Cardiff University: Official recognition for cybersecurity degree programme

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – runs the certified degree programme to recognise courses that offer a high standard of cyber security education.

The scheme aims to help students make informed decisions about the range of courses on offer at UK universities and give employers confidence that graduates from these courses will have valued cyber skills.

Both full and provisional certification is available: full certification is applicable for courses where at least one cohort of students has graduated, while provisional certification can be applied for by any course, including those that may not have started yet. The required standard is the same for both.

The NCSC is committed to growing the UK’s cyber skills pipeline to address the current skills gap. According to the UK government National Cyber Strategy, the cyber security sector workforce has grown by around 50% in the last four years, with demand for skills often outstripping supply.

Full certification has now been awarded to Cardiff University’s MSc in Cyber Security in recognition of the high-quality teaching and learning resources offered by the course as well as the breadth of content that is taught throughout the one-year degree programme.

Developed in conjunction with industry and aligned with NCSC criteria for certification standards, the MSc in Cyber Security provides students with the very latest cyber security principles, practices, tools and techniques.

As well as studying technical topics such as secure application development, penetration testing, web-applications security, malware analysis and digital forensics, students are given an understanding of cyber security risk management and governance, as well as of the business continuity and transformation aspects that are crucial to cyber resilience in an ever-evolving threat landscape.

The MSc in Cyber Security is led by a team of world-class cyber security researchers who are all members of the Cardiff Centre for Cyber Security Research which is recognised by NCSC and EPSRC as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research.

The course is delivered in a designated well-equipped cyber security and forensics laboratory located in the recently launched ‘Abacws’ building, where the School of Computer Science & Informatics is co-located with the School of Mathematics.

The MSc in Cyber Security prepares students for one of the most in-demand roles, with graduates placed in a variety of roles in cyber security, digital forensics and data sciences.

Cardiff University is one of the latest high-profile institutions from across the UK to hold a master’s programme in cyber security that is fully certified by the NCSC.

On making the announcement, Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “I am delighted that Cardiff University’s MSc in Cyber Security is now fully certified by the NCSC.

“Offering a certified degree helps prospective students make more informed choices about their future career prospects in cyber security and employers can rest assured that graduates of these courses will be well-taught and have valued industry skills.”

Professor Peter Burnap, Director of the Cardiff Centre for Cyber Security Research, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our MSc has been fully certified by the NCSC and that Cardiff University has been recognised amongst the very best places in the UK to come and study cyber security.

“We place a very strong emphasis on developing the very best degree programmes so that our students know they are receiving a distinctive learning experience that makes them well equipped for entering the world of work.

“There has never been a more exciting and important time to start a career in cyber security and in conjunction with a number of high-profile research centres and industry collaborations that are based here at Cardiff University, we are fast-becoming the obvious choice to begin that journey.”

Dr Yulia Cherdantseva, the programme leader for the MSc in Cyber Security said: “The award of full certification to our master’s programme is recognition of all the hard work that our teaching team has put into designing and delivering this programme over the years. The team has worked together and partnered with industry to develop a programme that will address the industry need for cyber skills and will help tackle the significant shortage of qualified cyber security professionals in the UK and worldwide.

“Cardiff University’s MSc in Cyber Security programme has been designed to ensure that graduates gain a solid understanding of theoretical cyber security concepts and hands-on cyber security skills which are sought after by employers. This master’s programme is an excellent next step for anyone pursuing a career in cyber security.”