SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Student Destinations

The study of Asian and African politics, whether at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, provides an intellectual challenge to any individual genuinely interested in understanding or adding to the world's knowledge of politics. Such study equips graduates with the skills and knowledge to pursue a variety of careers both in and out of the academic world. The analytical task of understanding not only the politics of another country but also the interaction of culture and society with political forms and forces provides amongst the most stimulating of intellectual opportunities. The Department of Political Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies offers that opportunity.

First degree students, as well as recipients of the MSc, have entered a wide variety of professions after leaving the Department. Some have been able to pursue careers directly related to Asia and Africa, including in firms requiring particular skills and knowledge related to trading, investment and promotional interests outside Europe. Others have gone to work for various charitable and human rights/development agencies. 

Examples of the type of careers and further study graduates from this department have done include: 

  • Reporters and producers (BBC and BBC World Service; Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera English), 
  • Campaign Organiser (National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaign; Tomorrow’s Youth Organization), 
  • Programme Officer (Konrad Adenauer Foundation), 
  • Researcher or Campaigner (ICRC and Amnesty International), 
  • Journalist (The Brunei Times, The Guardian, New York Observer; Al Masry Al Youm), 
  • Project Manager (Terre de home), 
  • Risk Analyst (Olive Group Security), 
  • Lawyer/Legal Analyst (Latham and Watkins), 
  • Global Advocacy Manager (Unilever), 
  • Management Consultant (Ernst and Young), 
  • Analyst (UNDP), 
  • a variety of different masters programmes in the UK and abroad, 
  • and further doctoral study. 

The general intellectual training provided by a degree in politics is useful for analysing and solving many of the problems contemporary societies now face. Recipients of PhDs have often taken positions in leading academic institutions world wide as well as in government and non-governmental agencies and organisations concerned with world affairs at all levels.