Preparation for your MSc in Cyber Security at York

This MSc teaches a wide range of Cyber Security skills. In order to maximise the security content, we assume that you already have a background in computing and networks, and have some practical skills that will allow you to carry out a project in Cyber Security.


You will need to write programs in any current programming language (eg Java, Python, C/C++, C#) and understand how files are organised and structured in a modern operating system. 

If your programming skills are rusty, then the easiest way to prepare is to work through a Python tutorial. A good online interactive book which teaches core ideas and terminology, as well as Python, is How to Think Like a Computer Scientist.

For those with existing language skills, The Python Tutorial is a valuable reference.


In order to understand how network attacks work and how they can be detected and mitigated, you need to understand standard network protocols such as HTTP, TCP/IP, ARP and DNS.

You need to know what is usually covered in an undergraduate computer course. To help you decide if you need to do some reading in advance, we provide a detailed reading guide in PDF format which includes some questions that you should be able to answer. (If you can answer the questions without doing the recommended reading, then you already know enough!)

MSc Cyber Security Network Pre-reading (PDF , 303kb)