Come along to one of our autumn Open Days in October and November. Hear from staff and students about our courses, find out about our accommodation and see our stunning campuses for yourself.
Politics is everywhere. It’s exciting, but also frustrating, messy and complex. This is your time to make a difference. Bring your determination to us and we will give you the skills and confidence to make a change.
Make sense of the complex world of politics and international relations. Whether it’s climate change, the rise of tyrannical leaders, gender politics, or the misuse of artificial intelligence and big data, you will understand today’s political problems and gain the skills to pursue a career that can solve them. You'll also develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods that will enhance your employability.
You benefit from the expertise of staff who have advised governments and conducted conflict mediation exercises. You'll deepen your understanding and develop solutions to a range of issues, such as the impact of the pandemic on politics and political polarisation.
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 with Jess Phillips MP on tackling domestic violence.
At Kent, we review our courses regularly to ensure they offer our students the best opportunity for graduate work. That's why we’ve revised our Politics and International Relations degree for 2023.
In a changing world that’s becoming more digitalised, we have updated our modules and the entire curriculum to meet the professional skills expectations in the industry today.
Our graduates have worked in the Office for National Statistics, the British Council, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Join a close-knit learning community with fantastic student support to help you achieve your full potential.
As your interests grow, add a year abroad, a year in industry, or a year in journalism, data analytics, computing or a language.
Shape your degree outside of the classroom through our Politics and IR Society and Kent Model UN.
Distinction, Merit, Merit
30 points overall or 15 at HL
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in the Politics module if taken, and 60% in LZ013 Maths & Stats (1 & 2) if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 6/B or equivalent.
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
The School is committed to widening participation and has a long and successful tradition of admitting mature students. We welcome applications from students on accredited Access courses.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on the course. This listing is based on the new curriculum and may change year to year in response to new developments and innovation.
Explore critical challenges facing the world through the lens of politics and international relations foundation theory. Develop your research and data analysis skills to inform your arguments, learning to think like a quantitative researcher.
What should a democracy look like? Can an unequal society be just? When is it legitimate to resist governments? By introducing you to debates regarding foundational issues in political theory, this module develops your ability to understand and critically assess debates about ideas that have shaped today’s political world, such as democracy, freedom, equality and justice. You will gain knowledge of foundational ideas and thinkers in political thought, and develop the ability to critically reflect upon, and construct arguments to defend, your own answers to crucial questions about the nature of politics.
This module is an introduction to the study of world politics and the discipline of International Relations (IR). It provides an overview of key theories, concepts and debates in IR through a discussion of topical issues and developments in global politics, with particular focus on the role and status of states as key actors. The IR theories introduced include (but are not necessarily limited to) liberalism and realism. Theories and concepts will be evaluated in consideration with empirical material drawn from contemporary international politics. The precise list of issues to be covered will vary from year to year depending on the global political landscape. An indicative list of potential topics includes: the legacies of the Cold War; the Covid-19 pandemic; conspiracy theories; counterterrorism; globalisation; empire; and the Russia-Ukraine war. The issues chosen will be studied from multiple perspectives, creating the space for students to progress in their knowledge of key concepts and explore the merits of leading IR theories.
With all its complexity and variety, studying Politics and International Relations can appear a little daunting. This module equips you with the skills and knowledge needed for succeeding in your studies and beyond. You will learn about the key historical influences upon contemporary political events, such as the origin and development of the State, the beginning and end of Empire, and the nature of world order, develop key skills for academic study and research by exploring these influences, and begin to critically and pro-actively reflect upon your own development as an independent learner and researcher.
This module introduces students to the empirical study of the key structures, institutions, processes, outcomes and behaviours in political systems. It familiarises students with both the content and shape of political life and how academic scholars study it. It also introduces the data, methods and techniques that allow students to study it themselves. Students learn about political life by learning how to do basic political research. Students will be able to apply their methods skills to empirical evidence commonly found in policy and academic work.
Violence is at the heart of war while peace is often defined as the absence of violence. This module aims to introduce students to these three crucial aspects of international relations and conflict and how they are inter-related. Specifically, the aim of this module is to introduce students to a) the conceptual distinctions between war and violence and how to define peace and b) the methods and skills needed to study war, violence and peace. The module will use case studies and negotiation simulations to help students engage directly and better grasp how states go from peace to war and back to peace. The students will emerge with knowledge of the central theories and concepts of war and peace studies, and with an initial set of skills (negotiation and mediation) which can be used to further understand international politics but also in their personal relationships with others.
