York College

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Information technology and telecommunications professionals n.e.c.

Up to £36,000

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Elementary security occupations n.e.c.

Up to £16,000

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Security guards and related occupations

Up to £17,000

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Cyber Security

Validated by York St. John University.

Programme Specification

Course Handbook

If you wish to study this course full-time you must apply through UCAS. UCAS Code: D5T7. Institution code Y70.

Click here to view York College’s agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and an explanation on how fee income will be used to support students.


The course will provide an overview 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.

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.

Cybersecurity, in a nutshell, encompasses the technologies, processes and controls designed to protect systems, networks and data from cyber-attacks and unauthorised exploitation. Good cybersecurity involves not only managing the technologies, but the people and the business processes involved with today’s increasingly on-line world of business and commerce.

Recent studies have found that almost two-thirds of businesses have a cybersecurity skills gap, while more than half feel they are at risk of attack because of this lack of skills.

Our Approach

Delivery will consist of 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 the 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.

Entry Requirements

32 UCAS tariff points.

Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject or A Levels. Applicants with significant relevant prior learning and experience may be considered.

Course Length 

The course will run for two years (full-time only) split into two semesters of 15 weeks per academic year. 

Dates and Times 

The course will run September 2021 and will typically be timetabled for two full days a week.

Course Modules

Year 1 (Level 4) 

  • Introduction to Programming 
  • Computer Hardware Fundamentals 
  • Information Security Concepts 
  • Database Design Principles 
  • Discrete Maths and Cryptography 
  • Professionalism in the Digital Sector 

Year 2 (Level 5) 

  • Information Security in Practice 
  • Individual Research Project 
  • Building a Secure Database 
  • Website Security Technologies 
  • Secure Networking Practices 
  • Developing Secure Applications 

The course will cover fundamentals of computer hardware, networking and software systems to the organisational and legal aspects of managing information security, with practical, hands-on experience via our custom designed Security Operations Centre (SOC).

Skills You Will Learn

  • 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
  • Academic writing and researching skills

Reasons to choose this course

This course aims to enable you to develop a successful career in digital technologies engaging professionally with common challenges such as the specification, design, deployment and management of complex IT systems with a focus on good security practice. 

It will provide you with the fundamental skills and knowledge in secure computing for a commercial environment. The focus on skills developed is based on discussion with local employers and security specialist to ensure that the course also meets the needs of the wider business community. With professional development and research project modules in the course you will develop the skills that employers’ value so highly. 

You will be enrolled as a full-time student at York College which has recently been awarded Institute of Technology status. This has enabled the college to develop a custom cybersecurity lab (part of development of new facilities for the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology) and a University Centre with exclusive access for higher education students. 

The learning material draws upon a range of curricula from industry qualifications, providing a good opportunity for students to progress into routes such as CompTIA Security+, BCS Certificate in Information Security Management Principles (CISMP) or GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) certification. 

You will have the opportunity to learn about the industry from course Tutors who all have extensive industry experience and qualifications in addition to their academic qualifications; and guest speakers who currently work in the computing and cybersecurity sectors. You will also have the opportunity to attend the Cybersecurity Professionals conference in York. 

On completion of the Foundation Degree you will have the opportunity to progress to study BSc Computer Science at York St John University and similar top-up courses elsewhere. 

Career Progression

Successful completion of the FD Digital Technologies with 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 (cybersecurity)
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Network penetration tester
  • Cybersecurity manager
  • IT auditor (security)
  • Cybersecurity consultant
  • IT project manager
  • Database administrator
  • Java / C# developer
  • Web developer
  • Cybersecurity architect


£7200 per year. Student Finance England funding is available via the direct.gov website. 

Additional Costs

No additional costs are expected to occur with this qualification.


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.

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