GCHQ/CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship in cyber security - applications now open Watch

The National Cyber Security Centre
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After seeing some discussion of this over the last few weeks and fielding some private messages, readers may be interested to know that applications are now open for our degree apprenticeship scheme, to begin in September 2019.

Based in Cheltenham, London, Bude or Scarborough, you’ll have a real role at GCHQ, learning and working amid some of the world’s most cutting-edge security technologies. All with a starting salary of £18k+.

Alongside your work, you’ll spend three years studying towards a recognised degree in Cyber Security, cementing the work you’re doing from day-to-day.

If you successfully complete your Degree Apprenticeship, and depending on our business needs, there’s a good chance we’ll offer you full-time employment with GCHQ or the NCSC.

You can find out more on our website, and our jobs page, where you can also apply online - the closing date is Friday 2nd November.
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04MR17
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Ooh this looks exciting.:awesome:

Just giving your thread a bump so more people see it.
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UsNa
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I realise this is probably a silly ask, but is there any chance of a sooner start? I recently turned 20 and in work, but I'd love to apply for this. But waiting and working another whole year would be excruciating! Thanks.
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by UsNa)
I realise this is probably a silly ask, but is there any chance of a sooner start? I recently turned 20 and in work, but I'd love to apply for this. But waiting and working another whole year would be excruciating! Thanks.
It's not a silly ask at all , but sadly you will have to wait until September next year if you are accepted . We only run one cohort a year, and it takes 6-9 months for all the security checks to be completed, hence the long lead time. Sorry about that, but do consider applying anyway - if you make good progress with your application then it may ease the pain of waiting, or perhaps something else will turn up to fill the gap?
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JunJun08
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I'm super excited for this scheme! However the NCSC aren't very clear about the modules of study for this course. I'm comparing it to a couple of NCSC certified uni degrees. Is there any way I can find out about what sort of modules you study, and how in depth you go in terms of technical knowledge? Thanks!
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Jojolumtech
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Same question as JunJun08 please. Also, which university would be running the degree programme? Thanks
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Parent63
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Question for NCSC Official rep -


Degree apprenticeships require most students to support themselves financially and live away from home.

I don't believe they qualify for student finance as they are 'employed' but perhaps you could confirm ?

Could you advise what status a student on your Cyberfirst degree apprenticeship would hold in relation to the Disabled Students Allowance ? Would they qualify for help - financial and practical ? Disabled students at uni can receive a lot of help/one to one support.

Similarly would a student on your degree apprenticeship be exempt from council tax in the same way a uni student is ?

GCHQ actively encourage applications from neurodiverse students but typically these students require extra help and support to live independently.

Thanks for advice.
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by JunJun08)
I'm super excited for this scheme! However the NCSC aren't very clear about the modules of study for this course. I'm comparing it to a couple of NCSC certified uni degrees. Is there any way I can find out about what sort of modules you study, and how in depth you go in terms of technical knowledge? Thanks!
(Original post by Jojolumtech)
Same question as JunJun08 please. Also, which university would be running the degree programme? Thanks

JunJun08, Jojolumtech: we're really hopeful that we'll be able to give some more details on the degree part of the course very soon, so please watch this space
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by Parent63)
Question for NCSC Official rep -


Degree apprenticeships require most students to support themselves financially and live away from home.

I don't believe they qualify for student finance as they are 'employed' but perhaps you could confirm ?

Could you advise what status a student on your Cyberfirst degree apprenticeship would hold in relation to the Disabled Students Allowance ? Would they qualify for help - financial and practical ? Disabled students at uni can receive a lot of help/one to one support.

Similarly would a student on your degree apprenticeship be exempt from council tax in the same way a uni student is ?

GCHQ actively encourage applications from neurodiverse students but typically these students require extra help and support to live independently.

