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.
Adding a quantitative research minor to your programme opens your mind to new ways of
thinking. Starting with no assumed statistical
knowledge, you graduate with an advanced package of practical
quantitative skills alongside subject-specific knowledge in politics and international relations.
Our degree programme
The BA Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research is carefully designed to take you from a basic level, with no assumed prior knowledge of quantitative methods, to a complete package of practical quantitative skills, all while gaining a thorough grounding in politics and international relations.
In the first year, you complete introductory quantitative modules, which teach you the methodological and technical foundations that you will build on in later years. You learn to think like a quantitative researcher, developing a critical eye for statistics and data analysis, both in academic research and the world around you.
In the second year, you move on to more advanced quantitative techniques, building on the foundations you have learnt in Stage 1, to develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods that is extremely rare in graduates from non-mathematical disciplines.
In your final year you choose either a dissertation with a quantitative research focus or (providing you achieve the required academic standard by the end of Stage 2) a placement module where you can put your skills into practice.
Workplace experience is highly valued by employers, and the placements offered through Kent see students completing meaningful, applied quantitative analysis for businesses and organisations across a range of sectors, giving you the opportunity to add concrete workplace achievements to your CV.
Politics and International Relations wit Quantitative Research student Nicole talks about her course at Kent.
Facilities and resources to support the study of Politics and International Relations include:
access to the European Documentation Centre a dedicated Student Support Officer, who advises on issues related to academic study as well as wider University life a Study Skills Officer, who provides subject-related guidance.
The Q-Step centre boasts a team of world-class quantitative researchers, and innovative technology-based teaching methods. Our Placement Officer provides one-to-one support in arranging your placement if you choose this option in Stage 3. Please see www.kent.ac.uk/qstep for more information.
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.
The main teaching methods for Politics and International Relations modules 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.
For Quantitative Research modules, in addition to learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, project supervision and statistics classes, students can carry out hands-on research in the ‘field’ through placements and field trips. Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the nature and significance of politics as a human activity
- the concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics and international relations
- the analysis of political ideas, institutions, practices and issues in the global arena, relative to the historical and contemporary context
- how to evaluate different interpretations of world political events and issues
- how to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of differing political systems; the nature and distribution of power in them; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts within which they operate; and the relationship between them
- the political significance of multiple polities coexisting and of political boundary-drawing and transforming practices
- demonstration of the origins, evolution and contemporary dynamics of the international system and the challenges to it
- the strengths and weaknesses of statistical techniques applied to the study of social and political issues
- qualitative and quantitative methods and their application to the analysis of complex political problems
- how to identify principal sources of information and data relevant to Politics and International Relations.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- gathering, organising and deploying evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources
- identifying, investigating, analysing, formulating and advocating solutions to problems
- constructing a reasoned argument, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement
- reflecting on your own learning and seeking and making use of constructive feedback from peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
- managing your own learning self-critically
- recognising the importance of explicit referencing and the ethical requirements of study which requires critical and reflective use of information and communications technology in the learning process
- quantitative analytical methods: including advanced methods in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data across relevant disciplines.
On graduating in this programme students will be able to:
- demonstrate a familiarity and engage critically with the nature and significance of politics and international relations, including definitions of the boundaries of the political; the contested nature of knowledge and understanding; approaches to the study of politics and international relations; a range of key concepts, theories and methods employed in the study of politics and international relations; and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches
- engage critically with politics (including international politics) and political phenomena, including the normative and positive foundations of political ideas; the vocabulary of political debate; the structure and operation of different (international) political systems; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts of political behaviour; and the factors accounting for political change
- apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, actors, institutions and behaviour
- examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
- handle and interpret quantitative evidence in differing intellectual contexts
- construct arguments within politics and international relations using quantitative empirical evidence.
Graduates in this programme will be able to:
- communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing
- use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical or numerical information
- work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management
- collaborate with others to achieve common goals
- critically analyse and disseminate information
- utilise intercultural skills/global awareness
- use advanced statistical methods for analysing and presenting statistical data in diverse real-world settings
- use IT and software to word-process, store, retrieve and analyse quantitative data and conduct various forms of computer-based analyses.
This programme aims to:
- place questions of political and international order and decision-making at the centre of social-scientific analysis
- ensure that students of politics and international relations acquire knowledge and understanding in political and international relations theory and analysis in a supportive and responsive learning environment
- enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches and methods of politics and international relations and develop an understanding of their contested nature and the problematic character of inquiry in the discipline
- develop students’ capacities to think critically about political and international 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, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual enquiry and debate
- assist students to develop cognitive and transferable skills relevant to their vocational and personal development
- provide students with the statistical and analytical tools to independently and successfully conduct advanced quantitative research
- help students make persuasive arguments using quantitative research, and to critically assess the arguments made by others in the course of social life
- help students link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry, so that they understand how to conduct and critique social research in the real world
- produce graduates with analytical and knowledge-based skills relevant to employment in the professions, academia, public sector and private sector.