GradDip Cybersecurity

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)

Applications for 2024/2025 now open

Information webinar

Meet the teaching team, hear about the course, entry criteria, research options and answers to common questions. Listen to the recording (45 mins)

Podcast with the course director

Assistant Professor Liliana Pasquale spoke to Christa Miller from Forensic Focus on why we launched our new MSc Cybersecurity and how it differs from other courses. How does blended delivery work? Who is teaching on it: what is the practitioner/academic balance? Listen here (15 mins)

This programme is designed to prepare IT professionals for a managerial or technical career in cybersecurity. It will be of value to people working in project/product/systems management, or as software developers or software engineers, as well as those in incident response, tech support or networking, who are looking to move into cybersecurity.

It will help companies, government and state institutions, defence forces and others to upskill their staff to fill new roles in cyber security so that they can protect their organisations, their customers and the public.

It is designed to facilitate professional learners through flexible blended study options. Lectures are delivered online and complemented by occasional full-day workshops on campus, with a remote option for those who cannot attend in person. The combination of mainly distance but with some on-campus days allows flexible learning but with face-to-face interactions.

In developing the programme we have collaborated with industry and law enforcement practitioners – in particular the Leadership in Security and the Incident Response modules – to ensure that these modules meet the needs of professional learners.

The curriculum is aligned with the ACM/IEEE/AIS SIGSEC/IFIP Cybersecurity Curricular Guidelines so that it will prepare students to take a variety of cyber security roles, including some modules for professionals seeking a managerial role in security.

Careers & Employability

The programme will help to reduce the cybersecurity skills shortage and prepare professionals for a rewarding career in cybersecurity; for example, to take a role as a security manager, security engineer, security analyst, or IT security specialist. Career development possibilities in this field are excellent. Organizations of all sizes in all sectors, including both Irish and foreign owned companies, are looking for people with these skills. Many global companies have a base in Ireland, including security software and cyber security companies with a security operations centre (SOC). There is a growing cyber security market globally as cyber security is recognized as critical for national security and the smooth functioning of society. Opportunities abound in government, healthcare, critical national infrastructure, ICT, financial services, telecoms, manufacturing and SMEs, which all face growing cyber security threats. Digitization and the move to remote working are increasing the threat surface.

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

Flexible study options for professional learners

The programme is designed to facilitate professional learners through flexible blended study. Lectures will be delivered online and will be complemented by face-to-face, intensive full-day tutorials that will typically be delivered three times per semester. The combination of mainly distance but with some on-campus days allows flexible learning but with face-to-face interactions. We plan to deliver the full-day tutorials in a hybrid mode to allow those students who will not be able to attend the full-day tutorials in person to participate remotely.

Teaching activities will be supported by using security use cases, open-source web applications (e.g., WebGoat), cyber ranges (Kypo Cyber Range and tools (e.g., Metasploit). Where applicable, the modules of the programme will adopt problem based learning.

The online portion of study consists of an engaging mixture of videos, assignments, quizzes and tutorials. In addition to making the study materials available, lecturers will answer student queries through the course discussion boards, or through a virtual classroom environment. Tutors provide regular additional support through the online portal. The full-day tutorial will cover exercises and group activities for all the modules taught in that specific trimester.

The workshops and tutorial sessions are intensive mandatory study days on campus. These sessions currently fall on a Friday and consist of 3 days per semester. (Please refer to your timetable for details)


The programme will use exams, group projects as summative assessment strategies. It will also use a variety of formative assessment strategies, such as journal writing to promote reflection, debates, presentations, and peer reviews. Students must attend UCD for one or two days at the end of each trimester to take exams in the modules taken that trimester. Students will be informed of the specified exam dates at the start of each trimester. The examination periods can be found in the University calendar.

The Graduate Diploma will require on average around 15 hours of study per week in addition to the workshops, tutorials and exams.

