Student Scheme for Technologists Ref. 1305

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IT, Science & Technical
Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol)

GCHQ is offering you an exciting opportunity to join our organisation on a Student Scheme for Technologists (SST) in our Computer Network Operations area for 11 weeks Summer placement (paid).


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else.


We are looking for people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience who keep up with changing technologies and want to make a real difference to the UK.

CNO’s work will directly support the whole range of GCHQ’s cyber capabilities – at times by developing capabilities to access the computers of a terrorist group, or to carry out operations to retrieve vital online clues about the location and identity of members of an organised crime ring, or to carry out vulnerability research in support of national security objectives for network defence purposes and to support military operations across the full spectrum of cyber activities. Working with colleagues at MI5, SIS (MI6) and partners ranging from the police to academia and foreign partners, we operate under strict legal controls, safeguards and requirements set by ministers to protect national interests.
Students can experience practical work in one of GCHQ’s leading technology areas. They will be involved in real tasks of a development or project nature with a placement intended to be relevant to the individuals’ academic studies and career aspirations (where available).

So, for your summer with us, we expect that you have the following skills:

  • A thorough understanding of internet communications protocols, including knowledge of how these protocols are commonly secured.
  • Understanding of operating systems and their programming interfaces
  • Ability to undertake complex coding tasks and evidence of having done so either at university or as a hobby
  • Excellent problem-solving skills


Candidates must be graduating in either 2019 or 2020 and must be current undergraduates and be on track for a minimum 2:2 degree in Computer Science, Ethical Hacking, Computer Forensics, Physics, Engineering, Maths, Natural Sciences or a Joint Honours degree with one of these subjects.


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’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities that will combine placements in various teams and hands-on training, we’ll 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 placement, you could be considered for another summer placement or full-time employment.






To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements.  You’ll find more details here.

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re 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.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

  • Personal interview*
  • Drug test

*Interviews will be held in Cheltenham
If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.