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.

About you

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.

Please note

Applications for this course, received after 30th June may not be accepted. A deposit will be required to secure a place.

Applied Cyber Security Highlights

The demand for certified cybersecurity professionals is currently growing at over 12 times the rate of the overall job market.

Professional Accreditations

  • Fully certified by GCHQ/NCSC

World Class Facilities

  • 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.
Our MSc is informed by the world-class research being undertaken at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).

In 2015 Queen Elizabeth II awarded CSIT a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its work in strengthening global cyber security and protecting the online activity of billions of internet users around the world.

Belfast is rapidly developing a reputation as a global hub for cyber security and we hope students will be inspired to thrive in this dynamic and exciting environment.

Dr Kieran McLaughlin
Course Director

Course Details

The course comprises six taught modules and a research project and provides a broad foundation in cybersecurity.

The MSc in Applied Cyber Security is available in a full-time or a part-time option.

Full-time (1-year): 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.

Part-time (2+ years): Part-time students are normally enrolled for two years. The first year will normally compromise three taught modules (60 CATS), and the second year normally comprises three taught modules (60 CATS) plus an individual research project (60 CATS).

Higher Level Apprenticeships based on the part-time study are also available. Further information can be requested via the contact details below.

  • Applied Cryptography
  • Computer Forensics
  • Ethical & Legal Issues in Cyber Security
  • Malware
  • Network Security & Monitoring
  • Software Assurance
  • Research Project
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.

Career Prospects

In keeping with the aims of GCHQ/NCSC certified Master’s courses, this programme is intended to provide:
  • a deeper understanding of cyber security 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 innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Learning and Teaching

The whole course is hands-on. You don’t just get talked at. You learn in a sandbox environment when you can experiment and make mistakes, enabling you to put your new skills into practice in hands-on cyber challenges.You’ll meet our researchers and discuss how they apply the cutting edge research being developed here to cybersecurity technologies. Many of our students undertake their research project as a summer placement working at leading cybersecurity companies. Or you can choose to do a year instead if you opt for the two-year course.


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
  • Written examination
  • Coursework/lab work
  • 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.

Entrance requirements


Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or an 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 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 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. An application under Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) may be required.
Please note: a non-refundable deposit (which will be deducted from tuition fees) of £1,000 is required.

International Students

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.
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.
  • 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.
Program taught in:

See 13 more programs offered by QUB Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) »

Last updated May 9, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
1 - 2 years
20,200 GBP
International | UK/EU: £12,600
June 30, 2019
Places are filled on a first come, first served basis. Application before 30th June is advised.
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
Application deadline
June 30, 2019
Places are filled on a first come, first served basis. Application before 30th June is advised.

Sep 2019

Application deadline
June 30, 2019
Places are filled on a first come, first served basis. Application before 30th June is advised.
End Date