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UK creates ‘university degrees’ in cyber security

8/04/2014 by


GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence agency for information assurance, will approve UK postgraduate courses in cyber security – effectively endorsing a Masters in spying, recent reports claim. This might come in useful for the agency’s own employees.

GCHQ, the UK government surveillance agency, is to give its stamp of approval to postgraduate courses in cyber security, essentially certified degrees for spies.

The 39-page document from GCHQ, seen by the Independent, says that the increasing number of courses in security related subjects at institutions across the UK means that it is becoming more and more difficult to “assess the quality of the degrees on offer.”

In order to gain certification a master’s degree must offer a “general, broad foundation in cyber security”and must also include a detailed knowledge of threats to online activity including “common attacks”,“malicious code” and “adversarial thinking.”

The new GCHQ certificates will be valid for five years before having to be renewed, and it is hoped the new system will create more clarity in what’s on offer.

The Cheltenham based surveillance agency has sent out a brief to all universities in the UK offering an MSc in cyber security to apply for certification before June 20.

A spokesperson for GCHQ told the Independent that as well as appealing to the public in general, the agency planned to send their own employees on the certified courses.

This article has been extracted from

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