Press Release

GCHQ launches work placement schemes to let students experience life inside the 'Doughnut'

Last Updated: 21 Jul 2015
GCHQ launches a new series of placement schemes that will see technology students working alongside world-class technical experts inside the Cheltenham-based intelligence and security agency’s iconic ‘Doughnut’ building.



GCHQ Foyer


Press Release - 21 Jul 2015

Aimed at university students studying a relevant technical degree the two schemes on offer will allow them to get paid whilst contributing to GCHQ’s crucial work in one of their uniquely complex technical environments.

Comprising Summer Placement and Industrial Placement schemes, these initiatives will provide a fascinating glimpse for students into the workings of the UK’s signals intelligence agency whilst enabling them to both hone their skills and support GCHQ’s mission to combat a range of cyber and other threats to the UK’s national security.

The Summer Placement scheme offers the students 11 weeks of high quality training and an intense technical learning experience during the summer months before their final year, or 22 weeks of experience over the final two summers of their degree course. The first such placement starts on 27 June 2016.

The Industrial Placement scheme is a 51-week long initiative that students participate in as part of their actual degree course. This particular scheme starts on 12 September 2016.

Students for both placement schemes can work in one of five technical areas within GCHQ: Advanced Technology Research, Software Development, Computer Network Operations, Information Assurance or Systems Engineering. Whichever team they join they will benefit from exposure to cutting edge technology, learn from the experience of world-class experts and feel part of a team contributing to GCHQ’s mission of protecting the national security of the UK.

By gaining experience and making a real world difference the opportunity also exists for students who have benefited from a placement scheme to be considered for a permanent role at GCHQ.

GCHQ’s Director General for Technology said: "Our summer placement schemes offer students unique exposure to a wide variety of cutting-edge technologies, as well as the chance to enhance their technical and problem-solving skills. We look forward to them joining us where they will also be playing their part in helping GCHQ continue to combat threats to national security such as from terrorists, serious criminals and the growing threats from cyberspace."

Notes for Editors

About GCHQ

  1. GCHQ is one of the three UK Intelligence Agencies and works to protect the UK’s national security interests. To find out more about GCHQ, please visit:
  2. To find out more about GCHQ’s recruitment opportunities, or to apply for a place on one of the placement schemes, please visit:

About the GCHQ Summer and Industrial placement schemes

  1. The two schemes are open to all UK nationals, aged 18 or above, studying a relevant technical degree. To qualify for a place on one of the schemes, students will need to be graduating in 2017 or 2018. Applications close on Monday 17 August 2015.
  2. Students should be studying for their first degree in a relevant subject such as:
    • Computer Forensics
    • Computer Science
    • Electronic Engineering
    • Information Technology
    • Information Assurance / Security
    • Physics
    • Software Engineering
    • Telecommunications
    • Systems Engineering
    • Telecommunications Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Microelectronics Engineering
    • IT Infrastructure
    • Network Engineering
  3. To be considered for employment by GCHQ applicants would need to be British nationals, and possess a 2:2 or above in their relevant technical degree.
  4. Students will be paid £19,519 pro rata during their placement.

For more information about this Press Release, please contact:

GCHQ Press Office


Telephone: 01242 221491 x 33847