We are educating a new generation of research leaders and security, analytics and artificial intelligence professionals with the skills, knowledge and adaptability to address real-world challenges.
Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hub in Cyber Security Analytics supported by an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
Aims and research areas
The area of focus for this hub is cybersecurity analytics – the fusion of AI, cybersecurity and risk – which considers the applications and implications of new and emerging technologies across these three lenses from both a human and algorithmic perspective. Here at Cardiff University, we are one of the foremost authorities in this area. Future industrial leaders in this area will need to be critical and innovative in designing new technology-driven systems, recognising that cybersecurity and AI are human-centred challenges that cannot be achieved with technology alone. They will need to be trained early on in their career as reflexive practitioners who understand the limits of AI, the challenges of ethical integration into socio-technical systems, and the potential for misuse.
Our unique programme provides a holistic training perspective that aims to develop future leaders who can communicate (and debate) the best ways to address the challenge of fusing cybersecurity, AI and risk, to the benefit of future generations. Without this cohort-based training environment, we argue that future leaders will miss opportunities to co-create a world with a much richer interdisciplinary understanding of AI and cyber threats from a systems and human perspective. This would result in new technologies containing inherent exploitable vulnerabilities that will have an exacerbated impact as we become more dependent on interconnected autonomous systems. The interdisciplinary co-creation of new research that leads the way in addressing these topics sits at the core of the research goals in the hub.
We expect our graduates to take up employment across a range of sectors where the cybersecurity of new technologies such as AI is critical. Expected roles include:
- strategic research directors
- legal and governance practitioners
- social policy officers
- technology developers
- data scientists
- human factors experts.
These are just a few roles from an increasing number of areas where the advancements of new technologies are vital.
Research environment and training programme
We offer fully-funded PhDs that are all supervised across three different Schools within the University:
- Computer Science and Informatics
- Social Sciences.
The core theme of Cyber Security Analytics will be delivered through two cross-cutting skills and knowledge-oriented pathways:
- Beneficial and Adversarial applications of AI in Cyber Security. This is the data science and most algorithm-focused AI pathway.
- Human Factors in cyber and new tech and study motivations of Cybercrime. This pathway draws on Human Factors, Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Criminology, and Sociology.
The pathways align with an original set of training needs identified jointly by the academic team and external partners through regular engagement via existing collaborative research programmes, ideas exchange events, and advisory groups. We have extensive research excellence in these areas and the pathways act as a mechanism to maximise disciplinary overlap and develop a clear focus for the research challenges to be addressed within the hub, which relate to the UK Government vision for the industrial strategy. All students will have a supervisor from both pathways to ‘design-in’ interdisciplinary and cross-cutting challenges and thought development.
Why study cybersecurity analytics with us?
Government and industry recognition for research excellence
We are recognised by EPSRC and NCSC as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). We are one of only 19 ACE-CSRs in the UK and seen as a leading institution for cybersecurity analytics. This is evidenced in industry by our recognition as Airbus' only Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics in the world. Our academics are involved in significant internal research and development programmes at Airbus, leading both AI for cybersecurity technical programmes and human factors psychology programmes within Airbus’ Digital Transformation Office, thereby driving industrial uptake of these combined concepts. Social and technical aspects are considered equal within the hub.
We have invested significant funds in research infrastructure for this topic, including a state-of-the-art cyber range and immersive cyber-attack and defence lab shared across the School of Computer Science and Informatics, and the School of Psychology. The facilities in the lab underpin experimental research for human and technical aspects of cybersecurity and developing evidence-based knowledge and understanding of next-generation cyber threats including:
- vulnerability testing a range of large next-generation virtualised infrastructures by threat hunting to identify where cyber-attacks could impact them
- determining the optimum approaches for ensuring security by design - ie. ensuring the threats are mitigated before the digital environment is rolled out in the real-world
- developing and testing novel automated cyber-attack and defence solutions
- training and skills development in both technical cyber-attack and defence methods, and human factors surrounding susceptibility to attack and communication/decision making responses to attack stimuli and cyber intelligence under stress while exposed to attack.
For more information, please contact the hub’s Academic Lead, Professor Pete Burnap.
Our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes offer you the chance to immerse yourself in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary environment with major developments in the theory and practise of cyber security, data science, analytics and artificial intelligence at its core.
We have postgraduate research opportunities available in a number of areas for full and part-time students.
Funding and studentships
Each year we provide a small number of scholarships and studentships to outstanding students to support their research. We also host a significant number of sponsored and self-funded students.
UK Government Postgraduate funding for Master’s study
Master's Excellence Scholarships
Funded PhD Scholarship
There are more funding options available.