Your career

Recent PPR graduates have pursued a range of careers in different sectors: from the civil service, diplomacy, journalism, and the charity sector, to financial services, marketing, and accounting.

A PPR degree can help set you apart from other graduates on the job market. The Lancaster University careers service and dedicated careers support the departmental level can help you identify the best strategy to achieve your goals. Over the course of your degree, you will have many opportunities to develop your transferable skills, gain valuable work experience and understand how to build on your existing strengths.

A PPR degree helps you develop skills through a range of modules and activities, assessments, lectures, and seminars. You will develop analytical and critical skills and learn to work independently. You will also have the chance to develop your own research through a dissertation and have a specialised knowledge of your field.

These skills are valued by a range of different employers. Below you will find just a small selection of employers who value the expertise of PPR graduates.

The civil service

There are over 170 different civil service departments in the UK, each specialising in a particular aspect of government policy with a wide range of jobs to suit all interests and skills. The civil service deals with issues including diplomacy, he environment, international trade, education, justice, and many more. A civil servant might be expected to engage in social research, write policy reports and help formulate public policy and, at higher levels, to work closely with ministers to help in policy implementation. Recent graduates might be interested in the civil service training program, the Civil Service Fast Stream.

Learn about working for the Civil Service

Example departments include:

  • The Diplomatic Service
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs
  • Government Economic Services
  • National Crime Agency
  • Department of Justice
  • HM Treasury
  • MI5 and MI6
  • Cabinet Office
  • Home Office
HM Civil Service logo
Local Government Association logo

Regional and local government

Local or regional government officers liaise with councillors, members of the public and stakeholders to ensure that local services are delivered efficiently. They also help advise on and implement local government policy.

There are many roles in areas such as education, housing, environment, tourism, health and social care, and many others spread in over 400 local authorities and councils throughout the UK.

Learn about working for Local or regional government

Houses of parliment and big ben. Photo by Massimiliano Morosinotto

The Parliament

There is a wide variety of roles available in Parliament. These might include social research roles, workings as an MP’s assistant, project managing, social media and engagement work, and many more. The positions range across the House of Commons, House of Lords, and Parliamentary Digital Service.

Learn more about working for Parliament

The charity sector

Politics, philosophy, and religious studies students are often driven by the desire to make the world a better place. The charity sector gives them the opportunity to drive change and improve the lives of others. Like regular business, charities need staff to help them carry out research, organise events, lobby and raise awareness and funds. Graduate schemes such as Charityworks, Worthwhile or Gradunique are designed specifically to help new graduates take their first steps in the charity sector.

Example employers:

  • Oxfam
  • Amnesty International
  • Muslim Aid
  • Refugee Action
  • Electoral Reform Society
  • The Red Cross
  • Greenpeace
  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Unite Against Fascism
  • Water Aid
  • Shelter
  • Mind
  • Christian Aid
  • Crisis
  • PETA
  • Stonewall
persons eye against a wired fence background

Public affairs jobs

In your role as a public affairs advisor or consultant you will use your knowledge of social and political issues to offer policy advice to private companies, charities, the government, and NGOs, among others. Your responsibilities might include lobbying, public relations, communications advice and monitoring the activities of political bodies and organisations. Companies employing public affairs advisors include charities, lobby groups and NGOs.

Example employers:

  • Stonewall
  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
  • Centre for Homelessness Impact
  • British Chamber of Commerce
  • The Whitehouse Consultancy
  • Institute for Government
  • The Health Foundation
  • Historic Houses
Hands holding a pen with pad

Think tanks

Think tanks are research institutes that seek to influence policymaking in a wide range of different areas, ranging from security, international relations and conflict to healthcare, economics, gender, and social justice. A think tank position will often include social research and writing policy briefs and academic publications. The role might also involve engagement with public affairs, public relations, and social media work.

