SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Technology’s behind everything we do, which makes working in our Science and Technology teams varied, challenging and always exciting. The diverse systems we use ensure we operate effectively, provide reliable data to the UK government, and connect us to our intelligence partners. Working here will put you right at the heart of our mission to protect the UK, using your technical aptitude to solve unique and complex problems.
We recruit people with a wide range of abilities, from new graduates to highly experienced technologists. As well as highly technical specialists who focus on developing and supporting systems applications, we look for analysts and project managers who can apply technology to meet our business needs.
We also have a joint SIS, MI5 and GCHQ Apprenticeship Scheme. Aimed at those with an interest in developing technological expertise, successful candidates will spend a period of time in each agency, developing their skills and working with some of the world's most cutting edge technologies. Find out more...
Before I joined MI6, I was working as a software developer in the gambling industry. I had eleven years’ software experience and after seeing first-hand the devastating effects that gambling had on people's lives, I was determined to work in an area where I could make a positive social contribution. Joining MI6 gave me the opportunity to do exactly that.
Due to the secret nature of the work it’s easy to hold misconceptions about what it’s like to work here. In most respects it’s like any other office but people really care about what they are doing, which is completely different to any of the private sector companies I’ve worked in. This creates a very different atmosphere – people are much more driven and more willing to help each other. You get a real feeling that what you’re doing is helping to protect society in the UK.
As a software developer, I mainly program for our communications software. There are a lot of challenges and things are rarely boring. For example, I was asked to investigate why our electronic security border was rejecting messages and when I inspected the code I discovered that a particular type of logo could have been used to attack our network.
You have a lot of opportunity to make a mark here. I've found people are receptive to suggestions on how to improve the way we work and you’re given a lot of trust in how you fulfil your workload. It’s very rewarding to build systems and know your input really influenced what was produced. With the move to more commercial off-the-shelf systems (COTs) and sharing other government department solutions, I’ve found I need to be increasingly inventive in how I design and build systems to meet unique requirements.
I've been impressed with the level of commitment the Service shows towards its staff. They put a lot of effort into helping you to develop your career, understand how the service operates and extend your technical knowledge. The level of training is the best I've seen. I’ve been sent on courses to keep my technical skills up to date and taken part in some more esoteric courses delivered internally, and the quality’s always been excellent. There’s also a lot of help for people to work around their personal circumstances, such as looking after a dependent family member. Overall, I think it’s a fantastic place to work.
After gaining my Computer Science degree, I wasn’t motivated by money, so didn’t join my friends in applying to join big corporate organisations. Instead, I wanted to do something that I felt would challenge me and feed my passion for technology. So, when I saw MI6 was recruiting software programmers to help contribute to national security, I decided to give it a go. I thought it might be too posh for me, but after four months of interviews, assessment centres and security checks, I was in.
When I walked through the door on my first day, I was surprised at how friendly and down to earth everyone was. And the people I met during my introduction to the Service are still good friends today.
In my first job I had a steep learning curve to understand the technology and how the organisation worked. The training really helped and no matter how stupid my questions sounded, people always took the time to explain why we used technology in a different way. Although I’d learnt the theory at university, it wasn't until I started using my coding skills that I really understood how to put a system together. My mentor helped me to design a personal training programme and I completed courses in Exchange 2010 and Windows Server 2012 which led to me becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional. I've also qualified as a VMWare Certified Professional and developed my C# and C++ skills.
What’s really satisfying is solving technical problems and know you’ve helped to save lives. One time after seeing a major, international event on the news, I was asked to design a specialised report for a small number of key customers to a tight deadline. Working in a team I captured the requirements and designed a prototype which we developed and tested successfully. It was pretty tiring, but we got the job done.
In the future I hope to continue expanding my software development skills. But with so many opportunities, I might decide to move into technical security or even operational work. That’s the advantage of working here – you define your own career.
I joined straight from university with an honours degree in Computing and Networks. During my studies I had part time jobs in the fast food industry and as a chef, but I wanted something more meaningful. So, when my partner semi-jokingly suggested MI6, I started researching the network engineer role and other aspects of working here, and soon knew it was where I wanted to be.
I applied online, but I knew the competition would be high, and didn’t expect to get much further. So I was surprised when I was invited to an interview and then an assessment centre, which I passed. Nothing beats the feeling when you're told you’ve been accepted for a job with MI6!
No two days are quite the same. For example, last week I was shadowing someone to learn a support process for a new system when my boss asked if I could urgently go overseas. 24 hours later I was being briefed by "our man in the Middle East" on an office move that needed new technical equipment installed to a tight deadline, with as little disruption as possible. There was no room for error, but I love challenges like this – being part of a great team and knowing that what I do has a real, positive and immediate impact.
