Cybersecurity, MSc

Cybersecurity, MSc


Individuals, organisations and governments face an escalating threat from increasingly sophisticated hackers and ransomware gangs. To tackle this problem, cyber security professionals must constantly adapt to the ever-evolving threats and vulnerabilities.

This programme teaches the fundamental concepts and job-ready skills of cyber security to prepare you for one of the most in-demand jobs today.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
Location of Study

Cyber security is becoming an increasingly critical threat to organisations and the general public. A recent report cites a 38% increase in cyberattacks in 2022 compared to 2021 as hackers seek to exploit the growth of online collaboration tools used by remote workers in recent years.

The growing cyber threat faced by commercial organisations, universities, hospitals and governments has led to an alarming shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals needed to protect everything from small personal devices to large national critical infrastructure.

This Masters programme is addressing the huge demand for security analysts and engineers by drawing on the exceptional expertise at the University of Aberdeen in Data, AI and Cybersecurity to produce graduates with specialist technical knowledge, flexibility and adaptability needed for the rapidly evolving security environment.

As well as studying topics such as cryptography, network protocols, access control, authentication, security management and web security, you will learn about emerging technologies including Software-defined Networking (SDN), Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain and develop your digital forensic techniques to design and analyse security solution architectures. You will also examine how Artificial Intelligence (AI) relates to cybersecurity and understand the legal and governance aspects of incident detection, investigation, and response.

The MSc Cybersecurity is designed for students with a computer science background as well as IT professionals who want to prepare for a successful career in cybersecurity and data privacy. You will benefit from a dedicated cyber security lab with modern computer facilities and the latest online tools to support your learning and research. The curriculum is based on practical 'real-world' security threats and the knowledge you gain on this programme will also prepare you for attaining additional international cybersecurity certifications.

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Introduction to Cybersecurity (CS502A)

15 Credit Points

This course presents the fundamental concepts of Cyber Security, including but not limited to cryptography, network protocols, access control, authentication, security management and web security. This course provides students with the Cyber Security principles for continuing learning and working in the area of Cyber Security.

Security in Emerging Networks (CS502B)

15 Credit Points

This course will cover emerging technologies in cybersecurity such as Software-defined Networking (SDN), Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain. It will deliver the role of emerging technologies in cyberspace, what impact we will have on our legacy system and how we can remain agile and efficient. The course will provide a foundation for identifying the significance of technological advancements and cybersecurity issues, and challenges raised in adapting the 5G & beyond network.

Enterprise Security Architecture (CS502C)

15 Credit Points

A major contributing factor to cyber risk is the lack of well-designed cybersecurity architecture that protects against ever-evolving cyber-attacks. A well-designed architecture provides a streamlined workflow for security and non-security practitioners, along with increasing the robustness of an organisation’s cybersecurity. In this course you will gain the advance knowledge to develop, design and analyse security solution architectures to meet your organisation's cybersecurity objectives.

Artificial Intelligence, Privacy and Cybersecurity (CS502D)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide an introduction to Artificial Intelligence, and how it relates to Cybersecurity and Privacy. It will discuss how AI can be used for both defensive and offensive purposes in Cybersecurity. The course will also discuss the security and privacy issues arising from the use of AI systems in software systems.

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Digital Forensics and Incident Management (CS552E)

15 Credit Points

Data breaches are everywhere, and cyber incidents can be extremely costly for an organization. Therefore, the speed at which you identify a violation and respond to the incident is critical to your data and systems' security. This course will provide technical and legal discussions on incident detection, investigation, response, and digital forensic techniques. It will walk you through best practices for everything from incident response to in-depth digital forensics. This will help the student identify vulnerabilities and better communicate breaches to those impacted.

Information Governance, Data Security and Privacy (CS552F)

15 Credit Points

The course will discuss the higher-level context for cybersecurity in an organization, specifically through its relation to information governance. Requirements, policies, procedures, processes, and controls for data security will be a central topic. Individual privacy, and data protection of sensitive private data within organizations, will be covered in detail.

