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MSc in Cyber Security - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

The aim of this masters degree is to develop your knowledge and experience to equip you with the knowledge, skills and behavioural characteristics you’ll need to underpin a career as a cyber security professional. It will also:

  • enable you to keep ahead in a rapidly changing subject area by helping you to develop as an independent learner
  • contextualise your learning within your workplace to prepare you for your profession
  • develop relevant skills in communication.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you’ll have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a range of cyber security tools, techniques, and systems and their application to business, societal and personal requirements
  • the use of theory, practice and practical constraints to solve cyber security problems
  • cyber security systems, their development, specification and use, allowing their evaluation against a range of criteria such as related standards, codes of practice, quality and evaluation frameworks.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • integrate knowledge and skills from various sources into a coherent whole, making appropriate abstractions
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, using appropriate tools and techniques, notations and formalisms
  • pursue an original, independent, practical project involving an appropriate balance of research, development, evaluation and review and to communicate effectively the project aims, processes and outcomes.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you complete this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • recognise and respond to opportunities for innovation in cyber security
  • recognise social, legal, professional and ethical responsibilities and their appropriate application
  • critically evaluate developments in cyber security including the identification of limitations and risks, legal issues, cultural and ethical impact and societal and business needs
  • identify needs, articulate goals, locate and employ resources and to follow action plans in support of independent learning and professional development.

Key skills

When you complete this qualification, you’ll be able to:

  • communicate effectively with technical and non-technical audiences, using appropriate channels and media and where appropriate incorporating research and practice from the forefront of the cyber security discipline and professional practice
  • make and articulate decisions, including collating appropriate evidence and opinions, even in the presence of incomplete information
  • independently apply problem solving principles; using appropriate underpinning knowledge and skills
  • review, evaluate, reflect on and critique your own work and the work of others, engaging in peer review processes that lead to innovation and improvement.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You’ll learn independently, using online teaching texts; multi-media packages on CD, DVD and online; directed reading from textbooks and academic and industry papers; and specialised software tools.

We’ll support your learning with:

  • self-assessment questions and exercises
  • computer-based investigations, tasks and activities
  • project work
  • feedback and guidance from tutors and other subject specialists
  • computer conferences and other online forums
  • study guides, information and guidance packs.

We’ll assess your learning using some or all of the following:

  • interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
  • tutor-marked assessments (TMAs)
  • formal examinations
  • end-of-module assessments (EMAs)
  • progress and project reports.

There will be opportunities for you to:

  • apply your learning in practical contexts, for example by reflecting on your own engagement with computing systems in a home, work or social setting
  • engage with fellow students, tutors, subject practitioners and academic specialists in online group and small group events
  • engage with research papers and industry white papers at the forefront of the discipline
  • gain exposure to the professional and employability discussions that are shaping the computing profession.

Cognitive skills are developed via a range of activities including self-assessment exercises, multi-media tasks, tutor-led discussions, and the exploration of open and complex problems. Tutor-mediated online activities and student and tutor conference facilities provide an environment for critical discussion and peer interaction. Tutor feedback on formal exercises aids the development of these skills.

Cognitive skills will be assessed by addressing problems requiring investigation, analysis and synthesis. These will be examined in TMAs and examinations, and TMAs and the project will offer opportunities to demonstrate integration of knowledge and skills from a range of topics.

Key skills are taught and developed throughout the teaching materials, supported by tutor feedback and guidance around formal activities and assessed exercises.

You’ll undertake both direct and self-selected reading, and there is progressive development of your engagement and use of these materials.
Various types of assessment questions, project reports and some open-ended activity progress reports will be used to formally assess the skills taught.

Practical and professional skills will be taught and developed throughout the qualification, with support from tutors and subject specialists. TMA, EMA and project progress and final reports will include assessment points related to practical and professional skills.

You’ll be supported in developing a style of independent learning and reflective practice that encourages a professional engagement with the computing discipline, encompassing professional codes of conduct and legal, social and ethical concerns. Some aspects of professional practice will be taught and developed but may not be assessed.

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