BSc (Hons) Ethical Hacking

Demand for qualified ethical hackers and cybersecurity specialists is rising year on year. Study Abertay's Ethical Hacking degree and discover the fascinating field of cybersecurity. This course is ranked top 5 in the UK for course satisfaction (Computer Science and Information Systems, The Guardian Guide 2022)

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years

Award Title

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

GG45

Programme Overview

Demand for qualified ethical hackers and cybersecurity specialists is rising year on year. Study our Ethical Hacking degree and discover the fascinating field of cybersecurity.

How do hackers get into corporate security systems? How do they ‘steal’ computer data? Can you build the right defences and stop hackers in their tracks?  Find out how on our Ethical Hacking degree course.

We are right at the forefront of cybersecurity, producing highly skilled, in-demand graduates. You’ll develop a practical and offensive approach, by deliberately breaking computer systems and building cybersecurity defences.

  • Understand the processes behind hacking and cyber attacks.

  • Work out how illegal hacks can be stopped.

  • Create real-life countermeasures and fixes.

  • Shut down security hacks quickly and professionally.

  • Document it and do it again!

The course combines computer networking, digital forensics and expert development as well as programming. You will learn how to protect data and information systems. Our Ethical Hacking degree gives you a deep understanding of cybercrime so you have the skills to stop hackers - fast.

Ethical Hacking BSc (Hons) - the benefits are clear:

  • One of the leading cybersecurity courses in the UK.

  • The first Ethical Hacking degree in the world.

  • Accredited by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

  • Great industry links and recruitment opportunities.

  • High employment rate on graduation.

  • Excellent starting salaries.

This course scored an impressive 94% Overall Student Satisfaction rating in the 2020 National Student Survey.

Abertay is widely regarded as THE place to come for high quality teaching. But don't take our word for it:

  • UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality (The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).

  • Top 10 in the UK for Student Satisfaction with Teaching, Course and Feedback (Guardian University Guide 2021).

  • UK Top 10 for Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey 2020).

What makes Abertay’s BSc (Hons) in Ethical Hacking unique?

Abertay students and staff talk about why they love the course and what makes it different from other cybersecurity degrees.

Securi-Tay

As an Abertay Ethical Hacking student, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in Securi-Tay. The largest information security conference in Scotland, Securi-Tay features talks and workshops from industry experts, giving you the chance to learn more about the latest industry developments and speak to recruiters from companies like Dell Secure Works, Goldman-Sachs, GCHQ, NCC Group, Firstbase Techies, Nettitude, Portcullis, MWR, NCR, Prudential. Securi-Tay is run by Abertay’s Ethical Hacking Society.

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

The Hack Lab

As an Ethical Hacking student, you’ll have full access to Abertay’s custom-built Hack Lab. 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.  You’ll be aggressively exploiting flaws in realistic websites and networks, so removing the ability to cripple the university network is crucial!

Ethical Hacking Laboratory - room full of Desktop computers

About Your Modules

All modules shown are indicative and reflect course content for the current academic year. Modules are reviewed annually and may be subject to change. If you receive an offer to study with us we will send you a Programme document  that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme. Please see Terms and Conditions for more information.

Modules

Year 1 Core Modules

You must study and pass all five core modules

Brief description

Introduction to the core ideas of computer architecture. Build a mental model of the functioning of a typical computer system that can be used to reason about system (hardware/software) behaviour - and be extended in later modules.

Indicative content:

  • Computer architecture: Principal low-level components (logic gates, logic blocks) and what they do, bus interconnections, memory, storage devices.
  • Data representation: Bits, integers, floating and fixed point, text, colours, bitmaps, bitwise operations.
  • Machine instructions: The von Neumann architecture, a modern CPU, arithmetic, control flow, the stack.
  • Operating systems: Userspace and kernelspace, drivers, scheduling, memory management, filesystems, use of operating systems (e.g. Linux) to support simple system management, OS level security concepts.

Brief description

Introduction to Computer Networks through an analysis of basic networking fundamentals.

Indicative content:

  • Networking fundamentals: Architecture: circuit and packet switched networks; copper, fibre and wireless media. Effects of media on bandwidth and data throughput. Review of hubs, switches and routers and their advantages/disadvantages in a network configuration e.g. Ethernet and data link layer.
  • Network layers: Data segmentation and encapsulation. Use of MAC and IP addresses by network switches and routers. TCP and UDP protocols. Class based networks, allocation of IP address and their identification. Need for and determination of subnets and subnet masks.
  • Network models, protocols, applications: OSI model vs TCP/IP. Protocols and applications related to Application layer, Transport layer, Network layer, Data link layer, and Physical layer and their functionalities.
  • Networking Analysis: Analysis of network traffic; Application of tools used to analyse communication on local networks, Understanding network traffic, Methods of analysing network conversations.
  • Application of Network Knowledge: Designing computer networks; network hardware, logical and routing considerations. Troubleshooting networks. Building network applications; creating networking software that use sockets to communicate.

Brief description

Fundamental programming constructs within the C++ language. Learn using a problem based approach to develop skills fundamental to all object oriented programming languages.

Indicative content:

  • Object oriented program development: Use an object-oriented program development environment, creating source code, compilation, linking, execution de−bugging and development.
  • Introduction to Object Orientation: Read, understand and modify small object-oriented programs.
  • Programming constructs: Make use of declarations, data types, assignment, operators, selection, iteration and functions for a range of programming problems.
  • Aggregate types: Arrays and algorithms - increased programming power. Storage, access and direct access to computer memory (pointers). Classes and structs. 
  • Program development and testing: Pseudo-code and step-wise refinement, use of functions as program units for organisation and efficiency.

Brief description

Introduction to the broad area of computer security within the context of current legal frameworks.

Indicative content:

  • Relevant laws and ethical framework: Computer misuse act, copyright act and data protection act will be explored. Discussion of the issues and constraints that these laws pose to computer security experts. How computer security experts can ensure they are working within the constraints of the law. Consideration of the ethical issues.
  • Security models: Discussion of various different security models, for example the CIA triad and Parkerian Hexad. Understanding of the different ‘nodes’ in an organisation which can impact on security.
  • Techniques for improving computer security defences: The role of firewalls, IDS/IPS and honeynets in security. Antivirus limitations. Acceptable use policies and password policies. The role of education in security. Physical security measures.
  • Techniques for evading computer security defences: Various difference attack strategies for example phishing, spear phishing, social engineering. Tools such as the social engineering toolkit.
  • Malware: Types of viruses and worms. Writing simple viruses using virus creation kits. Anti-virus and anti-malware methodologies for malware removal.
  • Command Line Kung Fu: Commands that a hacker can use to manipulate a comprised computer. Information gathering commands, file transfer commands, computer defence manipulation (e.g. firewall and anti-virus manipulation).
  • Passwords: Password cracking. The importance of developing a good password. Techniques for password management. Uses of Dictionary, brute force, hybrid techniques. Cracking passwords (NetBIOS, web server). Password guessing. Rainbow tables. Password alternatives.
  • Command Line Tools: Using python to create our own network tools, for example TCP and UDP host discovery, packet sniffing, ICMP.

Brief description

This module complements earlier programming modules by introducing - in a practical rather than theoretical way - some of the fundamental ideas of software engineering to develop and communicate designs for small and large-scale software systems.

Indicative content:

  • Problem-solving: Capturing requirements, general problem-solving techniques, testing, the idea of a non-programming language.
  • Classes and Objects: Develop software using class definitions, methods, data, constructors and instantiation. Create basic class inheritance structures within a software solution using two classes. 
  • Security: Encapsulating objects using public and private access modifiers. Constructors.
  • OO analysis design and implementation: Identify objects in a system and structure data and information in class definitions. Mapping object-oriented design principles to programming constructs.
  • Abstraction: Understand how to work with complexity by using code abstraction, code blocks and control flows.
  • Class modelling: Introduction to UML class diagrams.
  • Data design – an OO approach: Modelling using object-oriented techniques, drawing informal and formal diagrams to describe information and behaviour (including UML), design patterns.
  • Data design – a relational approach: Modelling using relational techniques, theoretical and practical design concerns, constructing and querying a database using basic SQL Modelling using relational techniques, theoretical and practical design concerns, constructing and querying a database using basic SQL.

Years 1 and 2 Elective Modules - 20 credits

You must study and pass one elective module of your choosing

Brief description

Introduction of the concept of smart cities - hard infrastructure, social capital including local skills and community institutions, and digital technologies to fuel sustainable economic development and provide an attractive environment for all.

Module content:

  • Social impacts

There is an overall need for theoretical and methodological plurality in how we assess the impact and value of future cities in terms for individual and societal well−being. Gaps in our understanding relate to the complex ways individuals and groups engage with built and natural settings, the cultural goods and consequent benefits that may arise and the inequalities associated with these cultural benefits.

  • Security

Different types of cyber-attacks that could be launched against a Smart City. Impact of cyber-attacks. Approaches to securing the smart grid and critical infrastructure, i.e. improving cyber resilience.

