Table of Contents

Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon

With a focus on providing concrete teaching strategies for scholars, the Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations blends both theory and practice in an accessible and clear manner. In an effort to help faculty excel as classroom teachers, the expert contributors offer representation from various types of institutions located throughout the world. Split into three distinct parts, this book discusses curriculum and course design, teaching subject areas and in class teaching techniques.

Chapter 13: Promoting employability and jobs skills via the political science curriculum

Simon Lightfoot

Subjects: education, teaching and learning, politics and public policy, international relations


The most frustrating question a student in the UK can be asked when they tell people they are studying political science at any level of study is, ‘What are you going to do with that degree, then – become a Member of Parliament?’ Given that there are 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK system and that each year over 200 students graduate from my university alone with a political science or international relations degree, that career path would seem to be a very crowded one! The question, though, is symptomatic of a broader issue for political science – what jobs does a political science degree prepare you for and what skills does a political science degree give you? The question of what a political science degree prepares you for is often at the forefront of students’ minds when they are studying the subject (Holmes and Miller 2000). Consequently, the pressure is increasing on disciplines such as political science and international relations that have no clearly defined route, to prepare their students for the future. Therefore the chapter utilizes debates about employability as shorthand to encompass the variety of issues associated with this topic.

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