Where can a postgraduate degree in political science take you?

Some politicians have political science as their academic credential.

By U2B Staff 

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What do political leaders like Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Iceland President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson have in common? All three politicians have an academic credential in political science. 

Biden enrolled at the University of Delaware where he double majored in history and political science, before going on to Syracuse University where he earned his law degree.


Ardern graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations and Political Science at Waikato Management School. Jóhannesson studied history and political science at Warwick University and finished his BA degree in 1991. 

Academic credentials are often held in high regard for the people in high state offices, while the subject is also highly relevant for those aspiring a political career. 

Why should you get a postgraduate degree in political science?

The American Political Science Association notes that political science is the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems and political behaviour. Its subfields include political theory, political ideology, political economy, policy studies and analysis, comparative politics, international relations, among other fields. 

The Princeton Review notes that political scientists study the structure and theory of government and seek practical and theoretical solutions to political problems. Many political scientists teach at colleges and universities where they conduct research and write books and articles on political theory, while some may enter political life. 


The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of political scientists is projected to grow six percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for political scientists was US$122,220 in May 2019.

Increased demand for public policy analysis in both government and non-government organisations will support employment growth for these workers, they said.

What does a postgraduate degree in political science arm you with?

A master’s in political science typically takes about one year to complete on a full-time basis; they are usually offered as a MA or MSc. You don’t necessarily need to have an undergraduate degree in political science to pursue a graduate degree in the field. 

Depending on your programme, students may take courses in international relations, political economy or comparative politics, to name a few. Students can also specialise in certain concentrations, be it in American politics, comparative politics, international relations or political theory, depending on your university. 


Upon completion, these programmes will typically arm you with crItical thinking and research skills, and can also serve as preparation for a PhD. Graduates can carve go on to become a political aide, pursue a career in research, education or public administration, to name a few.

A number of universities offer postgraduate degrees in political science including the London School of Economics, Columbia University, University of Southern Denmark and the University of Essex, to name a few. 

Whether you’re a civil servant or aspiring MP or mayor, a postgraduate degree in political science can be a valuable addition to your repertoire of skills, knowledge and experience.