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Ethical Hacking
BSc (Hons)

Join a UK leading, accredited programme for cybersecurity from the university that created the world’s first Ethical Hacking degree. Become a highly sought after problem solver by learning the process of hacking attacks and how to stop them.

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.

Register Interest

An undergraduate  qualification can help develop you into a confident, independent thinker who's ready to face the challenges of the modern world. 

Information and advice is key to making sure you make the right decision for you. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about stepping into the world of undergraduate study.

Register your interest and find out the fantastic options available to you.

 

Register Interest

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

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.

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.

Find out more

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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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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 University degree programme.

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

Key Modules (2017/18)

Computer Hardware Architecture and Operating Systems (CMP101)

An introduction to the core ideas of computer architecture for students studying the subject of computing, building a mental model of the functioning of a typical computer system that can be used to reason about system (hardware/software) behaviour.

Computer Networking 1 (CMP109)

An introduction to computer networks through an analysis of basic networking fundamentals. Module content includes: networking fundamentals; network layers; network models, protocols and applications.

Programming with C++ (CMP104)

An understanding of software development through learning to design and implement applications in C++. This module covers the fundamentals of classes and objects, including key features such as class descriptions, constructors, methods and field, together with method implementation through assignment, selection and iterative control structures.

Introduction to Security (CMP110)

Provides an understanding of the issues and practicalities involved in securing computer systems and the framework within which the computer security specialist/ethical hacker/digital forensic investigator would need to operate.

Software Design (CMP102)

This module complements the programming modules that students take at Level 7 by introducing, in a practical rather than theoretical way, some of the fundamental ideas of software engineering, enabling students to develop and communicate designs for small and large scale software systems.

Data Structures and Algorithms 1 (CMP201)

An introduction to the standard data structures and algorithms that form the core of algorithmic thought in computer science that familiarises students with the idea of reasoning about the behaviour and performance of a computer programme.

Dynamic Web Development 1 (CMP204)

Provides the necessary skills to implement dynamic web applications that provide effective interaction on both the client and server sides. Module content includes: web standards; user interfaces through javascript; design techniques for dynamic web applications; data persistence; security and legal issues; practical aspects of security.

Ethical Hacking 1 (CMP210)

Provides a critical understanding of the tools used by ethical hackers to examine the security of a device or network. Students will systematically investigate a computer network for possible vulnerabilities.

Data Structures and Algorithms 2 (CMP202)

An introduction to some of the practical performance concerns in the selection and implementation of algorithms, using a range of case studies drawn from typical real-world applications.

Digital Forensics 1 (CMP209)

An examination of the basic technology and techniques used to investigate cybercrime. Students are provided with the ability to carry out computer forensic investigations and appraise forensic software with a view to develop appropriate investigation strategies in the light of emerging digital technologies.

Computer Networking 2 (CMP314)

An introduction to the ideas and concepts of how computers, mobile devices and gadgets communicate with each other and other devices such as Ethernet, VLANS, STP, Wireless, Routing, Subnetting, IPv6, SNMP, DCHP, DNS, Firewalls and Network Management.

Ethical Hacking 2 (CMP319)

Develops a critical understanding of the advanced techniques used by ethical hackers to examine the security of web applications and mobile devices.

Professional Project Planning and Prototyping (CMP308)

Working within a team, students will learn about project management concepts that enable them to create a project proposal in a professional manner and present their work in a client pitch to a stakeholder. Project briefs are provided by industry/or research based problems. Students work within their team and interact with project stakeholders and gain an understanding of the principles of project management.

Ethical Hacking 3 (CMP320)

Provides an understanding of the broad area of binary auditing. Students will also gain an understanding about the countermeasures that a company can take to minimise the effect of vulnerabilities.

Software Development for Mobile Devices (CMP309)

Provides a critical understanding of software development practices which can be used to develop applications for a range of smart and mainly mobile devices. Students will develop and evaluate the techniques used to implement mobile applications.

Professional Project Development and Delivery (CMP311)

This module involves completing a team based development project or other technical investigation project, which was planned and initially developed in CMP308 (Professional Project Planning and Prototyping).

Digital Forensics 2 (CMP416)

An overview of the forensic investigation of computer (e.g. TCP/IP) and mobile phone networks. Provides an understanding of the underlying communications technologies and develops a comprehensive, systematic approach to the discovery and examination of evidence from both end-user devices, such as phones or tablets, and the networking infrastructure itself.

Honours Project Scoping and Proposal (CMP401)

Students are provided with the opportunity to propose and plan a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of their programme to develop and exercise research skills and to encourage self-managed learning, planning and professional competence.

Honours Project Execution (CMP402)

Students are provided with the opportunity to undertake the practical and development work for a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of their programme. During term 1 proof of concept development will be undertaken to support the specification of a well-researched project proposal document. During term 2 the main development work for the project will be undertaken and completed.

Penetration Testing 1 (CMP411)

An examination of the methodological framework for security testing via ethical hacking of computer systems and networks including countermeasures to flaws found by penetration testing. Module content includes: design of a vulnerability assessment and analysis test; rapid penetration testing; methodologies.

Honours Project Dissertation (1) (CMP403)

Students are provided with the opportunity to present a major, in-depth individual project in the form of a dissertation in an aspect of their programme. The dissertation involves presenting the work in a structured and coherent manner which allows for critical and insightful review and evaluation.

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

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) - -

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

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

Programme Fees for 2019

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

£14,800

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

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

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.

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 Ethical Hacking student Cheryl Torano

Unistats

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)).

Programme Leader - Ethical Hacking

Mr Colin McLean

Mr Colin McLean

School of Design and Informatics | Lecturer

View profile

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.

