About the programme

M&S is big on technology – as big as you’d expect a forward-thinking, multi-channel retailer to be. We currently have over 7 million registered users on our customer website. And we have a raft of systems in place to support every aspect of our business. But the more we expand our technological presence, the more we open ourselves up to cyber threats. Which is why our Cyber Security team is such a valued and connected part of our business.

It’s a time of change in Cyber Security as many of our solutions are being centralised into a new Security Operations Centre. On this programme, you’ll have a platform to gain the fundamental knowledge to become a cyber security expert. Over 12-18 months, you’ll rotate between two teams. You’ll spend time in the Operations team, which carries out investigations to detect and fix threats to our security, and implements high-level changes to prevent further breaches. In the Ethical Hackers team, you’ll pre-empt attempts by malicious individuals to break into our systems – getting into the mindset of hackers and using similar tools and techniques that they use to prevent attacks.

Your development will be tailored to you and your particular interests. What we can guarantee is that we’ll hone both your technical and professionals skills so you have every opportunity to progress. On completion of the programme, you’ll become a fully-fledged member of the Operations or Ethical Hackers team. Longer term, there may be opportunity to branch out – perhaps implementing data regulations or policies, or making sure our security is watertight when we launch a new technology project.

You’ll probably have a 2:1 degree. This is likely to be in a science, engineering or IT subject, such as software engineering, but a heuristics or psychology background would be acceptable. We look for graduates with integrity and a natural curiosity, who have a methodical and clinical approach, the empathy to read people, the ability to quickly understand how a business works, plus the analytical skills to investigate any given situation.

Applications for this programme have now closed

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Key Information

Cyber Security - Graduate Programme


Stockley Park, Hayes, Middlesex


12-18 months' training


£Highly competitive

Career questions?

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07834 335603

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Applications for our business placement and graduate programmes are now closed. 


Applications will reopen in September 2017 for our 2018 intake. 

Applying to join M&S

  • Online application

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    Stage one: online application and testing

    You'll need to apply online - where you'll take some online screening tests, after which there follows a short period of suspense. This is where your application rises to the top of our review pile. As soon as we can, we'll be in touch to let you know whether you've successfully made it through to the next stage of your journey.

    Be sure to check each programme page for specific closing dates as they may vary. If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait another year before you can apply again.

    Here are a few tips. On your application form, be sure you include all your work experience and clearly state how it relates to the role you are applying for – or what skills you learned in that job which you can bring to our programme. In the online testing, everyone completes a personality questionnaire and takes a situational judgement test. Then you’ll be challenged to show your verbal, numerical or inductive skills, depending on the scheme you’re applying for. It’s a good idea to practise online tests before attempting the real ones – you can easily find some online. Make sure you take the tests in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.

  • Come to an assessment centre

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    Stage two: come to an assessment centre

    If we like what we see online, we'll ask to see you in person. You'll then be invited to a day of group exercises, presentations and an interview. Not easy, but not as scary as it sounds. In Retail, assessment centres will take place in January, February or March 2017, although some Head Office schemes will hold theirs in December 2016. There are plenty of tips on other pages to help you perform at your best.

  • Receive an offer

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    Stage three: receive an offer

    If all goes well and there's a place for you on one of our schemes, we'll let you know by the end of March. All in all, it's a simple process: just hold on to those 'if only' thoughts and do your best to impress at every stage. M&S has roles waiting for you. Yes, you could make it happen.

  • Start with us

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    Stage four: start with us

    This is the moment you've been waiting for. Your first day! Head Office Business Placements start in July but Retail Management and HR begin in September. For Graduates, all Head Office roles start in September with Retail Management having various intake dates across July and September.

    Applications for our business placement and graduate programmes for 2017 are now open.

Learning and Development

Experience is the best teacher, which is why M&S likes to throw you in at the deep end. Real responsibilities on real projects, from day one (no, really). But the learnings aren't just one way: we're eager to hear your fresh ideas, to have our ways challenged, in order to grow the business. Of course, it all starts with a comprehensive introduction to M&S. You're never on your own with us. During this time, you'll get a basic overview of our business, along with all the information you need about your new role and life with one of the nation's brightest brands.