Intelligence and security

Includes information on the UK intelligence services, cybersecurity, corporate security, security consulting and business intelligence


Working in UK intelligence means you’ll be protecting UK citizens and infrastructure from threat and attack. Whether you work for MI5, MI6 or GCHQ (the three intelligence services), serve in the Army as an intelligence officer or specialise in cybersecurity with the National Crime Agency (part of the Civil Service), you’ll have broadly similar goals.

Read how the different intelligence services work together in this article on the MI6 website:

Intelligence Explained (Secret Intelligence Service)  

To find out more about working in these intelligence services, read the following article:

Intelligence Services careers for graduates (Prospects)

For these posts you’ll need to be a British citizen with at least one parent who is also a British citizen – check full details of eligibility requirements before you start an application. 

What's it like?

UK Intelligence 

The intelligence analyst role is what many people associate with working in intelligence:

Job profile: Intelligence analyst (Prospects)

Other graduate roles in MI6 include the following:

  • language specialist roles (Mandarin, Russian and Arabic are particularly sought after) 
  • science and technology
  • business support roles 

In MI5 you could be an Intelligence Officer, an Intelligence and Data Analyst, a Technologist or a Business Enabler.

Other roles in UK intelligence include forensic science, business intelligence and police investigator:

Job profile: Forensic scientist (Prospects)

Job profile: Detective (Prospects)

What is a business intelligence analyst? (Coursera)

Investigation career pathway (College of Policing)

You can also work in the private sector - look for jobs at security firms or in multinational companies. 


All the security services are keen to counter common misconceptions about their culture and work environment. 

Follow @mi5official on Instagram for “week in the life” posts from MI5 staff.

MI6 mythbusting

National Crime Agency

Army Intelligence Corps       


Job profile: Security officer or guard (PlanitPlus)

Job profile: Emergency planning/management officer (Prospects)

Job profile: Risk manager (Prospects)


Job profile: Cyber security analyst (Prospects)

Cyber security training (Prospects) 


The Tech and Data sector is also a great sector to work in cybersecurity. Have a look at our Tech and Data sector:

Tech and Data - Programming, Software and AI  


To find out how to get started in cybersecurity have a look at the following video from the Chartered Institute for IT:

Webinar: Early Careers - How to get started in Cybersecurity

Looking for some inspiration?

The following short videos on Careers Service Plus will give you a glimpse into career paths in the Security and Arm forces sector:

Security and arm forces (University of Edinburgh login required)

Building experience and getting started 

Few internships are available in this sector. MI5 has offered technical internships and a Summer Diversity internship programme:

Internships - MI5

The National Crime Agency offers summer internships:

National Crime Agency - Entry-level roles  

GCHQ offered a Summer Intelligence Internship - applications have closed but keep an eye out on their website for next year:

GCHQ Summer Intelligence Internship

Apart from taking part in an internship, you can also build experience by volunteering, taking part in societies that will help you develop relevant skills, or having a part-time job (e.g. bouncer or security guard).  Look for societies that will help you develop research skills, confidence with data, decision-making and resilience. It's also a great idea to read news from a variety of international sources to keep up-to-date.

Finding a job