This is a list of think tanks by their political leaning and area of interest:

Faith and religion

  • Theos
  • Ekklesia
  • Jubilee Centre

Human rights and equality

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Institute for Human Rights and Business
  • Runnymede Trust
  • Women’s Budget Group

Democracy, participation, and social relations

  • The Centre for Social Justice
  • Demos
  • Civica
  • Rethink Priorities
  • Education Policy Institute

Conflict, security and international affairs

  • Chatham House: Royal Institute for International Affairs
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • International Crisis Group
  • Royal United Services Institute

International development

  • Institute of Development Studies
  • International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Overseas Development Institute

Politics and economics

  • Adam Smith Institute
  • Centre for Policy Studies
  • Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Economic Policy Institute
  • Fabian Society
  • Institute for Policy Studies
  • Institute for Public Policy Research
group meeting with lady putting post it notes on whiteboard

International aid and development

Aid and development work focuses on engaging economically disadvantaged regions of the world with the aim of improving standards of living and alleviating poverty. As an international aid or development worker you might be responsible for policy research and development, developing relationships with donors, working with refugees, or delivering aid on the ground. The work is delivered across a wide range of areas, including health, education, human rights, gender, environment, and others. International development workers are often employed by NGOs, charities, government bodies and think tanks.

Example employers include:

  • UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office
  • Mo Ibrahim Foundation
  • Amnesty International
  • The European Union
  • The World Bank
  • Islamic Relief
  • Chase Africa
  • WasteAid
  • Oxfam
United nations building Geneva
microphone on table for interview

Other careers

In addition to the above, a PPR degree offers a range of transferrable skills that are particularly valuable for broadcasting, journalism, education, academic research, marketing, public relations, and finance. Our Careers Service offers tailored one-on-one advice to help you choose the right career path for you and help you secure your dream job.

Improve your employability at PPR

Our department offers a range of degree schemes and activities to help set you apart from other graduates on the job market.

Placements and Internships

  • An internship is a period of work experience, offered by an organisation, usually lasting for a fixed, limited period of time. They are typically undertaken by students and graduates looking to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field.
  • A placement is usually used to describe longer internships (usually a year), and is commonly used to describe the year in industry in some degrees.

For details see FASS placements and Internships.

Richardson Institute Internships

Each year the Richardson Institute provides over 60 voluntary internships which enable undergraduate students to work with external organisations on research projects. Recent interns have worked with NGOs, think tanks, charities and faith based organisations on project themes such as Religion and Borders and Religion and Conflict Situations. You will work on the project alongside your studies throughout the academic year and your project supervisor will support you with research training and interactive workshops.

Course Specific Modules

Boost your career by opting to do a placement as one of your modules. See Course Specific Modules available.

John Garman, FASS Placement Year student with Hospices of Hope, Kent. Role: Partnership Officer

BA Hons Philosophy

“My job title is “partnerships officer” and my role is to develop new relationships and maintain current partnerships with corporates, businesses, universities, schools, churches and community groups who may support the charity financially, through pro-bono services, volunteering and other support. I am also involved in grant applications, fundraising events and assisting in the development of new projects as well as assisting the senior management team.

The most enjoyable parts of the placement so far have been meeting and networking with new supporters and getting to know them – all whilst raising awareness for a cause which I feel passionately about. Having been to Romania and seen the work of the charity, I find it very easy and enjoyable to share my own story and the work of the charity with others. I have enjoyed developing new relationships with other members of staff and becoming part of a very committed team. Working for such a good cause makes the job a lot easier and is a good source of motivation.

I see myself working in a charity based or Corporate Social Responsibility based role in the future. Being in this role is very rewarding in a way that I think other jobs would not be i.e. that it is not just a job but that my work is actively making a difference to adults and children in south eastern Europe. My experience so far has given me a far greater insight into the charity sector than I could have hoped for as I have also had opportunities to network with other people from the charity sector and see how their work is similar/differs to our own. Seeing how the industry works and having had the opportunity to take part in active fundraising, grant writing, corporate presentations and other elements, I feel confident that this is the career path I would like to take going forward.”

Careers support at Lancaster University

Our dedicated Careers Service organises a range of activities designed specifically to help you improve your employability. You will find out how to apply for jobs and prepare for an interview through our career workshops and skills sessions, while events such as meetings with top employers and Careers Fairs will help you decide on the career plan that fits your interests and abilities.

The careers portal has up-to-date information on graduate jobs, placements, and internships. You can access Careers Drop-Ins, one-to-one appointments with our expert advisor and CV, cover letter and personal statement checking services.

Our alumni share their experiences, tips and advice, including how their degrees led them to their current jobs. They have taken up a wide range of careers, ranging from Media Relations Officer in Her Majesty’s Revenue to Customs and Government Affairs Manager at Vodafone.

Our Alumni
Dr Barbara Yoxon

Employability Champion at PPR

Our dedicated Employability Champion at PPR is also available for one-on-one appointments, offering advice and information tailored to students on Politics, International Relations, Philosophy and Religion degrees.

Dr Barbara Yoxon