Thanks for advice.
Parent63 - we'll try to answer your questions as best as we can, but it's worth noting that we are not experts in these areas - you may wish to consult with relevant organisations such as Student Fiance England, local councils or Citizens Advice too. To take each point in turn:

Q. I don't believe they qualify for student finance as they are 'employed' but perhaps you could confirm ?
A. That's our understanding too. In practice there should be little or no need for additional finance, as all the relevant tuition fees are paid by us, and our apprentices receive a pretty competitive salary of £18,495 pa too.

Q. Could you advise what status a student on your Cyberfirst degree apprenticeship would hold in relation to the Disabled Students Allowance ?
A. The GOV.UK website states that you are only eligible for DSA if you qualify for student finance via Student Finance England. However, we are definitely not experts in this area, so you may wish to check directly with SFE or Citizens Advice.

Q. Would they qualify for help - financial and practical ? Disabled students at uni can receive a lot of help/one to one support.
A. As an employer we provide a lot of support and assistance to our disabled employees (starting with a very wide definition of 'disability'), including all reasonable workplace adjustments, and a number of support networks for specific disabilities (with support from our Director downwards, including for any new groups). Apprentices are treated as employees for this purpose, and would receive the same level of support.

Q. Similarly would a student on your degree apprenticeship be exempt from council tax in the same way a uni student is ?
A. as they are employees earning a salary we don't think so, but best to check with the relevant council(s), or your local council.

Q. GCHQ actively encourage applications from neurodiverse students but typically these students require extra help and support to live independently.
A. Whilst we are happy to support neurodiverse employees in a variety of ways, and pride ourselves on the level of support, we are not able to support their lives outside of work in the same way that a more closed environment such as a university halls of residence might be able to.


We hope these answers help, but please do get in touch if you have any other questions.
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Parent63
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Thankyou for your comprehensive response
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kmankx2
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The application states that A - Levels or equivalent are required. Would a level 4 apprenticeship (software development) be equivalent? I left college in order to pursue an apprenticeship and am now looking at Degree Level apprenticeships.
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Toy Soldiers
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(Original post by kmankx2)
The application states that A - Levels or equivalent are required. Would a level 4 apprenticeship (software development) be equivalent? I left college in order to pursue an apprenticeship and am now looking at Degree Level apprenticeships.
Hey there, a Level 3 apprenticeship is an equivalent of A-Levels so a Level 4 would supersede it.
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kmankx2
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(Original post by Toy Soldiers)
Hey there, a Level 3 apprenticeship is an equivalent of A-Levels so a Level 4 would supersede it.
In theory yes, some companies may not agree?
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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Just a quick update:

1. We've published an article on our Apprenticeship scheme, in which current apprentices talk about their experiences - head on over to https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/job...ity-apprentice

2. We'll be posting a list of the modules that apprentices will be studying later today

3. We're awaiting confirmation from our recruitment partners as to the question of applying with a level 4 apprenticeship, so watch this space.
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by kmankx2)
The application states that A - Levels or equivalent are required. Would a level 4 apprenticeship (software development) be equivalent? I left college in order to pursue an apprenticeship and am now looking at Degree Level apprenticeships.
(Original post by Toy Soldiers)
Hey there, a Level 3 apprenticeship is an equivalent of A-Levels so a Level 4 would supersede it.
(Original post by kmankx2)
In theory yes, some companies may not agree?

kmankx2, Toy Soldiers - having taken some advice, the best source for determining what may or may not be 'equivalent' to the A-Level requirement is to call our recruitment team. There are so many different qualifications and personal circumstances that may fit under the heading of 'equivalent' that it's best for individuals to discuss their particular case in confidence with one of the team, rather than on a public forum such as TSR.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0845 366 5567 (our lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5.30pm)

You can do this before beginning an application, or if you hit issues during the application itself. There's a pretty good help centre available, and some application guidance, plus help text during the application itself.

