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The University of Plymouth’s MSc Cyber Security programme has been formally recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

The course, run by the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, has been awarded NCSC provisional certification.

The accolade acknowledges the academic content of the programme, which has been fully refreshed in recent years, and the expertise and facilities which students can access in the course of their studies.

The University has been at the forefront of cyber security research for almost four decades, with its current work in the field being spearheaded by the Centre for Cyber Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN).

It was also among the first universities in the UK to establish a dedicated MSc programme in 2004, with an undergraduate BSc (Hons) Cyber Security following in 2008.

Students on both courses are taught by world-leading researchers in fields including digital forensics, human aspects of cyber security and maritime cyber threats.

They also have access to a cutting-edge cyber range – a dedicated security and digital forensics laboratory, purpose-built to represent a range of network topologies and monitoring conditions.

That will soon be complemented by a unique Cyber-SHIP Lab, a £3million project supported by funding from Research England and designed to address the key cyber security challenges facing the shipping industry.

Nathan Clarke, Professor of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics at the University, said:

“With cyber security playing a critical role in the protection, operation and ultimate growth of UK Plc and the global economy, it is essential that there are suitably well-qualified graduates. There is a well-recognised skills gap in cyber security, with recent reports putting the gap at 3.1 million people globally. It is therefore essential that there are educational programmes that can deliver on producing highly-skilled and well-qualified graduates to meet that demand.

“The NCSC certification provides a strong basis for both applicants and employers to recognise the quality and focus of the learning provided. We are delighted that our MSc Cyber Security programme has been provisionally recognised as one of these.”

Professor Nathan Clarke
Professor Nathan Clarke

The NCSC was launched in 2016 with the aim of helping to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

It runs the certified degree programme to help students make informed decisions about the range of courses on offer at UK universities and to help set a high standard of cyber security teaching across higher education.

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

“I am delighted that the University of Plymouth’s MSc in Cyber Security is now 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 will be well-taught and have valued industry skills.”

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman added:

"The UK boasts some of the world's top universities and it's great to see even more offering specialist postgraduate courses certified by our world-class cyber security experts. As we build back better from the pandemic we are making sure our thriving cyber sector has the talent and skills to continue keeping people and businesses safe online."