What can I do with a degree in Political Science?
Through their Political Science degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferrable to a range of careers, including:
- Political analysis
- Understanding the ways that laws and economic policies are developed
- Interpretive thinking
- Thinking critically, creatively and challenging ideas
- Logical and quantitative reasoning
- Understanding globalisation and its effects on our politics and economy
- Policy formulation and analysis
- Understanding international relations, international law and diplomacy
- Problem solving skills adaptable to differing contexts
- Oral and written communication
- Research and computing.
Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.
Political Science graduates have versatile set of skills that can be applied in a wide range of exciting careers both within politics (international, national and local political institutions, such as the UN, humanitarian intergovernmental organisations, parliaments, city councils) and in more diverse areas such as law, business, education and journalism.
Recent graduates and postgraduates have been employed in the ministries of foreign affairs and trade, defence, immigration, justice and by the Treasury; Te Puni Kōkiri; Parliament; the Prime Minister's Office; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the Red Cross; New Zealand Police; news media; trade union organising; teaching; and in banking and investment. A number of our senior students have also gone on to further study and to teach at prestigious overseas universities.
UC’s Guide to Job Hunting offers a variety of career resources including employer information.
For more information about UC student and graduate opportunities, go to UC CareerHub
Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs including politician, community adviser and lobbyist.
Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.
- Policy analyst
- Researches and analyses information to assist in policy planning and development
- Reviews and interprets existing policies
- Prepares and presents reports
- Parliamentary officer
- Keeps and maintains records
- Assists in the development of policies
- Prepares reports and recommendations to support senior members
- Checks the legality of policies and practices
- Reports to management with findings and recommendations
- Assesses use of funding
- Market researcher
- Develops research strategies
- Analyses and evaluates results and information
- Provides advice and recommendations
- Categorises and catalogues library materials
- Selects materials for library use
- Assists in customer use of library materials and finding information
- Immigration officer
- Examines personal documentation, such as passports
- Approves or rejects entry into a country
- Organises the removal of people who have broken immigration law
- Researches and gathers information about events or issues
- Interviews people relevant to particular stories
- Writes reports and stories
- International aid worker
- Manages and assesses projects
- Assists in the development of long-term development
- Evaluates responses to emergency situations
- Advises and represents individuals or groups
- Examines and drafts contracts
- Researches and provides relevant information to clients
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment
For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey
As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer graduates the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.
- New Zealand Political Studies Association
- Australian Political Studies Association
- American Political Science Association
Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.
It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects both directly and indirectly related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications
Political Science graduates may continue on to the one-year Bachelor of Arts with Honours programme. Students who have completed an honours degree may proceed to the masters or doctoral programmes (PhD), both of which involve thesis work.
Political Science graduates can also do an honours degree in Diplomacy and International Relations, which is unique to UC, or enrol in the Master of International Law and Politics. Many Arts graduates do additional training in teaching, library, journalism or management. Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.
Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.