Politics and IR Internship - POLI6750

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


This module blends practical workplace experience, in the form of an internship in the area of politics and international relations, with taught seminars and private study. The internship will allow students to experience first-hand the practical application of their degree subject in the wider world of work, and will provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and self-organisation. The taught seminars will provide an opportunity to reflect upon, and develop, knowledge of the sector and its relationship with the academic field of study, using the student's internship experiences and a range of other resources. This will include input from School staff and alumni working in relevant fields, as well as appropriate support from employability and careers-guidance professionals.

It will be the student's responsibility to source and apply for internship opportunities, but assistance will be provided both by the School's Employability Co-ordinator and the University's Careers and Employability Service. These opportunities should be in an organisation whose aims and activities are broadly related to politics and international relations, and the internship should reflect these activities and give the student the opportunity to work in a way which allows the module learning objectives to be achieved. Students on pre-approved School-administered internships will also be eligible to take this module.

The internship must consist of at least 60 hours of work, but this may be spread across a number of days / weeks and need not be a full-time position. The module convenor will approve of all internship opportunities prior to their commencement and students are advised to liaise closely with the module convenor and other appropriate staff in good time. Internships must finish by the date of the final seminar, and the School will provide all documentation and relevant insurance / health and safety checks to ensure that the placement meets both University and sector requirements and guidance on work-related learning opportunities. Students who fail to complete necessary paperwork relating to their internship and the module will be unable to proceed.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 14
Total work based hours: 60 minimum
Private study hours: 70
Total study hours: 150


Stage 3 Only.

Method of assessment

Essay, 3000 words, 50%
Portfolio, 35%
Presentation, 10-15 minutes, 15%

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

* Boys, J. D and Keating, M. F. (2009) 'The Policy Brief: Building Practical and Academic Skills in International Relations and Political Science', Politics, 29:3.

* Curtis, S. and Blair, A. (2011) The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics: Placement Learning, Citizenship and Employability. Birmingham: C-SAP

* Dewey, J. (1910). How We Think. Massachusetts: DC Heath and Company

* Doherty, L. (2013), 'Gender Mainstreaming in Political Science Experiential Learning Programs', Politics & Gender, 9:02

* Helyer, R. (2010). The Work-based Learning Students Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

* Koehler, C. T. (1980), 'The Intern and the Internship: "From Beginning to End"', Teaching Political Science, 7:3.

* Kolb, D. (1983). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development London: Prentice Hall

* Moon, J. (2004). A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge

* Moon, J. and Schokman, W. (2000). 'Political Science Research Internships and Political Science Education' Politics, 20:3

* Norton, Phillip (Lord Norton of Louth). (2008). Parliamentary Placements: The Benefits and Challenges’ Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, 1:1

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics to the analysis of political issues

2. Have learned how the intellectual knowledge gained through university study can be applied to a variety of practical work-based tasks and issues;

3. Have gained an awareness and understanding of the nature of work within the broad politics field, and of some of the key knowledge-based and practical issues facing employees and organisations

4. Have developed an understanding of the value of work-based learning opportunities for students of Politics and International Relations, and been able to communicate this understanding to fellow students.

5. Have developed a set of learning and practical skills related to the work undertaken in the placement organisation.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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