A club leader is someone who provides students with guidance, motivation and support throughout the Cyber Discovery programme, a vital role that could make all the difference to their career.

What is Cyber Discovery?

Cyber Discovery is an integral component of the UK's National Cyber Security Strategy, providing young people with an opportunity to begin the journey towards an exciting and challenging career in a field that is facing a significant shortage of trained professionals.

The programme consists of four phases - Assess, Game, Essentials and Elite - all of which involve challenges, tasks and games designed to improve students cyber security knowledge.

Cyber Discovery students

Whether you are a careers advisor, head of year or languages teacher, we need your help by encouraging as many young people to register! By opening up the Cyber Discovery programme to all 13-18 year olds, regardless of their subject choices, we have guided many young adults with varying interests and skills onto a career path that they love and never knew existed.

We don't know where we may find the next cyber security expert. Could they be sitting in your classroom?

"A number of our students have now gained work experience placements, and jobs working in cyber security."

Previous Cyber Discovery Club Leader

"Cyber Discovery is a good way of engaging students who may not have thought they were good enough to enter this area because of a shortfall in their GCSEs."

Previous Cyber Discovery Club Leader

Objectives of this programme

Exposure - Expose as many students as possible to the field of cyber security - even those who had not considered computing or STEM subjects as an interest.
Diversity and opportunity - Give as many students as possible the opportunity to have a go at the challenges in Cyber Discovery.
Networking - Continue building a community of teachers, parents, mentors and volunteers that work together to improve students' digital skills and invest in our future visionaries.

How the programme works

The programme is delivered entirely online and provides all the materials your students need to learn. The first stage, CyberStart Assess, is open to all students. After that, students are selected to progress based on their ability.

CyberStart Assess
3rd September 2019 – 25th October 2019
Designed to identify those with innate talent and aptitude for cyber security work, CyberStart Assess is an online assessment tool containing a range of short challenges.
CyberStart Game
5th November 2019 – 1st May 2020
Students who excel in CyberStart Assess can move on to take on the role of a security agent to gather information, crack codes, find security flaws and dissect criminals’ digital trails.
CyberStart Essentials
16th December 2019 – 1st May 2020
Through interactive labs, videos, exams and quizzes, CyberStart Essentials provides the theoretical knowledge behind advanced security topics.
CyberStart Elite
Summer 2020
Top-performing students will be invited to exciting face-to-face residential camps to meet industry experts and take part in top-class training.
CyberStart Compete - New for 2019, students will also be able to take part in online Capture the Flag competitions throughout the programme.

Get started right now

Want to get a taste of what students will do?

Head over to CyberStart Go, a tool we built to give you a quick sample of what CyberStart Assess and Game are like. It's free to use and features over a dozen challenges.

Running a Cyber Discovery club

Setting up a Cyber Discovery club has been shown to significantly support students in their learning, by giving them access to computers and also a dedicated time and place to work through the challenges with like-minded individuals. Active encouragement of team work and resilience has led to students progressing further in the programme than they would do on their own.

All the material needed to run a successful Cyber Discovery club exists within the four tools/phases of the programme. The learning tools are effectively step by step guides that allow students to work on challenges by themselves and at their own pace.

What do students learn in Cyber Discovery?

The Cyber Discovery team have worked with industry, academia and government to develop and align the curriculum to make sure it contains the right fundamentals and supports the entry requirements to the profession. Some areas the programme will cover are: Linux, Web Attacks, Forensics, Binary Attacks, Cryptography and Programming.

Is there a limit to the number of students that can take part?

Absolutely not. The assessment process will identify those with a natural aptitude for cyber security and all those that achieve a qualifying benchmark score will be invited to take part.

What resources are available to help me?

Upon registration you'll find lots of useful resources to help run your club. This includes door signs and posters to help promote Cyber Discovery in your school. For further information about being a Club Leader we've put the following together for you:

You can also download a zip file of all available assets (714KB).

The phases of Cyber Discovery are part of a pre-determined schedule and there are deadlines to qualify for each stage. Access to each phase is not available all year round so it is important to note the time frames and how these timings may fit within the academic year.

Will club leaders be paid?

Club leaders will be unpaid volunteers.

What equipment do I need?

CyberStart Assess and the first five levels of CyberStart Game can be run on a modern browser e.g. the latest version of Chrome or Firefox. The majority of these challenges can be completed with normal browser functionality, but for some challenges you will require access to the browser developer tools, which are typically easily enabled. In some instances you may also require scripting capabilities if you make it to the higher level challenges.

A heavily restricted computer will allow you to complete many challenges, but to truly explore cyber security you will need some advanced access and tools. If browser developer tools and scripting tools are blocked or restricted, some challenges will not be completable.

For students that make it to more advanced content they will require a virtual machine, which is installed with all the tools required to complete the programme. Instructions on how to setup the software and the virtual machine will be made available at the required stage. Student computers will need to be able to run VMWare Player or VirtualBox on a Windows or Mac device respectively.


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Five reasons to become a club leader
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Cyber Discovery schools tour

Be a part of the community

Say hello @CyberDiscUK on Twitter.

Teachers and School I.T. Staff FAQs

What domains need to be whitelisted?

All subdomains on joincyberdiscovery.com and cyberprotection.agency should be whitelisted.

For students who advance to CyberStart Game, the following domains will need to be whitelisted as they are used in challenges:

  • www.bondogge.com
  • www.bulldoghax.com
  • www.chiquitooenterprise.com
  • www.jiaozi-restaurants.com
  • www.slowlaneshipping.com
  • www.wespeektogether.com

Additionally, your school will need to allow Google's recaptcha API to run. Information on recaptcha and firewalls can be found here:


It is not possible to bypass or "turn off" the recaptcha as it is a protective security mechanism for our applications.

How do I request a school visit?

If you think your school could benefit from a visit from the Cyber Discovery team, please send an email to support@joincyberdiscovery.com and one of our team will be in touch to discuss how we could help.

My school's system doesn't allow your emails through, is there an alternate way to create an account without an email?

All club leaders and students must have a unique email tied to their account in Cyber Discovery, and they must be able to receive emails from our applications. This allows us to verify our users, allows users to recover lost passwords safely, and allows us to notify students if and when they've been invited to future stages of the programme.

The email opt-in and verification process is also used as a form of consent to participate in the program in addition to being important for privacy and identity validation.

If your school's email won't allow our emails through, we suggest having your students create single-purpose accounts for use with Cyber Discovery through a free email service such as Gmail.

You can read a FAQ blog post we wrote on blocked emails for more information.

How do I get the verification email re-sent after we have unblocked your email?

You can re-request a verification email using the forgot password form. If you have't yet finished registration and you use this form, it will re-send the verification email so you can complete your registration.

If you require any help or further information please email support@joincyberdiscovery.com and we'll be happy to help.