Cyber Defence and Information Assurance MSc /PgDip / PgCert - CDIA

Technology School
4 to 5 years part time

About this course

This postgraduate course is delivered by Cranfield University on behalf of Technology School, Defence Academy.

This course has one intake per year: Mon 6 Sep 21.

The course will focus on responses to serious, present and emerging threats in the information domain and will enable you to gain an organisational view of cyber, the domain, the drivers and constraints.  

Whilst a technical understanding is of value, the course is designed to ensure that the bigger, contextual, aspects of cyber is understood thereby enabling decision making in relation to cyber to be undertaken within an organisation. The course will also evaluate the impact of cyber on control systems, leadership and decision making in the command and control environment.
This course is suitable if you work within a corporate and critical information function and are one or more of the following:
  • managers who need to understand information risk and respond to cyber threats
  • technicians who wish to understand the operational and business context
  • procurement staff commissioning critical or sensitive projects
  • policy and planning staff interested in computer network and security operations
  • personnel interested in social media and associated concepts such as cyber mobilization
  • those charged with accreditation and assessment of security measures

Keeping courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules currently offered in connection with this MSc reflect the needs of our business however they may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons, depending on the year of entry. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

What you will learn

  • critically assess an organisation’s information security and information assurance policy, strategy and plans, with a view to improvement
  • critically appraise approaches to measuring risk
  • evaluate the opportunities and limitations afforded by emergent security technologies
  • develop security requirements in the context of acquisition
  • determine effective approaches to managing and exploiting social media and pervasive technologies
  • appraise best practice in network defence and security operations management in the context of interdependence and critical infrastructure
  • evaluate the human dimension of security technologies, processes and behavioural change programmes and plan for improvement in an organisational context
  • critically evaluate a range of approaches to understanding complex and changing cyber environments
  • appraise the techniques that can be used to design investigation, problem formulation and structuring, and interpretation of data
  • analyse and scope a complex cyber problem space with a view to action and improvement
  • judge ethics and ethicality at each stage of planning and activity
  • develop problem definition, analysis and problem solving skills to address challenges faced in cyber issues
  • argue coherently and demonstrate knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses
  • assess business impact of proposed interventions
  • independently and confidently be able to apply appropriate theories, tools and/or techniques to a cyber related situation, or situations, as appropriate to the student’s named award
  • critically evaluate the published literature and synthesise the identified concepts
  • judge appropriate research approaches for conducting research and draw justifiable inferences from the data and analysis generated and present a self critical discussion of the results with conclusions
  • display practical ability in self directed research to produce a high quality thesis

How will this course help my career?

This qualification may help you to become one of the next generation of managers who can understand and effectively manage and exploit the threats and opportunities of cyberspace at the organisational level. 

Security and restrictions

You must be security cleared to secret.

Before you attend

You must have one of the following:
  • a first or second class honours degree
  • a third class degree with 3 years’ relevant experience 
  • pass degree with 5 years’ relevant experience 
  • higher national diploma/certificate with 7 years’ relevant experience 
On an exceptional basis, you may be accepted with 10 years’ relevant experience, where this experience is gained in information security, information operations, information risk or a related role. 

Can I attend this course?

This course is suitable for the following type(s) of applicant.
  • Industry
  • Internationals
  • Military
  • MOD Civil Servants
  • Partners Across Government (PAG)

How will I learn?

Blended Learning, Classroom, E-Learning

How will you be assessed?

There is a formative and summative assessment.  You will be assessed through coursework, group practicals, presentations and an individual dissertation.