Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research - BA (Hons)

Overview

Politics and international relations is a fast-changing, broad-based discipline, allowing you to engage with the key issues of today. We give you a strong foundation in the subject with a specific focus on the global aspects of contemporary world politics.  On this programme you also develop valuable quantitative research skills which are in high demand by employers.

The School of Politics and International Relations is an exciting place to study - you receive high-quality teaching informed by cutting-edge research on a range of political issues, such as ethno-political conflict, human rights, feminism, social theories of justice, divided societies, and US and European politics.

Adding a quantitative research minor to your programme opens your mind to new ways of thinking. Starting with no assumed statistical knowledge, you graduate with an advanced package of practical quantitative skills alongside subject-specific knowledge in politics and international relations.

Our degree programme

The BA Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research is carefully designed to take you from a basic level, with no assumed prior knowledge of quantitative methods, to a complete package of practical quantitative skills, all while gaining a thorough grounding in politics and international relations.

In the first year, you complete introductory quantitative modules, which teach you the methodological and technical foundations that you will build on in later years. You learn to think like a quantitative researcher, developing a critical eye for statistics and data analysis, both in academic research and the world around you.

In the second year, you move on to more advanced quantitative techniques, building on the foundations you have learnt in Stage 1, to develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods that is extremely rare in graduates from non-mathematical disciplines.

In your final year you choose either a dissertation with a quantitative research focus or (providing you achieve the required academic standard by the end of Stage 2) a placement module where you can put your skills into practice.

Workplace experience is highly valued by employers, and the placements offered through Kent see students completing meaningful, applied quantitative analysis for businesses and organisations across a range of sectors, giving you the opportunity to add concrete workplace achievements to your CV.

Student view

Politics and International Relations wit Quantitative Research student Nicole talks about her course at Kent.

Study resources

Facilities and resources to support the study of Politics and International Relations include:

  • access to the European Documentation Centre
  • a dedicated Student Support Officer, who advises on issues related to academic study as well as wider University life
  • a Study Skills Officer, who provides subject-related guidance.

The Q-Step centre boasts a team of world-class quantitative researchers, and innovative technology-based teaching methods. Our Placement Officer provides one-to-one support in arranging your placement if you choose this option in Stage 3. Please see www.kent.ac.uk/qstep for more information.

Extra activities

At Kent, there are many student societies related to your studies, for example:

  • Current Affairs and Politics Society
  • Kent European Debates Society
  • Debating Society
  • Kent Model United Nations Society.

You are also encouraged to get involved in the programme of events and activities run by the School of Politics and International Relations, which focuses on bridging the gap between academic study and real-life politics. Our Public Speaker Programme features prominent academics and practitioners, who are invited to speak on current issues. 

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. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

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

  • Certificate

    A level

    BBB

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma

    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.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL

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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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. 

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

The BA in Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research is composed of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

The modules below 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.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules in Stage 1 will introduce you to the ideas, concepts, methods and historical developments which are foundational and essential for the academic study of political science. The number of compulsory modules you will take varies depending on your programme, and if a module is not compulsory for you, you will still be able to choose it as an option. As you progress to subsequent stages of your programme, the number of compulsory modules will decrease, thus giving you more opportunities to select optional modules on the basis of your interests in the more specialised subfields of our discipline. Our popular Stage 1 modules cover key areas such as political science concepts and methods, international history, international relations theory, global politics, comparative politics, political theory, conflict analysis and resolution, and British politics. During your first year we will also help you develop key academic skills including essay writing, giving presentations and revising for exams.

SO410 - Doing Social Research with Numbers

 Stage 2

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules in Stage 2 will build on and develop the foundations laid in Stage 1. We will introduce you to more advanced techniques of political science methodology, including the analysis of political data. We will also look in greater depth at how political scientists establish, verify and corroborate their findings, how they create concepts and theories, and how knowledge interacts with power. Some of our programmes may require you to take compulsory modules specifically related to subjects that are essential to the programmes in question. For example, Politics and International Relations students will take a compulsory module on international relations concepts, theories and methods.

