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Wales-first for USW as second cyber Masters course gets Government authority’s approval

The University of South Wales (USW) has become the first institution in the country to have two of its Masters cyber security courses recognised for their high standards.

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USW’s MSc in Cyber Security has achieved provisional certification under the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) General broad foundation Master’s Degree standard.

The National Cyber Security Centre was launched in October 2016 is the UK’s lead technical authority on cyber security. GCHQ is its parent body, meaning that it can draw on the organisation’s world-class skills and sensitive capabilities.

The accreditation follows the approval of USW’s Masters in Computer Forensics in 2016, when it became the only university in Wales to gain the prestigious provisional certification from GCHQ, the UK Government’s Communications HQ.


The process of certification involved rigorous assessment of the staff team, content and university facilities – everything that influences the overall quality of the course.

It requires a complex and lengthy document that covers every detail of the programme, and approval under this scheme means that the courses meet the high standards of the NCSC.

‘We are delighted to have been awarded provisional certification for our MSc Cyber Security degree from the NCSC,” said Clare Johnson, Head of Cyber Security at USW.

“Certification assures our students that what they will study is both relevant and at the necessary standard, and it is particularly pleasing that we are the only university in Wales to now have two certified Master’s courses in cyber security disciplines.

“We have made some changes to the programme over the past year to ensure it meets the needs of industry, and look forward to submitting our application for full certification over the next 12 months.”

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director, said: “It’s great to see the University of South Wales’s commitment to helping boost the cyber security talent pipeline.

“With provisional certification, prospective students are able to make better informed choices when choosing their course and future employers know they’re recruiting graduates who have been well taught and rigorously assessed.

“Being the only university in Wales offering two NCSC-certified courses is a huge achievement and we look forward to continue working with USW towards full certification.”