2022/23 entry

BSc (Hons) Computer Security

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

3 years, 4 years with placement

UCAS code:

I990

Points required:

112

Campus:

City

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
£9,250
International (full-time):
£16,600
Placement (home student):
£1,850
Placement (international student):
£3,650
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Engineering and Technology:

0151 231 2777

fetadmissions@ljmu.ac.uk

International enquiries

international@ljmu.ac.uk

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Why study Computer Security at Liverpool John Moores University?

• State-of-the-art computing facilities with specialist computer security software
• Practical, hands-on experience incorporated into modules wherever possible
• High quality teaching from staff involved in internationally recognised research.
• Graduates increasingly in demand as IT security problems escalate
• Opportunity to undertake a 12-month paid industrial work placement
• Strong links with local and national organisations including Xyone Security, Fujitsu, IBM, Eutechnyx and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
• International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
• Start month: September
• Campus location: City Campus

About your course

The BSc (Hons) Computer Security at Liverpool John Moores University is informed by internationally important research, which means your studies will be at the forefront of developments in this important field.

The demand for suitably qualified professionals is increasing as IT security problems escalate so you should enjoy excellent career prospects after graduation. LJMU has a growing national and international reputation for its research into computer security and this expertise ensures the degree is at the leading edge of developments in this discipline.

About the BSc (Hons) Computer Security degree

Information technology has transformed the way in which commerce and industry operate, but it has also provided criminals with a new way of committing crime, either against the computer itself or the information it holds. Major organisations are therefore increasingly reliant on dedicated information security professionals to protect sophisticated computing systems against the threat of cyber-crime.

This course provides you with the skills to plan and implement cyber security systems, developing competence in technical areas like ethical hacking, cryptography and software development together with an understanding of ethical and privacy considerations.

Work-related Learning
Practical, hands-on experience to boost your employability is incorporated into this programme wherever possible. However the best way to really get a taste of working in the computer security industry or the IT industry in general is to take a year out after your second year and spend 12 months on supervised work placement. 

This invaluable experience gives you a chance to put into practice the many concepts and techniques you have learnt on the course, as well as developing new skills. We highly recommend that you take up this opportunity, as it will greatly enhance your prospects when you come to negotiate your way around the competitive graduate job market.  

Our teaching is supported by high quality research and collaboration with local and national companies such as Xyone Security, Fujitsu, Corus, Unilever, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, IBM, Eutechnyx, Jagex, Spiral House, Heinz, Liverpool Direct, Pilkington, MBNA Bank, HM Treasury, Lloyds TSB, Thames Water Authority, AstraZeneca, Littlewoods, Vauxhall Motors, GlaxoSmithKline to name but a few. This means that our computing courses are designed and developed to meet the needs of employers today, as well as creating excellent work placements for students.

"LJMU has a growing national and international reputation for its research into computer security and this expertise ensures the degree is at the leading edge of developments in this discipline."

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students

Fees

The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)

Money

  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)

Funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

Employability

Security is often cited among the top five IT skills demanded by employers.

The need to improve knowledge and education in computer security has long been acknowledged. This means that potential careers open to you as a graduate of this programme are wide ranging and include:    

 
  • information security analyst 
  • computer security consultant
  • network or system administrator
  • software or web developer 
  • data analyst, data recovery, data mining
  • police force intelligence officer
  • guiding cyber security initiatives 
  • computer forensic analyst
  • network security management 
  • education provision
  • IT project manager

Alternatively, many of our graduates continue their studies with a masters or research programme.

Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

Applicant key information

Course review and revalidation.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

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What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 4

Core modules

Introduction to Programming
20 credits

In this module you are delivered programming and problem solving skills with no prior assumptions of programming experience. Given the importance of programming to computer science, this module will encourage you to study more specialised software development topics. You will gain an understanding of how software is developed and become familiar with a range of computer programming paradigms.

Computer Systems
20 credits

This module provides you with a basic knowledge in relation to the computing platform (hardware, operating systems, networks) upon which applications are developed and hosted. You will need this as support knowledge for subsequent modules at Level 5 and 6.

Professional Practice
10 credits

This module provides you with an opportunity to consider your future role as a computing professional. The tutorials and workshops will be used to develop strategies that you can use, providing opportunities for you to understand the field of Computing in a more effective way. You will develop your understanding of professionalism in computing, of working in the computing industry, and of the ethical frameworks and codes of conduct for the computing industry.

