MSc Cyber Security - Niklas Henderson

Niklas Henderson studied MSc Cyber Security. Here, he tells us more about his time at UEA.

How was cyber security at UEA and what did you like best about it?

I think UEA’s course is interesting as - unlike many other universities - it's a very balanced curriculum.

It’s not just the hands-on stuff. It’s also policy and law. That was one of the most interesting parts of it for me.

One of the modules that I found particularly interesting was internet law and governance module.

With a lot of the modules, I knew a little bit about the content beforehand because they're all interlinked. But the law and governance module was cross-discipline as it was hosted by the law department at UEA. It was very nice to get a completely different perspective on cyber security.

Do you think of course gave you his skills and knowledge that helped you forge your current career?

Yes, I think so. There are so many sub sections of the sector so it really helps to work out what you're interested in and find those contacts.

We had lots of external people coming in to give talks from different parts of the cyber security industry. Those opportunities, as well as networking were really helpful.

It’s important for students to have a good working relationship with their advisors and academic supervisors because they often have a lot of industry contacts that you can get in contact with. 

I was quite fortunate in that my supervisor was able to link me to some external projects. 

What are your enduring memories of UEA?

I did a lot for the UEA Music Society - I was a bandleader for a number of years there.

I also did some other extracurricular stuff that was linked to cyber security. My supervisor had connections with a few institutions around the UK, so I had the opportunity to do a couple of cyber security competitions through him. 

It was a good opportunity to make new friends and to go to new places. The Cyber 9/12 UK Strategy Challenge was the big competition that we did. We got the opportunity to go to the BT Tower in London, which was a lot of fun. Since doing that, I've now kept those contacts, and helped to organise the competition too.

Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do before you graduated?

I talked to my supervisor about potentially doing a PhD and going into research.

That's the benefit of having that link with your supervisor - they've been through all this before.

Through the time I spent doing my master's, I realised that I wanted to go into the research side, and that's really how I ended up here.

What was your first job after graduation?

During my both my undergraduate studies and my masters, I spent some time working as an Associate Tutor, and I continued that for a year.

That was during the pandemic, so everything was a little bit in up in the air.

My first role was being a Research Associate for my supervisor. I was working on the PRoCEED project, enhancing engagement and information disclosure to responsive conversational agents online.

It was essentially looking at chat bots, understanding how different characteristics in a chat bot influences more or less information disclosure from the people using them. That is a cross-university research project between UEA, Kent, Cranfield, and Oxford Brookes as well.

Since then I’ve started a PhD looking at how games can be used to help people defend against false information online.