There are a number of ways for you to gain real-world experience in the field of politics and international relations at the University of Reading.
You can undertake a short placement as part of a module or over the summer vacation, or take a year out and turn your degree into a four-year course.
Dedicated placement support
Applying for placements is a competitive process, but we have a dedicated placement coordinator who can provide you with one-to-one support in securing and preparing for a placement. Even if you are seeking work experience outside your formal studies, we can help you.
Modules with embedded placement opportunities
We have embedded placement opportunities within several of our modules:
British Government and Politics
In this module, you can undertake a two-week placement and then write up a report on what you have learnt. You could have the opportunity to work for a charity, pressure group, a media organisation, or with an MP or local councillor.
Work Placement and Project
Through this module you are free to pursue a placement that is related in any way to politics and international relations during a summer vacation. It gives you the opportunity to either work in the UK or abroad. For example, some of our students have recently completed placements working with a variety of agencies in India, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. You then give a presentation on your placement and write up a related research report.
Why are work placements important?
- Employers value graduates who already have relevant workplace experience.
- You will gain practical experience and have the opportunity to apply and extend your academic knowledge.
- You will gain transferable working skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving and self-management skills.
- It looks great on your CV and gives you experiences to talk about in interviews.
- It may help you with decisions for your future career path.
- You could be offered a graduate role at the end.
- It's an opportunity to build up a network of contacts.
Rachelle Tchiprout's placement experience in Israel
During the summer of 2014, Rachelle Tchiprout (BA War, Peace and International Relations) had the incredible opportunity to intern at the Peres Center for Peace – a non-profit, non-political NGO based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The ethos of the Peres Center is one that promotes lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being – all in the spirit of Shimon Peres' vision (ninth President of Israel).
After two years of studying for her degree, Rachelle had become something of an NGO sceptic, and so saw this internship opportunity as a way to gain first-hand experience and see if it would change her opinion.
“I learned so much during my summer in Israel. I had a deep insight into the type of charity work that the Center does – trying to bridge the gap between the Israelis and Arabs in the region to show them that they are all people with the same needs and goals and that the best way to move forward is to move forward together. Although my NGO scepticism perhaps didn't change, I have learned to differentiate between the difficulty of achieving an overall political goal and simply affecting the lives of individuals – as the Peres Center does in many of its projects.”