Data Science Graduate Programme

Office for National Statistics

Apply before 11:55 pm on Thursday 3rd June 2021


Reference number



This may increase subject to the government department and location


Higher Executive Officer

Contract type

Fixed Term

Length of employment

End date 31/09/2023, for Welsh Government end date 31/09/2022

Business area

Data Science Campus at The Office for National Statistics, various departments in The Office for National Statistics, HM Treasury, The Home Office, The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Welsh Government and other government departments.

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Part-time

Number of posts




About the job


The digital revolution is changing everything. Transforming how we work and play and how we view societies the world over. Management of data is becoming ever more important in a modern economy. Data Science is driving the development of better public services and improving the lives of citizens in the UK. In order to realise the potential that new data sources hold, we need to be alive to opportunities as they arise and ensure people have the right skills to unleash innovation through Data Science throughout the public sector.

Do you have the passion to work in this Data Science environment? If so, this is an exciting opportunity to work at the heart of Data Science in the public sector, join experienced teams of Data Scientists and contribute towards the real world projects they are working on. This is an unique opportunity to be involved in collaboration across the public sector and to learn from the best. You will be working on the biggest problems and challenges of our time, you will be using your Data Science skills for the public good.

We are seeking talented and enthusiastic candidates to harness the data generated by the digital revolution. You will play a part in shaping the future direction of Data Science in the public sector.

Job description

The Data Science Graduate Programme will provide you with highly valuable work experience, that develops your Data Science knowledge and skills through our structured two-year learning pathway. You will join experienced teams of Data Scientists in high profile UK government organisations. In these teams you will use the training gained during the programme, to apply cutting-edge Data Science techniques to assist policy makers in addressing real problems.

At the end of the programme you will be able to:
• Help government understand and tackle some of the key challenges facing society on topics such as the economy, health, urban future and the UK in a global context.
• Deliver insight from data using Data Science techniques, applying your newly gained skills in coding, mathematics and statistics.
• Support the creation of innovative data products and services and be able to tell a compelling evidence based narrative.

Due to the nature of this graduate programme, the successful candidates would need to be available for one full week's lectures and study every month.

We are recruiting for a number of positions, to be based at offices around the UK within various government departments, starting in October 2021. For more information on the programme, please refer to the attached brochure at the bottom of the page.

About the Office for National Statistics:

We are the UK's largest producer of official statistics in the UK. We are also the only government department with the production of statistics as its main role. Never has there been a more exciting time to join the Office for National Statistics. Our “Statistics for the public good” strategy is driving a transformational change throughout the organisation and the Office has already taken huge strides forward to becoming a modern, technically focused, data driven organisation.

We are recruiting for our offices in Newport and Fareham.

About the Data Science Campus:

Based at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) headquarters, the Data Science Campus is a purpose built centre for excellence that is playing a key role in developing the UK’s international presence and reputation in leading the Data Science agenda, and developing cutting-edge statistics and analytical techniques. As well as supporting ONS to apply new techniques to understand the UK’s economy and society, the campus is a hub for the government to gain practical advantage from the wider investment in Data Science research.

We are recruiting for our offices in Newport and Fareham.

About HM Treasury:

The Treasury is the UK economics and finance ministry. It is responsible for formulating and implementing the government’s financial and economic policy. Its aim is to raise the rate of sustainable growth, achieve rising prosperity and a better quality of life with economic and employment opportunities for all.

We are recruiting into our London and Darlington offices. If staff join in Darlington, they will work remotely from home until the office is established in 2022 at which point they will be expected to work from the Darlington Office, although non contractual home working arrangements for part of the working week may still be possible subject to business agreement and need. All staff follow government guidance about working from home during the pandemic.

About the Home Office:

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this effort since 1782. As such, we play a fundamental role in maintaining the security and economic prosperity of the UK. The Home Office leads on immigration and passports, refugee protection, counter-terrorism, policing, fire services, and crime and drugs policy.

Data Services and Analytics (DSA) runs one of the most advanced data analytics centres in government. This sits at the heart of the Home Office’s transformation into a data driven department. In DSA, we design, build and operate services that are critical in helping the department achieve its mission. We use a wide range of Home Office data and have every part of the Home Office as customers. You will be responsible for helping build and deliver business-critical analytical data products used across the Home Office. Our success depends on our ability to exploit the latest technologies to create leading-edge, world class solutions whilst ensuring they are secure and resilient.

We are recruiting for our offices in Manchester and Sheffield for new applicants. For existing Croydon-based Home Office DDaT staff, we are recruiting for our offices in Manchester, Sheffield and Croydon.

About The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory:

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is the science inside UK defence and security. We are an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) providing world class expertise and delivering cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of the nation and allies.

Within our new Exploration Division, we look to apply data science techniques to a variety of data-rich and complex defence and security problem areas to support strategic and operational level decision makers. We work at the forefront of defence and security research and innovation, which is a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment.

Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British Citizens who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to understand the work you will undertake to protect us from any security threats. For this reason, we regret that 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 across the enterprise.

