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Postgraduate Courses 2016

European and Global Governance - PDip, MA



The European Union (EU) profoundly shapes the way politics and democracy work in Europe and is an influential actor on the international stage.

The European and Global Governance programme is designed to provide an advanced understanding of the EU to those willing to deepen their knowledge and to prepare for a wide range of careers in European affairs. It draws from modules in politics, international relations, law and sociology, and focuses on the constitutional design, the process of decision-making, public policy, and the role of the EU in the world. 

The programme blends academic analysis and practical application, making the study of the EU relevant to the challenges the enlarged EU faces in the 21st century. The School is a prominent centre for studies on Europe and it hosts the Global Europe Centre and the Centre for Federal Studies, a leading international research centre.

About the School of Politics and International Relations

The School of Politics and International Relations is one of the most dynamic places to study Politics and International Relations. We combine high-quality teaching with cutting-edge research in a supportive environment that welcomes students from all over the world.

All lectures and seminars on postgraduate modules are informed by the latest research and scholarship, and are delivered by full-time academic staff who have internationally recognised expertise in their field.

The School has grown significantly in the last few years and now has over 30 academic staff based at two locations, in Canterbury and Brussels. The School is cosmopolitan, with staff originating from eight different countries, and well over half of all postgraduate students come from outside the UK.

We pride ourselves on our global outlook, which is reflected in the wide range of international partnerships. We are the only politics and international relations school in the country with a postgraduate centre in Brussels, which allows students on some of our programmes to follow part, or their entire, programme in Brussels.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Politics and International Relations was ranked 15th for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research impact.

An impressive 96% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

Course structure

Full-time students complete the MA in European and Global Governance – worth 180 Kent credits (90 ECTS credits) – over twelve months. Study is divided between taught modules, which last for one term each, and dissertation work.

For full-time students, a total of six modules must be taken over the first two terms. Supervised dissertation work, on a relevant agreed subject, is then undertaken during the remainder of the academic year.

Full-time students complete the PDip in European and Global Governance – worth 120 Kent credits (60 ECTS credits) – over seven months. The PDip comprises six taught modules only – i.e. without a dissertation.

Both the MA and the PDip can be taken on a part-time basis, typically over two years but flexible arrangements are also possible. When taking it over two years, part-time students choose three modules in each academic year, and – in the case of the MA – write a supervised dissertation thereafter.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

PO825 - Philosophy & Methodology of Politics and International Relations (20 credits)

Students of politics ‘have not been, in general, sufficiently reflective about the nature and scope of their discipline. They just do it rather than talk about it'’ (G.Stoker). Given that political scientists study people – individuals, groups, states, nations, cultures – rather than ‘things’, PO825 moves from the assumption that politics students ought to be reflective about their research. The module aims to provide an opportunity for reflection by presenting some of the key theoretical and methodological debates in politics and international relations. These debates deal with issues such as: the concept of ‘the political’ and the concept of power; the relationship between structure and agency; the causal and constitutive role of ideas and discourse; positivism and post-positivism; critical theory, emancipation, and the importance of normative questions; an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research, to research design and research ethics.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO950 - The Governance of the European Union (20 credits)

The aim of the module is offer an advanced understanding of the functioning of the European Union as a system of supra-national governance. It is divided into two main parts. The first part focusses on the key institutions involved in the governance process and analyses the nature and functioning of each of them as well as the interaction among them from a theoretical, empirical and normative perspective. The second part focusses on the system’s ‘outputs’ in terms of public policy, with particular attention paid to the fields of market regulation, monetary union, justice and home affairs, and enlargement. The module ends with a debate on the effectiveness and the legitimacy of the European Union as a system of supra-national governance and on how it should be reformed to maximise those aspects.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO953 - Understanding Political Institutions (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of central questions in comparative politics. Students will examine questions that have been of enduring interest to comparative political scientists including the origins and influence of the state, the causes and consequences of authoritarian and democratic forms of government and variations within these regime types for governmental performance including the operation and function of key political institutions. As students engage with these questions they will also be introduced to theoretical, conceptual and methodological questions and debates within comparative politics and will explore the interaction between economic, social, historical, political and institutional factors in explaining similarities and differences in the political development of nations.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO917 - Terrorism and Crimes of the State (20 credits)

