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 cyber security domain.
This course is ideal for ICT professionals or graduates with a level 8 degree on 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 to:
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 in this field are located in Ireland.
Considering the high demand of various type 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.
According to a recent Higher Education Outcomes Report released by the CSO, ICT graduates receive the highest weekly earnings five years after graduating compared to other sectors based on the analysis of the destinations of students who graduated between 2010 and 2016.
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.
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 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.
This programme has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. Specifically, students are expected to successfully participate in lectures, laboratories and projects using a portable computer (laptop/notebook) with a substantial hardware configuration. The minimal suitable configuration is 8GB of RAM (16GB are recommended); a modern 64-bit x86 multi-core processor (Intel i5 or superior); 250+ GB of available space in hard disk; WiFi card; and a recent version of Ubuntu, macOS, or Windows.
It is the responsibility of each student to ensure their computer is functioning correctly and that they have full administrator rights. NCI IT cannot provide support for these personal devices.
The course offers two specialisations: Forensics and Cloud Security. Learners must select one specialisation.
Cloud Security Specialisation:
All modules count towards the final award classification.
For more information on the modules taught on this course view our module descriptors.
Students need to be available 09.00-18.00 Mon – Fri (class days and times vary).
Please note that exams can be scheduled during the morning, afternoon or evening Monday to Saturday.
This course runs over 1 academic year; 2 semesters with a final internship.
The cost of this course is €6,500.
(Fees revised annually)
You can spread the cost of this course with a direct debit plan.
The fee for this course for international students is €14,500.
Find out more about studying here as an international student.