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Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS)

Director: Dr Virginia Franqueira

iCSS coordinates educational activities related to cyber security, not only at the level of the School of Computing, but across the University of Kent as a whole. Those activities include (but are not limited to) outreach, internal engagement with students on cyber-related topics, external engagement, and cyber-related training and awareness campaigns for students and staff.

Courses in cyber security

iCSS is recognised by the British Government as being an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, and conducts broad and active research in many areas of cyber security, including socio-technical aspects. The institute’s members bring this knowledge and expertise to our students to equip them with the theoretical and practical skills they need to move on to fulfilling careers. Whether in industry or in academia, we want to enable our graduates to bring about positive change in the world.

The University offers three degree options in the field of Cyber Security.

This programme focuses on the technical aspects of computer science. You learn to code in several languages, starting with the Java programming language, which is widely used in industry across a range of applications including mobile devices.

Building on these programming skills, you learn the principles and techniques that underpin the algorithms and systems shaping our world today. These include artificial intelligence, computer security, network technology, software engineering, and human-computer interaction.

Click here to find out more.

On this UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) fully certified programme, you learn the essential skills to support cyber security within commercial and government organisations.

This MSc is aimed at computing graduates with strong programming skills seeking careers as cyber security professionals or careers that need a systematic and deep understanding of the subject. It would also be an excellent starting point for those wishing to carry out further research in cyber security.

Click here to find out more.

The Computer Science (Cyber Security) conversion course will give you the opportunity to establish a foundation in cyber security from technical and multidisciplinary perspectives.

This is a conversion course intended for graduates with little or no prior knowledge of computer science. For those with prior knowledge of computer science, see our specialist MSc Cyber Security course.

Click here to find out more.

Cyber security-related modules

The University of Kent also offers individual modules related to cyber security within non-computing divisions.

LAWS6410: Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law

This module will focus on the way in which the law defines and constructs privacy, breach of confidence, cybersecurity threats, and e-surveillance in the UK, EU and elsewhere as appropriate (e.g. North America, Australia) and how the law regulates data protection, freedom of information, consent for digital and personal information collection, use and sharing, and e-surveillance.

LAWS6610: Advances Topics in Data Protection and Cyber Law

This module builds on the understanding developed in ‘LW641Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law’, which introduces students to the key concepts and issues in the regulatory framework governing including privacy, data protection, and developments in cyber-crime and cyber security.

POLI8114: Governance and War in Cyberspace

This module provides an overview of the degree to which cyberspace continues to revolutionise the operations of both state and non-state actors, and the challenges of governing this ‘fifth sphere’ of power projection.

SOCI7600: Technology, Control and Cyber Crime
This module provides students with an understanding of contemporary cybercrime, its implications and its sociological meanings. It examines how cybercrime functions, how it relates to wider criminological debates and theories, and how it raises challenges in our understanding of the nature of crime, criminality, crime control and policing.

POLI9160: Security in a Changing World
This module focuses on the evolution of security studies as a discipline and its implications for practice. We examine a variety of theoretical and empirical materials that provide students with the basis for analysing pressing questions related to issues of war, security and peace in the world today.

LAWS9210: Privacy and Data Protection Law

The module will explore emerging privacy and data protection issues. Students will be challenged to critically examine how e.g. personal, financial, health and transactional data are managed and who has access to this information. It will require students to assess emerging legal, regulatory, data protection and personal privacy issues raised by widespread access to personal information, including genetic data.

LAWS6600: The Regulation of Surveillance/Platform Capitalism

Surveillance Platform Capitalism (SPC) is the use of highly sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence to “mine” or extract commercial value from personal data and information about the behaviour of consumers online. The aim of the module is to examine SPC through a socio-legal lens and to provide students with key concepts and interdisciplinary insights to understand and reflect critically on the on the nature and effects of SPC on individuals and society.

Educational activities

iCSS also takes part in research and activities to promote cyber security-related awareness in pre-University education. Read about some of our activities below or contact us to get involved.


Photo of Virginia Franqueira

iCSS aims to raise awareness and promote interdisciplinary dialogue about the numerous facets of cyber security, therefore, enriching students' experience. I am thrilled to be leading the institute's educational activities, supported by my colleagues, and endorsed by the University's senior management team.

Dr Virginia Franqueira
Director of Education at iCSS Read Profile