  • Sustainable urban food production

Includes the long established allotments movement to large-scale projects based on sustainability throughout the food chain. Urban food production includes the long established allotments movement. The demand for urban growing also responds to the densification and intensification of living areas, due to population rise, migration and demographic aging with lower housing and ‘garden’ space standards placing greater importance on collective production.

  • Energy, waste and water

At present, water and wastewater facilities are often the largest and most energy intensive responsibilities owned and operated by local governments, representing up to 35% of municipal energy use. Future cities will need to utilise more sustainable methods of water and wastewater management and renewable energy production.

  • Digital technologies

​Digital technologies will play a major role in creating sustainable and resilient cities offering a vehicle for more inclusive decision−making process and promoting dialog amongst architects, urban planners, the public and technologists.

Brief description

Develop a range of skills, knowledge and techniques within the natural, technological and social sciences relevant to the study of environmental sustainability and life in the twenty-first century. Understand the critical issues that confront humanity and begin to discern appropriate responses.

Module content:

  • The Challenge of Sustainable Development
    Problems associated with life in the 21st Century and the relationship to scientific provisionalism and uncertainty are discussed.
     
  • The Genesis of Sustainable Development Concept
    Developments associated with the Club of Rome are outlined while Limits to Growth and the Tragedy of the Commons are discussed.
     
  • Evolution of Sustainable Development
    The Reo Summit and Suitability, and Policy Developments thereof will be discussed.
     
  • Scientific Inquiry and Sustainable Development
    We will look at controversial issues like climate change, oil peak, and food production and the role of science in helping delimit them as problematic will be outlined.
     
  • Mainstreaming Sustainability
    Sustainability and Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience, as individual and social concerns, will be evaluated. And their role in transformation will be discussed.
     
  • Communicating Sustainability
    Human well-being, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy and the practicalities of Sustainability in Scotland are discussed.
     
  • Sustainable Development in Practice
    Community Empowerment associated with Land Reform. Energy Production and Food Production in Tayside are looked at.
     
  • Ethics and Sustainability Policy
    Active citizenship and Globalisation are discussed.
     
  • Innovating Locally, Transforming Globally
    Transformations that are required to embrace Sustainability will be analysed and discussed.
     
  • Active Relationship for Sustainable Futures
    Thinking Globally, acting locally.

Brief description

How lifestyle can effect physical and mental well-being. Reflect on your own lifestyle choices and how to incorporate good health behaviours into your life.

Module content:

  • Sleep and stress

The impact of sleep and stress on health and performance. Completion of sleep diaries and questionnaires related to sleep patterns and stress.
 

  • Physical activity

Current physical activity recommendations, components of physical fitness.
 

  • Physical inactivity

Understanding why people are inactive. The link between physical inactivity, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
 

  • Physical activity and mental well-being

The effects of physical activity on mental well-being.
 

  • The effect of carbohydrate consumption and exercise on blood glucose

Measurement and recording of blood glucose in response to the carbohydrate ingestion and exercise.
 

  • Simple health and fitness testing

Measurement and recording of data. Tests will include blood pressure, strength, endurance and flexibility. Data will be compared with normative values for these tests.

Brief description

Develop critical thinking skills that form the basis for progression across the academic disciplines of the university. Learn how to recognise, construct, evaluate, criticise and defend different forms of argument.

Module content:

  • Potential 'Timeless' Debates
    Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: e.g. existence of God; privacy and civil society; private property; money as source of 'evil'; nature/nurture; free speech; pornography; capital punishment; prostitution; animal experimentation; meaning of justice; abortion; affirmative action; just war; trade union power; good life/good political community; human nature; monarchy; value of democracy; meaning of equality; citizenship rights etc.
     
  • Potential 'Timely' Debates
    Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: eg, Scottish independence, academic freedom; drug legalisation; drug use in sport; immigration; free health care; war on terror; EU membership; euthanasia; progressive taxation; race and gender discrimination; gay marriage; human rights; politics/sport; global warming; internet censorship; nuclear power; education league tables; nuclear weapons; GM agriculture; religion; cloning; fair trade; value of contemporary culture; etc.
     
  • Critical Thinking Seminars
    Follow-up discursive discipline specific seminar sessions led by teaching staff on topics covered in formal debates. Students are tutored to identify types of argument presented, evaluate perspectives and to reflect upon their own reasoning processes and value assumptions. The debates and seminars facilitate a foundation for the acquisition of graduate attributes.
     
  • WEB CT Wiki Discussion Forum
    Students will be required to work in small groups to write a short 800 word indicative "Thinking Summary" online Wiki of the arguments presented in each debate. These summaries will be constructed by each designated Thinking Group of three students using the Wiki facility on Blackboard which will facilitate further discussion on the moderated WEB CT discussion forum.

Brief description

The social, managerial, economic, political, and technical challenges and opportunities associated with emerging renewable energy innovation, production, supply and consumption.

Module content:

  • Renewable Energy Nontechnical Challenges and Opportunities
    Social and political challenges and opportunities of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Economic and environmental challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Strategic and managerial challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption.
     
  • Renewable Energy Technological challenges and opportunities
    Geotechnical, Geophysical and Hydrographic information; Knowledge of sources of hydrographic information and interpretation of published charts. Forces on structures; Appreciation of the various forces acting on marine structures. Technical limitations and challenges of energy distribution systems and energy storage. Current technological development trend, collaborative innovation in renewable energy.

Brief description

An understanding of the concepts of tolerance, and the importance of making sound ethical decisions. Develop the qualities, characteristics and skills to meet the aspiration for Abertay graduates to become global and active citizens. 

Module content:

  • Introduction to equality and ethics legislation equality and ethics legislation.
     
  • Diversity competence; moral/ethical reasoning Inclusiveness, equal opportunities, positive action, Reasonable Adjustment, moral/ethical reasoning.
     
  • Attributes for the workplace and for global citizenship.
     
  • Reflective Practice Application of models of reflective practice.
     
  • Contemporary Issues.

Brief description

Learn how to adjust language to suit context. Analyse a range of linguistic issues, including “proper English”, how language can be used to create moral panics, and the ethics of communication.

Module content:

• Good English": the role of standardisation, dialect and idiolect − how we choose language to reflect our identities and our role in a speech or discourse community.

• Language and influence: how the media constructs narratives to persuade or inform the audience (and how to tell the difference).

• Creating a narrative across genres: the conventions, freedoms and limitations of different forms; using these forms in new ways.

• Narrative changes over time: how authors reinvent old stories to reflect current concerns.

• Technical writing: the use and manipulation of data; hearing the author's voice; critiquing "bad science".

• The ethics of communication: (electronic) media and ownership, attribution and theft.

Brief description

“Personal” digital safety to make computer security fun, practical and eye-opening.  Learn the base knowledge that will continue to be relevant to future generations of devices.

Module content:

  • Current state of computer security. An overview including legal aspects.
     
  • Cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities and threats Malware, Network attacks (denial of service, packet sniffing etc.), bots and rootkits. How the bad guys can obtain your password.
     
  • Information Leakage, recovery and forensics recovering deleted or corrupted files. What your browser knows about you. Web browser forensics.
     
  • Securing networks, accounts and devices Defence against malware, honeypots, Secure protocols, intrusion detection, Password security, Mobile device security
     
  • Human aspects of cyber security The Psychology of Hackers, Social Engineering, identity theft, Usability vs security.
     
  • Breaking the code. An introduction to cryptography, Encryption and Decryption, public and private keys, the key exchange problem.
     
  • History of Cryptography The Caesar cipher, polyalphabetic ciphers, the Playfair cipher, the role of Enigma and the Bletchley Park cryptographers in WWII
     
  • Computers and Crypto Diffie-Hellman and RSA encryption. Phil Zimmerman and “Pretty Good Protection". Quantum Cryptography – Provably unbreakable information hiding. Mathematical Underpinnings – Large prime numbers and why they matter.
     
  • Steganography A picture's worth a thousand words when you're hiding the wood in the trees.
     
  • The Law, Society and Cryptography Why you can be imprisoned for forgetting your password. The Civil Liberties Arguments for and against strong-crypto. International perspectives on information hiding, information freedom, the right to privacy and the conflicts between these. Are unbreakable cyphers an unqualified “good thing”?

Brief description

Develop perspectives on the key challenges faced by humankind such as environmental change, pollution, food security, energy provision, conflicts, terrorism, emerging diseases, and changing demographics. Understand the overwhelming complexity of the problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to create solutions.

Module content:

  • Interdisciplinary research
    Introductory lectures will discuss the definitions, methods, benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and the role of public policy influencing research
     
  • Global Challenges
    Challenges will be introduced from different disciplines. Indicative examples include: − Climate Change: causes and impact – Serious Games: science and application of visualization and games − Global Security − Valuing ecosystems: balancing policy, economics and environment − Contemporary challenges to healthy living − Food security: global threats and local needs – Energy Poverty – Space Travel.

Brief description

Design an activity to communicate and present scientific principles to primary school children. Learn about working as a group and how to communicate complex ideas.

