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BEng/BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Cyber Security (with a year in industry)

Let's eliminate the dangers of cyberspace together

Year of entry: 2023/24

UCAS code

II13

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time

Typical offer

AAA (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2023 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£26,800 per year

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Become a skilled practitioner in the principles and practice of cyber security. Develop in-demand skills to help protect organisations from the threat of cyber crime.

The BSc in Computer Science with Cyber Security (with a year in industry) produces multi-skilled, highly competent graduates who are equipped to become leaders in their career field and who understand the implications of their work both for themselves and for society as a whole.

You will spend a year in industry, furthering your knowledge, networking and getting real-life experience.

Through the programme, you will study two integrated strands of work which help you to develop both your computational thinking and your skills as an engineer. It is the combination of these two areas that will make you attractive to employers, enabling you to make an immediate contribution when you move into employment.

The programme will provide you with a solid foundation in the principles and practices of Computer Science, including coding, mathematics and basic engineering; with breadth in Computer Science and related technical disciplines; and with advanced training in the focused area of Cyber Security.

Key aspects of modern Cyber Security are covered, from the theoretical building blocks of identity and trust, through to real-world implementations, and discussion of the wider impacts that Cyber Security has on society.

You will understand engineering trade-offs that cross disciplines, such as between hardware and software, and you will be able to participate effectively in multidisciplinary teams. You will also develop the skill to contribute professionally to solving complex commercial and industrial engineering problems having undertaken a focused project in the field of Cyber Security.

Accreditation

The intention is for the programme to be accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT) – both professional bodies of computing and engineering. The intention is also to submit the programme for certification by the National Cyber Security Centre when possible. The unaccredited version of the programme will be called the BSc in Computer Systems Engineering with Cyber Security.

Software lab virtual tour

Our software labs offer 24/7 access for individual and group work.

The labs are used for seminars and practical sessions and are fully equipped with the latest software to support your studies.

Course content

All students will study our core topics in computer science, which we have designed to be consistent with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) curriculum guidelines. These core topics provide the fundamental knowledge that all computer science graduates should possess, and the foundation required to specialise in the third year. The core topics are structured into eight streams:

  • Theory
  • Software
  • Systems and Devices
  • Data
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Engineering
  • Cyber security

At least 25% of the course content will be in your specialist area of Cyber Security. To recognise this, your degree title will reflect your specialism.

Year 1

You will focus on establishing a solid foundation regardless of your previous experience of programming and computing.

Core Modules:

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Year Two of the course will build upon the solid foundations you will have laid down in Year One. You’ll take modules from streams 1 to 5 to deepen your learning and start on two further streams studying intelligent systems and undertake a group engineering project. You should develop your interests which you will then begin to focus on in Year Three.

Core Modules:

  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Systems & Devices 2: Operating Systems, Security, and Networking
  • Theory 3: Computability, Complexity and Logic
  • Intelligent Systems: Machine Learning & Optimisation
  • Engineering 1: Systems & Software Engineering
  • Systems & Devices 3: Advanced Computer Systems

Year 3

You will spend this year out in industry if you successfully obtain a placement. You will be supported in achieving this by our dedicated Industrial Placements Team, who is there to help you with your CV, give you interview tips, arrange interviews on campus, and will keep in touch with you while you are on your placement to ensure everything is going well. We have excellent relationships with a strong portfolio of companies from large multinationals such as IBM and Airbus UK, to smaller companies such as YorkTest and Informed Solutions. 

Your year in industry gives you a chance to use what you have learned during your degree. As well as being paid a good salary, students who take a year in industry generally achieve better grades, develop a broader range of skills and are more attractive to future employers. Some students even find a job with their placement company before they graduate.

Find out more about a year in industry.

Before starting a placement that forms part of your course, you are likely to be asked by the placement provider to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is to ensure that you do not disclose any information that is confidential to the placement provider.

Year 4

In Year Four, you will really get under the skin of the specialist areas which interest you.

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study one option module. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Work under general direction.
  • Use discretion in identifying and responding to complex issues related to their own assignments.
  • Plan and monitor their own work (and that of others where applicable) competently within limited deadlines.*
  • Interact with and influence colleagues.
  • Understand and collaborate on the analysis of user/ customer needs and represent this in their work
  • Contribute fully to the work of teams by appreciating how their role relates to other roles.
  • Perform a broad range of work, sometimes complex and non routine, in a variety of environments.*
  • Apply a methodical approach to routine and moderately complex issue definition and resolution.
  • Apply and contribute to creative thinking or find new ways to complete tasks.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills when engaging on issues with colleagues, users, customers, suppliers and partners.*
  • Understand and effectively apply appropriate methods, tools, applications and processes.
  • Take the initiative to develop their own knowledge and skills by identifying and negotiating appropriate development opportunities.*
  • Appreciate how their role and others support appropriate working practices.

* Students must meet all starred objectives, plus at least two others.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £26,800

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

There are unlikely to be any mandatory additional costs associated with the course, although you may want to set aside £200 for optional photocopying and personal stationery over the duration of the course.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2023/24 throughout the year.

See  for current information about funding opportunities for Computer Science students.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

A typical week will involve about 15-20 hours of scheduled teaching time. Our courses are based on a series of lectures with associated laboratory sessions, programming classes and tutorials.

