© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Initial research ruled out many factors that were thought may correlate to student academic performance. Finally, a strong correlation was found between their academic performance and their motivation. Following on from this research teaching practice was restructured to improve student motivation, engagement, and interest in cybersecurity by contextualizing teaching material with current real-world scenarios. This restructuring led to a very significant improvement in student academic performance, engagement and interest in cybersecurity. Students were found to attend more of their lectures and practical sessions and that this had a strong positive correlation with their academic performance.