UK's first computer hacking degree launched

Scottish university says students will be carefully vetted...
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Scottish university says students will be carefully vetted...

A degree course in computer hacking has been launched by a Scottish university in response to industry demand for IT security experts.

The University of Abertay in Dundee will run the BSc (Hons) undergraduate course in Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures from the start of the next academic year in October.

Around 30 places are available on the course, which the university says will provide a graduate with knowledge of how illegal computer attacks can be performed and how they can be stopped.

The university prospectus said: "In the same way that police detectives need to know how thieves can steal, computer systems administrators need to know what hackers can do."

The university said it has launched the degree course in response to demand from industry for people with the skills to test the security of corporate IT networks.

A university spokesman said: "There are an increasing number of compliance regulations and insurance policies that insist businesses carry out security checks on their networks."

The university also stressed it will be vetting students "very carefully" in accordance with Home Office guidelines and that they will be monitored closely throughout the course.

The spokesman said: "We are not going to give them the full set of tools on day one."

Although many existing undergraduate computing degrees cover elements of this new course, Abertay claims to be the first UK university to offer a dedicated degree course in hacking.

There are also ethical hacking courses and qualifications offered by private sector IT training organisations such as the Training Camp, which launched a course two years ago.

Plus: Read our leader on ethical hacking.

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