Computer Science (Cyber Security) - BSc (Hons)

On this degree you will learn a broad base of computer science skills with a focus in your final year on cyber security. This is an excellent programme choice if you are looking for a career in information security management or cyber security risk within commercial or government organisations.

Overview

The University of Kent is recognised by the British Government as being an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, meaning you will be taught by staff who are top researchers in this area.

The School of Computing is a welcoming and inclusive community, supporting our students to achieve their goals. Our excellent links with industry ensure that you develop the skills you need to be successful in your career.

The School is home to several authors of leading textbooks and Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*.

Our degree programme

On this themed degree, the specific focus (here, Cyber Security) is decided at the time of enrolment and named in your degree title. You can also study our general Computer Science degree, where a subject focus is decided during the course of your study.

Our programme focuses on the technical aspects of computer science. You learn to code in several languages, starting with the Java programming language, which is widely used in industry across a range of applications including mobile devices.

Building on these programming skills, you learn the principles and techniques that underpin the algorithms and systems shaping our world today. These include artificial intelligence, computer security, network technology, software engineering, and human-computer interaction. You put these principles and techniques into practice to develop software in a variety of ways, from small-scale exercises to a major software project.

You can also gain experience in teaching with our Computing in the Classroom module. This gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a school setting.

Year in industry

We support many of our students choose to take a year in industry after the second year of the programme. This gives you work experience, a salary and the possibility of a job with the same company after graduation. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply: for details, see Computer Science (Cyber Security) with a Year in Industry.

Study resources

Facilities to support the study of Computer Science include The Shed, the School of Computing's Makerspace, which houses:

  • 3D printers
  • laser-cutting facilities
  • development equipment, including Oculus Rift and Raspberry Pi.

Students also have exclusive access to a computer room and a common room, and we run a peer-mentoring scheme.

Extra activities

Computer Science students often take part in TinkerSoc, a student-run 'tinkering' society which meets in 'The Shed', our collaborative workspace. TinkerSoc welcomes all students who like making things.

Whether a member of TinkerSoc or not, you can spend time in The Shed, making, exploring and sharing. In this informal environment you can build physical devices for your coursework, as well as develop your own interests and hobbies.

The School of Computing also hosts events that you are welcome to attend. These include our successful seminar programme where guest speakers from academia and industry discuss current developments in the field. We also host the BCS local branch events on campus.

Professional network

Our programmes are informed by a stakeholder panel of industry experts who give feedback on the skills that employers require from a modern workforce.

Our successful year in industry programmes have allowed us to build up excellent relationships with leading companies such as BAE Systems, Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company.

We also have a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is the first point of contact for students and employers.

*The University of Kent's Statement of Findings can be found here

90%
Computer Science at Kent scored 90% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Some typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    ABB-BBC

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade 4/C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit - Distinction, Merit, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 16 points at HL including Mathematics 5 at HL or SL, or Mathematics Studies 6 at SL

  • International Foundation Programme

    N/A

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Stage 1

All modules are compulsory.

Compulsory modules currently include

CO520 - Further Object-Oriented Programming (15 credits)

CO320 - Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming (15 credits)

CO322 - Foundations of Computing I (15 credits)

CO323 - Databases and the Web (15 credits)

CO325 - Foundations of Computing II (15 credits)

CO328 - Human Computer Interaction (15 credits)

CO337 - Computers and the Cloud (15 credits)

CO383 - Problem Solving with Algorithms (15 credits)

Stage 2

All modules are compulsory.

Compulsory modules currently include

CO545 - Functional Programming (15 credits)

CO557 - Computer Systems (15 credits)

CO558 - Introduction to Cyber Security (15 credits)

CO559 - Software Development (15 credits)

CO518 - Algorithms, Correctness and Efficiency (15 credits)

CO528 - Introduction to Intelligent Systems (15 credits)

CO532 - Database Systems (15 credits)

CO539 - Web Development (15 credits)

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

CO519 - Theory of Computing (15 credits)

CO633 - Computer Networks and Communications (15 credits)

CO6FF - Information Security Management (15 credits)

CO6GG - Secure Programming (15 credits)

CO6HH - Cyber Security Project (30 credits)

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for Home undergraduates have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates for 2021/22 entry are £9,250.

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Within the School of Computing are authors of widely used textbooks, a National Teaching Fellow and Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) Award-winning scientists. Programmes are taught by leading researchers who are experts in their fields.

Teaching is based on lectures, with practical classes and seminars, but we are also introducing more innovative ways of teaching, such as virtual learning environments and work-based tuition. Work includes group projects, case studies and computer simulations, with a large-scale project of your own choice in the final year.

Overall workload

Each stage comprises eight modules. Most modules run for a single 12-week term. Each module has two lectures and one to two hours of classes, making approximately 14 formal contact hours per week and eight hours of 'homework club' drop-in sessions each term.

Academic support

We provide excellent support for you throughout your time at Kent. This includes access to web-based information systems, podcasts and web forums for students who can benefit from extra help. We use innovative teaching methodologies, including BlueJ and LEGO© Mindstorms for teaching Java programming.

Teaching staff

Our staff have written internationally acclaimed textbooks for learning programming, which have been translated into eight languages and are used worldwide. A member of staff has received the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education. The award is made by ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.