A picture of Dan Mosca

Dan Mosca

Getting a helicopter to work - discover what life offshore is like for a Consulting Analyst in a cyber role.

Find out more

A picture of Grant Douglas in a kilt on his wedding day

Grant Douglas

BSc (Hons) Ethical Hacking, 2013

Find out more

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Explore our Dundee Campus

Abertay is conveniently located on a city centre campus, with all of its buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other. Shops, recreational facilities and the main bus and train stations are a short walk away.

Our Campus

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Why Abertay?

We're proud of our students and graduates, and we believe there's no better place to study if you're looking for a degree that helps you stand out as an exceptional candidate in an increasingly competitive job market.

Why Abertay?

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Come to an Open Day

An Open Day is your chance to get an up close experience of the University and the city. You’ll come away with all the information you need about us and the courses you’re interested in.

Open Days

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Living in Dundee

Dundee is a city of contrasts. It's vibrant and cosmopolitan, but also friendly, compact and affordable. The first UK city to be awarded UNESCO City of Design status, Dundee has a rich history of innovation and creativity, and, in recent years, has become a hub for the digital industries.

Living in Dundee & Scotland

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

UK entry requirements  |  International & EU entry requirements  |  English language requirements

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UK text entry requirements

Entry to year 1

Higher BBBB Literate subject
A-Level CCC Literate subject
Irish Highers H3H3H3H3 Literate subject
International Baccalaureate 28 Points Literate subject at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma MMM Business (all pathways)
AHEAD - Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP Access BBB Access to (one of the following):- University Study, Community, Education & Humanities, Arts & Social Science and Primary Education, Languages with Business, Languages, Arts & Social Science, Humanities & Primary Education, Arts & Humanities, Humanities, Humanities (Teaching), Degree Studies

Entry to year 2

Advanced Higher BBB Business Management
A-Level BBB Business Studies
BTEC Extended Diploma DDD Business
HNC/HND - Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

 

 

 

 

 

International & EU entry requirements

 

English language requirements

The requirement for competency in English will be determined by your visa status.

Require 4 tier visa

ALTE 4
CELS Higher
City and Guilds (C2 Mastery - A1 Preliminary Expert
ECL Test (English) C1
GCSE (A*-G) C
HKDSE (5-3) 4
LCCI Level 4
LTE-EDEXCEL 4 - Advanced
Michigan ECPE (Honours Pass - Fail) Pass
SQA ESOL (A-C) Higher - B
SQA Standard Grade (1-6) 3
TEEP 6.0
IBT: 80
Trinity College : ISE III/IV - pass, ISE II - considered on an individual basis

 

Don't require 4 tier visa

European Country Qualification

Cyprus (Greek:private) English @ GCSE 'C'
Denmark Studentereksamen English (level A) @ 7
EB (European Baccalaureate) 6 (English L1) or 7 (English L2)
Finland Advanced English @ 6 in Ylioppilastutkintotodistus
France English @ 14 for FB
English @ 13 with the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat
English @ 14 for DUT
Germany Abitur English @10
IB If Applicant is doing English A they are already proficient in English. If English B then at 5 at Standard and 4 at Higher
Latvia English Language State Exam is acceptable at 70% (B2)
Malta GCE O-level English @ C; SEC English @ 5
Poland Advanced English @ 70%
Slovakia English at B2
Spain English @ 9 in Titulo de Bachiller
Sweden Level B English @ MVG

 

 

UK entry requirements  |  International & EU entry requirements  |  English language requirements

 

 

UK entry requirements

Entry to year 1

Higher BBBB Literate subject
A-Level CCC Literate subject
Irish Highers H3H3H3H3 Literate subject
International Baccalaureate 28 Points Literate subject at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma MMM Business (all pathways)
AHEAD - Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP Access BBB Access to (one of the following):- University Study, Community, Education & Humanities, Arts & Social Science and Primary Education, Languages with Business, Languages, Arts & Social Science, Humanities & Primary Education, Arts & Humanities, Humanities, Humanities (Teaching), Degree Studies

Entry to year 2

Advanced Higher BBB Business Management
A-Level BBB Business Studies
BTEC Extended Diploma DDD Business
HNC/HND - Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

International & EU entry requirements

 

English language requirements

The requirement for competency in English will be determined by your visa status.

Require 4 tier visa

ALTE 4
CELS Higher
City and Guilds (C2 Mastery - A1 Preliminary Expert
ECL Test (English) C1
GCSE (A*-G) C
HKDSE (5-3) 4
LCCI Level 4
LTE-EDEXCEL 4 - Advanced
Michigan ECPE (Honours Pass - Fail) Pass
SQA ESOL (A-C) Higher - B
SQA Standard Grade (1-6) 3
TEEP 6.0
IBT: 80
Trinity College : ISE III/IV - pass, ISE II - considered on an individual basis

 

Don't require 4 tier visa

European Country Qualification

Cyprus (Greek:private) English @ GCSE 'C'
Denmark Studentereksamen English (level A) @ 7
EB (European Baccalaureate) 6 (English L1) or 7 (English L2)
Finland Advanced English @ 6 in Ylioppilastutkintotodistus
France English @ 14 for FB
English @ 13 with the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat
English @ 14 for DUT
Germany Abitur English @10
IB If Applicant is doing English A they are already proficient in English. If English B then at 5 at Standard and 4 at Higher
Latvia English Language State Exam is acceptable at 70% (B2)
Malta GCE O-level English @ C; SEC English @ 5
Poland Advanced English @ 70%
Slovakia English at B2
Spain English @ 9 in Titulo de Bachiller
Sweden Level B English @ MVG

 

 

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