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Many cyber degrees, but few NCSC-accredited

Cyber education

12:00 Monday, 25 January 2021

UK Cyber Security Council

For the forthcoming 2020-21 academic year, students for both undergraduate and postgraduate are now spoilt for choice.

UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, lists 131 undergraduate programmes from 59 establishments. Some combine IT courses with cyber topics, such as the University of Brighton’s B.Sc. (Hons) in Computer Science with Cyber Security, while others are pure cyber subjects – the B.Sc. (Hons) in Cyber Security options from the likes of Manchester Metropolitan University and the Open University, for example – and others combine cyber with other specialisms such as Middlesex University’s Cyber Security and Digital Forensics.

At a postgraduate level there are 58 options, and again some are focused on pure cyber while others include additional concepts such as Artificial Intelligence (an M.Sc. option at Anglia Ruskin University), Computer Forensics from Greenwich, and the Internet of things (which is part of a cyber M.Sc. from Bournemouth University).

Although the list of courses is extensive, the list of programmes that are formally certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is far from it. As at December 2020 only one undergraduate degree is formally approved, however – the B.Eng. in Cybersecurity and Forensics from Edinburgh Napier University – though a further five programmes have been provisionally certified. NCSC-certified Master’s degrees are much more plentiful, with a total of 24 full certified and a further three provisionally approved.

Full details of all courses are available on the UCAS web site. The NCSC’s approved list is on the Centre’s site.