Looking beyond strong passwords

Today's students are tomorrow's experts

We live in a modern world, where our phones are rarely out of our hands and technology touches our lives in all sorts of ways.

It’s this reliance on technology that makes protecting it so important. You might not realise it, but cyber security is all around us – it’s not just about your email, passwords or how you unlock your phone. It delivers train timetables and traffic lights. It powers homes. It protects your medical records and your bank account. It’s in everything from gaming to music streaming; getting on a plane to calling a friend.

All that data has to be protected, but the fact is, there aren’t enough experts to fill our growing need. We need a new generation to fill a critical skill gap in protecting the UK.

In 2019 the DCMS reported that digital skills were required for 82% of online advertised openings across the UK”

That's why we need CyberFirst

CyberFirst began as a programme of opportunities to help young people explore their passion for technology. Today there are several initiatives designed to seek out those with potential, offer the support, skills, experience and exposure needed to be the future first line of defence in a CyberFirst world.

The CyberFirst Schools scheme (previously known as Cyber Schools Hub) has been hugely successful thanks to the support of local and global industries. Working with schools, universities, businesses and government bodies, our initiative is training tomorrow’s cyber security community.

Interested in CyberFirst?

Find out more now

Inspiring your students

Our core mission is to inspire and nurture talent by supporting young people to gain the skills, experience, and exposure they need to be the future first line of defence in our CyberFirst world.

From lesson plans and homework booklets, to vlogs from inspirational role models and students - you will find lots of great educational content on our resource pages.

Keep up to date with events and exclusive CyberFirst School and Colleges opportunities, such as e-Mentoring with our industry members.

You can also find links to the NCSC's cyber security training package for school staff to help improve school cyber resilience.

Supporting schools and colleges

CyberFirst works with a number of companies, organisations, academia and ambassadors, to ensure that we are nurturing talent and providing opportunities for the next generation of cyber security professionals.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with events and host technology and cyber security work placements at your organisation.

If you would like to know more about becoming a CyberFirst member and how you can get involved, please visit the NCSC website by clicking the button below.

CyberFirst Schools Regions

The NCSC is conducting a phased regional rollout to increase the scale and ambition of the scheme. The programme formally recognises schools and colleges across the UK who are committed to providing a structured approach to excellence in cyber security education.

Secondary schools or colleges within the following regions will be able to apply when invited to do so:

  • North East of England (Durham, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland)
  • South West of England (Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset & Wiltshire)
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

What other teachers have said

Campbell College, Belfast - Silver Award 2021

Our students have been involved in CyberFirst activities for a number of years and we are delighted to have our efforts in the promotion of cyber security, robotics and digital technologies recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre through the CyberFirst Scheme.

We are especially excited by the opportunities this affords to us in the continued development of industry related links, staff development opportunities and increased engagement with local and national schools and colleges.

We hope our engagement with this scheme can further help promote computing and cyber education amongst our students by helping to increase awareness of opportunities for outside the classroom and in future employment areas.

This is a very exciting opportunity to work with and benefit from the expertise of industry, academia and the National Cyber Security Centre. ”

SGS Berkeley Green UTC, Gloucestershire - Gold Award 2021

SGS Berkeley Green UTC exists to prepare students in KS4 and KS5 for a career in cyber security, and the award of CyberFirst Gold status recognises the efforts and commitment of our students and staff.

The pandemic has forced all types of organisations and users to move their day-to-day working practices online. Our specialist and wider cyber security curriculum not only develops students’ technical skills, but also provides a strong grounding in cyber risks and effective cyber hygiene; which we believe is essential in preparing our young people for the working world.

Our partnership with the NCSC and the CyberFirst programme affords our students unrivalled opportunities to learn about the varied cyber careers, and network with industry colleagues. As a result, they are enthused and inspired, which is having a positive impact on their learning.

August 2022

CyberFirst Futures Bristol (Residential)

A free five-day residential course for 15 and 16-year-old students, introducing them to more advanced practical features of cyber security. Explore advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software, then discover ways to protect against them. The course offers an insight into not just the method but the motivation behind cyber threats. Students will also explore legislation, study typical behaviours of likely cyber attackers, and apply this new understanding of how to protect networks. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 19 Aug 2022
Duration: Five days
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 11 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Residential
August 2022

CyberFirst Futures Bristol (Non-residential)

A free five-day non-residential course for 15 and 16-year-old students, introducing them to more advanced practical features of cyber security. Explore advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software, then discover ways to protect against them. The course offers an insight into not just the method but the motivation behind cyber threats. Students will also explore legislation, study typical behaviours of likely cyber attackers, and apply this new understanding of how to protect networks. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 19 Aug 2022
Duration: Five days
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 11 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: In person - Non-residential
August 2022

CyberFirst Futures Virtual Summer Course (2)

A free five-day online course for 15 and 16-year-old students, introducing them to more advanced practical features of cyber security. Explore advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software, then discover ways to protect against them. The course offers an insight into not just the method but the motivation behind cyber threats. Students will also explore legislation, study typical behaviours of likely cyber attackers, and apply this new understanding of how to protect networks. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 08 Aug - 19 Aug 2022
Duration: Ten half-day structured sessions
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 11 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Virtual
August 2022

CyberFirst Advanced Lancaster (Residential)

