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Online course

Secure Android App Development

Get an introduction to mobile app security and learn how to develop secure Android applications, with this free online course.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Secure Android App Development

Why join the course?

84% of security breaches are at the application layer, according to Gartner research. With mobile devices and their applications holding more and more sensitive data – from people’s locations to their personal information and financial data – ensuring that they are secure is essential, if people and companies are to trust them, and prevent the reputational and legal damage of a data breach.

Make security a priority during Android app development

On this free online course, you’ll learn about the common vulnerabilities found in Android apps, and how to detect and mitigate them. These skills are increasingly in demand as mobile applications proliferate in the workplace, and increasingly proof of secure code is required before companies will use them. Make security a priority during your Android app development to protect yourself, and the users of your application.

Over four weeks, the course will explore three aspects of developing secure apps in Android:

  1. Why should you care about mobile app security? We’ll cover common application flaws, the cyber risk these expose, and how to control and mitigate this risk.

  2. Security architecture on Android. We’ll examine the way the Android operating system compartmentalises code and uses permissions. We’ll demonstrate how to secure interprocess communication (IPC).

  3. Static analysis of code. Finally, we’ll use the world’s most-adopted toolset, Fortify SCA from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, to identify and fix common vulnerabilities in Android apps. This is used by the majority of the largest IT companies, banks, pharmaceuticals, software vendors and telecommunications companies.

Learn with app security researchers and industry leaders

Secure Android App Development has been created by the Cyber Security Academy (CSA) at the University of Southampton, which facilitates use-inspired and multi-disciplinary research, education, training and outreach in cyber security.

The course has been developed in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise as part of its mission to address the significant global skills shortage in cyber security and secure app development.

What topics will you cover?

  • Why is security in mobile applications important?
  • Understanding risk and threats in mobile applications
  • Introducing and using static analysis tools
  • Introduction to security controls for mobile applications
  • Security control: Android permissions and how to use them
  • Security control: encryption and how to secure stored data
  • Security control: authentication and how to secure network connections
  • Verifying the implementation of security controls using HPE Fortify SCA

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain the importance of security in mobile applications
  • Identify cyber security threats in mobile applications
  • Assess the cyber security risk within an Android mobile application
  • Apply relevant security controls to the Android mobile application
  • Interpret the output of a static analysis tool
  • Justify appropriate trade-offs in implementing controls

Who is the course for?

Secure Android App Development is intended for anyone who already has some experience of mobile development, ideally on the Android platform. You could be:

  • a student currently studying computer science and cyber security;

  • a professional who needs to understand the security risks associated with software development;

  • or a programmer who needs to identify, analyse and manage risks, in order to make your coding and applications more secure.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Gary Wills

Dr Gary Wills is an Associate Professor, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Chartered Engineer, programme leader for the GCHQ certified programme in Cyber Security at Southampton

Zeyad Aaber

A Cyber Security researcher at University of Southampton, UK. My research areas are active document, secure document sharing cross-platform, enterprise security assessment and penetration testing.

Dr Toby Wilkinson

Dr Toby Wilkinson is a Research Fellow in the Cyber Security Academy at the University of Southampton.

Who developed the course?

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.


funded by

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £79.00

Statement of Participation £49.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.