This module introduces students to the key elements of the British political system. That system has undergone a number of important changes in recent years, and the module enhances students’ understanding of what these changes consist of, why they have taken place and what their implications are. Focusing on changes in the power to shape and make policy decisions, the module explores the shifting role of key actors such as the legislature and media, and at the exercise of policy authority at the sub-national, national and international levels. The module also considers changes in the relationship between citizens and political authorities, and particularly on shifting patterns of individual engagement with politics. Throughout, the module is designed to enhance students’ critical skills in being able to analyse changes in policy authority within a political system.
This module aims to introduce students to some of the key political systems of the world. It will provide them with a broad overview of politics in selected countries including their institutional structures, elite politics and citizen perspectives. It will enable students to start developing an understanding of the cultural, historical, social and economic context which shape politics in these countries. In addition, it will enable students to start developing an understanding of the contemporary challenges faced by these countries.
I also really liked the course... you have introductory modules, which was helpful for me because I didn’t study politics at school.Nadia Bhatti, Politics and International Relations BA
Deepen your understanding of the key questions in world politics - why things are the way they are, and how they can be changed. Begin to develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods.
At the close of the 20th century, the ‘end of history’ liberalism was understood to have won the battle of ideologies. However, in the 21st century this liberal, ideological consensus has come under challenge. This module will allow you to understand this shift by introducing you to the foundational ideologies that shaped the 20th century and that continue to influence politics today. By studying these ideas, you will learn how to critically assess the ideological underpinning of political events, and develop the ability to interpret and situate yourself within ideological debates.
Research methods are – together with theoretical frameworks and empirical material – one of the three main pillars of the study of politics and international relations. Politics and international relations are methodologically very diverse and apply a number of different approaches that can be summarised under the quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The module provides a basic introduction to the use of these methods for students from a variety of educational backgrounds (no statistical knowledge is necessary). The module aims to enable students to read, interpret and critically assess arguments and data drawing on quantitative and qualitative methods in political science and international relations. Students will be introduced to the logic of empirical research in the social sciences, to basic concepts and techniques of descriptive and inferential uni-, bi- and multivariate statistics, as well as qualitative comparative studies and interpretive approaches. Students will be able to apply their methods skills to empirical evidence commonly found in policy and academic work.
Global institutions and regimes have become increasingly important in a world facing problems that cross borders and require multilateral action. This module examines the institutions, norms, processes, actors, and consequences of global and regional governance across a range of issue areas. It further addresses a number of questions, including the extent to which cooperation is possible and multilateral governance effective, while examining the roles played by states, international organisations (such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, or regional groupings such as the European Union or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other actors. The specific issue areas may include security, human rights, the environment, and regional integration, amongst others.
The module is a cross-cultural analysis of economic and political institutions, and the ways in which they transform over time. Throughout the term, we draw upon a range of ethnographic research and social theory, to investigate the political and conceptual questions raised by the study of power and economy. The module engages with the development and key debates of political and economic anthropology, and explores how people experience, and acquire power over social and economic resources. Students are asked to develop perspectives on the course material that are theoretically informed and empirically grounded, and to apply them to the political and economic questions of everyday life.
This module looks at the politics of the global climate crisis at the international, national and local level. Whether it is global climate change governance, national or local climate adaptation policy making and plans, or individual attitudes and behaviour, we need to understand what motivates actors and how a combination of motivations and structure translate into climate action in various contexts and societies. This module provides you with the tools to explain the politics of the global climate crisis at the international, national and local level. The module draws on a variety of debates from political science, international relations, human geography and urban studies. In addition to an overview of key policy documents driving the discourse, we will explore interdisciplinary theorisations across the social and natural sciences that help rethink the arguments in renewed ways. This includes the critical role of cities and an understanding of how key concepts such as the Anthropocene and adaptation and mitigation shape the global climate emergency agenda.
