The Government Communication Service (GCS) internship offers a unique opportunity to develop your skills and the chance to work across a wide range of communications disciplines, delivering cutting edge work for the UK government.

Group picture of about 70 interns for Summer 2019

Interns of Summer 2019

The GCS internship is aimed at students from diverse backgrounds at university level or be completing a degree equivalent qualification (NVQ level 6). 

We are looking for motivated students interested in a career in government communications. You  must be passionate about working on important issues.  You will work across a wide range of communications disciplines and help deliver cutting edge work for the UK government. 

You will contribute to exciting new ideas and real issues that affect real people. You could find yourself:

  • conducting research and analysing audience insight;
  • assisting with the creation and implementation of campaigns;
  • creating innovative content for social media; 
  • working in a busy media office and with senior officials;
  • organising events across the UK;
  • providing project support; or
  • working on a major staff engagement programme.

Internship details

We offer a 6 to 12 week paid internship within either a government department or public body. This will give you experience in what it’s like to be a government communicator in the Civil Service. 

You will be subject to an intensive programme of communications profession activities. This includes a one day induction into the Government Communication Service. You will get communications training sessions, a careers workshop and attend networking events.

Salary: £350 per week.

Location: most placements are in London. You may also get a position across the UK. If you are available to work in other cities apart from London, state this when filling in your application. Note that we cannot guarantee that we can match you to your preferred option.

Recruitment process and assessment criteria

  • An online test
  • Your CV and statement of suitability
  • Telephone interview

You will be assessed according to the following competencies and behaviours:

  • Seeing the bigger picture (Level 1)
  • Working together (Level 1)
  • GCS Technical Competency framework – Insight (Level 1)

You need to refer to the GCS Competency Framework and Success Profiles – Behaviours for more information.

Successful candidates will be:

  • Interested in news stories and have an understanding of current affairs;
  • Able to determine appropriate communication tools and channels to deliver key messages;
  • Able to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of campaigns;
  • Flexible, proactive and able to work under-pressure to deadlines;
  • Passionate about making a difference;
  • Good written and oral communicators;
  • Organised and creative; and
  • Able to show the ability to work effectively, independently and as part of a team

Due to the high number of submissions we are unable to provide feedback to candidates who are unsuccessful in the application sift.


You need to refer to the eligibility criteria set out in the candidate information pack. 

To apply, candidates must:

  • Be in their final two years at university or a 2019 graduate – in a communications related subject (awarded or expected) or 
  • Be working towards a degree equivalent qualification (NVQ level 6)
  • Meet the nationality requirement and the right to work in the UK requirement: Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals.
  • You must be a British citizen to work in some placements, and additional clearance checks may be required depending on your placement. Please note your placement and start date is dependent upon completion of security clearance.

Candidates must also be from one or more of the following backgrounds:

  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)
  • Lower socioeconomic background
  • Care leaver background
  • Candidates who consider themselves to have a disability

We assess social and economic background using questions based mainly on family background.

Guaranteed interview scheme 

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria. Providing you meet these minimum criteria, we can guarantee you a telephone interview.

Contact the Government Recruitment Service by email before the closing date to discuss your needs or any reasonable adjustments. 

Security clearance

Your placement and start date is dependent upon successful completion of security clearance. 

Recruitment timeline

The timeline and process are subject to change:

  • Application deadline: 20 December 2019
  • Expected telephone interviews: February 2020
  • Matching and job offer:  March 2020
  • Pre-appointment checks: March 2020
  • Begin roles: July 2020, with opportunities to start placement earlier

Tips on applying

Read advice on what to expect when applying for the GCS Internship, and some top tips (PDF 1.5MB). Find out about the competencies and STAR approach.


For more information read the GCS Internship Candidate Information Pack 2020 (PDF 2MB)
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Apply to the Government Communication Service Internship (on Civil Service Jobs).

 For any other queries contact