Cyber Security education

MSc Cyber Security

Teaching the next generation of cyber security experts.

Our MSc in Cyber Security is about designing systems that resist attack. As computers and IT systems become ever more prevalent and ever more connected with each other, the opportunities for attackers become even greater, and the need to resist them becomes more urgent. Computing infrastructure is now vital for communication, government, commerce, and control of our physical environment, and is a potential target of terrorist and criminal attacks. Graduates who understand the technologies that underpin products and practices to secure it will be in great demand.

The MSc is a one-year full-time degree that equips students to engage with complex, challenging problems and real-world issues, teaching students the intellectual and technical skills they need to deal with current and future cyber security threats. You will learn to negotiate all the layers at which security must be considered, from low-level attacks on hardware and software implementations, through to more abstract design principles underlying secure systems, to strategies for management of processes and people.

Our MSc programme offers a broad range of modules with which to tailor your course to your own specific interests.

certification of the msc in cyber security

GCHQ Certification

Our MSc Cyber Security has received full certification by GCHQ as part of their Certified Degrees. Students taking the accredited pathway will be following a programme that has been approved by UK national experts in cyber security for its high quality, for its support for students with the School of Computer Science’s excellent resources and facilities, and for the coverage of a broad range of topics that are essential for a career in cyber security. The GCHQ scheme is part of the National Cyber Security Strategy, and aims to help students and employers alike to assess the quality on offer and to identify the degree that best suits someone’s preferred career path.

Entry Requirements

  • 2.i Computer Science (or related subject)
  • Solid foundation in programming
  • Knowledge of data structures and algorithms
  • English language proficiency


Compulsory modules:

  • Cryptography
  • Designing secure systems
  • Forensics and malware analysis
  • Network security
  • Secure programming
  • Secure system management
  • Project

Optional modules:

  • Advanced cryptography
  • Compilers and languages (Extended)
  • Hardware and embedded systems security
  • Individual study 2
  • Intelligent data analysis
  • Mobile and ubiquitous computing
  • Networks (Extended)
  • Operating systems (Extended)
  • Penetration testing
  • Security research seminar

MSc Cyber Security at the University of Birmingham

Why study here?


We are situated in a dedicated School of Computer Science, with specialist security labs. This includes access to equipment for:

  • automotive security
  • side-channel analysis
  • forensics
  • smart devices
  • IoT devices
  • dedicated VM servers for running hacking exercises and security analysis


The MSc in Cyber Security is a new programme, but graduates of the previous MSc in Computer Security have gone on to work for companies including Accenture, IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BT and Delcam.

Our students gain the knowledge to become leaders in the field of cyber security and to shape the technologies that will be developed in the future. They are equipped to work on secure software development within the software and IT industry, or to become cyber security consultants. They may also choose to move on to PhD research.

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you thin about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Industry links

Our MSc programme includes engagement with key companies in cyber security, including careers advice, course development and student projects. We also have guest lectures from industry professionals and visiting academics. As well as welcoming speakers from Microsoft, Vodafone, Siemens, IBM and HP, this has recently included:

What our students say:

Kit Murdock

MSc Cyber Security 2016-17

“I'd been working in a very stagnant IT field for 15 years when I started researching Master's Degrees: I wanted a new challenge and had heard about Birmingham University's excellent reputation in the cyber security field, so I decided to apply. The course has exploded my brain in so many directions that it hurts - in a good way! From cryptography to hardware to hacking. I've most enjoyed Penetration testing (hacking) but was also surprised to discover how much I've loved the Hardware and Embedded Systems course. The lecturers are down-to-earth, helpful and inspirational - it's a real joy to come to lecturers every day. I'm just sad that it's only a year...”

PhD in Computer Science

Training world-leading researchers in cyber security.

The academic staff in the Security and Privacy Research Group are always interested to hear from outstanding candidates working in cyber security related to the research areas covered by the group.

PhD funding opportunities will be advertised here and/or on the University funding database as they become available.