Maths and Cryptography Students Ref. 1575

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Maths & Cryptology
£20,133 pro rata
Fresh Thinking.  With the finest mathematical minds. A summer well spent.

GCHQ, the longest standing code-breaking intelligence agency in the UK, is offering you an exciting opportunity to join our organisation on a Maths Summer placement.


The Maths Summer placement is a nine week, paid scheme, for mathematics undergraduates.  On this placement, you’ll work on projects which are of real, operational interest to our organisation. Supported by our full time employees, you will form small teams with other students from the placement to collaboratively conduct innovative research.  Projects require the application of a variety of different areas of mathematics, and typically also involve programming high performance computers.  Past problems have come from all corners of the organisation and have included assessing cryptographic algorithms, analysing complex data sets, developing new statistical tools and researching various areas of maths to ensure that British Government communications are secure.


We’re looking for talented, flexible and committed individuals from all backgrounds.

You must be current undergraduate studying for your first degree (Bachelors, Masters or equivalent) in mathematics, or a Joint Honours subject 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.

We’re looking for talented, flexible and committed individuals from all backgrounds. A strong mathematical grounding and ability is required, although we don’t require specialisation in any particular areas. You must have great intellectual curiosity and the ability to learn quickly. You must thrive on collaboration. You should also demonstrate sound political awareness. We don’t require previous programming experience.


We’ll deliberately set you problems in areas where you’re likely to have little existing knowledge. Instead, we’ll provide comprehensive training, to include both classroom-based learning and hands-on training. Supported by our collaborative learning environment, you’ll soon be working on projects that help keep Britain safe.

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 to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities.

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


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.


£20,133 pro rata


Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol)


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 Gloucester week commencing 26th November 2018.
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.