The purpose of the module is to develop an understanding of the complex relationships between terrorism, counter-terrorism efforts, and human rights, both at home and abroad. Central to the module is the role of the state in responding to terrorism, in attempting to prevent terrorism, and in itself using and sponsoring terrorism. In this regard students are encouraged to re-evaluate assumptions about the state and its place in domestic and international politics, focusing particularly on crimes by the state. Students will be introduced to competing approaches to the study of terrorism, many of which are grounded in wider theories and approaches common to International Relations and Security Studies. One of the challenges of the module is to think critically about the implications and consequences of those various approaches. The module will begin by looking at the various methodological, theoretical, and definitional challenges associated with the study of terrorism. Building on this grounding, students will then begin analysing terrorism, counter-terrorism and the role of the state through a number of case studies drawn from the 20th and early 21st Centuries. They will be encouraged to relate each of the case studies to the broader methodological and theoretical debates explored in the first few weeks of the module.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO824 - International Relations Theory (20 credits)

Whenever we make a statement about international affairs, we rely on certain (often implicit) theoretical assumptions: about power, interests, identities, norms and how they relate to the behaviour of international actors. Whether we like it or not, we are ‘doomed’ to rely on theories. The starting-point of this course is not that theories are the only possible and all-encompassing approach to the study of international affairs, but that they are helpful to understand, compare and critically evaluate interpretations of international issues: if we all use theoretical assumptions, we better make them explicit and understood, to make sure what exactly we are claiming.

International Relations theories are not approached as strict categories with clear boundaries, but rather as a continuously evolving debate. The course does not attempt to give an encyclopedic overview of all theories of International Relations, but rather to confront different views. The main objective is to understand the core differences between different theoretical approaches.

The course starts by discussing the nature of theorizing in international relations, pointing out how ‘theories do not simply explain or predict, they tell us what possibilities exist for human action and intervention, they define not merely our explanatory possibilities, but also our ethical and practical horizons (Smith, 1996: 113). Some of the core dividing lines underlying theoretical debates (explaining/understanding, positivism/post-positivism, rationalism/constructivism, etc.) are also introduced..

After that, different theories are studied in depth.

The course proceeds through successive phases of IR theory. The first phase, that of liberal internationalism (also referred to as ‘inter-war idealism’ emerged in the aftermath of WW1. We will engage with the leading authors of that tradition and find in their works the foundations of our modern world: international law, economic interdependence and international organization. In the third week we turn to the second phase of IR Theory, ‘classical’ Realism, who responded to the failure of inter-war idealism by reasserting the nature of the political in IR as being predicated on clashing interests. The English School, who focus on the idea of International Society, are the focus of the fourth week. In week 5 and 6 we move to the first epistemological break in IR, with both Neorealism and Neoliberalism breaking decisively away from the ‘classical approach’ championed by Hedley Bull. Running in parallel with ‘mainstream’ IR, Marxist theorists were also developing Methods designed to adapt and apply Marxism to global politics, their work is examined in week 7. In week 8 we encounter another epistemological break: this time between positivism and post-positivism, a debate about the nature and limits of theory that continues to shape the discipline. In week 9, Critical Theory’s focus on human emancipation is brought to the fore. In week 10, the leading challenger to Neorealism and Neoliberalism, social constructivism, will be examined. In week 11, the classes will revolve around two major ethical positions in IR, cosmopolitanism and Realism. The course will conclude in week 12 with a revision session.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO937 - Resistance in Theory (20 credits)

This module will address the relationship between theories and practices of resistance from the perspective of theory. As such, it will focus on specific ideas and models that conceptualise and theorise resistance to political authority with a view to examining the following: the philosophical and political bases of resistance; the presuppositions that underpin theories of resistance; the appeal to alternative ideas and arrangements; the tensions and possible contradictions that characterise such theories.

