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First rate cyber apprenticeships recognised by UK experts

NCSC drive aims to improve pathways that lead to rewarding cyber careers.

  • High-quality cyber security degree apprenticeships in the UK recognised for the first time
  • Three more universities have Bachelor’s courses certified by cyber security experts

CYBER-savvy students at two leading UK universities can now take on degree apprenticeship courses recognised by the country’s lead cyber experts for the first time.

Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the West of England working in partnership with Gloucestershire College are the first institutions in the UK to have their degree apprenticeships in cyber security recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) certified degree programme.

A number of universities already offer degrees recognised by the NCSC – which is a part of GCHQ – but this is the first time degree apprenticeship courses have been certified, opening up a new officially recognised pathway for students to pursue a career in cyber security.

The NCSC’s certification initiative aims to help students make informed decisions about the courses on offer and to set a high standard of cyber security teaching across UK institutions.

Three more universities were also successful in having Bachelor’s degrees recognised in the most recent round of certifications: the University of Greenwich, Leeds Beckett University and the University of South Wales, bringing the total number of recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to nearly 50.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, recently said:

“For the UK to prosper in the digital age, it’s vital for the next generation of cyber security professionals to have the skills and experience needed to keep people safe online.

“That’s why I’m delighted to see more university courses certified for providing first-rate education in cyber security – including degree apprenticeships for the first time.

“Our certified degree initiative now recognises a range of pathways into cyber careers, helping students make informed choices about their futures and supporting the UK’s growing cyber sector.”

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman recently said:

"Britain has some of the world's best universities and it's great to see even more offering specialist degrees certified by our world-class cyber security experts.

"We are making sure our burgeoning cyber security sector has a strong pipeline of talent to keep people and businesses safe online and we can build back better and stronger from the pandemic."

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart recently said:

“It’s great news that Edinburgh Napier University’s degree apprenticeship course has been recognised by NCSC. This will equip a new generation of cyber security experts with skills, knowledge and training of the highest quality.

“With more than a fifth of Glasgow and Edinburgh’s workforce in digital economy jobs, Scotland is a competitive choice for individuals looking to build a career in the sector.”

Offering an NCSC-certified course affords a number of advantages to students and also allows institutions to raise their profile among prospective students at home and abroad.

All of the newly recognised courses received ‘provisional’ certification, meaning the course may not have started this academic year. Full certification is applicable to courses that have seen at least one cohort already graduate; it does not indicate a higher level of recognition.

The new certified degree apprenticeship courses are:

  • Edinburgh Napier University – Integrated Degree Apprenticeship in cyber security
  • University of the West of England in partnership with Gloucestershire College – Integrated Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security

The newly recognised Bachelor’s courses are:

  • University of Greenwich – Computer Security and Forensics
  • Leeds Beckett University – Cyber Security
  • University of South Wales – Computer Security

Since the programme’s inception in 2014, GCHQ and then later the NCSC have certified 49 courses offered by 34 institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This includes 9 Bachelor’s degrees and 2 degree apprenticeships, as well as 35 Master’s and 3 Integrated Master’s degrees. 

A new call for institutions to apply to have postgraduate courses relating to cyber security certified by the NCSC will open next month. More information can be found on the NCSC website.


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