Exterior shot of Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Programs of study

Student resources and opportunities

As a political studies student, you can take advantage of opportunities and supports.

Undergraduate Political Studies Students' Association (UPSSA)

The UPSSA provides students with a common interest in political studies the opportunity to engage and participate in the growth and development of the community through talks, student representation and games nights.

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Explore your career options in political studies

Training in political studies is valuable no matter what career you eventually pursue since politics is as pervasive within society as the air we breathe. A political studies background will also enhance your competence and skill for political participation. Greater awareness of the political process will mean a greater sense of personal involvement and more willingness to accept the responsibilities of democratic citizenship.

Political studies will improve your research and analytical skills and your ability to express your ideas orally and in writing. These are valuable assets for many jobs. Many worthwhile careers are open to a political studies graduate, though it should be stated that further training is often required.

Specialization in Canadian government and politics is good preparation for a career in the public service at the federal, provincial or municipal level. Students who wish to prepare for a career within the Department of External Affairs or the United Nations and its agencies would specialize in international relations.

An academic or teaching career is another option. High schools are beginning to offer politics courses and community college training in political studies has grown in recent years. In order to teach at the university level you would need a graduate degree.

Other career possibilities include law, where familiarity with the legislative process and government structures is valuable; journalism; certain posts in private industries and executive assistant posts to practicing politicians.

Use this guide to map out your career pathway from the start of your academic journey. Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

View the Political Studies Career Compass

Undergraduate research awards (URA)

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with our leading faculty researchers and gain valuable experience.

Hannah Guenther-Wexler didn’t let a lack of in-person research activities dampen her enthusiasm as she searched newspapers, periodicals and archival collections for pieces of Manitoba history.

The third-year political studies student in the Faculty of Arts was a 2021 Undergraduate Research Award (URA) recipient and worked under the supervision of Dr. Julia Smith, an assistant professor in labour studies. Together, their research shed light on the importance of strike action in advancing gender equality in the workplace.

In 2021, political studies URA students, Connor Giesbrecht and Elizabeth St. John, interviewed Manitoba MLA's as part of their summer research. COVID-19 was a frequent topic of conversation. 

Learn more and apply for a UM URA

Research

Our faculty participate in a wide-range of research activities including a number of centres and groups affiliated with the Department of Political Studies.

  • Susan Prentice.
  • Duff Roblin Professor of Government

    The Duff Roblin Professor of Government, established in 1996, enhances the study of Canadian and particularly Manitoba government and public affairs. 

    Susan Prentice, Professor of Sociology and a former Margaret Laurence Chair in Women’s and Gender Studies, was named to the Duff Robin Professorship in 2020. 

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    Past professors include:

    • Dr. Barry Ferguson (2014-20)
    • Dr. Richard Sigurdson (2011-12) 
    • Donna Miller, QC (2010-11)
    • Dr. Paul G. Thomas (2000-10)

Duff Roblin Fellowship

This program was established in 1996 with a generous endowment from the Hon. Duff Roblin, PC, CC, OM. His intention was to enhance the study of Canadian government and public affairs through course offerings, research and outreach and to aid the educational development of younger scholars through the Duff Roblin Graduate Fellowship program, which is overseen by the Duff Roblin professor. Three fellowships are available.

For more information, visit Duff Roblin Political Studies Fellowship.

Manitoba Chair of Global Governance Studies (MCGGS)

The Manitoba Chair of Global Governance Studies (MCGGS) works to help promote understanding and awareness of ongoing developments in the field of global governance. It is a joint program between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.

MCGGS funding details and application instructions

The study of global governance covers, but is not limited to, many issues and areas, including reforming the United Nations, especially the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the Secretariat; strengthening international law, especially human rights and humanitarian law, and international courts, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court; human security; global civil society and citizenship; globalization of city governance and citizens’ movement in transforming global politics. Issues related to global governance can be studied from different theoretical perspectives. The aim is to stimulate debate and promote dialogue among scholars and practitioners in this field of study.

The MCGGS’s role is to help promote understanding and awareness of ongoing developments in the field of global governance, keeping in mind that global governance is not the same as global rule or world government. The Manitoba Chair is aimed at fostering knowledge both within the academic communities of students and faculty at both universities but is also aimed at reaching out to communities in Winnipeg and Manitoba. 

