Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Cyber Security

  • NFQ Level 7
  • Points Required 324*
  • Course Code SG137
  • Award Ordinary Bachelor Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 3

Course Summary


This course focuses on the infrastructure that powers the movement of data about the Internet. Students get an in-depth understanding of computer network design, implementation and optimisation through a suite of modules that focus on cutting edge technologies. This includes Software Defined Networks, Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Technologies and Ethical Hacking. The Cyber Security eco-system has evolved and grown at an exponential rate over the  ast number of years and is a critical aspect for all sectors of our economy.

CYBER SECURITY AND IT SLIGO

Cyber Security doesn’t just affect ‘technology’ companies. All companies now need to be in compliance with a range of security legal aspects as well as every sector now facing the risk of a cyber security breach – from healthcare, power grids and telecoms to retail. 

This has been further enhanced due to the increasingly dependency of digital technology during a health pandemic.

The cost of a data breach can end up being enormous, with both direct expenses and indirect expenses. IBM have stated that the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million,  IBM Data Breach. The largest data breach to-date had 3 billion account records compromised and in the hands of the attacker.  These records contained sensitive data about individuals. More recently and closer to home in May 2021, the HSE has come under attack from Ransomware HSE Cyber Attack

The Cyber Ireland North-West Chapter has been established to bring together industry professionals, academics and local government representatives in order to represent the needs of the cyber security sector in the North West of Ireland. The aim is to enhance the innovation, growth and competitiveness of all companies and organisations working in Cyber Security in the North West Region of Ireland.

IT Sligo are committed to bridging this skills gap by building security into their modules from the ground up. The computing courses all have security elements to the modules, to ensure graduates have an understanding of Cyber Security. 

Internationally there is a severe shortage of Cyber Security Professionals and Cyber Ireland estimate a global shortfall of between 1.8 and 3.5 million security professionals within five years. This skills shortage is impacting organisations of all sizes across a wide range of sectors.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The programme covers skills in the design, configuration and deployment of networking infrastructures. As well as skills in software configuration of networking devices and deploying such devices to the cloud.

This is an extremely hands on degree with lots of time spent in computer labs.The aim is to teach students how to use industry standard tools and techniques and then explain the concepts behind them. Creativity, problem solving, persistence and critical thinking are key skills which are developed during the course.

Based on discussions with industry experts we have embedded a series of key skills in this programme. These include the ability to test and evaluate hardware or software and solve problems with technology, design enterprise networks, secure computer resources, manage digital assets, server management, voice over IP, database management and development, and computer forensics.

Our team of lecturers have students as their number one priority. Small class sizes and a hands-on approach means that help and guidance is available when needed. We also focus on developing students’ soft skills including teamwork, communication and creativity which are increasingly important to employers.

YEAR ONE

Students study a common first year across all computing courses, allowing them to establish where their strengths lie. 

YEAR TWO

Students are introduced to Networks and Database Technology and Management. Modules include Linux, Signals and Systems and Cloud Computing.

YEAR THREE

Students complete a minimum 12-week work placement in an IT industry. This placement, coupled with a full year group project gives the students valuable practical experience. In the project the students work in teams to build a real-world IT infrastructure consisting of existing and emerging technologies.

This programme is fundamentally a computing programme but one with a clear focus on the infrastructure that powers the movement of data about the Internet. There are a number of distinct features:

Common First Year - Many are unsure of computing. While we have an array of programmes, we recognise that you may wish to ‘sample and see’ so we encourage students to look their choice afresh at end of Year One.

Equipment - Access to real-world equipment is a must to ensure you have immediate traction when you start work. We have two dedicated labs with networking equipment to let you build a model infrastructure solution to support high-speed communication.

Project - Substantial projects enable you to really grapple with a problem and create a killer solution. In year three you’ll have the space and support to work in a team year-long towards a solution that will wow employers.

Work Placement - IT Sligo have been doing placement longer than most and we’re good at it. Our network of employers welcome this programme and a successful work placement is often the door to a full-time job.

Accreditation - This programme is mapped onto professional industry qualifications in the areas of CompTIA A+, CCNA, CCNA Security, CCNP Routing and Switching.  This helps to prepare graduates for immediate employment both locally, nationally and internationally using skills gained in the required areas.

So, choose this programme if:

  • you prefer working hands-on with the ‘plumbing’ of the Internet - the equipment that powers data around the globe

  • you prefer the tangible connectivity challenges above the more abstract programming tasks

  • you want to work with the likes of Cisco, Dell EMC and Vodafone to build capacity in the global data networks.

MORE THAN A DEGREE

As well as in-depth knowledge and practical experience of computer communications and networking, our course will provide you with many transferable skills including problem-solving, research and presentation skills. This programme is mapped onto professional industry qualifications, including CISCO CCNA, AWS Cloud Architecting and Microsoft Server certifications. This ensures students are industry ready and in high demand.

Practically every business relies on its ICT network – maintaining systems and launching new ones are critical. This role is the responsibility of the network systems administrator. This could be the perfect course for you if you see yourself in a professional position that requires great attention to detail, a high level of technical capability and the capacity to solve problems and think on your feet.

As network systems administrator, your responsibilities include everything from activating accounts and security controls to installing and configuring routers, servers and switchers. You will also monitor network performance and troubleshoot problems. Our aim is to train systems and network experts who can work in virtually any industry that relies on these key business systems.

