The CyberFirst Programme

The CyberFirst Programme - a collaboration between NCSC, QA and The Smallpeice Trust - is a pivotal part of the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Programme.

It aims to give talented young people the support, skills, experience and exposure they need to become the ‘Cyberists’ of the future.

QA has successfully designed and delivered a number of engaging and inspiring project-based CyberFirst education programmes for 11-18 year old school students nationwide; engaging with schools, parents, and education and industry partners to ‘demystify’ technology and cyber and encourage young people into STEM subjects and cyber-related careers and opportunities. QA’s CyberFirst events are held residentially at university campuses or on-site at secondary schools.

They incorporate many subjects including:

Technical Security

Networking and Communications

Operating Systems

Threats and Threat Actors

Open Source Intelligence

Digital Forensics


Penetration Testing

Network and Internet Security

Protecting Networks

Personal Security

CyberFirst Overview

Each event incorporates a bespoke, age appropriate cyber security curriculum with a particular focus on networking, security, legalities and ethics. They are delivered by QA cyber security, and computer networking SMEs working alongside university lecturers from a number of our partner academic institutions, as well as industry experts who provide guest sessions on key areas of interest.

Our successful delivery of these CyberFirst summer events relies heavily on our ability to draw upon our large pool of cyber security industry and academic partners to recruit lecturers, trainers and facilitators who create successful, bespoke cyber security education programmes in short timescales. Working alongside these experts from academia and industry we deliver high-energy, immersive programmes which are current, relevant, challenging, thought-provoking and fun.

Feedback - Students

  • "I enjoyed everything about today, the interesting activities and the lovely people" – Southampton
  • "Great activities and inspiring" - Warwick
  • "It was a really good experience" – Nottingham

Feedback - Parents

  • "The interactivity - Great ways for kids to learn" – Southampton
  • "Interesting careers advice, nice videos and the course leaders were approachable and receptive" – Southampton
  • "Great day! - Very interesting would recommend to others. Thank you." – Nottingham

CyberFirst in the news

Our CyberFirst courses

CyberFirst Adventures is a course designed to showcase the varied roles and jobs that both exist and involve the use of technology in the workplace, to enthuse and inspire the participants into an interest in technology. It is also designed to counter the stereotype that computer science is a subject that only leads to jobs in programming and coding. The course is aimed at students who have not yet made their GCSE choices, so that they get the opportunity to see how studying computer science could potentially augment and enhance their future career prospects. As children’s GCSE choices are often made in conjunction with their parents, teachers and career’s advisors, the course is designed to involve these adults too, so that they can see the benefit of the children studying computer science, as well as how positive a mutual experience it can be too.

CyberFirst Defenders inspires and excites pupils about the subject of cyber security. It is designed for 14 - 15 year old pupils with a demonstrable interest in computing and provides them with a valuable introduction to all the tools, knowledge and skills cyberists need to build and protect small networks and personal devices. It complements the GCSE computing curriculum and takes it a step further, offering practical methods to help protect and secure everyday devices, apps and software.

CyberFirst Futures introduces the more advanced practical features of cyber security. It is designed for 15 - 16 year old pupils who are familiar with computing and programming planning to take relevant A-Levels. The course deals with the cyber security concerns of businesses and large networks.

CyberFirst Advanced builds upon the content of the computer science A-Level and will inspire students with an interest in computing and cyber security. On this course, students will be fully immersed in the cyber security subject areas which will help them to form their education and career path.

How to Take Part

We are always looking for passionate cyber security enthusiasts to help us inspire the next generation of Cyberists. The available roles include:

Technical Facilitators
If you are a current computing or cyber security student or a recent graduate we have exciting paid work experience.

Cyber Security Trainers
If you have experience teaching technical subjects to young people we’d love to talk to you about a wide range of opportunities.

Guest Speakers
If you are an industry or academic expert we’d like to invite you to share your personal, professional and educational experiences to inspire young people by talking about relevant areas of interest and demonstrating the roles and career opportunities which are available in the exciting field of cyber security.

If you are interested in supporting any of these events, or have any questions about CyberFirst please email or call us on 03450 747 970 and one of the CyberFirst team members will be able to assist.