Module details for Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat


The module will introduce cybersecurity and concepts of information security and their role in a digital world.


The aim of this module is to help students examine the cyber threat landscape and how organisations can maintain an appropriate level of cybersecurity.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Identify and assess cybersecurity threats within an organisational context and apply a risk-based approach to select appropriate methods of securing systems and data.

Indicative Content

1 Cybersecurity in a Digital World

• Introduction to the cybersecurity discipline (definitions and foundational concepts). • Principles of information security management (formal, informal, and technical aspects). • Information security concepts (confidentiality, integrity, availability, and applicable models).

2 The Cyber Threat Landscape

• The cyber threat landscape (vulnerabilities, impact, threat definition) • Analysing cyberattacks (the cyber kill chain)

3 Managing Cybersecurity

• Corporate governance and the regulatory environment (classes of decisions, legislation) • Formal security dimensions (responsibility levels, organisational buy-in, policies) • Risk-based approaches (risk assessment, mitigation, standards and guidelines)

4 Sociotechnical Approaches to Cybersecurity

• Technical measures (Cyber Essentials) • Behavioural aspects of security (individual motivation) • Cybersecurity culture (definitions, principles, training and awareness)

5 Data Protection

• Personal data (definition, processing, individual rights) • Compliance with GDPR (scenario-based)

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 2
Tutorial/Seminar 4
Practical Activity 3
Assessment 12
Independent 29
Total 50

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.