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Applied Cyber Security

Course Code: UF7672
  • Level: 4
  • Qualification: Higher National Certificate
  • Awarding body: University of Plymouth
  • Duration: One year
  • 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 HNC Applied Cyber Security 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. 

You 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. 

You 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 includes 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. 

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 Foundation Degree in Applied Cyber Security at the College.

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.

Download course PDF

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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