There are two dimensions to this module. First of all, the theme of resistance will be explored in the history of political ideas, from Plato via patristic, medieval and modern thinkers to contemporary writings such as those of Alain Badiou. Secondly, the theme of resistance will be related to different conceptions of the political and rival accounts of alternative arrangements to the prevailing order. As such, this module provides a strong grounding in theories of resistance that prepares students for the second core module on practices of resistance.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO832 - Conflict Resolution in World Politics (20 credits)

The module aims to introduce current thinking and practice in the field on conflict resolution, conflict management and conflict transformation, including conflict prevention and peace-building. Can protracted violent conflicts be prevented, and how are they brought to an end? Is it possible to deal with the root causes of conflict? How do the wider conflicts in the international system impact on local and regional conflicts, and under what circumstances are conflicts transformed? We will explore these questions with reference to theories of conflict resolution, comparative studies and case studies. The module will focus mainly on international and intra-state conflict. There will be opportunities to discuss conflicts at other levels, such as the role of diasporas and the media in conflict and its transformation. You are encouraged to draw on your own personal knowledge of conflict situations.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW815 - EU Constitutional and Institutional Law (20 credits)

This module focuses on the foundational rules, principles and doctrines underpinning the constitutional and institutional legal framework of the European Union. Against the backdrop of Brexit, financial turbulence within the Eurozone and the recent structural reforms to the Union introduced by the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, this core area of EU law has gained heightened political and legal significance in the context of on-going debates on the nature and extent of European legal integration.

The following specific topics will be considered in this module: the respective roles, competencies and powers of the EU's main political and judicial institutions; foundational legal principles underpinning the EU's legal framework including direct effect and supremacy of Union law; the relationship between the EU’s Court of Justice and national courts of the Member States; enforcement mechanisms of EU law; human rights in EU law and the impact of EU Citizenship. In addition, at the end of the module students will have an opportunity to take stock and appraise the 'constitutional’ nature and impact of the Union.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW852 - European Union Environmental Law and Policy (20 credits)

This module provides an overview of the policy and legislation of the European Union in relation to the environment and ecological protection, with particular sectors considered in more detail in other environmental modules. The overall purpose of the module is to appreciate the significance of European Union law as a system of regional international law seeking to harmonize the national laws of the Member States according to common principles of environmental regulation. An initial focus is upon foundational issues including the nature of the European Union, basic principles of European Union environmental policy and law, and problematic issues such as the tension between free trade and environmental protection. Attention is also given to particular examples of environmental measures, with some discussion of how these are implemented in national law. Finally, discussion is provided as to recent and forthcoming developments at European Union level, including critical issues of participation, implementation and enforcement, at European Union and national levels.

Topics covered

• introductory session: a scan of the module

• the evolution of European Union environmental competence

• fundamental environmental objectives of the European Union

• the basis for substantive environmental legislation

• reconciling environmental protection and trade

• substantive European Union legislation on waste regulation

• environmental information and participation

• alternative strategies in environmental regulation

• the implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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LW916 - European Union International Relations Law (20 credits)

This module explores the external relations law of the European Union with third countries and international organisations. This is an increasingly important area given that the EU has evolved into the largest regional trading and political bloc on the world stage. Having focused initially on developing a common trading policy with the international community, since the early 1990s the EU has steadily broadened the range of its powers to be able to engage in political as well as military issues on the international scene. A significant milestone was the formal establishment of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. More recently, the Lisbon Treaty 2007 further enhanced the EU's role in foreign affairs through a series of institutional changes and innovations, notably including the introduction of the 'External Action Service’, which is the EU counterpart to national diplomatic services, and the Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The module will critically explore the following aspects in particular:

1. The institutional and core legal framework of EU external relations law, including the division of competences between the EU and the Member States, the impact of human rights in EU external relations and the expansion of the EU powers over time;

2. Selected specific policy areas, such as the Common Commercial Policy, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the external dimension to EU environmental policy, along with their different (and sometimes conflicting) objectives and underlying political perspectives.

