What can I do with my degree in Politics and International Relations?
Politics and International Relations careers
The jobs listed below are a selection of those which may interest Politics and International Relations students and graduates and offer the opportunity to use your degree directly.
Civil Service Fast Stream administrator
The Fast Stream is a development programme designed to prepare graduates for careers at the highest levels of the Civil Service and Diplomatic Service.
Job profile of an Civil Service Fast Streamer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a Civil Service administrator from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a diplomat from the TARGET Jobs website
Civil Service Fast Stream website
European Union Administrator/Policy Officer
Work in the EU institutions, including the European Commission and European Parliament, to draft policy analysis, implement projects and programmes of work across Europe, co-ordinate work across departments and with external stakeholders, support decision-makers and manage human and financial resources.
Health Service Manager
Responsible for the strategic, financial and day-to-day running of health services in both the NHS and the private sector, including hospitals, general practices and community health services. Managers liaise with clinical and non-clinical staff and other partner organisations, while considering the demands of political policy and local circumstances. Managerial roles in the health sector include those in finance, human resources (HR), clinical management, staff management, project management and procurement, information management, facilities management, and operational management
Human Rights Officer
Works for inter-governmental or non-governmental organisations ranging from the United Nations and Amnesty to small charities and campaigning bodies. The work may involve monitoring and reporting on human rights issues with a view to bringing them to the attention of decision makers, the media and the wider public in order to end human rights violations and provide justice to their victims. Human rights work is wide-ranging: for further information see
Intelligence officers work to protect UK national security and to detect and prevent serious organised crime through the acquisition, evaluation, analysis and assessment of secret intelligence.
International development worker
International development workers focus on sustainable and long-term solutions to problems in the developing world. They will work across numerous areas such as education, healthcare, governance, human rights and many more.
This offers a broad range of careers, both generalist (manager, officer, administrator etc.) and specialist (such as finance, education, human resources). Graduates in local government are responsible for the development and implementation of the local authority’s policies and procedures, ensuring that they are delivered effectively and offer value for money.
Politicians' assistants provide administrative and research support to elected politicians. The work may involve liaison with constituents, the politician’s party, the media and other bodies; diary management and campaigning.
Political party agent
Support MPs by organising campaigns, promotional and fundraising activities at constituency level. Also responsible for administrative issues such as finance and ensuring compliance with electoral law.
Work for political parties, think-tanks, trades unions, charities, businesses and public bodies to monitor government legislation and policy as well as general political developments and to advise their clients on issues arising from these that may affect them.
Public Affairs Consultant
Public affairs consultants use their understanding of the political system to offer political and public policy advice. Some consultants specialise in either lobbying or research. Their clients may include private sector companies, trade associations, charities, not-for-profit organisations and overseas governments.
Job profile of a public affairs consultant from the Prospects website
Job profile of a public affairs consultant (lobbyist) from the TARGET Jobs website
Job profile of a public affairs consultant (research) from the TARGET Jobs website
Trade Union Research Officer
Collects, analyses and disseminates information on social, economic and political issues to support the activities and strategic development of trades unions
As well as teaching through lectures and seminars, academic staff in higher education also carry out research and a wide range of administrative and pastoral tasks. Although a teaching qualification is not required, you will need a higher degree, normally a PhD. Competition is strong for entry-level academic posts.
Please note that some of these careers may require further study.
For further information on these careers, see also:
- I Want To Work In
- Information on types of jobs from Prospects
- Information on career sectors from TargetJobs
People in some Politics and International Relations roles may be self-employed
What do Politics and IR graduates from the University of Kent do?
Every year the University of Kent participates in the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey to find out what graduates are doing after finishing their courses. You can access this information here. Please note that this webpage is password protected and only accessible by University of Kent staff and students.
The examples shown reflect the destinations of students six months after graduation. Keep in mind that at this early stage some graduates may not have made long-term career choices or entered a graduate-level job role. You will find many examples of graduates who have entered graduate schemes and professional careers, but there may also be some graduates working in temporary employment or taking time out to volunteer, travel or gain appropriate work experience. The destination data is useful for generating career ideas and it also shows that as a Kent graduate you have a very wide range of career options open to you, whatever your degree subject!
The data is collected by UK universities and submitted to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), which publishes summary reports for all UK Higher Education Institutions. For more details about the DLHE process visit the HESA website