Investigations at MI5

Investigations are at the heart of what MI5 does. We're relied upon to keep UK citizens safe, and investigate threats from international and domestic terrorism, cyber-attacks, state sponsored espionage and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A career in investigations places you in a dynamic and often fast paced environment, responding to at times life-saving intelligence as threats emerge and the intelligence picture changes.

As an investigator you determine a strategy for how to investigate an individual or group. You become an expert in your area, setting requirements for intelligence collection by working closely with people in front-line collection roles, such as surveillance officers and foreign language analysts. It is you that pieces together the fascinating detail of the investigation, looking for gaps and assessing the level and nature of the threat. You also work in close collaboration with other agencies and UK allies to look for opportunities to disrupt these threats.

Sometimes we know the news already because we helped make it

A day in the life of...

Someone answering the phone

Intelligence Officer, Digital Intelligence Unit

Female Voiceover:
I joined the security service seven years ago after a stint in the city as a business advisor. I started as an add nurse assistant and now i’m an intelligence officer in the digital intelligence team. We call it “digant” for short. 

Female Voiceover:
I applied for a job at MI5 because I think that working in the public sector; you can really make a difference. Protecting the UK makes me feel like i'm really doing something worth while. And the point of contact for all digital intelligence matters, for the counter espionage section. 

Female Voiceover:
I analyse digant data and produce reports on activity for other intelligence officers. Its also my job to identify opportunities where my team can help progress investigations. 

Female Voiceover:
The people we investigate are using IT and the internet in more and more sophisticated ways – communicating with each other and sharing information. To be part of the section that disrupts the activities can be very exciting. 

Female Voiceover:
You won't be surprised to hear that the training we receive is pretty in depth. On top of the service wide induction I received, my personal development programme for the digant team lasted several months. Since then i've been on loads more courses and workshops. I've developed a real depth of knowledge, the world of IT is ever changing. 

Female Voiceover:
I work alongside diverse and interesting people who all have one important goal in mind – protecting our country and way of life. That's why it feels so much like a family.

Why join MI5?

A career at MI5 is like no other.  Not only is it rewarding and unique but the variety here is like no-where else.  It is this variety that means most people stay at MI5 as they are able to fulfil all their career ambitions here without ever having to leave.  We are also committed to rewarding the people who work for us and demonstrating our appreciation for their vital contribution by offering an excellent range of benefits.  And due to the nature of our work it means you can’t take it home with you, so when you leave the office you really do leave your work behind you, providing you with an excellent work-life balance. Whatever role you perform, you will be directly contributing to keeping the country safe.

Investigative Challenge 

The investigative challenge has been designed to give you a greater understanding of whether you would enjoy and be well-suited to the MI5 Intelligence Officer role. Although this isn’t a required part of the recruitment process, we strongly encourage you to complete the task as it will help you to assess some of your skills in relation to the job.

The challenge should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete. You will be asked to view a number of written documents and answer some multiple choice questions relating to what you have read. The exercise is designed to broadly reflect some of the situations Intelligence Officers at MI5 are expected to deal with.

Investigative Challenge

We have developed a challenge to help you to assess your use of information and analytical skills.

Click to begin