Computer Network Security BSc Honours

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UCAS code: G423 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time

Our 2016 undergraduate courses feature some exciting new changes based on student feedback, which include providing more opportunities for you to broaden your knowledge and skills while here. See full details about the changes to our undergraduate courses.

Start: 17 September 2016
Duration: 3 or 4 years
Location: Central London
Campus: Cavendish

All prices quoted are for the academic year 2016/17 only.

Home/EU: £9,000.00
Overseas: £12,250.00

Security is a vital aspect of any networked system, especially as the dependency on network infrastructures has grown over the past few decades. This course has been designed to meet the demand for graduates with application-oriented engineering skills and know-how, particularly in relation to local, wide and wireless area networks and network security. The course focuses on network threats, vulnerabilities and their mitigation. Topics covered include firewall technologies, intrusion detection and prevention, virtual private networks and penetration testing. There is emphasis on secure network design, trouble-shooting and testing. The course is also aligned with the CISCO CCNA security.

The course emphasis is on ‘hands-on’ work at every level, with a focus on ‘learning by doing’ which enhances the development of your engineering skills. It will equip you with knowledge and understanding of current technologies applied to network security, of modern computer architecture, and of the role and responsibilities of the professional engineer. As part of the course, you will be using industry standard tools such as Nessus, NMAP, Metasploit and CISCO IPS Manager.

Teaching methods include lectures and seminars, laboratory work, group and individual projects and mobile learning.

Assessments include formal exams, practicals, group work, written reports, presentations and posters. 

Subjects of study

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Year 1 (Credit Level 4)

Subjects of study include:

  • Digital Principles
  • Introduction to Networks
  • Mathematics for Computing
  • Networks and Communications
  • Programming Methodology I
  • Programming Methodology II

Year 2 (Credit Level 5)

Subjects of study include:

  • Cryptographic Techniques for Network Security
  • Introduction to Network Security
  • Network Software Engineering
  • Network Technologies
  • Professional Engineering Practice and Industrial Management

Plus one option from:

  • Network Simulation
  • Operating Systems and Systems Programming
  • Scripting for Engineering

Industrial placement year

You will have the opportunity to take a placement in industry between Years 2 and 3. This gives you practical experience in the workplace and a competitive edge in the job market. It also contributes to your professional development towards Chartered Engineer status.

Year 3 (Credit Level 6)

The network theme is further advanced and the issues of implementation, configuration and dealing with present day data streams (such as for multimedia applications) are addressed. There are specialist modules on planning and implementing secure systems, and on working on projects in an industrial environment, which will prepare you to analyse requirements, and design and implement a secure network system. You will also complete a major project involving these aspects.

Subjects of study include:

  • Applied Distributed Systems Programming
  • Enterprise Networks
  • Individual Project in Computer Network Security
  • Security Testing and Implementation

Plus one option from:

  • Network Security Evaluation and Design
  • Operating Systems and Drivers

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Engineering Council and the British Computer Society (BCS). This entitles you to become a Chartered Engineer, after a period of experience.

Course team

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.

International Foundation course

We work in partnership with Kaplan International College London to provide Foundation courses for international students who don't meet our Bachelor's degree entry requirements. For more information visit Kaplan International College.

The Computer Network Security BSc (Honours) aims to create graduates who will have flexibility to work at different levels with networked communication systems as network designer, network manager or network engineer.

The course provides the ideal educational base for entry to a career in computer networks and security industries, and our graduates have gone on to work for small, medium and large size companies setting up, developing, managing and maintaining network systems.

Students will also be well equipped to progress to postgraduate study in the software and engineering area.


Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Career options in your subject area

Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.

You can also browse the career options available to you after you graduate on the Career Development Centre's Finding work in your subject area pages and on the Prospects website.

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.


After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.

Chris Galazka, 3rd year, Computer Network and Security BSc (Hons)

“I was looking for a friendly place to study with a good atmosphere, close to where I live and with a great history; but my main criteria was to find a computer networking course, and the University of Westminster was one of a few universities in London offering a network security degree. The environment and the general feel also ticked all the boxes.

I’m an overseas student, and I was studying a computer science course where the main idea was to gain as much theory as possible. My experience with University of Westminster has been far beyond my expectations; I’ve been introduced to a new teaching style based on practice rather than theory, and I’ve met many passionate lecturers who inspired me to achieve the best results.

The things I like the most about my course are the meetings with knowledgeable lecturers who are willing to answer all the questions, the practical lab sessions, and the great facilities inside the University.

