BEng (Hons) Cybersecurity (Graduate Apprenticeship) BEng (Hons)

Gain an enhanced knowledge of cybersecurity and gain the practical skills to protect your employer from evolving threats and attacks


This Graduate Apprenticeship allows you to enhance your skills and improve your career prospects in the field of Cybersecurity by studying for a fully-funded university degree while in a paid, relevant job role. You will be equipped with the academic skills, industry accreditation and work experience that will give you a competitive advantage in a demanding marketplace.

Combining three of the most sought-after streams of computing, this course capitalises on the rising awareness of the importance of network security and is a valuable foundation to a successful and well-paid career. You will gain an enhanced knowledge of cybersecurity and develop the skills to adapt to challenging situations across a global computing infrastructure. This Graduate Apprenticeship provides relevant fundamental knowledge related to cybersecurity such as encryption and authentication, and also provides relevant practical examples through lab-based practice,  while emphasising engineering practice.

Our Graduate Apprentices will typically initially work in job roles such as IT Support, Helpdesk, Technician, Analyst and Junior Engineer. They may also be in more senior level roles within IT more broadly, but looking to enhance their Cybersecurity skills. You will not be expected to undertake a cyber related role right away, but should aim towards working in this area as you progress into the latter stages of the course. This should be supported by your employing organisation.

Successful graduates go onto enhance their careers in roles relating to Cybersecurity including Consultant, Engineer, Architect, Ethical Hacking, Forensics and Penetration Testing.

Two female students working in the SOC Lab

Mode of Study:

Day Release, Full-time


4 years

Course details

As a Graduate Apprentice you will study for your degree alongside your job, spending approximately 80% of your time in work and 20% in university. This unique combination offers an integrated experience, where practical skills and knowledge gained during the university days can be embedded in your working practices. Skills learned directly in the workplace are aligned with and can be applied to coursework and assessment. This allows you to attain an honours degree in 4 years, the same time as traditional full-time students.

You will initially gain a broad knowledge and the related skills required to understand the basic concepts needed for a career in a computing-related field. In year 2 you will be taught specific concepts to allow you to apply to apply elements of security and digital forensics expertise.

In years 3-4 you will undertake significant work-based learning and gain the ability to apply professional standards to the analysis, design, testing, evaluation and modification of reliable and maintainable software. In addition, you will be able to develop critical, analytical and problem-solving skills in relation to computing issues.

As you progress through the course, more of your job role will be used to gain credit towards your final award. This is captured in the Professional Practice modules which allow us to personalise your learning to ensure it meets your needs, those of your employing organisation and the university.

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    How you’ll be taught

    This Graduate Apprenticeship is taught over 4 years at our School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, based in our Merchiston Campus in Central Edinburgh. It is delivered across three trimesters over a full calendar year on a day release basis. You attend classes one day per week, in years 1 and 2, studying 2 modules per day. Professional Practice modules are work based and timetabled in the summer trimester, for which there is no on-campus requirement, offering greater flexibility. In years 3 and 4 the emphasis on work-based learning increases and on-campus teaching is significantly reduced.

    Your work-based learning will be overseen by a workplace mentor and university coach. You will be offered tripartite progress review meetings each trimester to support you in your work and studies.

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    A mixture of practical assessments, reports, academic essays and exams. You are also
    assessed on your learning in the workplace, primarily in the summer trimesters. As you progress through the course, more of your job role is used to gain credit towards their final award through Professional Practice and your final-year dissertation.

    The assessments will allow you to demonstrate your application of the knowledge and skills you are gaining both though your studies and through your work experience.

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    Work placement

    You will be a full-time employee for the duration of the programme.

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    Graduate apprentices can enjoy the same full access to our campus facilities as a full-time student. All learning takes place at our Merchiston campus, which is centrally located in the heart of Edinburgh. Merchiston campus is home to our creative, computing and engineering students.

