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Undergraduate Courses 2017

Economics and Politics - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

Economics

Economics examines some of the profound issues in our life and times: economic growth and sustainable development, unemployment, inflation, poverty, emerging market economies, financial and monetary crises, environmental and natural resource problems, international trade and aid to poor countries, currencies and the balance of payments, the impact of minimum wages and the problems of global economic change are just some of the areas covered.

Economics at Kent is consistently ranked in the top 10 economics departments in the UK for student satisfaction and teaching quality. Our passion for the subject and research-led approach to teaching helps provide students with a first-class academic experience, as well as building personal skills and enhancing career prospects. Our cosmopolitan academic and student community, coupled with a thriving research culture, creates an inspiring and challenging environment to study economics.

Politics and International Relations

Politics and international relations is an exciting, fast-changing, broad-based discipline. Our programmes are extremely flexible and offer extensive module choice, reflecting the research interests of our staff, including conflict resolution, federalism, comparative politics, European integration, ethnic conflict, terrorism, the theory of international relations, political theory, and the politics of countries such as China, Japan, Russia and the USA.

Independent rankings

Economics at Kent was ranked 8th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 92% of Economics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

For graduate prospects, Economics at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide. Of Economics students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 92% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Politics at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, Politics at Kent was 8th for overall satisfaction.

For graduate prospects, Politics at Kent was ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Of Politics students who graduated in 2015, 96% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Course structure

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.  Most programmes will 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 customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

EC304 - Principles of Economics (30 credits)

Economics looks at the material aspects of people’s lives. It is about how people make choices about what and how to produce and consume. It is about how the difference in economic outcomes between firms, people and countries can be related to the effects of choices they and others have made. It builds on the very simple and plausible assumption that people want to get the most they can, given the constraints they face. Studying economics entails both gaining an understanding of the economies in which we all live, and developing skills to think logically about economic situations. The emphasis in this module is on how economics can help us to understand the society we live in.



The module aims to provide a thorough understanding of economics at an introductory level and provides the basis for all subsequent study you may undertake in economics. The first term covers the principles of microeconomics and the second term develops a framework for understanding macroeconomic events and macroeconomic policy. Throughout the module and in the seminars in particular, we demonstrate the usefulness of economics as an analytical tool for thinking about real world problems.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PO326 - Introduction to Political Science (15 credits)

This core module introduces students to the wide range of different methodologies commonly employed in political science. This includes the scientific method and both traditional and newer forms of research. Students will also be introduced to some of the fields of inquiry that dominate the study of politics, including public choice, social movements, political behaviour, economic development and democracy. The module integrates these two main components to create both an awareness of the breadth of political science and its approaches, ultimately providing students with the foundation for further study in political science. Substantive topics include: the nature of inquiry (questioning and determining what constitutes evidence), methods of comparison, theory and hypotheses. They will also be introduced to and explore quantitative methods, formal methods, experimental methods and empirical quantitative methods. Students will implement basic quantitative research techniques for themselves. Finally, they will be introduced to concepts such as equivalence, selection bias, spuriousness, value bias and ecological and individualist fallacy in order to illuminate the difficulties faced when making comparisons.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO327 - Introduction to Comparative Politics (15 credits)

The module introduces students to the empirical study of the key structures, institutions and processes in political life. It does so through the lens of the comparative method, in which political systems are compared and contrasted to test hypotheses about the factors producing similarities and differences across countries and over time. The module first introduces the comparative method, and then discusses the different ways in which political systems can be organized and classified. It focuses on the three key powers in all political systems – executive, legislative and judicial – the ‘intermediate’ actors that link people to their governments, namely political parties, interest groups and the media, and how citizens behave politically in relations to such institutions and actors. Throughout the module, students are encouraged to identify the factors and the processes leading to different political outcomes across states and over time and to use both qualitative and quantitative data to support their arguments.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC309 - Statistics for Economics (15 credits)

The main aim of this module is to provide you with a basic understanding of statistics suitable for the Stages 2 and 3 degree programmes in Economics, Business and Accounting although it is also suitable for students taking other Social Science degrees. This module introduces you to statistical concepts and methods in preparation for Stages 2 and 3 modules in economics; it is a prerequisite for Stages 2 and 3 Economics modules and is a core input to the second year quantitative module, EC511. So as well as learning basic statistics, the module emphasises the interpretation of statistical results; and provides you with the opportunity to apply statistical concepts to economic and business data using calculators and computer software. Work with Excel is an independent study element of the module, and using calculators to undertake basic descriptive statistics is an important focus of the practical problem solving.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC305 - Mathematics for Economics Mode A (15 credits)

This Stage 1 module is designed for students who have an A -Level in mathematics, AS mathematics or equivalent qualification. A first-year mathematics module (either Mode A or B) is a compulsory part of all economics degree

programmes and these modules take place in the Autumn term with a statistics module following on in the Spring term. If you are unsure whether your mathematical background is equivalent to an A level pass, please consult the Module Convenors when you arrive at the University.



