Business (top-up) - BA (Hons)

UCAS code N107


If you already have an HND or a foundation degree in a business-related subject, Kent’s top-up programme offers you the chance to gain an honours degree in just one year of university study.


Kent Business School (KBS) is a top 20 UK business school for academic teaching, student satisfaction and graduate employment prospects. Within this community, you can learn how to challenge assumptions and think creatively.

We provide a friendly, student-focused environment, which helps you to make the most of your studies. With students and staff from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, you learn in an international environment and this helps you to develop a global business perspective.

Our degree programme

Your studies begin in early September with a two-week Study Skills module. Following this, you choose modules that extend your knowledge from a wide range available. Our modules cover all aspects of business including human resource management, innovation and enterprise, leadership and business ethics.

Extra activities

Alongside your lectures and seminars, you have many opportunities to interact directly with the business community. Special events and schemes have previously included:

  • workshops and seminars
  • business challenges
  • enterprise initiatives, including the Business Start-Up Journey
  • networking events.

You can also get involved with the student-run Kent Business and Kent Enterprise societies; in previous years they have organised regular events with guest speakers from industry and supported budding entrepreneurs with their ventures.

Professional network

Kent Business School has long-established links with business schools in China, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Finland. We also have excellent links with local, national and international businesses.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2016, Business Studies at Kent was ranked 15th for overall satisfaction. Business Studies at Kent was ranked 17th in The Times Good University Guide 2017.

Of Business Studies students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 93% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). Business Studies at Kent was ranked 16th for graduate prospects in The Times Good University Guide 2017.

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The course structure provides a sample of the modules available for this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Based on sector research and curriculum developments, we intend to offer the following innovative new modules on this programme from 2018/19, subject to availability:

CB738 - Buyer Behaviour
CB759 - Strategic Management

The following modules are offered to our current students. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation:

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

The module will include:

Audit of students skills in reading and comprehension of higher learning material.

Identification of behavioural barriers to effective learning.

Internet searching.

Harvard referencing.

The development of the necessary skills and awareness for self management through:

1. feedback from testing

2. group discussion

3. analysis

4. presentations

5. reasoning

6. referencing

7. research and essay writing

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A synopsis of the curriculum

Students will be expected to develop the ability to use appropriate techniques of analysis and enquiry within Operations Management and to learn how to evaluate alternatives and make recommendations. Topics include:

• Strategic role of operations and operations strategy

• Design of processes and the implications for layout and flow

• Design and management of supply networks

• Resource planning and management

• Lean systems

• Quality planning and managing improvement

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This module facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial mind-set, and equips students with necessary cutting-edge knowledge and skills vital for generating value in a knowledge based economy. The curriculum will include the following areas of study:

• Broader application of entrepreneurship – The definition of "entrepreneurship" has been evolving from a narrow use to denote start-up formation to a broader application in a wide array of settings, leading to the recognition of it as a general framework. The module provides students with a broader understanding of entrepreneurship by covering the unique characteristics and similarities of different types of entrepreneurship including, corporate, start-up, academic, public and citizen, entrepreneurship. This enables students to understand how to act entrepreneurially in different contexts.

• Co-creation as a new form of generating value in an innovation ecosystem – Emerging co-creation initiatives such as living labs, joint research labs, accelerators and social innovation labs highlight how different types of entrepreneurs should work together closely to solve complex challenges by generating business, social and academic benefits. The module discusses the processes, heterogeneous organisational forms, advantages and challenges (with a special emphasis on intellectual property management) of co-creation initiatives, providing students with necessary knowledge and skills to engage in value co-creation with networks of diverse entrepreneurs.

• Managing innovation entrepreneurially – In a knowledge based economy, it is of paramount importance to balance between internal and external R&D activities. The module discusses how relational and internal capabilities of businesses facilitate a wide array of knowledge based interactions such as knowledge exploration, exploitation, transfer and co-production etc. in order to solve challenges that cannot be dealt with in-house.

• Entrepreneurial opportunity – A key for success in entrepreneurship is the identification of opportunities, which is debated as to whether they are recognised, discovered or created. The module discusses the importance of entrepreneurial opportunity by shedding light on this debate.

• Entrepreneurial Motivation – Entrepreneurs could be motivated by 'pull' or ‘push’ factors. The module help students to understand how, when and under what circumstances ‘pull and ‘push’ factors drive entrepreneurship.

• Entrepreneurial Marketing – Complex challenges that we have faced today mean that marketing is not unidirectional flowing from producer to customer, but something co-created with customers. The module discusses how entrepreneurs could co-create a marketing strategy with customers.

• Entrepreneurial Finance – Finance fuels entrepreneurship. The module explores different sources of entrepreneurial finance including traditional and emerging sources by highlighting advantages and disadvantages of each source and its suitability depending on the age and profitability of a venture.

