Maths Students Summer School Ref.1895

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Maths & Cryptography
£20,536 (pro rata)

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.


GCHQ is keen to invest in enhancing your talent and maths skills. On our maths summer school placement, you’ll get an insight into how GCHQ uses innovative technologies, and work on projects which are of real, operational interest to our organisation.  

The maths summer school placement is a nine-week, paid scheme, for mathematics undergraduates. Working closely with and supported by mentors, you’ll work with other students from the placement to collaboratively conduct innovative research.

You’ll help deliver on projects which will require the application of a variety of different areas of mathematics, and could involve programming high performance computers.  You’ll have a love for solving problems.  In the past these problems 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.


You must be a 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 taught 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.

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. Previous programming experience is useful but not essential.

Equal Opportunities Statement

The UK Intelligence Agencies – MI5 / MI6 / GCHQ – are Equal Opportunities employers and are committed to reflecting the society we protect. Our recruitment process is fair, transparent and based on merit.  We particularly welcome applications from diverse and under-represented groups.


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. We’ll deliberately set you problems in areas where you’re likely to have little existing knowledge.  Instead, we’ll provide a crash course in the necessary mathematical topics and programming skills required for the placement. 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 may be considered for another 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 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.


£20,536 (pro rata)




Optionally, we will arrange accommodation for you close to GCHQ and with other summer students, which would be paid in arrears from your salary.


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:

- Application Form
- Personal interview*
- Drug test

*Interviews will be held in Gloucester between 2nd and 6th December 2019.
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.