    Facilities include modern classrooms and cutting-edge labs. Our Merchiston Library is a bright attractive environment providing both silent and collaborative study spaces designed to suit a variety of learning styles. In addition, Merchiston boasts a business incubator, two cafes and a 500-seat computing centre, with both Mac and PC hardware, that is open 24hrs a day in Trimesters 1 and 2.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Information Systems in Organisations
  • Software Development 1
  • Practical Networks
  • Introduction to Human Computer Interaction
  • Computer Systems
  • Professional Practice 1: Work-Based Project

Year 2

  • Database Systems
  • Scripting for Cybersecurity and Networks
  • Digital Forensics
  • Web Technologies
  • Professional Practice 2: Work –Based Project

Year 3

  • Networked Systems
  • Network Security and Cryptography
  • Embedded Systems
  • Professional Practice 3: Work-Based Project

Year 4

  • Incident Response and Network Forensics
  • Network Penetration Testing
  • Information Security and Society
  • Honours Project: Work-Based Project


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

This programme is available to new and existing employees who work and reside in Scotland. Entry requirements cater to professionals and can account for both academic and work-based experience. You need to be employed with a supporting organisation to be eligible, and must have a job within the same field as your chosen subject area.

All applicants must:

  • Be 16 or older (some employers may require 18+)
  • Have the right to live and work permanently in the UK
  • Have ordinary residence in Scotland
  • Meet programme entry requirements

Advanced Entry

Advanced entry into Year 2 or 3 is possible for students with suitable qualifications. If applying for advanced entry, you will need to provide sufficient evidence of qualifications and experience through our process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Applications are considered on an individual basis.

Work Experience and Professional Qualifications

We encourage applications from individuals whose work experience or professional qualifications provide them with a comparable foundation for starting the course. You will be considered through our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process and asked to provide evidence of relevant work experience through a detailed CV or application form, including an employer reference. Advanced entry may also be granted if you have sufficient industry-related experience and qualifications.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements.

Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships

We offer enhanced recognition for Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships if you are applying to a Graduate Apprenticeship in a similar subject area. Please refer to our typical entry requirements for more information on each course.

Already have a degree or similar qualification?

You could apply for funding for a Graduate Apprenticeship in a similar subject area if your existing qualification is at a lower level. You may also be eligible for funding if you have completed a degree in a different subject area. For example, if you recently completed a Biology Honours degree, you can still apply for a Civil Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship.

You are not eligible to apply for a Graduate Apprenticeship if you have completed a similar degree within the past 5 years.

To meet our Standard Entry Requirements you must have EITHER:

  • Four SQA Highers at Grade BBBB (or equivalent) including Computing or Maths. National 5 grade C in Maths/Lifeskills Maths/Applications of Maths and English are required if not taken at Higher
  • A Foundation Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development at SCQF Level 6 plus two SQA Highers at Grade BB
  • A Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 6-7 in an ICT/Digital related discipline
  • HNC with C in the graded unit in one of the following: Computing, Computer Networking, Computer Networking and Internet Technology, Cyber Security.
  • Sufficient recognition of prior learning (RPL) through industry-related experience, qualifications, and informal learning. RPL applications are considered on an individual basis

Our Minimum Offer Entry Requirement: BBCC. National 5 grade C in Maths/Lifeskills Maths/Applications of Maths and English.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies.

To meet our year 2 entry requirements you must have EITHER:

  • A Modern Apprenticeship in a related discipline at SCQF Level 8
  • An HNC at Grade A in a related discipline
  • An HND at Grade B in a related discipline
  • A minimum of two SQA Advanced Highers at Grade BB (or equivalent) including Computing
  • Sufficient recognition of prior learning (RPL) through industry-related experience, qualifications, and informal learning

To enter this programme at the start of Year 3 you must have 240 SCQF credits (or equivalent) of which a minimum of 120 credits are at SCQF 8 (or equivalent) and/or significant recognition of prior learning (RPL) through industry-related experience, qualifications, and informal learning.

SCQF Level 8 qualifications can include:

  • HND at minimum Grade B in Networking, Cyber Security, Computing: Networking, Computer Networking & Internet Technology
  • Diploma for Higher Education in a relevant subject area

English language requirements

As all learning, teaching and assessment activities are conducted in English, if your first language is not English you must have a minimum International English Language Testing System score of 6.0 with all four elements having a score of at least 5.5.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding



As a Graduate Apprentice you are fortunate to be studying for your honours degree alongside your work-based apprenticeship position and to have the support of both Edinburgh Napier staff and your workplace. You are first and foremost an employee for your organisation, and therefore could develop your career through your entire apprenticeship journey. Your employer will look for opportunities for you to apply your learning in work and develop as a professional, meaning you may be offered career progression opportunities at any time during your studies.

On completion apprentices can build their career in jobs such as:

  • Security Consultant
  • Forensic Investigator
  • Audit/Compliance Consultant
  • Security Adviser/Auditor
  • Cybercrime Consultant
Headshot of a student smiling from the School of Computing