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P&P Options

Some typical careers areas

  • Typical Career Areas for Philosophy & Politics Graduates and What Queen's Graduates Have Gone On To Do

    A survey of graduates 6 months after graduation reveals that Queen's graduates from these programmes have recently gone into the following:

    • International Studies (Jobs): Associate Accountant, Deputy Manager, Civil Servant, Support Officer
    • International Studies (Further Study): MA Violence Terrorism and Security, MA Intelligence and International Security, MA Social Justice and Conflict Transformation, MA Political & Social Science
    • Philosophy (Jobs): House Manager of an Arts Centre, Mortgage Consultant, Business Officer for Political Party
    • Philosophy (Further Study): MA Globalisation and Multinational Corporations, Masters in Law
    • Politics (Jobs):Accounts Executive, Compliance Officer, Economic Policy Adviser, Student Officer, Financial Analyst, Researcher to an MSP, Economics and Policy Consultant, Purchasing and Marketing Manager
    • Politics (Further Study): MA Legislative Studies and Practice, PhD Anthropology, MA Violence, Terrorism and Security, MA International relations, PhD International Relations, MA Conflict Transformation & Social Justice, PGCE Politics, MSc Software Development

    Some Recent Employers: Ernst & Young, Northern Ireland Civil Service, Paddy Power, Lloyds Bank Group, Chambre Public Affairs, HM Treasury, Citi Group.

    Non-graduate jobs: As with all programmes at all universities, some graduates have not gone into graduate level work. Recent roles have included: Banking Advisor, Sales Assistant and Administrative Assistant.

    There can be many reasons to explain this including saving for further study, getting relevant work experience, wanting to take some time-out, but often it is due to a lack of career planning prior to graduating. Reviewing these careers resources and taking advantage of opportunities to Go Further will help to ensure that you fulfil your career potential. If you wish to book an appointment to discuss your options and plan your career you can do this through myfuture.

    The National picture: What do graduates do? is an annual report showing the national picture of graduate destinations.

  • Public Sector including EU Careers
  • Education and Teaching

    In Schools:A recognised teaching qualification is essential to find work in this area. The Department of Education Northern Ireland has general details about Initial Teacher Education (which includes the PGCE). The Universities and Colleges offering the training also have information on their websites which include how to apply and the closing dates e.g. Queen’s Initial Teacher Education (PGCE) information. See Applying for PGCE Teacher Training to find out about applying in other parts of the UK and in Ireland.

    PGCE courses are competitive to get into so interested students are recommended to: 

    • Gain experience of working with young people of the age group you hope to teach – usually gained through voluntary work.
    • Get an insight into what work as a teacher is like by trying to arrange to speak to a teacher to ask them about their job, and/or try to get some classroom observation experience. You may be able to arrange visits through personal contacts or with schools where you were once a pupil. It may be possible to arrange with a local school via a speculative application.
    • Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in Education via the Times Education Supplement and the Guardian’s Education section.
    • Apply early.
    • These interview tips are useful when preparing for the course interview. 

    The Teach First Leadership Development Programme recruits high achieving graduates to work as teachers in some of the most disadvantaged schools in England and Wales.  Its 2 year programme combines this work with business skills training, internship and mentoring opportunities. At the end of the programme around 50% stay in the teaching profession in a leadership position, the other 50% are readily employed in a variety of business areas.

    The TET (Teach English in Thailand) programme offers students and recent graduates a 9 week placement opportunity as a Teaching Assistant in Thailand.

    In Colleges: Further Education Colleges will sometimes hire people to teach without them having teaching qualifications. These teachers will often be expected to work towards a teaching qualification and will be expected to have other relevant (vocational) qualifications and experience to offer. Colleges list job vacancies on their own websites. You can find a list of colleges on the Department of Education Northern Ireland website.

    In Higher Education: University lecturers will normally be expected to have or be working towards a PhD. An Academic Career provides more information about this career route. Jobs and some PhD studentships can be found on More PhD opportunities can be found on

  • Public Relations Consultant

    Public Affairs Links- includes public affairs and lobbying careers information. There is a directory of key public affairs firms internationally, key headhunters & recruitment firms and a vacancies board.

    Association of Professional Political Consultants- directory of member firms active in public affairs consultancy.

    Chartered Institute of Public Relations– information on careers advice, membership and training.

