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Applied Cyber Security

Course Code: UF7674, UX7675
  • Level: 4, 5
  • Qualification: Foundation Degree
  • Awarding body: University of Plymouth
  • Duration: Two years (full-time), three years (part-time).
  • Course type: Full-time, Part-time
  • Time of day: Daytime
  • When you'll study: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9.00am - 5.00pm

What's it all about?

The Applied Cyber Security Foundation Degree program is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to combat modern cyber adversarial. The program is unique in that it focuses not only on traditional cyber security principles but also incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques to enhance cyber security strategies and understand, analyse and develop threat intelligence and threat modelling strategies. Students will learn to analyse data and develop algorithms to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber-attacks. 

One of the distinctive features of this program is its emphasis on ethical hacking, with the importance of understanding ethics and legal concerns protecting privacy and confidentiality, avoiding legal liability, and maintaining trust with clients. Ethical hackers must operate within legal and ethical boundaries to effectively perform their work and provide value to their clients. 

Students will learn to think like a hacker and be trained to identify vulnerabilities in systems and networks to secure them. The program provides students with hands-on experience using industry-standard tools and techniques to simulate real-world scenarios, giving them a solid foundation in the practical skills needed for a career in cyber security.

For more information about this course please read the Programme Quality Handbook which contains programme specifications and module information.

Course information

The course covers the following …

  • Applied Cryptography: students will learn to use mathematical algorithms to secure data and communication channels. You will explore encryption and decryption methods, key management, digital signatures, and other essential cryptographic concepts. 
  • Introduction to Software Engineering: the module introduces the fundamentals of software engineering, including requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. You will learn to develop software systems that meet user needs and quality standards for cyber security. 
  • Computer Systems and Operating Systems: the module covers the basics of computer hardware and software, including processors, memory, storage, and input/output devices. You will also learn about operating systems, including process management, memory management, file systems, and security. 
  • Systems Analysis: you will learn to analyse complex systems and processes to identify problems and propose solutions. You will use tools and techniques such as data flow diagrams, entity-relationship diagrams, and process modelling to understand system requirements and design efficient solutions. 
  • Security Fundamentals with Computer Networks: introduces the fundamentals of computer network security. You will learn about common network threats and vulnerabilities and techniques for securing networks and data. Topics covered include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and network monitoring. 
  • Threat Modelling and Intelligence: explores the techniques used to identify, analyse, and mitigate cyber threats. You will learn how to develop threat models and use intelligence-gathering techniques to assess risk and plan effective defence strategies. Topics covered include threat modelling methodologies, risk assessment, and intelligence analysis techniques. 
  • Advanced Software Engineering: you will learn advanced software engineering techniques such as agile methodologies, continuous integration, and software testing. You will also explore emerging trends in software engineering, such as cloud computing, containerisation, and micro services architectures. 
  • Data Modelling and Machine Learning for Cyber Security: you will learn how to use machine learning and data modelling techniques to detect and respond to cyber threats. You will explore data modelling, data mining, and machine learning algorithms such as decision trees, neural networks, and support vector machines. 
  • Ethics, Legal and Management: the module provides an overview of cyber security’s legal, ethical, and managerial issues. You will learn about privacy and data protection regulations, ethical considerations for security professionals, and best practices for managing security teams and projects. 
  • Offensive and Defensive Security: In this module, you will learn how to defend against cyber-attacks by understanding how attackers think and operate. You will explore offensive security techniques such as vulnerability assessment, exploit development, and social engineering, as well as defensive security techniques such as network segmentation, access control, and incident response. 
  • Penetration Testing: In this module, you will learn how to simulate real-world cyber-attacks by performing penetration testing. You will learn to identify and exploit vulnerabilities and report your findings to stakeholders. You will also explore different penetration testing methodologies, tools, and techniques. 
  • Team Project: In this course, you will work in teams to develop and implement a cyber security project. You will apply the skills and knowledge you’ve learned throughout the program to a real-world scenario, working with team members to plan, design, and implement a secure system. You will also learn project management skills like time management, budgeting, and team communication. 

In order to be successful on this course you will need to have GCSEs in maths and English at grade four or above (or equivalent), and a level 3 qualification. 

The teaching and assessment have been designed to make these awards work-based and employer focused. Assessment strategies have been created to support the needs of Students, Apprentices and employers; where applicable allowing for the learners to bring into their assessments the experiences and insights gained in the workplace and for the context of their work to include where possible current work challenges and opportunities so as to make the biggest impact for their higher-level skills development. Likewise, employers will be encouraged and facilitated to support learning in the workplace. 

Assessments will focus around coursework such as essays, reports, analysis, system design, testing, implementation, and problem-solving. There will not be any formal exams or in-class tests.

Each method of assessment has been carefully selected to best suit the assessed skills/knowledge and learning outcomes and will be reviewed annually, through rigorous internal quality assurance, student feedback and external examiner feedback. 

All assessments will be subject to internal and external quality assurance prior to issue. 

Upon successful completion, you may progress to the  Level 6 BSc (Hons) Applied Computer Science at the College or the Level 6 BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Cyber Security) at the University of Plymouth. 

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.

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Future careers

What you could earn:

IT Business Analysts, Architects and Systems Designers


Potential salary


Entry level salary


Average salary


Annual openings in Plymouth

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