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Cyber Security Education

Lancaster University is recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre as a Gold Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Education. We are proud to be one of the first universities in the UK to hold this status in recognition of the work we do with businesses, the public, and our own high quality educational programmes.

Who we are

The overarching strategy for Lancaster University’s Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE) is founded on, and driven by, three distinctive, interlinked values of social responsibility, multi-disciplinary thinking and mutual collaboration. These values provide the guiding principles by which the university, in a broad sense, delivers cyber security engagement with the local, national and international communities we interact with.

We draw on equally multi-disciplinary expertise found in the university’s Cyber Security Research Centre (EPSRC/NCSC ACE-CSR) to provide a world class knowledge base which we use to grow cyber awareness and tackle key societal cyber security challenges.

What we do

Through our work, we seek to inspire the next generation of cyber-specialists to work flexibly, and with agility, to tackle the challenges of keeping our nation and citizens safe and secure as cyber security increases in importance on the international stage. We are well known for our academic research expertise and our multidisciplinary NCSC Certified MSc Cyber Security and most recently our new NCSC Certified Executive MBA in Cyber Security. Three new undergraduate degrees in Cyber Security will admit their first students in October 2023.

We have significant expertise in driving cyber security innovation in business through our leading role in the Lancashire and Greater Manchester Cyber Foundries and the Greater Manchester Digital Innovation and Security Hub. Lancaster University is also a University Enterprise Zone specialising in Secure Digitalisation.

Lancaster has identified a significant issue around SME (small and medium sized enterprise) adoption of good cyber security practice. This has resulted in the University adopting a core focus of “cyber innovation” to support businesses to grow and prosper through the embedding of cyber security practices, in addition to providing cyber security education to protect themselves. Our programmes support SMEs to develop business and product strategies intertwined with cyber security, ensuring it becomes an integral part of their business growth. Importantly, this programme works with any type of company, as we believe any company can derive growth and productivity from the innovative use of cyber security practices and technology. This philosophy is at the heart of our business engagement activity and to date we have worked with more than 300 SMEs to develop cyber innovation strategies, which in turn has brought dozens of new products to market.

Our ACE CSE plans for the future

We aim to continue to have a significant impact in the region, working alongside the National Cyber Force located in Lancashire, GCHQ located in Manchester and NCSC’s CyberFirst strand of activities.

We are seeking additional partnerships to help us grow the cyber talent and skills pipeline in the region, including the development of our business support activities to drive the regional cyber ecosystem including entrepreneurship, scale-up and supporting the continuing development of our expanding student population.

Over the next five years, the University is ideally positioned to grow the diversity of talent entering cyber security careers. This includes ensuring a range of graduates from diverse academic disciplines will be ‘cyber ready’ when they assume their roles as lawyers, historians, managers or artists. We will work closely with our school and FE college community to develop an awareness of cyber opportunities and career pathways. We will also continue to grow our business engagement and knowledge exchange activities, with a focus on Cyber Entrepreneurship and business scale up, supporting the continuing growth of the cyber economy.

Gold award recognition

Lancaster University is currently one of only ten trailblazing universities in the UK to hold Gold award recognition for its commitment to cyber security education under an initiative from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC): Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education.

NCSC recognition as one of the UK’s first Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACEs-CSE) was secured on the back of the university’s first-rate cyber security education programmes and research, promoting cyber skills in its regional community, business engagement with a large number of stakeholders and a high-level commitment to an ambitious investment programme for the future.


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