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Science Museum

Discover the remarkable world of codebreaking and secret communications, and practise the skills used in intelligence work. For KS3 upwards.

From the trenches of the First World War to the latest innovations in cyber security, Top Secret traces over a century’s worth of communications intelligence and aims to engage KS3 and KS4 students with the skills at the heart of intelligence work.

Explore the evolution of gadgets and devices used to conceal crucial messages and decode secrets through a unique collection of hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group's and GCHQ’s historic collections.

Revisit the story of Alan Turing and the team of Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the Enigma code in 1941, and encounter spy-craft from 1960’s Cold War espionage.

Hear anecdotes from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and serious crime. Consider the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century.

An interactive puzzle zone will also give students the chance to engage with the logical, linguistic and numerical reasoning skills, along with memory recall and pattern-solving, used by cryptographers and codebreakers themselves.

Top Secret coincides with the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Security and Cyber agency.


This page is for educational groups; for general visitor information, please see the main gallery page.

Principal Sponsors

Major Sponsor

Associate Funder

The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation

Supported by

Keith Thrower

Sir Ian Blatchford and Jeremy Rosenblatt

With special thanks to

Michael Spencer and NEX Group

Media Partner