One of the strengths of the Liberal Arts programme is its ability to draw connections between various fields of knowledge of disciplines that have become increasingly fragmented. By focusing on great books of the past and present that straddle across disciplinary boundaries, this module helps students build bridges between various areas of knowledge. While the content will differ from year to year, depending on student and staff interests, this module will explore key themes in philosophy, history, social and political sciences, humanities, literature, art, and the hard sciences. It will aim to show that these disciplines have a great deal in common, and that understanding across great works help create a deeper understanding of contemporary issues. By engaging students with qualitative and quantitative data, it will also allow them to interpret and reflect on information coming from a wide range of sources.
This module aims to provide students with a critical introduction and review of China's political development from 1949 to today. This module is designed around two core blocks of study: The first block looks at China's principal political institutions. They include the Communist Party, the government (State Council), the legislature (the National People's Congress) and the military (the People's Liberation Army).The second block examines the socio-political issues and challenges the country is facing in its ongoing development. They range from the prospect of democratisation, the growth of civil society, environmental degradation and public health policy, corruption, tensions with ethnic minorities nationalism and national reunification with Taiwan, irredentism and territorial disputes with neighbouring countries,. China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 'new Cold War’ between China and the United States. A theme running through various lectures of this module is to ask why post-Mao China has performed better than many other authoritarian regimes in achieving both economic growth and political stability and acquiring international influence, even though China faces numerous mounting development challenges and remains authoritarian.
Many of the political ideas we take to be the most important were developed in early modern, or even ancient periods. Can concepts like democracy, liberty and justice help us understand the distinct political problems posed by issues such as global warming, artificial intelligence, or decolonization? In this module you will explore how political theorists are conceptualising contemporary political questions and shaping the way that we are responding to them. In doing so you will gain knowledge of contemporary political thought and develop your ability to understand how theorists make sense of rapidly changing circumstances in politics.
This module introduces students to debates on the politics of the Global South in the context of North-South relations more broadly. The precise list of issues, regions and/or countries to be covered will vary from year to year depending on the global political landscape. Focus will generally be on contemporary and comparative politics across several of the regions of the Global South: Africa, Asia, Latin America and/or the Middle East. Key themes explored in the module include decolonisation, marginalisation, modernisation, diversity, inequality, and regionalism. An indicative list of potential topics includes: the relevant histories and legacies of empire; race and ethnicity; nationalism; feminist approaches from the Global South; dependency theory; postcolonialism; development; resistance; and South-South cooperation.
What is democracy? How can it be measured? Is populism a threat to democracy? Is democracy likely to survive? The module addresses these questions by first exploring the nature of democracy as a form of government and reviewing the way it has been conceptualised and measured across countries and over time. We will subsequently review how and why some countries have become democratic while other have not and what factors can explain variation between countries. We will then assess to what extent democracy is under threat, the nature of threats such as populism, their roots, and how they could be countered. We will conclude by discussing some of the key normative questions raised by democracy and trying to predict its likely trajectory in the foreseeable future. In a nutshell, the module offers an analysis of the past, present, and future of democracy and its significance in contemporary politics.
With the world's largest economy and most powerful armed forces, the United States bestrides the world stage. Yet, according to many critics, the US’s own political system is in crisis and turmoil, polarised on hot-button culture issues but also witnessing an attack on democracy itself by an ex-president and his loyal acolytes. Trump challenged both our notions of who could be elected to the most powerful job and our long established theories about how the US government can and should work. The US, like many other nations, faces serious public policy questions on the economy, health, energy, education, guns, crime, poverty and immigration, among others, but can its dysfunctional political system rise to the challenge? This module allows you to formulate your own answer to this and other questions by offering a comprehensive introduction to the politics and government of the United States.
This module addresses a key question in the study of European politics and international organisations: why did a diverse group of states embark on a process that has led to the world's most extensive example of international integration? In this module you will learn and understand how the European Union has reached where it is today, how its political system works, how it makes policy, its strengths and weaknesses and how it has driven both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system at a time of both continuity and change. There has certainly never been a more challenging or interesting time to learn about the EU and its politics.
Choose from our range of specialist, research-led modules in politics and international relations and either carry out a dissertation with a quantitative focus or undertake a placement module to put your analytical skills to work.
