The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 is the United Kingdom's counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of the intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence Staff . All come under the direction of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The service has a statutory basis in the Security Service Act 1989 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994. Its remit includes the protection of British parliamentary democracy and economic interests, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage within the UK. Although mainly concerned with internal security, it does have an overseas role in support of its mission. Conversely, to ensure that the Home Secretary is responsible for intelligence operations within the UK, the Service may act on behalf of SIS and GCHQ even if the operation is outside its own functions (SIS and GCHQ report to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs).

The service has had a national headquarters at Thames House on Millbank in London since 1995, drawing together personnel from a number of locations into a single HQ facility. Thames House is shared with the Northern Ireland Office and is also home to the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, a subordinate organisation to the Security Service. The service has nine offices across the United Kingdom including an HQ in Northern Ireland, and it is claimed that one is to be in Glasgow. Within the civil service community the service is colloquially known as Box 500 (after its official wartime address of PO Box 500; its current address is PO Box 3255, London SW1P 1AE. One is also in Greater Manchester. It was accidentally revealed by the firm who built it. Repeated claims that the regional offices were instigated as a result of the "7/7" bombings in London in July 2005 are inaccurate, since the Manchester Evening News announced the plan to open the local office in February 2005

The Graduate Scheme

Many graduates join us as Intelligence Officers, moving postings every few years to take on new challenges, gain different experience and expand their understanding of our work. Others join as Intelligence Analysts, Internet and Computer Technologies Specialists, IT Security Exploitation Officers or Foreign Language Analysts.
Together they work on investigations assessing threats, solving complex digital intelligence problems, manipulating data, spotting connections and identifying patterns.

What you need:

Whatever your degree, it's likely we have something that suits your skills and abilities. We need highly capable, persuasive and analytical graduates with outstanding communication skills and finely-balanced judgment. You'll have the confidence and resilience to handle a high level of responsibility early in your career but rest assured that you will be supported by managers, peers and mentors. The culture here is professional, friendly and informal.
You'll be a team player, able to establish rapport with a variety of people and recognise problems and suggest solutions in a collaborative working environment. You will need to be patient and discreet. Honesty and integrity are expected from all our staff and strong organisation skills, attention to detail and commitment to self-development are important.


We welcome applicants from all degree disciplines. Over the last two years, joiners in the Intelligence Officer role have read degrees ranging from Architecture to Zoology from 36 different universities across the United Kingdom. Four in ten have also had postgraduate qualifications. 60% have had a Masters degree, 10% have had a PhD and others have joined with professional qualifications in subjects such as teaching, Accountancy and Journalism.
We have seen joiners in the Intelligence Officer role with degrees in subjects as diverse as Digital Media, Criminology and Theology. The most common degrees, however, have been those related to History, Languages, Political and Economic studies, Mathematics, Geography and Law. If you are considering applying for the Intelligence Officer role you should have or be expecting a 2.1 degree or equivalent.