NCSC degree certification - Call for new applicants

Created:  09 Aug 2017
Updated:  15 Dec 2017
NCSC-certified Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in cyber security - call for Bachelor's and Integrated Master's now open.

Over the last three years, the NCSC with GCHQ has certified 25 Master’s degrees and two Bachelor's degrees in cyber security from 19 universities. Our call for applications for the next round of Master's degree certification is now open.

Why does the NCSC certify degrees in cyber security?

Through its programme to certify Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in cyber security, the NCSC is helping to set the standard for good cyber security higher education in the UK.

The vision of the UK Cyber Security Strategy 2016-21 is that:

"the UK is secure and resilient to cyber threats, prosperous and confident in the digital world."

Section 7 of the Strategy ('Develop') states that:

“the UK requires more talented and qualified cyber security professionals”.

In particular, objective 7.1 is “to ensure the sustained supply of the best possible home-grown cyber security talent”.

The degree certification programme is part of a range of programmes which the NCSC and its government partners have initiated across UK academia designed to address the knowledge, skills and capability requirements for cyber security research and education.

The other programmes include Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACEs-CSR)Academic Research Institutes, and Centres for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security

What benefit does NCSC certification bring to a university?

NCSC certification should help universities to attract additional numbers and higher quality students, both from the UK and from abroad.

What degrees are eligible for certification?

The NCSC assesses 8 different types of degrees:

Bachelor’s (call now open)

  • Computer Science for Cyber Security
  • Computer Science and Cyber Security
  • Computer Science and Digital Forensics

Integrated Master’s (call now open)

  • Computer Science for Cyber Security
  • Computer Science and Cyber Security
  • Computer Science and Digital Forensics

Master’s (call currently closed; will open again in summer 2018)

  • General Cyber Security
  • Digital Forensics
  • Computer Science for Cyber Security
  • Computer Network and Internet Security

Full information can be found in the various call documents. There is a separate call document for each type of degree (see the Download tab on this page, or contact MastersCertification@ncsc.gov.uk for details of the last Master's call).

What is the difference between provisional and full certification?

For full certification, an eligible degree programme must have been running in both the previous and current academic year. For provisional certification, a degree programme does not need to have started yet, but may be running in the current academic year. Full certification is typically valid for 5 years, while provisional certification is typically valid for around 2 years, or until the first cohort of students have completed the degree.

What is the deadline for applications?

The call for Bachelor's and Integrated Master's degree applications is now open. 

The deadline for application is Wednesday 4 April 2018.

All applicants intending to apply for certification must register by 1600 on 22 February 2018.

I’m a student. What does NCSC certification mean for me?

It can be difficult to navigate the range of cyber security degree programmes on offer in the UK. If you are a student at school or university, NCSC certification can help you choose a cyber security course which has been judged by the NCSC as providing well-defined and appropriate content delivered to an appropriate standard.

If you are a student currently studying on a NCSC-certified degree programme, you will be provided with an additional form of recognition (i.e. that you have successfully completed a NCSC-certified degree), which will help employers distinguish between applicants’ qualifications.

Which degree programmes are currently certified by GCHQ?

See NCSC-certified degrees.

degrees-at-a-glance.pdf

PDF, 384.4KB

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Degrees at a glance

Certification-Bachelors-2_0-20171214.pdf

PDF, 1146.51KB

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Bachelor's

Certification-IntMasters-3_0-20171214.pdf

PDF, 1157.34KB

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Integrated Master's

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