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GCHQ certifies Royal Holloway's MSc in Information Security

Posted on 04/08/2014

Royal Holloway, University of London’s MSc in Information Security is one of four Master’s degrees in the UK that has received full certification for its excellence in Cyber Security education.

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.

GCHQ judged the selected Master’s degrees to provide well-defined and appropriate content, delivered to the highest standard.

Professor Keith Mayes, from the Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway, said: “We are delighted that our MSc in Information Security has been recognised by GCHQ with the award of fully certified status. Our alumni of MSc and PhD postgraduates now number more than 3,000 experts who are carrying out vital and senior level security work around the world.

“We are strongly supportive of UK educational initiatives and we intend to become one of the Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACEs-CSE). This will complement our extensive research activities where we are already an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, and we also host one of only two EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security in the UK.”

The ISG launched its flagship MSc in Information Security back in 1992, when it was the first such programme in the world. In 1998 it received The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its work. The award citation read: “This pioneering Group provides a unique national resource for the training of information security specialists and the development of highly secure communications and computer systems. It offers world-leading independent expertise in a field of crucial importance where trust and integrity are paramount.”

Speaking about the certification, a spokesperson for GCHQ, said: “The development of GCHQ-certified Master’s degrees will help the successful universities to promote the quality of their courses and assist prospective students to make better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification. It will also assist employers to differentiate between candidates when employing Cyber Security staff.”

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, added: "Every time I visit GCHQ I see first-hand their tremendous work on Cyber Security. Cyber Security is a crucial part of this government's long term plan for the British economy. We want to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online. Through the excellent work of GCHQ, in partnership with other government departments, the private sector and academia, we are able to counter threats and ensure together we are stronger and more aware."

Royal Holloway’s MSc in Information Security will start its 23rd academic year in September 2014, with over 100 students joining the programme to receive world class Cyber Security training.



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