Module content:

  • Developing a Science Communication activity
    Target audience, sources of information to identify suitable activities (CfE documentation etc.), health and safety, issues around working with specific groups, accessibility, ethics, costing and sustainability.
     
  • The landscape of engagement and current practice
    Types of public engagement activities, target audiences, funding, role of learned societies universities and other bodies. Public engagement in Dundee and Tayside.

Brief description

Work in a team to develop game design concepts for serious applications. Gain the knowledge, processes and techniques of game design and study examples of serious games developed to benefit society.

Module content:

•    Overview of Games
A brief history of games, game art and gamification.

•    Games for change
Understanding how games can benefit society.

•    Game mechanics
Deconstructing core components of popular game genres.

•    Gameplay constructs
What is gameplay and how is this broken down and communicated within the game design.

•    The game design process
Conceptualisation, iteration, phases of workflow.

•    Game design theory and practice
Identifying the elements within effective design and how they are implemented.

•    Documenting the design interactive
Oriented design, technical design, capturing requirements.

•    Business models
Exploring methods that can be used to generate revenue within the game design.

Brief description

Develop the knowledge and awareness required to make good career decisions and the skills and confidence to successfully navigate each stage of the recruitment process for graduate jobs.

Module content:

  • Developing self-awareness
    Profiling of personal strengths, values and priorities in relation to career choice.
     
  • Developing opportunity awareness
    Generating career ideas based on your personal profile; Exploring the range of graduate opportunities within job sectors of interest; Reviewing occupations that are directly related to your own subject discipline.
     
  • Developing a career action plan
    Matching your personal profile with best fit opportunities in the job market; Creating a timeline of actions to improve your prospects of meeting your aim.
     
  • Developing job seeking skills
    Sourcing suitable job opportunities - both advertised and unadvertised; Creating a professional image online; Identifying the skills and qualities employers look for in graduates; Learning how to produce targeted applications for specific job roles; Practising the presentation of your strengths and motivations in face to face selection activities.

Brief description

Learn about natural disaster such as landslides and flooding, structural disasters such as the Tay Rail Bridge and the system of critical infrastructure (such as road, rail, air and shipping transport networks, power grid, gas and water networks, health system) that constitute the backbone of modern societies.

Module content:

  • Overview of the scope and the content of concept of critical infrastructure failure during natural disasters and resilience against such failures
    the consequences of geophysical, hydrological and meteorological disasters on critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure protection capabilities against natural disasters. Interdependencies of critical infrastructures during large disasters, presents a brief review of current research being done in this field, and presents a methodology to address interdependencies.
     
  • The identification of the vulnerabilities of the critical systems
    The critical systems upon which modern society, economy, and polity depend. The identification of the vulnerabilities of these systems threats that might exploit these vulnerabilities. The effort to develop techniques to mitigate these vulnerabilities through improved design.
     
  • Flooding in Scotland
    general overview of fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding, the structural, economic and societal impact and responses to flooding. Resources will include historical examples, current policies and information (including SEPA flood maps). Case study (with virtual/actual field visit?) the Perth Floods of 1990 and 1993 and the Perth flood defence scheme*
     
  • Landslide origins, types and mitigations
    General overview what landslides are, why they happen and what can be done to prevent them.
     
  • Structural Failure
    e.g. why did the Tay Bridge fails and what did the failure mean for the Forth Rail Bridge
     
  • Reports and investigations
    the role of reports in accident and disaster investigations in creating informative reports; case studies of accidents, disasters, learning from history, learning from case studies, learning from common law
     
  • Case studies
    Power System Blackouts, Smart Grids and self-healing systems. Nuclear Plant Emergency How Would the Public Respond?

Brief description

Introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to launch a small business successfully. This module will define and help you acquire the personal and professional skills needed to develop a professional career and/or to succeed as entrepreneurs in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Module content:

  • Understanding entrepreneurship.
     
  • Generating successful business ideas.
     
  • Environmental scanning.
     
  • Developing a credible business plan that includes evaluating business ideas.
     
  • Presenting the business idea.

Brief description

An understanding of some of the processes involved in food production. Discuss common misconceptions and ideas which present the food and nutritional industries in a bad light.

Module content:

  • Student led investigations
    Student led investigations of the different sectors within the food and drink industry including: prebiotics – and the controversy surrounding the term; if barbequing is a healthy cooking method; and exposing the celebrity chef - common Myths about cooking
     
  • Consumerism
    Does the food industry listen to us? -Understanding consumer and sensory science to better understand why you buy the products you buy. - How food / public health is reported by the media? - The French paradox / Mediterranean diet.
     
  • Future of food
    Ethical food production and the future of foods, and, what’s waste got to do with it?
     
  • Debunking myths
    Debunking food myths, more science than science fiction in our food today, like the science behind getting sauce out of a bottle and what to drink – Whisky or Beer?
     
  • Facts from fiction
    Finding facts from fiction, investigating the three second rule – should I eat things that have fallen on the floor? What’s so super about super-foods? Fat or sugar: Which is worse?

Brief description

Learn how we approach and understand mental health, from historic, social, therapeutic, and individual perspectives. Explore questions such as ‘what is madness?’, ‘how does society position people with mental illness?’, and ‘how do we best respond to challenges to our mental health?’

Module content:

  • Historical and cultural perspective on mental illness
    How do we ‘think’ about mental health, and mental ill health?
     
  • Diagnosis and the anti-psychiatry movement
    Who holds the power to decide what is normal in terms of psychological well-being and behaviour?
     
  • Gender, culture and mental health
    How gendered cultural expectations and representations influence how we respond to mental health issues.
     
  • Media representations
    The impact of film and literature on attitudes and understandings of mental health.
     
  • Resilience, treatment and recovery
    Common mental health problems in the UK, treatment and management, and frameworks for enhancing well-being and resilience.

Brief description

An introduction to the wide range of disciplines in forensic investigation. Learn how crimes are investigated from the moment of reporting through to the presentation of the evidence in court. A hypothetical case study provides an over-arching framework in which to explore the critical aspects of forensic investigations. It involves not only physical and electronic evidence, but also statements from witnesses, suspects and victims which requires cross discipline collaboration of professionals.

 

Module content:

  • Crime Scene Investigation
    How a crime scene is examined in the context of incomplete contextual information and to avoid loss or contamination of evidence and the maximising of the value of evidential material.
     
  • Media Involvement
    Positive and negative effects of the media/public interest in the crime.
     
  • Forensic Biology
    Examination and evidential value of body fluids, DNA, hairs and fibres.
     
  • Forensic Chemistry
    Analysis for drugs, toxicological analysis, firearms, explosives, and trace evidence.
     
  • Digital Sources
    Evidence from CCT, mobile phones, computer hardware, on−line behaviour.
     
  • Forensic Reasoning and Practice
    An introduction to forensic problem solving, thinking styles, case assessment and interpretation.
     
  • Psychology of Witnesses and Suspects
    False confessions, offender profiling, effects and avoidance of cognitive bias in forensic science through process design.

Year 2 Core Modules

You must study and pass all five core modules​

Brief description

Build on your knowledge of programming taught in earlier modules (e.g. arrays, structures, simple collections). Gain an introduction to the standard data structures and algorithms that form the core of algorithmic thought in computer science and to the idea of reasoning about the behaviour and performance of a computer program.

Indicative content:

  • Reasoning about performance: The idea of an algorithm, time and space complexity, abstract data types.
  • Basic data structures: Linked lists, stacks, queues, hash tables.
  • Sorting and searching: Exhaustive and binary search, common sorting algorithms.
  • Trees: Simple trees, tree search algorithms, tree representations (XML, JSON).
  • Graphs: Simple and directed graphs, graph algorithms.

Brief description

Dynamic web applications, through client-side and server side internet development on a full-stack platform.

Indicative content:

  • Web standards: Application of HTML5 and CSS to develop responsive designs.
  • Client-side technologies: Implementation of JavaScript, libraries, and frameworks to create effective user interfaces within an appropriate development practice and methodology.
  • Design techniques: Appropriate techniques for dynamic web applications.
  • Data persistence: The use of relevant data persistence and consideration of appropriate use.
  • Server-side scripting technologies: Using server-side technologies to provide functionality. Consideration of the processes involved, and the benefits/drawbacks of processing on the server.
  • Security and legal issues: Consider legal and security issues including privacy, transparency, data protection, GDPR, authorisation and validation.
  • Practical aspects of security: Appropriate use of network protocols, secure programming, and testing strategies.

Brief description

The tools used by Ethical Hackers to examine the security of a device or network. Systematically investigate a computer network for possible vulnerabilities.

Indicative content:

  • Footprinting: Determining the location of a company. Examining computer networks using passive techniques.
  • ​Search Engines: Using search engines to find ethical hacking information. Information limiting.
  • Scanning: Using tools to scan for IP addresses and operating systems in use on a network or in an organisation. Identify services that are running on a network. Different types of port scans and useful tools.
  • Enumeration: Tools and techniques for enumerating networks and identifying exploitable shares, usernames and email addresses.
  • System Hacking: Privilege Escalation, Keystroke Loggers. Mitigations against keyloggers. Operating System and Application Hacking. Examining and exploiting System flaws. Understanding the need to install and patch applications.
  • Vulnerabilities: What are the principle vulnerabilities that computer systems are exposed to? How are they exploited. What are the techniques that can be used to assess them and the security of a system.

