Applications open for free CyberFirst Summer scheme for 14-17 year-olds

  • CyberFirst is going digital this year, with courses on cyber-security and technology for 14 to 17 year olds running throughout this summer. Applications are open now!

    The nation-wide CyberFirst programme helps hundreds of young people across the country who are interested in tech and computing to explore the rapidly growing field of cyber-security. The courses are operated locally and led by the UK National Cyber Security Centre, with students learning everything from how to code to how to secure their home network and devices.

    Cyber-security is currently a booming industry in Northern Ireland, with several major US firms setting up offices in Belfast last year and several local cyber-security startups securing investment. The number of cyber-security jobs in Northern Ireland is set to continue rising in the coming years, and a CyberFirst course could be a young person's first step on the road to a career in the field.

    AllState NI has run the CyberFirst schemes at its offices in previous years, and this summer The Smallpiece Trust is delivering the sessions virtually to participants at home. Students enrolled in the programme will get will be taught in an instructor-led virtual classroom setup to help guide them through the programme. There are three courses available:


    CyberFirst Defenders:

    Age range: 14-15 (Year 11 in Northern Ireland)

    Cohort 1: 3rd August - 14th August

    Cohort 2: 17th August - 28th August

    Course Content: "A valuable introduction to all the tools, knowledge and skills needed to build and protect small networks and personal devices. Each course will run as half day sessions over 10 days where the content will be delivered in our usual fun and interesting way."

    For more information or to enrol, head over to


    CyberFirst Futures: 

    Age Range: 15-16 (Year 12 in Northern Ireland)

    Cohort 1: 20th July - 31st July

    Cohort 2: 3rd August - 14th August

    Course content: "The more advanced practical features of cyber security by developing their understanding of cyber-attacks, by exploring the reasoning and motivation of common attacks. Students will explore legislation and the typical profiles of those individuals most likely to carry out attacks while applying an understanding of ways to protect a network from attack."

    For more information or to enrol, head over to


    CyberFirst Advanced

    Age range: 16-17 year olds (Year 13 in Northern Ireland)

    Cohort 1: 8th June - 19th June

    Cohort 2: 22nd June - 3rd July

    Cohort 3: 6th July - 17th July

    Course Content: "Developing the skills and behaviours required for entry into the cyber or computing workplace. This course is designed to expand the knowledge of students who are already studying computer science or who have an interest and aptitude for computers."

    For more information or to enrol, head over to


    Source: The Smallpiece Trust

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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