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FutureLearn students prove cyber security knowledge with APMG International exam for GCHQ Certified Training course ‘Introduction to Cyber Security

Examination certificate now available for The Open University’s GCHQ-certified Introduction to Cyber Security course on the FutureLearn platform

London, 17 October 2017: FutureLearn and The Open University (OU) are delighted to announce that the independent certification body, APMG International, is now offering an examination specifically designed for those who have completed the OU’s ‘Introduction to Cyber Security’ course. This will enable learners to demonstrate their knowledge and gain external accreditation.

The Open University’s Introduction to Cyber Security course is incredibly popular, now on it’s twelfth run and is already recognised as GCHQ Certified Training – GCT against the industry standard IISP Skills Framework.

Now, with the extension of this external examination option from APMG International, learners will be able to revise and practice the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the course and gain a certificate from APMG International, demonstrating proof of their knowledge and setting them apart from other candidates in a competitive environment.

The course Introduction to Cyber Security which started on 16th October and runs for eight weeks, will help learners understand online security and protect their digital life both at work and at home. Learners can join the course anytime during the eight weeks. As part of the course, learners will discover how to recognise online threats such as malware, including viruses and trojans. In addition, they will discuss concepts such as network security, cryptography, identity theft and risk management. Finally, they will understand what steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a cyber attack.  

Richard Pharro, CEO, APMG International, says: “Good Cyber security is essential for businesses to survive and thrive. Businesses need everyone to be aware of the fundamentals of cyber security. This GCHQ Certified Training (GCT) Cyber Security course has been assessed against GCHQ standards, to ensure it delivers high quality content and education. An independent exam, developed by APMG, confirming your understanding of the training and information you have received is valuable recognition of your knowledge and comprehension of the course. Successful candidates will be awarded an APMG certificate to demonstrate this, which can help employers identify their awareness of this key subject in a competitive job market.”

Dr Arosha Bandara, Senior Lecturer in Computing, The Open University, says: “Cyber security is a global challenge for individuals, organisations and governments, and it is critical that everyone takes responsibility for keeping digital systems secure from attack.  We developed Introduction to Cyber Security so that everyone can play their part in protecting their systems, and I am very pleased to support the addition of an APMG examination to the course, which gives learners an opportunity to formally certify their knowledge and demonstrate their cyber security skills.”   

The examination costs £120 and will be taken through a remote proctoring service and can therefore be scheduled at a time and location to suit the candidate. The exam will consist of 70 multiple choice questions to be completed within one hour. A score of 35 or more must be achieved to pass. Successful candidates will be awarded a certificate from APMG International.

Simon Pearson, Head of Consumer Products, FutureLearn, says: “There is a recognised shortage of skills in the workforce when it comes to cyber security, so we’re delighted that this course will now have an additional examination option whereby our learners can demonstrate their skills and gain certification from a well-respected independent body. The majority of businesses now share information via the internet, and as such they want employees with demonstrable knowledge about how to keep information secure, in order to reduce the operational and reputational risk of data breaches. With the European Union GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018, there is an additional legal imperative.”  

Learners who upgrade on the course or have previously purchased a certificate  will be eligible for a 20% discount on the price.   

As with most FutureLearn courses, this course can be taken for free or there is the option to upgrade to receive additional benefits.


Notes to Editors

For further press information, please contact:

Niamh O’Grady, Head of Communications, FutureLearn,

About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 6.5 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.

About The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has almost 170,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas.

Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the latest assessment exercise for university research (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), nearly three quarters (72%) of The Open University’s research was assessed as 4 or 3 star – the highest ratings available – and awarded to research that is world-leading or internationally excellent.  The Open University is unique among UK universities having both an access mission and demonstrating research excellence.

For further information please visit:

About APMG International  

APMG accredits organisations to deliver training courses and consultancy services for a broad range of professional certification schemes.

Our long history of accrediting organisations worldwide – combined with our rigorous assessment process means that APMG accredited organisations are recognised for their commitment to delivering exceptional service.

We have a diverse portfolio of certification schemes including internationally renowned solutions for project, business and IT management, Cyber Security and Public-private partnerships.  

For further information please visit:

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