Brief description

The basic technology and techniques used to investigate cybercrime. Introduction to a systematic approach to planning and implementing a comprehensive computer forensic investigation, particularly evidence collection and the reconstruction of events.

Indicative content:

  • Computer Crime: Types of computer crime; legislation concerning computer crime.
  • Use of Linux as an investigative environment: Familiarisation with the command-line interface.
  • File Systems as a source of forensic evidence: Structure of NTFS, FAT, FAT32, and Linux file systems.
  • Data Acquisition: Procedures for acquiring disk images; collection of evidence from crime scenes, integrity of evidence, write blockers.
  • Computer Forensics Tools: Command line tools; Linux tools; Windows tools.
  • Computer Forensic Analysis: Digital forensic toolkits; data hiding techniques; anti-forensics.
  • Internet History and Email: Identifying email and browser-derived evidence; examining email headers; using specialist email forensic tools; examining browser histories and cookies.
  • Working with MS-Windows systems: File system; investigation of the Registry; recovering deleted files; working with forensic boot disks.
  • Computer Forensics Analysis: Methodologies for forensic analysis of systems and the assessment of results. Memory forensics.
  • Reporting Results of Investigations: Importance of reports; time-lines; designing the layout of a report.

Brief description

Build on the earlier module, Data Structures and Algorithms 1. Gain an introduction to parallel programming on shared-memory and GPU architecture, and the design techniques underpinning parallel applications. Use a range of case studies drawn from typical real-world applications.

Indicative content:

  • Measuring performance: Basic techniques, sources of error (round off, range, instability, discretisation), profiling, analysing and presenting results.
  • Parallel programming: Why to parallelise, Amdahl’s law, high-level approaches to parallelisation, parallel design.
  • Low-level programming with threads: Starting and joining threads, sharing data safely, mutual exclusion, synchronisation objects, lock-free.
  • High-level parallel programming: Task-based parallelism, data-parallel problems, exploiting locality.
  • Instruction-level parallelism: SIMD instructions, automatic vectorisation.
  • GPGPU: GPU architectures, appropriate algorithms for GPUs, GPU profiling.
  • Application case studies: Awareness of common sorting, numerical, image processing and searching and optimization algorithms (and associated data structures) and a recognition as to which are relevant for chosen field of study e.g. Spatial trees, pathfinding and AI, database indexing, password hashing, simulation, file carving] and which can benefit from parallelisation.

Year 2 Microcredentials - Term 2

If you are a Direct Entrant (new student) to this year of study and have not previously taken module ABE101, then you MUST take ABE201 as part of your Microcredential selection. If you have previously taken ABE101 then you are NOT permitted to take ABE201.

Instructions: Please choose a total of TWENTY credits of optional modules in Term 2. This can include microcredential (ABE) modules.

Brief description

Throughout the microcredential you will become familiar with university systems (including the virtual learning environment), consider what attributes make a successful student and develop key successful student habits.

Indicative content

  • Navigating Abertay Systems: Be introduced to and understand how to engage with Abertay systems and tools such as MyLearningSpace, MS Teams, OASIS, MyAbertay etc.
  • Expectations of University and You: Explore your own and the universities expectations of you and of the university; Consider the code of conduct; independent learning; blended learning; how university is structured; health and safety; and the Abertay attributes.
  • Understanding and Searching Information: How scholarly information is generated and disseminated, key characteristics of different information types. Planning, using, and refining appropriate search strategies; online search tools; using a range of web and database search functionality. 
  • Successful Student Behaviours: Develop strategies to key successful student behaviours including Defeating Procrastination, Time Management, Notetaking and preparing for classes, Growth Mindset, Accessing student support and opportunities.
  • Referencing: Understand what is meant by academic integrity, plagiarism, and the need for appropriate referencing; creating reference lists and in-text citations; use of referencing tools to manage information.
  • Sounding Academic: Explore what lecturers mean by “academic style” and “the right language”; Understand what is meant by and how to learn the rules of academic writing characteristics. Consider how this differs between college and university; Learn how to paraphrase. Explore how assessments, marking and feedback works at university.
  • Evaluating Information: Using appropriate quality criteria to critically evaluate information from any source to determine authority and bias.

Brief description

This microcredential provides you with the space and time to develop your skills in designing, planning, delivering, and showcasing an artefact responding to the societal issue. The microcredential is flexible and you will have a choice of what and how you create your response.

Indicative content

  • The Big Issue: You will be introduced to the big society issue that will be the focus of your artefact response. Learning materials available will help you consider your response to the challenge.
  • Developing Ideas: You will think creatively as to how you will respond to the big issue. You will consider your intended artefact aims, outcomes and target audience. 
  • Responding to the Challenge: Resources and guidance will be available as you respond to the challenge and create your artefact.
  • Preparing for the Showcase: Guidance will be available on how best to showcase your artefact for the assessment. You will develop your presentation skills to support you in showcasing the artefact. 
  • Showcase Event: You will attend a showcase event and present your artefact.

Brief description

You will discuss a range of anti-racist approaches and how they apply within the context of professional communications. You will examine case studies and scenarios to identify the nature of bias in society explore ways to be anti-racist especially in professional communications.

Indicative content

  • Racial Bias in Society: Using case studies and scenarios to discuss various forms of racism in society, you will explore the need for anti-racist practice in professional communications. 
  • Classification of Anti-Racist Practice: This section compares different anti-racists approaches applied across several contexts. You will discuss the challenges and benefits of each approach. You will identify barriers to implementation of anti-racist practice.
  • Discuss Anti-Racist Approaches for Successful Professional Communications: You will be introduced to various communications frameworks (e.g. the humanity-centric framework) and will explore scenarios for the application of these frameworks in a range of professional contexts.
  • Embedding Anti-Racism in Digital and Social Media Communications: How can you discuss matters of race and anti-racism on digital and social media while maintaining a professional persona. We will examine cases for best practices and explore ways to avoid bigoted language in digital communications. 

Brief description

In this module you will study two ways of analysing language: (i) a basic introduction to conversation analysis and discourse analysis as applied to ordinary talk/texting, and (ii) and introduction text mining, based on identifying patterns and developing insights from text-based data available on the Internet (e.g., social media data, online texts, online reviews etc).

Indicative content

  • Conversation Analysis and Talk and Text as Action: A brief overview of the CA focus on language as action; an examination of how people talk in terms of questions, answers, invitations, excuses, justifications etc.; an examination of texting, emojis, misunderstandings.
  • Text Mining: Introduction to text mining and its uses in a social sciences and business context; Online data sources; The text mining process: data collection, pre-processing and analysis; effectively communicating and visualising insights from textual data.

Brief description

By the end of this microcredential, you will be able to evaluate and select machine learning algorithms and AWS services to be appropriately applied to different business problems.

Indicative content

  • Introduction to Machine Learning: What is ML? ML process, business problem solved with ML, ML tools, Amazon SageMaker, ML challenges, supervised learning (regression, classification), unsupervised learning (clustering, dimensionality reduction), reinforcement learning, etc.
  • Implementing a ML pipeline using Amazon Sage Maker: Formulating ML problems, collecting and securing data, extracting, transferring and loading data, evaluating your data, finding corelation, feature engineering, data cleaning, dealing with outliers, training, deployment, performance evaluation, hyperparameters and model tuning.
  • Forecasting: Time series analysis, Amazon Forecast, Implementing a forecast model, Stock Predictions.
  • Computer Vision: Facial Recognition, Image and Video Analysis, Dataset Preparation.
  • Natural Language Processing: Amazon Comprehend, Polly, Translate, and Lex, Creating a chatbot, Alexa, etc.

Brief description

This online module will support you to get familiar with sustainability and introduce you to tools that can help you to understand and reduce your climate impact. By increasing your sustainability self-awareness, you will be able to make a positive difference in your own life, and in the organisations and communities around you.

Indicative content

  • What is sustainability and how is it linked to Climate Change?: We define sustainability, enhancing understanding of the links between society, economy, and environment. Climate change is explained and linked to sustainability. We provide clear accessible information about the reliable science of climate change. We describe the need efforts towards limiting human-induced global warming (limiting cumulative CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions). 
  • Global Sustainability: We introduce the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. 
  • Personal Sustainability: The WWF environmental footprint tool is a great way to start your personal sustainability journey. The planet is in crisis - from climate change to the pollution in our oceans and devastation of our forests. It's up to all of us to fix it. Take your first step with our environmental footprint calculator. 
  • Community Sustainability and Climate Resilience: Community climate resilience comes in many forms. In this topic we introduce ideas which can provide multiple benefits of people, planet, and prosperity. We showcase inspiring examples whereby working with natural processes (Biophilic design, blue and green infrastructure) we can connect people with nature to improve their well-being and quality of life, whilst simultaneously tackling climate change and storing carbon.
  • Global Solutions: What is the world doing about it? What impact do Global Climate and Biodiversity agreements (COP26 etc) really have? What’s happening here? Where are the challenges and the good news stories? We showcase positive initiatives focussed on progress.

