Ethical Hacking Degree | Abertay University
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Ethical Hacking
BSc (Hons)

The real and growing threat of cybercrime to individuals and organisations means that ethical hackers – creative problem solvers who systematically attempt to penetrate a computer system or network to find and fix security vulnerabilities – are highly sought-after.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years (full-time) or 3 years (accelerated)

Degree Classification

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

GG45

Why Study Ethical Hacking?

How do hackers break into computer systems? Is it easy to breach a corporate network and steal secrets? What steps can organisations take to prevent DDoS attacks? These are just some of the questions this programme will answer.

Since launching the world’s first Ethical Hacking degree in 2006, our students have been at the forefront of new developments in cybersecurity, learning how to take a practical and offensive approach by deliberately breaking systems and circumventing security defences.

This degree arms you with the skills you need to:

  • Understand the process behind hacking attacks
  • Develop appropriate countermeasures
  • Gain the technical knowledge to undertake security audit testing on computer networks and systems

Ultimately, our Ethical Hacking degree, which is accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, provides you with a deep understanding of how illegal computer attacks can be performed and how they can be stopped.

Your Journey Starts Here

Demand for ethical hackers is expected to rise to six million by 2019. If you're ready to enter a fascinating field with great career prospects, an Ethical Hacking degree from Abertay awaits. 

Entry Requirements

Please note:  All applicants must have a pass in Maths in any of the following: National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4.  National 5 Lifeskills Maths not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher ABBB One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Architectural Technology, Human Biology, Biology, Building Construction, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Physics or ICT. Graphic Communication is NOT a Technical Subject.
A-Level BCC One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Architectural Technology, Human Biology, Biology, Building Construction, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Physics, ICT or Digital Technology
Irish Highers H2H3H3H3 One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Architectural Technology, Human Biology, Biology, Building Construction, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Physics and ICT
International Baccalaureate 29 Points One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Architectural Technology, Human Biology, Biology, Building Construction, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Physics and ICT at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Creative Media Production, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Engineering, IT
AHEAD - Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP ABB Access to Physical Sciences, Access to Engineering
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher ABB Computer Science
A-Level ABB Computer Science
BTEC Extended Diploma D*DD IT (Networking and Systems Support)
HNC/HND Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Accelerated Degree

If you’re keen to undertake the accelerated degree, you’ll complete the first two years of the degree programme alongside those students following the non-accelerated route.

Acceleration starts in May at the end of second year. The table below illustrates the difference between the two routes.

Academic Year Term Accelerated Route Non-Accelerated Route
Year 1 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 1 Term 1
Year 1 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 2 Term 2
Year 1 Term 3 (May-Aug) - -
Year 2 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 3 Term 3
Year 2 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 4 Term 4
Year 2 Term 3 (May-Aug) Term 5 -
Year 3 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 6 Term 5
Year 3 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 7 Term 6
Year 3 Term 3 (May-Aug) Term 8 (Honours degree completed) -
Year 4 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) - Term 7
Year 4 Term 2 (Jan-May) - Term 8 (Honours degree completed)
Year 4 Term 3 (May-Aug) - -

Key Modules (2017/18)

Computer Hardware Architecture and Operating Systems (CMP101)

This module introduces the core ideas of computer architecture for students studying the subject of

Computer Networking 1 (CMP109)

This module introduces the students to Computer Networks through an analysis of basic networking fun

Programming with C++ (CMP104)

Students will develop an understanding of software development, by learning to design and implement

Introduction to Security (CMP110)

This module introduces students to the broad area of computer security within the context of current

Software Design (CMP102)

This module complements the programming modules that students take at Level 7 by introducing ? in a

Data Structures and Algorithms 1 (CMP201)

Building on students' knowledge of programming facilities taught in Level 7 programming modules (e.g

Dynamic Web Development 1 (CMP204)

This module introduces the student to dynamic web application development through client-side and se

Ethical Hacking 1 (CMP210)

This module develops a critical understanding of the tools used by Ethical Hackers to examine the se

Data Structures and Algorithms 2 (CMP202)

This module builds on Data Structures and Algorithms 1 by introducing students to some of the practi

Digital Forensics 1 (CMP209)

This module examines the basic technology and techniques used to investigate cybercrime. A systemati

Computer Networking 2 (CMP314)

This module introduces the ideas and concepts of how computers, mobile devices and gadgets communica

Ethical Hacking 2 (CMP319)