Assessment

Assessment is by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination and details are shown in the module outlines on the web. Project modules are assessed wholly by coursework.

The marks from stage one do not go towards your final degree grade, but you must pass to continue to stage two. 

Most stage two modules are assessed by coursework and end-of-year examination. Marks from stage two count towards your degree result. 

Most stage three modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and end-of-year examination. Projects are assessed by your contribution to the final project, the final report, and oral presentation and viva examination. Marks from stage three count towards your degree result.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

In stage three your project counts for 25% of the year's marks.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a programme that will attract and meet the needs of both those contemplating a career in computing and those motivated primarily by an intellectual interest in computer science
  • be compatible with widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes
  • provide a sound knowledge and systematic understanding of the principles of computer science
  • provide computing skills that will be of lasting value in a field that is constantly changing 
  • offer a range of options to enable students to match their interests and study some selected areas of computing in more depth
  • provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge
  • develop general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of different computing and non-computing settings.
  • provide knowledge of key areas in cyber security.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • hardware: the major functional components of a computer system  
  • software: programming languages and practice; tools and packages; computer applications; structuring of data and information 
  • communication and interaction: basic computer communication network concepts; communication between computers and people; the control and operation of computers
  • practice: problem identification and analysis; design development, testing and evaluation 
  • theory: algorithm design and analysis; formal methods and description; modelling
  • an understanding of the scientific method and its applications to problem solving in this area. 
  • holistic cyber security: core concepts and technology to enforce security, risks and countermeasures (including human aspects), and security architecture.
  • secure development: programming best practices, analysis of potential vulnerabilities and malicious code, and security-by-design principles.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in:

  • modelling: knowledge and understanding in the modelling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the trade-off involved in design choices
  • reflection and communication: presenting succinctly to a range of audiences rational and reasoned arguments
  • requirements: identifying and analysing criteria and specifications appropriate to specific problems and planning strategies for their solution
  • criteria evaluation and testing: analysing the extent to which a computer-based system meets the criteria defined for its current use and future development
  • methods and tools: deploying appropriate theory, practices, and tools for the specification, design, implementation, and evaluation of computer-based systems
  • professional responsibility: recognising and being guided by the professional, economic, social, environmental, moral and ethical issues involved in the sustainable exploitation of computer technology
  • computational thinking: demonstrating a basic analytical ability and its relevance to everyday life.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • design and implementation: specifying, designing, and implementing computer-based systems
  • evaluation: evaluating systems in terms of general quality attributes and possible trade-offs presented within the given problem
  • information management: applying the principles of effective information management, information organisation, and information retrieval skills to information of various kinds, including text, images, sound, and video
  • tools: deploying effectively the tools used for the construction and documentation of software, with particular emphasis on understanding the whole process involved in using computers to solve practical problems
  • The ability to plan and manage projects to deliver computing systems within the constraints of requirements, timescale and budget. 
  • The ability to recognise any risks and safety aspects that may be involved in the deployment of computing systems within a given context. 
  • The ability to critically evaluate and analyse complex problems, argument and evidence, including those with incomplete information, and devise appropriate computing solutions, within the constraints of a budget. 
  • Recognise security needs, select and apply solutions (including social-technical solutions) to enforce and maintain systems secure.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • teamwork: being able to work effectively as a member of a development team
  • communication: making succinct presentations to a range of audiences about technical problems and their solutions
  • IT: effective use of general IT facilities; information retrieval skills
  • Intellectual skills: critical thinking; making a case; numeracy and literacy; information literacy. The ability to construct well-argued documents. The ability to locate and retrieve relevant ideas, and ensure these are correctly and accurately referenced and attributed. 
  • Self-management: Managing one’s own learning and development, including time management and organisational skills.
  • Professional Development: Appreciating the need for continuing professional development in recognition of the need for lifelong learning.  
  • Contextual awareness: the ability to understand and meet the needs of individuals, business and the community, and to understand how workplaces and organisations are governed. 
  • Sustainability: recognising factors in environmental and societal contexts relating to the opportunities and challenges created by computing systems across a range of human activities. 

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Independent rankings

Computer Science at Kent (which includes all programmes offered by the School of Computing) scored 90% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021

For graduate prospects, Computer Science at Kent was ranked 15th out of 110 in The Complete University Guide 2021

Computer Science at Kent was ranked 8th for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Graduates who have both IT knowledge and business skills can expect excellent career prospects. Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • software engineering
  • mobile applications development
  • systems analysis
  • consultancy
  • networking
  • web design and e-commerce
  • finance and insurance
  • commerce
  • engineering
  • education
  • government
  • healthcare. 

Recent graduates have gone on to develop successful careers at leading companies such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • Cisco 
  • IBM
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Citigroup 
  • BT.

Help finding a job

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

The School has a dedicated Employability Coordinator who is a useful contact for all student employability queries.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a range of professional skills, including:

  • programming
  • modelling
  • design.

To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • analyse situations and troubleshoot problems
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Applications

Start to consider your options any time and you'll be able to submit your application from September 2021.

Visiting universities, virtually or in-person, helps you to discover the places and courses that suit you. Why not start by signing up for a Virtual Open Day at Kent.

Use our timeline for applying to Kent to help you plan your future.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

School of Computing

Discover Uni information

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Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
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Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.