Politics and International Relations for University Study - POLI0007

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 3 30 (15) Chris Henry checkmark-circle


Through this module, students will be given a broad introduction to the study of politics and international relations with particular emphasis on key debates within the discipline as well as contemporary events. Students will be introduced to the contested nature of politics before moving on to consider how political systems are formed, what major ideas are that drive them as well as the question of how we compare political systems. This will deepen into an examination of political ideologies as well as the role of the state and the nation. Furthermore, students will consider national government functions and how the decision making process works, and how this is being challenged by the process of globalisation. From globalisation, we will move to consider IR as an important aspect of the study of politics, looking at the key theoretical approaches (realism, liberalism) while relating this to contemporary events (war on terror, global economic changes). Students will also spend time studying international history in the twentieth century as an important background to contemporary events as well as a sustained examination of the politics or decolonisation and development. Lastly, the module will draw out some of the ethical questions which arise in international relations and give students an opportunity to debate and discuss them.


Contact hours

Autumn Start:
Total Contact Hours: 70
Private Study Hours: 230
Total Study Hours: 300

Spring Start:
Total Contact Hours: 100
Private Study Hours: 200
Total Study Hours: 300


Compulsory for:
BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year

Optional for:
Credit International Foundation Programme
LLB (Hons) Law with a Foundation Year
BSc (Hons) Psychology with a Foundation Year

Method of assessment

Assignment 1 (1000 words) (15%)
Online test (45 minutes) (15%)
Assignment 2 (1500 words) (25%)
Seminar participation (5%)
Online Examination, (2 hours) (40%)

alternative assessment in lieu of exam:
Written Assignment (1,500 words)

Reassessment Details:
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

Learning outcomes

Recognise some of the main debates and ethical issues in political studies and international relations (IR) studies.
Understand and critically assess a range of approaches to forming and classifying political systems.
Recognise some of the major classic and contemporary political ideologies.
Comprehend the significance of states, nations and nationalism for political studies.
Understand the concept of globalisation and how it impacts on domestic political systems.
Grasp the major theoretical approaches to IR and understand the boundaries and significance of IR within the study of politics.
Acknowledge key moments in twentieth century international history.
Demonstrate awareness of the significance of the politics of decolonisation and development as well as the relationship between global
north and global south in the contemporary world.
Demonstrate awareness of some of the key aspects of the machinery of government, including the legislature, executive and judiciary.

Develop their academic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
Develop their critical awareness, critical-thinking and analytical skills.
Improve their ability to speak in public and lead seminars.
Develop awareness of some of the norms, strictures and demands of subject specific seminars and lectures in a UK education context.
Gain an enhanced understanding of the importance of independent study within a UK higher education context.


  1. Credit level 3. Foundation level module taken in preparation for a degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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