Unique projects. Real responsibilities. Bright colleagues. A few weeks with us could change your future

If you’re studying a technology-related, maths or languages degree, our placements offer a diverse range of opportunities to develop your skills on real projects. Projects that you’re unlikely to encounter anywhere else. Whichever placement you apply for you’ll gain unparalleled research, development and project experience. In addition to subject specialist knowledge you will be developing communication skills, working as part of a team and getting insights into an environment that is unique and dynamic. It’s the perfect way to develop your individual passions and interests, and to decide where your future career might lie. Right now, we have the following opportunities for students:


  • Maths and Cryptography Summer Programme

    GCHQ is one of the few non-academic centres where you can use, stretch and develop your maths research skills in a real world setting. That’s why we look for committed mathematicians who are expecting a 1st class honours degree in maths, or a joint honours degree with maths as the main component who want to continue advanced mathematical research into their career. Join us on our nine week summer programme and you could be working alongside our experts on problems that have genuine practical importance, that might include:

    • Investigating cryptographic algorithms;
    • Assessing the security of cryptographic applications and protocols;
    • Developing novel mathematical techniques and analytical tools;
    • Identifying and modelling challenging data sets;
    • Implementing and optimising complex mathematical algorithms on high performance computers;
    • Understanding digital signals received over noisy channels

    To apply you’ll need to have completed a minimum of three years of your degree and be on track to achieve a 1st Class Honours qualification in mathematics (Bachelors, Masters or equivalent) or Joint Honours subject with mathematics as the main component.


    At GCHQ, we’re keen on investing in enhancing your talent and Cyber skills. On our Summer School, you’ll get real insights into how we use innovative technologies and get the chance to see how your passion for technology could help protect the UK. If you’re a student considering a future career in intelligence, this is a unique and exciting opportunity. 

    We’ll pay you £250 per week (based on attendance) for ten-week course, and also provide accommodation. If you show us you have the aptitude and attitude we’re looking for, we may offer you the chance to join another one of our development programmes, or even a job.

    You’ll have access to a comprehensive and development package that will include world-class cyber experts delivering interactive lectures, workshops and practical learning through application. All within a supportive and modern learning environment.

    All we require is that you’re graduating between summers 2020-2023, and be expecting a minimum 2:2 degree in a STEM Subject (or a Joint Honours degree). You’ll also be a natural problem solver, and able to write basic code in at least one computer language. Finally, you’ll need an interest in a number of relevant cyber-focused areas, such as networking or online security.

    Because of the work we do, it’s vital you meet our nationality, resident and security requirements. You can find all the information on these, here.

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  • CyberFirst

    CyberFirst has been established to identify, support and develop the young cyber talent the UK will need in the cyber age.

    Today, our lives are heavily dependent on making connections and transactions in cyberspace. This means there has never been a greater need for young talented people with strong cyber skills to help protect the UK’s people, society and way of life.

    CyberFirst is a key part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme, covering a broad range of activities designed to identify and support talented young people through their education and to highlight exciting career opportunities in cyber. 

    To find out more about the CyberFirst Bursary please click here.

  • Student Scheme for Technologist

    At GCHQ, we’re always keen to meet and develop talented tech minds. Through our Student Scheme for Technologists, you’ll get to grow your technical skills as you help us protect the UK. Over the course of the summer, you’ll discover our innovative technologies and get a unique insight into our critical work. For students considering a career in intelligence, it’s an exceptional opportunity.

    Because our work is so broad, we look for people with a range of expertise and backgrounds. Research, Engineering, Computer Network Operations: our roles span all these departments and many more besides. Whichever team you join, you’ll work on real-life projects that could have a vital impact on national security. And you’ll do it all in a hands-on role, alongside some of the county’s leading industry expects.

    You’ll have access to a comprehensive training and development package that will include world-class cyber experts delivering interactive lectures and workshops and practical learning through application, in a supportive and modern learning environment.

    You’ll need to be graduating in 2020 or 2021 with a minimum 2:2 degree in a STEM subject or a Joint Honours degree. You’ll have a natural aptitude for problem solving, and be able to write complex code. You’ll also be familiar with internet communication protocols and programming interfaces for various operating systems.

  • Summer Language Talent Programme

    On our 11-week paid summer programme, you’ll develop your comprehensive Russian, Mandarin, Persian or Arabic language skills in one of our intelligence analysis teams. As well as being coached by highly skilled Language Analysts, you’ll receive more formal language training. During your placement you’ll get involved in activities such as drafting intelligence reports, translating a variety of foreign language material and delivering briefings to your team and others. You will also get experience of some of the technical and analytical tools that GCHQ Language Analysts use as an integral part of their daily work.

    We’re looking for current final year undergraduates in either Russian, Mandarin, Persian or Arabic who have completed their year abroad and are on track to develop the high-level language skills we need. 

From gaming to game-changing

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"I've always had an independent streak - which is encouraged here."

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Linguist. Learner. Leader.

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