Data Modelling
10 credits

The module develops your ability to model data in various differing scenarios. You are initially required to manipulate and present data in spreadsheet based applications. Then, you are required to solve problems using a data modelling methodology (e.g. entity relationship models/normalisation), ultimately leading towards the construction of database based applications.

Introduction to Computer Forensics and Security
20 credits

This module provides you with the basic concepts, methods, techniques and experience of computer forensics and security. You will apply your knowledge and develop practical skills in the assessments by undertaking a digital forensic investigation and a security analysis of a case study.

Problem Solving for Computer Security
20 credits

This module enhances your software development, problem solving skills, problem decomposition and analysis skills. Your understanding of computer security will be developed through the use of a popular programming language. You will apply your understanding in two assessments. First, you will apply design and problem analysis techniques to a relevant case study scenario involving computer security. Second, you will translate such a design into a software solution.

Introduction to Web Development
20 credits

Increasingly, much of the world's software is being run in a web browser. Software offered over the Web provides many sought-after benefits in software deployment: ease of implementation, universality and ubiquity of access, and availability of server-side data and services. This module seeks to endow you with the necessary knowledge and underpinning technologies to develop for the World Wide Web. You will learn techniques and technologies to develop web applications, hosted on a web application server, using a server-side programming language to dynamically generate standards compliant mark-up, driven from a data source. You will use design principles which abstract content from aesthetic and utilises client-side dynamism to enhance the user's experience, using industry standard toolsets and web-focused API.

Level 5

Core modules

Group Project
20 credits

The module has two main purposes. First, you will be equipped with adequate research skills and experience of working on subject-related research topics, to lead into your final year project. Second, this module works to enhance your professionalism, including teamworking, which boosts employability and your awareness of what is expected in an employment scenario.

Database Systems
20 credits

In this module you will explore the operation of database systems through a scrutiny of modern RDBMS (Relational Data Base Management Systems), the SQL (Structured Query Language) and database connectivity APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The module continues by exploring some of the managerial considerations of large-scale RDBMS. The module concludes by exploring the operation of emerging NoSQL (Not Only SQL) database systems. Overall, you will design relational databases, develop date driven applications, critically evaluate applications, and design appropriate non-relational databases.

Operating Systems
20 credits

Operating systems constitute the backbone of every system management task and knowledge of their structure and use is of high importance for any system/network administrator in modern networked environments. In response, this module introduces you to the fundamental aspects of operating systems and further facilitates the basis for system administration.

System Penetration Testing
20 credits

In this module you will consider the various stages of a penetration testing lifecycle and the necessary technologies available in performing software tests. This module follows on from skills developed in the Operating System module and prepares you for a boarder discussion of ethical hacking topics covered in the final year. You will be familiarised with common penetration testing techniques, security issues and software vulnerabilities as well as the methods, tools and techniques that can be used during penetration testing to detect such vulnerabilities.

Secure Software Development
20 credits

This module familiarises you with common software security problems and vulnerabilities, and the methods, tools and techniques that can be used during software development to prevent them, including formal techniques. You will undertake a group software engineering task involving the application of secure software development lifecycles to a software development task. As part of this task, you will be expected to undertake a variety of roles as seen in a secure software development teams (i.e., developer, software tester, vulnerability researcher, report and documentation author, etc). You will be expected to complete a report that demonstrates an understanding of how software should be designed, implemented, and tested to reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities.

Information Security Management
20 credits

Information Security Management generally refers to the wide range of activities that information security practitioners engage in, although typically excludes the actual development of secure solutions through software development. In this module you will focus on security risk analysis, management and information governance, and compliance aspects of being an information security practitioner.

Level 6

Core modules

Project
40 credits

This module presents you with the opportunity to complete a substantial project in a chosen area relevant to your programme. The scope of what is an appropriate artefact varies between programmes and you will discuss this with your programme teams. This module will enable you to use rigorous development or scientific methods to produce an artefact, resulting in an oral and written report.

Network Forensics
20 credits

Computer networking is now a ubiquitous feature of modern life with the applications and services that we rely on daily being supported by the Internet. Conversely, as the services become more fundamental, the number and range of attacks levelled against them have increased both in severity and frequency. As such, modern digital forensics investigations are increasingly including some element of network investigation and network operators are increasingly employing forensic techniques to effectively manage their infrastructures. This module aims to develop your critical appreciation of both the theoretical issues of computer networks and their impact on digital forensic investigations, alongside the emergence of new networking technologies and how they will impact on network forensics.

