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Advanced Cyber Security MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert

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Cyber security is a global challenge that impacts societies, national security, critical infrastructure and the global economy. Cybercrime damages are predicted to cost the world nearly £5 trillion annually by 2021, yet cyber security skills are one of the world's most in-demand, with a global sector deficit of 2.9 million. Now more than ever, industries such as health care, finance, manufacturing and retail all rely on cyber security professionals to enter the workforce to protect valuable information from these damaging, costly cyber breaches.

The Advanced Cyber Security MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert (online) at King’s College London will give you the opportunity to gain the knowledge, technologies, practices and skills to solve the world’s most complex cyber security challenges - without taking a break from your career.  Our leading academics provide you with cutting-edge theory in the field of cyber security, and you’ll have access to our Virtual Lab, providing you with practical experience of real-world security analysis and problem-solving.

Career opportunities in cyber security have grown three times faster than those for IT jobs overall, and cyber security professionals are earning 16 per cent* more than their IT counterparts. If you come from a technical background with a strong computer science foundation and are looking to begin a career in this thriving sector, this programme is right for you. 

Key Benefits

  • Advanced theory - The course provides an excellent foundation for learning advanced theory, practical techniques and skills for solving complex cyber security problems.
  • Virtual Lab - Access to our virtualisation software (Virtual Lab) gives you the practical, hands-on experience of real-world security analysis and problem-solving.
  • World-leading academics - Learn and collaborate with leading academics in the field, such as Professor Luca Viganò, Head of the Cybersecurity Group. His research focuses on formal methods and tools for the design, modelling, analysis, verification and testing of networks and systems in order to tackle cybersecurity and privacy problems that are important to industry, society and everyone living in a technologically dependent world.
  • Support 24/7 - A dedicated Student Success Advisor will offer support throughout the duration of your course and will be your first point of contact, answering all enquiries within 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  • Build a global network - You’ll learn alongside like-minded students and professionals from around the world, each of whom brings their own unique experience, skills and perspectives to your online discussions.

Why study with the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences?

  • The King’s Cyber Security Centre is recognised as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
  • 92 per cent of research outputs ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent – making the department a  world-class institution for research in Computer Science (REF 2014).
  • The faculty’s internationally renowned work blends traditional subject boundaries and leads to cutting edge research that tackles global challenges.
  • King’s has been identified as having first-rate research with scale and impact, joining an existing scheme which forms part of the Government's National Cyber Security Strategy.

Benefits of online learning

  •  Access study materials, videos, readings and live webinars at any time, from wherever you are in the world.
  • All study material is downloadable for readily available,  offline use.
  • Start and finish at your convenience with six entry points per year.
  • Study at your own pace with our unique carousel learning system.
  • Make use of all the university’s services without having to visit campus, including careers, wellness and disability support.

Key information


MSc: minimum 2 years, maximum 6 years 
PG Dip: minimum 16 months, maximum 4 years 
PG Cert: minimum 8 months, maximum 3 years 

Study mode Online/Distance learning

Key dates

Intake dates: January, March, May, June, September, October


Programme Director: Dr Hannan Xiao 

For further information please contact an Enrolment Advisor at onlineenrolmentservice@kcl.ac.uk 

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Course detail


The Advanced Cyber Security programme provides the opportunity to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of a broad range of techniques for developing security solutions. The content of the programme is informed by the latest research breakthroughs, allowing you to develop the practical techniques and real-world implementation skills for solving complex cyber security problems - both in today’s world and the future.

There has never been a better time to work in cyber security and the demand for specialists in the field is particularly high. Industries such as health care, finance, manufacturing and retail all rely on cyber security professionals to protect valuable information from cyber breaches.


Through our King’s E-Learning and Teaching System (KEATS), the University provides a platform for you to learn, engage, and network with industry-leading professionals and academic peers. You’ll have the opportunity to maintain working relationships with teachers and students as you build a thriving peer-learning community side by side. 

Access lectures, reading materials, discussion boards, research, writing tasks and group projects all from your own workspace. The King’s Library Service is also available to all students and offers online services and support.

Additionally, the programme will provide students with access to our Virtual Lab environment. These digital learning tools provide a pre-configured computing platform for carrying out lab exercises using industry-standard practices and techniques. The environments are customised with the software, operating system and network configuration required to provide hands-on experience of real-world security analysis and problem-solving.


Students will be assessed using a variety of traditional methods including coursework, essays and reports, as well as innovative online methods, including discussion boards and interactive questions.


The Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences has a range of relationships, connections and partnerships with a number of high profile bodies and organisations in tech, business and science industries. Our internationally-renowned graduates lead cutting-edge research, tackling global challenges and answering fundamental questions about our universe - six Nobel Laureates are amongst our distinguished former staff and students. Once you graduate from King’s you will automatically become a member of this 170,000-strong global alumni network. Membership is free, lasts a lifetime and includes many benefits.


Module details

The following mandatory will be accessible on the course.