This programme aims to provide high quality cybersecurity training and formal education. It is designed to deliver cutting-edge, up-to-date techniques, strategies and tactics that allow students to understand and tackle emerging trends in cybercrime. It offers the possibility of undertaking a significant piece of research. We have brought in specialist cybersecurity practitioners and consulted with industry to review and advise on the content considering the needs of cybersecurity specialists. The curriculum is aligned with the ACM/IEEE/AIS SIGSEC/IFIP Cybersecurity Curricular Guidelines to prepare students to take a variety of cyber security roles. The programme has a flexible structure and part-time distance-learning options, so students can combine study with full-time work and other commitments. It is designed to foster and encourage networking and teamwork between students, so graduates leave not only having required skills but also a network of contacts for the future.


Learning outcomes on successful completion of the programme will depend on the modules taken but will include some or all of the following.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate deep knowledge of information security principles and challenges in networks and software systems, protection mechanisms, approaches to assess and mitigate risks, security standards, data protection and cybersecurity regulations
  • Demonstrate deep knowledge of network security, secure software systems development, and cryptography

  • Understand strengths and limitations of important public key and symmetric/asymmetric cryptographic protocols

​Applying knowledge and understanding

  • Perform risk assessment, management and mitigations of secure infrastructures and operations
  • Track strategic threats and maintain situation awareness
  • Identify cybersecurity laws that apply to complex organisations and apply protection measures to comply with these laws
  • Apply network security and secure software development concepts to the design, configuration and implementation of networked, software and distributed systems technologies
  • Perform vulnerability assessment and penetration testing
  • Develop patches to fix vulnerabilities in software projects
  • Apply cryptographic techniques to secure software, systems and computer networks
  • Apply incident response principles and methodologies to secure infrastructures and operations

Making judgements

  • Evaluate trade-offs involving security, regulations, business, economic and management principles
  • Apply appropriate (quantitative/qualitative) risk assessment techniques to measure security risks
  • Appraise intrusion detection system and security of modern internet protocols (e.g., IPv6)
  • Identify effective penetration testing strategies
  • Apply appropriate incident response principles and methodologies to secure infrastructures and operations
  • Apply appropriate cryptographic protocols to secure networks, software and systems

Communications and working skills

  • Communicate security risks and mitigation strategies to executives

  • Work and engage in discussions in security teams, share work fairly to meet the obligations set by the group

  • Explain advantages and disadvantages of cryptographic protocols

Learning skills

  • Attract and assess security talent
  • Lead security teams and influence organisational culture
  • Be curious about latest security vulnerabilities and technologies
  • Actively promote security practices within the organisation
  • Identify novel security research directions

View All Modules Here

Module descriptions including pre-requisites, learning outcomes, assessment scheme and workload are set out in the module descriptors for each module.

Graduate Diploma Programme overview

The Graduate Diploma is completed over 4 trimesters / 15 months


Year One

Module Code




 Semester 1 (Autumn term)




 Information Security






 Leadership In Security




 Semester 2 (Spring term)




 Risk Assessment & Security Standards






Cybersecurity Law and Regulation




Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

Students who successfully complete the above 4 modules (30 credits) in the first 2 semesters may exit the programme with the award of Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity preparing them for a managerial and leadership career in cybersecurity.


Semester 3 (summer term)




 Secure Software Engineering






 Applied Cryptography





 Year Two


 Semester 1 (Autumn term)


 Module Code








 Network Security






 Incident Response




GradDip Cybersecurity (F249) Part Time
EU          fee per year - € 10200
nonEU    fee per year - € 15300

***Fees are subject to change

Graduate Diploma in Cybersecurity

(60 credits, part-time over 4 trimesters)

Ireland/EU fee:  € 10,200

Non-EU fee:  €15,300

 Minimum a 2.1 honours bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (or a cognate discipline) or
• 2:2 honours bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (or a cognate discipline) and equivalent (>5 years) industrial
experience in software development or software/system security


 Minimum a 2.1 honours bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (or a cognate discipline) or
• 2:2 honours bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (or a cognate discipline) and equivalent (>5 years) industrial
experience in software development or software/system security


Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity (T379 - 30 ECTS credits)

The initial modules on Information Security, Leadership in Security, Risk Assessment & Security Standards and Cybersecurity Law and Regulation will attract managers from industry, semi-state and public bodies who need an overview of cybersecurity risks and roles to ensure they adopt the right strategies and have appropriate resources.

