Would you like to be a secret agent and work undercover? Do you think the job in reality would be similar to how it's shown in films?


You might have heard of MI6 through the man known as 007. James Bond doesn’t exist, of course, but what about MI6?

What is MI6?

MI6 is very real. It is an organisation that recruits agents who collect ‘human intelligence’, or information, from countries around the world in order to protect the security of the UK. The official name for MI6 is the Secret Intelligence Service, or SIS.

How old is MI6?

MI6 has recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. The agency started life in a small rented office in London in 1909 but it wasn’t officially recognised by the British government until 1995!

Where is MI6?

The agency has its present headquarters in a huge building at Vauxhall Cross on the banks of the river Thames in London. The building is shown in a recent James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. In the film a bomb, hidden in a suitcase full of money, explodes inside the MI6 headquarters.

MI6 agents

The first chief of MI6 was Sir Mansfield Cumming. He always signed his name as ‘C’ in green ink. This tradition is continued today by Sir John Sawers, the present chief, who also signs documents with a green ‘C’. John le Carré, famous for his spy novels, is a former MI6 agent. He changed his name from David John Moore Cornwell because agents weren’t allowed to publish books under their own names.

Secret Missions

During the Second World War (1939-1945), MI6 communicated with agents through coded radio messages broadcast on the BBC. MI6 was also involved in the work of the code breakers who collected important enemy information at Bletchley Park in the south of England. Modern computers didn’t exist at that time and the code breakers had to use huge noisy machines to help them break the codes.

MI6 online

MI6 now has an official website where anyone can learn about its history, read a glossary of Secret Intelligence Service words, have a virtual tour or even apply for a job.

Total votes: 1291
Language level: 


Would you like to be a secret agent? What do you think are the best parts of the job?


TheLinguist's picture
TheLinguist 1 April, 2016 - 15:23

Being an agent is not about the gadgets, guns, wealth, prestige and whatever else; it is about serving your country. Even from the (probably very inaccurate) Bond and Mission Impossible films, the agents receive mire damage - physically and emotionally - than they do result. Being an agent is more than that; it's not about excitement (though that most certainly must be part of the experience), but rather about being willing to risk everything, and avail everything, to your country. You cannot become an agent based on selfish motives, as the very reason for existence as an agent us selflessness - holding nothing back due to your very devotion to your country.
That's why I could never become an agent, though I live excitement, languages and gadgets. I'm too selfish.

54 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 2 April, 2016 - 09:21

Wow! I'm so impressed by tour comment!!
Excellent! I think you ard the perfect person to be an agent!
You will be beyond Bond! James Bond!
How cool you r!!

48 users have voted.
BigBen6464's picture
BigBen6464 10 December, 2015 - 13:02

It would be very cool to become an agent! My favourite parts from movies are great cars and action! I really like James Bond and I've watched almost all movies about him!

57 users have voted.
congduy2001's picture
congduy2001 17 June, 2015 - 05:21

I sometimes want to be a secret agent. There are good and bad side for working and living as a secret agent
The good things are that you have a good salary, about $1000; and you may have the ability to meet famous people
But the bad things are that you must work hard (you're not allowed to be sick); and if there are terrorists or wars, you will have to step into the battlefield, and 80% that you'd die there.

91 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 18 June, 2015 - 04:12

Thank you for the well-balanced comment, congduy2001! I understand well, and my answer to the question is …….
I prefer to watch them only on the film and TV!!

91 users have voted.
AllyCat44's picture
AllyCat44 8 June, 2015 - 02:01

I would like to be an agent. I don't want to start later I want to start a young age. Being an agent is commitment and i'm committed It mean consistence of injuries and probably death, lots of duties and training. I'm really ready to use my weaponry skills and etc so yea i would love to be an agent.

88 users have voted.
ketawa's picture
ketawa 31 October, 2014 - 15:01

I would love to be a secret agent because it will help reducing the criminals which are increasing even if it's dangerous you now that you are doing something helpful in this world.

133 users have voted.
Lava1026's picture
Lava1026 20 February, 2014 - 02:55

me and my friends got an email from you guys 2 years ago saying you be looking for us in 2 years and now we are seeing guys in black all the time! im a girl and theirs three guys.

179 users have voted.
February001's picture
February001 10 August, 2013 - 20:19

i agree with Jona completely... I've dreamed of being an agent since i was 6 years old... I think being a field agent would fit my skills xxxxx Jona you are my idol xxxxx

182 users have voted.
Starwarsfan's picture
Starwarsfan 3 August, 2013 - 16:04

Actually I think that it's to risky.. No one can know where you want, your boss will tell that he didn't saw and he doesn't knows who you are, your family can't know where you work, your friends neither,.. What if you got shoot, or get lost somewhere, no one will even search you... too much risk... If I would be recluted there I wouldn't accept that..

165 users have voted.
KLEA B's picture
KLEA B 18 July, 2013 - 20:18

i want to be a secret agent like AGENT 007 but the female version. The best part on this job is when the mision is sucefully done and i 'll get a promotion

178 users have voted.