Cyber Security and Privacy

Course options and guidance for Cyber security and privacy

What will I learn from courses in this topic?

Cyber security is concerned with protecting computer systems and their data against malicious or accidental damage. Protection includes methods for prevention, detection and response. Cyber privacy is concerned with protecting privacy in the digital realm, which includes limiting personal information and protecting it from abuse, even when data is shared with another party. The two topics are inter-connected: finding effective notions of privacy management in the digital realm is increasingly critical for cyber security in society at large.

Courses in this topic cover a range of security and privacy issues ranging from theoretical guarantees and design of cryptographic systems to practical issues in implementation and human factors. This topic is core to the MSc in Cyber Security, Privacy, and Trust, but students in other MSc programmes are also welcome to register for these courses.

What background is typically needed?

Most of the courses will assume a good command of the material in the first two (English or European three-year bachelor's) or three (Scottish or American bachelor's) years of a computer science degree. However, even without such a background, as long as you have a strong mathematical ability and reasonable knowledge, most SPT courses can be done.

What courses are available?

Level 11 (MSc) courses

Semester 1:

Semester 2:

Level 10 courses

Courses from School of Social and Political Studies

Semester 2:

Courses from School of Law

Please note that Law School students on the LLM programmes will be given priority for enrolment, so please enquire as early as possible for these courses. It is requested that a note of interest is emailed to, who will confirm if a place is available before enrolment.

Semester 2:

  • Cybercrime and Cyber Security (20 credits) (Not delivered 2023/24)
  • Surveillance and Security (20 credits) (Not delivered 2023/24) 

Related topics

This topic can be naturally combined with courses from some other topics, for example to allow:

  • studying programming languages and formal methods, which are used to provide stronger, more reliable foundations for systems;
  • studying data-driven methods for learning and mining, which are used, for example, for e-crime detection, intrusion detection and malware classification.
  • studying  distributed systems and databases, where security issues may arise.

The most relevant related course topics are listed below.

Computer Systems & High-Performance Computing

Databases and Data Management

Human-Computer Interaction and Design

Machine Learning

Software Engineering