IRELAND AND ICT

Ireland’s success story in the ICT sector is impressive. Ireland hosts much of the world-leading network, telecoms, cloud and data centre companies as well as the emerging Internet of Things space - these together represent the backbone infrastructure upon which networking services are deployed and maintained.

The growth in the network infrastructure is symbiotic with developments in virtualisation and cloud computing. This supports those companies who base their services upon this infrastructure.

  • Over 105,000 people are employed in the technology sector in Ireland, with approximately 70% of those employed by FDI companies.

  • ICT Exports are worth €72 billion per annum (40% of total national exports).

  • 4 of the top 5 exporters in Ireland are technology companies

  • Nine of the world’s top 10 ICT companies are located in Ireland and the IDA supports over 200 FDI firms in this sector.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at IT Sligo are available for download below:

Career Opportunities

Internationally there is a severe shortage of Cyber Security Professionals and Cyber Ireland estimate a global shortfall of between 1.8 and 3.5 million security professionals within five years. This skills shortage is impacting organisations of all sizes across a wide range of sectors.

The core skills in computer systems, networking, cloud and computer security allow students to take up the many available employment opportunities both locally, nationally and internationally. Students that graduate with a BSc in Computer Networks and Cyber Security will have the necessary skills to work as a Network Systems Administrator, Computer Network Defence Administrator, Wireless Network Engineer, Computer Systems Administrator, Cloud Solutions Architect, Cybersecurity Engineer, Network and Cyber Security Specialist, Wireless and Voice Specialist, Systems Design Engineer and lots more.

"Graduate salaries within cyber security fall into two main salary ranges: 31% of respondents hire graduates for cyber security roles between €25k - €35k, while a further 31% pay salaries between €35k- €45k. 15% of organisations pay graduate salaries over €45k. These attractive salaries should attract top students into the cyber security field".

Eoin Byrne, Cyber Ireland

"I met with Amazon at the IT Sligo Careers Fair. Shortly after this, I completed my application and received a job offer as a Graduate Cloud Support Associate before I had finished my studies. My starting salary was €44,600."

Matthew McMeekin BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security graduate

Further Study

Students from our Level 7 BSc in Computer Networks and Cyber Security may progress to the final year of our BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security.

BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security

Following the BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security, graduates can progress onto a range of Level 9 and Level 10 postgraduate studies such as the MSc in Computing (Data Science) here at IT Sligo.

MSc in Computing (Data Science)

Testimonials

“As society becomes more dependent on technology, the impact of a cyber-attack will be much greater than just financial or, reputational. There is a global shortage of qualified Cyber Security professionals and we need people who have a passion for technology and lifelong learning to help deliver cyber security solutions. Cyber security is a diverse and growing industry which offers great opportunities and a huge variety of careers.”

Paul Brady, Director of Enterprise Information Security, Optum Ireland

 “Ireland’s cyber security sector has seen the expansion of MNCs with cyber security operations as well as new FDI. Over 60% of our members plan to hire for cyber security roles in 2021, of which 50% will hire new graduates. However, Cyber Ireland’s Skills Report 2021 found a severe shortage in cyber security professionals and skills gaps, which are impacting companies of all sizes across diverse sectors.  There is a need for a collaborative approach at the national level to ensure we are developing home grown cyber security talent. There is a need to increase the number of course places available in skill shortage areas with the most in-demand training for cloud-enabled security, incident response and regulatory compliance.”

Eoin Byrne, Cluster Manager for Cyber Ireland

Did you know?

This course is mapped onto professional industry qualifications in the areas of CompTia A+, Cisco CCNA, Microsoft Server and AWS certifications. 

Students will undertake a work placement in third year. This provides an introduction to the workplace and students then return to fourth year where they consolidate their newly developed skills. In fact, over 70% of our students gain employment directly from their work placement!

Access to real-world equipment is a must to ensure you have the skills employers want. We have two dedicated labs with networking equipment to let you build a model infrastructure solution to support high-speed communication.

Substantial projects enable you to really grapple with a problem and create a killer solution. In year three you’ll have the space and support to work in a team towards a solution that will wow employers.

Student projects are presented at The Sligo Engineering & Technology Expo. The Expo is attended by a range of companies including Fortune 500 industry leaders. This allows students to network with potential employers. View the 2021 Expo Catalogue

Every sector now faces the risk of a cyber security breach – from healthcare and telecoms to retail. Internationally there is a severe shortage of Cyber Security Professionals and Cyber Ireland estimate a global shortfall of between 1.8 and 3.5 million security professionals within five years. This has resulted in huge job opportunities and excellent graduate salaries.

All our Computing degrees have a common first year. Students study a wide range of computing modules to give them an understanding of all aspects of computing and the flexibility to change direction in year two if desired. Students can choose from ComputingNetworks and Cyber SecuritySoftware Development or Games Development

Alumni

"I met with Amazon at the IT Sligo Careers Fair. Shortly after this, I completed my application and received a job offer as a Graduate Cloud Support Associate before I had finished my studies. My starting salary was €44,600."

Matthew Mc Meekin, BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security graduate and Amazon Cloud Support Associate

“I enjoy the practical element of the course most of all, as it gives you an opportunity to get some hands on experience with real-life equipment.You learn so much interesting and relevant knowledge every day." 

Orla Devaney, BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security

"IT Sligo offers degrees that provided the widest range of modules to learn from. I enjoy the projects which offer a lot of freedom to showcase the skills I have gained."

Cathal Mc Bride, BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security

Hear what graduates and employers have to say about Computing at IT Sligo.