Cyber Operations Roles Ref 2605

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Full Time
£30,831 plus a one-off recruitment bonus of £3,000 & £4,000 Specialist Skills payment (split into 2 payments, £3,500 on arrival, £3,500 on successful completion of probation)

At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ offers varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The Roles

For those who are passionate about problem-solving, can think outside the box and deliver creative solutions to often complex challenges, these roles present a truly unique opportunity. 

Our Cyber Operations teams use bespoke technology to legally infiltrate the computers of terrorists and criminals to discover and disrupt their plans. Under strict legal safeguards and oversights, we have the scope to do things that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.

Working collaboratively in teams, we utilise a broad spectrum of technologies to develop the solutions required to gather intelligence and disrupt those that seek to harm the UK and its citizens. One of the greatest things about working here is knowing that each individual's contribution is helping to keep the nation safe.

Right now, GCHQ has a number of exciting opportunities to join our Cyber Operations team in the following roles: 


Working at a deep technical level, this role is about both making things and breaking things – finding weaknesses in our targets’ network environments and software, then producing the tooling and bespoke solutions we need to exploit them.  It requires good technical aptitude, including knowledge of more than one programming language, plus a more general interest in computer networking and cyber security. Though by no means essential, coding experience is also an advantage. 


On the front line of our efforts to pursue our targets and complete our mission, this role involves working collaboratively with our Developers and Intelligence Analysts across a wide section of the business to understand our mission.  It requires you to have a combination of technical aptitude and advanced understanding of the target and target environment. You’ll utilise a range of technical tools and tradecraft to support the mission. Though there is not a firm requirement for programming experience and networking knowledge here, aptitude to learn those skills is extremely valuable.

Current opportunities are based in Gloucestershire, but future roles will be available at the new National Cyber Force base in Samlesbury in Lancashire too.

About You

You’re the type of person that relishes solving problems and are willing to experiment to find a solution in this fast-paced environment. You recognise the breadth of internet technologies, both the benefits and drawbacks.  You’re able to grasp computing concepts and apply this knowledge to your work, along with an integrity to work lawfully and ethically at all times.

The set of technologies we already use is varied and constantly growing all the time. As such, we don’t expect any one candidate to have had experience of web based technologies. We’re looking for people who can demonstrate a good understanding of internet based systems, an aptitude and desire to learn new skills and to solve interesting problems. You’ll be given an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in one or more of the specialisms or related fields:

Both roles

•    Internet and network technologies, such as IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, DNS, etc
•    Windows and Linux operating system and security fundamentals
•    Network administration fundamentals (LAN and/or WAN)
•    General interest in technology, automation, and virtualisation


•    Programming languages, such as Python, C++, Java, JavaScript, Rust, Assembly Languages – don’t exclude yourself here: if you know object – orientated scripting or low-level languages, they often provide commutable skill
•    Software reverse engineering, static and dynamic analysis, debugging (IDAPRO,GHIDRA)
•    Low level mobile development (Android or iOS)

•    General good software processes development processes – version control debugging, code review


•    Penetration testing tools and techniques
•    WebApp vulnerabilities, e.g. XSS, SQL injection, etc
•    Network analysis and troubleshooting tools, such as Wireshark, process Monitor, Splunk, etc

We welcome applications if you have, or expect to obtain, a minimum 2:2 degree in a STEM subject and can demonstrate the ability to work within the areas above, for example, through personal projects or degree-related study. We also welcome applications from experienced candidates who currently work within a related field, regardless of educational background.

Please find the list of STEM subjects listed below:

STEM Subjects

Training and Development 

At GCHQ, we’ll invest in your skills and adapt to the way you like to learn. We’ll support and encourage you every step of the way, helping you to become an integral part of our world-class team. 

If you have an affinity for technology, a keen desire to learn and the ability to adapt to the ever-evolving challenges and adversaries we face, we'll give you all the training and development you could wish for.

The skills you develop with us could cover numerous technical areas, from complex operational infrastructure to the development of sophisticated software, and everything in between. 

We'll cover the cost and provide support with regard to formal technical courses. A bursary scheme is also available to help you gain a Masters or top up your degree.

From day one, you'll have access to mentors and subject matter experts. We'll help you create a structured development plan that's right for you.

Rewards and Benefits 

You’ll receive a starting salary of £30,831, plus other benefits including:

•    25 days annual leave rising to 30 days after 5 years’ service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
•    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
•    Interest-free season ticket loan (travel/parking)
•    Excellent pension scheme
•    Cycle to work scheme
•    Facilities such as a restaurant and on-site coffee bar 
•    Paid parental and adoption leave

Equal Opportunities

At West 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, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions.  We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds

To find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity, please click here.

We’re Disability Confident

GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our “offer of Interview” (OOI).  To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria are:

•    Strong motivation for applying to work for GCHQ and the Cyber Operations Role on offer – assessed at application sift

•    Able to demonstrate a good understanding of internet based systems – assessed at application sift

What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit.  Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

•    Competency – based interview, 
•    Technical Interview,  
•    Drugs Test

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next.  Your application may take around 6 – 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you to continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.  

Before You Apply

To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV).  It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes.  You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The role is based in Gloucestershire, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance.  Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.

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 the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. 

Right to Withdraw Statement: 

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.