Carousel One

  • Cryptography (15 credits)
  • Security Engineering (15 credits)
  • Security Management (15 credits)
  • Network Security (15 credits)

Carousel Two

  • Computer Forensics (15 credits)
  • Security Testing (15 credits)
  • Distributed Ledgers and Cryptocurrencies (15 credits)
  • Big Data Technologies (15 credits)

Carousel Three

  • Research Skills: Information Ethics (15 credits)
  • Research Skills: Literature Review & Critical Appraisal (15 credits)
  • Research skills: Research Methods (15 credits)
  • Research skills: Data Analysis & Write-up (15 credits)

Entry requirements

Standard Entry

Academic/professional requirements

A Master’s degree or a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree (Upper Second Class or international equivalent) is required in one of the following subject areas:

  • Computer Science, or Computing
  • Mathematics, or any Maths related degrees
  • Economics, Mathematical Economics, or Mathematical Finance
  • Physics
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Natural Science
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Operations Research 

Non-standard entry

2.2 honours degree in the above subject areas. Candidates must demonstrate competence in a high-level programming language such as Pascal, C, C++, Python, Java, etc. Knowledge should be equivalent to at least the level expected at the end of a first-year undergraduate degree in computer science.

A degree in any other subject area (2.2 honours degree or above). Candidates must demonstrate 2 - 3 years of professional programming experience and must have experience with C and/or Python or similar. Candidates should also demonstrate knowledge of mathematics (to A-Level standard or international equivalent).

No degree, work experience/ professional qualifications. Candidates must demonstrate extensive experience (5+ years of programming experience including C and/ Python. Candidates should also demonstrate knowledge of mathematics (to A-Level standard or international equivalent).

Experience in coding or C-programming is highly desirable. All candidates should demonstrate knowledge of mathematics to A-Level standard or the international equivalent.

International Requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.

Band D: applicants from a UKVI deemed non-majority English speaking country may be required to take an English language proficiency test from an approved testing centre. Visit our admissions webpages to view our English Language entry requirements. Decisions regarding English language entry requirements will be made on a faculty level.

Fees and funding

Your fees will be charged per module as you progress through the course.  From now until September 2021, you will be charged £1,300 per module.  

The number of modules you take will be determined by your chosen award as outlined below:   

PG Cert: 4 modules (£5,200)

PG Dip: 8 modules (£10,400)

MSc: 12 modules (£15,600)

Tuition fees may be subject to an annual increase (capped at 5%) each academic year in line with King's College London's terms and conditions. Each increase comes into effect in September of each year. 

Additional Fees Information

When you receive an offer for this course, you will be required to pay for your first module upfront, as a non-refundable deposit, to secure your place.  This payment will be credited towards your total fee payment. Please note that a standard 14 day cooling off period will apply from the point of initial payment for your first module.  Any subsequent payments are not subject to additional cooling off periods. 

The deposit cost for this course is the cost of one module (£1,300) plus a non-refundable application fee of £70.  

Student fees for the programme will be billed on a modular basis. Students are billed three weeks prior to the first day of teaching, with the due date being two weeks later (one week before teaching). If you no longer wish to study a module, you can take a break from your studies up until one week prior to the module starting. If payment has been made, the money will remain on your account as credit until you return.  

If you have registered for the pograduate diploma qualification but decide you wish to upgrade to a higher award, you will need to speak to your enrolment advisor. If you choose to upgrade your programme, you will enter a new cooling off period from the date of payment for your next module on the upgraded award.  Any subsequent payments following this next module payment are not subject to additional cooling off periods.   

Additional Requirements & Costs 

Students will need access to a computer or tablet in order to complete the programme. Although KEATS is optimised for mobile, a desktop computer may be necessary for some parts of the course. 

We recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge; full functionality cannot be guaranteed in older or less commonly used browsers. 

Students will require access to a high-speed internet connection (4Mbps minimum). 

We will endeavour to make as much study material as possible available online, but you may also need to purchase some books during your studies. 

This is an online course and you are not expected to go to campus, should you wish to do so, there are some additional fees to pay for: 

  •  Books, ebooks or articles (if you choose to buy your own copies)  
  • King’s campus Library fees and fines  

  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

  • Graduation costs 

King’s offers several on-campus programmes. If you're interested in studying with us here in London on courses like our Cyber Security MSc, please click here.

Career prospects

Our graduates are highly employable and in recent years they have gone on to forge successful careers in a wide range of sectors, including banking, telecommunications, security consultancies, the civil service, public utilities and the retail sector.

Examples of graduate destinations include Hang Seng Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, and Merrill Corporation. Other graduates have entered the field of academic and industrial research in areas such as cyber security, machine learning, software engineering, algorithms and computer networks.

Career destinations

This programme will prepare you for a career in an array of roles, such as:

  • Network security analyst
  • Security consultant/analyst
  • Audit /compliance consultant
  • Penetration Tester (Ethical Hacker)
  • Security certification engineer
  • Incident response analyst
  • Military intelligence analyst
  • Crime prevention & investigation analyst


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

More information

Sound like the course for you?

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