Political Scientist

Research and Development

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Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

Political scientists study and analyse the ways in which governments and political systems are organised, and the relationship between government, society and the economy. They seek to resolve political problems through practical and theoretical means by offering advice to and commentary on the way in which governments operate. They research elections, laws, political groups, write reports on FutureGrowthModerate their findings, contribute to media discussion on politics, liaise with international government organisations, and provide advice to governments, politicians, non-government organisations (NGOs), and other groups and individuals with an interest and stake in the political system.



ANZSCO description: Political scientists study and analyse the ways in which governments and political systems are organised, and the relationship between government, society and the economy.

Alternative names: Political Researcher

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A political scientist needs:

  • an interest in politics and the government system

  • strong oral and written communication skills

  • the ability to stay up-to-date on current affairs

  • research, analysis and interpreting skills

  • planning and organisation skills

  • the ability to interpret statistics

Working Conditions

Political scientists work mostly in the offices of government departments, private research institutions, universities or non-profit organisations. They usually work regular business hours, but may be expected to work longer hours to ensure deadlines are met. Political scientists may be expected to travel to attend conferences or to research political systems or situations taking place interstate or internationally. Political scientists usually require direct access to those involved in the political system, such as parliamentarians, as well as to the media.

Tools and technologies

Political scientists use computers and other office equipment. They also refer to books about political theory, libraries, databases and archives, and research reports and policy documentation. They may use audio recording equipment to document their research, and media archives to find documented material that refers to their research topic.


Educational Requirements

To become a political scientist you usually need to complete a degree majoring in politics, political science or international relations.

Did You Know?

The Conversation 18 January 2018 states...


The Conversation

Read this article and discuss as a class.

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