Online Microcredential in IT & Computer Science

Cyber Security Operations (Cisco)

Upskill in cyber security operations and enhance your working knowledge of cyber security with Cisco and The Open University.

Created by

The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Endorsed by

Cisco Networking AcademyCisco Networking Academy

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Develop professional skills to respond to and prevent cyberattacks and crimes

Cyber security is rapidly evolving, and professionals must keep up-to-date with the complexities of different cyber threats, as well as the different technologies under attack.

On this microcredential, you’ll learn how cyber security professionals respond to an imminent, active or recent cyber threat. You’ll explore how to go about resolving attacks and how to complete legally defensible investigations of any potential cybercrime.

Prepare for the Cisco CyberOps Associate Certification exam

You’ll develop skills and knowledge in this exciting area using up-to-date experience from the internationally recognised Cisco CyberOps Associate Certification.

You’ll learn about different cybersecurity technologies, how to evaluate current, commonplace threats, how to investigate evidence from a cyber security incursion, and how different security and cryptographic techniques can affect a cyber security incursion. You will also discover how to apply legally defensible practices within an investigation.

Learn with the largest Cisco Academy in the UK

This microcredential is endorsed by Cisco Networking Academy and designed by leading experts and practitioners from The Open University’s multi award-winning Cisco ‘NetAcad’ academy.

You’ll access your learning via FutureLearn and by setting up a free account on Cisco’s NetAcad platform. Throughout the course, you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded by subject matter experts.

The assessment will require you to complete four questions, two of which draw on the results from your Cisco weekly module exams and final examinations. The third question focuses on a practical cyber security forensic investigation, and the fourth is a 1,000-word essay exploring current cyber security threats.

Launch your career in cyber security operations

Apply the skills learned in this microcredential to start your journey as a cyber security analyst, consultant, architect or engineer, or enhance your current technical role with an additional cyber security skillset.

Industry statistics

  • UK job openings/month

  • Job satisfaction


What skills will you learn?

  • Network concepts
  • Security concepts
  • Cryptography
  • Host-based security analysis
  • Security monitoring
  • Attack methods
  • Endpoint threat analysis and computer forensics
  • Network intrusion analysis
  • Incident response
  • Data and event analysis
  • Incident handling

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Explain the purpose of different cybersecurity technologies
  • Evaluate current, commonplace threats in the context of a cybersecurity investigation
  • Evaluate how different security and cryptographic techniques affect a cybersecurity incursion
  • Investigate evidence from a cyber security incursion
  • Apply legally defensible practices to a cyber security investigation

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This microcredential is for anyone wanting to master the skills required for a career in cyber security.

All required skills and foundational knowledge are covered within this microcredential; however, it’s recommended you have a good understanding of computer technology and technical experience from a computing, IT or industry qualification.

It is essential that you’re able to access a device capable of running a virtual machine - please check this before enrolling.

Please note: From November 2021, half of the course content is duplicated with the OU module Network Security.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential is designed for professionals looking to enter the growing cyber security industry, as well as those with a background in the area who are looking to upskill.

Professionals who would benefit most from the microcredential include those working in network engineering, systems support, and IT.

Completing this microcredential will not require you to be Cisco focussed as the concepts and practices covered can be applied in many alternate professional and technical contexts.

The course has a global focus and delivers transferable skills for diverse sectors and organisations.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any information relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 14 Oct 2024

    Cyber Security Operations (Cisco)

    Develop skills, knowledge and understanding focused on how cyber security professionals respond to a cyberattack.

    12 weeks

    13 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by subject matter experts. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials, as well as to the learning resources and software associated with the microcredential on the Cisco NetAcad platform.

What you will receive

15 UK credits at Postgraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate

Academic credits are awarded on passing the final academic assessment. These will be at postgraduate level 7 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / level 11 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

A Certificate of Completion and Digital Badge from Cisco Networking Academy

Subject to passing the full course with 70% or higher at first attempt.

Learn more about this organisation

Additional benefits

Passing the Cisco final course-based exam with 70% or higher at the first attempt grants a significant discount on the optional Cisco CyberOps Associate Exam (to be redeemed within 30 days).

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

This microcredential is endorsed by Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco are a global manufacturer of infrastructure networking and cybersecurity focussed technologies, with their own international Corporate Social Responsibility - based education programme (NetAcad).

Delivered by experts

Enthusiastic about teaching digital, network engineering & cybersecurity - been doing it for a very long time. Also: iconoclast, herder of geeks, nerds & enthusiasts.

Dr Amel Bennaceur is an engineer, researcher, and educator in Computing. She is an Associate Professor at The Open University. She published 30+ papers in top journals and conferences.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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Add a new skill or forge a new path

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"FutureLearn courses are always interesting and informative. They bring the classroom right to you and send you on a journey to explore new ideas and offer interesting topics."

When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Microcredentials are stand-alone courses designed to meet specific learner and employer needs. Those awarded by The Open University have academic credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and, if appropriate, this may be used towards selected Open University qualifications. For more details, including eligible qualifications, visit The Open University’s Counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications page.

The credit awarded may potentially be used at another university, subject to the agreement of the receiving institution.

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.