Brief description

By the end of the module, you will know more about key aspects of nutrition and health and be better equipped to identify and tackle the barriers that prevent you from eating well.

Indicative content

  • Healthy eating on a budget: This topic will show you that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive! You will be given basic nutritional knowledge, as well as skills and practical tips to be able to eat a healthy diet on a budget. You will then be able to develop your own menu and share it with your peers, so you learn from us as well as from each other.
  • Prebiotics, probiotics and health: You will learn about the importance of our microbiota on health, and how what we eat can modulate it. You will be provided with cooking tips and will be able to develop your own fermented foods for better gut health.
  • Fat or sugar, which is worse?: You may have heard that fats are bad for our health, or perhaps you have heard it is all about the sugars? You will learn about the role of both sugars and fats in our diet; what makes them good or bad for health and the science behind it. You will be given the tools to assess your own sugar and fat intake as well as tips to implement the changes you need to eat better. 
  • The British diet vs Mediterranean diet: What is a Mediterranean diet and what are its real benefits? Is it just a diet or a pattern? Can we get the same benefits as those living in Mediterranean countries? In this topic, you will explore how feasible it is for us to adopt the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, considering the seasonality of ingredients as well as sustainability. 
  • What drives our food choices?: How healthy do you think your diet is? Do you find it easy to eat well? With this topic you will become more aware of our obesogenic environment, of how the food industry talks to us, and how the media report nutritional claims. You will learn to look more closely and more critically at your environment, so you can make healthier decisions.

Brief description

This microcredential will help you to refine your current writing skills through the analysis and discussion of a range of texts and exercises, enabling you to then apply these techniques to assignments for your other modules.

Indicative content

  • Speaking the language: How to develop your academic and professional vocabulary: understanding the genre; understanding your reader’s expectations.
  • Meeting expectations: Why different assignments have different requirements: decoding instructions; selecting appropriate writing techniques.
  • Tightening up the nuts and bolts: How to improve your writing accuracy: reviewing key grammar and punctuation issues; improving your editing and proofreading.
  • Standing on the shoulders of giants: How to borrow from the greats: reviewing the principles of citing sources; using writing techniques to incorporate research into writing.

Brief description

This module will help you develop a better understanding of the difference between media reporting and scientific evaluation. It will equip you with the skills to look beyond sensational stories related to human behaviour and dig deeper into a topic area to validate the evidence.

Indicative content

  • Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences: Is Extrasensory Perception Real? Is there really evidence that we can predict the future?
  • Myths about the Brain: Can repressed memories be recovered in therapy? How easily are false memories created? What are the implications for the justice system? 
  • Myths about our Mind and Body: Is the key to success in everyday life simply a case of posing like a powerful superhero? 
  • Myths about Language: Does being bilingual make you smarter and keep your brain younger? Are bilingual people less likely to get dementia as a result of this lifelong brain training?

Brief description

Through this microcredential you will gain an insight into what the world of work may look like in the (near) future. This includes developing a knowledge of how the economy and labour market evolves and why individual skills-sets and employability are so important and intrinsically linked to this process.

Indicative content

  • The future of work: What will the future of work look like? What is used to predict how the world or work will change? Can the future of the economy and of work be accurately predicted? 
  • Key factors that influence change: Identifying some of the key factors that influence how the world of work and our economy evolves and changes.
  • The key role of skills and personal employability: The emergence and decline of skills: skills are fundamental to the economy (and graduate employers). What skills will be most in demand and/or be most valuable to our economy in future and why? Understand the importance of skills to the economy (and to graduate employers) at both the macro and micro level. Know what specific new skills are emerging and becoming more valuable and sought after, (as others are in decline) for our modern economy and graduate labour market. 
  • Labour market information - what is it for?: Labour market Information is hugely important to our understanding of our economy at any given time: and also, in looking at the present and past to help predict future growth, opportunities, shortages and skills gaps. Recognise the importance of key Labour Market Information (LMI). Have the ability to source and use key Labour Market Information (LMI). Understand how to use accurate Labour Market Information as a tool to help their own personal development and future career planning. 
  • What now?: Some help and steer – suggestions to you may wish to use your new knowledge and insight to help with your own career aspirations, planning and personal/professional development while at university.

Brief description

Some businesses have the sole focus of making money whereas others exist to also make a difference. Social enterprises are becoming more popular, and recognisable, and are making an impact across the world. From supporting the homeless, to giving waste products a second life, social enterprises are fighting for various causes. 

Indicative content

  • What is a social enterprise and how does it function?: What the definition of a social enterprise is with examples from different sectors.
  • How do social enterprises identify problems to tackle?: How social enterprises decide on what they will tackle and how they will do it. 
  • How do you gather evidence that there is a problem requiring a solution?: Way in which you can gather evidence and data to validate the idea for a social enterprise. Determining needs and wants within a category. 
  • How to identify skills and knowledge gaps: Understanding the skillsets within a founding team to fulfil the tasks required to start a social enterprise. 
  • How to understand the problem you are trying to solve: Knowing the problem, you are trying to solve and how this effects the target customers the social enterprise is aimed at. Looking at the issues in a customer-focussed way. 
  • How to develop a social impact plan: What is involved in a social impact plan and how to put one together. 

Brief description

This module will introduce you to the study of AI and Society. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a set of technologies and concepts and can be understood as using computers and software to denote problem-solving capacities and knowledge acquisition (intelligence) which otherwise we believe only belongs to natural beings such as humans.

Indicative content

  • Introduction to the core concepts: A brief introduction to the concepts of “artificial”, “intelligence” and “society”. 
  • Introduction to the problem of AI and Society: A discussion of where the problem of the impact of AI on Society comes from, presentation of some of the original debates and examples.
  • Contemporary debates: A discussion of the contemporary debates about the impact of AI on Society, with examples.

Brief description

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how has it shaped our past and present? These are questions we will explore on a guided tour of AI from the past to the present and the future. You will develop a better understanding of what AI is and isn’t.

Indicative content

  • Historical AI: Tracing the historical development of “traditional” AI systems including aircraft autopilots, expert systems, and accounting/financial software.
  • Current AI: Covering the contemporary generation of AI technologies in areas such as speech recognition (e.g., Alexa, Siri) and recommendation systems (e.g., Amazon, YouTube). Examples will be drawn from Health, Sport, Games, Engineering, Business, Law and Computing. 
  • Future AI: Exploring the limitations of today’s AI when it comes to general intelligence and contextual adaptation. Examples will be drawn from Health, Sport, Games, Engineering, Business, Law and Computing.
  • My AI: How AI will impact your future, and how you can use AI to help you achieve your career goals.  Reflection on how AI may inform your subject area going forward.

Brief description

This microcredential is aimed at you, if you have an interest in technology but are not experts. The microcredential will develop your digital safety and how to stay safe online.

Indicative content

  • Threat Landscape: Cyberattacks and online threats. System vulnerabilities. Social Engineering. Rights and computer laws.
  • Authentication: Password security. Biometrics. MFA and Password managers. Good practices for authentication.
  • Secure Communication: Web browser security. Certificates and trust. Effective encryption. Secure communication methods.
  • Personal Information Privacy: Information leakage. Personal information privacy and open-source intelligence. Device encryption and security. Security mindfulness.
  • Malware: Types of malware. Identifying malicious software. Malware propagation techniques. Malware removal and preventative measures.

Brief description

This microcredential will help you to develop and build your own confidence in applying numeracy skills in real world situations.

Indicative content

  • What is my GPA and how likely am I to get a First? (BASIC NUMERACY): Calculation and manipulation of data using Percentages, Indices (Powers), Roots, Probability, and simple equations. 
  • The power of prediction (GRAPHS): Straight line graphs, Gradients, Equations of a straight line, Intercepts. Drawing graphs - Linear equations, Distances between points. Simultaneous linear equations.  
  • Love a good puzzle (ALGEBRA): Changing subject of formulae. Factorisation - common factors, Difference of two squares, Trinomials. Solving simultaneous equations by Substitution and Elimination.
  • Advanced power of prediction (FUNCTIONS): Introduction to functions – Linear and Quadratic and solving quadratic equations. Factorising Quadratic equations.
  • Love a good triangle (TRIGONOMETRY): Trignometric functions - Sine, cosine and tangent. Trignometric formulae.

