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Education Security United Kingdom

UK Spy Agency Certifies Master's Degrees In Cyber Security 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-lessons dept.
An anonymous reader writes Intelligence agency GCHQ has just accredited six UK universities to teach Master's degrees in online security that meet the intelligence agency's "stringent criteria." From the press release: "The certification of six Master's degrees in Cyber Security was announced by Rt.Hon Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he visited GCHQ today. This marks another significant step in the development of the UK's knowledge, skills and capability in all fields of Cyber Security as part of the National Cyber Security Programme. The National Cyber Security Strategy recognises education as key to the development of Cyber Security skills and, earlier in the year, UK universities were invited to submit their Cyber Security Master's degrees for certification against GCHQ's stringent criteria for a broad foundation in Cyber Security."
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UK Spy Agency Certifies Master's Degrees In Cyber Security

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  • by Philip Mather (2889417) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @05:02PM (#47595619)
    It's being accredited by GCHQ rather than designed or run, the university stipulates the course material, structure etc... GCHQ obviously felt that only the Masters level courses met their requirements (whatever they maybe) for accreditation. My Engineering degree was accredited by the IET, both Bachelors and Masters components but you didn't have to do the Masters if you wanted an accredited BEng so it is a bit unusual.

    University in the UK is rapidly catching up with the US in terms of cost, I was amoung the first year of students who had to pay but it was only at £1000 per year. If I were to do my 5 year Masters in Computer Systems Engineering again now it would cost about £7000 for each of the 5 years (let's say $60000ish). They aren't typical loans however, government provided they charge a very low interest rate and are only paid back once you earn over a certain amount and increase in proportion to your salary. They do however survive bankruptcy and HMRC aren't known for writing debts off easily if you try skipping abroad etc... ;-) It is written off at normal retirement age otherwise.

    Excluding doctors or vets it's unusual to spend more than 3 years doing an undergraduate degree at university in the UK, very unusual doing more than 4 years for a Masters. I elected to do a foundation year of extra mathematics and goffing off with jet engines... as you do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 03, 2014 @05:13PM (#47595651)

    There are many similar programs in the US. Here it is called the National Centers of Academic Excellence progam [nsa.gov]. It is overseen by the NSA of course. No matter what you think of them, at least they do know what they are doing in the technical realm.

    The Bachelor's programs in information assurance cover far, far more about security than CS ever could, but still it is often not enough. Proper security requires an understanding in depth of a wide number of systems. The two extra years really is necessary to just lay the foundation of a security professional. These programs are designed to fill a need that exists and the free market has not managed to fix. There are just too many people out there that think they know about security, or even have careers in security that have holes in their knowledge. In other fields of IT that is fine, but not security. It only takes one crack, one little misconfiguration, bad update, or missed red flag to have the whole house of cards crumble to the ground.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:58AM (#47597877) Journal
    It's very unusual in the UK for a bachelors degree to be this specialised. There are some places that do a BSc in Game Design, but those subjects are a bit of a joke (ironically, many the course are typically not that bad, because they exist purely for marketing reasons and are 80% identical to the computer science degree, but with a few modules in things like 3D art). It's more common to do a BSc in a general field, like computer science or engineering and then a one-year MSc / MEng / MPhil in something a lot more specialised.

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