Cyber security is concerned with the security concepts, policies, guidelines, tools and technologies that can be used to protect the cyber environment and the assets of organisations and users. These assets include connected computing devices, applications, services, and covers the whole breadth of information in the cyber environment.
The challenge of cyber security is to ensure the attainment and maintenance of the security properties of these assets against security risks.
This course will equip you to become a multi-skilled, highly competent practitioner, ready to become a leader in computer science and cyber security. We'll help you develop the ability to understand the implications of your work both for yourself and for society as a whole. Throughout the course, you will experience two integrated strands of work - computer science and cyber security - 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.
Our course will provide you with a solid foundation in the principles and practices of computer science and cyber security, including coding, mathematics and basic engineering. You'll experience breadth in computer science and related technical disciplines and undertake advanced training in focussed areas of your choice covering topics such as secure systems, cryptography and forensic analysis of incidents, amongst others. This solid theoretical foundation will allow you to take full advantage of the new technologies which will appear during the course of your career.
You will understand engineering trade-offs that cross disciplines, for example 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.
In the later stages of the course your teaching will be informed by the world-class security research undertaken at York. You will leave prepared for a career in computer science, in software engineering, and in cyber security, with organisations ranging from small start-ups to governmental and large commercial organisations.
This course is also available as an extended, five-year course: Computer Science with Cyber Security with a year spent in industry.
We are currently seeking accreditation for this course from GCHQ. This application will be submitted once our first cohort of students has graduated (in 2022).
Following the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, our research was assessed 7th overall in the UK, 5th for impact and 6th for environment by THE (Times Higher Education).
Our staff are at the cutting edge of their fields and we maintain strong links with industry.
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 and fourth years. The core topics are structured into 8 streams:
Cyber security will be woven throughout the core streams in the first two years and begins as a standalone stream in the third year.
You’ll take 120 credits per year as part of this course. At least 25% of the course content will be on the specialism of Cyber Security.
The first term will focus on the Theory and Software streams enabling students to establish a solid foundation regardless of their previous experience of programming and computing.
The second and third term will introduce three further streams, Systems and Devices, Data and Human Computer Interaction.
Examples of specific modules you will undertake in this year include:
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
Year Two of the course will build upon the solid foundations you will have laid down in Year One. You’ll undertake a selection of core modules from streams 1-5 which will extend your learning and allow you to reach deeper into areas of computer science. In addition, two further streams will be introduced: you will begin to study Intelligent Systems and undertake a group Engineering project. This deeper study will allow you to develop your interests which you will then begin to focus on in Year Three.
In Year Three you will really get under the skin of the specialist areas which interest you. You’ll undertake a core module from the Systems and Devices stream, a project preparation module and undertake a substantial individual project. This project will give you the opportunity to focus on a specific topic and work closely with an academic supervisor.
In Year Four, you’ll undertake modules which access research being undertaken in the Department at an advanced level, and you will work on a team engineering project which will be designed in collaboration with industry partners. You’ll also choose from a range of specialist option modules which have recently included topics such as:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.
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.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.
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.
We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.
We have a number scholarship opportunities available for students in 2018/19, including three IBM scholarships.
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.
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
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.
A typical week will involve about 15-20 hours of scheduled teaching time. Our courses are based on a series of one-hour 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 one-to-one weekly project supervisions in your final year.
You will also undertake learning outside of the scheduled timetable. This can be through working in the labs, which are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 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; you will be allocated a project supervisor, with whom you will have regular meetings in addition to timetabled sessions. You can go to your supervisor for support and advice regarding your project.
The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.
Built to the highest specifications, the Department is packed with cutting-edge facilities housed in a modern, self-contained building.
The Department houses four software and two hardware laboratories which you will be able to use depending on the topic of your third year project. These facilities are professional grade and used by our research teams so, depending on your interests, you'll 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.
Our Robotics Laboratory is 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. The arena features a 5.5m high ceiling allowing drone experiments to take place as well as ground-based robots. Special tracking systems are installed to allow positional data of the robots to be extracted. 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.
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.
We use a variety of assessment techniques throughout your course. This allows you to practice different techniques, from report writing and presentations to closed exams. It also means you are not disadvantaged by being assessed in any one way.
Here's a few examples:
We provide exam review sessions, where you can come and see your marked assessment and ask an academic member of staff any questions about the way it has been marked. We also provide you with electronic feedback, which is given alongside the marks you receive. We also have a Board of Examiners, to which any student can apply if they wish to take queries about their assessments further.
We also ask our students for feedback on the course and assessments at the end of each year. This helps to improve and modify what we do to help meet the needs of our students.
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 etc).
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 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.
Computer Science graduates can expect to earn nearly £40,000 after five years in employment (Longitudinal Education Outcomes Dataset).
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 as follows:
AAA - AAB including an A level in Mathematics at grade B or above.
An A level in Mathematics is an absolute requirement for all our courses. Your other two A levels can be any subject.
|GCSEs||We recommend the new OCR or AQA GCSEs in Computer Science/Computing, so that you can gain a grounding in the principles of Computing, though this is also not an admissions requirement to any of our degrees. We look for applicants who have a good range of subjects at GCSE, including English Language at grade 4 (C) or above. We also require a qualification in a physical science; for example, a GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in Physics or Double Science.|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Access courses are offered by local further education (FE) colleges, and most can be completed in one year, or over two years on a part-time or evening-only basis. You will need to make sure that the particular Access course you are considering is appropriate, and syllabuses must contain a significant portion of mathematics that can be considered equivalent to an A-level in Mathematics. Please email email@example.com with the details of the Access course you are taking and we can advise if it provides a suitable preparation for our courses. Applications will be considered on an individual basis.|
|BTEC||BTEC National Extended Diploma with DDD - DDM plus a grade A in A level or equivalent qualification in Mathematics. We also consider applicants with a combination of other BTEC Level 3 qualifications and A levels but this must include A level Mathematics. You can email the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your combination of qualifications and our grade requirements.|
|Cambridge Pre-U||Pass with D3/D3/D3 - D3/D3/M2 in principal subjects including Mathematics.|
|International Baccalaureate||Overall grade of 36 - 35 points, with a grade 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level.|
|Irish leaving Certificate||H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H3 - H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 at Higher Level, including H1 or H2 in Mathematics.|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers: AA - AB in Advanced Highers, including Mathematics, plus AAAAA - AAAAB at Higher Level.|
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.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. Please see our English language requirements pages.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
Get in touch if you have any questions
We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to premium.
Explore campus and city life and hear what our current students have to say about living here.
Lively, full of culture and beautiful, York is regularly voted one of the best places to live and visit in the UK.