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Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education

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QUB is an ACE-CSE. An ACE-CSE is awarded from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to universities demonstrating excellence in cyber security education.

Our diverse ACE-CSE team is led by Dr Sandra Scott-Hayward from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS), and is made up of staff from each faculty and professional services including Information Services, People and Culture, and Careers.

Together, we are delivering Queen’s cyber security strategy to strengthen cyber security awareness and knowledge across all education pathways, operational areas of the institution and the wider community.



Over recent years, we have expanded the cyber security curriculum provision through the addition of new modules for undergraduate students in the School of EEECS. This builds on our certified Master’s degree in Applied Cyber Security, which has been running since 2014. As part of developing cyber security expertise across degree pathways, we offer joint courses between Cyber Security and Law at Master’s level.

Since its foundation in 2009, the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s has developed a strong reputation in this critical technology area. We have been recognised as an ACE-CSR since 2011. CSIT played a leading role in the formation and evolution of the local cyber security cluster, NI Cyber. Our strong industry engagement enables us to both offer our students access to a vibrant cyber security cluster, and to provide a pipeline of high-quality graduates with skills that are relevant for the future.

Our Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society (LINCS) doctoral training programme ran from 2015 to 2022 addressing the challenge of threats to the security of governmental, economic, and social activity conducted in cyberspace. A highlight of the LINCS programme has been the doctoral scholar’s involvement and success in the Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge competition. With the successor LINAS programme (Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Algorithmic Solutions), we are building on the successful collaborations that have taken root through LINCS.



We are rolling out cyber security training for the complete student body. This is a suite of cyber security immersive experiences presented in virtual 3D student-oriented scenarios, which we designed and developed in partnership with Zubr.

Across the University, cyber security will continue to grow as a subject of inquiry within the social sciences, concerning such issues as digital piracy, privacy and the law, international relations and conflict, and public policy, and within the medical and life sciences, concerning such issues as securing healthcare data, security of connected medical devices, food security, and biosecurity.

Northern Ireland has an ambitious target of growing the number of cyber security professionals in the region to 5,000 by 2030. Demonstrating the University’s commitment to supporting individuals to upskill and reskill, Queen’s, supported by the Department for the Economy, is offering postgraduate Certificate scholarships in Applied Cyber Security. Over the next five years, QUB ACE-CSE initiatives will further build the talent pipeline to develop awareness and knowledge of cyber security within and beyond Queen’s, which we believe is fundamental to addressing the societal challenge of cyber security.

Silver-Award ACE-CSE


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - a part of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)- awarded the university silver recognition from its ACE-CSE programme after Queen’s demonstrated that it is delivering first-rate cyber security education on campus and promoting cyber skills in its community.

For more details, please read our Press Release.


As an ACE-CSE, we believe that each student should have the opportunity to learn good cyber security practices that will benefit them in their student, work, and social lives.

Guided by student views, input, and feedback, we have developed a suite of cyber security immersive experiences presented in virtual 3D student-oriented scenarios e.g., student residence, university computer lab, coffee shop.

We invite you to complete the immersive cyber security training. Contact your School for details.



Cybersecurity awareness is an essential component of Queen’s commitment to maintaining a secure digital environment. The university places a high priority on educating staff about the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Through online training programs, workshops, and informational resources, we empower our staff with the knowledge and tools they need to recognise and mitigate potential risks.

CyberFirst Empower Girls Event

CyberFirst Empower 

Inspiring young minds … at the inaugural Northern Ireland CyberFirst Empower Girls event!

The QUB ACE-CSE were delighted to be part of the first ever EmPower Girls Northern Ireland event in April 2024. Hosted by CyberFirst, this spectacular event brought together over 250 Year 8 girls from 12 schools across Northern Ireland, igniting their interest in technology and cybersecurity. This initiative couldn't be more crucial! Did you know that women make up just 23% of the tech industry in Northern Ireland? EmPower Girls is taking a bold step to challenge this imbalance, offering our young girls a vibrant, immersive experience that showcases the diverse roles available in tech and cybersecurity.

We were in incredible company, joined by over 30 industry leaders, academic institutions, and government bodies, including big names like BBC, KPMG, Microsoft, Danske Bank, Kainos and many more. The aim? Inspire more girls to envision themselves in a cybersecurity career. A huge thank you to CyberFirst for the invitation to be a part of this transformative event.

Let's continue to empower the next generation of female tech leaders!