CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security Ref.1876

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Apprentices and Interns
Cheltenham, Scarborough, Manchester

GCHQ’s unique CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship is a great opportunity to develop advanced cyber security skills, while helping the UK to grow its technical capabilities.  During the three-year programme, while gaining a recognised university degree, you’ll get exposure to some of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies along with practical insights into the innovative ways we use them to provide cyber security to our customers.  


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, GCHQ unlocks the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats.


Our modern lives revolve around technology. And the more we rely on our gadgets, the more our nation needs cyber security experts.  If you’re looking to start your career after ‘A’ levels (or equivalent), our unique CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship will offer you new challenges every day.  This is a full Degree Apprenticeship like no other. You’ll take on a role with GCHQ – the government’s cyber intelligence agency – and learn to defend the UK’s online security. You’ll gain a unique insight into our work which is always technically challenging and provides huge scope for your own personal development.  Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime.  This is an opportunity that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Our work is constantly evolving, giving you lots of opportunities over the three-year programme to explore and develop advance cyber security skills in areas such as programming, computing, technical analysis, malware, vulnerability and threat analysis and computer hardware.
Along with your day-to-day work, we’ll pay you to study a recognised degree in Cyber Security, all with a starting salary of £18,920.  You’ll receive full training and support throughout the programme and all the benefits that you’d expect from a Civil Service organisation.  While gaining a recognised university degree and building your experience and confidence in the workplace you’ll also develop a broad range of skills including teamwork, communication, leadership, and be part of a close-knit cohort that provides opportunities for support and learning within its community.  

After successful completion of your Degree Apprenticeship, subject to business needs and you meeting the necessary criteria, you may be offered full-time employment.


To apply for the CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security starting in September 2020, you must:

• Be a UK National

• Have (or be expecting to have by September 2020), a minimum of 2 ‘A’ Levels at Grade B and 1 ‘A’ level at grade C or above (112 UCAS points or equivalent*)

*A list of equivalent qualifications can be found on the UCAS Tariff Calculator here.

• Also have an IGCSE/GCSE Maths at grade of B or 5 or above (or equivalent)

We are looking for motivated and committed individuals, from all backgrounds, with an aspiration for a career in cyber security.  A keen interest in, or desire to learn about programming, computing and technology is essential.  As part of the selection process, you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you have the aptitude to develop a technical understanding of cyber security.  Although previous experience in coding would be advantageous, it’s not required as you’ll have the opportunity to develop these skills on the apprenticeship.  

If you’re excited about working with us and think you have some of what we’re looking for but aren’t sure if you’re 100% there yet… why not just give it a go!


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. Through a comprehensive training and development package, we’ll enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities. Over the three-year programme, you’ll get a mix of university-delivered classroom and lab education in state-of-the-art off-site facilities along with technical training, mentoring and job shadowing, and hands-on, work-based placements and projects. Supported by our collaborative learning environment, you’ll soon be working on projects that help keep Britain safe.

Formal training will take place, mostly off site in the first two years, in Cheltenham which is an easy commute from cities such as Bristol and Birmingham. Work placements will take place in the location for which you have been recruited. After successful completion of your three-year Degree Apprenticeship and subject to business needs and meeting the necessary criteria, you may be offered full-time employment.




Cheltenham, Scarborough, Manchester


To apply for this position, you must be 18 by 30th September 2020 and meet our nationality, residency and security requirements.  Full details of these requirements can be found here .

Applications will open on 2nd September 2019 and close on 27th October 2019.

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 the selection process are:

• Application Form

• Online Exercise – Please note, the link to the online exercise platform will be emailed to you following confirmation of eligibility and will be available from 2nd September 2019.  This must be completed no later than 17th November 2019.

• Assessment Centre / Interview*

*Assessment Centres will be held in Gloucester on 20th – 24th & 27th January 2020

If successful, you’ll receive an offer to complete the CyberFirst Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security, conditional upon exam results and you completing our Developed Vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.