The module will also foster a contextual, interdisciplinary and critical approach to studying the subject, with reference to political science literature on the effects of EU external policies.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO8100 - Quantitative Methodology for Political Science (20 credits)

This course is designed for graduate students in Political Science and will serve as an introduction to quantitative methods for social science research. Given that the majority of the highest level research in Political Science is conducted in the language of quantitative methodology, students will learn the use of quantitative research methods as a tool to further their research and participation in debates of the social sciences. Students can further expect to be introduced to not only the means for conducting rigorous, empirical, and quantitative research in social science fields but also how this methodology adheres to the scientific accumulation of knowledge about these phenomena. The course is intended to develop core competencies in quantitative research. These competencies include methodological literacy (the ability to read, understand, and critically assess quantitative research); statistical abilities (the ability to determine, apply, and use the appropriate statistical techniques to inform and/or support an argument as well as understand the limitations of statistical techniques); and research skills (the ability to use and present quantitative methodology to address a research question).

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO8101 - Comparative Political Behaviour (20 credits)

The module introduces students to some of the core issues in the field of comparative political behaviour, one of the largest groupings within the field of comparative politics. The module begins by considering some of the basic theoretical issues involved in studying political behaviour. It then moves on to consider explanations for the two most significant issues within the field of comparative political behaviour, namely voting patterns and political participation. Within these blocks, the module includes discussion on various policy-relevant issues. The module then moves on to consider wider issues around political behaviour, notably the nature of public opinion and political representation.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO817 - Resistance and Alternatives to Capitalism andDemocracy (20 credits)

This module is situated at the interface of political theory and political economy. It seeks to explore the complex and multi-faceted links between democracy and capitalism in the period from 1848 to the present day. The particular focus is on relations between the state and the market as well as the evolution of different democratic regimes and market economies. Similar emphasis will be on conceptual issues and empirical evidence (though no statistical or econometric skills will be required).

The first part of the module examines the formation of ‘market-states’, beginning with a critical discussion of this concept in recent scholarship. This will be the starting point for a wider engagement with Smithian, Marxist, Keynesian and neo-liberal accounts. The focus will be on those who theorise the conditions for the convergence of state and market, including Smith, Marx, Keynes and Friedman but also some contemporary theorists. Emphasis will be on strategies of resistance and alternatives to capitalism (e.g. Karl Polanyi, Catholic Social Teaching, civil economy).

The second part turns to the evolution of democracy in relation to capitalism. A brief survey of the recent post-democracy literature will be followed by a discussion of key concepts. Examples include the work of the Frankfurt School on capitalism and democracy as ‘‘quasi-religions’’ and various arguments that formal democratic representation and abstract capitalist exchange engender a ‘‘society of spectacle’’. Just as the first part focuses on the state and the market, so the second part puts emphasis on the interaction between the politics of democracy and the economics of capitalism.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO848 - Negotiation and Mediation (20 credits)

The course provides an overview and framework for considering the evolving field of international conflict resolution with an emphasis on negotiation and mediation. The module will focus primarily on the practical as well as on the theoretical aspects of negotiation and mediation, or more broadly third party intervention in conflicts. Its aims are to give the students an overview of the main problems involved in negotiation and mediation (broadly defined), but also to give them a chance to work individually and in groups on case studies and material related to the resolution of conflicts. The course is designed to introduce the students to theories of negotiation and bargaining, discuss the applicability of various tools and techniques in problem solving real cases of international conflict, and allow them to make use of such techniques in role playing and simulations.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO916 - Security in a Changing World (20 credits)

This module focuses on the evolution of security studies as a discipline and its implications for practice. We examine a variety of theoretical and empirical materials that provide students with the basis for analysing pressing questions related to issues of war, security and peace in the world today. This module thus provides a good grounding for understanding contemporary security challenges (such as the environmental degradation, conflict, gender-based insecurity, terrorism, mass surveillance and arms proliferation among others) and our responses to them. It will engage with debates around the ‘broadening’ and ‘deepening’ agenda of security studies, which has extended the scope of security studies beyond the nation-state, and the role of new security actors.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO828 - Theories of Conflict and Violence (20 credits)

This module will examine how conflict research has evolved within the field of political science and International Relations. It will initially investigate competing theories on conflict and violence highlighting specific case studies and new security concerns. The theoretical reflections will focus on the understanding of modern nationalism in world politics as well as different aspects of conflict ranging from inter-state to intra-state conflict. Moreover, students will be exposed to a detailed and critical analysis of the political and constitutional options in societies beset by violent ethnic conflict, with particular emphasis being given to mechanisms directed at the achievement of political accommodation.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO936 - Resistance in Practice (20 credits)

This module will look at how ideas of resistance are translated into political action. What are the modalities, costs and consequences of this process? We will look at specific instances of resistance to political authority and examine the techniques of resistance employed, the assumptions that underpin these techniques, and the tensions and problems that arise as ideas are actualised in political reality. Studying historical examples of resistance will help us reflect on the complex relationship between theory and practice in political reality.

