Cardiff Capital Region’s City Deal (CCR) recognises the growing need for cyber skills. With 50% of all UK businesses facing a cyber security skills gap, it’s vital to equip people with the right skills and tools they need to meet the sector’s demands.
In partnership with PwC’s Ethical Hacking and Cyber Security team, Cardiff University has developed an advanced Cyber Security and Technology MSc programme. Alongside valuable theoretical foundations, PwC deliver practical masterclasses to support hands-on technical learning. With both industry-leading content and access to cutting edge research, the programme offers a clear pathway to a successful cybersecurity career.
Fully Funded Studentships
CCR has provided essential financial support to three cohorts of students on this programme, offering 15 fully funded places allocated on a competitive basis. These studentships provide support for covering tuition fees, along with £5,000 towards living costs whilst studying on the course.
We spoke to a former student, Esther Pearson, who is now working as a Graduate Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space. She shared her experience of the funded studentship:
“Receiving the financial support meant that for the first time since starting university, I was able to focus on my studies without having to work part-time to make ends meet. With this freedom, I was able to fully immerse myself in student life and enrol in additional courses and modules. I truly believe that had I not been able to do this, I would have had a very difficult time when it came to securing employment after graduating.”
Why is CCR investing in this programme?
CCR prioritises practical, employer-led learning that produces highly skilled cybersecurity professionals to meet industry demands. By focusing on real-life problem-solving and work-readiness, the course prepares students to enter the industry with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed.
Esther explains why the programme appealed to her:
“I didn’t come from a cyber security background, so I was apprehensive when I initially heard about the course and was aware I might fail to grasp the course material. I expressed my concerns to Senior Lecturer Dr Yulia Cherdantseva, who told me that the course was structured to accommodate anyone with a technology degree. I had never given much thought to cyber security until I researched it and found that, given how pervasive it is in modern society, I became fascinated with the topic. I was also aware of a cyber security skills shortage, so I was preparing to gain an advantage when the time came for me to look for employment.
“The practical, hands-on teaching methods used throughout the course were extremely beneficial in developing and cementing my newfound skills, which have carried over into my role on the graduate scheme at Airbus.”
The programme promotes collaboration and partnership – higher education, industry, and local government are brought together to support leading research and learning outside of the classroom. Working with PwC sets a leading example for other businesses in the region to adapt our model and build upon skills development in other priority areas.
By investing in this programme, CCR will support the development of a cybersecurity talent pool rooted in South East Wales. Our Region has the potential to gain a reputation as a hub of cyber talent – encouraging cyber businesses to call South East Wales home.
[Cyber Lab image from cardiff.ac.uk]