The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: PG Dip Indicative duration: 16 months
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

As companies become more reliant on the internet, technology and data, there is an increasing demand for professionals with knowledge of cyber threats, challenges and solutions.

This 16-month online conversion course explores the key trends within this high-demand field, developing your technical and practical skills to deal with the range of cyber security issues that can arise within an organisation. After considering the fundamental aspects and recent developments in the field, you will delve into topics such as:

  • fundamentals of network security and information security governance principles
  • an inter-disciplinary perspective involving psychology that considers the human factor in cyber security challenges
  • traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle models and how they are affected by risk management considerations

Delivered completely online, it is easy to develop skills in this sought-after area while continuing in your current role. Towards the end of your studies you will have the opportunity to advance onto a full Masters.

Why we’re great

  • This cross-disciplinary course considers not just the technical skills, but also commercial and legal factors within cyber security.
  • There’s no need to download lots of different software packages – all programming languages are included within the tuition fee and all work is carried out in our online development environment.
  •  Receive your degree from the University of Essex, a top 40 UK university (Complete University Guide 2023)

The PG Dip Cyber Security is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 120 credits.

Investigate various theories and practices relating to cyber security, before having the opportunity to engage with the future developments in this fast-growing sector. Not only will this defining module build on your cyber security knowledge, you’ll also gain a strong awareness of the ethical and professional responsibilities within the area.

Delve into the fundamental concepts of Network Security with this engaging module. Youll learn to identify and analyse security threats and vulnerabilities in network systems, and determine appropriate methodologies, tools and techniques to manage and/or solve them. Upon completion, you'll be well versed in common diagnostic and monitoring tools, such as nessus, snort, syslog and ELK.

What are the underpinning concepts of information security and risk management? Find out in this engaging module. The content is based on mapping information security and risk management roles onto a number of security models – while giving you an insight into security and governance principles and standards.

Identify and manage security risks as part of a software development project with this comprehensive module. You'll be introduced to the underpinning concepts and skills of secure software development – and as you progress through the module, youll also learn about the traditional and contemporary Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) models.

What are the implications of human behaviour when designing computing systems? In this innovative module, you’ll analyse the challenges faced and the risks posed by socio-technical systems within an organisation. Learn how psychology can meet computer science, and evaluate the social and ethical considerations in developing and applying usable security.

Contextualise the basic architecture of modern operating systems in this engaging module. You’ll begin by exploring the underpinning concepts and principles of Secure Systems Architecture (SSA). This includes the evolution of traditional operating systems architecture models, common security models and the impact of distributed systems technologies on modern systems.

This fascinating module will give you an awareness of common legal principles which apply to cyberspace. That way, you’ll have a solid foundation in ethics, rights and regulatory challenges – which you can then apply to a range of situations, jurisdictions and common legal principles relating to forensics and expert evidence.

Gain confidence in your critical appraisal of the professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues that affect computing professionals. In this valuable module, youll gain a practical foundation in research methods that will enable you to conduct research in practical settings.

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.  

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including:  

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students 
  • live seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 

 

Assessments 

You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 

 

Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing ad completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment. 

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 

 

Study duration 

Our PG Dip Cyber Security has an indicative study duration of 16 months, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.  

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.  

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.  

All our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 

 

Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 

 

Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online has been evaluated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and we’re registered in the Approved (fee cap) category with the Office for Students (OfS) 

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

This course will give you a breadth of knowledge and skills to enable you to move into the exciting world of cyber security. Upon completion, you’ll be able to succeed in a range of roles, such as policy maker, software developer, risk analyst, secure systems designer/programmer, information systems administrator or forensic analyst.

Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees and a BCS-accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Gaining a postgraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed:

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10%

We know that many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to take a short aptitude test which is designed to test your ability to handle the intellectual and practical demands of the course. Please note that we will consider your performance in the aptitude test as part of your overall application, so if you don’t pass the test you may still be accepted onto the course. Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within your two-week induction period of the course in order to continue your studies.

 

Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our PG Dip Cyber Security, as a minimum you must have an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree, or a relevant professional qualification.

 

Work experience entry route

In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our PG Dip Cyber Security, you must have at least three years’ relevant work experience.

 

English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Full tuition fee: 

£8,111 UK / £8,285 International (2023-24) Δ 

  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Regional scholarship available for international students based overseas in eligible countries. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online. 
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us. 

Please note, a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits.  

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our PG Dip Cyber Security are experts in the field of computing.

What our students say

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