6 UK Universities to Offer ‘Cyber Spy’ Degrees

News Article - Tuesday, 05 August 2014 10:37

By: Kerry Butters Category: Security

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.

Accreditation was 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 digital forensics.

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.

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