Network Defence
20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of computer security and network defence. Through critically assessing a variety of security technologies for protection of computer networks, you will develop practical skills in the use of security countermeasure technologies and associated tools.

Ethical Hacking
20 credits

The growth of the Internet has spawned a great demand for secure computer systems. Ethical hacking provides the concept for finding vulnerabilities before real attackers do so that vulnerabilities can be fixed and associated risks mitigated. It also helps to test the cyber security defence of computer systems. In this module you will examine various ethical hacking concepts, tools, and techniques that provide solutions to fix identified threats

Applied Cryptography
20 credits

The spectacular growth of the Internet has spawned a great demand for awareness of security threats to computer networks and application of security techniques to network protection. In response to the demand, this module examines various security issues, cryptographic algorithms and security services that are essential for network protection.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies.  Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

You will begin the course with a 3 day induction and then spend approximately 15 hours per week in the classroom. Independent study is a fundamental element of the course and accounts for about 70% or around 35 hours of your weekly study time. Teaching is mostly via lectures with more informal lab sessions, online activities and small-group tutorials to reinforce ideas discussed in the lectures and to give you a chance to develop ideas with staff and other students.

Practical, hands-on experience to boost your employability is incorporated into this programme wherever possible. However the best way to really get a taste of working in the cyber security industry or the IT industry in general is to take a year out after your second year and spend 12 months on supervised work placement. This invaluable experience gives you a chance to put into practice the many concepts and techniques you have learnt on the course, as well as developing new skills. We highly recommend that you take up this opportunity, as it will greatly enhance your prospects when you come to negotiate your way around the competitive graduate job market.  

Work-related Learning

Our teaching is supported by high quality research and collaboration with 450 local and national companies such as Merseyside Police, Cheshire Police, Xyone Security, Fujitsu, Corus, Unilever, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, IBM, Eutechnyx, Jagex, Spiral House, Heinz, Liverpool Direct, Pilkington, MBNA Bank, HM Treasury, Lloyds TSB, Thames Water Authority, AstraZeneca, Littlewoods, Vauxhall Motors, GlaxoSmithKline to name but a few. This means that our computing courses are designed and developed to meet the needs of employers today, as well as creating excellent work placements for students.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

From the moment you enrol at LJMU, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will work with you on setting targets for yourself as part of your personal development plan, and provide one-to-one support on course-related or other matters. Should you choose to undertake a year's work placement, this support will continue as a supervisor will stay in close contact.

Your lecturers

We are proud of our academic staff’s high quality teaching standards and approachability. Informal staff-student relationships are excellent. If you decide to study within the School of Computer Science and Mathematics, you will be joining a relaxed and friendly environment in which staff are committed not only to their students’ welfare but also to ensuring that courses are continually developed to meet the needs of employers.

Assessment

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams plus an independent final year project which contributes substantially to your final mark. Your tutors will give prompt and constructive feedback via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. This will help you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Career prospects
Security is often cited among the top five IT skills demanded by employers.
The need to improve knowledge and education in computer security has long been acknowledged. This means that potential careers open to you as a graduate of this programme are wide ranging and include:    
 
• information security analyst 
• computer security consultant
• guiding cyber security initiatives 
• network or system administrator
• network security management 
• software or web developer 
• data analyst, data recovery, data mining
Alternatively, many of our graduates continue their studies with a masters or research programme.

Facilities

What you can expect from your School

This programme is delivered in the Byrom Street complex of LJMU’s City Campus. Here you’ll find high quality lecture theatres, meeting and seminar rooms plus social spaces and a large café. The Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semester, is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 112


GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:

  • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths
  • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
  • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
  • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/ English
  • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
  • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: BBC
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

T Levels

112 UCAS tariff points from relevant subjects. Please contact the Faculty for further information.

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DMM if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: 112 UCAS tariff points from Access to HE Diploma

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 112 UCAS tariff points from IB

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 120 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects
Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Is a DBS check required?

No

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

We are looking for students who are keen to learn new skills and develop those they already possess. We want students with the ability to: be creative with ideas and concepts, moderate their creativity with logic, be enthusiastic and thirsty for knowledge, communicate effectively and confidently and understand and adapt to a wide range of issues connected with the subject. It is also important that students are able to manage time and tasks effectively as an individual and as part of a team, use appropriate sources to find and organise information and select and critically evaluate information in order to analyse problems
If you would like to develop these skills further, have a strong interest in this subject area and want to work effectively within it, then this is the course for you!  International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.