Skip to content

Toggle service links

Coronavirus: Please be aware it may take us slightly longer to respond than usual. Find out more about our coronavirus response.

Close-up of programming code on a computer screen

MSc in Cyber Security

Develop the skills to defend individuals, companies, and governments from cyber attacks.

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Apprenticeships
  3. Programmes in Scotland
  4. MSc in Cyber Security (Graduate Apprenticeship)

MSc in Cyber Security (Graduate Apprenticeship)

The MSc in Cyber Security Graduate Apprenticeship is aimed at employment in the following areas:

  • Information security audit
  • Compliance and governance
  • Cyber security testing
  • Architecture, threat management or risk analysis and management
  • Security operations centre

Your organisation can utilise this new programme to plug crucial digital skills gaps and ensure you have the talent to manage future technological changes.

Through tutor-supported online learning, apprentices can flex learning around their work schedule, reducing time away from the workplace. Skills learnt as they progress through the programme are immediately embedded into the workplace, giving an almost instant return on investment.


Why choose The Open University’s MSc in Cyber Security Graduate Apprenticeship?

  • It is delivered flexibly around the demands of your organisation and requires minimal time away from the workplace, using a blend of tutor-supported, rich-media online learning resources.
  • Learning can be delivered simultaneously to various locations using our tried-and-trusted educational technology, providing a consistent programme at scale to multiple staff.
  • Our ‘inclusive-by-design’ apprenticeships are accessible to everyone. This helps your organisation to attract and advance staff regardless of prior attainment, widening participation and expanding your talent pool.
  • Our apprenticeships build knowledge and practical experience in tandem, delivering integrated learning that delivers immediate benefits to your organisation.
  • We have over 50 years’ experience in providing supported distance learning programmes.

Back to top


The apprenticeship is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and is available to new and existing employees who live and work in Scotland and are looking to develop their careers in a digital profession.

Back to top


Apprentices should have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK university or equivalent in computing or a related discipline; or relevant industrial experience. This academic entry requirement is in addition to meeting the criteria for Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland.

Back to top


The programme is delivered over two years, featuring a combination of tutor-supported study modules and professional practice modules (work-based learning).

This is a work-based higher education programme designed to develop the apprentice’s learning and experience. The programme equips apprentices with the higher-level understanding, skills and behavioural characteristics needed to underpin a successful career as a senior cyber security professional.

The academic components of the programme enable the apprentice to develop solid knowledge and skills in the areas of information security management, digital forensics and a choice of either network security, data management or software engineering. 


Year 1

Year 2

Theory modules

Information Security

Digital Forensics

Choose from:

  • Software Engineering
  • Data Management
  • Network Security

Professional project (work-based learning)

Practice modules


Advanced Professional Practice 1

Advanced Professional Practice 2

In addition, work-based learning supports the application of new knowledge and skills in the workplace. The apprentice gains quality, practical experience of designing and/or evaluating technologies, processes and controls to protect systems, networks and data from unauthorised access. 

Back to top


The Open University has the experience and support in place to help apprentices succeed and make a positive impact on practice.

In addition to designated account management support, the OU will deploy expert staff to support your organisation and your apprentices. They will work collaboratively with the relevant roles in your organisation:

Practice Tutor (PT)

The PT is a key role and provides individual support to apprentices to progress and complete all the requirements of the apprenticeship or professional programme they have enrolled in. The support is tailored to the context of each learner’s professional duties and their workplace environment. Regular engagement with each learner’s line manager or work-based supervisor is a critical component of this role. In addition, the PT coaches the apprentice to integrate their academic learning with their professional work, guide them in the development of their portfolio and prepares them for their end-point assessment.

There are further roles and teams that support both apprentices and employers, and that work very closely with the PTs.

Academic Tutors

The role of the Academic Tutor is to support success by using, interpreting and building on the teaching resources produced by the OU and provided to apprentices. They monitor progression, mark assignments, provide personalised feedback and work in partnership to support the apprentices’ academic, personal and professional development. In addition, Academic Tutors provide pastoral support to apprentices. They are sometimes also referred to as Associate Lecturers or Module Tutors.

Apprenticeship Enrolment and Support Team (AEST)

The AEST supports apprentices throughout their Apprenticeship journey. This team of friendly Senior Advisors can offer advice and support for a range of queries apprentices may have whilst studying their modules, whether that be for advice on an upcoming assignment or exam, navigation around the OU online learning platforms or when they are experiencing difficult circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. This support team is able to reach out to a wide range of relevant teams within the University to help apprentices get back on track again.

Apprenticeship Programme Delivery Managers (APDM)

This role supports employers to recruit and onboard applicants on to the chosen apprenticeship programme. APDMs provide information, advice and guidance and carry out an initial assessment to ensure the apprenticeship is the right one at the right level for the individual. APDMs provide quarterly management information reports to employers detailing learners progress and put interventions in place where an apprentice is in need of support. Employers will have a named APDM to be the primary contact for apprenticeship delivery throughout the programme.

Line Manager / Mentor

This is a person in the workplace who supports the choice of apprenticeship programme for their employee or applicant and is involved in the onboarding process with their applicant. Line managers facilitate the apprentice to take off the job training time and fully engage in quarterly review meetings with the Practice Tutor and apprentice. Line managers have regular one to one meetings with their apprentices to integrate the apprenticeship into performance and development. They are key to enabling a successful work-based project and completion of the apprentice’s end-point assessment.

Back to top


An apprenticeship requires at least 20% of an apprentice’s working time to be allocated for off-the-job protected time in the workplace to engage in the learning. The Open University’s tutor-supported online learning gives the employer and the apprentice the flexibility to pick the most suitable times around organisational and personal needs – minimising the impact on day-to-day productivity.

Travel costs and expenses are also minimised, as most apprentices don’t have to attend day or block release sessions.

At present the face-to-face days on the programme are being delivered via online meeting rooms. It is a compulsory requirement for learners to attend these days. The Open University is currently reviewing the safe delivery of on-campus face-to-face days and the programme team will be guided by the university and the Statutory Health Profession Regulators in reviewing online and on-campus delivery. Employers and learners will be advised in advance of any changes to the delivery pattern.

Online delivery is both varied and interactive, using rich media formats that engage and enthuse apprentices on their journey. Learning can be accessed 24/7 on computers, tablets and mobile devices. Online forums and tutorials as well as email and telephone communication are used to support apprentices throughout the programme.

Team in a meeting


Develop the relevant skills for your organisation, improve productivity and achieve higher staff morale.

Manager speaking to employees


Earn while you learn and develop the skills you need to gain access to sectors you want to work in.

Back to top


BSc (Honours) Cyber Security (Graduate Apprenticeship)

The Cyber Security Graduate Apprenticeship is aimed at employment in the following areas: Intrusion analysis, network security, information security governance and information security testing.

MSc in Cyber Security (Graduate Apprenticeship)

The Cyber Security Graduate Apprenticeship is aimed at employment in the following areas: Information security audit, compliance and governance, cyber security testing, architecture, threat management or risk analysis and management and in a security operations centre.


Education & Skills Funding Agency
European Union - European Social Fund

Programme Summary

Location: Scotland


  • 2 years

Level and framework

Specific entry requirements

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Qualifications achieved at the end of the programme

  • MSc in Cyber Security

Additional information

Contact us

For a more detailed look at our Graduate Apprenticeships in Scotland download our brochure. 

Download brochure

Not on our mailing list?

Sign up to receive regular emails that are full of advice and resources to support staff development in your organisation.

Sign up to our emails