University of Bath

Career options for PoLIS and Social & Policy Sciences researchers

Find out about the different career options available if you're undertaking research in Politics, Languages & International Studies or Social & Policy Sciences.

Career options

Broadly speaking, your options are the same as those for researchers in other disciplines; see the career options page for more details. The aim of this page is to look at some career options that may be suitable for politics, languages and international studies and social and policy sciences researchers. One important question to ask yourself is the extent to which you want to use your subject in any future career moves. It's entirely your choice - you will have acquired and developed many skills during your doctorate which are complementary to the research skills and knowledge you might think define your career choice.

If you'd like to remain working in Politics, Languages & International Studies or Social and Policy Sciences and would like some ideas as to how, see details of what previous Bath doctoral graduates have gone on to do.

This covers the most obvious choices (academic, research and public sector employment) but the public sector, in particular, is vast and there are many options within it. These might include working in policy analysis for the Civil Service, a charity or think tank, social research for a local authority or charity, or working for a political party or member of parliament. For some of these jobs, it is strongly recommended that you have some prior work experience. This can of course be part-time or voluntary and fit around your doctoral studies. Visit the work experience section of the main Careers Service web pages for more information.

You might want to move away from the themes of your doctorate, but stay within your broader subject area. There are many occupations in which your doctorate would be valuable, including management consultancy, which uses research skills to produce recommendations for organisational change. Other areas might be human resources, which concentrates on employment policy and regulations, or market research.

With your background, you may be interested in pursuing some of these jobs in other countries. Our student site has a page on working overseas, which has links to many useful sources of information.

Options outside of your subject

If, having got to this stage, you're not sure that you want to use your Politics, Languages & International Studies any more, don't despair! You have many skills and experiences that are highly valuable to employers and you can choose from the huge range of graduate jobs on offer, from structured training with large financial services firms to management training with well-known retailers and manufacturers. The key is to think of the skills you have and enjoy using, and explore occupations that use them to suggest possible alternatives. For information on different types of jobs, explore the occupational profiles on the Graduate Prospects website.

Information sources

Some key resources to help you research career options related to your field:

Where to look for jobs in your field

See the vacancies page for academic, research and research-related jobs.

Other pages for researchers