MSc in Cybersecurity (T380 - 90 ECTS credits)

Modules may be taken individually as CPD (Continuing Professional Development).

MSc in Forensic Computing & Cybercrime Investigation (T025) (90 credits)

This is a separate UCD programme that is restricted to law enforcement officers investigating crimes using digital evidence.

UCD’s long experience in cybersecurity education 

The UCD School of Computer Science and UCD Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation have been working closely for many years with law enforcement agencies and industry practitioners in seeking solutions to technology-related crime prevention and investigation. UCD has 16 years of experience in delivering training and education in the field of digital forensics and cybercrime investigation to practitioners from all over the world.

Taught by cybersecurity experts

This programme is delivered by experienced academic staff from UCD with leading cybersecurity experts in law enforcement and industry. All have deep experience of cybersecurity research and teaching at graduate level. We have also collaborated with members of staff based at the UCD School of Law and the Smurfit Business School for the design of the Cybersecurity Law and Regulation and the Risk Assessment and Security Standards modules. Each module has a dedicated Module Coordinator. We assign tutor /demonstrators to each module to support students and make sure questions are answered quickly. Our team includes:

Dr Liliana Pasquale is an Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science and Funded Investigator at the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software.  Her research interests are in the fields of software engineering, security and regulatory compliance.

Professor Joe Carthy is a Full Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science. He served as College Principal and Dean of Science from 2011 to 2021 and as Head of the School of Computer Science from 2007 to 2011. He was the founding Director of the UCD Centre for Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation.

Dr Mark Scanlon is an Associate Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science. He is a Fulbright Scholar in Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Investigation. Both his MSc and PhD are in the field of Remote Digital Forensic Evidence Acquisition and Analysis and he is an active member of the digital forensics research.

Dr Rob Brennan is an Assistant Professor in UCD School of Computer Science. He is Co-Principal Investigator in the SFI EMPOWER Data Governance research programme. He is the founding chair of a Masters in Data Protection and Privacy Law with Computing. His research is in the fields of data protection, data governance and risk. 

Dr Félix Balado is a Lecturer in the UCD School of Computer Science.

Dr TJ McIntyre is an Associate Professor and Head of Teaching and Learning in the Sutherland School of Law at UCD where his research focuses on issues involving information technology law, cybercrime, and civil liberties. He is a practising solicitor and chairs the civil rights group Digital Rights Ireland

Dr Madhusanka Liyanage is an Assistant Professor / Ad Astra Fellow and Director of Graduate Research in the UCD School of Computer Science

Dr. Pavel Gladyshev is Associate Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science. He established and directed two highly successful MSc programmes in the field of digital forensics at UCD which were among the first international distance-learning programmes in the field.

The following entry routes are available:

Graduate Diploma Cybersecurity PT (F249)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

Can I study this programme full-time on campus in Dublin?


Initially, no. For the first two or three years this will be a part-time blended learning programme. However, in future we are planning to deliver it as as a full time face-to-face masters programme.

How are lectures delivered?


Lectures are pre-recorded and made available on the VLE Platform (Brightspace).  Lectures are complemented by occasional full-day workshops on campus (as indicated in the timetable of each module). The combination of mainly distance but with some on-campus days allows flexible learning but with face-to-face interactions. Some module coordinators may deliver live online lectures (e.g., via Zoom) periodically (e.g., bi-weekly). 

How will I be assessed?

The modules can implement various forms of continuous assessment (e.g., essays, quizzes, journalling activities) and possibly an end-of-term exam.  If a module is assessed via an exam, this must be taken in person.