This module develops a critical understanding of advanced techniques used by Ethical Hackers to exam

Professional Project Planning and Prototyping (CMP308)

Working within a team, students will learn about project management concepts that enable them to cre

Ethical Hacking 3 (CMP320)

text

Software Development for Mobile Devices (CMP309)

This module develops a critical understanding of software development practices which can be used to

Professional Project Development and Delivery (CMP311)

This module involves completing a team based development project or other technical investigation pr

Digital Forensics 2 (CMP416)

This module will look at the forensic investigation of computer (e.g. TCP/IP) and mobile phone netwo

Honours Project Scoping and Proposal (CMP401)

This module provides the student with the opportunity to propose and plan a major, in-depth individu

Honours Project Execution (CMP402)

This module provides the student with the opportunity to undertake the practical and development wor

Penetration Testing 1 (CMP411)

This module examines the methodological framework for security testing via ethical hacking of comput

Honours Project Dissertation (1) (CMP403)

This module provides the student with the opportunity to present as a dissertation a major, in-depth

The Hack Lab

You’ll be granted access to our state-of-the-art Hack Lab, which has been created especially for security work. Every PC in the Hack Lab is isolated from the main university network, allowing you to experiment with all aspects of ethical hacking in a safe, controlled environment.

Considering this space is where you’ll be aggressively exploiting flaws in realistic websites, removing the ability to cripple other networks is crucial.

Ethical Hacking Laboratory - room full of Desktop computers

Ethical Hacking Society

You’ll also have the option to join our Ethical Hacking Society (HackSoc) and build industry contacts while studying thanks to the society’s organisation of Securi-Tay, Europe's only student-run information security conference and the largest information security conference in Scotland.

Picture of male and female from behind - male is wearing an Ethical Hacking Society hoody

How the Course Works

Learning and Assessment 

You’ll learn through a blend of lectures, tutorials, practical work, and directed reading. The majority of modules make use of online learning resources. Case studies are used to illustrate real world examples and to provide an opportunity for critical analysis and evaluation.

During practical exercises, you’ll be expected to evaluate your own work to make sure that products are functional and fit for purpose.

Assessments are designed to develop and measure the performance expected at each level. Knowledge and understanding is assessed using projects, reports, portfolios and practical assessments.

Approximately 20% of the programme is assessed by examination.

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme Information - BSc (Honours) Ethical Hacking

Accreditation

About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined above, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules.

1st

We launched the world's first Ethical Hacking degree in 2006

6m

The demand for ethical hackers is expected to rise to six million by 2019

70

The number of PCs in our dedicated Hack Lab

Scholarships

Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Programme Fees for 2018

Scottish & EU students

£1,820

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

£9,250

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students

£14,600

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. . 

Careers

Our Ethical Hacking degree is among the UK’s leading vocational security programmes.

Throughout the course, project work is deliberately designed to allow specialisation in your areas of interest, helping you to develop the core skills that will allow you to take roles in a variety of companies where computer security is a major issue, including:

  • Penetration testing
  • Network management
  • Computer programming
  • Web development
  • Software support

We’ll get you ready and prepared for work, as our courses are delivered in a project-based, entrepreneurial and enterprise culture. Our strong ties with the security industry are demonstrated by the calibre of our guest speakers.

 

Choose Your Path

There’s a vibrant job market for ethical hackers, and our graduates have little difficulty finding employment. Receiving a job offer before graduation is not infrequent. Some of the employers our graduates work for include:

  • Dell Secure Works
  • Goldman-Sachs
  • GCHQ
  • NCC Group
  • NCR
  • Prudential

Many of our graduates become security testers, but some prefer working in defensive roles in areas such as network management and software development. Others go into consultancy or set up their own companies offering ethical hacking services.

Female sitting in front of a Desktop computer

Ethical Hacking Graduates

Meet Dan and Grant, Ethical Hacking graduates from Abertay, who have gone on to work in cybersecurity for major engineering and software organisations respectively.

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Dan Mosca

Meet Dan Mosca, an Ethical Hacking graduate from Abertay, and Consulting Analyst for PA Consulting Group.

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Grant Douglas

Meet Grant Douglas, an Ethical Hacking graduate from Abertay, and Senior Consultant at Synopsys Inc.

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Programme Leader - Ethical Hacking

Mr Colin McLean

Mr Colin McLean

School of Design and Informatics | Lecturer

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Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

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