Maths and Cryptography Summer Students

Fresh thinking with the finest mathematical minds. A summer that adds up.

We are GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. We work closely with our partners in the intelligence community to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from threats such as serious organised crime, drug trafficking, terrorism and cyber-attacks.

We’re keen to invest in enhancing your talent and maths skills. On our nine-week paid summer placement, you’ll get an insight into how GCHQ uses innovative technologies, and work on projects which are of real, operational interest to our organisation. The 2023 summer scheme will run from Monday 26th June until Friday 25th August.

A current undergraduate studying for your first degree in mathematics, or a joint honours where mathematics is the main component, you’ll have completed a minimum of three taught years by the start date of the summer placement and be on track to achieve a 2:1 qualification. On the scheme,
you’ll help to deliver projects which require the application of different areas of mathematics. In the past, tasks have included assessing cryptographic algorithms, analysing complex data sets, developing new statistical tools and programming high-performance computers.

We’ll look for evidence of a sound grounding and well-developed abilities in mathematics, although we don’t require specialisation in any particular areas. Previous programming experience would be useful but not essential, and you should also have a passion for solving problems.


To find out more and apply, click here.


At GCHQ diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We, therefore, welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforces such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have the nationality or citizenship from our approved list of countries (further information on our eligibility criteria can be found here). If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You can apply at the age of 17 years, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday.

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