College degree apprenticeship recognised by the NCSC

Gloucestershire College cyber facilities[2]

Gloucestershire College has become the first college in England to offer a degree apprenticeship recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ.

The Integrated Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security, delivered in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), has been awarded provisional certification by the UK’s cyber experts, in the latest round of its certified degree initiative.

All of the newly recognised courses received ‘provisional’ certification, meaning the course may not have started this academic year. Full certification is applicable to courses that have seen at least one cohort already graduate; it does not indicate a higher level of recognition.

The initiative aims to help students make informed decisions about the courses on offer and set a high standard of cyber security teaching across UK institutions.

Launched in 2020 by the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan MP, the first cohort of degree apprentices work for local businesses, including Bamboo Technology Group, CDS Defence and Security, Cyber Security Associates, Infrastar, South Gloucestershire Council and Babcock International.

Taught at the college’s new £3 million cyber, IT and engineering facilities at Cheltenham Campus, apprentices will gain a UWE Bristol BSc (Hons) Cyber Security Technical Professional degree and experience in leading teams to manage cyber security risks and secure solutions end-to-end; and detecting and responding to incidents.

Andy Bates, Chief Financial Officer at GC, said: “We’re delighted to be the first college in the country to achieve recognition by the NCSC for our cyber degree apprenticeship. Cheltenham is on track to become the cyber tech capital of the UK, thanks to the Golden Valley Development and links to GCHQ.”

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “I am delighted that the University of the West of England’s Integrated Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security, delivered in partnership with Gloucestershire College, is now certified by the NCSC, giving prospective students yet another route into a cyber security career.

“I believe this recognition will help prospective students make more informed choices about the courses that are on offer and give employers the confidence that their apprentices will be given the foundations on which to build valued industry skills.”

Ian Johnson, Associate Head of Department Information Science and Co-Director of UWEcyber, said: “As an NCSC recognised Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education we are very proud of both this recognition for our integrated degree apprenticeship, and our partnership with Gloucester College, enhancing our reputation as a beacon of excellence in cyber security education across the region.”