Good luck with your applications!
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by JunJun08)
I'm super excited for this scheme! However the NCSC aren't very clear about the modules of study for this course. I'm comparing it to a couple of NCSC certified uni degrees. Is there any way I can find out about what sort of modules you study, and how in depth you go in terms of technical knowledge? Thanks!
(Original post by Jojolumtech)
Same question as JunJun08 please. Also, which university would be running the degree programme? Thanks
Sorry for the delay in getting these published, but details of the course, its learning outcomes and the modules you will be studying are as follows. Of course you’ll also have a real role at GCHQ, working with some world-leading technologies.

On completion of the programme you will have:

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • a critical understanding of the analysis, design, development, testing, evaluation and modification of reliable and maintainable software, either standalone or embedded, with particular reference to secure software;
  • a critical understanding of how to integrate security into computer systems from a hardware and software point of view including networking, Web integration, and systems integration;
  • a critical understanding of the operation and analysis of malware and other cybersecurity threats, as well as related defensive strategies and processes;
  • a critical understanding of the scope of computer and network architectures from a hardware, operating system, and software point of view;
  • a familiarity with the gathering, storage, retrieval and analysis of information in a variety of contexts;
  • a critical understanding of ethics and Information Assurance and areas including the human, social, organisational, economic, legal and technological factors which affect, and are affected by computer-based systems, including risk management.


The core knowledge and understanding above is acquired through workshops, lectures, practical activities, tutorials, group work, distance learning material, and guided independent learning. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed using a combination of seen and unseen examination and coursework. Most of the teaching and group work takes place at our modern training centre, which has been fitted out with all the learning and social facilities you need.


You’ll study the following modules:

C++ Programming
Computer Systems
Practical Networks
Cyber Security and Cryptography
Scripting for Cyber Security and Networks
Web Technologies
Database Technologies
Java OO Programming
Networked Services
Network Penetration Testing
Embedded Systems
Professional Practice and Information Assurance
Data Analytics and Processing
Information Security Risk Management and Governance
Secure Software Development
Incident Response and Malware Analysis
Synoptic Project
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username4299702
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Hi, I read in an article that the apprenticeship offers a BSc Hons, but that was from a few years ago when (assumedly) the system was different; is that still the case?
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by dexybo)
Hi, I read in an article that the apprenticeship offers a BSc Hons, but that was from a few years ago when (assumedly) the system was different; is that still the case?
Yes, that's still the case - the apprenticeship leads to a full BSc Honours degree. We're still hoping to share the university's name soon, but rest assured that it is one with an excellent record of teaching and research in the field of cyber security.
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(Original post by The National Cyber Security Centre)
Yes, that's still the case - the apprenticeship leads to a full BSc Honours degree. We're still hoping to share the university's name soon, but rest assured that it is one with an excellent record of teaching and research in the field of cyber security.
Hi,

Thank you ever so much for your swift and informative response!

However, I find myself with one further query; is there any information that can be disclosed about the "Assessment Centre / Interview" stage of the selection process? I'm unable to find any information about it online.

Naturally, I would understand if there is no information that can be disclosed.

Thank you
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The National Cyber Security Centre
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(Original post by dexybo)
Hi,

Thank you ever so much for your swift and informative response!

However, I find myself with one further query; is there any information that can be disclosed about the "Assessment Centre / Interview" stage of the selection process? I'm unable to find any information about it online.

Naturally, I would understand if there is no information that can be disclosed.

Thank you
Thanks for your question. we'd love to share information about the process, but in the interests of fairness to all applicants we can't share too much.

What we can say is that the day will consist of a variety of exercises, which will allow everybody to perform to the best of their abilities. We don't expect applicants to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of cyber security, so are more interested in their aptitude, understanding and interests, as per the job advertisement. Likewise we appreciate that candidates are unlikely to be experienced in the interview process, and interviewers will make allowances for that - there are no 'trick' or esoteric questions!

As always, the best advice is for candidates to be themselves and not who they think they should be, to answer honestly, and to prepare themselves for a busy day (no late nights! )
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