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Address global issues

Address global issues with a Bachelor of Arts

Published 23 Aug, 2021  ·  10-minute read

Current global issues require passionate individuals to lead the charge on finding global solutions. A UQ Bachelor of Arts paves the way to make a living out of addressing issues around the world.

While the number of global problems that need to be solved may feel overwhelming, getting involved and working to alleviate global issues can start with a Bachelor of Arts. At The University of Queensland, you can major in the following fields to further pursue your passion for addressing social issues around the world:

Find out how studying these areas of interest can cultivate your ambition to address world issues.

International relations

BA international relations major

The world needs individuals who want to make a positive impact and change society for the better. The International Relations major will help you gain a deeper understanding of global issues with a particular focus on economics, culture, education and political science. As an international relations specialist, you’ll have a wide set of career options to choose from. You might choose to work in foreign politics and government affairs as an international relations adviser or ministerial officer. You could end up providing advice on a variety of foreign policy topics as a foreign policy adviser.

“The best thing about the BA is its flexibility! I began with classes in economics and international relations, which ended up being my passion in the long run. In my opinion, being an all-rounder is beneficial post-uni, as flexibility, adaptability and diverse knowledge in a workplace is an important skill.”

– Amy Walker, International Relations and Economics Majors

It’s not a complete list of the options available to you, but some of the careers you could get into after graduation include:

  • foreign policy adviser
  • government relations manager
  • international aid worker
  • international business consultant
  • international relations adviser
  • ministerial officer.

Career spotlight: international aid worker

International aid workers create and coordinate everyday and emergency programs for zones that have been subjected to environmental or developmental problems such as war and natural disaster. They provide aid and assistance to people and communities in need and work to set up sustainable solutions to problems in fields like education, sanitation and agriculture.

This is no traditional career path. International aid workers might be required to work in an administrative capacity or be deployed overseas for fieldwork. An aid worker needs to be able to adapt to stressful situations and withstand emotional strain. But, for the right person, it’s a highly rewarding job where no two days will ever be the same.

Peace and conflict

BA peace and conflict studies major

This major is designed to build your knowledge on the causes of contemporary conflict and the conditions that contribute to conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding. A Peace and Conflict Studies major can go a long way in fulfilling your quest to learn how to solve global issues. There are many paths you can take to pursue your passion and make meaningful living out of your work. This might be as a peacekeeping official or conflict adviser. You might decide to become an intelligence analyst where your work will directly contribute to keeping people safe.

“Studying in this program has made me feel more positive about my job prospects when I graduate, where I can pursue careers in either journalism or peace and conflict studies, or both. I am currently a student partner with the HASS Faculty digital communications team and was also a Student Ambassador for journalism at UQ’s Online Open Day. This experience has given me the confidence to pursue opportunities that scare me, and a drive to keep developing my skills by constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone.”

– Savaira Ratukula, Peace and Conflict Studies Major  

A snapshot of the possible career outcomes from a Bachelor of Arts include:

  • conflict adviser
  • defence project manager
  • development program coordinator
  • humanitarian resourcing specialist
  • intelligence analyst
  • peacekeeping official.

Political science

A cartoon image of a reporter interviewing a woman outside Parliament House.

What better way to address social issues around the world firsthand than to gain a greater understanding of one of the most powerful forces in the world? In the political science major, you’ll explore the Australian and international government and political systems, including the values and ideologies that influence political action in contemporary society. From here, the critical skills you’ll develop will allow you to enter the political workforce and make a real difference. What area of politics interests you most? You could work as a policy adviser or local government legislator, make your voice heard as an advocacy coordinator or political consultant, or even work your way up to become a ministerial officer.

“Don’t underestimate the power of networking. The friends I made at university have at one point or another helped each other get jobs, referred others for business or references, and provided impactful study and career advice.”

– Mio Dart, Political Science Major

You have so many options available should you choose to study a Bachelor of Arts. Here are just some of the professions you could qualify for:

  • advocacy coordinator
  • government relations manager
  • local government legislator
  • ministerial officer
  • policy adviser
  • political analyst
  • political campaign manager
  • political consultant.

Career spotlight: political campaign manager

When a political candidate runs for office, they rely on a team of workers to handle the day-to-day operations of their campaign. The person in charge of the team is known as the political campaign manager. Their role is to manage the campaign including the areas of fundraising, advertising, polling and encouraging votes.

Political campaign managers must be willing to adapt to their candidates’ needs and juggle multiple tasks at any given time. This role is all-encompassing, and you need to be equipped with the necessary skills to handle a high level of communication, coordination and organisation.


BA sociology major

Take your passion for helping people and combine it with the study of social relationships, causes and institutions to be able to make a real difference in your professional life. Studying sociology opens a diverse scope of careers in fields such as education, social welfare, research and government. Use your voice to become a social justice advocate for those who cannot speak up on their own. Become a social worker or family services specialist to support individuals and families to make positive changes in their lives. Or you might decide to take the path of becoming a sociologist to further study human behaviour and interaction.

“Being able to synthesise and understand research and then rewrite it in simpler terms is a significant part of my work... After my interview for this position, I received the feedback that my honours degree was what set me apart from other applicants.”

