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Political Science major

Why study a political science major?

Study tips
Published 13 Oct, 2022  ·  3-minute read

Politics is often in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. But with the right intentions and skills, pursuing a political science career can give you opportunities to create real change in the world around you.

A political science degree will help you understand political decision-making and all the theories, ideas and ideologies that influence this process. And when you study a Political Science major as part of your UQ Bachelor of Arts, you’ll also learn how to address and approach all kinds of issues – from local conflicts to global challenges.

This may all sound a little vague, though. So, let’s explore the specific skills you’ll acquire when you study political science and discover exactly what you can do with a Political Science major.

Is Political Science a good major?

What makes this such a valuable major is the diverse selection of skills and knowledge you’ll pick up. These will serve you well if you do indeed pursue a job in politics, public policy or in any number of public or private organisations. However, they can also be transferred to any other career path you might take.

The things you’ll learn from the Political Science major will also make you savvier about the politics taking place every day, both in your community and on the world stage. You’ll graduate with knowledge of:

  • what politics is all about and theories about how it works
  • the causes and consequences of political issues and crises
  • who wins and loses political contests (and why)
  • how politics operates differently at local, national and global levels
  • the impact and influence that institutions and ideas can have on politics
  • the contrast between democratic and authoritarian regimes
  • how to conduct research in politics and public policy.
"A political science major will help you better understand the complex, contested and often ambiguous world in which we live." - Dr Stephen Bell

Skills you get when you study political science

Political science graduates aren’t just the most confident people at the voting booths. They also carry a diverse range of skills and abilities into any professional position they take on.

The skills you’ll learn from this major include:

  • critical thinking and textual analysis
  • reviewing arguments and problems from different – and often competing – perspectives (i.e. understanding both sides of the story and finding the best possible solution/compromise)
  • high-level written and oral communication
  • constructing plausible arguments using evidence, analysis, and assessment of other people’s arguments
  • identifying core assumptions and values in policies and political arguments
  • recognising problems and proposing solutions
  • understanding the role that power and authority have in shaping politics, as well as the interactions that occur between governments, interest groups and citizens.

Throughout the courses in this major, you’ll gain experience in reviewing research, designing and conducting your own research, presenting arguments, brainstorming with others, reflecting on your worldviews, and engaging with public policy solutions.

Many of these skills can be applied universally, making them helpful in all kinds of workplaces, professions, and even social situations. You’ll also have the opportunity to put your learnings into practice via internships with industry and/or government.

Political science careers

The Political Science major can prepare you for a wide range of careers – from entrepreneurial roles that require thinking out of the box and regular self-reflection, to jobs in large organisations where you’ll deal with competing agendas, ambiguity and negotiations.

Jobs for Political Science majors

So, what can you do with a Political Science major? While your skills could open any number of doors across industries, graduates with a keen interest in politics often become:

  • ministerial officers
  • diplomats
  • policy advisers
  • politicians
  • foreign affairs specialists
  • political analysts
  • advocacy coordinators
  • political campaign managers
  • lobbyists
  • local government legislators
  • political consultants.

Study political science at UQ

When you choose the Political Science major, you’ll get to choose from courses such as:

Learn more about UQ’s Political Science major Explore other options in the UQ Bachelor of Arts

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