International Relations Jobs: Employers in the UK

Disclosure: International Relations Careers may be compensated by course providers.

If you’re interested in working in international relations, there are a number of different employers you can consider in the UK. Here’s a look at some of the top options:

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is often referred to as a ‘family of nations’ of 54 independent and equal countries. The Commonwealth’s history goes back to the British Empire, but presently any country can join. The body deals with environment, trade and economy, democracy, government and law, and society and young people.

At the heart of the Commonwealth are 3 intergovernmental organizations- the Commonwealth Secretariat, which supports governments to achieve the Commonwealth’s aims, the Commonwealth Foundation, which supports people’s participation in development and democracy, and the Commonwealth of Learning, which promotes open learning and distance education. The Commonwealth accepts employees at their UK HQ for the Commonwealth Secretariat, on an international assignment with the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation or with one of their accredited organizations.

Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) is a department of the Government of the UK. They were established in 2020 through the merger of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.

They work to promote the interests of British citizens, defend their values, safeguard the UK’s security, reduce poverty and tackle global challenges together with international partners. FDCO employs around 17.300 staff worldwide in their development and diplomatic offices. They employ around a third of UK based civil servants and around two thirds of staff who are employed locally in other countries.

Delegation of the European Union to the UK

The Delegation of the (EU) to the UK was established following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU to promote the EU policies in the country. They are one of the 143 diplomatic representations of the EU around the world.

They report and analyze economic, social and political situation in the UK and help shape the future of UK and EU relations. Together with embassies of EU member states, they raise awareness on the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit. Delegation of the EU to the UK often posts available vacancies in area programs on their website.

UK Joint Delegation to NATO

The UK’s Joint Delegation to NATO acts as a catalyst between the UK government and NATO. Their primary role is to promote the UK’s interests in NATO and keep the UK government informed about NATO discussions.

The Delegation works to ensure that UK plays an important role in the North Atlantic Council, the Military Committee and many other NATO activities. Their daily work relies on the input of dedicated staff who engage on many different activities and topics. The Delegation seeks to employ candidates from a range of background who bring their own talents to the role.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is an international financial institution that uses investment to build market economies.

EBRD was established in 1991 to ‘’1991 to create a new post-Cold War era in central and eastern Europe’’. Today, they are working across three continents to advance progress to market-oriented economies and promote private and entrepreneurial initiative. EBRD employs staff in almost 40 countries and within a broad range of sectors.

The World Bank in UK

The UK is a major shareholder and an important partner in global efforts to reduce poverty. It was one of the founding members of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The World Bank in UK works to develop policies on various issues, such as education, health, conflict prevention and governance. Their goal is to ‘’enable millions in the poorest countries to be immunized, gain access to roads and clean water, and become teachers, among other benefits’’. World Bank  staff work with governments, civil society groups, the private sector and others in developing, helping people in all areas of development, from policy and strategic advice to the identification, preparation, appraisal and supervision of development projects.

Institute for Public Policy Research

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is a think tank based in London. They were established in 1998 and have offices in Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle.

IPPR’s goal is ‘’to maintain the momentum of progressive thought in the UK’’ by publishing researched and argued policy analysis, publications, and reports. Amongst other things, they engage with politicians, policymakers, and the public to trigger debate on the world politics. IPPR employs researchers and analysts coming from diverse areas and with range of perspectives. They also offer internship opportunities for students.

UK Delegation to the OSCE

The UK Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) works through the OSCE and 57 participating States to protect the country’s interests and values.

They work to improve military security and they contribute to the work of the OSCE in addressing conflicts taking place in the OSCE region. They also work on countering non-military threats such as organized crime and terrorism. The Delegation’s premises are located in Vienna, Austria, but staff is employed through the UK government. They welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.

Welsh Centre for International Affairs

The Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) is an international affairs and strategy think tank working on exchange of ideas on international issues. They were established in 1973 to connect Welsh citizens and organizations to the world. They are located in the Temple of Peace in Cardiff.

They inspire people to learn on global issues through three programs- global learning, global action and global partnerships. WCIA ‘’wants a worldwide Wales where everyone contributes to creating a fairer and more peaceful world’’. They employ a diverse team of staff with different background, from media to education.

Verification Research, Training and Information Center

The Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) was established in 1986 as an independent NGO to support the development, implementation and verification of international agreements and other regional and national initiatives.

They provide support through dissemination of information, research, and communication with the governmental and diplomatic institutions, as well as NGOs. VERTIC focuses their work on the development of application of monitoring, review, reporting, compliance and verification systems, and on national implementation measures. They offer jobs to professionals with background in international relations, international law, finance, and science and technology.