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Foundation Degree in Cyber Security (Validated by The Open University) (HLA)

Level 5
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This course is designed around the requirements of Cyber Security in the Northern Ireland industry. Learners will gain the knowledge, understanding and skills to design and implement cyber security solutions. Additionally, 'soft' skills will be developed in teamwork, communications, professional practice and time management.

This course is offered through the Higher Level Apprenticeship pathway - Higher Level Apprenticeships

Please see link to OU Regulations for validated awards of the Open University here

Download the full programme specification here

Cyber Security focuses on Networking Skills\Techniques that are used by real world industry to ensure security of systems. Focus of learning will include, Incident management and risk, penetration testing, scripting, security etc.

You will have an opportunity to undertake professional qualifications in Cisco Cyber Security Essentials and Cyber Ops, Comptia A+, Network+ and Security+ which are highly sought after and recognised by industry.

Students are required to undertake a Work Based Learning module or Project Management module as part of their studies.

Mode of Study and Duration:

HLA: 2 Years - 3 Semesters per Year

Year One

  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Programming Essentials
  • Network Data Security
  • Cyber Security Fundamentals
  • Computing Mathematics
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Mobile Devices & Cloud Security
  • Responsive Incident Management
  • Server Management and Security
  • Cyber Security Implementation
  • Work-Based Learning or Project Management (requires learners to complete 400 hours)

Students will undertake Work Based Learning or Project Management.

All applications will be individually considered. Successful applicants must have normally studied at level 3 or above for a minimum of two years.

Applicants should possess a minimum of five GCSEs grades A, B, C that should include English and Maths or other equivalent qualifications in addition to one of the following:

  • successful completion of an advanced diploma;
  • successful completion of a BTEC Extended Diploma/Diploma/Sub Diploma/Certificate in a related subject;
  • successful completion of A-level study;
  • equivalent qualifications such as Scottish Certificate of Education or International Baccalaureate, a European Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate with grade C or above in four subjects at higher level;
  • qualifications deemed equivalent to the above;
  • UCAS tariff score of 48 or above is desired for entry to this programme or by the College's policy relating to APEL.
  • entry can also be made from national certificate/diploma, HE Access, NVQs or by the College’s policy relating to APEL

Students who do not hold any formal level 3/4 qualifications but hold significant and relevant Industrial experience may gain admission through experiential learning and should request for the College Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) procedure.

Where an applicant does not hold the formal academic requirements for entry to the programme but can demonstrate relevant experiential learning across a range of industries, they may apply for admission through the College Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) process. In such cases, contact the Course Director for the programme who will advise further.

In the event of over-subscription entry criteria may be enhanced. Refer to general entry requirements.

To be eligible to commence study on the HLA pathway, applicants must have secured full-time paid employment in a computing-related position.

Assessment is by the use of coursework assignments with some module examinations throughout the duration of the course.

The articulation route for successful graduates from the Foundation Degree in Cyber Security and Networking Infrastructure allows for progression onto university degree courses in computing related disciplines subject to individual course requirements including:

BSc (Hons) Computing Science (Top-Up) (Validated by The Open University)

Employment opportunities may also exist on successful completion.

Teaching Delivery Statement
The teaching and learning strategy within this programme will comprise of a range of delivery methods such as face to face, online and blended. All methods used have the full agreement of students, external examiners and awarding body partners.

Other Fees Associated with the Course

During your course you may be required to purchase course text books and incur additional costs for printing, photocopying and binding. The overall additional costs incurred to support your studies may be in the region of £250 per year.

1 Available Session

*The fees quoted are per annum and are payable for each year of the course’s duration.




Session Code

2 Year(s)


Higher Education

Mode of Study


Hours per Week


Number of Weeks

Interview Required


Academic Year


Start Date

Subject to Timetable



Total Annual Fee FREE

Total Concessionary Fee N/A

Full Fee Breakdown

**Concession Fee Breakdown

Fees Payable Each Year

**Am I eligible for concessionary fees?

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