Maths and Cryptography Roles Ref. 2346

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Maths & Cryptography
At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.


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.

GCHQ is offering you an exciting opportunity to specialise in maths and cryptography, tackling unique, complex and ever-changing problems, and applying mathematical thinking to protect the UK.


Our mathematicians work collaboratively in multiskilled teams to solve varied and interesting problems, using analytical skills and a broad range of mathematical approaches, including, but not limited to, algebra, probability, number theory, statistics and optimisation. Supported by mentors you’ll soon be specialising in maths and cryptography producing innovative technical capabilities, often using some of Europe’s most powerful computers to deliver world-class knowledge and expertise, and influence decisions made by government agencies. You’ll work in areas including cryptography and cryptanalysis network exploitation, cyber security, data science, machine learning, mathematical modelling and many more.


•    To reflect the developing challenges we face, we’re actively looking for people with a background in maths, computer science or any other subject with substantial mathematical content.  You should have or expect to obtain shortly, at least a 2:2 undergraduate degree (or equivalent qualification) in a mathematical discipline, including (but not limited to) mathematics, computer science, statistics or physics.

•    You’ll love solving problems, while juggling competing demands and fluently adapting to new circumstances. You must have great intellectual curiosity and the ability to learn quickly.  An interest in technology and/or experience in programming is desirable but not essential.


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. You’re not expected to come to us with a wealth of knowledge, or skills, on day one. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your personal needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.

All new starters will have access to substantial internal training, covering both mathematical and technological topics and will be assigned a mentor upon joining.


We have an excellent benefits package which includes 25 days holiday as standard (pro rata) increasing to 30 days after five years, various flexible working patterns and part time working options available, generous pension contributions and parental leave, and three days volunteering leave.


Salary of £30,831 pro rata on a scale that extends to £33,855 (including concessionary pay) this is dependent on skills and experience




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

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:

1)    Application sift
2)    Mathematics Presentation
3)    Assessment Centre, comprising:
        •    Mathematics test
        •    Group exercise
        •    Individual exercises
        •    Panel interview
        •    Drugs test (this will happen at a later stage if you are successful at interview)

The assessment centres will be held virtually on a digital interviewing platform called TopScore.


Disability Confident Statement:
As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI). To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the following minimum criteria:

•    Eligibility questions - you will be asked a series of questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet these criteria, you will be directed to the application form.

•    You will be asked to submit the application form, if you meet the minimum score in our application sifting test you will be invited to the Mathematics Presentation stage.

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.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have the nationality or citizenship from our approved list of countries (for more info link to website / JD). If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. (for more info link to website / JD). Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You can apply at the age of 17 years and 6 months, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside of the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the Applying section.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.