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The module provides a broad, basic understanding of strategy and strategic management, on which further strategic analysis and exploration of strategic issues can be built. It introduces students to the key vocabulary, concepts and frameworks of strategic management and establishes criteria for assessing whether or not a strategy can be successful. It introduces students to frameworks for analysing the external and internal environments and to different theories of how these relate and of their impact on strategy formulation and implementation.

Students will learn how to identify strategic issues, develop strategic options to address them and decide which option(s) to recommend. Through theoretical readings and case studies, students will develop an appreciation of strategy in different contexts and from different perspectives and of the complexity of strategic decision-making. Students will enhance their ability to read business articles from a strategic perspective and to present strategic arguments in a structured manner

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This module will introduce students to the key concepts of managing people, involving an examination of organisational, human resource management and industrial relations theory. This will be achieved through relating relevant theory to practical people and organisational management issues.

The main topics of study are as follows:

• The theory of strategic HRM

• Strategic HRM and Business Strategy

• Strategic HRM and Organisational Performance

• Strategic employee involvement and participation

• HRM in the public sector

• HRM in Small and Medium Enterprises

• HRM in the voluntary sector

• Strategic HRM in the international context

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The module looks at how digital marketing applications can be used by modern organisations. The module considers the fundamental technologies that support digital marketing along with the regulatory and societal challenges that must be taken into account, for example, privacy and data protection. The methods available to attract customers through digital marketing are covered making a distinction between paid methods, such as sponsored search, and non-paid methods, such as an organisation's own social media assets. Issues around loyalty are considered especially in the context of falling search costs which enable customers to switch providers.

The unique nature of digital products, for example music downloads or video streaming, are outlined with the marketing challenges and opportunities this presents. The module stresses the importance of implementation, using applied examples, and the uncertainty involved.

The digital marketing environment; Enabling technologies for digital marketing; Website design, implementation and analysis; Social media; Social commerce; Customers in the Internet age: knowing, reaching & retaining the customer; Network effects and versioning; Loyalty, Customer Relationship Management and Data Mining; E-Marketing campaigns; Brands in the Internet age; Data protection, privacy and legal issues; Digital marketing and globalisation

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This module will introduce students to the key concepts, theories and issues involved in international marketing. In doing so it will enable students to understand how to identify and evaluate opportunities in international markets and assess the different market entry modes available to companies. In addition students will consider the need to adapt marketing mix elements for different international markets.

The main topics of study are as follows:

• Introduction to international marketing: Definitions, theories, approaches and motives.

• International Marketing Research

• Assessing international markets: The political and economic environment

• Assessing international markets: The Sociocultural environment

• Theories and frameworks for International market evaluation and selection

• Market entry modes: export, intermediate and hierarchical

• International marketing plans and strategy: Segmentation, targeting and positioning

• Designing the global marketing mix: Product, pricing, communication and distribution decisions

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This module aims to provide students with understanding and experience of the theory and practice of marketing research. During the module students design and implement a marketing research plan, design a questionnaire, collect and analyse data, prepare an oral presentation and write a marketing research report.

The main topics of study are as follows:

• Introduction to marketing research: Defining and designing marketing research projects

• Understanding data: Secondary data and databases

• Primary data collection techniques.

• Questionnaire design

• Measurement and measurement scales and error.

• Sampling and sample design and error

• Entering and coding data with SPSS

• Data analysis techniques

• Communicating the results of marketing research.

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The module will provide students with the tools of marketing communications. Specifically students taking this module will be able to evaluate strengths and weakness of marketing communications channels. Over the course of a term the module will provide students with an understanding of the principles, methods and strategies of marketing communications. The main tools of marketing communications will be discussed as well as their suitability and effectiveness:

Topics may cover:

• The communications process

• Advertising

• Strategy and media planning

• Image, brand management and packaging

• Direct marketing

• Digital and interactive media

• Sales promotion, merchandising and point of sale

• Public relations and corporate identity

• Exhibitions, trade shows, product placement and sponsorship

• Personal selling

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This module will allow students to work on a substantive piece of research which will allow them to frame and prioritise real business problems using well known fields and frameworks within academic business and management disciplines.