The Final Year Project allows students to do independent, problem-oriented work under supervision on a topic in politics and international relations close to their specialist interests. Three types of project are available: a research dissertation, a policy paper and documented civic engagement. Each type of project embraces research, recommendations, and impact to greater or lesser degrees (for example, the research dissertation is focused on research but may include both policy recommendations and impact outcomes, while the policy paper will include research an impact outcomes though focus on recommendations). This overlapping set of underlying themes enables shared discussion and reflection on key approaches whichever type of project is chosen. The module provides this space of shared discussion and reflection. It also gives students the opportunity to further their interests and acquire a wide range of research, policy oriented and engagement skills in the process. The module takes students through the entire process of completing the project: articulating the original ‘problem’ and designing the project approach; organising material, drafting the project and writing and revising the completed project. Lectures, supervision and a conference, help students along the way. The curriculum includes structured opportunities for students to discuss their project ideas with each other as well as mock panel presentations in preparation for the assessed presentation at the student conference.
All final year project topics must be approved by the module convenor as well as by an academic supervisor.
This module aims to develop standard research skills into a quantitative research skillset that will enable the student to work with data, from working with different types of datasets/variables to analysing this data and presenting it in oral and written form.
Learning will be orientated towards:
Learning ways to work with and manipulate datasets to make them ready for statistical analysis (i.e. to create tidy data)
Critically understanding the limitations of simple (OLS) regression, with particular emphasis on endogeneity/confounding and causal heterogeneity;
Learning a number of advanced methods for investigating the social world through quantitative research (e.g. associative and causal methods). For each method, students will first consider the rationale for the method (its strengths and limitations), and then use the method in hands-on statistical analysis sessions using appropriate statistical software (e.g. R);
Learning how to communicate and present data and quantitative analysis (e.g. with various types of data visualisations).
This module will involve students undertaking quantitative research in a real world setting, while simultaneously reflecting on the process of undertaking real-life quantitative research (through a log), culminating in an assessed report on their work. This real world setting can be of the form of an individual research project, working in a support role with an academic or within a placement organisation. Students will receive support by a supervisor and receive lectures covering such topics as:
Turning an organisation's ideas into a viable research project;
Good practice in undertaking quantitative research projects (e.g. data security, data management, replicability);
Ethics in applied quantitative research (certainty/uncertainty, power, and 'usefulness');
Reflecting on research practice (linked to the assessments below).
This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015 it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community. If selected for this module you will spend approximately six hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term. Generally you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take hotspots: brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally you will progress to the role of teacher and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor. You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.
Ethnicity and nationalism are matters of contemporary urgency but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism and how they have been historically constituted is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts (indigeneity: race: hybridity: authenticity: invention of tradition: multiculturalism: globalization) that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established homogenous and static ethnic categories.
Since the 1990s a more critical strand of thinking about the interactions between political spaces (nations, regions), power, and international relations has emerged in political geography, that of critical geopolitics. It is often associated with the writings of Gerard Ó Tuathail. John Agnew, Simon Dalby and Klaus Dodds among others. This module examines the emergence of critical geopolitics and the core concepts of contested ideas, the social construction of both knowledges and political/spatial entities such as modern nation states and their specific political geographies. It also considers the wider applications of geopolitical concepts in a range of settings and circumstances.
How do nation states decide on their foreign policy? Is there a difference in the content of foreign policy between large and small states or liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes? This module examines the foreign policies of nation states and how to study them in a rapidly changing international environment. The module examines the foreign policies of different types of states from 'great powers' to smaller states, explores major events and crises in international politics and the dynamics of foreign policymaking, Specific case studies will vary from year to year, but are likely to cover issues of diplomacy, war and security, economic competition, and institutional cooperation. It provides insight into the complex relationship between the analysis and practice of foreign policy. It does so by exploring shifting approaches to making and examining foreign policy. Case studies of foreign policy practices are examined through exploring different international actors (including states but also examining the role of specific leaders), the foreign policy environment they inhabit (internal and external, structural and institutional), and the motivations that inform state and policy makers actions and their interactions with others. The module compares and contrasts different theories, critically assessing their analytical advantages and weaknesses in applying them to 'real world' examples.
What does the modern state look like? How has the legitimacy of the state, as an institution, been justified in the history of political thought? How have ideas shaped and influenced revolutionary movements? How have revolutions in turn shaped the thinking of those who lived through them? When are revolutions ever justified? By critically analysing the key thinkers and texts in the history of political thought, this module gives students the key tools to think through two of the most important forces that have shaped modern politics: the rise of the state, and the revolutions that followed it.
