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Maths and Cryptography Students Ref. 1251

Maths & Cryptology
£19,861 pro rata
Fresh thinking. With the finest mathematical minds. A summer well spent.

GCHQ is offering you an exciting opportunity to be on a Maths Summer placement.

As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with our partners in the Intelligence Community to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else.


The Maths Summer placement is a nine week, paid scheme, for mathematics undergraduates. On this placement, you will form small teams with colleagues to work on projects which are of real, operational interest to the organisation. Projects come from all corners of the organisation and require the application of a variety of different areas of mathematics. Past problems have included assessing cryptographic algorithms, analysing complex datasets, developing new statistical tools and researching various areas of maths to ensure that British Government communications are secure.

Our unique environment provides opportunities to collaboratively conduct advanced mathematical research and innovatively solve challenging real world problems. Our work covers a wide range of mathematical disciplines including algebra, number theory, statistics, combinatorics, numerical analysis and many more. This Maths Summer placement will give you the chance to see first-hand how our work helps to protect our nation.


You must be a current undergraduate studying for your first degree (Bachelors, Master’s or equivalent) in mathematics, or a Joint Honours degree with mathematics as the main component.   By the start date of the placement, you must have completed a minimum of three years of your degree (or equivalent for part-time courses) and should be on track to achieve a 1st Class Honours qualification at the end of your degree.

All of the projects will involve some level of programming. Programming experience is not necessary for acceptance onto the scheme, but please do describe any on your application. If you do not have prior experience then we will be able to offer advice on possible ways to develop before the beginning of the placement.


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, that will include benefiting from the support of full time employees from the Maths department, we will enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities. Supported by our collaborative learning environment, you’ll soon be working on projects that help keep Britain safe.

At the end of your Summer Programme, you could be considered for another summer placement or full-time employment.


£19,861 pro rata




To be eligible to apply for this position you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements. Full details of these requirements can be found here:

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes towards completing this application. We are conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

If you meet the Minimum Eligibility and Application Sift criteria, the next steps of this selection process will be:

Application Form Questions

-       University and degree
-       Subjects studied during each year of degree
-       Details of any programming experience
-       Details of any mathematical projects or papers
-       Work Experience

Next Steps:

-       Interview
-       Drug test

Interviews held in Gloucester 20th - 24th November 2017

If you successfully complete the above stages, you will receive a job offer, conditional to you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.

The Maths Summer Placement dates are 25th June - 24th August 2018.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.