When I returned, I was back to working alongside project managers, security experts and software engineers, ensuring the networks we design and implement stay secure and function in an efficient and supportive way.
MI6 is a fantastic place to work. In many ways your career is in your own hands. I’ve had in-house training in skills such as VSAT and RF, and help with gaining professional qualifications. And every three to five years you have the chance to move to an operational or corporate job, or to further specialise and build your technical skills. There are very few places in the world where I could work with such a wide range of network technologies and make such an impact.
Being part of the Service makes you feel more like a member of a family rather than an employee. The work’s fascinating and the people are great. I honestly think working for MI6 is one of the best jobs you’ll have in your life.
I worked in Electrical Engineering for a large manufacturing company for ten years before deciding on a career change. When I saw an advert for a Network System Engineer position, I thought my skills and qualifications were a good match.
I’d applied for other jobs at the time, but this one really stood out for me. I really had no idea what work I’d be doing, but I knew that it would be different to just supporting conventional corporate IT. As well as developing my career as a Network Engineer, I’d be able to use my skills to contribute to the security of the UK.
My initial three-month induction to the service covered general issues, as well as more specific engineering training. This was really good because I learned how to do things I'd never done before, including configuring high grade encryption devices and how to physically install and terminate fibre-optic cable.
One of the best things about my role here is that I’m not just a network engineer. One day you can be programming network switches, another you can be installing satellite systems in Africa.
I get a real buzz working with the other UK intelligence agencies. I get a greater sense of how we’re protecting UK interests, as well as a great insight into how the wider intelligence community operates. Between us we have a fantastic range of technical gear, but what I most enjoy is working together to achieve a common goal. Rather than being stuck behind a desk, I’m always out and about meeting people and getting my hands dirty.
Curious? Why not apply…
After completing a BSc Computer Science and Maths degree, I decided that I needed a challenge involving my IT and customer service skills. I've always enjoyed the satisfaction you get from interacting with people from all walks of life and helping them and had temped for a year in the private sector, but that didn’t give me any job satisfaction.
When I spotted an advert for 1st Line Technical Support Analyst at MI6, I was immediately intrigued. I didn't want a normal job working at a bank or in a call centre. I wanted to do something different and the opportunity to support intelligence operations, learn about different cultures and possibly work overseas really excited me.
I've been here for three years now. During a typical day I take calls from MI6 staff and deal with their IT issues. Our team’s the first port of call, so we aim to fix these issues straight away and if we can’t, we work closely with other support teams. I also get involved with project work and I’ve had the opportunity to travel overseas to provide training and support.
The IT career opportunities here are endless and you get to move to a different role every three years. Whether you’re interested in networking, project management, testing, service management, databases, or business analysis there are great opportunities.
The investment in you as an individual far outweighs anything I've had in my previous roles and you’re always giving the opportunity to go on courses to gain new skills and qualifications. I recently completed Cisco qualifications and I intend to complete my CCNP and VMware Networking in the future.
from start to finish
after each stage we'll assess your suitability before you go onto the next stage
you register online
we check your eligibility and qualifications
if you pass
we invite you to fill out a full application form
you may be required to complete an online test, dependent on role
if you pass
you book your place on our assessment centre
you attend a one-day assessment centre
if you pass
you receive a conditional job offer, dependent on passing security vetting
[this takes on average 90 working days]
you complete an online medical questionnaire
you receive a formal job offer
Join us and you’ll enjoy tailored training that will extend both your personal and technical skills. You’ll also discover long term opportunities to move into different technology areas, or even into other SIS departments. With a generous annual leave and pension package, as well as the genuine flexibility to enjoy life outside work, it’s an ideal place to develop a full, varied and enjoyable career.
We at MI6 – or as we’re more formally called, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) - are looking for experienced Software Engineering Specialists, Software Engineering Graduates or Software candidates searching for part time, flexible working patterns who understand the complex world of programming, integrating or supporting software products and underlying technologies. You will be involved in all stages of the software development lifecycle and your work will contribute to the protection of the UK’s national interests both at home and overseas. We take training seriously and provide time for you to develop your skills and expertise in a diverse suite of programming languages, databases and operating systems.
MI6 is the UK's foreign human intelligence agency. Today, we’re looking for Business Analysts to optimise the way we operate as a global intelligence service in the 21st Century. While you play a critical role in protecting the UK’s national security, at home and overseas, we’ll play an equally vital role in your future.
