR) game development.

Careers and opportunities

The practical nature of our course is designed to place an emphasis on your future employability after graduation, and the opportunities to develop a wide range of technical, analytical, design and professional skills. The technical content is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect what is currently important and in demand in industry.

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.

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 Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates have found 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 and insurance companies. Other past graduates have gone on to pursue more general computing careers in other areas of IT.

How to apply

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  • Student Contract

    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 2021/22 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.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 


    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).