25 Jan 2021

You Know About MI5 & MI6, but What About GCHQ?


What Does GCHQ Stand For?

GCHQ stands for Government Communications Headquarters. We are one of the UK’s intelligence agencies. That means a lot of our work is TOP SECRET, so we can’t go into too much detail here!

You Know About MI5 And MI6, But What About GCHQ? - Shhh gif | Stemettes Zine

Where are GCHQ based?

GCHQ’s headquarters is in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and is sometimes called ‘the Doughnut’. We are also based in other locations around the UK, including London, Cornwall, Scarborough and Manchester. On 1 November 2019, GCHQ celebrated its 100th birthday.


What Does GCHQ Do?

You might have heard of MI5 and MI6, whom we work closely with. Where MI5 and MI6 focus on people, GCHQ focuses on getting intelligence through technology (signals intelligence). This means we can protect the UK from threats that come from abroad. We specialise in ‘human intelligence’, which means getting secret intelligence from talking to people undercover.


How Do You Work?

GCHQ’s people use cutting-edge technology, technical ingenuity and wide-ranging partnerships to keep the UK safe. They work in the real world and online through the work of the National Cyber Security Centre.

It takes different people in different STEM roles to help them, from linguists to mathematicians. We also have analysts, cyber security professionals, software developers and engineers. People in HR, communications, finance, and more keep everything running smoothly.

You Know About MI5 And MI6, But What About GCHQ? | Stemettes Zine

How Can I Get Involved?

GCHQ welcomes people with all kinds of different talents and interests, especially people who can solve unusual problems in creative ways. As well as recruiting school leavers and graduates, we also offer exciting cyber security and software engineering degree apprenticeships and bursaries. You can find out more about these opportunities on their Early Career page, or by searching for ‘GCHQ Careers’.

Watch our Instagram Live with Jo & Kay from GCHQ here.

This piece was written by Jo Cavan from GCHQ.
To find out more about GCHQ, visit their webpage at gchq.gov.uk or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.


Did you enjoy this article? Click on a star to rate it!
Next in this issue...
Upcoming Events
Parent, guardian, teacher or volunteer?

The Stemettes Zine is a curated space tailored specifically to Stemettes but we have plenty of content and updates for you folks too. Sign up to receive the Stemettes newsletter and we’ll keep you updated with the latest from Stemettes HQ including events, activities, resources and fundraising activities.