What does the future look like? What do emerging technologies, such as social media, artificial intelligence, and changes in working conditions mean for the future of political institutions? Many texts of literature and political theory make claims about what the future will look like, even if speculatively. This module introduces students to recent developments in political theory and political literature which have made claims about the future, develops their ability to think critically about these claims, and allows them to creatively consider how political thought might help us understand the relationship between present and future political events.
This module explores change and continuity in the world economy. Through the lens of political economy, which pertains to the complex relationships between society, the state, and the market, students debate and analyse the economic dimensions of contemporary international relations. Major themes of the module include: governance; globalisation; institutions; interdependence; power; conflict; cooperation; hegemony; and crisis. Although specific content may shift year-to-year depending on current events, a list of indicative issues includes: trade; development; poverty; global health; the financial sector; foreign investment; hunger; the energy sector; climate change; and the relationship between political economy and conflict. While the module emphasises relations between the global North and global South, it aims to push 'beyond' these categories from critical perspectives. The module reflects on the significance of historical colonial relations for the establishment and reproduction of the current global political economy. Students will critically examine the interests, relationships, and conflicts of individual actors in the global political economy.
Negotiations are essential in building and sustaining international cooperation and peace. This module will explore the linkages between negotiation theory and the practice of conflict resolution across a wide range of settings. The module involves a series of simulations each representing a unique case of negotiation, mediation and/or interactive problem-solving. These are drawn from leading negotiation programs or developed at the University of Kent inspired by global politics (e.g. the war in Ukraine) or popular movies (e.g. Bridge of Spies, Erin Brockovich). Students are introduced to techniques in teaching negotiations through open access resources and no prior knowledge of negotiation theory is necessary. Topics include the theory and practice of negotiations, conflict de-escalation and international peace mediations while specific emphasis will be given to developing essential skills in understanding the sources and resolving conflict non-violently. Students are exposed to the challenges of high-level mediation and develop their own practical skills and learning mindset in mediation and negotiation. The module will apply negotiation theory in the study of wide range of issues e.g. territorial disputes, gender and mediations, demographic and environmental conflict, property rights, institutional design and transitional justice. We will engage with the core literature in negotiation theory and employ interactive simulations aiming to improve our negotiation skills (e.g. identifying best alternatives, revealing or not preferences, building trust, exercising leverage and veto rights, mediating win-win arrangements). Finally, the module will provide key learning resources aiming at understanding the root causes of conflict; creating a constructive, vigorous, and participatory process to successfully foster inclusive dialogue; promoting democratic values and a culture of peace; and strengthening and expanding capacity building opportunities in mediation and other peace-based mechanisms.
This module introduces students to analysing and identifying solutions to some of the key problems and pressure-points facing modern political systems. It does so by focusing on Britain, and by considering a range of policy, institutional and international pressures facing the country. These pressures may include territory (eg. the integrity of the UK and its place in the international system), complex policy issues (eg. environmental protection) and behaviours (eg. citizens' abilities to form accurate judgments in a climate of 'fake news’). The module involves identifying and specifying key problems, exploring what issues these problems raise, and identifying and designing potential solutions to these problems. The module thus enhances students’ ‘problem-solving’ abilities and skills, a key attribute in today’s employment market.
In democratic systems citizens are the ultimate source of political authority. Yet citizens place in modern democracies raises two key questions. First how equipped are citizens to play their key democratic role? Second how do we know what citizens want from politics and politicians?. This course explores these two issues. It examines the nature and role of public opinion focusing on how biases in individual information processing and the provision of misinformation and disinformation can impede individuals citizenship role. In todays world of social media and fake news can individuals form views and judgements in a way that contributes to the effective functioning of the democratic system? The course also examines the principal ways in which citizens views and judgements are identified. How are individual attitudes appraised and what approaches and practices are best suited for measuring what the public wants of politics? Overall this module enables students to explore how public attitudes are measured and some of the principal challenges to the role of citizens in modern democratic systems. The module enhances students conceptual and empirical capacities and develops their skills and abilities for a range of careers particularly those involving the measurement of citizen public or consumer opinion.
