BSc (Hons) Applied Cyber Security (Including Foundation Year)
Kickstart your career with expert cyber security education working on real-world cyber security projects while gaining hugely valuable skills and experience, with the added opportunity to undertake specialist certification. With increasing disruption to our critical systems and personal data, we need highly skilled cyber security graduates now more than ever.
You’ll be joining us in learning how to defend our communities from cybercrime through our multi-award-winning National Cyber Security Academy, which features cutting edge learning environments including a CISCO Networking Academy, Secure Operations Centre, and Digital Forensics Laboratory.
Focusing on a range of cyber topics such as system security, digital forensic investigation, and risk & governance, you’ll gain a broad range of cyber security skills in an authentic, hands-on environment, with the opportunity to work towards being a Certified Cyber Ops Associate, before specialising in either digital forensics or security.
This course is designed for those with a keen interest in cyber security, penetration testing, digital crime investigation, cyber governance, risk and compliance, and incident response.
Foundation Year: Applied Cyber Security
The Foundation year is common to all Cyber awards and is designed to give students a flavour of each of the specific disciplines. The material is designed to bridge their knowledge to enable them to progress to Level 4 on completion of Level 3.
- Digital Forensics & Computer Security
- Fundamentals of Secure Programming
- Fundamentals of Computer Systems
- Foundations of Mathematics for Cyber
- Cyber Project
Year One: Applied Cyber Security
You’ll be taught at the first Academic Centre of Excellence to be awarded Gold by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – now one of only ten nationally. You’ll gain the very latest techniques from our cyber security professionals and industry partners – in practical workshops aligned to the NCSC’s Cyber Security Body of Knowledge (CyBOK). You’ll then apply these skills to real-world problems, working on scenarios and projects with our industry partners. In the first two years, you’ll explore three key themes – System security, Digital Forensics and Risk & Governance – using cyber security tools, investigating crime scenes, learning how to secure networks, web applications, and opportunities to take part in exciting Capture the Flag competitions.
- Professionalism and Employability
- Cyber Security Tools and Practices
- Computer Systems and Security
- Network Configuration
- Information Security and Governance
Year Two: Applied Cyber Security
As you move into year of your course you’ll undertake real-world activities in our dedicated labs, like our state-of-the-art SOC, a Secure Operations Centre, fully equipped with cutting-edge specialist software and hardware for secure analysis and reverse engineering of threats. Whether it’s developing a cyber security playbook for protecting against the threat of ransom ware, or helping local communities to understand the importance of cyber hygiene at home as part of our Cyber Clinic Project, you’ll not only be developing your skills to help protect people from cybercrime – you’ll also be discovering which cyber security role you want to pursue and help you gain the confidence to go and get it and open the door to your next career in cyber security.
- Web Applications and Cloud Security
- Digital Crime Scene Management
- Secure Systems
- Compliance and Risk Management
- Cyber Crime Research Project
- Critical Systems and Infrastructure
Year Three: Applied Cyber Security
In your final year, you will have the choice to specialise in either Digital Forensics or System Security. Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to study for the Cyber Ops Associate qualification and in year three, security specialists can study the EC Council certification in ethical hacking and penetration testing, while those wishing to specialise in digital forensic, receive expert witness training and certificates from Bond Solon, preparing you for cross-examination in court as well as receiving training on how to write an expert witness report.
- Security Operations and Penetration Testing
- Digital Forensic Techniques
- Cyber Dissertation Project
- Secure Operations and Incident Management
- The Cyber Professional in Practice
You will spend between 12-16 hours each week on lectures, tutorials, and practical sessions. You will also spend around four hours per week, per module, on coursework, general reading, and other preparation. You’ll be trained in courtroom skills and learn how to give evidence in a court of law from the Bond Solon legal training consultancy. You will also learn how to collect, write, and present evidence under cross-examination in our mock courtroom. Upon successful completion of the Bond Solon course, students receive a certificate from Bond Solon on “Excellent in Report Writing, Written Evidence”. Additionally, industry leading digital forensic software will be used throughout the course that will develop these core skills for industry.
Winners of Cyber University of the Year at the National Cyber Awards in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The course is accredited by the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT. The department has been awarded by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre as a Gold Standard Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education.
The University has excellent relationships with industry, with students undertaking placements with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Home Office Scientific Development Research Branch (London), GCHQ, Qinetiq, Cy4or, financial services, international banks, the Office for National Statistics, digital forensics companies and various government departments. We also have strong links with security agencies, incident response organisations handling cyber-attacks and local police forces.
Our facilities are at the cutting edge of cyber education, meaning you’ll use the latest technologies and software in our high-spec labs. There’s a Secure Operations Centre (SOC), modeled on industry SOCs designed to provide managed support for organisations needing to monitor their digital activity or are facing a cyber incident. Our Digital Investigation Lab is a digital forensic facility, typical of those used by law enforcement agencies and corporate organisations to analyse digital files and media for use in supporting corporate and criminal investigations.
The University of South Wales has become part of a project to train the next generation of Cyber Security experts. You are able to join the fight against cyber-crime in our National Cyber Security Academy and become part of that next generation of Cyber Security Experts. Among the methods used to achieve this will be the use of leading digital forensic software tools, industry engagement within specialist partners across a range of our modules, and additionally you’ll use our specialist labs for understanding the complexity of networking and the emulation of the working environment.
- Andrew Bellamy, Course Leader & Senior Lecturer
- Peter Eden, Senior Lecturer
- Rachael Medhurst, Senior Lecturer
- Dr Vijay Thayananthan, Senior Lecturer
- Dr Richard Ward, Lecturer
- Dr Mamoun Qasem, Lecturer
- Emma Derbi, Lecturer
- Joshua Richards, Lecturer
- Beth Jenkins, Lecturer
- Arun Kumar, Lecturer
- Anthony Corner, Lecturer
- Kim Smith, Lecturer
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university.
Other qualifications and experience:
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us.
Typical A-Level Offer
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass.
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points.
The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
International Entry Requirements
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country-specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured, please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: TBC
August 2025 - July 2026 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Employment prospects after graduating from USW cyber are excellent. Information Security, Penetration Testing, Digital Forensic careers, to name just a few, are often available with managed security operations centres, law enforcement agencies, corporate organisations, incident response organisations, military and government intelligence agencies, and private security and consulting companies with the rise in demand set to continue.
Possible Career Paths
- Penetration Tester
- Information Security Analyst
- Secure Operation Centre (SoC) operative or analyst
- Cyber Governance, Risk and Compliance officer
- Law enforcement Digital Forensic Investigator
- Military Cyber Security Personnel
- Government Intelligence Agencies
Private Forensic and Security Consulting Companies
- Digital Forensic Investigator
- Incident Response Analyst
- Malware Analyst
Computing and Cyber Employability Guide
Our Employability Guide has all the information you need to help you prepare for a career in computing and cyber.
From hands-on work experience and industry links to our passionate academics and different study routes, we have you covered.
Hear from USW graduates as you learn about how you can get your career started, including how you will develop in-demand skills using all the latest software and technology.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty-based Career Advisors, in person, over the phone, or even Teams and through email via the “Ask the Question” service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our careers service has dedicated teams. A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.