My relationship with most of the lecturers is very close, and I visit them whenever I have a problem or a question. They always have time to talk to me even during the busy periods, and I’m sure that I will keep contact with my teachers when I finish my degree.

London is a great city full of many different people, and studying here is one of the greatest opportunities in life, but studying is not the only thing. There are many places in London where you can go and have great fun, and being at University of Westminster, which is almost in the centre of London, is a great experience.

Making friends at Westminster is very easy, and to speed up the process at the beginning of the first year there are many events such as freshers’ fair or in-class games which help you to meet new friends and settle into the new academic environment.

There are many places in the University where students hang around together; in the corridors there are chairs and sofas where students spend their time chatting, and there is a nice cafeteria inside the school. Around the University there are many places to eat, and you can also join groups and meet new people outside of your studying hours. Generally the social life at Westminster is easy to reach, and there is always something to do.  

My course is mainly based on computer network security, but each year there is also a module which prepares students to work in the industry. The modules teach you how to do good presentations, write professional CVs, good study techniques, where to look for materials or how to present yourself on the interview. Those modules also helped me to make a decision to take a placement year after my 2nd year, and that has secured me a job after I graduate.

My advice to anyone thinking about studying at the Electronics and Computer Science School as Westminster is to decide exactly what job would you like to do after you graduate, and then look carefully for the courses which can help you achieve that target. While you’re at University invest as much time as possible in studying and practising; the courses are well prepared and there are many knowledgeable, experienced lecturers who are happy to help throughout the course.”

Abd’ur-Rahman Stevens,
3rd year student, Computer Network Security BSc (Hons)

“Before I started my degree course I was working in the IT industry and had embarked on the well-known Cisco CCNA NetAcad course being offered by the University of Westminster. The teaching and delivery of the course was second to none and inspired me to take my studies further. I felt Westminster was the right place for me, as other institutions did not offer in-depth networking-related courses.

“The school offers fantastic IT facilities for anyone wishing to study an electronics and computer sciences course, with specialised labs for Cisco, electronics, software engineering, circuit design, computer forensics and more being available for studies. And while every academic institution has its ups and downs, the School’s management team has always been on hand to offer help and remedy situations where required.

The relationship I have with staff is usually very good; many lecturers have gone beyond the scope of their role in order to help or benefit the students during my time here.

The aspects of computer and cyber security make the course very interesting. These, along with the skills in network engineering, software engineering, cryptography and network communications, enable students on the course to try their hand at things such as the UK Cyber Security Challenge, Pwn2Own Competition and BackTrack or Kali Linux Operating Systems.

The transport links make London an ideal location to live, work and study. The sheer number of places to shop, eat out, and visit make it an attractive place to study. Not to mention the green spaces available and riverside walks – usually best done during the summer months!

It's easy to make new friends and settle in, although you have to put in the effort. However, the surroundings and atmosphere, along with the support from staff, go a long way to making your student life more comfortable. And in terms of social life, the number of societies on offer to students is vast. There are a number of social spaces available to students on campus and sports teams in various sports representing the University. On a more personal note, I can say that I and my fellow course mates have organised LAN parties throughout the duration of the course, which have been a great way of mixing our studies with our social life.

I hope to find work abroad in cyber security. Aside from employment, I also aim to undertake professional certifications in the industry, such as CCNA, CCSA, CISSP, ITIL, MCSE, GIAC and more. The course has certainly helped towards preparing for some of these certifications, as some of the course material covers some related aspects, most notably, the whole of the CCNA requirements.

My advice to anyone thinking of studying at the University of Westminster would be to do your homework – find out exactly what the course entails and the subject matter of the modules. Consider how you could apply current knowledge to your learning on the course and also consider preparing early, by reading a little before you start the course.

Ultimately, I would advise choosing a course that you think you will enjoy. Try attending an Open Day at the University and ask the lecturers your questions! And given the opportunity, I would most definitely advise any future student at Westminster, regardless of their chosen ECS course, to consider working in industry for a year; the time spent on a placement should be invaluable.”


Upcoming undergraduate open days

08 October 2016Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Harrow, Marylebone
09 November 2016Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Harrow, Marylebone
View subject-specific open days

Science and Technology

Our active research and postgraduate programmes also ensure that undergraduate students are in close contact with the cutting edge of applied scientific knowledge.

Find out more about our faculty

Student success

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Computer and Network Engineering - YouTube

Watch our video to find out more about studying Computer and Network Engineering courses with us.