Dictatorships are rising around the world. According to the Varieties of Democracy Institute, in 2022 just over one quarter of the world's population were living in a full democracy, a number that has fallen dramatically in the 21st century. But what is dictatorship, autocracy, authoritarianism? In this module we will analyse the different forms that non-democratic rule takes. We will examine the rise of these kinds of regimes and their leaders, as well as the support and the resistance of their citizens. We will explore how dictatorships persist, why they fall, and the role of the international community. The module will explore case studies of dictatorship from China to Iraq, and draw on films, documentaries, books, and cutting-edge political science studies.
How can we understand the Middle East? Why have states in the region experienced conflict and instability? Should the solution to violence come from outside the region, or can problems only be resolved from the inside? This module aims to answer these questions by introducing students to the societies, cultures, spaces and political systems of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with their diversity, histories and complexities. As such, the module will explore different themes related to MENA politics, using different states and societies from the region as case studies. It will provide students with insights into the root causes of conflicts; the persistence of authoritarian regimes; the rise of youth protest movements; tradition versus modernity; and urbanism versus periphery. The module will apply an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the region, bringing in insights and methods from politics, geography and anthropology. Furthermore, the module will take a comparative approach, placing the MENA region in a broader context and applying lessons from other parts of the world to better understand the region.
In this module, we seek to understand the most urgent security issues in the Indo-Pacific region, and develop the knowledge and skills to provide nuanced and concise policy advice on them. We will start with an overview of the history, security, economics, and institutions in the region, and consider how to use International Relations theoretical approaches to help us understand countries' foreign and security policies. We will then analyse three key security challenges in the region in depth: the Taiwan Straits; nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula; and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Students will develop skills writing policy advice on these challenges, while working towards developing their own in-depth but concise policy briefing. We will close the module by thinking about the future of politics, economics, and security in the region, and ask whether or not great-power confrontation is inevitable.
The main title can be read in two ways. On the one hand, it is an appeal to reflect on the conditions of our subjectivity. On the other hand, it can be read as the expression of a judgement upon a subject's ability to act/speak/feel etc. In this module, both of these aspects will be explored: 'what are the conditions of our identity, and how do these relate to differences between us?’, and ‘what is the nature of judgement and when, if ever, is it legitimate to judge others?’. This will then form the basis for a third part of the module which will consider the extent to which reflection on oneself and the judgement of others are related or not. This nexus of issues is at the heart of contemporary debates about identity politics and the primary literature for the module will draw from these debates. Equally importantly, however, is that these contemporary debates speak directly to concepts and theories first developed within the canon of critical work within modern European philosophy. The module, therefore, will explore contemporary debates with reference to this philosophical background to assess the ways in which the critical tradition can inform the debates as well as considering the ways in which the contemporary debates can help redefine what we understand by the critical.
This module provides an overview of the degree to which cyberspace continues to revolutionise the operations of both state and non-state actors, and the challenges of governing this 'fifth sphere' of power projection. Whilst this module is not entrenched in International Relations or Security Studies theory, students will have the opportunity to apply both traditional and non-traditional approaches to the politics of cyberspace. Key themes include: 21st century technology, cyber warfare, espionage, surveillance, deterrence theory, cyberterrorism, and representation of threatening cyber-entities. Students will develop a toolkit to critique the existing state and NGO-based governance regime for cyberspace, and will convey arguments both for and against a ‘Geneva Convention’ for cyberspace.
The main teaching methods for Politics and International Relations modules 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.
For Quantitative Research modules, in addition to learning through lectures, seminars, workshops, project supervision and statistics classes, students can carry out hands-on research in the ‘field’ through placements and field trips. Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programme specification.
The skills have prepared me to support countries undergoing International Conflict.
Our graduates look to make a difference in the organisations they join. From our vibrant and growing alumni network, recent graduates have gone on to develop careers in areas including:
In the After Kent series, we talk to Politics and International Relations alumni about their time at Kent and what they're up to now.
Kent provided such a great place to do this and my main bit of advice is to take every opportunity that comes your way and use university as an opportunity to stretch out of your comfort zone and to challenge yourself.
The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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.*
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.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.
We welcome applications from students all around the world with a wide range of international qualifications.
Kent is ranked top 50 in the The Complete University Guide 2023 and The Times Good University Guide 2023.
Kent has risen 11 places in THE’s REF 2021 ranking, confirming us as a leading research university.