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Universities invited to apply for NCSC certification of undergraduate cyber security degrees

Created:  07 Feb 2019
Updated:  07 Feb 2019
Universities across the UK now have a further opportunity for their cyber-security related degrees to gain certification as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy.
  • Applications for certification by UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, now open
  • Certified degrees allow prospective students and employers to identify good cyber security courses
  • Certification extended to include degree apprenticeships alongside undergraduate and master’s degrees

Universities across the UK now have a further opportunity for their cyber-security related degrees to gain certification as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy.

After a rigorous process, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – has already certified 23 Master’s degrees, three Integrated Master’s and three Bachelor’s degrees from 19 universities over the last four years.

With applications now open the NCSC is looking for fresh candidates to increase these figures, with degree apprenticeships now also eligible.

NCSC-certified degrees help universities to attract high quality students from around the world, employers to recruit skilled staff and prospective students to make better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth, said:

“I’m really pleased that we’ve now launched a programme for certifying degree apprenticeships.  This will be a valuable addition to our certified undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

“Degree Apprenticeships offer a flexible option for both students and employers, as we have seen from our own Degree Apprenticeship programme.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing some more successful applications, and strongly encourage any interested universities to get in touch and find out more.”

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

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:

“The fast-paced world of technology is constantly evolving and it is vital that young people have the option to study high quality courses in cutting edge industries, such as cyber security.

“We want to maximise choice and flexibility for people wanting to study in higher education, whether that's as part of a traditional course or a degree apprenticeship.

“Not only will these certified degrees provide a benchmark for future cyber security professionals, but also help to ensure they are ready for the world of work and prepare them for an exciting career."

“Gaining certification has led to a continual increase in student numbers” – Edinburgh Napier

“There is no doubt that gaining certification has increased student intake” – Royal Holloway

“The has been a definite increase in the number of applicants which have more than trebled since gaining certified status … it is hoped that the increase in numbers and the benefits associated with that, will allow the Cyber department the opportunity to revise and possibly raise the entry requirements and therefore raise the profile and quality of the applicants.” – University of South Wales

“The success of this course has contributed to the University's decision to introduce a new MEng degree in Computer Science with Cyber Security” – University of York.

Institutions who are interested in applying for certification can find out further detail via https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/ncsc-degree-certification-call-new-applicants-0

Notes to Editors

National Cyber Security Centre

  • The UK Government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and address the cyber skills gap to develop and grow talent. The NCSC was created as part of the five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) announced in 2016, supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment.
  • The NCSC provides a single, central body for cyber security at a national level and is the UK’s technical authority on cyber. It manages national cyber security incidents, carries out real-time threat analysis and provides tailored sectoral advice.
  • GCHQ is the parent body for the NCSC, meaning that it can draw on the organisation’s world-class skills and sensitive capabilities.

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