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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.

Intelligence and Data Analysts

At MI5, we collect data that is complex and often incomplete, and interpreting this is vital to the success of our investigations. Our structured two year programme covers the first part of this career path, placing you at the heart of MI5 investigations and training you up to use advanced data analytical techniques.

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Intelligence Officers

Intelligence Officers run MI5’s investigations into the threats we face, and the role is challenging and rewarding. Our structured two year programme covers the first part of this career path and gives you hands on experience of working with intelligence and learning how we investigate.

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Intelligence Officer, Digital Intelligence Unit

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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.


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

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