Politics and International Relations

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Undergraduate Major

Description

The Politics and International Relations major equips students with a strong understanding of all aspects of both Australian and international politics and how the two interrelate. Students will learn of international affairs in both contemporary and historical contexts, the allocation of scarce resources, and the impact of policies, religion, ethnicity, nationalism, and globalisation in regard to the resolution of social problems.

Graduates are valued for their flexible yet critical thinking, research skills, and written and verbal communication, enabling them to be highly competitive in the job market. Opportunities exist in varying levels of government and political parties, but also in education, foreign affairs and trade, the media, various businesses, and community and welfare services.

View our Bachelor of Arts in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) / Bachelor of Arts in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) / Bachelor of Arts in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

View our Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice/Bachelor of Laws in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a major in International Affairs include:

Honours:

Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

Postgraduate Study:

Research

Masters
PhD

Coursework

After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.

Sample Jobs

Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for graduates with a major in Politics and International Affairs.

Getting the Edge

Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.

  1. Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
  2. Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
  3. Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
  4. Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
  5. Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
  6. Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
  7. Consider volunteering.

Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.

 

Sample Employers

Politics and International Affairs graduates find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.

 

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.


Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Job Search Sites

Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:

Australian and International

  • CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.

Australian

  • CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
  • MyCareer: Australian and international listings
  • Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
  • The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs

International

Sample Job Ads and Tips for Applying

Aboriginal Professional Practice

Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in Aboriginal Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:

  • Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
  • Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
  • Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
  • Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
  • Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
  • Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
  • Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Arts graduates majoring in Aboriginal Studies will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:

  • An in-depth understanding of at least one specialist area in the Bachelor of Arts
  • The capacity for analytical thinking and for creative problem solving
  • Information literacy: skills in locating, evaluating and using relevant information
  • Effective and appropriate communication skills, written and oral, across a range of forms
  • Ethical sensitivity, including an awareness of ethical issues and standards within disciplines
  • Intercultural awareness: a respect for and understanding of cultures other than one's own

Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.

Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.

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