What Can I do With a Politics Degree?

What can I do with a politics degree?

A degree in politics can provide opportunities for many different career paths. You may be interested in a career in central or local government, the Civil Service, or charity work after finishing your degree in politics. However, you will also have various transferable skills that will be valued in many job roles, such as law, business journalism, and HR. 

Career options

Natural career paths (following a politics degree):

 

  • Civil Service Fast Streamer
  • Government social research officer
  • Policy officer
  • Political risk analyst
  • Politician’s assistant
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Social researcher
 

Transferable skills career paths:

  • Business development manager
  • Charity officer
  • Detective
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Forensic accountant
  • Human resources officer
  • Local government officer
  • Market researcher
  • Marketing executive
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Public relations officer
  • Stockbroker
 

These should only be used as a guide. Many employers will accept applications from students that have studied various degrees. 

Work experience

Those wanting to find a career within politics should investigate doing an industry placement – pre-entry work is valued highly. Your careers department at your university should be able to help you identify these. You can also see whether there are any voluntary or part-time roles in your local area. Many charities and not-for-profit organisations will have volunteering opportunities that will provide you with valuable work experience. These include: 

  • Charities
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Global development bodies, such as WaterAid and Oxfam
  • Human and civil rights organisations such as Amnesty International
  • Local, national, and international environmental and conservation organisations.
  • Political campaigns and political parties.
 

There may also be opportunities at your university to further your skill set. For example, you might be able to run for president of your university Student’s Union or chair a society. Here you will develop your leadership experience as well as your written and oral communication capabilities. Having pre-entry work will show that you are passionate and committed to a career in the sector. Previous work experience will enable your application to stand out amongst your competition. It will also provide you with the opportunity to network and build a list of contacts who may become useful in the future.  

Typical employers

There will be many options available to you – whether this be in the political sector or not. Typical employers include:

  • Accountancy and banking organisations
  • Charities
  • Commercial businesses – particularly within marketing departments
  • Councils
  • Law firms
  • Local and national government
  • Retail companies
  • Media organisations
  • Public relations 

How to enhance your CV

Through your degree, you will have learned specialised skills in communication, critical thinking, debate, and understanding policy. You will know how different political systems work and be able to interpret global political issues and events. However, you will have also developed additional skills which will be transferable. Make sure the following skills are highlighted on your CV:

  • The ability to research, source, and examine information thoroughly
  • The capacity to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments
  • Excellent written and oratory skills
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Teamwork skills
  • A flexible and open-minded approach to work.

Further study

Many politics graduates go on to further study, often in specialised areas of politics such as international relations and international human rights. 

Subjects at Masters level include:

  • Environmental politics
  • Human rights
  • International relations and European politics
  • International security
  • Political communication, advocacy and campaigning
  • Politics.

What are politics graduates doing?

Nearly half (45.6%) of politics graduates are fully employed six months after their graduation. The majority of politics graduates (22.8%) are employed as business, HR and finance professionals. The top four professions for politics graduates include business, research and administrative professionals (10%), sales, marketing and related associate professionals (7%), media professionals (6%) and finance professionals (5%).

Related Courses

The UWS BA (Hons) in Social Sciences focuses on the central themes of social justice, power and inequalities. The first two years of this degree equip you with a firm grounding in the essential disciplines of politics, policy and sociology.

The BA (Hons) Law covers a wide range of legal subjects so that you are skilled in advising organisations on how to comply with their legal obligations and prepares you for success in legal or law-related settings. This degree will equip you with a solid understanding of how laws and regulations shape our society, enabling you to embark on a career in a wide variety of sectors that use law. You’ll also learn the knowledge and skills sought after by employers in law-related and business sectors.

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