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Student Placements

We work with innovative organisations to offer business-relevant challenges for our students to address over a placement of around 12 weeks full time or part time. Students can be based either on-site with the partner business, at the University, or a mix of the two.

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A Multi-Disciplinary approach to Cyber Security

The Lancaster University Cyber Security Programme combines interdisciplinary teaching from a number of the University’s world-leading departments. Collaborating businesses will benefit from expertise from the School of Computing and Communications, Psychology, Law, Social Science, Politics and Philosophy and the Lancaster University Management School through business placement programme.

Each project will be undertaken by an appropriately skilled graduate with a background in cyber security management, cyber resilience, infrastructure protection and cyber behaviours. Each graduate will be supported by a named academic.

What expertise is on offer?

  • Security of large scale networks
  • Security of cyber physical systems and critical national infrastructures
  • New forms of privacy and identity
  • Cyber security behaviours
  • Threat intelligence and cyber analytics
  • Cyber security risk management
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What is the Process?

Each partner organisation provides an indication to the University of their wish to participate in the programme by the end of December each year. This indication gives details of the number of placements offered and, in broad terms, their likely topics and objectives.

Students are invited to apply for the offered placement opportunities from January. The students are interviewed and selected by the placement hosts. Students are assigned an academic supervisor and are expected to produce a detailed project specification by May. The placements take place from June until September, with the student generally spending the majority of this time on their host's premises.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have prepared some answers to the most commonly asked by companies questions regarding the student placement process. Please contact us if you would like further clarification.


  • Do I have to provide work space for the student?

    Students can be based either on-site with the partner business, at the university, or a mix of the two.

  • How Do We Manage IP?

    Hosting organisations will own the output of the work performed by the student in the course of the project. Hosting organisations will be expected to provide consent for the student to produce a dissertation based on the work performed during the project.

  • How much does the programme cost?

    A contribution equivalent to the UK minimum wage is sought from partner organisations. For 12-week projects, this is typically around £3,000.

  • Is my organisation suitable?

    We are interested in partnering with an organisation that can offer our students a challenging cyber security project that is related to their business activity. We can arrange partnerships with a diverse range of organisations from SMEs to multinationals and across commercial, non-profit and government sectors.

    If your organisation processes significant quantities of data or has complex digital systems; wishes to enhance digital security of your products or services, or wishes cyber security to a new business ideas: then we're interested in discussing partnerships with you.

  • What sort of project area is suitable?

    A project will be suitable if it allows our students to use the cyber security skills they will gain during the taught component of their course. However, we would not undertake projects which could be easily found in the sector, for example penetration testing or cyber security certification.

  • How will students be assigned to my project?

    We will work with you to build a requirements profile that lists the skills and attributes that will be necessary to make the placement a success. We will invite you to present your placement to our students and will ask students to register their interest. Based on the profile that you have provided and the list of interested students you will be asked to shortlist students with whom you would like to discuss the placement further. From these discussions, we will look to agree on an assignment.

  • What if no students meet my selection criteria?

    You will not be obliged to take any student that you feel is unsuitable for a place within your organisation. We will work to overcome any difficulties, but if a suitable student cannot be found the placement will not go ahead. In this case, no placement bursary will be paid. You will, however, retain your Cyber Security Partner status.

  • What if no students express interest in my placements?

    We expect we will be able to highlight the relevance of each project to the students' development and the opportunities presented. In the case where no students can be found for a project no bursary will need to be paid, but your organisation will maintain its Cyber Security Partner status and will be invited to collaborate in other ways with a view to finding a placement in the following academic years.

  • What if something goes wrong during the placement?

    Academic and Support staff will maintain regular contact both with students and the hosts to ensure any issues are identified at an early stage. Initial responsibility for managing issues rests with Dr Simon Tomlinson (Business Engagement), with escalation through the course directors.

  • What if I can't agree on a suitable project with the university?

    Placements will not proceed unless a project is specified which meets the following criteria:

    • The project must be related to the core activity of the host organisation
    • The project must be academically demanding as assessed by the University
    • The project must be related to one or more cyber security domains

    We do not anticipate issues with specifying projects to meet these criteria, but all parties must be in agreement to enable the placement to proceed.

  • Who owns the project output?

    IP rights will be held by the hosting organisation, with the proviso that the student is able to produce a dissertation based on the work performed and the university is given access to the work to enable verification of the account given in the dissertation.

Contact Us

For information on how your organisation can work with Security Lancaster Institute, please contact Dr Simon Tomlinson below.

Simon Tomlinson

Dr Simon Tomlinson

Data Science Business Engagement Manager

+44 (0)1524 510537 C73/C74, C - Floor, InfoLab21