Brief description

In this microcredential, you will learn more about how digital media production professionals in the UK and China are working together to reduce barriers and identify new opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Indicative content

  • History and future of videogames in China: Focussing on the videogame sector as a case study of Chinese digital creative industries, how has the videogames market and industry developed in China, how is the Chinese videogames economy currently constituted, and what does the future hold?
  • Consumer trends and audience preferences: What is popular with audiences in China? What can we note about preferences in terms of narrative content, aesthetics, play styles etc. when compared with other markets?
  • Policy and regulation: What unique regulations or limitations are imposed on digital media within China, and what similarities are there with other national and transnational regulations? How is creative content development and publishing shaped by policy in China? What social and ethical challenges are presented by regulation, in China as well as in the UK?
  • Transnational working and co-production: How is digital creative content conceived, developed, and released by professionals working across borders? What are the challenges for small and independent creative studios, compared with multi-nationals with studios based in and outside China?
  • Publishing in China: How do digital media content like videogames make it to market in China? What processes and requirements must creative businesses be aware of, and how do developers find, connect to, and work with Chinese publishers? How to consumers in China access content, including on grey markets?
  • Challenges and success: Hear from UK and Chinese professionals on the China market, co-operation, the hurdles they cleared, and how they found success.

Brief description

Increasingly, the role of creativity in supporting and maintaining wellbeing is being researched and celebrated. This module will introduce you to the current theory in this area, as well as a range of creative resources shown to be helpful for both self-care and the support of others.

Indicative content

  • Why does creativity matter?: An introduction to why creativity matters when it comes to mental health.
  • Your brain on words: The place of stories in their various forms as a resource for wellbeing.
  • Engaging the senses: The potential of tools such as music and art for self-care.

Year 3 Core Modules

You must study and pass all six core modules

Brief description

Work within a team and learn about project management concepts to create a project proposal in a professional manner. Present your work in a client pitch to a stakeholder. Project briefs are provided by industry/or research based problems. Expect to engage fully in your team role by communicating effectively with project stakeholders, contributing to the planning of the project, developing artefacts or prototypes, writing associated documentation, and creating and presenting the client pitch.

Indicative content:

  • Research: Background, competitors, prior art, project benefits.
  • Project: Project management concepts, Agile, Scrum.
  • Activities: Activities, deliverables and products.
  • Managing: Managing time and resources.
  • Identifying: Identifying and managing risks.
  • Quality considerations: Professional standards and quality assurance.
  • Develop: Develop artefacts, prototypes.
  • Interacting: Interacting with clients and team members.

Brief description

The ideas and concepts of how computers, mobile devices and gadgets communicate via a wide range of communications technologies with each other, and other devices. This includes interactions via technologies such as Ethernet, VLANS, STP, Wireless, Routing, Subnetting, IPv6, SNMP, DHCP, DNS, Firewalls and Network Management

Indicative content:

  • VLANS: Describe the core concept of VLANS and trunking along with the common attacks that can be used against them.
  • STP: Investigate how STP can be used to create a loop free network and how this can be exploited by an attacker.
  • Static Routing: Examine how routing works and show it can be used for pivoting deeper into a network.
  • Subnetting and Variable Length Subnet Masks: Classful and classless addressing. Benefits and impact on routing protocols. Design of LANs using VLSM techniques.
  • Network Application protocols: Investigation into various networking protocols used at the application layer of the OSI model along with common security weaknesses.
  • Firewalls: Software and hardware firewalls - their application, uses and how to counter them.
  • Intrusion Detection Systems: Examine how Intrusion detection systems work and how they can be bypassed.
  • Network management: Examine network management protocols (Simple Network Management Protocol SNMP) and current practice.

Brief description

Advanced techniques used by Ethical Hackers to examine the security of web applications. 

Indicative content:

  • Overview of Web Application: Core Defence Mechanisms. Handling User Access, Authentication, Session Management, Access Control.
  • Web Application Technologies: HTTP Protocol, Requests, Responses and Methods. Encoding schemes. Server side functionality technologies (Java, ASP, PHP).
  • Injecting Code: Attacking SQL Servers, Sniffing, Brute Forcing and finding Application Configuration Files, Input validation attacks. Preventive Measures.
  • Bypassing Client Side Controls: Manipulating cookies, URL parameters, ActiveX controls, Shockwave controls.
  • Attacking Authentication: Attacking Session Management, Design Flaws in Authentication Mechanisms Attacking Forgotten Password Functionality, attacking Password change functions. Countermeasures to authentication attacks.
  • Cross Site Scripting (XSS): Reflected XSS Vulnerabilities, Stored XSS Vulnerabilities, DOM-Based XSS Vulnerabilities, HTTP Header Injection. Countermeasures to XSS.
  • Web Server Security: Popular web servers and common security threats. Attacks against IIS and Apache. Increasing web server security. Counter-measures (e.g. correct Web Application Set-up).

Brief description

Software development practices which can be used to develop applications for a range of smart and mainly mobile devices. Develop and evaluate the techniques used to implement mobile applications.

Indicative content:

  • Background to Smart and Mobile Development: Challenges in developing for smart including mobile devices. Development strategies, emulators and development environments. Use of the application abstraction to allow easier development.
  • User Interfaces: Development of interfaces for user-interaction including UI controls (buttons, forms) and underlying hardware controls (key presses, touch screen). Basic control of a mobile device using the high user interface. Use of commands and forms to gain data from the client. Use of low level features to display data to the user. Use of key presses to control real-time application.
  • Storage: Consideration of storage requirements for mobile devices. Saving and retrieving local and remote storage. Overview of database design. Use of remote databases, and how to use server side databases in an internet application. Use of internet based scripting to generate server-side text for the client.
  • Location awareness: Utilising the network location capabilities of mobile devices to develop feature rich applications.
  • Telephony SMS: Understanding the telephony and SMS stack on the mobile device and the use of APIs required for their access and control.
  • Communication Networks: Using short and long-distance networks for communication and understanding of the limitations and benefits of each.
  • Security: Consider the security implications of mobile and smart platforms, how these can be exploited and development considerations to improve resilience.
  • Performance: Methods for testing the functionality and performance of applications on mobile devices.
  • Mobile Web Application Development: Explore and evaluate a range of mobile solution options from response design, Firebase-, and JavaScript-based applications.

Brief description

Complete a team based development project or other technical investigation project, which was planned and initially developed in the Professional Project Planning and Prototyping module.

Indicative content:

  • Orientation: Consolidation of project teams and target problem.
  • Project principles: Required development methodologies during product production.
  • Documentation: The importance and content of a requirements specification and related documentation.
  • Design: The role of design and redesign during project development.
  • Implementation: Implementation issues and approaches.
  • Quality and Standards: Testing and evaluation methods and execution.
  • Communication: Oral and written communication and demonstration of software product.
  • Project planning and team working: Planning the project, organising a team, supporting colleagues, devising weekly plans, keeping progress records.
  • Self-evaluation: Personal contribution to team progress, logbook.

Brief description

Develop a critical understanding of analysis techniques used by Ethical Hackers to examine binary files, practising and developing these skills with an individual project.

Indicative content:

  • Binary auditing tools: Binary auditing tools, Debuggers, add-ons, debugging techniques.
  • Binary auditing: Binary auditing, Source code auditing. Black box auditing. Reverse engineering auditing. Copy protection auditing.
  • Buffer Overflows: Significance of Buffer Overflow Vulnerability. Why Programs and Applications are Vulnerable. Reasons for Buffer Overflow Attacks. Methods of ensuring that buffer overflows are trapped.
  • Shell code development: Shell code development. Creating and writing shellcode.
  • Structured Exception Handling: Structured exception handling (SEH) vulnerabilities. Exploitation and countermeasures.
  • Overcoming operating system countermeasures: Avoiding Data Execution Prevention (DEP). Address Space Randomisation Layout (ASLR) evasion using ROP chains.
  • Heap Spray techniques: Heap Spray Techniques. Use of Heap Spraying to avoid countermeasures.
  • Malware analysis: Types of malware, malware analysis methodology. Static and Dynamic analysis.

Year 4 Core Modules

You must study and pass all five core modules

Brief description

The forensic investigation of computer (e.g. TCP/IP) and the challenges facing analysts when investigating mobile devices and network traffic. Start with an understanding of the underlying communications technologies and develop a comprehensive, systematic approach to the discovery and examination of evidence from both end-user devices (e.g. phones, tablets etc.) and the networking infrastructure itself.

Indicative content:

  • Mobile Phone technologies and networks: How do mobile/wireless networks work? What are the implications for their forensic investigation?
  • Principles and limitations of mobile operation: GSM based networks, GPRS, 3rd/4th generation, UMTS networks, Data carrying capabilities and user access methods.
  • Forensic analysis of end-user devices: Acquisition of evidence from end-user devices (e.g. phones, tablets, etc.) Phone, SIM and memory data, use of tools to extract data, SMS.
  • Cellsite Analysis: Data stored within the network. Mobile trail. Location-aware devices and tracking data.
  • Mobile Phone data mining: Ideas of gaining behaviour patterns for stored data. Data mining techniques.
  • Network integrity: Evaluate the effects of viruses and internal and external attacks on the network. Develop strategies to prevent and detect these.
  • Live incident response: Gathering and analysing volatile and non-volatile data from a system in real-time - e.g. network connections, open ports, routing tables, users, processes, services, open files.
  • Intrusion detection systems: Benefits and limitations. False positives. Critical analysis of data. Tuning.
  • Server side forensics: Evaluate techniques for analysing and filtering logs and data from firewalls, DNS, web caches, email.

Brief description

System programming and development and the security implications of such systems.

