University of Derby MSc - Cybersecurity

srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
edited November 2019 in Colleges & Schools
Good day members,

Has anyone enrolled with the University of Derby online programs towards the MSc in Cybersecurity? (I'd post a link if I could)

The three different exit paths appeal to me (PG Certificate/Diploma/Masters), and the costs seem very reasonable compared to some of the other programs I've seen.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • chickenlicken09chickenlicken09 Senior Member Member Posts: 534 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sorry I have not but looks interesting. Are you going to enroll?
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm keen. The tuition fees are very good, and the program itself seems to be comparable to others in the same league.
  • chickenlicken09chickenlicken09 Senior Member Member Posts: 534 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Would you be doing it online from the US or already in the UK ? 
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'll be accessing it out of South Africa, actually, so much of a muchness, especially when converting to my local currency. Local universities here don't really compare all that well, especially in the field of graduate Cybersecurity education.
  • chickenlicken09chickenlicken09 Senior Member Member Posts: 534 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Let me know if you enroll, would be interested to chat more.
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Quick update for those interested, I received my invitation to apply for studies in this qualification from next year, so looks like I'll be going back to school (albeit part time all online) :)

    The application to apply was really quick, with everything happening online and sorted out within a week.

    The communication (at least up to now) from the university has been amazing, and if this is anything to go by, I'm looking forward to the future engagements with them.

    In any case, I'll update as my application and studies progress.


    Cheers
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So my studies officially kicked off on Monday (27 Jan 2020), and over the course of the last few days there has been a heck of a lot of communication from the school, as well as some introductory activities to get to know some of the other students. It's quite interesting that most of the other students are also more mature (age wise), which makes it quite relatable. I think I'm the only one there who've changed lanes from a business/IT background to cyber security, and I think I'll be learning a lot from the others over the coming weeks.

    The first module we're covering this trimester is a general Master's module on research methodologies and general guidelines of studying at Master's level. The conclusion of this being a research proposal that I'll be covering in the final year in the form of a research project or dissertation.

    The second module I'll be kicking off later this year is more relatable to Information Security and covers Advanced Security Protocols. I've started going through the reading lists and collecting the reading material to get a head start. These are the only two modules I have for the rest of this academic year, with the new one kicking off in September(ish).

    Having done a fair amount of research before, I consider this trimester to a very soft landing back into academic studies after 10 year hiatus from formal studies.
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Quick update as I head into the new term, having (miraculously) passed my first term back "at school".

    I thought I would have had a harder time fitting it in between work and family, but the course work and assignments are quite flexible, an you have your schedules and deadlines well in advance to get the planning done. The module itself was a run-of-the-mill "Studying at Master Level", consisting of some short assignments based on the text books and then a formal research proposal and application for ethical approval form. I would say I spent between 25-30 hours per week, with most of the time being chewed up by the writing and re-writing of the research proposal based on feedback from the tutors.

    On the one hand I feel I probably underestimated the amount of effort involved, but on the other hand I think having some years experience before attempting my MSc helps a LOT. Things click, and I find it easier to identify the relevance, drawing from experience and real-world scenarios I've been involved with.

    I would have initially started the module on encryption and advanced security protocols, but ended up with the module on "The Human and Legal Aspects of Cybersecurity". there weren't enough students enrolled in the initial module, and it stands over to a next term. Not a big deal, as everything needs to be done in any case, and might as well get the non-technical material out of the way.

    I haven't had any issues with the university itself. The communication from them is regular but not bothering at all, and the one or two queries I had was addressed and resolved in a few days each. The tutor and student advisors are friendly and knowledgeable and wasn't "passed on" to someone else once. My issue was resolved by the person who got it, and I had a single point of contact throughout.

    On to the next one :)
     
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Year 1 Trimester 3 Update;

    For those who've been following, a quick update on the studies with Derby,

    So far, so good. I've received my grade for the last trimester and passed the module. As mentioned, this was related to the "Human and Legal Aspects of Cyber Security". It was fine, and for the most part a valuable module. Again, not as technical as I would have liked, but that's the nature of this level of study after all. I did find some of the references challenging, and one thing I would caution about studying with an overseas/non-local university. Many of the UK legislation and regulation discussed has no bearing on me as a South African, and as such I had to do an extra bit to familiarize myself with these as well while working through the course work and putting my reports together. This being said, it was a valuable module, and one that prompted thought on how we do things locally as well.

    Next module up and one I'm particularly looking for ward to is "Attacks and Countermeasures". It seems to be a lot more topical than the other two, and having skimmed the course work and reading material, one I think I will enjoy, given the particular interest in this.

