Skip to Content

Defence and Public Protection

Defence and Public Protection


    As of 1st January 2015 the armed forces (army, air force and navy) had a recorded personnel of 156,940 full time and 30,000 volunteer reserve staff. Defence also includes the police force, coastguard, fire service, ambulance and prison service. (



    Armed Forces:

    Armed forces logistics/support officer Armed forces operational officer
    Armed forces technical officer Armed forces training and education officer

    Security Services:

    Information Securtiy Specialist  Intelligence Analyst 
    Prison Officer  

    Emergency Services:

    Firefighter  Paramedic 
    Police Officer  

    Public Health and Consumer Protection:

    Environmental Health Practitioner Health and Safety Adviser 
    Health and Safety Inspector Occupational Hygienist 
    Trading Standards Officer  


    Specialist skills areas include Army musicians, intelligence linguists, liaison officers, military police roles and animal handlers.

    Support roles include a variety of posts from HR and marketing, to legalIT and finance.


    The Person:

    Ability to communicate with people from all walks of life, often in times of distress, able to stay calm under pressure, courage, decisiveness, leadership, collaboration with other services, medical and fitness requirements.  


    • Paramedic: take an approved course in paramedic science at university or apply for a student paramedic position with an NHS ambulance trust, where you are trained on the job. Contact local trust.
    • Fire and rescue service: each is run by its local authority so recruit independently. Some fire services may run graduate training programmes.
    • Police: You can apply to join the fast track programme, which is also open to serving special constables and police staff. This is intended to enable talented graduates to progress to the rank of inspector within three years.
    • The Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy (which includes the Royal Marines): Graduates are recruited into all three divisions, usually as officers – the managers of the military world.  All apply online.


    University Officer Training Corps (UOTCs) introduce students to the Army and develop skills through exercises, training and community projects.

    You can serve with the Army Reserve while you are at university –training is evenings and weekends, and is a paid position. 

    Graduate Schemes and Internships


    Northern Ireland 

    UK and Global 

    • Ministry of Defence (MOD) – Includes British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (RAF)
    • Civil Service – Includes Security Service (MI5), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

    On Campus resources:

    • Annual Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair– Exhibitors last year included the Army, IBM Security Lab, Tyco, Civil Service Fast Stream, Cobham, Rolls-Royce, Royal Air Force
    • MyFuture– paid and voluntary positions advertised

    Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) employs over 27,000 permanent staff across a wide range of disciplines and is the main gateway employer for Defence and Public Protection related roles, including the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Department of the Environment and the Department for Justice. 

    Future areas of growth:
    Private investigators or in-house investigative officers - an increase in fraud cases has led to security sector growth, with PI’s employed by retail, financial and telecoms companies.
    Cyber Security Sector - currently 40,000 jobs and boosted by the government's £860million National Cyber Security Programme. Recognition of the need to prepare for major incidents like flooding and terrorism has led to growth in emergency planning.

    Northern Ireland Specific (organisations with paid and volunteering opportunities): 

    Job search websites specific to Northern Ireland include:


    On Campus resources:

    • ‘Going Global’– database of jobs and internships, key employers and country guides available through MyFuture -> Jobs -> Goinglobal
    • Graduate Recruitment & Placement Fair– annual showcase of NI and international firms with vacancies


    Employment opportunities are also advertised on specialist websites, including:

    • Police Oracle (recruitment service for police professionals and roles in investigation, enforcement, community safety and public safety. )
    • Jobs Go Public - public sector jobs in local government, charity, education and housing
    • Local Government Jobs- covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
    • Central recruitment site for all Civil Service jobs including UK Border Agency and National Crime Agency- 

    Further afield?



    We have a number of reference materials available in the Student Guidance Centre as well as some online resources listed below.

    Prospects industry insights and Gradireland sector career guides will help you to search for employment in this employment sector.

    Prospects Job Sectors:

    Gradireland Career Sector Guides:

    Further information resources are available at the Student Guidance Centre Hub (Opening hours: Mon- Fri 09:00- 17:00), including free copies of Gradireland, TargetJobs and Prospects guides plus self-help guides and employer brochures. The Student Guidance Centre Hub has free wifi, tea and coffee.

    This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.

    We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.