MI5 - Security Service

Graduate Careers

MI5 safeguards the United Kingdom against threats to national security including terrorism, espionage, sabotage and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Talented graduates from a range of backgrounds and degrees join MI5 for challenging, interesting and rewarding careers.

Many graduates join us on one of our development programmes. The majority of our graduates join us on our Intelligence Officer Development Programme (IODP). Intelligence Officers are at the centre of MI5 investigations into the threats that face the UK and this is a structured two year programme covering the early part of this career path. We take people from a range of degree disciplines and backgrounds onto this programme.

It is also possible to join MI5 in the Intelligence Officer stream at a higher level than on the IODP. If you have two years or more of work experience, in a graduate level job and are seeking a new challenge, you may be considered for entry directly on to our Foundation Investigative Training (FIT), depending on your performance in our recruitment process.

Another option for graduates is our Intelligence and Data Analyst Development Programme (I&DADP). This is a structured two year programme which will prepare you to be part of this specialist career stream within MI5. We are not looking for specific degree disciplines or employment backgrounds for this role, but we expect people to show the ability to work with large, complex data sets and assess and present their findings accurately.

The starting salary for our development programmes is £27,300. This will automatically rise to £29,500 after one year. If you come in at the higher level as an Intelligence Officer, your starting salary will be £33,000.

Which development programme is right for me?

Development programme flowchart

For a larger image, click the flowchart.

Advice for applicants

Owing to the sensitivity of our work, we do not publicly disclose the identities of our staff. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member, providing that they are British. You should also make them aware of the importance of discretion.


MI5 - The Security Service came 52nd in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for 2014-15. We were also the 18th most popular graduate employer in the Guardian UK 300 for 2014-15.