Indicative content:

  • System Programming: C programming, compiler, linker and loader. Static and runtime analysis of binary files. System development kits, kernel headers and cross complier environments.
  • Hardware: ASIC,MCU,CPU, SOC, assembly, component security, pcb security, sniffing wire traffic, radio traffic, Types of communication (I2C, SPI, UART, RS232) and security challenges.
  • Operating systems: I/O Manager, Memory Manager, Scheduler, .s file, init file, boot loader, boot process, ROM, RAM, execution rings.
  • Kernels: Types of kernel, real time, unix, Windows, mac, Linux, user space vs kernel space, shell, native applications, dll, registry/proc. Security landscape in user and kernel space.
  • Auditing and Debugging: User and kernel space debugging, Remote kernel debug setup, Analysis of precompiled binaries.
  • Loadable modules: Linker, stack and memory layout, Interrupts, IRQ table and priorities. Introduction to device drivers, Types of driver, lifecycle, portability. Security risks associated with loadable modules.
  • Cloud Platforms: Setup and use of cloud platforms such as AWS. Cloud platform utilisation fundamentals and business considerations.
  • Web Technologies: TCP/IP protocol with understanding of application protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SSH etc. Understand web server and common gateway interface (CGI).

Brief description

Undertake the practical and development work for a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of your programme. Devise the idea for the project and proof of concept to support the specification of a well-researched project proposal document.in Term 1. Carry out and complete the main development work for the project in Term 2.

Indicative content:

  • Investigation, Research and Selection: Initial investigation of project topic, Background research of project topic and Selection of project topic.
  • Evaluating: Methods of evaluating a project.
  • Legal, Social, Professional and Ethical Issues: Consideration of legal, social, ethical and professional issues.
  • Proposal: Production of a project proposal.
  • Project feasibility and proof of concept: Demonstrate feasibility of project.
  • Self-directed problem solving, Originality and Creativity.
  • Self-Motivation, Initiative and Insight.
  • Software Design Skills.
  • Recording, Reporting and Communication Skills.
  • Employability and professional development.

Brief description

Present as a dissertation a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of your programme. Normally you will devise the project, drawing from current industry and/or research based problem areas. Present your work in a structured and coherent manner which allows for critical and insightful review and evaluation of the project and artefact produced. Write the dissertation in academic style appropriate to your domain of study.

Indicative content:

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic of the project and the problem area with and appropriate research question.
  • Investigate: Investigate previous work in the chosen project area and show how the work of the project relates to it.
  • Justify: Demonstrate a sound justification for the approach and methodology adopted.
  • Document: Document the output of the project with some originality.
  • Evaluate: Critically evaluate the output, using third party evaluation where appropriate, and recognise the strengths and limitations of the work.
  • Communicate: Communicate your work professionally in the required academic format/style. Demonstrate an ability for independent learning and linkage to future work and career aspirations.

Brief description

Social and technical approaches to better security resilience in systems through consideration of methods of attack and defence.

Indicative content:

  • Principles of Secure Software Development: The relationship between correctness, security and performance. Defence in depth. Input, output and state validation. Minimal privilege and privilege separation.
  • Language and API Design for Security: Inherent security problems with widely-used languages, and why people still use them. Undefined behaviour and compiler optimisations. Enforcing security properties using better type systems and language semantics. DSLs for security.
  • Secure Software Engineering: Security within the SDLC. Specifying security requirements. Secure coding standards. Code review for security.
  • The Ingredients of Machine Learning: Overview of the different ‘aspects’ of machine learning. All machine algorithms are not created equal. Applications of machine learning for cyber-security. Review of the various types of algorithms and the mathematics behind the algorithms. Exploration of supervised and un-supervised classifications. Creation of a spam filter such as SPAM-Assassin and applications of Machine Learning to Network Forensics.
  • Support Vector Machines for Cyber Security: Exploration of classification and regression analysis. Overview of the mathematics behind Support Vector Machine and the application of the SVM algorithm in the context of networking security. Introduction to non-linear classification and high-dimensional feature spaces to improve intrusion detection systems, mitigate security vulnerabilities and identify data exfiltration.
  • Neural Networks for Cyber Security: Exploration of neural networks for threat analysis and malware detection. Exploration of the propagation models, weights and learning rules. The mathematics and models behind the different algorithms are explored and applied to the classification of network traffic, identify threats, computer misuse, and improve network security.
  • Human-Centred Security: An introduction into the human side of security, and into how humans make security and privacy-related decisions.
  • Authentication Design: How authentication mechanisms ought to be chosen with the human in mind. The differences between what you own, what you are, and what you know, and how to judge which one is best to be used in a particular context. If passwords are chosen, how password requirements ought to be defined, how these ought to be communicated to the users. Design of secure password replacement. 

How the Course Works

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 attacks? These are just some of the questions the programme will answer.

Abertay students learn how to take a practical and offensive approach to cyber security 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.

Learning and Assessment

You’ll learn through a blend of lectures, tutorials, practical work and reading. The majority of modules make use of online learning resources. Real world case studies of major attacks and data breaches are used provide the opportunity for critical analysis and evaluation in class.

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

Knowledge and skill are assessed through project work, reports, portfolios and practical assessments. Approximately 20% of the programme is assessed by examination.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Abertay is a Crest academic partner. CREST builds trust in the digital world by raising professional standards and delivering measurable quality assurance for the global cybersecurity industry.

Crest 2022 white logo

Entry Requirements

Please note:  All applicants must have a pass in Maths - National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.  National 5 Lifeskills Maths and Application of Maths NOT accepted in lieu of Maths.

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

Republic of Ireland applicants, click on the UK tabs and scroll down to find your Entry Requirements.

See information about studying and applying to Abertay for International students.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher (standard entry) ABBB One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Geography, Physics or NPA in Cybersecurity
Higher (minimum entry) We may make you an offer at the minimum entry grades if you meet the criteria. Find out if you're eligible for minimum entry (see below). ABB One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Geography, Physics or NPA in Cybersecurity
A-Level BCC One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Design & Technology, Digital Technology, Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Physics
Irish Highers H2H3H3H3 One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Geography, Physics
International Baccalaureate 29 Points One of the following: Computer Science, Maths, Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Geography, Physics or Analysis & Approach 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
SQA HNC/HND A Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher ABB 3 Higher subects at grade 4 to include Computer Science and one from Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Design & Manufacture, Graphic Design, Engineering Science
A-Level ABB Computer Science and one from Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Design & Manufacture, Graphic Design, Engineering Science
BTEC Extended Diploma D*DD IT
International Baccalaureate 34 Points Computer Science and one from Maths:Analysis & Approach, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Design & Manufacture, Graphic Design, Engineering Science plus one other Higher
HNC/HND A Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants from across the world. Please select your country from the searchable list below to view different qualification entry requirements. If you have different qualifications to those listed, please contact us using the form below.

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Academic Requirements

Applicants will typically be required to achieve BCC at A-Level, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma with an overall score of 29 points, to include any essential subject(s) at S5 or H4.

English language: English B at S5 or H4 is accepted. For English A, no grade is specified. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically require a High School GPA of 3.0, plus one of the following:

  • SAT (I) score of 1150
  • 3 AP Tests at grades 433
  • 3 SAT Subject Tests at 600
  • ACT Composite score of 26

A combination of AP/SAT II tests may be used, provided they are in different subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) with 6 units as follows: 1 unit at II, 3 units at III, 2 units at IV, to include any essential subject(s) at III.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the European Baccalaureate with an overall grade of 73%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: English Language 1 at grade 6 or English Language 2 at grade 7 are accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomë e Maturës Shtetëore with an overall grade of 8.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Technique / Commercial with an overall grade of 15, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire with an overall grade of 15, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants with national school qualilfications will typically be required to pass the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 13/20, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Trayecto Técnico Profesional with an overall grade of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Técnico Superior/Universitario with an overall grade of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Araratian Baccalaureate at Extended Level with grades BBC, to include any essential subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary General Education wih an average of 13 and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 66%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Year 12 Certificate plus ATAR rank of 80 or Overall Position of 9, to include any essential subject(s) at Year 12 with grade B, grade 3 or Sound Achievement.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Reifeprüfung/Maturazeugnis with an overall grade of 2.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

English language: English at grade 2 in the Reifeprüfung/Maturazeugnis is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Tam Orta Tahsil Hazzinda Aggestat with an average of 4, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 68%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama/General Secondary Education Certificate with an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree or post-secondary diploma in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70% or 2.75 (on the 4 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Intermediate/Higher Secondary School Certificate at an average of 2.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 55% or B-, to include any essential subject(s) at 60% or grade B.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of General Secondary Education at an average of 6, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 6.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur with an overall average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma van secundair onderwijs with an overall average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts with an overall average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma de Bachiller at 64%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 70%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Certificate of Secondary Education at an average of 4.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificado de Conculsão de Segundo Grau with an average score of 8.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.0.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificado de Conclusão de Ensino Médio with an average score of 8.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.0.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Brunei A Levels in 3 subjects at grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma za Sredno Obrazonvanie with an average score of 4.75, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma of Upper Secondary Education at average of C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 67%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalaureat or Baccalaureat Technique at an overall grade of 13, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 12.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Secondary School Diploma or Diplôme d'Études Collégiales with five grade 12 subjects at an average of 70%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Licencia de Education at an average of 4.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 5.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to complete Senior Middle/High School Certificate/Diploma at an average of 77%, to include any essential subject(s) at 77%; and pass GAOKAO with 550 points (based on the 750 points scheme).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Bachiller Academico at an average of 3.25, and the first year of a university degree or Tecnico Universitario in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Svjedodžba o Maturi with an overall grade of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Apolytírio Lykeíou with an overall grade of 17.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 17.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vysvědčení o maturitní zkoušce with an overall grade of 2.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Studentereksamen (STX), including 3 Level A subjects an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: Studentereksamen English Level A or B at grade 7 is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Bachiller at an average of 7.0, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 14 / 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Gumaasiumi lõputunnistus with an average score of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4; and pass 3 state examinations at a minimum of 60% (or 2 states examinations plus C1 Advanced English CAE or IELTS).

