Technical Apprenticeship in Software Engineering Ref. 1605


London Software Degree Apprentices

MI5 are investing in growing our apprenticeship programmes, focussing initially on offering more paid apprenticeships within technology. Applications to join MI5’s very first London-based British Intelligence Software Degree Apprenticeship are open from Monday 15th October. Successful candidates will have the unique opportunity to study towards a BSc Digital and Technology Solutions Professional (Software Specialism) Degree while working on national security problems which require a software solution.

The Role

This apprenticeship programme will lead to exciting placements within the intelligence agencies where you’ll be developing and maintaining tools and capabilities that support MI5’s crucial work. We solve problems that you don’t see elsewhere, in a unique context that comes with a satisfaction nobody else can offer you. Whatever you’ll be working on, your efforts will have a direct and rewarding impact on the success of MI5.

We’ll support you to train as a Software Engineer by enrolling you on a BSc Honours Degree in Digital and Technology Solutions (Software Development) with our apprenticeship training provider, and we will pay you a salary as well as your training costs. We routinely offer additional training beyond that required by the apprenticeship standard, which have previously included outdoor adventure and leadership training and innovation projects. You may also be offered the opportunity to work in one of the other UK intelligence agencies, and we would cover any additional travel and accommodation costs involved in this posting away from your base location.

You’ll take on real business challenges in software engineering, writing code to further our national security mission, while receiving full training and support throughout the programme, as well as a salary and a good work life balance. You’ll learn and work with advanced technology, and you’ll develop a broad range of competencies including teamwork, communication and leadership skills.


This role is based in London. We also have vacancies for Software Degree Apprentices which are based in Manchester. If you would prefer to apply for a position in Manchester, please apply via the GCHQ careers page here

The Person

To join this BSc Honours Degree Apprenticeship, starting in September 2019, you will have (or are expecting to have by September 2019), 3 A-Levels (or qualifications at an equivalent level); 2 A-Levels at grade B or above and 1 A-Level at grade C or above. 2 of the A-Levels need to be in either Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) subjects, or equivalent qualifications in STEM subjects.

We encourage applications from both school leavers and those who have already started a career and are looking to upskill or re-train. All apprentices must pass the same security clearance process as our other staff. For this particular role, applications can be made if you are 17 years of age, and will be 18 years old by 31st August 2019.

We are keen to receive applications from a diverse range of individuals; we know diverse teams get the best results.

Training and Development

The UK intelligence agencies are 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. This Degree Apprenticeship programme combines university accredited classroom and lab education, in state-of-the-art facilities with technical training, mentoring and job shadowing, research and development, and work-based placements and projects. The programme combines a mix of classroom based learning, and placements within a software related business area.

We’ll enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities. Supported by our collaborative learning environment, you’ll soon be working on projects that help keep Britain safe. At the end of your Apprenticeship, you could be considered for full-time employment.

Recruitment Process

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:

- Online proficiency test
- Assessment centre*
- Drug test

*Interviews will be held in London
You should read about the vetting process and satisfy yourself that you meet the criteria outlined in the vetting pages of the How to Apply section prior to submitting an application.

Giving misleading information or omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously. You should ensure that you follow our guidance from when you apply.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

As a Disability Confident employer we offer an interview to all candidates with a disability who meet our minimum criteria for the job vacancy that they are applying for. This is known as the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS).

Along with the standard eligibility requirements for this post, your application will be assessed on how far you meet the job requirements. Your application must score the minimum amount of points set. On successful completion of this stage, you will be invited to interview. This will normally be a telephone interview and is our guaranteed interview.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must meet our residency criteria. You must be a born or naturalised British citizen and one of your parents must be a British citizen or have substantial ties to the UK.

Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for nine out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. However, we will still consider you if you’ve served overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, studied abroad, or lived overseas with your parents.

For this particular role, applications can be made if you are 17 years of age, and will be 18 years old by 31st August 2019. Your application may take around six months to process.

Owing to the sensitivity of our work, we do not publicly disclose the identities of our staff. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.

The Security Service is committed to reflecting both equal opportunities and the society we protect.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.