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Political Science

Political science is the study of power, authority and governance in human affairs. In this program you’ll study forces that generate conflicts in and between societies.

Potential careers

What can you do with a political science degree? Here are a few jobs that relate to the program:

  • public policy analyst
  • political aide
  • ministerial assistant
  • community relations organizer
  • volunteer coordinator
  • fundraiser
  • labour relations officer
  • paralegal
  • legislative assistant
  • international development coordinator
  • social media reporter
  • digital content editor
  • marketing consultant
  • communications advisor
  • public relations
  • compliance analyst
  • policy coordinator
  • media researcher
  • youth outreach worker
  • politician

Some of these roles may require post-graduate studies or training. 

Find a career that fits you

Experience & connections

Opportunities in the political science program

  • With the Co-op Program you can alternate study with paid work. 

Opportunities outside your program

  • With a work study position you can develop skills during your study term.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while you build skills.

Networks you can connect to

Here are a few professional associations related to political science:

Hands-on learning opportunities

These courses in the political science program offer extensive hands-on learning.

Community-service learning

SOSC 300 - Working in the Community
Volunteer with a community organization (40 hours)


Co-op work terms
Alternate academic study with paid work terms to gain workplace experience


POLI 320 - The Canadian Constitution
Form delegations and simulate a constitutional conference

POLI 329 - The Political Foundations of International Law
Develop debate skills and media and policy analysis skills with an in-class simulation

POLI 379 - Topics in Contemporary European Politics
(variable course topics)
Simulate international debates while studying European politics

POLI 390 - Directed Experiential Learning
Examine issues in political science in directed work or volunteer activities

Field experience

POLI 351 - Public Policy Analysis
Attend the BC Legislature and explore the concept of meaningful civic engagement

Field placement

EUS 495 - Directed Experiential Learning in European Studies
Examine issues in European studies in relation to work, internship or volunteer activities

Professional and technical skill development

POLI 319 - Issues in Comparative Politics
(variable course topics)
POLI 350 - Introduction to Public Administration
POLI 351 - Public Policy Analysis
Develop skills in media and policy analysis

Research project

Model UN
Research, form and present political positions

POLI 499 - Honours Seminar and Essay
Research, write and orally defend a graduating honours essay

Work experience

Work experience work terms
Take part in a modified co-op program requiring one or two work experiences

These courses are not always offered as described.

What you'll learn

Every student at UVic builds skills all employers look for. At UVic Co-op & Career we call these  "competencies". This is what you’ll learn in the political science program.


  • be familiar with the major concepts, findings and historical trends in political science
  • treat political science as a discipline
  • understand selected content areas of political science
  • understand theories of politics and analyze current political situations in theoretical terms

Political systems and institutions

  • understand the social, cultural, historical, geographic and other forces that generate conflicts within and among societies
  • understand the social bases and evolution of politics in different parts of the world
  • understand the constitutional frameworks and political institutions in different parts of the world
  • understand the design of electoral systems and their implications for representation
  • understand the relationships between Indigenous communities and colonial states and the evolution of Indigenous governance
  • understand the role and functioning of supra-national institutions

Issues and policies

  • understand the issues and policies that affect democracy and the distribution of power
  • understand the political and social questions and policies related to diversity, pluralism, gender, economic class and culture
  • understand the politics of development in developing countries and domestic urban settings
  • understand the global issues, ethics and policies related to human rights, nationalism, migration, security, the environment and trade
  • understand public policy design, analysis and implementation
  • understand how digital media shapes the communication of political ideologies and messages

Political thought

  • understand the philosophical foundations and development of political thought
  • understand the themes and assumptions of political thought from ancient and medieval civilizations through to the late 19th century
  • understand the relevance of key theorists’ works for contemporary politics and government

Research methods

  • use basic research methods, including research design, data analysis and interpretation
  • use empirical research methods such as interpretive, historical, participatory, quantitative, case study and comparative study

What's next?

To explore more visit the political science site. For degree planning contact your adviser for help.