With today's advancing technologies comes the increasing threat of cybercrime. The National Cyber Security Strategy makes clear the importance of good network defences in securing the UK. GCU has developed a suite of programmes which provide the opportunity to be at the forefront of defending cyberspace from sophisticated malicious attacks and future threats.
Cyber Security and Networks covers the protection of computer equipment, information and services from unauthorised access, change or destruction. It will inform you of the latest technologies, help you understand legal, ethical and professional responsibilities and provide a broad awareness of the industry.
These programmes will prepare you for entering the communication networks, security engineering and digital forensics sector, an industry which employs one in three of all jobs within the IT sector. This sector is becoming increasingly complex, with particular need for digital forensics, digital security, ethical hacking, wireless and mobile specialist skills.
We would expect digital security graduates to embark on a range of career pathways including government agencies, law enforcement or associated private sector agencies, business, supporting specialist roles such as forensic practitioners, penetration testers (ethical hackers) and security and forensic consultants.
Programming 1, Computer Networking 1, Web Platform Development 1, Integrated Project 1, Mathematics for Computing, Fundamentals of Computing.
Secure Systems Administration, Computer Networking 2, Programming 2, Integrated Design Project 2, Database Development, Cyber Security Operations.
Advanced Routing, Digital Forensic Investigation, Ethical Hacking, Advanced Switching, Integrated Design Project 3, Research Skills and Professional Issues.
Web Application Security, Internet Security, Network Simulation, Regulating the Information Society, Honours Project.
Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.
All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.
We're in UCAS Clearing!
To enquire about a Clearing place at GCU, speak to our helpful Clearing team on 0800 027 9171.
Clearing entry requirements
SQA Higher: BBC at Higher including Maths or Computing Science at grade B plus Nat 5 English at grade C/4 and Nat 5 Maths at grade C/4 if not taken at Higher
A Level: CDD including GCSE English and Maths at C/4
BTEC/CACHE: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing Subject at MMP
Standard entry requirements
SQA Higher: BBCC including either Maths or Computing plus Nat 5 English at C. Nat 5 Maths at C is also required if not achieved at Higher level.
A level: CCD including Maths and either Computing or ICT plus GCSE Maths and English at C/4.
ILC Higher: H2 H2 H4 H4 including either Maths or Computing plus English at O2. Maths is also required at O2 if not achieved at Higher level.
IB Diploma: 24 points including either Computer Science or Maths at 4
BTEC: Level 3 Extended Diploma in relevant subject at MMM plus GCSE Maths and English at C/4
Accepted as equivalent to one Higher as part of the overall grade profile of Highers required for entry. Any essential subjects at Higher should still be achieved in addition to the Foundation Apprenticeship.
College HND: Computing Networking or Computing Technical Support. Must have A in graded units 1 and 2.
Students whose first language is not English will normally be required to hold the equivalent of an Academic IELTS test score of 6.0 with no element less than 5.5.
Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.
Other academic and vocational qualifications
Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.
The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?
Tuition fees 2019/20
*Total tuition fees for RUK students completing a three or four year degree are capped at £27,750.
**Specific fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.
Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only. Fees and refund policy.
As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.
We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.
For new international students, particular care is taken around our induction events which begin on 13 September 2019 to welcome you to the UK and GCU prior to the start of teaching. There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus tours, city tours and social events where you can meet other international students. Where possible, we encourage you to arrange travel to allow you to arrive in time to enjoy these.
We have full industrial standard CISCO labs where networks can be analysed and investigated for vulnerabilities. These allow the students to plan, design, implement, secure and troubleshoot complex enterprise class networks. These labs are the largest in Scotland supported by over 200 devices. We also have a fully equipped digital forensic security laboratory utilising current generation iMacs. We use virtual machines to simulate a wide range of different operating systems and environments to provide a safe resource for cyber security learning. Mobile and tablet based attacks are increasing, and we are fully resourced to interface with these devices. Students use industry standard tools such as Metasploit, Nessus, nMap, XRY and Cellbrite to assess system security. Recent investments in our virtualized distance learning platform enables students to continue their learning off campus, this includes our innovative Netlab online laboratory system supporting both networking and digital security modules.
The School of Engineering and the Built Environment is an accredited Cisco Academy. The curriculum material from the professionally recognised Cisco Certified Network Associate qualification and Cisco Certified Network Professional is integrated into this programme. With additional work and assessments, you can work to complete these Cisco Certified qualifications.
The programme features an optional one-year sandwich placement which can be undertaken after completion of Year 3. The placement consists of a year of practical paid work experience in a suitable company position. The different types of posts undertaken can be of quite a diverse range but will always relate to your area of study. Recently students have been placed with companies such as IBM, Dell Corporation, National Australia Group, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Strathclyde Police among others. The placement can provide valuable experience to enhance your career prospects following graduation.
In partnership with HM Forces, GCU has identified this programme is being particularly suited to military and ex-military men and women. Visit the HM Forces Careers Zone for more information on the services we provide.
The programme aims to provide graduates with cognitive and practical skills and knowledge of emerging theories, methods and principles. The aim is to establish well-rounded graduates knowledgeable of current and emergent technologies, understand legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of practitioners and have a broad awareness of industry. The programme will encourage students' creative thinking, expand knowledge, confidence and professional values, and has been developed to address contemporary issues in the field of networking infrastructures. A number of integrated approaches are employed to achieve the necessary aims, objectives and learning outcomes required. To this end, a variety of teaching and learning methods and strategies are applied. Assessment methods used to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes include examinations, coursework, class tests, practical assessments, presentations, computer-based exercises, and written reports. We aim to sustain existing, and seek further industrial partnerships that provide access to case studies and projects, work experience and real world problems. The school is also academic partners with The Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers. The course provides a career orientated learning experience from a school that is an approved provider of professional certification for, amongst others Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle and 7Safe.
The programme places a significant emphasis on developing advanced practical technical skills and then benchmarking these against industry standard professional qualifications, allowing us to assess students by a number of different methods, depending on the nature of the module studied. The programme of study develops the soft skills expected by employers, such as writing, research and team working skills. In keeping with the relevant nature of this course, students are expected to solve realistic problems drawn from industry. In the third year, students will have the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement and continue to the Honours year at the end of this period. Students who follow this programme of study can expect to be taught in the best suite of network and security engineering labs in Scotland, and possibly the UK, providing an unmatched hands-on learning experience. Our substantial Netlab system allows us to offer remote access to our equipment enabling many of the practical labs to be undertaken off-campus.