    Prospects Profiles:

  • Social Researcher

    Social Research Association-'Careers in research' section and job alert facility

    Government Social Research Service (GSR)- provides evidence to understand, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate government policies and services. They employ social researchers in all the main government departments as well as the devolved administrations and other government bodies. See their website for useful detail about careers and the application process

    LARIA- Local Authorities Research & Intelligence Association- some vacancies

    Prospects profile- Social Researcher

  • Politicians Assistant

    PoliticsHome- Website run by Dods Parliamentary Communications. Provides breaking news & opinion, directory of MPs, useful links & press releases live from Westminster

    Policy Jobs- job listings website specialising in public policy jobs. Research, policy making, and academic jobs in many fields including: foreign policy, economics, social policy, family policy, legal affairs and fiscal policy. Some job vacancies (UK and worldwide) can be browsed without subscribing.

    Political Jobs- sister site to the above; same restrictions apply to searching UK/international jobs. Good for posts such as: parliamentary researcher; advocacy officer; constituency organiser; policy adviser etc. 

    Prospects job profile- Politicians Assistant

  • Public Affairs Consultant

    Public Affairs Links- includes public affairs and lobbying careers information. There is a directory of key public affairs firms internationally, key headhunters & recruitment firms and a vacancies board.

    Association of Professional Political Consultants- directory of member firms active in public affairs consultancy.

    Chartered Institute of Public Relations– information on careers advice, membership and training.

    Prospects Profiles:

  • Marketing, Advertising and PR

    Marketing, Advertising and PR

    A fast paced and competitive sector which needs creative, organised and innovative people.

    • Advertising Account Executives - work within advertising or multi-service agencies, acting as a link between clients and the agency.
    • Advertising Copywriters - work alongside an art director within the creative department of an advertising, media or full-service agency. This may include creating slogans, catchphrases, messages and straplines for printed adverts and leaflets.
    • Digital Marketer - involved in developing an organisation's multi-channel communication strategies.
    • Marketing Executive - involved in developing marketing campaigns to promote a product, service or idea.
    • Public Relations (PR) Officer - managing reputation, creative communicators who thrive on the demands of client reputation management.
  • Other Graduate Options

    Approximately 50% of graduate vacancies are open graduates of any subject. Some may require some additional, specialist, post-graduate training but some do not. The list is extensive but includes fields as diverse as accountancy, IT, housing management and recruitment consultancy.  You can get an idea of the variety of opportunities plus find year-long and summer work opportunities by looking on the general Graduate websites.


  • How do I make a decision?

    There isn’t one right way to make a career decision, but there are a few things worth doing and worth considering in order to make an informed choice:

    • Don’t think you have to choose just one option – instead a shortlist of preferred options can be a useful strategy. Transferable skills can be gained from any type of work experience, so even if your work experience relates to one area, that won’t restrict you from moving into a different area.
    • Think about what is important to you and look for evidence of those things when exploring your options e.g. if it is a priority for you to stay in Northern Ireland, look at the relevant graduate websites for career areas that interest you to see how many job adverts you can find for that type of work here.
    • The above are just a few of the options related to your degree area. It isn’t a comprehensive list.  Spend some time exploring the Relevant Job Websites (see above) to find other job titles and areas.
    • Look at LinkedIn’s alumni tool (Topic 5 on the LinkedIn for students website) to see the career paths of alumni on LinkedIn.
    • Speak to company representatives at on campus events (including fairs and employer presentations). Keep an eye on MyFuture for these opportunities.
    • Need more information – approach any contacts you have, or speculatively approach companies, to set-up an information interview.
    • If you’ve managed to successfully make use of an information interview, you could ask for a brief period of work-shadowing, i.e. observing someone while they work.  As little as a few hours of work-shadowing can give you a real insight into a job and company, and it is often easier for a company to agree to this than it would be to agree to a period of work experience.
    • Still can’t decide? Sometimes you can only truly get a feel for whether a certain job is for you by trying it out.  Short-term work experience for students is a great method for trying-out different jobs and companies - see "What can I do to Go Further?" to find relevant opportunities.  If you are a graduate, remember, even a permanent job isn’t necessarily a job for life!

    If you’d like to discuss any of this with a Careers Consultant please book an appointment through MyFuture.