(Cardiff University)

U.K. National Cyber Security Centre Recognizes Universities Offering Top Cybersecurity Education

Ten universities around the U.K. have become the latest to receive official recognition for their postgraduate degrees in cybersecurity from the country’s leading experts.

The institutions were successful in the latest round of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) degree certification scheme, which recognizes high quality in cybersecurity education.

As a result, more than a third of U.K. universities offering postgraduate degrees in cybersecurity now offer courses recognized by the NCSC, which is a part of GCHQ.

The most recent recipients are spread around the country, from Aberdeen to Plymouth and Swansea to East Anglia, and offered modules including cryptography, digital forensics and automotive cybersecurity.

The NCSC runs the certified degree program to help students make informed decisions about the range of courses on offer at U.K. universities and to help set a high standard of cybersecurity teaching across higher education.

In the latest round of the certification scheme, ten universities had a cybersecurity-related course certified for the first time and four had courses recertified. This means that out of 79 universities in the U.K. offering postgraduate degrees in cyber security-related subjects, 35 courses at 31 universities have now received NCSC certification.

Since 2014, the NCSC has certified Master’s courses offered by institutions in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, as well as six Bachelor’s degrees and three Integrated Master’s degrees.  

Offering a NCSC-certified course can also benefit institutions by raising their profile and improving the quality and number of applicants. Official data shows more than half of U.K. students (52%) pursuing a cybersecurity-related Master’s degree chose a NCSC-certified course.

Certification is available at two levels – full and provisional, where full certification indicates a course has run in the previous and current academic years, and provisional indicates the course may not have started yet. The standard being recognized is the same at both levels.

The successful universities and courses in the latest round of applications are:

  • Cardiff University Cybersecurity (provisional)
  • City, University of London Cybersecurity (full)
  • Coventry University Cybersecurity (provisional)
  • University of East Anglia Cybersecurity (provisional)
  • Heriot Watt University Computer Science for Cybersecurity (provisional)
  • King’s College London Cybersecurity (full)
  • Leeds Beckett University Cybersecurity (provisional)
  • University of Plymouth Cybersecurity (provisional)
  • Robert Gordon University Cybersecurity (full)
  • Swansea University Cybersecurity (full)

Recertified Master’s degrees (all receiving full certification)

  • Edinburgh Napier University Advanced Security and Digital Forensics
  • Lancaster University Cybersecurity
  • Royal Holloway, University of London Information Security: campus-based
  • Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of London Worldwide Information Security: via distance learning
  • University of York Cybersecurity

A full list of NCSC-certified Master’s degrees can be found on the NCSC website.

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