Technology & Engineering

Complexity. Challenge. Evolving needs.
Our technology drives everything we do.

Technical solutions to unique problems

Our engineers and technologists tackle major technical challenges every day. It’s their role to acquire, process, analyse and present huge volumes of diverse data so our intelligence and security analysts can do their jobs effectively.

Our technical roles involve a range of sophisticated software, hardware and IT systems. Join us and you’ll be operating in a constantly changing environment to meet the evolving needs of our business.

You’ll be involved in a stimulating range of projects, from critical enhancements in response to world events, to building brand new systems to exacting requirements. This means you’ll need to be technically focused, highly adaptable and committed to maintaining the security of the UK.

Technology & Engineering roles

What our people say

What do you most enjoy about working at GCHQ?

I am interested in my work

My manager is considerate of my life outside work

I am treated with respect by the people I work with

I am proud when I tell others I am part of GCHQ

I understand how the work of GCHQ makes a difference to the UK


Similar roles at MI5 and MI6




Software Engineers/Developers

If you’re a highly capable and creative software engineer or developer you’ll not only play a major role in our mission, but you’ll also enjoy the scope to develop a stimulating, rewarding and fulfilling career.

Virtually all the solutions we develop incorporate some aspect of software. Working on a range of solutions, you’ll have contact with virtually every area of our business, often designing and building highly complex, unique software systems that push technological boundaries.

Based in Cheltenham or Manchester you’ll join a team responsible for giving our customers the tools they need to do their jobs. This could involve developing code under pressure to support live operations, or developing highly sustainable, ‘unbreakable’ code. Whichever team you join, you’ll ensure customers have the essential tools they need by solving seemingly unsolvable problems, creating new functionality and breaking new ground. You’ll also need to keep up with new technologies, so you’re well-equipped to tackle problems we don’t always know we can solve.

We use a range of development tools, including Java, JEE, C, C++, C#, .Net, OOD, Perl, scripting and web technologies, cloud technologies and distributed programming such as Hadoop, NoSQL and other big data tools. Some of our teams develop for embedded devices and small amounts of RAM. But one thing is for sure – whatever we’re using today, we need software engineers who keep up-to-date with new technologies and who are ready for whatever the future throws at us.

This means you’ll need the ability to learn new skills quickly, together with the tenacity to find innovative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems when others give up. With the confidence to work with new technologies on new problems with minimal supervision, you’ll have the flexibility to quickly build your skills with a range of technologies. At the same time, you’ll need to be efficient and well organised, with an understanding of risk and the ability to balance cost with quality.

You’ll have or will be expecting to achieve a degree in a relevant STEM subject such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Science, Technology, Engineering, or have relevant work experience.

System Designers

Our systems engineers and architects draw on their vast experience to design and build large scale, complex solutions to a range of challenging problems.

Join us and you’ll be working with an industry leading systems engineering methodology based on MODAF framework to unpick the complexity of diverse problems. If you have the engineering skills we’re looking for, we’ll give you full training in our methodology, as well as the opportunity to design a variety of solutions that can be built by multiple suppliers in a complex supply chain. It’s a uniquely challenging environment that will stretch and develop your systems engineering knowledge to the full.

System Engineering R&D

Our engineers, scientists and technologists work at the forefront of a variety of technical areas. These include system architecture, networking, IT infrastructure, platforms, RF systems, biometrics, mobile technologies, PCBSs, control systems, cryptography and cryptography applications.

Working with our intelligence teams, you’ll be designing, prototyping and delivering software and hardware systems in response to the latest technological advances. Working with customers and other engineers to create unique technical solutions to new problems, you’ll also be developing large scale, more robust systems.

It’s a challenging and stimulating environment where you’ll need to combine creativity and innovation with the tenacity to find solutions and pick up new skills quickly.

IT Infrastructure Engineering

Our world class IT infrastructure enables us to develop cutting edge systems, and perform ground-breaking analysis and data processing.

You’ll help to design, implement, support and maintain a complex and technologically advanced IT infrastructure that ranges from critical legacy systems to cutting edge technologies. You’ll also provide consultancy and support to other engineering areas and partner with industry to design and implement large scale and complex systems.

Our business is always evolving and our customer requirements get more and more demanding. Delivering a capable and reliable infrastructure to meet these requirements takes high calibre engineers who combine excellent technical skills with a constant desire to stay on top of technology as it advances.

Software Engineering Degree Apprenticeships

We’re looking for motivated, technically orientated individuals to join our three-year BSc Honours Degree Apprenticeship scheme based in Manchester, starting in September 2018.

The programme will lead to exciting roles within GCHQ where you’ll be collaborating with colleagues and working in teams across the business to build technology that helps catch terrorists, and improves our ability to tackle threats to national security.  Over the course of the three years you’ll enjoy exhilarating, hands-on work to help us build and maintain some of the world's most sophisticated electronic equipment – all the while working towards a BSc Honours Degree. You’ll be a vital part of a team that ensures the UK Government can operate in cyber space with confidence and can stay ahead of the pace demanded by the evolving digital world.

Our Degree Apprenticeship programme combines university accredited classroom and lab education with technical training, mentoring and job shadowing, and work-based placements and projects. The programme combines a mix of classroom based learning, and placements within a software related business area.

You’ll be taking on real business challenges in software engineering, and developing a broad range of competencies including teamwork, communication and leadership skills. You will receive full training and support throughout the programme, as well as a salary and all the benefits you’d expect from a Civil Service organisation.

Don’t miss out on this great alternative to university if you have (or are expecting) three A levels at BBC or above (or equivalent), including 2 A levels in STEM subjects.

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