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
The School of Politics and International Relations was among
the pioneers in the UK in developing a degree with a language. You focus on politics and international relations while also acquiring strong
Alongside modules covering areas such as conflict resolution, federalism, comparative politics and European integration, you study modules in the language of your choice. For the language component, you can choose from French, German, Italian and Spanish.
You spend your first and second year at Kent, moving to study in your chosen country in your third year, and returning to Kent for your final year of study. Spending a year abroad is a great way to develop your language skills and to increase your understanding of the politics and culture of the country you are studying in. A full list of our available partnerships is available on our Go Abroad pages.
Our programme helps you to think critically about political and international events, ideas and institutions.
You study in a supportive and responsive learning environment,
gaining knowledge and understanding of the theory and analysis of
politics and international relations.
We also offer you the opportunity to study in various locations in Europe where the teaching is in English. For details, see Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe. It is also possible to study abroad at other destinations. For details, see:
Politics and International Relations with a Year in North AmericaPolitics and International Relations with a Year in Continental EuropePolitics and International Relations with a Year in the Asia Pacific In addition, we offer a three-year Politics and International Relations programme
without a year abroad. For details, see Politics and International Relations.
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.
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 in the global arena
- 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 reliance of politics on knowledge from cognate 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.
- target language
- cultures and societies linked to target language.
You will develop intellectual skills in how to:
- gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources
- identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems
- develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
- reflect on, and manage, their own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback from peers and staff to enhance their performance and personal skills
- manage their own learning self-critically
- employ their understanding of different educational curricula and pedagogic methods in their own work
- integrate into a different educational, cultural, social, linguistic and, in some cases, professional environment.
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- understanding the nature and significance of politics as a human and global activity
- applying concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics and international relations to the analysis of political ideas, institutions, practices and issues in the global arena
- evaluating different interpretations of world political events and issues
- describing, evaluating and applying different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting political information
- building knowledge of competing approaches to theories and concepts of politics and international relations
- understanding the nature of political conflict between and within states
- reading, writing, listening and speaking in the target language
- ability to describe and analyse the main features of the language studied
- gaining knowledge and understanding of the cultures and societies where the language is used.
You develop transferable skills in how to:
- communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing
- use communication and information technology to retrieve and present information, including, where appropriate, statistical or numerical information
- work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management
- collaborate with others to achieve common goals
- communicate fluently and appropriately both orally and in writing in the target language.
This programme aims to:
- attract, and meet the needs of, those who wish to combine the study of Politics and International Relations in the United Kingdom with a year abroad (either studying at a university or gaining professional experience through a suitable internship in a field relevant to the study of Politics and International Relations)
- be compatible with widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes
- 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 of 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 enquiry in the discipline
- develop students’ capacities 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, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual enquiry and debate
- assist students in developing cognitive and transferable skills relevant to their vocational and personal development
- introduce students to different academic or professional cultures
- develop the ability to use the target language
- develop knowledge of the language
- develop knowledge of aspects of the cultures, communities and societies where the language is used
- develop intercultural awareness and understanding.