The Cyber Foundation Pathway

The Cyber Foundation Pathway (CFP) is a series of modules designed and created by Defence Cyber School (DCS). The CFP is specifically designed for personnel taking up roles in specialist cyber units however, the courses are proving equally useful to anyone in a cyber related role, or who needs an increased level of cyber understanding.

The CFP's modular design is deliberately flexible. Students/units can choose to complete the whole pathway over a compressed 3-month period, or to attend modules at their own pace amongst their other commitments.  

Students with prior knowledge can request to attempt a particular module assessment without undertaking the applicable learning content (not module 0). Similarly, those who do not require the depth of technical understanding can simply 'drop out' once they have learnt as much as their role requires.

Pathway modules must be completed in order, either by completing self-study materials, completing the module learning content in an online or traditional classroom, or by simply passing the assessment without any additional learning input. 

Please note that module 0 provides wider context of cyber in defence. It is split into two parts; part A is completed online via the Defence Learning Environment and MODNET. Part B is face-to-face and must be attended in person.


Cyber Foundation Pathway graphic

Need the training in a hurry? Attending the intensive pathway

The pathway is timetabled so that, if appropriate, it can be completed 'start to finish' in roughly 14 weeks. A typical journey through this route would look something like this. Note that the module may only be running 3 or 4 days of a week.

A table showing the learning route through the cyber foundation pathway

Fitting the pathway in amongst other commitments?

Many people will not be able to spare so many weeks out the office, and so the pathway can also be attended one module at a time. Each course is taught roughly once a month. 

Just click on the course pages below to apply - remember you will need to complete the modules in order. 

Modules overview

Below gives a brief overview of each module. Please visit the individual course pages for more details.

Cyber 101

Introduction to cyber via e-learning, podcasts, YouTube, articles, videos and more, hosted on the DLE. Necessary as a pre-requisite for attending Module 0 - Cyber Operational Awareness.  

Module 0 (Part A) and Module 0 (Part B)

What cyber means for defence and the UK. Awareness building course with case studies, briefings and talks.  

Module Tech baseline

DLE based introduction to computer and network components, the OSI model, and numbering systems.  

Module 1

A thorough introduction to networking, the OSI 7 layer model, including building, configuring, and testing your own (virtual) network.

Module 2

Introduction to cyber threats and vulnerabilities across the OSI 7 layer model. Understand common malware and network defence techniques.

Module 3

A dive ‘under the hood’ of Windows and Linux operating systems; how they work, and how they are secured.

Module 4

Practical introduction to network attacks and defences. Learn and apply incident analysis and response techniques.

Module 5

Introduction to programming, primarily using Python. An essential skill to script security testing, active network defences and auditing. 

Module 6

Building on the technical skills learned in modules 1 to 5 and combining them all to attack and defend networks. You will take part in a series of scenarios, discovering weaknesses and vulnerabilities and then exploiting and defending against them. 

Module 4 and Module 6 exams

Prior to awarding the Module 4 or Module 6 JPA competency, students must undertake and pass the relevant exam. The invigilated exams are completed face to face at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham.