News Article

GCHQ student sponsorship opportunity

Last Updated: 25 Jun 2015
Are you a finalist in a UK national technical competition? Are you studying, or planning to study for a STEM subject undergraduate degree? If so, read on...

News Article - 25 Jun 2015

Are you a finalist in a UK national technical competition?

Planning to study or already studying for a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) subject undergraduate degree? 

If so, you could be eligible for the CyberFirst scheme, comprising: 

  • £4,000 per year of study for your degree
  • 8 weeks paid work during the summer or for the duration of a sandwich year
  • Employment in an area of National Security (minimum of 3 years) after graduating.

About you

  • Are you interested in working in National Security, helping to protect the UK in the Cyber age?
  • Do you want to work with the leaders in Cyber Security?
  • Are you interested in a cutting-edge Cyber Security role in a highly capable and diverse team?
  • Do you like gaming, puzzles, codes or coding?

If you have answered YES to the above, the CyberFirst Student Sponsorship Scheme could be for you. 

Tell me more ...

CyberFirst is a government-backed scheme to identify talented young people considering a future career in Cyber Security.

We are looking for under 25 year olds interested in studying an undergraduate degree at UK universities in a STEM subject.

This scheme is intended to promote careers in Cyber Security, and successful candidates will work in challenging technical roles helping to protect the UK.

We need more talented people to become cyber security experts in one of the most exciting, yet most under-resourced, sectors in the UK

To apply you must be

  • aged under 25

  • a UK National

  • a finalist in a recognised national competition

  • starting your first or second year at a UK university in autumn 2015

  • studying a relevant undergraduate degree in a STEM subject

  • willing to undergo security screening for employment in a National Security role

  • willing to attend an 8 week internship at GCHQ or with a partnering organisation, in a National Security role, during each summer

  • commit to three years of employment after graduation at GCHQ or a partnering organisation in a National Security role

Let me check ...

I am resident in the UK but not a UK National, can I apply?
No, you need to be a UK National or have been naturalised for at least 5 years.

I am studying a 4 year degree with one year in industry, can I apply?
Yes. We can help you by finding you a one year placement at GCHQ or partnering organisation in a National Security role.

I am studying a 4 year degree so do I still need to work for GCHQ or a partnering organisation for 3 years after graduation?
Yes, you will be required to work for 3 years after graduation.

How does the annual bursary get paid?
Payment will be made each term to individuals following acceptance.

What is meant by a national competition?
By this we mean a competition such as the Cyber Security Challenge, the Maths Olympiad, the Big Science Challenge, National Science & Engineering Competition. There may also be others that could be suitable.


Cyber first logo

Apply Online

Go to and follow the link to the application process for CyberFirst Ref. 283.

Any Questions?

For more information on getting involved, please contact us at:

Download the CyberFirst Scheme flyer

"Our new Cyber First scheme will be an elite development programme for the next generation of UK cyber security talent. The programme will be a vital pipeline of top-end cyber talent in the service of Britain's national security."
Former Minister for the Cabinet Office, Rt Hon Francis Maude