Funding is available to students or faculty members to support lectures, conferences, conference papers and other such academic endeavours that speak to the themes of global governance. Persons or groups at Manitoba universities and members of Manitoba communities are invited to apply. 

To apply, provide the following, with a maximum of four pages to Dr. Bryan Peeler, MCGGS board chair at bryan.peeler@umanitoba.ca:

  • a brief summary of the event or initiative,
  • an explanation of how the event/initiative involves global governance or international relations,
  • a budget outlining expected spending including additional sources of funding.

The Paul Buteux Memorial Lecture

This annual lecture brings together students, academics, the media and practitioners to discuss new research in the areas of international relations.

The Arctic is Hot: Needed Infrastructure for Canada's Arctic
Ms. Madeleine Redfern

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. CST
Location: Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg

Register for tickets to The Paul Buteux Lecture

More about Ms. Madeleine Redfern

Madeleine Redfern is an Indigenous woman (Inuk) involved in high-tech and innovation. She is actively involved in transformative technologies in telecommunications, transportation and energy.

Currently Madeleine is the Chief Operating Officer to CanArctic Inuit Networks Inc., President of President of Ajungi Consulting Group; Chair of Nunavut Legal Services Board; Advisor to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp., Member of the National Indigenous Working Group on Small Modular Reactors, Member of the Canadian Arctic Innovation Association, Trudeau Foundation Board Member (former Trudeau Foundation Mentor); Co-Chair with Gordon Munk Arctic Security Program and Amautiit: Nunavut Inuit Women’s Association. Madeleine is from Iqaluit, Nunavut and a graduate of the Akitsiraq Law School with an LLB from the University of Victoria. She was the first Inuk to be given a Supreme Court of Canada clerkship.

As a businesswoman and a strong social advocate for transformative initiatives, Madeleine has a great deal of governance and volunteer experience with Indigenous and Inuit organizations, including, but not limited to, Inuit Non-Profit Housing Corporation; Tungasuvvingat Inuit Community Centre, and one of the founding members of Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre and Inuit Head Start in Ottawa. Madeleine was also the executive director of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, a commission that reviewed the “effects of federal government policies on Eastern Arctic Inuit” between the 1950s and 1980s.

Madeleine's advocacy, professional, and governance work shown my dedication and passion towards the development and delivery of programs assisting Indigenous, Inuit, northerners and Canadians that reflect their values, needs, and priorities. Madeleine received the Indspire Award for Public Service to acknowledge and celebrate all her hard work, commitment and contribution.

History of the Paul Buteux Memorial Lecture

Dr. Paul Buteux was an integral part of the UM community for over forty-five years. As a professor of International Relations, he was the leading Canadian scholar on nuclear weapons, nuclear deterrence, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Dr. Buteux was committed to academic excellence, education, and public debate on defence and security issues. He established the Centre for Defence and Security Studies in 1992, and served as its first director preceding Dr. James Fergusson and Dr. Andrea Charron. Through his efforts and initiative, the Centre established UM as a leading voice on international, strategic and Canadian defence issues. 


Dr. Buteux was a favourite among students because he was an outstanding teacher and mentor. Thanks to his commitment, many of his students have gone on to successful careers in academia, the private sector and government. Additionally, Dr. Buteux created the annual J.W. Dafoe Political Studies Students’ Conference in 1985— the longest standing student conference of its kind in Canada. His purpose was to provide valuable experience to students in organizing an international conference and exposing them to the leading national and international scholars and policy-makers. 


Dr. Buteux’s commitment to bringing together students, academics, the media, and practitioners to discuss new research continues with the Paul Buteux Memorial Lecture. 
 

Past speakers

2022 - Dr. Valerie Oosterveld, Professor of Law, Western University

2021 - Asst Commissioner Jane McClatchy, RCMP - "D" Division

2020 - Andrew Parkin, Environics Institute 

2019 - Dr. Tim Cook, Military Historian

2018 - Kent Roach, Wilson-Prichard Chair in Law and Public Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

2017 - Mr. Paul Wells, Journalist

 

 

 

Contact us

Department of Political Studies
532 Fletcher Argue Building
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V5 Canada

204-474-9733
204-474-7585