Ethical Hacking and Web Security (CS552G)

15 Credit Points

This course will deliver approaches and methodologies used for carrying out and managing security and penetration testing, including but not limited to web applications, network protocols, common attacks and security countermeasures. The course will help the student build the ability to design secure systems and defend against intrusion.

Secure Software Design and Development (CS552H)

15 Credit Points

Software bugs and vulnerabilities are the main source of threats to security. This course introduces students to design, development, testing and evaluating secure and dependable software. This course develops students both theoretical and practical skills to define, implement, examine, and manage secure software lifecycle. The course provides necessary skills needed for security professionals ranging from software architects, developers to penetration testers and IT Managers.

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Project in Cybersecurity (CS592A)

60 Credit Points

This course will provide students the opportunity to focus on a practical or theoretical problem and investigate the solutions. The research will be carried out under the supervision of a member of staff. Typical projects include improving, or adapting existing cybersecurity practices, theories, and techniques to solve different problems. Students will improve their problem-solving and communication skills, as well as broaden and consolidate knowledge obtained in other components of the degree.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £27,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home / RUK £11,900
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Why Study Cybersecurity?

  • This MSc provides you with a specialism combining theoretical knowledge and practical skills in cybersecurity and data protection.
  • You will develop technical expertise and practical skills in identifying and critically evaluating security and data protection techniques in the Internet of Things, 5G Networks, Cloud Computing, Autonomous Vehicles and Industrial Control Systems. 
  • Advanced topics studied include Artificial Intelligence for Information Security, penetration testing, secure software development, information governance and data privacy.
  • Taught by a research-focused computer science department ranked 5th in the UK with strong links to business. All cybersecurity staff members are leaders in their respective fields with strong research and commercial track record.
  • You will use a purpose-built cybersecurity laboratory where students can explore security concepts in a safe environment.
  • Weekly lectures from world renewed researchers and experts from the industry about the emerging trends in cybersecurity
  • The University of Aberdeen has a strong history and worldwide reputation in computing science, in particular around Data Science, Natural Language Generation and Artificial Intelligence and is home to the research success of ARRIA NLG - the global leader in the field of natural language generation (NLG).
  • From agriculture and archaeology to medicine and geosciences, our researchers are utilising data and AI across many fields to further research and improve lives. Browse the project summaries in our Interdisciplinary Research Project Database to find out more about the critical role data and artificial intelligence have to play in advances spanning many disciplines.
  • Our close industry links mean you will have opportunities to apply your skills through training and networking events and industrial placements organised through our partner organisations.

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A Bachelor's degree with a 2:2 (lower second class) Honours degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science or another relevant quantitative discipline such as Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Natural Science, Electronic Engineering, General Engineering, Operations Research, or a joint degree in two such subjects.

Applicants should also be competent in computer programming (C/C++, Python) to the level expected at the end of the first year of a BSc Honours Degree in Computer Science.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme


Graduates from MSc Cybersecurity will be well-equipped to work in cybersecurity companies, general software consultancy companies, specialised software development businesses and the IT departments of large institutions (financial, telecommunications, and public sector).

Aside from industry-focused careers, the MSc Cybersecurity will also train graduates to enter into the field of academic and industrial research in areas such as cybersecurity, machine learning, software engineering, algorithms and computer networks.

Cybersecurity jobs remain in high demand in the UK and that number is only set to grow, with the skills gap still very much a reality for employers. Figures from the global information security workforce study, which show there could be around 100,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the UK by 2022.

In the USA, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for jobs in information security is projected at 37% from 2012–2022 - a much faster than the average for all other occupations.

Our Experts

Dr Wanpeng Li
Other Experts
Dr Raja Akram
Dr Thuan Yew Edward Chuah
Dr Matthew Collinson
Dr Pradip Sharma
Dr Chunyan Mu

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX