Careers and Employability Service

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.

Job profile of an EU administrator from the TARGET Jobs website
European Personnel Selection Office website

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

Job profile of a health service manager from the Prospects website
Job profile of a health service manager from the TARGET Jobs website
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme

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

“I Want to Work In Human Rights”

Intelligence officer

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.

Job profile of an intelligence analyst from the Prospects website

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.

Job profile of an International development worker from the Prospects website
Job profile of an Aid worker/humanitarian worker from the Target Jobs website

Local Government

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.

Job profile of a local government officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a local government administrator from the TARGET Jobs website

Politician's assistant

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.

Job profile of a politician’s assistant from the Prospects website

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.

Job profile of a political party agent from TARGET Jobs

Political researcher

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.

Job profile of a political party research officer from TARGET Jobs
Job profile of a political researcher from

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

Job profile of a trade union research officer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a trade union research officer from the TARGET Jobs website

University lecturer

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.

Job profile of a higher education lecturer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a higher education lecturer from the TARGET Jobs website
I Want to Work in: A University

Please note that some of these careers may require further study.

For further information on these careers, see also:

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

Further information on national graduate destination statistics



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Last Updated: 21/06/2016