The University of Southampton



The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Our role is to maximise the impact of Science and Technology (S&T) for the defence and security of the UK.

We collaborate with small companies, world-class universities, large defence companies and other nations. Together, we develop battle-winning technologies, based on world-class research, to support UK military operations now and into the future.

For ambitious, motivated and curious individuals, Dstl offers the chance to work on ground-breaking projects in a unique environment. You’ll develop wide-ranging skills and experience while learning from some of the brightest minds in the UK.

As a member of the 5% club, we’re committed to ensuring that 5% of our workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on a structured programme within the next five years.


Summer vacation placements and industrial placements

We offer one-year industrial placements to undergraduate students part-way through their degree studies. Industrial placement students work with teams of engineers and scientists on projects in support of the MOD, UK armed forces and other government departments.

Summer vacation placements are available to students looking for an 8-12 week position. These placements provide an opportunity to gain relevant work experience on a variety of projects while earning a wage.

We recruit around 70 students for our placement schemes each year. Opportunities are advertised on the civil service job site from October.


Two-year graduate development programme

The Dstl graduate programme provides you with the best possible training and guidance to help start your career. We recruit around 80 graduates every year from a wide-range of scientific, technology, engineering and mathematic disciplines and backgrounds.

You will have the opportunity to learn and develop in a hands-on and supportive environment from some of the top experts in their fields.

Opportunities for our graduate programme are advertised on the civil service job site and Gradcracker from October each year.


Training and development

You will be given all the support you need to thrive during your two-year development programme. All graduates are encouraged to join our Chartership scheme and you may be able to study for further qualifications such as an MSc or PhD. On-the-job training will be supplemented by courses and workshops to build technical and personal skills. You will be encouraged to go on secondments in other Dstl divisions, within the wider MOD or with one of our industrial partners. Strong links with our allies could also give you scope for short term placements overseas.



  • Placement salaries range from £14,681 - £15,716 pro-rata
  • Graduate salaries start from £20,800
  • You will have a choice of pension options
  • All Dstl staff are entitled to 25 days’ annual leave per annum pro-rata plus 8 public holidays
  • Fully flexible working, home working and family friendly policies
  • Sporting, social and recreational activities including subsidised gym membership



Dstl’s core sites are based at Salisbury, Portsmouth and Sevenoaks.

For more details, please visit the Dstl careers page.