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Posted April 12, 2023

What to Do With a Politics Degree (Bachelors or Masters)

Politics is a highly rewarding field of study. It offers a wide range of valuable skills, including critical thinking, research and communication. 

The skills acquired by politics graduates are highly transferable, making it a degree that can open up a world of diverse career paths. Some of the most common career paths include government, public service, policy analysis, business, journalism, law roles and beyond. 

Additionally, a postgraduate politics degree provides graduates with a competitive edge in the job market by helping students develop skills and knowledge in their chosen field.

If you're driven by making a positive difference to the world, then studying politics might be the perfect fit for you. Whether you're interested in shaping public policy, conducting groundbreaking research or advocating for social justice, a degree in politics can help you achieve your goals.

In this blog, we’ll uncover what you can do with a politics degree, including popular career paths, skills you’ll gain and options for further study. 

Skills you’ll develop

A degree in politics offers a range of benefits. Firstly, it equips you with a broad range of highly sought-after, transferable skills, including:

  • Critical thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Research

  • Analytics

  • Communication

  • Writing


As well as practical skills, studying politics helps you develop a critical understanding of the world around you. As a social science subject, politics will help you develop an understanding of the core issues that affect society.

This perspective comes in extremely useful for countless professions, allowing you to analyse complex problems, think creatively about solutions, and make informed decisions – no matter the work environment or industry. You’ll also develop an in-depth knowledge of political systems, political theories and concepts, as well as an understanding of how politics is shaped. 

Overall, skills gained by studying politics can be applied to various career paths. For example, working in government, policy analysis or international relations. Your knowledge can also provide a solid foundation for further study at postgraduate level, such as pursuing a masters degree in politics or related fields.

Politics career paths

Studying politics provides graduates with a range of valuable skills, which are widely applicable to a variety of careers. Whilst there are many career paths that relate directly to politics, there are also fields of work where the skills gained from a politics degree are extremely useful.

Career paths directly related to politics:

  • Political consultant 

  • Policy analyst

  • Civil servant

  • Elected official

  • Political commentator

  • Political journalist

  • Political risk analyst

  • Public affairs consultant

  • Social researcher


Career paths where a politics degree could be useful:

  • Public relations

  • Journalism

  • Marketing

  • Human resources

  • Education

  • Social work

  • Market researcher

  • Policing

  • Non-profit sector work


What do politics graduates go on to do?

According to a study conducted by Prospects, politics graduates in the UK have a wide range of career options and their career paths can vary greatly depending on their individual interests and skills.

The study found that the majority of politics graduates in the UK (24%) went on to work in business, HR and finance professions. A smaller percentage of politics graduates went on to work in clerical, secretarial and numerical roles, as well as marketing, PR and sales roles.

The top 10 professions for politics graduates includes:

  • Business, research and administrative professionals n.e.c.

  • Public relations professionals

  • Marketing associate professionals

  • Finance and investment analysts and advisers

  • Human resources and industrial relations officers

  • Business and related research professionals

  • Welfare and housing associate professionals n.e.c.

  • Secondary education teaching professionals

  • Business sales executives

  • Management consultants and business analysts


The study also found that around 25% of politics graduates in the UK went on to further study, with the majority (64.7%) pursuing a masters degree. 

Source – What do graduates do? 2021/22

Overall, the evidence suggests that politics graduates in the UK have a range of career options available to them, and their career paths can vary depending on their individual interests and skills. Many graduates pursue professional or managerial roles, while others work in the public sector or pursue further study.

Further study in politics

Politics graduates in the UK often go on to pursue further study. It’s a common option, with a quarter of graduates opting to continue their studies at postgraduate level once graduating. 

Postgraduate politics programs offer a range of benefits to students who are looking to deepen their knowledge, skills and employability in the field of politics. The most common place to start is with a politics masters degree, which is the next step following a bachelors degree.

The value of postgraduate study in politics

Postgraduate study in politics offers a range of valuable benefits to students, including specialisation, research opportunities, networking, professional development, and enhanced career opportunities

One of the key benefits of postgraduate study in politics is the opportunity to specialise in a particular area of politics. For example, students may choose to focus on international relations, political theory, public policy or comparative politics. By pursuing further study in a specific area, students can gain a deep understanding of the key concepts, theories and debates in that field. This can be particularly valuable for students who are looking to pursue a career in politics, as it can help them to develop a competitive edge in the job market.

Postgraduate study can also give students the opportunity to network with other students, faculty members and professionals in the field, helping them build connections and understand the job market. 

Lastly, postgraduate study can open up a whole load of career opportunities to graduates. By showing your commitment to the subject with further study, not only will employers value your specialist knowledge, they will also value your motivation and professionalism.

Postgraduate study options

There are several postgraduate study options available to those interested in taking their politics studies further. 

The main options include full-time, part-time study and online study. Each type is delivered slightly differently depending on how you wish to engage with the course, and the ongoing commitments you might need to fit around it.

Full-time study is typically completed in one or two years, while part-time study can take up to four years to complete. Online study is becoming increasingly popular and offers the flexibility to study from anywhere in the world. It also offers flexibility for students who have work or other living responsibilities outside of education. 

Postgraduate Diplomas (PGDip) and Postgraduate Certificates (PGCert) also offer flexibility.

A Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in politics is a shorter program that typically takes one year to complete. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) is an even shorter program, and takes roughly six months to complete. PGDips and PGCerts are ideal for students who are looking to gain a foundational understanding of politics and want to start their career sooner rather than later. 

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Interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree in politics? Find out more and search available courses with Postgrad. You'll find a range of options, from full-time, online and part-time courses.

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