Cyber Security Fundamentals Award SCQF level 4

The Award in Cyber Security Fundamentals at SCQF level 4 is designed to be an introduction to the field of cyber security. It covers a wide range of topics from 'cyber hygiene' (personal data security) to 'cyberwarfare' (cyberattacks between nations). It also covers 'cyber-resilience' in the workplace (how to protect businesses from cyberthreats). It will equip learners with basic knowledge and skills relating to cybersecurity which are essential for every citizen.

Learners will gain practical experience of protecting personal digital devices, such as a smartphone or personal computer. The role of social engineering in cyberattacks and the implications of cyberthreats for personal privacy are also explored in this Award.

Achievement of this Award is nationally recognised.

This qualification is available through schools, colleges, community organisations, and volunteer-involving organisations.

Why deliver this qualification?

This Award has a wide potential market. It is open to all learners, regardless of age, academic experience or ability.

Centres have the flexibility to choose the delivery method which best suits their circumstances and their learners.

Who does the qualification suit?

The Cyber Security Fundamentals Award at SCQF level 4 is suitable for:

  • S3-S6 pupils
  • school leavers
  • college students
  • adult returners to education
  • anyone in a volunteering role
  • trainees preparing for employment
  • employees studying as part of a continuing professional development programme
  • individuals involved in voluntary activities
  • people in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • those who wish to start their own business


No previous knowledge of computers or the internet is required. Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


The Cyber Security Fundamentals Unit in the Award is an optional Unit in the framework of the National Certificate in Computing with Digital Media (at SCQF level 4).

What approvals are needed?

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA's Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

There are two assessments — one covering knowledge and one covering skills.

The knowledge assessment is delivered online and marked automatically through SQA SOLAR, so results are provided almost instantly.

The practical skills are assessed via an assessment support pack which will be available to download from SQA's secure site in December 2015.

A web log or e-portfolio is also acceptable as an alternative approach to assessment. It is the individual centre's discretion to determine the most appropriate ways to generate evidence and the conditions and contexts in which they are used. The Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the Unit.

Awards are not graded.

Unit Specification

Group Award Code: GL05 44

Cyber Security Fundamentals H9T5 44 unit specification