Department of Computer Science awarded grant to boost graduate skills in cybersecurity and AI

• The Department has been awarded £183K to develop two new MSc programmes combining cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI).
• The funding will help the Department inspire and educate future students - the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

AI

The University of Sheffield is one of 30 universities and colleges in England to be awarded a share of £6.1 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to develop new and enhanced higher education courses.

The Department of Computer Science has been awarded £183k of project funding from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund programme which will help boost skills in key sectors identified in the Industry Strategy. HEFCE’s investment will help to enhance graduate outcomes and employability. The aim is to upskill the workforce, by providing the key skills that industry and employers will need and thereby contribute to UK productivity in the longer term.

The University of Sheffield will use its HEFCE grant to develop two new MSc programmes combining cyber security and artificial intelligence (AI).

Professor John Clark, Chair of Computer and Information Security in the Department of Computer Science, said: “Cybersecurity is one of the biggest problems facing the UK and artificial intelligence has enormous potential for solving many of the cybersecurity problems we face. We will develop versatile graduates who can make an impact across many digital sectors, from commerce, local government, health and policing, through to industrial plant control.

“It's not just an academic endeavour: national and local organizations are helping too, for example, by providing seminar speakers to ensure that our students appreciate the problems faced and by sponsoring research projects. The HEFCE funding will help us develop high quality online content that gives flexible access by those seeking specialist training to support their work and full-time students alike. We think the mixture of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence is going to be very well received and look forward to our graduates having real impact.”

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest problems facing the UK and artificial intelligence has enormous potential for solving many of the cybersecurity problems we face.

Professor John Clark, Chair of Computer and Information Security in the Department of Computer Science

Professor Guy Brown, Head of the Department of Computer Science said: “Tackling future challenges in computer and information security will require an understanding of two cutting-edge areas: cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. This significant award from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund will enable the Department of Computer Science to develop innovative MSc programmes and continuing professional development (CPD) courses that meet this need. The government’s industrial strategy recognises that cybersecurity expertise is a critical issue for UK companies; and of course this is a particular issue in Sheffield, which has a rapidly expanding digital sector. I am therefore particularly pleased that this HEFCE award will strengthen our links with local and regional employers, thus helping the University of Sheffield to train the next generation of cybersecurity experts in the Sheffield City Region and beyond.”

HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, said: “We were delighted with the quality of proposals received for this funding call and particularly the impressive levels of engagement between higher education and industry.

‘This investment represents important support for the government’s Industrial Strategy. The funding will provide new courses and vital skill developments in key industrial sectors across the country, from which students, the workforce and employers all stand to benefit.”