Systems Security Engineer


Location: Hampshire

Job Type: Full time, Part time


About the job

Job summary

The Capability Protection function is here to protect the UK Military’s technical and strategic advantage by making sure that its equipment is safeguarded from unwanted investigation, should it ever fall into the wrong hands.

Dstl’s award winning Capability Protection team works with a wide customer base – we are involved with the development of new UK Defence products, as well as enhancements made to existing ones. This means that we work with a wide array of Industry Partners, Government Agencies and Academia, distilling knowledge from a broad range of experts for each product and combining it with our own expertise, in order to inform the security requirements and strategy for protecting those products.

We provide world-leading advice to create bespoke solutions to critical national security challenges, using existing and novel science and technology concepts. Our work is critically important to not only the protection of UK Military’s operational advantage, but also the financial prosperity of UK by enabling the export of its defence products.

We offer the opportunity to develop a comprehensive skill set in a cutting edge field – working within a highly successful Team whose services are greatly impactful. You can expect to work across a range of projects spanning a number of domains, alongside teams from across Dstl, wider MOD, UK Government, Academia and with Industry Partners. Travel will be required both domestic and international.

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.

We particularly welcome female and ethnic minority applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.

Job description

A day ‘in the life of’ a Systems Security Engineer within Capability Protection might include:

  • Researching technologies and expanding your subject matter knowledge by rooting out and delving into published information, engaging with experts (internally and with external bodies such as international partners and academia) or learning activities.
  • Meeting and collaborating with product development technical teams, understanding their projects and providing advice to ensure their development includes the best security measures it can.
  • Providing advice across Government, including potentially briefing senior officials, to ensure robust decision-making within government in your area of expertise.
  • Leading other staff in the successful delivery of larger work areas.
  • Developing your and your colleagues’ skills and knowledge to strengthen current and future capability in this area.
  • Providing rigorous review of team processes and outputs to ensure the technical quality of our research.
  • Using your knowledge and skills to identify opportunities for the Capability Protection team to enhance the security of the UKs defence products.

Person specification

The successful candidates will have:

  • Technical / scientific experience as a security engineer OR a good understanding of programmable electronic systems and a desire to broaden your security engineering knowledge.
  • A degree or advanced professional qualification in Security Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Communications Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Software Engineering, System Engineering, Computer Science, Systems Architecture, Information Technology, Science or Engineering with the appropriate technical / professional experience is required for these posts.
  • We are also keen to hear from applicants with an equivalent level of skills / knowledge / expertise.

Personal Qualities:

  • You will enjoy solving technical problems and producing implementable solutions.
  • You think about how developments in any science and technology area could be applied to your area of expertise.
  • You are happy to try out ideas even if they may fail or prove to be wrong.
  • You can recognise when others may need you help and are willing to help out.
  • When you commit to something, you do it.
  • You are able to manage your time and balance competing work requirements with work/life balance.

Technical knowledge

  • Knowledge and understanding of programmable electronics.
  • Knowledge and understanding of security techniques (software, hardware, materials, cyber).

Important Information:

Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be UK Nationals who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to undertake the projects we are involved in to protect us from security threats. For this reason, only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

This role will require full UK security clearance to Developed Vetting level and will require that you have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.


A degree or advanced professional qualification in Security Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Communications Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Software Engineering, System Engineering, Computer Science, Systems Architecture, Information Technology, Science or Engineering with the appropriate technical / professional experience is required for these posts.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Please outline examples which demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of programmable electronics.
  • Please outline examples which demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of security techniques (software, hardware, materials, cyber).


Alongside your salary of £35,970, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contributes £9,711 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.


Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

  • Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses, rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme.

  • Flexible working: Working options include alternative working patterns, compressed hours, job shares and annualised hours

  • Flexible working hours: Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month.

  • Annual leave: A generous annual leave allowance starting at 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum.

  • Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid

  • Learning and Development: Encouragement and support on charterships, accreditations and access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Paid memberships with 2 relevant bodies/institutions. Employees have access to Civil Service Learning.

  • Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.

The information pack can be found attached to the job specification on Civil Service Jobs.


We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work. These include the following:

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network

  • Race, Faith and Culture Network

  • Parents and Carer Support Network

  • Alternative Working Network

  • Gender Equality Network

  • New Starters Network

  • Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities.

For further information about Dstl please check out our LinkedIn page

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

Applications will be sifted by 13th October and Interviews will be held between 25th and 31st of October.

We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so If at any stage of the application process you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team and we will do all we can to support you.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
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