Politics degrees are likely to include examination of past and current political conflicts; different models and mechanisms of government; concepts such as freedom, equality and human rights; and ideologies such as communism, anarchism and liberalism. But after all, politics affects every aspect of human life, from the mundane to the philosophical (individual freedom versus ‘greater good’).
When you study politics, you’ll also look at the more practical side of the field – how different political systems work (or break down), the impact of developments such as new technologies and mass media, and the role of international political organizations and alliances such as NATO and the UN. Undergraduate (bachelor’s) programs usually last for three or four years, while master’s courses last a year or two, depending on the country. Course teaching consists mainly of lectures and seminars. Students are expected to participate in discussions and debates on relevant political topics, as well as spending a significant amount of time pursuing independent research and reading. Towards the end of your course, students will research and write a dissertation exploring a relevant issue in depth. Assessment throughout the course will be based on written and oral exams, essays and other coursework.
Careers in politics are more varied than you may at first expect, spanning a range of roles in both the public and private sectors, of varying degrees of responsibility, affiliation and public presence.