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University Centre

Foundation Degree (FdSc) Digital Technology (Cybersecurity)

Subject Area
Digital Technologies
Start Date
September 2022
Study Mode
2 Years
Validating partner
The Open University

The foundation degree is an Institute of Technology programme, it will provide you with knowledge of computing and information security principles to support business needs using current, industry standard technologies and approaches, with a strong focus on problem solving and the application of digital technologies supported by the underpinning theory to address the needs of the business enterprise in the 21st century.  There is a big practical element to the course which makes use of a customer designed cybersecurity lab, created for York College University Centre by a consultant from boxxe.

Delivery is timetabled for two full days per week, so although it is a full-time degree, it has the flexibility of a part-time course.

The course has been designed to cover a very wide range of topics including information security standards, programming (C#, Java, PHP & SQL), secure database design, secure web design, secure network administration, human psychology and professional practice. The curriculum is based on the current cybersecurity body of knowledge (CyBoK v1.1) and has been designed in consultation with experts from the local cybersecurity community.

For those studying this course it will develop higher-level technical and analytical skills in the vocational area of digital technologies which can be applied to a wide range of career routes including: information security management, systems and network administration, database administration, web development and programming; Along with a range of transferable skills including: personal development, research methods and highly regarded ‘soft skills’ such as team working and interpersonal skills.

UCAS Code: D5T7

UCAS Institution Code: Y70

Level 4 Level 5
Introduction to Programming Information Security in Practice
Computer Hardware Fundamentals Individual Research Proposal
Information Security Concepts Building a Secure Database
Database Design Principles Website Security Technologies
Discrete Maths and Cryptography Secure Networking Practices
Professionalism in the Digital Sector The Psychology of Cybercrime (subject to validation)

Entry requirements

32 UCAS tariff points. Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject A Levels. Minimum grade 5 Maths.

How will I be assessed?

The course has been designed with an emphasis on an adult learning environment, enabling you to make the most of resources available and to take responsibility for your own learning. The inclusion of a professionalism module supports this approach and this emphasis on a more professionally focussed style of learning based on the Framework for Higher Education Quality benchmarks for Level 4 and Level 5. This approach is very much aimed at helping you to make informed decisions about how you learn best and to reflect on your own learning. Another aspect is to make learning active and participative, which is reflected in the highly practical nature of the module delivery and the high proportion of coursework.

You will demonstrate knowledge and understanding through a combination of coursework, practical activity and two formal examinations. A wide range of assessment styles are employed, such as: walkthroughs, practical work, portfolios of evidence, formal reports, seminars and presentations. The research project in year 2 brings together a full range of skills and knowledge.

There are a number of “written work” assessments which have been carefully designed to reflect real-world tasks. Most assignments will be based on a single, case study for which you will produce professionally styled reports, proposal documents, policy documents, technical briefs and specifications. As work-based learning is a key feature of vocational degrees the case study scenarios have been carefully developed in conjunction with professionals from the Cybersecurity industry. This will equip you with skills you will need both in higher levels of academia and in the workplace. Graded exercises, weekly tasks, problem solving activities, flipped classroom actives and on-line revision tests/quizzes will be used as formative assessment tools to monitor your learning.

Feedback on assessment will be given on a regular basis throughout the course and detailed summative feedback will be provided after each piece of coursework is marked. It will highlight the strengths so that you can develop these further as well as offering suggestions for improvement in future work. You will be expected to use feedback as part of your reflective practice to develop knowledge and skills. The use of regular progress checks with a Personal Tutor are important to ensure difficulties are identified early and that you stay on track to achieve your target grade.

Skills you will learn

Throughout the course students will develop skills in problem solving and computational thinking skills, database design and data analysis, programming and website development, application of information security principles, implementation of network security, self-management and self-reflection, communication skills and business acumen and academic writing and researching skills.

Method of delivery

Delivery will consist of face-to-face lectures, seminar, and practical workshops (labs) fully supported through the college’s “Blackboard” virtual learning environment.

Students will have access to standard software, including Microsoft Visual Studio, MySQL (XAMP), NetBeans, Microsoft Visio, Arduino IDE and Idle (Python) IDE.

