Computing for England (Cyber Security) HTQ

Study level: Undergraduate
HTQ courses
Student working on computer hardware

This HTQ Computing course has been designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding in relation to cyber threats and vulnerabilities, cyber defence techniques and incident response.

Year of entry


CU Scarborough (Scarborough)

Study mode



2 years full-time

Course code


Start date

June 2024

Course overview

Students will explore fundamental principles as well as leading-edge concepts, terminologies, models, and hardening methods.

Students will assess the types of malicious activity and potential targets, and the role everyone has in maintaining cyber resilience.

On successful completion of this course, students will have explored the following;

  • the nature of cybercrime and cyber threat actors
  • looked into the roles and responsibilities in relation to information assurance
  • assessed the threats to, and vulnerabilities in ICT infrastructure
  • investigated strategic responses to cyber security threats.

The pathways at both Level 4 and Level 5 are mapped to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s Occupational Standards and professional body standards with the aim of providing professional status Level 5 HND and progression to direct employment, upon successful completion of this course. The vendor-accredited certification indicates that the course meets industry standards and prepares students with the necessary knowledge and skills required to enter the workforce. Additionally, obtaining a vendor-accredited certification can demonstrate to employers that a student has achieved a certain level of expertise and competence in a particular area.

Why you should study this course

With continuing digital revolution, computer systems are involved with just about every aspect of our lives. Whilst this connectivity procures advantages, it also implies vulnerabilities to personal data, interference with the operation of our devices, or even hijacking.

  • Due to the complex nature of these devices, and their interconnectivity, it is difficult to understand or predict where the potential for risk lies. Significant laboratory-based practical work to enable systems to be built, interrogated and evaluated4.
  • Peer learning by interrogating and critiquing the work of peers in a supportive environment.
  • The use of authentic case studies and scenarios based on real issues. • The employment of gaming approaches and technologies to provide immersive engagement.
  • The opportunity to undertake both mini-projects and larger-scale work, working both individually and in collaboration.
  • The development of a community of practice where experimentation and innovation is encouraged.
  • Engagement with the British Computer Society, the professional body for computing, with students enrolled as BCS members from the start – with activities to support professional profile and portfolio building.
  • Field trips to experience current professional/employment contexts and frequent guest speakers from industry.
  • An ethos that encourages questioning and criticality of both self and others in a supportive and professional context.
  • A strong and embedded focus on legal, social, ethical and professional issues throughout.

This course will be running under Intellectual Property Licence with Pearson Education Ltd.

What you'll study

As a result of the continuing digital revolution, computer systems are involved with just about every aspect of our modern lives. Increasingly these devices are internet enabled.

Whilst this connectivity procures many advantages, it also implies vulnerabilities to our personal data, interference with the operation of our devices, or even hijacking of their capabilities. Due to the complex nature of these devices, and their interconnectivity, it is difficult to understand and predict where the potential for risk lies.

As a result of this, society needs students to progress into industry being able to evaluate risk, as well as the ability to design and implement mitigation strategies. The security of information technology systems, or Cyber Security, is not only a question of individual privacy, but also of corporate, institutional and national importance, which explains the rapid growth in need for Cyber Security experts within the industry.

The industry requires people who are not just technically skilled, but able to work with a team in order to service large projects, and convey their findings to a range of audiences, from the managerial to technically focused.

You will look to gain a broad introduction to the subject area allowing for the acquisition of skills and experience across a range of occupational sectors at Level 4. The programme builds upon core skills effectively, preparing you for further subject specialisation at Level 5.

You will aim to gain a wide range of sector knowledge that is tied to practical skills gained in research, self-study, directed study and workplace scenarios, preparing you for employment or further study.

In order to progress onto Year 2/HND you must have achieved at least 90 credits at Level 4 before progressing to Level 5 units. This allows you to submit the remaining 30 credits at Level 4 while continuing with your Level 5 study.


  • Digital technologies provide an opportunity for malicious hackers and cyberterrorists to exploit individuals, government, institutions and large organisation. Defending against cyber-attacks including insider threats is a priority within the digital technologies sector. Cybercrime techniques and attack vectors are fast-growing taking advantage of the speed, anonymity and convenience of the internet as a facilitator for malicious and criminal activity.

