Your degree in International Relations

While studying International Relations, you’ll customize your degree when you combine the insights and perspectives of different disciplines such as economics, geography, public health, sociology, and political science with the study of languages. You’ll develop important skills to apply toward examining global citizenship. 

These skills may include:

  • Understand and critically reflect on one’s role as a citizen in the world 
  • Analytical skills necessary to critically assess the dynamics and history of international politics
  • Evaluating complex policies and pressing global issues such as conflict, the environment, and poverty
  • Examining problems and propose solutions considering multiple disciplines and perspectives
  • Research, interpretation of facts, and presentation of coherent arguments
  • Effective formulation of creative and innovative ways to conduct diplomacy in a world of limited resources considering multiple perspectives
  • Persuasive written communication that draws on a deep theoretical and practical understanding of global issues
  • Clear and concise public speaking and debating abilities that demonstrate critical thinking and carefully reasoned arguments

Explore career possibilities

Career opportunities vary widely across a range of fields including public and international affairs, foreign and public policy, business administration, law, journalism, consulting, education, and others.

There are many career paths that can combine your academics, skills, and experience with your different interests. See the job titles below for ideas, but note that some career options may require further education or training.

Visit the National Occupational Classification website to research basic requirements and responsibilities of jobs in your field.

Campaign manager

Charitable organization director

Communications manager

Community worker


Customs broker

Customs officer


Economic analyst

Economic development officer

Elections officer

Event planner

Financial planner

Foreign service officer

Government official

Human resources manager

Human rights officer

Immigration officer

Insurance agent

Intelligence analyst

Intelligence investigator

International development worker


Labour organizer

Labour relations mediator



Market analyst

Market researcher

Media relations manager

News analyst


Parliamentary assistant

Policy advisor

Political organizer

Political risk analyst 

Public affairs officer

Public opinion interviewer

Public relations specialist

Social policy researcher

Speech writer


Trade development director

Make the most of your program

Your experiences will open doors to new opportunities and help clarify understanding of your values and interests.

International Relations Students Association 
Meet other International Relations students through events and programs. 

Model United Nations Student Association at UBC
Collaborate with other students to propose resolutions to global issues through United Nations-style simulations.

Departmental research opportunities
Reach out directly to faculty members to ask about potential research positions.

UBC Journal of International Affairs 
Showcase your research by submitting papers to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Outside-In: International Photojournal
Contribute to UBC’s only peer and faculty reviewed student publication for photojournalism.

International Relations co-op success stories
Learn about the experiences of past and present co-op students from your program and others.

Volunteer and internship opportunities
Explore various resources to gain local and international experience.

Arts Co-op Program
Gain paid work experience in your area of study as part of your degree program.

Go Global
Learn more about international opportunities recommended by the International Relations Program.

Office of Regional and International Community Engagement
Connect with international community partners in a way that opens dialogue and aims to be mutually beneficial through asset-based community development practices.

European Union Study Tour and Internship Program
Apply in term 1 to visit major institutions and learn about the evolution and current issues of the European Union.

NATO Field School and Simulation Program
Dive into this experiential learning opportunity and gain course credit over the summer.

JET Programme
Get experience working abroad after graduation as a language teacher or international relations coordinator.

Canada Summer Jobs Program
Check out summer jobs for full-time students.

Federal Student Work Experience Program
Apply for government positions across Canada through this student recruitment initiative.

Government jobs
Access federal, provincial and municipal government job postings all through a single resource.

Government volunteer and internship positions
Discover local and international opportunities to prepare you for future employment.

Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations
Develop new skills and gain practical knowledge in a heritage field over the summer.

Parliamentary Internship Programme
Apply for an opportunity to shadow a Member of Parliament over 10 months (for new grads).

BC Legislative Internship Program
Assist a Member of the Legislative Assembly and observe the daily workings of the British Columbia Legislature (for new grads).

Ontario Legislature Internship Programme
Gain practical experience with the daily workings of the Ontario Legislature (for new grads).

Council of the Federation Youth Internship Program
Gain experience working in Canadian intergovernmental relations (for new grads).

Make connections

Employers often hire people they know, so help them get to know you! You can build your network through clubs, classes, informational interviews, and more. There are so many ways to make connections and find mentors. 

The professional associations below are also great resources for meeting people, learning about specific industries, and exploring job and volunteer opportunities. Most have reduced membership rates for students and new grads.

Connect with alumni on LinkedIn

More information

From your Arts degree, you’ll develop skills and experiences that can translate into many career paths. Check out other things you can do with your Arts degree.