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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Working in Electoral Politics and Parliament

A career in electoral politics can be a varied and rewarding experience. In this field there are many different opportunities for work for Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), Members of the Welsh or Northern Ireland Assembly, or Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

Working in politics


Although job titles and locations vary, across the board the kind of work required usually involves carrying out tasks behind-the-scenes to enable Members to most effectively represent their constituents. Roles available include working as paid staff, as an intern, or as a volunteer. Many graduates become interns for an MP, Lord or a political organisation (who recruit and employ them directly). Internships are usually unpaid, though many receive expenses. This is a popular route to gain experience for future careers.

The graduate advice website Prospects outlines typical work activities for those working for an MP including:

Source- Prospects- Politician's assistant job description

Skills Required:

Things to Consider:

You don’t just have to be an MP to work in Parliament. There is a range of opportunities to work in the Commons or Lords, or across both Houses, from clerical staff to executive and graduate positions.
Thousands of people work for Parliament. Although it's possible to work directly for an MP or Lord, Parliament is like any large organisation, with positions in many different offices and departments at every skill level.

Useful Links:

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Work for an MP

Current Vacancies in Parliament

Speakers Parliamentary Placement Scheme

Our Graduates:

Victoria Woodcock

Course: BSc Sociology and Social Policy 2005-08; MSc in Social Statistics 2009-10

Current Position: Private Secretary to Cabinet Minister, Central Government

Paul Holmes

Course: BSc Politics and International Relations, 2006-09
Current position: Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Learning

Demography and statistics careers

Career choices for  Demography and Social Statistics graduates

Economics careers

Career choices for Economics graduates

Politics careers

Career choices and support for Politics and International Relations graduates

Sociology careers

Career choices for Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology and Anthropology graduates

Photo of Kenny McCarthy
From working in the third sector to playing regular football for the Social Sciences team, the skills I have developed at Southampton will prove invaluable in any future job.

Study abroad and exchanges

Current students: Take part in exchanges with partner institutions outside the UK. Overseas students: Study Social Sciences in the UK via our bespoke 'Studyabroad@Southampton' pathways.

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