CyberFirst Student Bursary and Development Scheme

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CyberFirst Student Bursary and Development Scheme

CyberFirst is a Student Bursary scheme inspired and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which aims to help, support, and prepare undergraduates for a career in cyber security. NCSC partner with other government departments and selected industry members to offer students a comprehensive package of financial assistance and cyber skills development opportunities whilst studying for an undergraduate degree.


As a part of GCHQ, the NCSC unlocks the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, alongside trusted industry experts to safeguard Britain’s people, interests, and businesses from various threats.


Our CyberFirst Student Bursary and Development Scheme is a unique opportunity to join the CyberFirst student community that rewards you for your talent and commitment whilst you study at University. Quite simply, this is a student development opportunity like no other. Working with GCHQ, the NCSC, as well as over 150 industry members and other government departments, you’ll gain unrivalled insight into the constantly evolving world of cyber security, taking on some seriously unique, real-world research tasks and projects. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful development opportunity that you simply won’t find anywhere else while gaining your degree of choice.

The programme could potentially lead to exciting roles within government and industry, particularly in intelligence and national security organisations or their industry partners, where you’ll help to shape and further advance our technical capability, including our ability to tackle national security threats.

You’ll be working with some of the most advanced technology and will develop a broad range of skills including teamwork, communication and leadership. Throughout the scheme you’ll be part of a close-knit cohort, providing opportunities for support and learning within this community. Ultimately, you’ll be making a real contribution towards tackling threats to national security in years to come.

During the years you study at University, you’ll receive a Bursary of £4,000 per year, tax free*. Each summer, you’ll complete either training at a CyberFirst Academy or an 8-week development placement with the NCSC, a government body or one of our industry members. Wherever you are placed for the summer, you will receive a summer placement payment equivalent to £2,000. In addition, you may receive expenses towards accommodation and travel. There’s also the potential for a year in industry placement, which we can help to facilitate, if this is required by the university and course that you chose. If at the end of your degree course, you would prefer to continue with academic study, we may be able to facilitate post graduate research in cyber security with the possibility of funding.

* The maximum bursary available during your studies is £16,000

Upon completion of your degree studies, we will assist you in finding a paid cyber security role within UK national security, government, or industry with the expectation that you would stay for a minimum of three years.


To apply for the CyberFirst Student Bursary and Development Scheme you must:

  • British citizenship or if you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered.

  • Have (or expect to have) 3 ‘A’ levels in any subject at Grade B or above (or qualification equivalent to 120 UCAS tariff points*) and have an offer (or be applying) to study an Undergraduate Degree or Integrated Masters in any subject at a UK University from September 2022


  • Already be studying an Undergraduate Degree or Integrated Masters in any subject at a UK University, with a minimum of 2 years of full-time study remaining^ from September 2022 and have (or expect to have) attained a minimum 2:1 equivalent at the end of academic year 2021/22

*A list of equivalent qualifications can be found on the UCAS Tariff Calculator

^Please note that the two years can not contain overseas study or industry placements. Study must be at the university you are studying at in the UK

You may choose any course you wish to study, although we recommend these NCSC certified degrees which focus on cyber security.

We’re looking for motivated and committed individuals, from all backgrounds, with an aspiration for a career in cyber security.   As part of the selection process, you will be expected to demonstrate that you have the aptitude to develop an understanding of computers, how they work and how to secure them.

If you’re excited about working with us and think you have some of what we’re looking for but aren’t sure if you’re 100% there yet… why not just give it a go!



  • The UK University of your choice
  • Summer Cyber Security placements are in various locations across government or industry between years of study



To apply for this opportunity, you must meet our nationality, residency, and security requirements. You must be 18 years of age on or before 31st December 2022. You’ll find more details here

Applications will open on Monday 6th September 2021 and close on Monday 15th November 2021.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

Once we’ve established that you meet the eligibility criteria, the next steps of the selection process are:

  • Online Exercise – Please note, the link to the online exercise platform will be emailed to you following confirmation of eligibility and will be available from 6th September 2021. This must be completed no later than 6th December 2021.
  • Competency sift
  • Assessment Centre*

*Assessment Centres/Interviews are likely to be held in January/February 2022 and will probably be held online.

We would like to offer you the opportunity to try out the Immersive Labs before you submit your application, to find out more please click here.


Disability Confident Statement:

As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this opportunity will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI). To secure an interview for this opportunity, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Application form - you will be asked a series of eligibility questions and other questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet these criteria, you will be sent a link to the Online test.
  • Online test - you will be required to reach the pass mark set for the Immersive Labs Online Exercise.

On successful completion of the application form and the online test you will then be invited to the assessment centre.

If successful, you’ll receive a CyberFirst Bursary and Development Scheme offer, conditional upon exam results, university offer and you completing our Security Check (SC) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this offer.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this opportunity from the original closing date. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.



To apply, please click here to be taken to the online application form for this scheme. Please do NOT click on the submit button below. If you have any queries please contact us at


This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.