Six UK universities
have submitted master’s degree programmes which have been accredited by GHCQ as
a part of the ongoing Cyber Security Strategy. The specialist degrees will
offer a qualification in cyber security and is intended to boost Britain’s defences
against hackers and cybercrime.
"Through the excellent
work of GCHQ, in partnership with other government departments, the private
sector and academia, we are able to counter threats and ensure we are stronger
and more aware,” said Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude.
given to Edinburgh Napier, Lancaster, Oxford, Royal Holloway University of
London and Cranfield universities, with the University of Surrey also receiving
a provisional accreditation.
Mr Maude added that
not only was internet security a "crucial part” of the long term plan for the
UK’s economy, but that the degree would help to make the "UK one of the
safest places in the world to do business online".
Whilst it’s thought
that other academic institutions around the country will offer similar courses,
it’s just these six that are so far GCHQ approved. The accreditations will be
valid for five years before coming due for renewal and review.
According to the statement
released by GCHQ , the certification will help universities to successfully
promote the quality of the course on offer. It’s also intended to help future
employers understand the quality of the degree gained by prospective employees.
A further call for certification will take place towards the end of this year
to further extend such degrees to include a focus on critical areas such as
It’s thought that the
intelligence agency worked out what the criteria for the degrees should include
with Professor Fred Piper, the founding director of The
Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, University of London. The
institution was the first in the UK to offer a cyber-security qualification
back in 1992.