Studying politics

Why study politics with us?

Politics is one of the most interesting subjects you can study at university because it affects everyone. Studying politics is rewarding because it is about why people disagree about how we should live and who should get what. Even if they do not admit it, all humans are by nature political animals. This is why Aristotle once called politics ‘the master science’.

Teaching and Learning

At the University of Plymouth the study of politics is fresh and distinctive in that our course revolves around the unifying theme of democracy and democratization. In modern times political leaders of all sorts identify themselves as democrats. Governments of many different kinds describe themselves as democracies. Countless and diverse political movements claim to be engaged in struggle for democratic causes. But in many cases such claims appear contradictory. In others, the meaning of democracy is contested. Meanwhile, in many political societies today, democratic institutions and practices are confronted with new challenges or are thought to be absent, vulnerable or under threat. 

In our programme, we aim to provide you with opportunities to learn about the politics that will determine our future in the 21st century, with the help of research active scholars who are passionate about their discipline. We also believe that extra-curricular activities outside the formal classroom are very important for the development of graduate employability, so opportunities are also provided for students to engage with national and local politicians, civil servants, journalists, businessmen and professionals working in pressure groups and non-governmental organizations.

Careers advice

Our careers advice is embedded throughout the curriculum which means that we help you find and develop the right career path as an integral part of your degree, using a dedicated team of personal tutors and careers advisers.


Many subjects offered at university are focused on questions about knowing how to do things in a specific domain of expertise. But in the world of business, public affairs and civil society in the 21st century, many employers are going to be looking for graduates who have taken time to understand how the world works and are also skilled at thinking about answers to the ‘know why’ questions. This is the traditional domain of political thought and research, and this is why graduate destination data shows that graduates in politics often tend to do better when compared with many comparable graduates who have chosen to study the more ‘know-how’ orientated degrees. 

Employers are also looking for politics graduates with work experience. Therefore, we offer some financial assistance to politics students who seek relevant work experience during the holidays through our ‘Internship Bursary Scheme’. Successful applicants in the past have held internships in the United Nations, the European Commission, with Transnational Corporations and Local Government, MPs and MEPs etc.

International Relations and Politics Internship Programme

Develop the tools needed to find an internship. We can help you to make the most of workshop sessions run throughout the year, and give advice on how you can use your own networks to find an internship, either in the UK or abroad.

Find out more about the programme