£7.5m funding boost for UK cybersecurity PhDs

Two UK universities are to receive millions of pounds of investment to help finance tens of PhDs in online security.

Two UK universities are to receive £7.5m in funding to help develop the country's skills in online security.

Oxford University will use its £3.65m grant to set up a Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security. As well as computer science, the 12 PhD students at the centre will also be expected to study areas including human and social sciences, as well as business, ethics, law, international relations and research methods, the university said.

They'll also be sent into businesses to gain real-world experience of the online threats facing organisations, and will study themes including big data and "effective systems verification and assurance".

Royal Holloway University has also been earmarked for £3.8m of funding for its own Centre of Doctoral Research.  

The money will go towards funding 10 PhDs, with students spending time at companies including IBM and McAfee during their studies.

The £7.5m investment was made jointly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which contributed £2.5m, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which supplied the remaining £5m.