A UK Case Study on Cybersecurity Education and Accreditation

James Davenport, Thomas Crick, Alastair Irons, Tom Prickett

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


This paper presents a national case study-based analysis of the numerous dimensions to cybersecurity education and how they are prioritised, implemented and accredited; from understanding the interaction of hardware and software, moving from theory to practice (and vice versa), to human factors, policy and politics (as well as various other important facets). A multitude of model curricula and recommendations have been presented and discussed in international fora in recent years, with varying levels of impact on education, policy and practice. This paper address three key questions: i) what is taught and what should be taught for cybersecurity to general computer science students; ii) should cybersecurity be taught stand-alone or in an integrated manner to general computer science students; and iii) can accreditation by national professional, statutory and regulatory bodies enhance the provision of cybersecurity within a body's jurisdiction?

Evaluating how cybersecurity is taught in all aspects of computer science is clearly a task of considerable size, one that is beyond the scope of this paper. Instead a case study-based research approach -- primarily focusing on the UK -- has been adopted to evaluate the evidence of the teaching of cybersecurity within general computer science to university-level students. Thus, in the context of widespread international computer science/engineering curriculum reform, what does this need to embed cybersecurity knowledge and skills mean more generally for institutions and educators, and how can we teach this subject more effectively? Through this UK case study, and by contrasting with related initiatives in the US, we demonstrate the positive effect that national accreditation requirements can have, and offer some recommendations both for future research and curriculum developments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education 2019
Publication statusAcceptance date - 12 Jul 2019
EventFrontiers in Education Conference 2019 - Cincinnati, USA United States
Duration: 16 Oct 201919 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2377-634X


ConferenceFrontiers in Education Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleFIE 2019
Country/TerritoryUSA United States
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'A UK Case Study on Cybersecurity Education and Accreditation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this