FdSc Cyber Security

This programme recognises that security is a vital requirement of computer-based systems, and with the significant growth in the number of security related incidents and threats, the demand for skills in cyber security is growing rapidly. This new foundation degree will provide the theoretical and practical skills required for cyber security professionals, and will help to develop a strong foundation for those wishing to progress to a relevant top-up degree.

Study Aims

This programme incorporates industry standard qualifications within modules which aim to help prepare you for lifelong learning in the workplace. You will benefit from our growing employer links as we offer meaningful guest speaker presentations. These sessions will be directly relevant to curriculum content, from organisations including Leighton Group; British Airways; NVIDIA and British Telecom.

Additionally, you are invited to NCD IT which is a closed LinkedIn group with several hundred connections to employers and previous NCD IT students. This provides opportunities for students to communicate directly with high profile employers in the computing, IT and Telecoms industry.The integration of industry standard CISCO certification CCNA v7 1,2,3 and CCNA Security and Cyber Operations provides value for money to all students and provides real employability skills for the network management infrastructure security.

The programme aims to meet the complex and organic needs of the computing and IT sector, by providing appropriately trained, qualified and skilled staff with the requisite knowledge, competence and understanding of cyber security threats and protective measures. Upon completion, you will be able to demonstrate innovative thinking, coupled with cognitive and intellectual competencies specific to cyber security roles; network and digital communications; security case development and design good practice; security technology; employment and cryptography; risk assessment and Governance.

Modules Studied

Level 4

  • Personal Professional Development 1 - will develop your skills to become successful in higher education and effective at work.
  • Work Related Learning 1 - become confident in your understanding of current legal standards, regulations and ethical standards relevant to the computing and IT sector.
  • Introduction to Networks - introduces the architecture, structure, functions, components, and models of the Internet and computer networks. This module incorporates CCNA 1.
  • Cyber Security Fundamentals - explore inherent asymmetric nature of cyber security threats.
  • Switching, Routing and Wireless - introduces the architecture, components, and operations of routers and switches in a small network. This module incorporates CCNA 2.
  • Fundamentals of Security Programming - gain an awareness and understanding of the basic concepts of how computer programs operate.

Level 5

  • Work Related Learning 2 - investigate risk assessment methodologies, looking at vulnerabilities in organisation’s security management systems.
  • Enterprise Networking, Security and Automation - introduces the architecture, components, and operations of routers and switches in a large and complex network. This module incorporates CCNA 3.
  • Concepts and Future Trends - you will critically evaluate a range of sources used to conduct ‘horizon scanning’.
  • CyberOps - Cisco CCNA Cybersecurity Operations v1.1 (CyberOps) will provide you with content to develop practical, relevant, and job-ready knowledge and skills required of cybersecurity analysts employed in a Security Operations Centre (SOC). You will learn how to detect and respond to security threats using the latest technology.
  • Security Technology and Applied Cryptography - examine the strengths and weaknesses of a range of hardware, such as firewalls, examining their function, how they operate and protect systems and how they can be exploited.

Times of Delivery


  • Monday - 9am - 5pm (Level 4)
  • Tuesday - 9am - 5pm (Level 4)
  • Thursday - 9am - 5pm (Level 5)
  • Friday - 9am - 5pm (Level 5)

Any times indicated are based on current courses and may be subject to change in future years. Full timetables will be confirmed at the start of each course.

Teaching and Assessment

We are fully committed to making sure you get the very best out of your time with us. You will engage in the following:

  • Lectures - for the introduction of relevant theories/knowledge of the individual topic areas within a subject.
  • Workshops/seminars - for developing an understanding of the theories from the lectures through the use of case studies, role-plays and exercises. Please note that each of the Cisco (CCNA) modules have online exams.
  • Academic tutorials - to develop study/academic skills, for example, research/information gathering. The development of these study/academic skills will assist in your learning throughout the programme.
  • Course assessment is comprised of 10% exams and 90% coursework.

A range of assessment methods are used across both Level 4 and Level 5, including:

  • Reports
  • Case studies
  • Time constrained tests
  • Reflective journals
  • Presentations
  • Work related projects
  • Assessment of practical skills, Assignment
  • Preparation of portfolios of evidence.

Industry Links

The department’s key industrial link is with Karbon Housing (part of the Isos Group). We have worked closely with them on many projects over the years, including student placements and technical support events for people in the local community. Students have partnered with Karbon Housing whilst completing their Online Owls and Techy Tea Party projects. Others links include:

  • Amplience
  • British Telecom
  • Durham County Council
  • Hewlett Packard
  • HMRC
  • Business Durham
  • Geek Talent
  • Leighton Group
  • British Airways
  • Sage
  • Sagazza
  • ZPG.

Maths and English

If you do not hold GCSE or Level 2 maths and English, you will work towards Level 2 or equivalent in maths and English Language alongside the main study programme (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).


A work placement is a fundamental expectation of this foundation degree programme. You will be expected to source work experience which provides you with an opportunity to stretch your knowledge, understanding and practical skills beyond what you have learned in your modules. This will be a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your positive attitude, ability to use initiative and independent learning skills to future employers.

Entry Criteria

Standard entry criteria:

  • Ideally, you will hold four GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including maths and English (or Level 2 equivalent). If you do not hold these qualifications, you will be required to commit to study GCSE maths and English alongside the programme.
  • International applicants require a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band.
  • You will be interviewed by the curriculum team (international applicants via Skype).
  • You will hold 48 UCAS points or a combination of qualifications that show you can be successful on this programme.
  • You must provide a personal statement.
  • Your standard of academic writing will be assessed at induction.

Non-standard entry criteria:

  • Evidence of relevant experience which demonstrates you can be successful on this programme.
  • A personal statement.
  • You will be required to attend an interview with two members of the curriculum team.
  • You will participate in induction activities to assess your standard of academic writing in English.
  • You will complete basic and key skills builder (BKSB) assessments to establish your level of maths, English and ICT skills (applicable where no formal qualifications in computing and/or IT related subjects and/or work experience in a computing or IT related job role can be evidenced).
  • If you do not hold the required qualifications in maths and English, you must commit to studying GCSE maths and English alongside the programme (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).

Part-time entry criteria: In addition to a student being required to satisfy the standard or non-standard entry requirements of the course, part-time students must be employed in a relevant computing related post which provides them with the opportunity to develop and complete the requirements of the following:

  • Personal Professional Development 1
  • Innovation, Idea Generation and Enterprise
  • Work Related Learning; modules 1 and 2.

Additional Costs

You will be required to contribute to trips and visits. We also recommend that students buy texts to support learning, a reading list will be provided at interview.

What are the next steps?

The process for interview is as follows:

  • You will be interviewed by the curriculum team (international applicants via internet (e.g. Skype) – please bring all relevant qualifications and a printed copy of your personal statement.
  • This is an opportunity for the curriculum team to learn about your motivation for the course and career aspirations - an opportunity for applicants to ask questions will be provided.
  • A tour of the facilities will be available.
 Alternative Courses/degrees
 Published on 2023-08-26
 Deadline NA