Leeds School of Social Sciences

What can I do with a politics degree?

Published on 07 Mar 2021

Studying politics will give you insights into how the world works. How freedom is a complicated idea and why violence is often a response to conflict. How decisions are made and whose interests are met.

What is politics?

Politics is fundamentally concerned with the nature and development of the state, its role in modern societies, and the relations between states and other actors at local, national and international levels. Politics is about power. From local community groups seeking representation to national elections, the complex web of political issues drives human behaviour. It investigates how gender, race and class impact social issues and asks questions about equity and appropriate responses to the challenges facing societies today.

Careers with a politics degree

Graduates with Politics degrees go on to work as civil servants in local and national government; as policy officers advising organisations on strategies regarding public problems; working in politicians’ constituency offices helping the public with their concerns; Government liaison / lobbyists in the private sector representing interests and understanding how new laws will affect industry; for local and international NGOs managing projects and fundraising; as researchers collecting and analysing data about social issues, as journalists where a good knowledge of politics is a key skill for reporting; and as teachers.

Postgraduate study

At Leeds Beckett, politics graduates can pursue more specialist areas such as the MA Peace and Development, MA International Human Rights Practice and MA Public Policy.

What kind of skills will I gain?

Politics graduates are highly valued by employers for the range of skills developed during their degree. Some of the skills you will gain are:

  • problem-solving skills – through analysing and evaluating literature and research data, and applying it to real-world issues
  • critical thinking – through interactive group work in seminars, writing reflective reports and critical reviews, and exploring and applying political theory
  • teamwork – through working in groups for assignments and in seminar activities
  • research skills – through the planning and execution of a range of different research projects and activities
  • organisation and planning – through planning and organising your own workload, and designing and executing research activities for assignments
  • written and verbal communication – through writing essays or reports, creating and delivering presentations and leading / contributing to group discussion
  • IT skills – from using Microsoft Office programmes for assessments, e-tools to locate appropriate research literature and specialist data analysis programs

What other experience will I gain on the course?

Your studies do not just take place in the classroom. As part of your degree, you will undertake a volunteering placement where you will gain relevant skills sought by employers. You can volunteer locally in Leeds, within the UK or even abroad. We’ve had students work with a range of communities, from their local MPs in Leeds to refugee projects in Calais, to working with young people in Nepal. Students find this volunteering experience to be a highlight of their degree and essential for giving them the confidence to enter the job market after graduation.

Related courses

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BA (Hons)


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In Clearing
Male student smiling

dr robin redhead - Course director politics and international relations

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