English language: 75% in the English state examination is accepted, or C1 Advanced English CAE or IELTS (overall score 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5). For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Studentsprogv at an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at Level A grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen at an overall grade 4.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

English language: Advanced English at grade 5 within the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Général/Professionnel/Technologique at an overall grade 12.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 13.

English language. English at grade 14 in the Baccalauréat Général/Professionnel/Technologique is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat at an overall grade 11.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 13.

English language. English at grade 13 in the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 60%/2.70, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%/2.70.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 60%/2.70, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%/2.70.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sashualo Skolis Atestati (Secondary School Certificate) at an average grade of 7, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Shualo Specialuri Sastsavleblis Diplomi (Special School Leaving Diploma) at an average grade of 7, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Abitur with an overall grade of 2.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 11.

English language: Abitur English at grade 10 is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of B/55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of B/55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Greek Apolytirion of Geniko Lykeio at grade 17.5 and 3 Pan-Hellenic exams at an average of 16.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 17.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Hong Kong HKDSE at 3333 in 4 core subjects, with elective subjects at 433 (for 3 electives) or 44 (for 2 electives), to include any essential subject(s) at 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Érettségi Bizonyítvány at an overall grade 4.2, with 2 higher subjects at grade 4, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Stúdentspróf at an overall grade 6.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 6.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Indian Senior School (Year 12) exam at an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan/Madrasah Aliyah (SMK / MA) at 78%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Post School Qualification Diploma 1 at 2.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants from Ireland should check the UK Year 1 Entry tab for entry requirements with Irish Highers.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Te'udat Bagrut or Bagrut with at least 2 subjects at level 5 and 1 subject at level 4 at an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at Level 5 with 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma di Esame di Stato at 75%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8 (on the 10 point scale) or grade 16 (on the 20 point scale).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate at grade 3.75, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Completed Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 75% / 2.67, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at an average of B, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 55%, to include any essential subject(s) at 55%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Atestas par vispārējo vidējo izglītību with an average score of 7.5, to include 3 state exams at a minimum of 75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 70%.

English language: 80% in the English state exam is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Libanais or Baccalauréat II with 14, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 12.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Brandos Atestatas with an average score of 7.5 with a minimum of 75% in 3 state exams, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.

English language: 80% in the English state exam is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplôme de Fin d'Études Secondaires at an overall grade of 44, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 44.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Higher Secondary Education with 73%, to include any essential subject(s) at 73%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Ensino Secundário Complementar with grade 2.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Cambridge Overseas Higher School Certificate (COHSC) with grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s) at grade C.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Malawian School Certificate of Education at grade 5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with a minimum of 3 subjects at BBC or 2.67 GPA, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) with 4 subjects at 75% / A2 B5 B5 B5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 75%/B5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Matriculation Certificate Examination with grades BB at Advanced level and BCCC at Intermediate level, to include any essential subject(s) at Advanced level grade C.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with an overall grade of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary Education at 70%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 75%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Higher Secondary Education Certificate (HSC) with 68%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) with an overall score of 7.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: English at grade 8 in HAVO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.0 or 55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.0 or 55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.0/55%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.0/55%.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Secondary School Leaving Diploma/Matura with an overall grade of 3.75, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vitnemål for Vidergaende Opplaering with an overall average of 3.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

English language: English at grade 4 in the Vitnemål for Vidergaende Opplaering is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Higher Secondary School Certificate at an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 64%/3.0, to include any essential subject(s) at 68%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Matura with an average score of 65%, to include 3 Advanced subjects at a minimum of 50%, to include any essential subject(s) at Advanced level with a score of 70%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma/Certificado Nível Secundário de Educação with an overall grade of 15, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 16.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Qatar Senior School Certificate (Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama) at an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.5/75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 2.5/75%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with an overall grade of 7.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Attestat o Srednem Obrzovanii (Certificate of Secondary Education) at an average of 4, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.7, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyah) with an average of 60%, and either the post-secondary diploma or first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.5/75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 75%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Singapore GCE A-Levels with grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške at grade 2.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

English language: English at B2 level at grade 2 in the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Maturitetno spričevalo at grade 3.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the National Senior Certificate (with Matriculation Endorsement) with 4 subjects at 6555, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Bachiller with an average score of 7.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sudan School Certificate with an average of 60%/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%/B, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskola with an average score of 16.5, to include any essential subject(s) at level 5 grade B.

English language: English Level 5 at grade B or English Level 6 at grade C in the Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskola is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificat de Maturité with an overall grade of 4.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Maturitätszeugnis with an overall grade of 4.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Attestato Di Maturità with an overall grade of 4.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Certificate of Secondary Education/Maw 6 with an average of 75%/3.3, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3; or complete the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 2.5, to include any essential subject(s) at 2.5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the High School Diploma at an average of 55%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.2 (on the 5 point scale) or 60 (on the 100 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.7, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70% / 2.6 (on the 4 point scale) / 4.2 (on the 5 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination at 65%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.3, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma of Academic Lyceum at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Técnico Superior Universitario, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 55% / 6.3 (on the 10 point scale) / 13 (on the 20 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level with grades BCC, to include any essential subject(s).


English Language Requirements

All courses at Abertay University are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate that you meet our English language requirements. Accepted English language qualifications include:

IELTS - overall score of 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5

TOEFL - overall score of 78 (individual elements: L-17, R-18, S-20, W-17)

Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE - overall score of 169 on Cambridge Grading Scale

International Baccalaureate - English B at S5 or H4, English A no specific grade required

European Baccalaureate - English Language 1 at grade 6 or English Language 2 at grade 7

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English language if you are a national of certain countries. Please see English Language Requirements for the full list of accepted qualifications and further details.

 

If your academic qualifications aren't listed above, or if you have any further questions, please contact our international team using the form below. There is also lots of useful information for international applicants on how to apply, visa information, and studying in Scotland on our international pages.


Contact our International Team

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Support for Ukrainian students

We're keen to offer help to Ukrainian students who may wish to transfer from their existing institution in Ukraine or to register with us as new students for intake in September. There will be no tuition fees charged for the duration of the degree programme, as those with refugee status are treated as ‘Home/Scottish’ students and will also have access to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland bursary and student loans. Our Recruitment Team can help guide applicants.

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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.

Fees and funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you depends on factors such as your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. 

More information

Find out about grants, bursaries, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs in our undergraduate fees and funding section.

 

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships to help support your studies with us.

As well as Abertay scholarships for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, there are a range of corporate and philanthropic scholarships available. Some are course specific, many are not. There are some listed below or you can visit the Undergraduate scholarship pages.

View all

Abertay RUK Scholarship: Games/Computing/Cyber

A scholarship for prospective undergraduate games, computing and cybersecurity students applying from England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Abertay International Scholarship

This is an award of up to £12,000 for prospective international undergraduate students.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Your Career

The worldwide shortage of cybersecurity specialists means that our graduates have little difficulty finding employment, with many Ethical Hacking students headhunted before graduation.

Our graduates work for Dell Secure Works, Goldman-Sachs, GCHQ, NCC Group, Firstbase Techies, Nettitude, Portcullis, MWR, NCR, Prudential and many other prominent organisations.

A lot of our graduates become security testers, but some prefer working in defensive roles in areas such as network management and software development. Others set up their own ethical hacking consultancy businesses.

Female Ethical Hacking student Cheryl Torano

Colin McLean, Programme Leader

 

In 2005, Colin developed the idea for the BSc (Hons) in Ethical Hacking at Abertay. As the programme leader, Colin manages the day-to-day running of the programme and is there to help you if you have any issues while studying at Abertay. Watch Colin demonstrate a ransomware attack.

 

Get inspired

Meet some of our Ethical Hacking graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

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

One of the top iOS Apple iPhone security workers at Synopsys

Find out more

A photo of Ciaran Gallagher on a boat.

Ciaran Gallagher

Ciaran travels all over the world as a Technical Consultant at Appirio.

Find out more

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)).

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