Explore the complex way in which societies, states and cultures interact around the world. Our innovative lecturers provide expert insights into issues from human rights and feminism to war and security. Develop the skills so you can make a difference.
Experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts, and enhance your employability with your year abroad in either Canada or the United States.
Reasons to study Politics and International Relations with a year in North America at Kent
You’ll study a wide range of modules developed by our innovative lecturers, who advise governments around the world. Build your degree around your interests. You join the supportive and welcoming community on our Canterbury campus, set among green and tranquil open spaces, with access to the world-class resources of our Templeman Library. You can shape your degree outside of the classroom through our Politics and IR Society and Kent Model UN. These student-led societies host regular events, talks and debates with high-profile speakers, such as Jess Phillips MP, on tackling domestic violence.
What you’ll learn
You learn to explore the challenges facing the world, utilising the different concepts and approaches of political theory. You benefit from the expertise of staff who have advised governments and conducted conflict mediation exercises, deepening your understanding and developing solutions to a range of issues, from terrorism to the impact of the pandemic on politics, and political polarisation. Through the year abroad you gain added insight into North American politics and institutions.
See the modules you'll study
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.