A UK Case Study on Cybersecurity Education and Accreditation

Tom Crick, James Davenport, Alastair Irons, Tom Prickett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)


This Innovative Practice Full Paper presents a national case study-based analysis of the numerous dimensions to cybersecurity education and how they are 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 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 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 the US, we demonstrate the positive effect that national accreditation requirements can have, and give some recommendations both for future research and curriculum developments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE): October 16-19, 2019 Cincinnati, Ohio; proceedings
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117461
ISBN (Print)9781728117478
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Event49th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Bridging Education to the Future - Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Cincinatti, United States
Duration: 16 Oct 201919 Oct 2019


Conference49th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Abbreviated titleFIE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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