    This module has been designed to develop your knowledge and understanding in relation to cyber threats and vulnerabilities, cyber defence techniques and incident response. The module also introduces the science behind machine intelligence and the philosophical debate around the ambitions of simulating human intelligence to solve real-world problems. You will be guided to appreciate AI types and applications and develop a better understanding of aspects related to intelligent agents.

    Other topics included in the unit covers Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), Ambient Intelligence, the major differences between top-down and bottom-up approaches to AI, and understanding Machine Learning (ML) algorithms and processes including dataset preparation.


  • The aim of this module is to give you a wider background knowledge of computer networking essentials, how they operate, protocols, standards, security considerations and the prototypes associated with a range of networking technologies. You will explore a range of hardware, with related software, and will configure and install these to gain knowledge of networking systems.

    A range of networking technologies will be explored to deliver a fundamental knowledge of Local Area Networking (LAN), Wide Area Networking (WAN) and their evolution to form large-scale networks. You will also explore the protocol methodologies related to IP data network.

    You will examine security measures involving access authorisation and regulation of use, implement contingency plans and devise security policies and procedures as well as introduction to detection of threats and vulnerabilities in physical and IT security, and how to manage risks relating to organisational security.


  • This module covers the development of communication skills and communication literacy and the use of qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate analysis, reasoning and critical thinking.

    You will carry out tasks that require working with others in a team-based scenario and planning and problem solving. On successful completion of the module, you will be able to demonstrate leadership skills through the dynamics of team working.

    Through reflective practice, they will be able to evaluate the contributions they make as an individual and those of others. Part of this module is assessed through a set assignment.

    The theme and chosen project within the theme will enable you to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of computing in the context of a business environment. As computing systems and technologies continually develop so do the ways in which businesses utilise technologies to support their operations and remain competitive.

    You will undertake independent research, and investigation of a theme, and will also investigate and research an industry sector as outlined in the set project brief. You will use the outcomes of their research to help plan a computer-based project and to support recommendations for how the identified business could utilise the tools and technologies identified as part of your research.


  • The aim of this module is to give you a wider background knowledge of computer networking essentials, how they operate, protocols, standards, security considerations and the prototypes associated with a range of networking technologies. You will explore a range of hardware, with related software, and will configure and install these to gain knowledge of networking systems.

    Topics covered in this unit are: examination of different design tools and techniques; examination of different development software options; consideration of the development features of a fully-functional robust solution covering data integrity, data validation, data consistency, data security and advanced database querying facilities across multiple tables; appropriate user interfaces for databases and for other externally linked systems; creating complex reports/dashboards, testing the system against the user and system requirements; and elements of complete system documentation.

    You will be able to test the system to ensure that it meets user and system requirements, and fully document the system by providing technical and user documentation. For practical purposes, this unit covers relational databases and related tools and techniques. A brief overview of object-oriented databases will also be covered. As a result, students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.


The Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing – Cyber Security offers you a specialist pathway designed to support progression to relevant occupational areas or degree-level study. You will develop a sound understanding of the principles in this field of study and how to apply these more widely.

Learning to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems, perform effectively in your chosen field and have the qualities necessary for employment in situations that require the exercise of personal responsibility.


  • You will examine how data and information support business processes, the mechanisms to source and utilise data and turn it in to usable, and valuable, and information output. You will explore real-world business problems, the emergence of data science and how the application of data science can be used to support business processes.

    Finally, you will demonstrate practical application of data science techniques to support real-world business problems. On successful completion of this module you will have an understanding of information security management in a business context and an understanding of how modern organisations manage the ongoing threats to their sensitive assets.


  • This unit introduces you to the role, basic concepts and benefits of IoT in the design and development process of computer applications. The aim of the module is to enhance understanding of the methodology, terminology and benefits of IoT in the design and development of software applications.

    Among the topics included in this unit are: classification and terminology of IoT, the hardware, software, data, platforms and services used to enable IoT, common architecture, frameworks, tools, hardware and APIs that can be utilised to design IoT-enabled objects, problems and solutions resulting from widespread deployment and adoption of IoT, software application methodology for IoT-specific software application design and development, data models, network complexity, security, privacy, enabling technologies and how to simulate and test an IoT concept.

