Online course details
Part-time: 2-3 years
£8,775 (2022/23) ‡
September, January, May
Online course description
If applying for the May 2023 intake:
Application deadline is 19 April and term starts 30 May, so apply now.
Take our online Cyber Security MSc and become part of the next generation of leading IT security professionals, fully equipped to respond rapidly to risks and problems. The subject is a regular hot topic in the news today on a global scale and online protection has never been more relevant.
As an online student, you will be able to draw on the extensive industrial links of our academic staff and share knowledge of best practice with fellow students while navigating your course materials in our virtual learning environment.
Meeting the demand for expertise
The speed with which the internet and information sharing has developed has exceeded the pace of secure infrastructure development. Our online Cyber Security MSc is designed to help bridge this gap and meet the accelerating demand for professionals with proven information security expertise.
Challenges that cyber security professionals face include:
- Kill chains - the phases of a cyber attack from reconnaissance to achieving the goal, such as removing or ransoming data
- Zero-day attacks - the discovery and exploitation of a vulnerability in software
- Ransomware - a type of malicious software (malware) that threatens to lock or publish data unless a ransom is paid
- Alert fatigue - becoming desensitised due to a large number of frequent minor alarms
- Budgetary constraints
Cyber security experts need a stronger understanding of these topics, and many others, to be able to confront those challenges more effectively.
You can also study the MSc Cyber Security full-time or part-time on campus.
A talk from our academic
Our academic for Cyber Security, Dr Maria Papadaki, talks about our online Cyber Security course.
This course focuses on developing your knowledge and understanding of information infrastructures so that you are fully equipped to apply these skills to any organisation. You will build your understanding of the managerial and technical elements of information security, as well as enterprise level security using innovative techniques developed through latest research at the cutting edge of Cyber Security.
You will also develop your understanding of accountability in computer systems and the legalities behind Cyber Security. You will be introduced to the key concepts for human dimensions of Cyber Security, leading to an understanding of research practice in designing and running scientific studies.
We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.
What you can achieve
Our online Cyber Security MSc comprises three progressive stages: postgraduate certificate (PG Cert), postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) and masters (MSc). You will be required to achieve 60 credits to complete each award within the programme, totalling to 180 credits to achieve the masters.
You will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Cyber Security if you pass the module Emerging Computer Technologies and Research Methods and two other 20-credit modules (adding up to 60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma in Cyber Security can be obtained upon passing the PG Cert and then completing the remaining three 20-credit modules (adding up 120 credits in total).
A Master of Science in Cyber Security can be obtained upon passing all six of the 20-credit modules and completing the independent study module worth 60 credits (180 credits).
We would encourage you to complete the full MSc but, if you prefer, you can still gain an exit award at each stage: a PG Cert or a PG Dip.
Students who do not complete the full Masters programme of study (180 credits), may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Cyber Security with 60 credits if they pass the module Emerging Computing Technologies and Research Methods and two other core modules.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Pace of study
The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.
If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.
Should you decide to study on the accelerated rate you should ensure that you have the capacity to fully engage with your studies and achieve the best grades and final award. If you choose to study on the accelerated rate, you will need to balance approximately 40 hours of study per week alongside your professional and personal life and commitments.
It may be useful to consider studying one module at the standard rate of study before deciding whether to then increase to the accelerated rate of study.
This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.
Student support and guidance
Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:
All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.
Get a taste of the course content
Our Cyber Security MSc course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.
You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.
Try our course tasterTry our course taster
You will require 2.2 or higher honours degree in Computing or a degree with substantial relevant content for the specialist discipline.
If you don’t have a degree or an accredited degree, we can consider your application if supported by significant industrial experience. Please include evidence of all experience you have in your application. While the University guidelines on recognition of prior learning (RPL) will be followed, RPL will only be recommended where applicants can present a portfolio of professional work that is deemed to be of an appropriate level.
English language qualifications
If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification*. For this course you will need at least one of the following:
- IELTS 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in any areas)*
- TOEFL 580 (paper based) 237 (computer based) or 92 (internet based)
- Pearson Test of Academic English: 58
- Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Pass
- London Tests of English: we accept level 5 for postgraduate courses
- International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
- International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C.*
*If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5 you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.
Find out more about our English language requirements
‡2022/23 for new entrants
Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module)
2023/24 for new entrants
Starting between September 2023 and August 2024.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module)
About your fees
This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.
However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:
- Pay your full course fees upfront, or
- When enrolling in September, pay for all of your modules to be studied in that academic year upfront
Flexible payment plans available
Choose from three payment plan options:
Pay monthly and only for the modules you are studying
Pay your full course fees upfront, receive 5% discount and avoid annual increases
Pay for all modules studied in the year and receive a 5% discount (September enrolment only)
Masters funding options
Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out more about the Alumni discount
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
Students should apply directly to the University.
For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.
Documents to support your application
In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:
- Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence
- Current CV
- Written reference supplied on headed paper from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher
- Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*
*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:
- Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The date of the translation
- The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
- The translator’s contact details
A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.
Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.
All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.
Individuals with proven information security knowledge are now in high demand across many different sectors. Successful completion of this masters degree can therefore lead to prestigious roles in the IT security arena, including chief information officer, security analyst, security manager and information security risk assessors.
You could also consider further study and research towards a PhD qualification.
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