As part of the Resistance in Practice module, students can choose between submitting an academic essay on a historical instance of resistance and performing a practice of resistance. We envision that such practices of resistance could involve poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture, video, film, photography, music and other forms of artistic expression. The practice has to be a documented practice, which means that students have to submit not just the performance but also a portfolio in which they reflect on what they did and why. Early on in the module, students interested in submitting a documented practice for assessment discuss their ideas with the module convenor, and they will continue to work on their projects with the help of a supervisor.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO951 - States, Nations and Democracy (20 credits)

The module draws from comparative politics, international relations, and political thought to analyse the past, present, and future of the democratic national state, the dominant form of political system in today’s world. It addresses questions such as: Why are some states federal and others unitary? What explains the resilience of nationalism? Does economic integration leads to political disintegration? Why has regional integration gone much further in Europe than elsewhere? Is multi-national democracy possible? The module first charts the emergence of the modern state and its transformation into a national and democratic form of political system. Subsequently, it explores some key aspects of the formation, structuring, restructuring, and termination of states such as the unitary/federal dichotomy, processes of devolution, the challenge of secession, the question of the connections between the economic environment and the number and size of states, the phenomenon of supra-state regional integration, and the connections between nationality and democracy. It concludes by assessing the challenges facing the democratic national state in the 21st century and their likely trajectory in the foreseeable future.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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PO998 - Dissertation:Politics (60 credits)

This module is for students on Politics and International Relations MA courses. It offers introduction into writing a postgraduate dissertation, which forms a major assessed element of a Master's course. The dissertation, 14,000-words long, must be on a topic approved by a module convenor, and relevant to the MA programme, for which the individual student is registered. It is conceived as that part of the degree programme where students have considerable leeway to follow their own particular interests with guidance from staff. Supervision of work on the dissertation is concentrated in the second half of the academic year. The module offers a general overview of the dissertation components, and techniques of writing a successful workpiece.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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PO831 - The European Union in the World (20 credits)

This module focuses on the position of Europe and the EU in particular - what it does and how it does it - in the world, through the perceptions of the other. The first challenge of this broad approach is to tackle the question ‘what is Europe?’, by way of situating Europe between the regional and global change, and understanding its multifaceted, multi-actor and multi-level environment and associated with it challenges, in the increasingly inter-dependent and inter-polar world. As part of the exercise we will focus more specifically on EU actorness reiterated through the changing modes of governance – from disciplinary and hierarchical, to more adaptable and from a distance – and democracy promotion policies, to understand how it behaves vis-à-vis the outside world. Premised on this, we will examine EU actorness in practical terms by referring to EU interactions with ‘the other’ – from the neighbourhood, BRICS, to US, and Russia. The objective is to cross-compare ‘what the EU is’ and ‘what it does’ to enable wider generalisations of ‘what kind of transformative power the EU is?’ today, in this increasingly globalising world.

Credits: 20 credits (10 ECTS credits).

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is by coursework, plus the dissertation for MA students. 

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide you with a research-active learning environment which gives you a good grounding in the study of the system of governance and the multi-level political process of the European Union within a global context
  • provide an advanced learning experience to all those interested in the workings of the European Union, with particular emphasis on its institutional and public policy aspects, within a global context
  • prepare you for various careers in politics-related jobs such as public administration - at the Union, state, regional and local levels – journalism, lobbying, NGOs etc. as well as for career changes in the spirit of lifelong learning
  • enable you to acquire advanced knowledge of political science theories relevant to the study of the legislative and executive processes of the European Union 
  • enable you to apply these theoretical tools to the study of decision-making and public policy in the European Union
  • enable you to develop an advanced critical understanding of the normative issues related to the governance and political process of the European Union
  • offer you a flexible and modular programme with the aim of supporting lifelong learning, mid-career training, personal development and contributing to widening participation in postgraduate education.

