Cybersecurity is an essential need for a modern society in which information technology and services pervade every aspect of our lives. Cybersecurity has the fastest growth rate among all areas of IT, with the labour market encountering a severe workforce shortage in this field.

The aim of this programme is to provide learners with essential expert technical knowledge, competence and research skills of the most important technical concepts of cybersecurity and how they are applied in emerging areas such as device security and forensics.

The course is technical and practical in nature, uniquely embedded in industry, and develops in-depth expertise of core technical topics within the area of cybersecurity such as information security, secure programming, network security, penetration testing, malware analysis, IT law and ethics, and technologies and tools that support application and service vulnerability detection, incident detection, data and log retrieval and analysis. The course also provides a sharper focus into forensics and cloud security through the two specialisations that are offered to the learners.

A unique feature of this course is the strong collaboration of the college with the industry in the development and delivery of the MSc in Cybersecurity course. The Domain Context module creates a space into which companies may provide in-house training, professional certification preparation or deliver knowledge on the latest technologies currently used by specific cybersecurity companies. The Internship module also connects students with the industry and supports students' employment in the cybersecurity domain.

Who is the course for?
This course is ideal for ICT professionals or graduates with a level 8 degree on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), in Computing/Computer Science or in a cognate area (STEM) that wish to develop a career as a cybersecurity professional; to take a leading technical or managerial role; to progress faster in their employment or to apply the knowledge in their current role.

Candidates who do not hold a computing degree and are currently working in the IT sector may be considered based on relevant academic qualifications or extensive work experience.

As a graduate of this course you will be able
- Conduct independent research and analysis in the cybersecurity domain including secure application design, development and testing within a given context e.g. web, cloud computing, and forensic investigation

- Demonstrate practical skills and expert knowledge of technologies and tools that support cryptanalysis, application and service vulnerability detection and patching, security incidents detection and log file analysis

- Critically evaluate the design and implementation and evaluation of a research idea

- Analyse and evaluate the legal, ethical and economic ramifications of developing secure applications and services

- Communicate effectively to a range of audiences in both written and verbal media and undertake self-learning in order to acquire new knowledge

Award and Progression
The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is awarded by QQI at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Students who successfully complete this course may progress to a major award at level 10 on the NFQ. Students may also elect to exit early with a Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cybersecurity at level 9.

Entry requirements

An honours (level 8) primary degree in computing or a cognate area with a 2.2 award or higher. Candidates are expected to have programming ability. Cognate area means a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree that also has a taught programming/application development related modules. An assessment and/or interview may be conducted to ascertain suitability if necessary for candidates who do not meet the normal academic requirements.

The college operates a Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) scheme meaning applicants who do not meet the normal academic requirements may be considered based on relevant work and other experience. This may be assessed using a portfolio of learning, demonstration of work produced, and an interview. The programming ability of the applicant will also be assessed.


Part-time Schedule

Indicative Schedule Two evenings per week 18.00 to 22.00 and some Saturday workshops

Duration: 2 years; 4 semesters

Full-time Schedule
Indicative Schedule Students need to be available 09.00-18.00 Mon – Fri. (Class days and times vary)

Duration 1 year; 2 semesters with a final internship

Careers or further progression

Students who successfully complete this course may progress to a major award at level 10 on the NFQ. Students may also elect to exit early with a Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Cybersecurity at level 9.

Career Prospects
Several reports highlight the skills shortage in cybersecurity. The Bureau of Labour Statistics projects 36.5 percent employment growth for information and cybersecurity experts and analysts by 2022. This field has the fastest growth rate when compared with the rest of the technology jobs.

The US News and World Report published in 2015 has highlighted that information security is considered one of the best jobs for the next seven years. Ireland has a strong presence of companies in cybersecurity. The top 5 worldwide companies are located in Ireland. Considering the high demand of various types of jobs in the Cybersecurity domain that currently exist in the market, graduates from this course may work in the following roles: information security analyst, secure application developer, cybersecurity tester, risk advisory on information security and forensics, cloud security analyst, etc.

Further enquiries

For Further Information Contact:
The Admissions Team
Telephone: 1850 221 721

Subjects taught

Laptop Requirements
This programme has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. Specifically, students are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using a laptop computer with a substantial hardware configuration. A suitable configuration is 6GB of RAM (8GB or more are recommended); a 64- bit x86 processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+ GB of hard disk; WiFi card; and a recent, installed release of Windows operating system. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their laptop is functioning correctly and that they have full administrator rights to the machine. NCI IT cannot provide support for personal devices.

Course Structure

The course offers two specialisations: Forensics and Cloud Security.

Learners must select one specialization.

Year 1-2
Core Modules
• Security Fundamentals
• Secure Programming for Web
• Network Security and Penetration Testing
• IT Law and Ethics
• Research in Computing
• Cryptography
• Secure Programming for Application Development
• Research Methods
• Internship

Forensics Specialisation
• Incident Response and Analytics
• Forensics and eDiscovery
• Elective: Malware Analysis or Domain Context

Cloud Security Specialisation
• Cloud Security
• Elective: Malware Analysis or Domain Context

Note: The Domain Context module is an elective module that may have a number of instances within the same semester it runs. For example, a different module instance for each specialisation.

The module will be delivered by industry experts. All modules count towards the final award classification.


Location: IFSC Campus

Course fee

€4,475 per annum
€8,950 total fee (Fees revised annually)

€6,500 total fee (Fees revised annually)

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2018

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