The University Bursary

Love learning? Want to work with big names in tech, like Allstate, BAE systems, BT, Energus, IBM, QA, QinetiQ and Roke Manor?

Ready to explore something new? Whatever you’re studying, you could get up to £24,000 with the CyberFirst University Bursary.

Why Apply?

(Campaign is now closed and will open in autumn 2024)

  • Get support for up to 4 years and receive up to £24,000
  • Study any subject at any UK university
  • Do an 8-week placement every summer
  • Work with big names in tech
  • Develop new skills and confidence
  • Explore different career opportunities
  • Kickstart your future in a fast-growing industry
  • Join a diverse community of tech and non-tech experts
  • Build your network and belong
  • Help protect our way of life

Is it right for you?

  • You’re naturally curious and keen to learn
  • You’re good at solving problems and seeing patterns
  • You don’t have to be into coding or computer science
  • The bursary is open to everyone - no matter your financial situation

Eligibility Checklist

  • You’re applying for university to start in Sept 2024. Or, you’ll have at least 2 full years of study remaining (excluding industry year) from Sept 2024
  • You’ve achieved or are predicted to achieve BBB at A Level (or equivalent to 120 UCAS points) in any subject
  • You’re a British citizen

What you'll do

Each summer, you can apply for an 8-week placement with GCHQ or one of our partners. There are over 100 organisations to choose from around the UK including Lloyds, BT and Thales. That’s right – you get to decide which placements you do, based on specialism, company and location.
Every placement will offer something slightly different. You could be in a technical or non-technical role. And you might be based in an office or working remotely. Day to day, you’ll be working on different tasks, helping to resolve issues or coming up with new ways of doing things. You’ll get the chance to learn from others, build confidence, work as part of a team, practice your presentation technique and collaborate on various projects.
Depending on your current level of experience, we might invite you to attend the CyberFirst Academy in the first year of the bursary. Either way, we’ll give you the foundation you need to kickstart your future in this fast-growing industry.

What you'll come away with

At the end of the bursary, you’ll come away with something so valuable. Real work experience, new skills and a better understanding of your career options. You’ll also have the confidence to succeed in the world of cyber. And you’ll have made vital new connections, growing your professional network and finding your place in a community of tech and non-tech experts.

Hear from our Bursary Students

25 sec

Bursary student, Arron

25 sec

Bursary student, James

24 sec

Bursary student, Jane

15 sec

Former bursary student, Ben

Frequently asked questions

What’s the maximum length of the bursary?
It’s a maximum of 4 years. But the length you do will depend on where you are in the timeline of your studies. For example, if you’re completing a 3-year degree and already in your first year, you could be eligible for support for your remaining 2 years of study.

How much funding could I get?
You could receive up to £24k, depending on where you are in the timeline of your studies. In simple terms, it breaks down to £4k per year, plus £2k for each summer placement you complete. We may also offer you discretionary living expenses during each placement.

What could I earn if I work in cyber security?
It really depends what job you do. But as a graduate, you can expect to earn somewhere between £25k to £40k. And as your experience increases, so should your salary.

Can I choose my own placement?
Yes, you can. However, in your first year you may be selected for the CyberFirst Academy. We work with over 100 organisations – some of the biggest names in tech - so you can enjoy real choice and build valuable experience in this fast-growing industry.

Will I be selected for the CyberFirst Academy?
If you’re successful in your application, we’ll assess your current level of knowledge to decide if you’d benefit from attending the academy. If not, we’ll advise you to apply for a placement with one of our partners, based on what you’re looking for (by location, company and specialism).