NCSC degree certification - Call for new applicants

Created:  09 Aug 2017
Updated:  07 Feb 2019
NCSC-certified Integrated Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees and degree apprenticeships in cyber security - 2019 call.

Over the last three years, the NCSC with GCHQ has certified 23 Master’s degrees, three Integrated Master's degrees and three Bachelor's degrees in cyber security from 19 universities. Our call for applications for the next round of certification is now open, and degree apprenticeships are now also eligible.

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:


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

Integrated Master’s

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


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

Degree apprenticeships

  • Cyber Security

Full information can be found in the various call documents. There is a separate call document for each type of degree, please see the Download tab on this page, or contact for details.

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.

Why have you added certification for degree apprenticeships?

We have introduced a certification for degree apprenticeships following the launch of the Cyber Security Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship standard. Degree apprenticeships offer a flexible option for both students and employers, as we have seen from our own degree apprenticeship programme. They will be a valuable addition to our certified undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

What is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications is Thursday 9 May 2019.

The closing date for expressions of interest in 18 April 2019, and there is briefing for potential applicants on 21 March. Please see the call documents.

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 NCSC?

See NCSC-certified degrees.


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Degrees at a glance


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Degree apprenticeships


PDF, 643.46KB

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Bachelor's degree


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Integrated Master's degree

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