A free five-day residential course for 16 and 17-year-old students to build advanced skills in some key areas of cyber security. CyberFirst Advanced will hone the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real. The course is designed to expand the knowledge of students already studying computer science or who have a passion and aptitude for all things tech. Gain skills in key areas including digital forensics, encryption technologies, penetration testing and open-source intelligence techniques. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 19 Aug 2022
Duration: Five days
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Residential
August 2022

CyberFirst Advanced Surrey (Residential)

A free five-day residential course for 16 and 17-year-old students to build advanced skills in some key areas of cyber security. CyberFirst Advanced will hone the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real. The course is designed to expand the knowledge of students already studying computer science or who have a passion and aptitude for all things tech. Gain skills in key areas including digital forensics, encryption technologies, penetration testing and open-source intelligence techniques. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 19 Aug 2022
Duration: Five days
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Residential
August 2022

CyberFirst Advanced Virtual Summer Course (3)

A free online course for 16 and 17-year-old students to build advanced skills in some key areas of cyber security. CyberFirst Advanced will hone the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real. The course is designed to expand the knowledge of students already studying computer science or who have a passion and aptitude for all things tech. Gain skills in key areas including digital forensics, encryption technologies, penetration testing and open-source intelligence techniques. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 19 Aug 2022
Duration: Five full-day structured sessions
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Virtual
August 2022

CyberFirst Defenders Virtual Summer Course (2)

A free online course for 14 to 15 year-olds. The course offers a valuable introduction to building and protecting small networks and personal devices. CyberFirst Defenders increases students’ awareness of cyber security, whilst equipping them with a set of relevant practical skills they can apply in their own lives. It also helps students visualise themselves in a cyber security career, guiding them to the technology-related qualifications they’ll need. This course helps those who attend stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
Duration: Ten half-day structured sessions
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 10 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) and Year 11 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Virtual
August 2022

CyberFirst Futures Virtual Summer Course (3)

A free five-day online course for 15 and 16-year-old students, introducing them to more advanced practical features of cyber security. Explore advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software, then discover ways to protect against them. The course offers an insight into not just the method but the motivation behind cyber threats. Students will also explore legislation, study typical behaviours of likely cyber attackers, and apply this new understanding of how to protect networks. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
Duration: Ten half-day structured sessions
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 11 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Virtual
August 2022

CyberFirst Advanced Warwick (Residential)

A free five-day residential course for 16 and 17-year-old students to build advanced skills in some key areas of cyber security. CyberFirst Advanced will hone the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real. The course is designed to expand the knowledge of students already studying computer science or who have a passion and aptitude for all things tech. Gain skills in key areas including digital forensics, encryption technologies, penetration testing and open-source intelligence techniques. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 22 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
Duration: Five days
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Residential
August 2022

CyberFirst Advanced Belfast (Residential)

A free five-day residential course for 16 and 17-year-old students to build advanced skills in some key areas of cyber security. CyberFirst Advanced will hone the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real. The course is designed to expand the knowledge of students already studying computer science or who have a passion and aptitude for all things tech. Gain skills in key areas including digital forensics, encryption technologies, penetration testing and open-source intelligence techniques. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 22 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
Duration: Five days
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Residential
August 2022

CyberFirst Advanced Virtual Summer Course (2)

A free online course for 16 and 17-year-old students to build advanced skills in some key areas of cyber security. CyberFirst Advanced will hone the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real. The course is designed to expand the knowledge of students already studying computer science or who have a passion and aptitude for all things tech. Gain skills in key areas including digital forensics, encryption technologies, penetration testing and open-source intelligence techniques. These skills will help students and their friends and family stay safe online.

When: 15 Aug - 26 Aug 2022
Duration: Ten half-day structured sessions
Who is it for: Students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland)
delivery: Virtual
November 2022

2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition - Online Qualifier Round

The CyberFirst Girls Competition aims to support girls interested in a career in cyber security. Whatever your ability, from beginner to expert, the CyberFirst Girls Competition is an opportunity to learn something new about cyber security. The Online Qualifier Round will run for 10 days from midday to midday.

When: 21 November 2022 - 30 November 2022
Duration: 10 Days
Who is it for: Teams of up to 4 female students in Y8, S2 or Y9 (NI)
delivery: Online
November 2022

2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition - Registration Opens

The CyberFirst Girls Competition aims to support girls interested in a career in cyber security. Whatever your ability, from beginner to expert, the CyberFirst Girls Competition is an opportunity to learn something new about cyber security. Registration opens on 26 September 2022, click 'Sign Up' to find out more about how your school can get involved and register your teams.

When: 26 September 2022
Duration:
Who is it for: Teams of up to 4 female students in Y8, S2 or Y9 (NI)
delivery:

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Futures Bristol (Residential)

Aug 2022 / Last few

CyberFirst Futures Bristol (Non-residential)

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Futures Virtual Summer Course (2)

Aug 2022 / Last few

CyberFirst Advanced Lancaster (Residential)

Aug 2022 / Last few

CyberFirst Advanced Surrey (Residential)

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Advanced Virtual Summer Course (3)

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Defenders Virtual Summer Course (2)

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Futures Virtual Summer Course (3)

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Advanced Warwick (Residential)

Aug 2022 / Last few

CyberFirst Advanced Belfast (Residential)

Aug 2022 / Sold out

CyberFirst Advanced Virtual Summer Course (2)

Nov 2022

2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition - Online Qualifier Round

Nov 2022

2023 CyberFirst Girls Competition - Registration Opens