Dr Laura Southgate, a politics and international relations lecturer at Aston University, explains the benefits of studying this subject... 

Why study politics and international relations?

Politics and international relations is an exciting and dynamic subject that is constantly evolving and changing. By studying politics and international relations, we can better understand the major political issues that governments face, the role that individuals and organisations have in shaping government decisions, and how states interact on the international stage. Through the study of politics and international relations, we can explore some of the major questions that impact our daily lives: Why should we vote? Why do wars occur? How can we solve contemporary global issues such as climate change? Our modules also provide you with a unique opportunity to explore political topics going beyond the UK and Europe, covering North America, South Asia, China, and Japan.

Interested in learning more about contemporary topics such as the Ukraine war, the cost-of-living crisis or the #MeToo movement? At Aston University, you will learn about all this and more!








What skills would I acquire from doing a politics and international relations degree?

Beyond political expertise, a degree in Politics and International Relations will also help you to develop numerous transferrable skills. Our modules are specifically designed to assist students to gain these skills whilst maximising their potential in an enjoyable and engaging way. By taking part in group simulations or class discussions you will learn the art of critical thinking, inquiry and debate. Group projects will help you to develop skills in negotiation and teamwork. In-class presentations help you to gain confidence in public speaking. You will also work on a variety of different written tasks, including reflective journals, policy reports, and essays. These will help you to acquire skills in researching, writing, project development, problem-solving and time management. No matter what career you have your heart set on, these skills will provide you with the confidence required to achieve your goals.


How do these courses help with employability?

At Aston University we are committed to enhancing the employability prospects of our students. Our joint honours courses provide students with the opportunity to undertake a year-long placement. This provides a valuable opportunity to gain experience and contacts working in an employability sector of your choosing. From year one, we focus on helping you identify and develop the skills that you will need when entering the job market. We also host regular careers events so that you can learn more about the different avenues open to you upon graduating, meet prospective employers, and develop CV writing and interview skills to help you prepare for life after university.






What kind of jobs can you get with a politics and international relations degree?

Our politics and international relations graduates work in a wide variety of careers. This is thanks in part to the many transferrable skills that they develop as part of their degree. Roles in government, policy-making, or the Civil Service are one natural career route that allows graduates to utilise the skills and knowledge gained during their degree. Through the study of politics and international relations, you will gain a deep understanding of your place in society and how the world works. This can set you on the path to a career in education, journalism and media, business, and the charity sector. There are many opportunities to choose from, and we are here to support you along the way!