All modules have embedded employability skills such as analytical thinking, problem solving, team working and interpersonal skills. The programme encourages lifelong learning by providing sufficient opportunity for self-directed learning and reflection, supported by the professionalism in the digital sector module.

You will also hear from industry experts and have the opportunity to get involved with the British Computer Society to develop your professional network.

Additional costs

No additional costs are expected to occur with this qualification.

Your next steps

Successful completion of the FD Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) will enable you to continue your development in employment or may enable you to progress onto a one-year BSc (Hons) top-up degree to convert your existing qualification into a full honours degree (providing relevant modules have been studied). 

 Alternatively, graduates who move directly into work could later progress onto professional qualification such as CompTIA Security+, BCS Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) or GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) certification.

You could gain employment in several roles including:

  • Technical Delivery Manager (cyber security) 
  • Cybersecurity Analyst 
  • Network Penetration Tester 
  • Cyber Security Manager 
  • IT Auditor (security) 
  • Cyber Security Consultant 
  • IT Project Manager 
  • Database Administrator 
  • Java / C# Developer 
  • Web Developer 
  • Cyber Security Architect
Oliver Cyber Security case study

"I chose this course as currently we live at a time where all devices are connected with each other to share information. Whenever that is to order a takeaway through a mobile app or to use your personal assistant to turn on the light bulb. For many of us technology became a huge part of our life, however, not all businesses in the past understood the importance of cybersecurity when producing such applications/devices. The importance of cybersecurity is on the rise, especially since the number of cyber-attacks have drastically increased since the first COVID-19 lockdown happened."

Course leaders and tutors:
Richard Hind, MSc (by research)

in Computer Science, MCSE (Windows 2000), PGCE in Post Compulsory Education, MTA (Security Fundamentals), PRINCE2:2009 (Foundation) and MBCS. He has been a tutor of digital technologies at York College since 2002 and prior to that had almost 10 years’ experience in the industry, including roles as Technical Director of PC Science Ltd and Technical Infrastructure Manager of Infobank Software Corporation. He now specialises in Information Security, Computer Architecture, Microcontroller Systems and Project Management, with articles published in the British Computer Society’s “IT Now” journal and “Cybertalk”, published by Software Box Ltd. He is also a “student” member of the Advanced Computer Architecture Group at the University of York. Richard will be leading on: Information Security Concepts, Discrete Maths and Cryptography and Information Security in Practice.

Val Roddis, Postgraduate Diploma in Information Systems Management

Leeds Met (2006), HNC in Computer Studies, Leeds Met (1997), PGCE, Leeds Uni (1999), BSc Hons English & Related Literature 2i University of York (1993). She has been a tutor of digital technologies at York College since 2001 including posts (now redundant) of Advanced Tutor and Senior tutor as leader in educational approaches and techniques. Prior to that had 3 years’ experience in the industry in the role of Computer Programmer with tasks including database programming, systems design, network maintenance and basic administration, user training, documentation and helpdesk support for a range of hardware and software products. She now specialises in Systems Analysis, Database modelling, professional awareness and coursework project development techniques supported by industry shadowing of Agile approaches at Anaplan. Val will be leading on: Database Design Principles, Professionalism in the Digital Sector and Building a Secure Database.

Andy Stanway, BSc Technology and Business (2:1)

PGCE Post Compulsory Education. He has been a tutor of digital technologies at York College since 2001 and prior to that had 3 years’ experience in the industry including Network Administrator at Sir Michael Hopkins Architects. He now specialises in Computer Science and Programming. In addition, he is a team leader with OCR for A-level Computer Science and an examiner for AS Computer Science. Andy will be leading on: Introduction to Programming and Computer Hardware Fundamentals.

Jack Kelly Cybersecurity

“Studying at York College University Centre is so convenient and I can choose to stay after lessons to study without worrying about getting home too late or worrying about travel.

My tutors have been great in terms of offering support and additional work and resources. I enjoy the course content and always feel like I have work to get on with."

Jack Kelly FD Cybersecurity
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