SO746 - How to win arguments with numbers

Optional modules

PO593 - Engendering Politics: Feminist Contribs to Pol Theory

PO611 - Politics of the European Union

PO617 - Contemporary Politics and Government in the USA

PO618 - East European Politics

PO623 - Modern Political Thought

PO657 - Political Research and Analysis

PO658 - The Rise of China

PO660 - International Conflict and Cooperation

PO661 - Fact, Evidence, Knowledge and Power

PO667 - War and Peace in International Society

PO671 - International Security

PO682 - How to Start a Revolution

PO683 - Politics in East Asia

SE606 - Connections

Stage 3

Optional modules

PO559 - Ethics in International Relations

PO563 - Foreign Policy Analysis

PO566 - Europe and the World

PO579 - Postcommunist Russia

PO679 - Research Dissertation

PO592 - Rights, Freedoms and Individualism: Contemporary Liberalism in Question

PO599 - European Security Co-Operation

PO597 - Governance and Politics of Contemporary China

PO607 - Comparative European Politics

PO612 - Policy Making in the European Union

PO616 - Politics of Trust in the USA

PO629 - Terrorism and Political Violence

PO630 - Politics of the Middle East

PO634 - Understanding US Foreign Policy: Power, Tradition and Transformation

PO638 - Political Behaviour in Britain

PO639 - Humanitarian Communication

PO645 - Market States and Post Democracy

PO646 - Presidents, Parliaments and Democracy

PO652 - Politics in the Classroom

PO653 - Marxism: Politics and International Relations

PO655 - Public opinion and polling

PO654 - Politics of Deeply Divided Societies

PO656 - Humans at War

PO686 - Resistance, Suffering and Leadership: the Political Lives of Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi

PO662 - The International Politics of Global Climate Change

PO664 - Conflict Analysis and Northern Ireland: History, Politics and Culture

PO665 - Advanced Topics in Politics and IR Andrea: Global Gender Justice

PO665 - Advanced Topics in Politics and International Relation

PO666 - Religion and International Politics

PO668 - International Political Economy

PO669 - Conservatism: Politics and International Relations of the Right

PO672 - Advanced Analysis of British Politics

PO675 - Politics and IR Internship

PO676 - The Radical Right in Western Democracies

PO681 - Landscapes of the Future

PO684 - Contemporary Dev and Sec Challenges in the AP

PO626 - Placement Year


Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £9250
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £4625
  • International part-time £8100

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.

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.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs associated with this course. All textbooks are available from the library, although some students prefer to purchase their own.

General additional costs

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

Funding

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.

Scholarships

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. 

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.

Teaching and assessment

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.

Contact Hours

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.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • place questions of political and international order and decision-making at the centre of social-scientific analysis
  • ensure that students of politics and international relations acquire knowledge and understanding in political and international relations theory and analysis in a supportive and responsive learning environment
  • enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches and methods of politics and international relations and develop an understanding of their contested nature and the problematic character of inquiry in the discipline
  • develop students’ capacities to think critically about political and international events, ideas and institutions
  • encourage students to relate the academic study of politics and international relations to questions of public concern
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual enquiry and debate
  • assist students to develop cognitive and transferable skills relevant to their vocational and personal development
  • provide students with the statistical and analytical tools to independently and successfully conduct advanced quantitative research
  • help students make persuasive arguments using quantitative research, and to critically assess the arguments made by others in the course of social life
  • help students link theoretical knowledge with empirical enquiry, so that they understand how to conduct and critique social research in the real world
  • produce graduates with analytical and knowledge-based skills relevant to employment in the professions, academia, public sector and private sector.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the nature and significance of politics as a human activity
  • the concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics and international relations 
  •  the analysis of political ideas, institutions, practices and issues in the global arena, relative to the historical and contemporary context
  • how to evaluate different interpretations of world political events and issues
  • how to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of differing political systems; the nature and distribution of power in them; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts within which they operate; and the relationship between them
  • the political significance of multiple polities coexisting and of political boundary-drawing and transforming practices
  • demonstration of the origins, evolution and contemporary dynamics of the international system and the challenges to it
  • the strengths and weaknesses of statistical techniques applied to the study of social and political issues
  • qualitative and quantitative methods and their application to the analysis of complex political problems
  • how to identify principal sources of information and data relevant to Politics and International Relations.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual 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
  • constructing a reasoned argument, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement
  • reflecting on your own learning and seeking and making use of constructive feedback from peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
  • managing your own learning self-critically
  • recognising the importance of explicit referencing and the ethical requirements of study which requires critical and reflective use of information and communications technology in the learning process
  • quantitative analytical methods: including advanced methods in handling, analysing and presenting statistical data across relevant disciplines.