For MA, MA 120 ECTS and MA International Double Award:

  • develop your general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills), in particular through a substantial dissertation (for the International Double Award this only applies if your second year is spent at Kent).

For MA 120 ECTS and MA International Double Award:

  • provide an opportunity to study abroad in a different academic environment (for the MA 120 ECTS this only applies if you spend the first term of your second year at a partner university)
  • contribute to your learning experience by offering you the opportunity to approach the study of European governance and politics from the perspective of a different intellectual and cultural tradition (for the MA 120 ECTS this only applies if you spend the first term of your second year at a partner university).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • key theoretical and empirical issues in the politics and policy process of the European Union, within a global context;
  • how general theoretical and conceptual frameworks can be applied to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices in today’s EU, within a global context;
  • the nature and distribution of power in the European Union; its institutions and decision-making process; problems of delegation and accountability; the interaction between the Union and the states; the comparison between the EU and major federal systems
  • the distribution of policy competences between the Union, the states and the regions and its problems; the political dimension of public policy in the EU
  • the challenges of enlargement and constitutionalisation in the EU.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general research skills, especially bibliographic and IT 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
  • developing reasoned arguments, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding the nature and significance of governance and politics in the European Union
  • applying political science concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of decision-making, public policy and related normative questions
  • evaluating different interpretations of political issues and events
  • applying and evaluating different approaches to identifying, collecting, analysing and presenting political information.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Communication
    • to communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing (including, where appropriate, the use of IT)
    • to organise information clearly and coherently
    • to use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical or numerical information
    • to communicate in a second language and in a different cultural environment (applies to International Double Award only).
  • Information technology:
    • to produce written documents, undertake online research, communicate using email and process information using databases
    • to define and review the work of others
    • to work co-operatively on group tasks
    • to understand how groups function, collaborate with others and contribute effectively to the achievement of common goals
  • Improving your own learning:
    • to explore your personal strengths and weaknesses
    • time management
    • to review your working environment (especially regarding the student-staff relationship)
    • to develop autonomy in learning and work independently, demonstrating initiative and self-organisation
    • important research management skills including the setting of appropriate timescales for different stages of the research, with clear starting and finishing dates (through a dissertation or internship report)
    • to present a clear statement of the purposes and expected results of your research
    • to develop appropriate means of estimating and monitoring resources and use of time.
  • problem-solving:
    • to identify and define problems; explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.


The School of Politics and International Relations has a dedicated Employability, Internships, Placements and Alumni Manager who works with students to develop work-based placements in a range of organisations. Centrally, the Careers and Employability Service can help you plan for your future by providing one-to-one advice at any stage of your postgraduate studies.

Politics at Kent was ranked 6th in the UK for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Our graduates have gone on to careers in academia, local and national government and public relations.


Study support

Postgraduate resources

Students have access to an excellent library and extensive computing facilities. You also have access to online resources; inter-library loans; video library; online book renewals and reservations; laptop and netbook loan facilities; more than 1,300 study spaces/seats; more than 27,500 books and 10,500 bound periodicals catalogued under politics and international relations and related class marks plus British Government Publications and 50,000 online journals also available off-campus.

The School’s resources include a European Documentation Centre, with all official publications of the EU institutions, and a specialised collection on international conflict and federal studies as well as the University’s collection of political cartoons. In addition, postgraduate research students have their own designated room with 12 computer terminals.

Dynamic research culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Contemporary Political Theory; International Political Sociology; Journal of Human Rights; New Political Economy; Political Studies; Telos. Details of recently published books can be found within the staff research interests section.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A first or upper-second class UK honours degree, or its equivalent, in a relevant subject.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Our research interests span a broad spectrum of the discipline, with particular strengths in the fields of conflict analysis and resolution, political theory and European politics. The strength of the School’s research culture is reflected in the numerous books and articles published and in the existence of its four University-recognised research centres: the Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC), the Centre for Federal Studies (CFS), the Global Europe Centre (GEC). and the Centre for Critical Thought (CCT).

All members of staff can supervise theses leading to research degrees. We encourage potential research students to refer to our postgraduate research handbook (pdf) for detailed information.

