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 programme combines all the strengths of our three-year BA degree in Politics and International Relations with the opportunity to spend a year in North America at one of our partner institutions in Canada or the United States. A full list of our available partnerships is available on our Go Abroad pages.
You spend your first two years studying at Kent, you then spend your third year in North America, returning to Kent for your final year.
Studying abroad you develop your intercultural awareness and understanding and are introduced to a range of different academic and professional cultures.
At Kent, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules; however if you are keen to widen your field of interest, you can also choose to study modules from another school in the University.
It is also possible to study abroad at other destinations. For details, see:
Politics 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.
Politics and International Relations student Jon talks about his 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.
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.