    This unit introduces you to the role, benefits, disadvantages and potential outcomes that emerging technologies have in the development of software applications and business practices. The aim of the unit is to enhance your understanding of the current types, terminology, advantages, disadvantages, potential impact and benefits of emerging technologies.

    Among the topics included in this unit are classification and terminology of emerging technologies, review of the most promising and impactful emerging technologies, trends of convergence, the impact of emerging technologies on software development and an understanding of the scale, scope that emerging technologies may have on organisations their employees and the individuals served by them.


  • This module introduces students to the applied principles of cryptography and looks at its practical applications and methods, many of which are fundamental to secure data in the cloud. Students are expected to analyse fundamental symmetric, asymmetric and hashing encryption methods, and investigate examples of these in practice.

    You will be expected to demonstrate the use of cryptography and cryptanalysis tools, methods and their applications, and to appraise the inner workings of cryptographic protocols and principles, including transport layer security (TLS) and block chain, and evaluate how they can be used by organisations to enhance security when considering a move to a cloud environment.

    On successful completion of this unit you will be able to analyse functions of stream ciphers and block ciphers, produce code implementing ciphers, analyse methods such as KEM, DEM and PKEs to secure data in a cloud environment. Students will design a security case and implement it demonstrating the use of cryptographic and cryptanalysis tools for improving security in a virtual private network, for an organisation considering a move to the cloud.

    As a result, you will aim to develop skills such as critical thinking, analysis, and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence. This module introduces you to digital forensics involving the use of specialised techniques to investigate the recovery, authentication and analysis of data on electronic data storage devices, as well as network security breaches and cyber-attacks.

    Students will be able to carry out digital forensics in accordance with industry and legal guidelines and procedures using different tools. You will also understand the low-level file structures of several OS and be able to undertake digital forensic investigation of devices.


  • Upon successful completion of this module, you should be able to demonstrate practical application of data science techniques to support real-world business problems. This module introduces you to the basic principles of an ISMS and how businesses use them to manage the ongoing protection of sensitive information they hold effectively.

    There are many reasons for establishing an ISMS for an organisation, but one of the main goals is to enable the organisation to manage information security as a single entity, which can be monitored and continually improved on.


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

Teaching contact hours

For each level
Total qualification time = 1,200 hours.
Total guided learning hours = 480 hours.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.

Full Time (FT) mode is designed for students who wish to study 120 credits (4 modules) in one academic year, Monday to Friday.
Weekday attendance is normally a four hour period either of a morning between 9am-1pm or in the afternoon from 1:30pm-5:30pm.

The four hour length of teaching sessions allows for teaching to be presented in various ways including team teaching, group discussions, individual presentations, laboratories, interactive teaching and guest lecturers. The aim of each session is to have a balance between students learning academic, practical and professional skills.

The course is taught in 6-week blocks and can be offered:

  • 4 blocks will lead to a HNC (120 credits at level 4)
  • 8 blocks will lead to an HND (240 credits at levels 4 and 5).

Each one of the learning blocks (modules) is worth 30 credits; these will require the equivalent of 300 study hours. The modules run over a six-week period and are taught consecutively, with assessments at the end of week 3 and week 6. If students wish to attend every day, they will receive 18 hours of teaching per week with tutorials, totalling 120 hours. The remaining 180 hours will be self-guided.

For an HNC award a student must have passed or been credited with all the Mandatory modules at level 4 (120 credits).

For an HND award a student must have passed or been credited with all the Mandatory modules at levels 4 and 5 (240 credits).

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will make use of formative and summative work to both develop and assess students. The Coventry University Group assessment strategy assures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

What we're looking for
80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

At CU Group we are committed to recognising achievements in the context of which they were achieved as we understand that barriers may make it more challenging for some applicants to achieve course entry requirements.

We aim to reduce the barriers that may be preventing access to higher education by looking beyond the grades that applicants have achieved or expect to achieve.

Chat with us

Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

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

CU Support Scheme

Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK £7,950 per year Not available
EU Not available Not available

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.


Our aim is to offer sector-leading facilities4.

Careers and opportunities

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

Further study

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many computing-related courses. Within CU Group you could progress onto Level 6 in:


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 


    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.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home 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 is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

    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 2023/24 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.