    As for the Uni itself, so far I can't complain. the service has again been great, and the registration process for the new module was very fluid. At the end of this module, and provided I pass, I would have reached the first milestone and exit path, awarding me a PG Certificate in Cyber Security. I will (likely) continue though. I've (after 8 months) finally hit my stride with having to balance work, home, private, and study commitments, so no point in stopping now, right?  :)

    Until next time
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,232 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Ahh so it's a research degree. I've found the classes taken to obtain those kinds of degrees aren't well optimized to learn technical things, which is basically most of IT and cybersecurity. The worst are online group projects . . . to produce a research paper -- ugh!

    Not sure about the job market in SA, but a university certification in the US isn't all that useful as it's barely better than nothing in getting by human resource screening. If I were you I'd keep at it to get the bachelor's at least, but I wouldn't do any extra courses as you'll only become an expert in writing research papers. I can remember in the last 2 or 3 courses of my degree, writing a 25 paper research paper on something to do with cryptocurrency. I got a perfect score on the paper, and 2 days later couldn't even remember what I wrote, let alone be able to explain how blockchain works. The nature of the beast I suppose.

    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    100% spot on. As with most certifications, accreditations, or degrees, unless coupled with experience and technical certifications, it doesn't count for too much. Having completed my degrees in business and commerce, with a string of certifications and years of experience, I'm looking at this as more of a personal goal than any sort of career advancement.
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Quick update,

    After having passed my last module, I'm now officially starting my second year with the University of Derby.

    All in all, I've been very happy with the service I received from the school. Queries are handled timeously, and I've managed to get a sufficient answer to any of the questions I've had.
    The end of the first year awards me the interim qualification of PG Certificate in Cyber Security, which is a nice little pitstop.

    To recap, the modules I've completed up to now have been:
    - Studying at Masters Level
    - The Human Element of Cyber Security
    - Cyber Security: attacks and countermeasures

    Next up is enterprise Security Management, which is heavily focus on the role of CISO, the strategy around Cyber Security and Assurance, and the typical "business meets technology" themes.

    I've also submitted applications for recognition of prior learning for two of the upcoming modules, Advanced Security Protocols, and Network Security. If these are approved I'll be moving to the 1-year research project, the final module.

    In any event, back to the books!

    Cheers!
  • justaquestionjustaquestion Member Posts: 9 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Out of curiosity do you have cissp or cism ?
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    No. Sadly. This would have given me a huge advantage specifically towards RPL for the Enterprise Security Management module I'm about to kick off. I know of at least 3 students who were given credit for it because they hold the CISSP.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,690 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited January 26
    yoba222 said:
    Ahh so it's a research degree. I've found the classes taken to obtain those kinds of degrees aren't well optimized to learn technical things, which is basically most of IT and cybersecurity. The worst are online group projects . . . to produce a research paper -- ugh!

    Not sure about the job market in SA, but a university certification in the US isn't all that useful as it's barely better than nothing in getting by human resource screening. If I were you I'd keep at it to get the bachelor's at least, but I wouldn't do any extra courses as you'll only become an expert in writing research papers. I can remember in the last 2 or 3 courses of my degree, writing a 25 paper research paper on something to do with cryptocurrency. I got a perfect score on the paper, and 2 days later couldn't even remember what I wrote, let alone be able to explain how blockchain works. The nature of the beast I suppose.

    Those are sobering words.  I did my MBA at WGU and had a few online group research papers.  At times it was nothing short of a nightmare.  

    I also agree with your statement about University Certifications.  Nothing worth it from my perspective.  I ALMOST pulled the trigger on one from Cornell even had the discount and then had an AWAKENING.  
  • srothmansrothman Member Posts: 57 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Late to the party this trimester, but finally started my new module, Advanced Security Protocols. This is my second to last module before the research project, leaving me with just the Securing Networks module after this. This module is very geared towards authentication, encryption, and all-round secure communications, and although the actual coursework is extremely superficial, the assignments and required feedback is considerably more in-depth.

    One thing I have to say, and this after the last module, is that I'm not sure how exactly they grade, and if they actually validated the grades after the last module. the Enterprise Security Management module was hands-down my most comfortable on in terms of both understanding and having provided an (I believe) exceptional assignment afterwards, yet, for some reason my grade didn't reflect this at all. More so, I have a few of my fellow students who expressed the same observation. Ultimately, we all passed, but still, it was amusing that we all felt like this after the module.

    In any event, onward and upward, hoping to knock this one out early in the term so I can get back to work work.

    Take care
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