Throughout the course, you will have a personal supervisor responsible for guiding your studies. In addition to any timetabled sessions, you will meet with your supervisor regularly, and you can also go to them at any time should you have any issues, academic or personal. There are problem classes to help you put learning from lectures into practice and regular project supervision meetings for your individual project.

You will also undertake learning outside of the scheduled timetable. This can be through working in the labs, or through reading recommended materials or working through problems. Consequently, you'll need to be self-motivated, self-disciplined and willing to learn outside regular classes.

As you progress through the course you will develop your skills to become a more independent learner. You'll also spend time working on your individual research project later on in the course, in addition to timetabled activity.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Facilities

Built to the highest specifications, our modern, self-contained building is packed with cutting-edge facilities.

We have four software and two hardware laboratories with professional grade facilities that you'll use throughout your studies, depending on the modules you choose. 

Our study and social pod is open 24/7 for group and individual study and events. It can be booked for student society meetings and for events.

Our building also contains a range of hi-spec labs that are used by our research teams. Depending on your interests, in the later stages of your degree you may get first hand exposure to these environments.

Our Interaction Labs provide excellent facilities for research and teaching in human-computer interaction. The Interaction Labs consist of an Accessibility and Usability Lab and a Games Research Lab, both of which are stocked with the latest technologies.

Our Real Time Systems Lab is the main research and development facility for the Real Time Systems research group. Inside the laboratory is a range of high-performance computers, custom hardware like FPGAs, robots, and various industrial machinery.

The Computer Vision group have a darkroom laboratory which enables us to conduct experiments in controlled illumination conditions and a second laboratory which includes a commercial 3D scanner. 

Located close to the Department is our Robotics Laboratory - a purpose-built laboratory used for various robotics research projects and teaching. Within it, there is a dedicated student working area, with workstations and electronics bench equipment, alongside the main 80m2 robotics arena. There is also a workshop area with CAD, soldering and 3D printing facilities.

Find out more about our facilities, including a video tour showing our labs, teaching and research spaces.

Teaching location

The Department of Computer Science is based on Campus East. The majority of your teaching will take place in the department, with additional teaching taking place at other locations on Campus East.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

We use a variety of assessment techniques throughout your course. This allows you to practice different techniques, from report writing, presentations and live demos to timed programming assessments and closed exams. It also means that you are not disadvantaged by being assessed in any one way.

To aid your learning we provide feedback on your assessments in addition to the marks you receive. Our Departmental Examinations Team is also available should you have any assessment queries.

We also ask our students for feedback on the course at the end of each year. This helps to improve and modify what we do to help meet the needs of our students.

Virtual tours

Take a virtual tour of one or our modern, dedicated facilities.

Our study and social pod is open 24/7 for group and individual study and events. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen.
Our dedicated hardware labs are available 24/7 and will introduce you to the basics of computer architecture, operating systems and program language construction, providing a basis for further study in later years.

Careers and skills

The move towards a digital economy creates demand for computer scientists and software engineers across a broad section of employers, so the skills you develop here will make you attractive to many organisations. Most of our graduates go into the field of IT/Computing, followed by Financial Services, some undertake further study (eg PhD) and others go straight into industry (for example working for IBM, BAE Systems).

Many of our graduates are employed by software and electronics industries, but the continuing expansion of the use of computers in commercial and financial operations means that you will be able to find employment in other industries - and here your sharpened numeracy and analytical skills will have prepared you well.

Read some profiles of our past students and find out how their degree from York helps them to do jobs in organisations as diverse as Mars Inc and Cancer Research UK. Other companies that York graduates have gone on to work for include Amazon, BAE Systems, Morgan Stanley, G Research, Thales, the Civil Service, M&G Investments, Ubisoft, Rapita Systems, Sky, BT, Raspberry Pi, IBM, JP Morgan, Hut Group and Automaton Games.

Career opportunities

  • Computer programmer
  • Software engineer
  • Software developer
  • Business analyst
  • Research scientist
  • Network manager
  • IT Systems manager

Transferable skills

At York, you will gain a broad understanding of all of the essential scientific principles, engineering techniques and practices in Computer Science. This allows you to be flexible and adapt quickly in any field that you wish to go into. More specifically, we can identify four main skill areas:

  • analytical skills
  • research skills
  • management skills
  • communication skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAA including Mathematics

Access to Higher Education Diploma We accept the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The syllabus must contain a significant portion of Mathematics that is considered equivalent to A level standard. Applications will be considered on an individual basis - please contact the Department before you apply.
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD and grade A in A level Mathematics (or equivalent qualification). We consider applicants with a combination of other BTEC Level 3 qualifications, and this must include an A level in Mathematics at grade A or above (or equivalent qualification). Please contact us to discuss your combination of qualifications.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, including 85% in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate 36 points overall, including grade 6 in Higher Level Mathematics (either Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretations).
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in Mathematics has been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - BBBB

Advanced Highers - A in Mathematics

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other qualifications We welcome applications offering a mix of OU, A level and other appropriate qualifications. Applications will be considered on an individual basis: please contact the Department before you apply.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

We require a qualification in a physical science; for example, a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in Physics, Double Science, Combined Science: Trilogy, or Science and Additional Science.

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ We recognise the value of this qualification although it will not be included as a condition of entry. It may be taken in to consideration when you receive your results.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

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