Our offices are based in Fareham.

About the Welsh Government:

There will be opportunity to undertake a placement in the newly formed Data Science Unit within Welsh Government. The unit aims to use the vast amount of data held to support policy and decision making as well as improve operations. The unit uses modern analytical methods to support Welsh Government in achieving key objectives such as the Digital Strategy for Wales and has ambition to form strong links across the data science community in Wales from both public and private sectors. This is a one year contract.

We are recruiting for our offices in Cardiff.


We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate that they have the following skills:

· Logical and creative thinking skills. Able to apply innovative approaches and techniques.

· Analytical and problem-solving skills. Able to identify efficient and effective ways to resolve challenges.

· Good IT, programming and mathematical skills with the ability to learn new systems and ways of working.

· Strong verbal and written communication skills. Able to share insights with stakeholders, interpret requirements and present data in a clear, enthusiastic and compelling way.

· Team working and interpersonal skills. Able to sensitively work with a diverse range of stakeholders.

Person Specification
Skills and Experience

Essential skills criteria:

· Programming ability - R, Python or other data analysis relevant language.

· Scientific research methodology – analytical, independent, critical and curious analysis of data.

· Strong verbal and written communication skills.

· Team working and interpersonal skills.

Desirable skills criteria:

· Data analytics – such as statistical model selection, network analysis or natural language processing (NLP).

· Data management/curation – such as the manipulation and analysis of datasets.

· Data/systems engineering – such as the implementation of algorithms in programming languages like R or Python.

· Data visualisation – such as the visualisation of insights drawn from data or building of data driven products.

· Examples of open source projects and contributions - such as a Github profile.


A minimum of a 2.1 degree, or post graduate qualification, in a discipline with numerical or statistical elements.

Those with equivalent wider experience are strongly encouraged to apply.


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

  • Developing Self and Others
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together

Technical skills

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

  • The technical skills detailed above will be assessed at interview through a technical research exercise.


The Office for National Statistics is part of the Civil Service, and as such we share a number of key benefits with other departments, whilst also having our own unique offerings to support our 5000+ valued employees across the business.

Whether you are hearing about us for the first time or already know a bit about our organisation, we hope that the benefits pack attached (bottom of page) will give you a great insight into the benefits and facilities available to our employees, and our fantastic working culture.

We are an organisation that takes the well-being of its employees seriously and lives and breathes the desire to modernise the workplace of the future. Everyone, from our office-based staff in Newport, London and Titchfield, to our field interviewers and airports and ports passenger survey staff, are part of a diverse and inclusive family.

Inclusion & Diversity

Inclusion & Accessibility

At ONS we're always looking to attract the very best people from the widest possible talent pool, and we are proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities employer. As a member of the Business Disability Forum and a Disability Confident Leader we’re committed to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly throughout the recruitment process.

As part of our application process, you will be prompted to provide details of any reasonable adjustments to our recruitment process that you need. If you would like to discuss any reasonable adjustments before applying, please contact the recruitment team in the first instance.

If you would like an accessible version of any of the attachments or recruitment documents below or linked to in this advert, please contact the recruitment team who will be happy to assist.

If you need help with any part of the application process or completing your CV or personal statement please contact our Recruitment Team at or call us on 01633 455556, one of the team will be happy to help you.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

See our vetting charter.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
Assessment at application stage will be based on your skills, experience and personal statement. Success Profiles Behaviour examples are not required at this stage of the application.

Your skills and experience should be tailored to demonstrate any skills, knowledge and experience that are relevant to the content of the role.

Your personal statement should be no longer than 1250 words. You should use this space to provide evidence for each essential criteria within the person specification. As the criteria are scored, we would recommend that you give clear examples for each including the impact of your actions.

We are hosting an open day on Wednesday 12th May, 5-6pm, via Microsoft Teams to give further information on the programme and tips on how to apply. Register on Eventbrite to join this event, via the link below:
Data Science Graduate Programme Open Day

ONS Recruitment will be running a webinar to support candidates with advice on the application and assessment process to the Data Science Graduate Programme. To sign up and join the session Monday 17th May 2021, 5pm–6pm, please follow THIS LINK to our Eventbrite page.

Shortlisting and Interview

In cases where there is a high number of applications the sift pass mark may be adjusted and candidates will be invited to interview in merit order, i.e. those scoring the highest.

Should you be invited to interview, you will be assessed using various assessment techniques aligned to the Civil Service Success Profiles framework, where you'll be assessed against all the behaviours outlined in the advert.

A presentation will be required at interview. Further information will be provided to successful candidates prior to interview.

A reserve list may be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made.

Due to current working practices, interviews will be conducted by MS Teams.

Sift: from 7th - 25th June 2021
Interviews: from 5th - 23rd July 2021
Location: MS Teams

For the full terms and conditions of the post, please see attachment at the bottom of page.

Visit our careers page

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

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code 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.
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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Data Science Campus
Email :
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Paul Cudmore, Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission here

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