New online course: Cyber Security for Public Leadership

Ciaran Martin teaching

A new online short course, Cyber Security for Public Leadership: Planning, Policy and Strategy has been launched by the Blavatnik School of Government, in partnership with Pearson. The course will prepare leaders to keep their organisation safe from cyber incidents.

Organisations are increasingly reliant on technology and data in their day-to-day work. New technology has increased efficiency and access across the globe, but it has also brought new and complex organisational risks. The new Cyber Security for Public Leadership course is an intensive, eight-week online course that uses a mixture of activities, including simulation exercises and the analysis of real-world case studies, to explore strategies for planning for and mitigating cyber threats.

Cyber Security for Public Leadership is delivered entirely online, making Oxford’s world-renowned teaching available to all. Directed by Ciaran Martin, Professor of Practice in the Management of Public Organisations, and Dr Noran Fouad, Postdoctoral Research Associate, the course will explore both the technical and human factors that impact cyber security.

Enrolment is open now for the first intake of students starting in August 2022.

Find out more about Cyber Security for Public Leadership and enrol now.

Ciaran Martin, Professor of Practice in the Management of Public Organisations and director of the course said:

"Many people are afraid of cyber security as a topic, seeing it as a set of serious risks they can’t understand. But while the risks are serious, but they can be understood and that’s crucial for managing them. This practical course takes you through the panoply of cyber harms and the way to prepare for and react to them. It will equip leaders of organisations to think more coherently about cyber risk and manage it better with their operational teams, and understand the wider context in which cyber insecurity affects society at every level."

The course features eight modules, introducing the basics of technology and its misuse, the harms caused by malicious activity, understanding who hacks and why, how to develop security defences and cyber security in times of crisis. Activities will include a real-life security incident simulation, readings, reflection exercises, multiple-choice questions and discussion forums. An independent assignment will be due at the end of the programme.

The course is designed for those in a non-technical leadership role looking to improve their organisational and strategic understanding of cyber threats and how to mitigate them. It is particularly applicable to leaders in the public service, private organisations that provide public services, or in any organisation that holds and processes substantial amounts of sensitive data. 

This is the fourth online course created by the Blavatnik School and delivered in partnership with Pearson; our Evidence in Public PolicyValues and Public Policy and Economics for Public Policy courses are also currently open for enrolment.

Visit to find out more about all our online courses.