– Georgia Young, Sociology Major

Here are just a few of the jobs our Bachelor of Arts graduates have gone on to work in within the field of sociology:

  • advocacy officer
  • community support worker
  • family services specialist
  • government relations manager
  • policy analyst
  • project manager
  • social and government researcher
  • social inclusion officer
  • social justice advocate
  • sociologist.


BA economics major

The study of economics will help you better understand the world around you and better respond to risks and opportunities as they emerge. Economic majors are well positioned to succeed in a continuously changing landscape as they are equipped with analytical and problem-solving skills that are transferrable to a range of career paths. You’ll be suitably prepared for roles in business planning, marketing, research and management.

Why not take what you learn to provide much-needed support as an economic policy adviser? You could also work as an analyst in the areas of investment or energy marketing. Your skills and expertise will make a difference to improve society and provide essential advice for organisations and governments on economic policy issues.

With an Economics major, some of the professions you might enjoy throughout your career include:

  • agricultural economist
  • applied economist
  • economic policy adviser
  • energy market analyst
  • investment analyst
  • statistician.

Career spotlight: statistician

Statisticians apply statistical or mathematical methods and models to help solve real-world problems. They collect, analyse, organise and compile numerical data to aid in decision-making processes. Their work is often used in fields that include business, science, health, engineering, economics and agriculture.

Statisticians possess an impressive skillset combination that includes analytical, technical, communication and leadership abilities. The tasks they complete daily will vary depending on the industry and organisation they work for.


BA mathematics major

Mathematics is a thought-provoking and diverse major that opens a lot of opportunities. It has its place in a variety of industries. Not only does it impact real-world issues, but it can also provide solutions to those problems.

The study of mathematics allows you to gain a fundamental understanding of the subject matter as well as equipping you with vital problem-solving skills so you can make meaningful contributions to the future advancements of several industries. You might go into education or choose to dedicate your professional life to quantitative research. Perhaps you’ll make a living performing research and designing algorithms designed for real-world applications. The choice is yours.

If you decide to major in Mathematics, there are several career options you might decide to take. These could include:

  • algorithm specialist
  • mathematics teacher
  • numeracy coordinator
  • quantitative researcher.


BA philosophy major

Are you fuelled by a desire to analyse the ways in which humans experience the world and find a way to solve global issues? The study of philosophy is an enduring interest that is not only important but also highly enjoyable. A Philosophy major will benefit you no matter which direction your career takes you, as the ability to use critical thinking and logical analysis is vital in countless industries. It might inspire you to work in government by researching policies or lead the way on human research ethics. Or perhaps you might decide to go into education and pass on your love of philosophy to future students.

“Studying philosophy at UQ taught me to think creatively and coherently, diagnose and solve problems, and have the courage to speak my mind, all while having been humbled by how much there is to know about this world.”

– Silvan Rus, Philosophy Major

Your Philosophy major within the UQ Bachelor of Arts can set you up for the career of your dreams. Here is just an example of some of the career opportunities waiting for you:

  • clinical research coordinator
  • conflict adviser
  • human research ethics officer
  • philosophy teacher
  • policy and research officer.

Career spotlight: conflict adviser

Conflict advisers provide analysis of conflict and convert their investigation into effective strategies and programs that work to reduce conflict and build harmony in the environment. Advisers work at the intersection of peacebuilding and humanitarian assistance to enhance the organisation’s impact and influence.

This is a highly rewarding profession that requires leadership, strong communication, problem-solving skills and the ability to cope in stressful situations.


BA geography major

A major in Geography enables you to embark on a career in a range of fields related to addressing global issues. Employment opportunities are growing exponentially for those equipped to address contemporary problems associated with the earth, atmosphere and human activity. Those with an interest in social and environmental justice will find the work they do in geography meaningful and rewarding.

You could work to make a true difference fighting climate change or become a sustainability consultant to advise organisations on how they can become more environmentally responsible. You could work in conservation or education, or if you have a love for animals, you might become a wildlife management officer and help develop programs for the protection of wildlife.

There are so many exciting professions available for those who complete a Geography major. Here are just a few of them:

  • biodiversity project officer
  • climate change adviser
  • conservation researcher
  • geography teacher
  • national parks conservator
  • park ranger
  • sustainability consultant
  • wildlife management officer.


BA studies in religion major

An understanding of religion will allow you to better understand global complexities and therefore be in a better position to address global problems that need to be solved. Religion is one of the primary disciplines that underpin human beliefs and behaviours, and this topic flows through every aspect of life such as politics, economics, art, culture, scientific discourse and ethics. You might decide to take what you learn in this major to work in welfare or youth development. You could also go into education and pass on your valuable knowledge to future generations.

With a Bachelor of Arts and a major in Studies in Religion, a few of the potential professions you could pursue include:

  • justice worker
  • religious education teacher
  • university academic
  • welfare case manager
  • youth development officer.

Career spotlight: university academic

University academics are individuals who work at a university or higher education institute either as a teacher or researcher. They have a strong interest in learning and typically specialise in an area of interest and share their findings through teaching, publishing papers and participating in discussions.

To become an academic, you’ll need to complete a master’s degree or PhD and demonstrate your excellence in research and teaching.

Find your passion and The University of Queensland will help you make a career out of it. With a UQ Bachelor of Arts, there are plenty of flexible pathways available that lead to a profession working to address and solve current global issues.

Explore other passions you can follow with a Bachelor of Arts or learn more about the UQ BA.

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