Academics and researchers

Working with partners in government, industry and academia, we identify and support excellence in cyber security education and research and encourage industry investment in academic research.   

Since 2012, the NCSC (a part of GCHQ) has been sponsoring PhD students to undertake cyber security-related research.


Certification and sponsorship for higher education

Recognising and supporting the best in cyber security education and research.

Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research

The NCSC and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) jointly recognise Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACEs-CSR).

Doctoral students

The NCSC supports doctoral students across the ACEs-CSR, as well as at the DCMS- and EPSRC-funded Centres for Doctoral Training (at UCL, Royal Holloway, University of London and the University of Bristol). The NCSC does not select students for Doctoral studentships; all applications must be made directly to the relevant university.

Certified degrees

NCSC certification of Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Cyber Security, and Degree Apprenticeships in Cyber Security gives both students and employers confidence in the quality of those degrees. Universities offering certified courses attract high quality students from around the world. 

NCSC degree certification - 2019 call for new applicants now open

More about NCSC-certified degrees

Call for submissions

The 2019 call inviting applications for undergraduate degrees and, for the first time, degree apprenticeships to be certified is now open

See more here 


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Academic Centres of Excellence (ACEs-CSR)

Recognising universities as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research continues to be a key part of the government's approach to maintaining and enhancing the UK's reputation as a global leader in research. The call for applications to be recognised as an ACE-CSR is now open. Details on the EPSRC site.

Certified Master's degrees

It can be difficult for students and employers to assess the quality of Master's degree courses with cyber security content. NCSC certification of such degrees will give prospective students confidence that the course and its content have met strict quality standards and allow the university to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace. Applications are invited from any UK university wishing to submit their Master's degrees in Cyber Security for assessment.

Certified Bachelor's degrees

Following the success of the Master's certification initiative, we are extending certification to Bachelor's degrees. Again, in a crowded marketplace, such certification allows the university to differentiate itself as a provider of high-quality cyber security education at Bachelor's level and allows students to make informed choices. Applications are invited from any UK university wishing to submit their Bachelor's degrees in Cyber Security for assessment.

CyberInvest is a partnership that brings together key players from government and industry to invest and support the development of cutting-edge cyber security research across the UK's academic sector.

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