The world’s online security depends on you. Step up to the plate with this fascinating Master’s course, taught by experts at one of the world’s leading cybersecurity hubs.
You’ll be analytical, technical and a modern-day codebreaker. Cybersecurity is a challenge that will not go away, affecting companies, individuals and even governments. You could be:
A recent graduate – possibly a maths or engineering graduate with good programming skills, or you might be a good developer but have little knowledge of cybersecurity.
Already working in the industry – experienced in technical software development, and looking to upskill and enhance your professional development.
An international student looking to study a UK master’s degree, to meet the global need for cybersecurity skills.
About the course
This innovative programme is at the forefront of technical advances in cutting-edge cybersecurity topics such as cryptography, computer forensics, malware, networking, software development, as well as investigating the increasingly important legal and ethical issues in cybersecurity.
This is an applied course, which mixes theoretical skills with practical work in the lab to give you hands-on experience.
The MSc Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship is a two-year programme. The first year comprises taught modules and a research project. The second year comprises an internship up to 12 months in the industry in a cybersecurity-related role. To progress to an internship in the second year students must secure an internship before the end of the first year. Students must also pass all modules before beginning an internship.
Applicants should be aware that students must be proactive in applying to appropriate companies to have the best chance of securing an internship. Internships are not offered by the university. This is a competitive recruitment exercise outside the control of the university, and some students may not be successful. Students who are unable to secure an internship will transfer to the 1-year MSc Applied Cyber Security and graduate after one year.
Applications for this course received after 30th June 2020 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.
Our MSc is one of an elite number of UK master's degrees in cybersecurity to achieve GCHQ/NCSC Certification.
Fully certified by GCHQ/NCSC
The syllabus, teaching materials and labs are informed by the world-class research being undertaken at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen's University Belfast. In addition to GCHQ/NCSC Master’s certification, CSIT itself is also certified as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by GCHQ/NCSC.
The course comprises six taught modules and a research project and provides a broad foundation in cybersecurity. The MSc in Applied Cyber Security is only available as a full-time option:
Year 1: Consists of six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 3-4 month practical project of a research nature (60 CATS).
Students study six taught modules (120 CATS) up to the end of semester 2. They will also commence an individual research project (60 CATS) and continue this through to month 12.
Year 2: Students who successfully pass all modules undertake for up to 12 months an internship in a cybersecurity-related role in the industry.
An integral part of the course is an Employability Programme where students are offered personal assistance to develop their CVs, interview skills, and prepare for undertaking internships.
Applicants should be aware that students must apply for internships directly to appropriate companies. Internships are not offered by the university. This is a competitive recruitment exercise outside the control of the university, and not all students may be successful. Students who are unable to gain an internship will transfer to the 1-year MSc Applied Cyber Security and graduate after one year.
Ethical & Legal Issues in Cyber Security
Network Security & Monitoring
These modules are assessed through a combination of practical laboratory sessions, independent coursework, and written examinations.
The individual Research Project focuses on applying taught skills to a leading-edge issue in cybersecurity research. A dissertation is required for the project. Following tutor approval, the project may be undertaken as a summer placement at a company.
Modules are regularly updated to reflect new developments in the dynamic field of cybersecurity. Modules offered may be subject to change.
The MSc in Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship is only available in a full-time option.
Students study all taught modules (120 CATS points) up to the end of the Semester 2 exam period. They will also commence an individual research project (60 CATS points) and continue this through to month 12.
Pending satisfactory completion of taught modules, students will normally commence their Professional Internship sometime in September for a period of up to 12 months. The exact time of commencement may depend upon internship procedures of the host company.
In keeping with the aims of GCHQ/NCSC certified Master’s courses, this programme is intended to provide:
A deeper understanding of cybersecurity concepts, principles, technologies and practices.
A bridge between undergraduate degrees and careers in cybersecurity.
A platform for further research at the Doctoral level.
An effective way for people in mid-career to enhance their knowledge of the subject or to move into cybersecurity as a change of career path.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while our innovative MSc Applied Cyber Security programme integrates a range of unique and exciting opportunities to interact and engage with business and research leaders in cybersecurity, ensuring we help our students to gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
Research project dissertation
Assessment criteria are linked to the learning outcomes for each module. A range of assessment instruments is used including laboratory-based assignments, individual projects, practical exams, presentations, written coursework and unseen written exams.
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical and/or Electronic Engineering, Mathematics with Computer Science, Physics with Computer Science or a related discipline. Applicants must normally have achieved 2:1 or above in relevant modules.
Applicants who hold a 2.2 Honours degree and a Master’s degree (or equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University) in one of the above disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
All applicants will be expected to have the mathematical ability and significant programming experience as evidenced either through the content of their primary degree or through another appropriate formal qualification. It would be beneficial if applicants have experience programming in C and working in a Linux environment.
Applications may be considered from those who do not meet the above requirements but can provide evidence of recent relevant technical experience in the industry, for example, in programming. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
Please note that a non-refundable deposit of £1,000 is required (which will be deducted from tuition fees).
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Northern Ireland (NI)
England, Scotland or Wales (GB)
Other (non-UK) EU
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate applications
Due to high demand, there is a deadline for applications.
You will be required to pay a deposit of £400 pounds to secure your place on the course.
This condition of the offer is in addition to any academic or English language requirements.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Applied Cyber Security with Professional Internship costs
Students undertaking a 3-month summer placement or a one-year professional internship are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary significantly depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider.
Where students are undertaking a professional internship they are required to pay a placement charge of £845 to the University.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.