Politics and International Relations - BA (Hons)

with Quantitative Research

Engage with key issues in world politics, from the BlackLivesMatter and MeToo movements to the climate crisis. Think critically about the ideas and institutions that shape our lives, learning how to analyse data to inform your arguments. Gain practical skills to help you in your future career. It’s such an interesting time to study politics and international relations; join the conversation.

Overview

Explore the complex way in which societies, states and cultures interact around the world. Our innovative lecturers provide expert insights into issues from human rights and feminism, to war and security. Develop the skills so you can make a difference.

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.

Reasons to study Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research at Kent

  • You’ll study a wide range of modules developed by our innovative lecturers, who advise governments around the world. Build your degree around your interests
  • You can take an optional placement module to add concrete workplace experience to your CV
  • You join the supportive and welcoming community on our Canterbury campus, set among green and tranquil open spaces, with access to the world-class resources of our Templeman Library.

What you’ll learn

You learn to explore the challenges facing the world, utilising the different concepts and approaches of political theory. You benefit from the expertise of staff who have advised governments and conducted conflict mediation exercises, deepening your understanding and developing solutions to a range of issues, from terrorism to the impact of the pandemic on politics, and political polarisation. At the same time, you develop an advanced skillset in quantitative methods that will enhance your employability.

See the modules you'll study

Year in Computing/Journalism

The Year in Computing and the Year in Journalism are both free-standing, self-contained years and can be taken after stage 2 or 3 (that is, between your second and final year, or after your final year). You can take a Year in Computing or a Year in Journalism if you are a current undergraduate student at the University of Kent, studying a non-computing or non-journalism degree respectively.

You can only apply for a Year in Computing or a Year in Journalism once you are a student at Kent.

Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty 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.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    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.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, 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 following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6500
  • International part-time £8700

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.* 

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 A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

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.

Independent rankings

Politics at Kent scored 88% for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2022.

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 this course

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 choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

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Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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