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Lancaster University launches trailblazing cyber MBA

MBA programme at Lancaster University designed to deliver security leadership education to business leaders has received NCSC backing

Lancaster University has launched a new MBA programme via its Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), delivering cyber security leadership education to business executives.

Developed with input from cyber consultancy Templar Executives, the university believes the course is a “unique proposition” and has just secured backing and certification from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Lancaster University already has a particularly strong track record in cyber security – it already offers an NCSC-accredited MSc degree in cyber security and this year added a BSc Hons course.

The part-time, post-grad Cyber Executive Masters in Business Administration (CEMBA) course will combine business and technical knowledge to empower participants with the skills and confidence to manage security risks and crucially, address the security knowledge and skills gap that persists in UK boardrooms.

“We have developed our Cyber Executive MBA programme to deliver the next generation of cyber leaders, ensuring that increasingly vital cyber security knowledge and skills are firmly embedded in the top decision-making tiers of UK businesses,” said Daniel Prince, professor of cyber security at Lancaster University.

“CEMBA is a natural addition to the wide-ranging suite of cyber security activities that Lancaster University is engaged with across different educational tiers, but also across research, engagement with business, and other critical partnerships. As such it is fantastic to have the CEMBA certified by the UK’s NCSC.”

The course focuses on some of the critical behaviours demonstrated by the most effective cyber leaders via a “practice-based, challenge-led curriculum”. Among other things, it explores how business leaders collaborate with technologists and others across organisations to remain secure and resilient.

“This ground-breaking postgraduate qualification from Lancaster University and our experts from Templar Executives, has been developed specifically with industry needs in mind. At a time when cyber is one of the highest risks acknowledged by organisations and board-level executives, the CEMBA is providing a vital pipeline of senior leaders to address the cyber challenges and opportunities in a practical business context,” said Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO of Templar Executives.

Achieving NCSC certification, meanwhile, provides quality assurance to potential students and is supposed to help make UK universities more attractive to foreign students.

To become certified, a programme must have been running for both the current and previous academic year and have at least one cohort of graduates. Provisional certification is also available for new programmes.

“The certification of Lancaster University’s Cyber Security MBA degree by the NCSC demonstrates our shared commitment to responsibly developing the cyber security talent pipeline,” said NCSC deputy director for cyber growth, Chris Ensor.

“Offering an NCSC-certified degree helps prospective students make better informed choices about the quality of courses available, and employers can be assured that graduates will be well-taught and have valued industry skills.”

The establishment of the CEMBA course comes in the wake of a £19m investment made last year by Lancaster University in security and protection sciences, supporting work for 33 new cross-disciplinary academics, 15 professor-in-practice roles, and 10 support staff.

The institution said this investment would build on its recognised position as a centre of cyber expertise, research and training, and support its role in Northwest England’s growing security economy.

The university is already involved in the running of the recently launched Manchester Digital Security Hub (DiSH) startup accelerator, and has had a hand in the development of the UK’s National Cyber Force (NCF), located in Samlesbury, which is also home to the Boddingtons brewery and was the site of a notable 17th century witch trial – in which all three of the accused were acquitted.

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