• Developing important research questions in the area of business and management

• Literature search and review

• Understanding different research designs used in business and management research projects

• Collection, use and analysis of secondary and primary data

• Developing Analytical and Critical Thinking in using theory and data to frame and address business and management problems

• Preparing and structuring the Business/Consultancy Project

• Referencing, Citations and Developing writing skills

• Communication and Presentation skills

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This module presents an overview of what work psychology is and its relevance and usefulness in improving our understanding and management of people (including ourselves) at work. Many work places operate sophisticated and expensive systems for assessing the costs and benefits of various workplace elements but often do not extend this to the management of employees. This module aims to demonstrate the benefits of having a comprehensive understanding of the role psychology can play in the management of people in contemporary organizations. Indicative content includes:

• Work psychology

• Individual differences and psychometrics

• Best practice personnel selection

• Stress and well-being

• Motivation

• Stereotypes and group behaviour

• Leadership and diversity

• The dark side of personality

• Political behaviour in the workplace

• The psychology of entrepreneurs

• Using work psychology to enhance employability

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International and Comparative Human Resource Management aims to provide an analysis of the HRM systems in seven countries: USA, Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, China and India. Students will be introduced to the main concepts and theories through readings and discussions of the main authors in the field.

Within a broad historical context, an international comparative approach will be adopted to consider the development of the relationship between national governments, employers and trade unions. This will include an investigation of the development and decline of employment relations systems and the emergence of human resource management.

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This module presents an overview of what workforce diversity is and its relevance and usefulness in improving our understanding and management of people (including ourselves) at work. The demographics of the population and the workplace are changing drastically because of a number of factors, such as an increasing number of ethnic minorities and women in the workforce and in management. Accordingly, there is a need to effectively understand and manage workforce diversity not only to increase organisational business outcomes but also to create an inclusive workplace in a socially responsible manner.

The module will examine issues confronting managers of a diverse workforce. In particular issues such as ethnicity, race, language, ageing, disability, gender, and intersectional identities will be discussed. Two key approaches towards managing diversity will be explained, i.e. the social equity case of managing diversity, and the business benefits case of managing diversity. The module will explore a range of diversity related concepts and topics, such as social identity, stereotyping, discrimination, intergroup conflict, structural integration, and organisational change.

Main themes covered by this module will include:

Origins of diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace context;

Social and psychological perspectives on workplace diversity;

The UK and European diversity contexts;

Business benefits case and social equity case of managing diversity;

The legal framework for diversity;

Organisational approaches to diversity;

Contemporary issues central to the experiences of diverse individuals in the UK and in organisations across a range of diversity dimensions;

Diversity management in an international context

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This module will explore more advanced management and organizational theory to facilitate students’ examination of contemporary management challenges. As well as considering these challenges from a mainstream managerial perspective, the module will also draw on the perspective of critical management studies as a means of providing an alternative viewpoint on contemporary management issues. Indicative topic areas may include:

Globalization and anti-globalization

The character of ownership – foreign versus national ownership

Social and environmental sustainability

Corporate social responsibility and corporate criminality

Corporate governance

Organizational misbehaviour and resistance

Organizational identity and identity work

Masculinisation and Feminisation of Management

New forms of work such as emotional labour and aesthetic labour

New organizational forms

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This module introduces students to core concepts and theories about decision-making, behaviour and consumption, including individual and organisational perspectives. It is based around understanding how purchase and consumption decision is made and the influential factors affect decision-making process and subsequent behaviours. This module will include:

Introduction to Buying behaviour – Buyer, User, and Consumer

Decision Making Theories

Needs, Wants, Motivation and Involvement

Learning Theories and Perception

Attitude Theories and Consumption

Affect, Perceived Risk and Buying Behaviour

Social Influence

Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

Organizational Buying Behaviour

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This module is designed to provide students across the university with access to knowledge, skill development and training in the field of entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on developing a business plan in order to exploit identified opportunities. Hence, the module will be of value for students who aspire to establishing their own business and/or introducing innovation through new product, service, process, project or business development in an established organisation. The module complements students' final year projects in Computing, Law, Biosciences, Electronics, Multimedia, and Drama etc.

The curriculum is based on the business model canvas and lean start up principles (Osterwalder and Pigneur 2010) on designing a business plan for starting a new venture or introducing innovation in an established organisation. It includes the following areas of study:

• The new business planning process and format, developing and evaluating the business idea, producing a business plan, which includes four main sections, namely, business concept, marketing plan, operational plan and financial plan.

• Researching internal and external environment – market research, value co-creation with customers, company’s macro (i.e. PESTEL) and industry (Porter’s five forces) environment analysis, internal company analysis (Resource Based View), external collaborator analysis, and SWOT

• Developing the business concept – Identifying/developing the value proposition, specifying the business offer (i.e. use product anatomy analysis for presentation), deciding an appropriate ownership structure, laying out mission, aims and objectives (i.e. using SMART), and identifying legal formalities including intellectual property strategies.

• Developing the marketing plan – Identifying target customer groups, designing customer relationship management strategies and distribution channels, planning the sales and marketing processes, customer perceptions and customer care, developing quality standards for the business (i.e. using 7 Ps analysis for presentation).

• Developing the operation plan – Identifying key activities to be carried out, matching key activities with resources for an effective and efficient use of resources, planning and employing staff, planning and obtaining premises, physical and financial resources; phased implementation of the business plan.

