Answers to some common questions

If you’ve got a question about how our CyberFirst events work, you might find the answers you’re looking for here.

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What is CyberFirst?+

Inspired and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - a part of GCHQ, CyberFirst is a programme of opportunities to help young people aged 11-17 explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the fast-paced world of cyber security. Each course is designed to inspire and encourage students from all backgrounds to explore and consider careers in cyber security, offering young people with potential the support, skills, experience and exposure needed to be the future first line of defence in our CyberFirst world.

What courses are on offer this summer?+

The summer courses are split into three distinct categories.

  • CyberFirst Defenders
    Aimed at students currently in Year 10 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) and Year 11 (Northern Ireland), this course is a valuable introduction on how to build and protect small networks and personal devices.
  • CyberFirst Futures
    Aimed at students currently in Year 11 (England and Wales), S5 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland), this course explores advanced cyber security threats to devices, apps and software, then discovers ways to prevent them.
  • CyberFirst Advanced
    Aimed at students currently in Year 12 (England and Wales), S6 (Scotland) and Year 13 (Northern Ireland), this course hones the skills and behaviours needed to enter the cyber security or tech-based workplace for real.

Please see the course pages for more details.

Who can apply?+

Following the guidelines set out by the NCSC, spaces on these courses are currently only guaranteed for British nationals. Students will be required to submit proof of nationality on offer of a place.

However, if the applicant is not British but has been resident in the UK and has attended school here for 5+ years, then the applicant may also be eligible. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence of nationality and proof of residence/schooling to be offered a provisional place.

Students must be the correct age for the course they are applying for.

What will we do with your proof of nationality?+

The evidence supplied will be stored on our secure IT system only. For auditing purposes, we will hold this information until the course has taken place at which time it will be permanently deleted.

How long until I find out whether I have been accepted on a course?+

We aim to process applications within two working days and places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. As these events are incredibly popular, please be patient – we aim to be in touch as soon as we can.

How much are the courses?+

All courses, both face-to-face and virtual, are completely free of charge.

For face-to-face courses, travel costs to and from the venue are at the applicant’s expense. ‘Pocket money’ may be taken to the course for purchasing additional snacks/drinks. All accommodation and meals will be provided where required.

Where are the face-to-face courses being held?+

Students will only be given full location details of the face-to-face courses once accepted on the course. We are unable to provide any further information until that time. Students are expected to stay in any accommodation provided unless there is a legitimate reason, in which case we will assess this on an individual basis.

How is social distancing being managed on the face-to-face courses?+

We will be following governmental guidelines and more specific information will be included in the course joining instructions.

How do you manage online safety?+

Safeguarding our online courses is equally important as our face-to-face activity. Many of our safeguarding procedures are the same and are described on our overarching safety for all page but there are some things specific to online programmes.

We also rely on parents, our staff and external programme trainers to help promote a safe and positive online learning environment.

What equipment is needed for the virtual events?+

To take part in these events, it is recommended that students have:

  • A safe and comfortable environment to work in
  • A PC or laptop that has a screen resolution of at least 1280x1024
  • HTML 5 compatible web browser, such as Google Chrome
  • A high-speed and reliable internet connection
  • Access to a mouse. This is a recommendation to improve the overall experience; it is not a necessity if you are unable to source one.
  • A reliable headset and mic to allow full participation with the trainer and the labs. Again, this is a recommendation to improve the overall experience. Using wired earphones would be sufficient.

If you are concerned about any of the above or about having access to something on this list, interested students are encouraged to still apply. If a place is offered, then it is your responsibility to alert us at that time and we will do our best to resolve any issues.

Do these events offer UCAS points?+

CyberFirst is a credit-rated programme and not a full award or qualification. This means that it does not count towards UCAS points and therefore you won’t be able to find it in the list of courses. However, we would recommend mentioning it in any personal statements if you are applying for a course within the cyber field.

Can I still apply if I’m unable to attend one or two of the sessions?+

Students must be able to complete all the sessions in order to take part in the course. For extenuating circumstances (e.g. medical appointments that cannot be moved), please contact The Smallpeice Trust at before applying. Students will not be able to take part in the course if they are going to miss one or two days due to holidays or school commitments.

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