A brand new University of Birmingham masters programme in Cyber Security has received provisional certification* from GCHQ, the Government’s security and intelligence organisation, and launches this September.

Birmingham joins only 11 other providers across the UK recognised by GCHQ as providing high quality cyber security education and meeting the rigorous assessment criteria which demands well-defined and appropriate degree content, delivered to the highest standard.

The MSc programme in the School of Computer Science was assessed by a combination of industry, academia and professional bodies, as well as GCHQ and other government departments to receive its provisional certification in June 2015.

The initiative is part of new drive to develop the UK’s knowledge, skills and capability in all fields of cyber security as part of The National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) run by the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance within Cabinet Office which coordinates work undertaken by government departments to implement the UK Cyber Security Strategy.

Professor Mark Ryan, academic lead for Computer Security, said: ‘We are delighted to receive this important recognition by GCHQ. The accreditation is important not just for helping prospective students make better informed decisions when looking for highly valued qualifications but it also helps potential employers who wish to recruit and develop their staff.

The high quality teaching provided to computer scientists at Birmingham brings world leading research in the field into the classroom. This support from GCHQ is an important step forward in equipping young people with the skills and knowledge required for improving computer security.

*provisional certification was granted for programmes which are currently running but did not have a cohort complete in the academic year 2013/14.