In 2011, the University successfully applied for ESRC recognition as a provider of doctoral training in political science and international studies (and other areas of the social sciences) as part of a consortium. As a result, we are now part of the South East ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, making us one of the key training outlets in our subject in the UK. Further details can be found on the South East DTC website.

Conflict Analysis Research Centre (CARC)

Kent has been at the forefront of conflict negotiation and resolution for almost 50 years. The Conflict Analysis Research Centre brings together academics working on different aspects of conflict and security as well as PhD and Master’s students studying International Conflict Analysis, International Law and International Relations. Current research includes an investigation into how migrant communities can support peacebuilding in their home society and how South Africa and the UK treat refugees and security. The Centre is also at the forefront of trying to resolve actual conflicts – for example, it played a role in the Moldova-Transnistria peace process and has supported reconciliation efforts in Africa.

Global Europe Centre (GEC)

The Global Europe Centre is a pioneering research-led learning centre focusing on the study of Europe and its relations with the outside world. The GEC’s research focus is on contemporary policy challenges to Europe and its nation states, the engagement with policy-makers and policy-shapers is at the core of its activities. The GEC mission is to promote excellence, through innovative research and knowledge exchange and to facilitate research-driven impact through its learning and teaching activities. The GEC’s activities include dissemination of policy-relevant research via publications, research-led knowledge transfer workshops, conferences and public lectures, and keynote addresses by leading public figures. The Centre has a strong commitment to the creation of the next generation of ideas innovators and policymakers and pursues these through its learning, teaching and knowledge exchange activities and via the Global Europe Student Forum. GEC is an interdisciplinary research centre aiming to develop synergies across Politics and International Relations, Economics, Law, Business, History, and European Languages and Culture.

Centre for Critical Thought (CCT)

The Centre for Critical Thought is an exciting multidisciplinary initiative across both the Social Sciences and Humanities Faculties, co-ordinated by staff in Politics and International Relations, Law and Italian Studies. It enables staff and students interested in cutting-edge critical thought to discuss their work together and to explore the insights of interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, it serves as a forum for distinguished lectures, seminars and an annual workshop. The Annual Kent Lecture in Political and Social Thought is the headline lecture series and recent speakers have included Professor Bernard Stiegler, Professor Chantal Mouffe and Professor William Outhwaite. All students interested in contemporary critical thought are encouraged to become members while at Kent.

Centre for Federal Studies (CFS)

The Centre for Federal Studies, officially launched in October 2005, is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom and it welcomes expressions of interest from both students and established scholars in any branch of federal studies. The focus of the Centre’s activities is not only the established federations, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Austria but also the European Union (EU) as an emergent federal union together with those parts of the world where federal arrangements have the practical possibility to promote peace, justice and stability. The work of the Centre is consonant with world trends that indicate a renaissance of federal ideas, proposals and practices appropriate to the new age of justice as the recognition of difference, diversity and human rights.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Ruth Blakeley: Reader in International Relations

US foreign policy; US-Latin American relations; terrorism; state violence; human rights.


Dr Govinda Clayton: Lecturer in International Conflict Analysis

International conflict and co-operation; mediation; negotiation, intra-state conflict and resolution; mathematical and statistical models, research design and methodology.


Professor Feargal Cochrane: Professor of International Conflict Analysis

Conflict studies; Northern Ireland conflict; Irish American diaspora. 


Dr Philip Cunliffe: Lecturer in International Conflict

IR theory; sovereignty; peacekeeping; liberal interventionism; Marxism and critical theory; political theory; social theory.


Dr Paolo Dardanelli: Senior Lecturer in European and Comparative Politics

Federalism, devolution, secession; nationalism; democracy; state formation and dissolution; European politics.


Dr Andrea den Boer: Lecturer in International Relations

Human rights and ethics; international political theory; continental political philosophy; feminism.


Dr Charles Devellennes: Lecturer in Political and Social Thought

Political theory; history of political thought; international relations theory.


Dr Frank Grundig: Lecturer in International Relations

Power, interests and institutions; regime and rational actor theory; international environmental politics; hegemonic leadership.


