The School of Politics and International Relations is an exciting
place to study - you receive high-quality teaching informed by
cutting-edge research on a range of political issues, such as
ethno-political conflict, human rights, feminism, social theories of
justice, divided societies, and US and European politics.
At Kent, you are taught by people who have advised government
departments or have conducted international conflict mediation
exercises. They bring this experience to their teaching, giving you the
opportunity to see how theoretical ideas apply in the real world.
Many of our lecturers have also won teaching awards for their innovative teaching practices.
Our degree programme
This very popular programme combines all the strengths of our three-year BA degree in Politics and International Relations with the opportunity to spend a year in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore or Taiwan. A full list of our available partnerships is available on our Go Abroad pages.
You spend your first and second years at Kent, you then spend your third year in your chosen country, returning to Kent for your final year. You are taught in English throughout, which allows you to take advantage of the year abroad experience without having to be fluent in the language of the country where you intend to study.
While at Kent, you follow the existing programme of the BA in Politics and International Relations as well as take specific modules tailored to the country where you intend to study. If you spend a year in Japan, you take modules on the Politics of Japan and study Japanese to a basic level. If you spend a year in China/Hong Kong, Singapore or Taiwan, you take modules on the Politics of China. In China or Taiwan, you also study Mandarin to a basic level.
Our programme helps you to think critically about political and international events, ideas and institutions.
In addition, we offer a three-year Politics and International Relations programme without a year abroad. For details, see Politics and International Relations.
Politics and International Relations student David talks about his course at Kent.
At Kent, there are many student societies related to your studies, for example:
Current Affairs and Politics Society Kent European Debates Society Debating Society Kent Model United Nations Society.
You are also encouraged to get involved in the programme of events
and activities run by the School of Politics and International
Relations, which focuses on bridging the gap between academic study and
real-life politics. Our Public Speaker Programme features prominent academics and
practitioners, who are invited to speak on current issues.
Our main teaching methods are lectures, seminars, working groups, PC laboratory sessions and individual discussions with your personal tutor or module teachers. Assessment is through continuous feedback, written examinations, assessed essays and oral presentations.
Politics Open Forum
We hold a weekly extra-curricular Open Forum organised by our School research groups, where students and staff have the opportunity to discuss and debate key issues of the day that affect higher education and politics in the world today.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- key concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics and international relations and their application to the analysis of political ideas, institutions, practices and issues
- the structure, institutions and operation of different political systems
- the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts of political institutions and behaviour
- the political dynamics of interaction between people, events, ideas and institutions
- factors accounting for political change
- the contestable nature of many concepts and different approaches to the study of politics and international relations
- the normative and positive foundations of political ideas
- the intersection of politics with related disciplines
- the nature and significance of politics as a global activity
- the origins and evolution of the international political system, including contemporary changes underway
- different interpretations of world political events and issues.
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
- gather, organise and deploy information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
- identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems
- develop reasoned arguments, synthesise information and exercise critical judgement
- reflect on and manage your own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback to enhance your performance
- employ an understanding of different educational curricula and teaching methods in your own work
- integrate into a different educational, cultural, social and, in some cases, linguistic and/or professional environment.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- understanding the nature and significance of politics as a human activity
- the application of concepts, theories and methods in the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices in the global arena
- how to evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
- the ability to describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting political information
- understanding the competing approaches to theories of politics and international relations
- the nature of political conflict between and within states.
You develop transferable skills in how to:
- communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing
- use communication and IT for the retrieval and presentation of information, including statistical or numerical data
- work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management
- collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
The programme aims to:
- allow our students to study politics and international relations in the UK and take a year abroad (either studying at a university or gaining professional experience through an internship)
- place questions of political and international order and decision-making at the centre of social-scientific analysis
- ensure that students gain an understanding of political and international relations theory in a supportive learning environment
- enable students to grasp political concepts and methods and understand their contested nature
- develop students' abilities to think critically about political events, ideas and institutions
- encourage students to relate the academic study of politics and international relations to questions of public concern
- provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and a research culture that promotes wide-ranging intellectual enquiry and debate
- enable students to develop skills relevant to their vocational and personal development
- introduce students to different academic or professional cultures.