Subject-specific skills

On graduating in this programme students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a familiarity and engage critically with the nature and significance of politics and international relations, including definitions of the boundaries of the political; the contested nature of knowledge and understanding; approaches to the study of politics and international relations; a range of key concepts, theories and methods employed in the study of politics and international relations; and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches
  • engage critically with politics (including international politics) and political phenomena, including the normative and positive foundations of political ideas; the vocabulary of political debate; the structure and operation of different (international) political systems; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts of political behaviour; and the factors accounting for political change
  • apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, actors, institutions and behaviour
  • examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
  • handle and interpret quantitative evidence in differing intellectual contexts
  • construct arguments within politics and international relations using quantitative empirical evidence.

Transferable skills

Graduates in this programme will be able to:

  • communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing
  • use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical or numerical information
  • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management
  • collaborate with others to achieve common goals
  • critically analyse and disseminate information
  • utilise intercultural skills/global awareness
  • use advanced statistical methods for analysing and presenting statistical data in diverse real-world settings
  • use IT and software to word-process, store, retrieve and analyse quantitative data and conduct various forms of computer-based analyses.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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.

Independent rankings

In The Guardian University Guide 2020, over 91% of final-year Politics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Over 90% of final-year Politics students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2020.

Of Politics graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our politics and international relations graduates have been extremely successful in finding employment and, in an increasingly competitive job market, graduates with quantitative skills are in high demand by all employers from across the public, private and third sectors. 

Recent graduates have gone on to develop careers in areas including:

  • teaching
  • publishing
  • practical politics
  • local and central government
  • analysis in the public and voluntary sectors
  • the diplomatic service
  • EU administration
  • financial services
  • non-governmental organisations
  • human resource management and advice
    services
  • journalism
  • international business.

Help finding a job

The School of Politics and International Relations runs an Employability Programme, focused on providing you with the skills you need when looking for a job. This includes workshops on a range of topics, for example summer internships, networking, and careers in diplomacy and the civil service.

Students also have access to a weekly Employability Newsletter, featuring jobs for graduates, as well as internship and volunteering opportunities.

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

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

Work experience

There are opportunities to apply your newfound skills in quantitative analysis in professional settings through placements and applied research modules. We have links to placements across many sectors, including government (national and local), think tanks and charities, cultural organisations and the private sector. 

Career-enhancing skills

On this programme you gain and develop advanced quantitative research skills through modules that offer specialist training in cutting-edge techniques, as well as training in how to understand, explain and critique data in diverse real-world settings.

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 gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research - BA (Hons)

Full-time study through Clearing

The Start now button below takes you to Kent's short form, which you need to fill in and submit. We'll review your application and let you know if we can offer you a place. If you wish to accept our offer, you need to confirm this via UCAS Track. To do so, you'll need the following:

  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code L2G3
  • Institution ID K24

Part-time study

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International student enquiries

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T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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