Dr Sarah Hyde: Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations of East Asia

Party politics; electoral systems; participation; e-democracy; e-voting; Japanese politics. 


Professor Elena Korosteleva: Professor of International Politics, Director of the Global Europe Centre (Professional Studies); Director of Graduate Studies (Taught)

European politics; EU as a global actor and EU foreign policies studies; Eastern partnership and the new eastern Europe; the concept of democracy and democracy promotion.


Dr Pak K Lee: Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics and International Relations

Chinese politics; non-traditional security threats in China (especially energy security and public health security); China’s engagement with global governance.


Dr Neophytos Loizides: Senior Lecturer in International Conflict Analysis

Federalism; ethnic conflict; international politics; conflict analysis; negotiation and mediation; referendums.


Dr Iain MacKenzie: Senior Lecturer in Politics

Critical political theory and philosophy.


Dr Luca Mavelli: Senior Lecturer in Chinese Politics and International Relations

International relations theory, social theory; security and political violence.


Dr Sean Molloy: Reader in International Relations

Realism; international ethics; democratic peace theory; cosmopolitanism.


Dr Edward Morgan-Jones

Parliamentary and semi-presidential regimes; Cabinet composition and termination; West and East European Politics.


Dr Jane O'Mahony: Lecturer in European Politics

European integration; EU policymaking; Europeanisation; Irish politics.


Dr Adrian Pabst: Senior Lecturer in Politics

Political theory and political economy; political philosophy and history of ideas; European thought; religion, politics and ethics, with a special focus on Christian social teaching.


Dr Stefan Rossbach: Senior Lecturer in Politics

Political theory and methodology; history of political philosophy; religion and politics.


Professor Richard Sakwa: Professor of Russian and European Politics; Head of School

Russian government and politics; communism and postcommunism; democratisation. 


Dr Ben Seyd: Lecturer in British and Comparative Politics

Political institutions; electoral systems; public attitudes to the state and trust; British politics.


Dr Harmonie Toros: Lecturer in International Conflict Analysis

Conflict resolution, conflict transformation, terrorism studies.


Professor Richard G Whitman: Professor of Politics; Director of the Global Europe Centre

European studies; international relations; international role of the European Union.


Dr Andrew Wroe: Lecturer in American Politics

Direct democracy; trust in politics; immigration; race/ethnicity; American politics and government.


Dr Albena Azmanova: Senior Lecturer in International Relations

Political traditions and democratisation; globalisation and political identities; European integration.


Dr Tom Casier: Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Jean Monnet Professor

EU as an international actor; EU-Russian relations; Russian foreign policy.


Dr Toni Haastrup

Human security discourses; gender and feminist international relations; regional security; EU external relations and African peace and security architecture. Recent publications include: Charting Transformation through Security: Contemporary EU-Africa Relations (2013).


Dr Ingvild Bode: Lecturer in International relations

United Nations peacekeeping; thematic mandates at the Security Council; US use-of-force policy; conflict narratives


Professor Trine Flockhart: Professor of International Relations

International order; European security and transatlantic relations; constructivist theory


Dr Yvan Guichaoua: Lecturer in international Conflict Analysis

The dynamics of insurgency formation; rebel governance and state responses in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Niger since 2004.


Dr Bojan Savic: Lecturer

Game theory; qualitative and quantitative research strategies in relation to conflict and development.


Dr Laura Sudulich: Senior Lecturer in Politics

Effects of new media on electoral behaviour; electoral campaigns; election forecasting and processes of politicisation.


Dr Florian Weiler: Lecturer in Quantitative Politics

International environmental issues, with a specific focus on international climate change policy.


Professor Matthew Goodwin: Professor of Politics and International Relations

Political parties; electoral behaviour; Euroscepticism and immigration.


Dr Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels: Lecturer in Migration and Politics

Dr. Klekowski von Koppenfels' current research interests focus on the concept of diaspora and transnational engagement of migrants, in particular with respect to Global North migrants, although she remains interested in the phenomena more broadly.


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The 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

European and Global Governance - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £5430 £13340
Part-time £2720 £6690
European and Global Governance - PDip at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £3600 £8940
Part-time £1790 £4490
European and Global Governance 120 ECTS - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £3600 £8940
Part-time £1790 £4490

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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