• Developing the financial plan – Identifying appropriate sources of finance, and evaluating and managing the financial viability of a business by developing Forecast cash flow statement, Sales and Profit account and Profit and Loss Account, a description of the composition of the balance sheet, financial indicator- Breakeven analysis, by highlighting underlying assumptions.

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A synopsis of the curriculum

Students will be expected to develop the ability to use appropriate techniques of analysis and enquiry within Operations and Service Management and to learn how to evaluate the alternatives and make recommendations. Topics include:

• The nature of services and service strategy

• Service development and technology

• Service quality and the service encounter

• Project/Event management and control

• Managing capacity and demand in services

• Managing inventories

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Teaching and assessment

In a typical week, you spend eight to ten hours in lectures and seminars, and have regular access to an academic adviser for advice on matters concerning your studies. Modules also involve individual study and sessions in the computer laboratories. Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and exams.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • produce graduates of value to the region and the nation, in possession of transferable skills and prepared for employment or further study
  • develop students’ knowledge of, and employability within, the European Union
  • provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable, involve realistic workloads and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • foster flexibility and multidisciplinarity, and widen access to as many students as possible
  • encourage students’ personal development and their critical attitudes towards change and enterprise, to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the business environment
  • provide specialised studies relevant to individual vocations and professions in which students are intending to seek employment or further postgraduate study
  • develop students’ abilities in Business and related specialisms
  • instil in students a range of transferable skills, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life and further study.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • organisations and their internal environment, culture, functions and processes including structure, governance, operations and management and the individual and corporate behaviours and cultures that exist within and between organisations
  • the external environment, including economic, environmental, legal, political and technological, and their effects at local, national and international levels upon the strategy, behaviour and management of organisations
  • management and its processes, procedures and practices, including strategies, theories, frameworks, tasks and roles, together with problem solving and decision making
  • contemporary issues affecting business organisations and their management, including business innovation, e-commerce, creativity and enterprise, knowledge management, sustainability and globalisation
  • the management and development of people within organisations and employee relations.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems, develop reasoned arguments and challenge assumptions
  • analyse and draw reasoned conclusions concerning structured and unstructured problems related to the business environment
  • produce written work using appropriate academic conventions, including quoting from and acknowledging written sources correctly
  • conduct research into business-related issues using a variety of sources, evaluate their usefulness and organise information effectively, including appropriate referencing and presentation
  • evaluate and analyse current changes, trends, developments and practices in business and formulate arguments and opinions
  • display effective data analysis and interpretation skills.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • the use and interpretation of models of business problems, techniques and strategies
  • effective problem solving and decision making using appropriate business techniques, the ability to create, evaluate and assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations related to business and human resource management
  • the ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, using appropriate formats, about business and related issues
  • conduct detailed research into business/management issues for project work, using a variety of sources and appropriate methodologies
  • the effective procurement and development of human resources and employee relations
  • the ability to explain and evaluate a variety of business strategies and operational issues.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to manage your own roles and responsibilities, effective time-management to achieve objectives, undertake personal and career development, and apply skills gained to changing situations and contexts
  • the ability to treat other people’s values, beliefs and opinions with respect, to relate to, and interact effectively with, individuals and groups, work as a team member and develop negotiating skills
  • communication: the ability to receive and respond to a variety of information, present information in a variety of visual forms, communicate effectively in writing, and participate in oral and non-verbal communication
  • manage tasks and solve problems: the ability to use information sources, deal with routine and non-routine tasks, to identify and solve a range of problems
  • the ability to apply numerical skills and techniques appropriately
  • the ability to use a range of IT equipment and systems appropriately.


Graduate destinations

Our graduates find work in public and private sector management and consultancy, both overseas and in the UK. Recent graduates have gone on to take up positions at a wide range of companies and organisations, including:

  • Deloitte
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco
  • Transport for London
  • Yahoo! UK
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Heineken.

Help finding a job

Kent Business School has an excellent international reputation and good links with businesses globally. This network is very useful to students when looking for work in industry. We also offer career and skills development events.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service can also give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with a solid grounding in core business management concepts, theories and skills, with a particular focus on global business.

To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • manage your time effectively
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language, volunteering, or developing analytical skills via Kent’s Q-Step Centre.

Independent rankings

Of Business Studies students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 93% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). Business Studies at Kent was ranked 16th for graduate prospects in The Times Good University Guide 2017.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

N/A. The only qualifications accepted for this programme are:

  • English HND (Higher National Diploma) in a business-related subject with an average merit grade/merit profile, or
  • UK foundation degree in a business-related subject at 60% overall average.

Mathematics and English grade C

Access to HE Diploma


BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)


International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

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. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2019/20 tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15200

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.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact