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Politics & Government

This sector is a large employment field covering very popular and competitive jobs such as Fast Stream Civil Service and it also includes working with the police and armed services. 

As well as these there are also a wide range of opportunities to enter administrative jobs within local government, which are often less competitive and students tend to not know about.  

Many graduates like the idea of public service and having the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of the general public through making and carrying out policy decisions.  

This is a popular career path for University of Exeter graduates.  This word document shows you some examples of employers and roles within the sector which we know our graduates have gone on to: Employers of Exeter graduates in Government and public service.

We have a range of employability schemes to help increase your work experience and networks in this area.   

  • Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremelyuseful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.   
  • Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.   
  • Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period.  
  • Professional Pathways: A suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June.   You might be especially interested in our Pathways to Charity and Development internships.  
  • Green Consultants: An award winning programme comprising of training and work experience in the environment and sustainability sector.  

Student and alumni experiences

Go to the University's video library, click on 'Student Employability & Academic Success' within Categories and then right arrow, 'Choose more...' (within Tags) Here you can select tags such as 'Civil Service', 'Politics' and 'Policy Advisor' to hear about the experience of alumni and employers in this sector.

Search relevant terms such as 'government' in the Career Zone blog to read about student and alumni experiences in this sector.  

Information Resources

If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following resources may be useful.


Graduate Schemes

The Civil Service and government


  • MI5
  • MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service)
  • GCHQ - communications work for linguists, political analysts and IT specialists
  • dstl - Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory

Policy and Research

The Uniformed Services 


For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit ourgeneral job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students. (Add additional vacancy and internship information relevant to this sector.) 

For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful: 

  • UN Jobs - jobs and internships in the UN and related organisations
  • EU Careers
  • UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) - includes jobs section
  • Eurobrussels - positions in EU institutions, NGOs etc.
  • Health Service Journal - particularly good for management related jobs in NHS
  • Jobs in the NHS
  • jobsgopublic - on-line recruitment agency.
  • W4MP - site has section offering jobs and internships with MPs, lobby firms and political parties

National newspapers carrying job adverts for this area include The Guardian (Wednesdays) and Independent (Thursdays).

As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.

If you have studied a related degree, check if your course is accredited by one of the professional bodies. Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector. 

There are a wide range of professional bodies and the relevant ones will depend on the specific area your are interested in working in, here are a few which may be of interest.  

If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study. 

It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).