MI6 is the UK’s foreign human intelligence agency. Today we’re looking for Change Business Partners to optimise the way we operate as a global intelligence agency in the 21st century. While you play a critical role in protecting the UK’s national security, both at home and overseas, we’ll play an equally vital role in your future.
MI6 is the UK's foreign human intelligence agency. Today, we’re looking for Change Delivery Leads to optimise the way we operate as a global intelligence service in the 21st Century. While you play a critical role in protecting the UK’s national security, at home and overseas, we’ll play an equally vital role in your future.
MI6 is the UK's foreign human intelligence agency. Today, we’re looking for Change Managers to optimise the way we operate as a global intelligence service in the 21st Century. While you play a critical role in protecting the UK’s national security, at home and overseas, we’ll play an equally vital role in your future.
This role will be vital to optimising the way MI6 operates as a global intelligence service. With a significant track record of leading, designing and delivering complex change, you’ll be well-placed to shape and systemise our organisational approach to change. You’ll do this through building the capability of Service leaders to lead change effectively, by developing organisational change agility and moving the dial on cultural and behavioural change.
Working closely with the Senior Change Business Partner, this role will help to set the strategy and case for change within a key business area. We’ll be looking for an experienced Business Analyst who is confident to operate in different delivery environments and who can quickly build trust and rapport with very senior stakeholders.
MI6 is the UK's foreign human intelligence agency. Every day, we gather secret intelligence from all over the world that helps us protect the UK. Our work requires sophisticated technology and innovative techniques, which is why we need your help. As a Software Engineer, you’ll give us a crucial edge in a rapidly changing, data-driven world. Ultimately, your role is to make sure MI6 gets the technology it needs. You’ll work with teams across the Organisation delivering the software required by your customers. Using your experience of software, you’ll take ownership of large problems and work with other teams to analyse them, developing a plan to deliver them throughout the engineering lifecycle.
MI6 is the UK's foreign human intelligence agency. Every day, we gather secret intelligence from all over the world that helps us protect the UK. Our work requires sophisticated technology and innovative techniques, which is why we need your help. As a Data Scientist, you’ll give us a crucial edge in a rapidly changing, data-driven world. Ultimately, your role is to make sure MI6 gets the technology it needs. Proficient in a range of data science tools, you’ll use your knowledge to develop analytical tools and techniques working closely with colleagues to identify the most complex analysis requirements, and work with them to identify, develop and implement innovative solutions. Excited about the benefits data science can bring, you’ll develop a good understanding of new and existing technology across different work sectors with a view to improving our analysis capability within the Organisation.
MI6 is the UK's foreign human intelligence agency. Every day, we gather secret intelligence from all over the world that helps us protect the UK. Our work requires sophisticated technology and innovative techniques, which is why we need your help. As a Technical Security Engineer, you’ll give us a crucial edge in a rapidly changing, data-driven world. Ultimately, your role is to make sure MI6 gets the technology it needs. You’ll utilise a variety of technical capabilities to support delivery of the Organisation’s core goals and objectives and provide 2nd and 3rd line technical support for our systems. Using your experience, you’ll provide technical advice and support and you’ll be motivated to travel overseas typically for one to two weeks at a time.
To apply to SIS, you’ll need to be a British citizen and to have lived in the UK for the majority of the ten years before applying. However, there are a few exceptions to the residency rule. You may still be able to apply if you’ve studied abroad, served overseas with HM forces or lived overseas with your parents. One of your parents must also be (or have been) a British Citizen too, or have substantial ties to the UK. If you hold dual nationality, you can still apply, but you may be required to give up your non-British citizenship before joining.
We have a strict no drugs policy which prohibits the use, possession or supply of illegal drugs, including the use of drugs that are illegal in the UK but are legal in some other countries. Misuse or abuse of prescribed medication or any other substance is also incompatible with holding security clearance, which can be refused or withdrawn if this policy is not observed, so you must adhere to our policy from the point of application onwards.
The point of application is the date you submit your application form.
You will be required to undergo a drug test during the application process.
When you join SIS, you’ll be given clearance relevant to your role. Some of our positions mean you’ll have access to a wide range of sensitive information. It’s paramount, for the safety of our organisation, our people and our country, that this information doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Because of this, you’ll have to pass our security clearance to the appropriate level. It’s a long process, up to three months in most cases. And it takes a very fair, in-depth and pretty intrusive look at your life, including your finances. So it’s important to be aware of this commitment before you apply, and be completely open and honest when you answer our security questions. If any details are concealed, your application can’t be taken forward.