The aim of the module is to provide you with a good understanding of the mathematics necessary for your Stages 2 and 3 Economics modules.The teaching of each topic starts from first principles, but the speed of the module assumes that you have studied mathematics before (but not economics). By the end of the module, you will have covered the important uses of mathematics in economics (and business) and be able to use many mathematical techniques commonly used to analyse economic (and business) problems. In the long term, the analytical and quantitative skills you acquire from this module are relevant to many different occupations.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC306 - Mathematics for Economics Mode B (15 credits)

The main aim of this module is to provide you with a basic understanding of mathematics suitable for the Stages 2 and 3 degree programmes in Economics, Business, and Accounting. The mathematics material is developed in a clear, contextual framework, and is linked to a Stage 1 module in Economics. You develop your understanding with suitable problem sets combining mathematical concepts and economic methods.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

EC500 - Microeconomics (30 credits)

This is the core microeconomics module taken by all students following Economics degrees. It builds on the material covered in the Stage 1 Economics modules. The titles of many of the topics covered will be familiar, but the topics are dealt with in greater depth than in first year.



Microeconomics is concerned with the behaviour of individual economic agents such as consumers, firms and governments. It provides the foundations for understanding all types of economics, including macroeconomics, so is relevant for all other Economics modules you take.



The module is carefully designed to give (alternative and/or complementary) readings, and provide a set of different types of questions and problems for seminars to test and extend your understanding of the material as well as to improve your key skills such as communication, problem solving, team work, and learning how to study efficiently.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EC502 - Macroeconomics (30 credits)

Macroeconomics today is a different subject than it was just a few decades ago. Old controversies have been resolved and new ones have arisen. This module builds on the first year teaching of macroeconomics to provide an intermediate course, which takes full account of the policy issues and controversies in the world macroeconomy.



Autumn Term begins by looking at the basic methodology of macroeconomic models. We then examine, in greater detail than at Stage 1, how the macroeconomic theories of aggregate demand and aggregate supply are derived. This involves studying the markets on which these theories are based. It is important to be aware that there are many theories of aggregate demand and supply. This term we use the IS-LM model, with which you should be familiar from Stage 1, to derive a theory of aggregate demand in both open and closed economies. We also examine the labour market to derive a theory of aggregate supply and study the relationship between inflation and unemployment.



Spring Term starts with studying the long-run, that is, what determines the standard of living of countries in the long term, as opposed to short-run economic fluctuations. We then study microeconomic fundamentals of macroeconomics to understand in-depth the determinants of consumption, investment, and labour supply decisions. We then use these and the ideas developed last term to extensively examine macroeconomic demand management policies (fiscal and monetary) and their shortcomings. We finally study the role of the financial system in the macroeconomy and the causes behind the recent crisis starting in 2008.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PO657 - Political Research and Analysis (15 credits)

The study of social and political phenomena is a vast endeavour and this class will serve as an introduction to methods for social science research. This 15 credit intermediate-level module is normally taken in Stage II. It provides a basic, non-technical introduction to the use of quantitative methods in the political sciences for students from a variety of educational backgrounds (including those with very limited knowledge of mathematical terminology and notation). The progression of this course will address scientific research design and methodology and consider many examples of such research In short, it seeks to enable students to read, interpret, and critically assess arguments drawing on quantitative methods in Politics and International Relations. Students with some prior exposure to quantitative methods will have the opportunity to improve their command of statistical software as well as apply their general statistical skills to data sets commonly found in policy and academic work.



The module is divided into two main components: In the first part, students will be introduced to both the logic of empirical research in the social sciences and to basic concepts and techniques of descriptive uni-, bi-, and multi-variate data analysis. The second part will focus on uni-, bi-, and multi-variate inferential statistics. ICT skills will be acquired/enhanced of students by the introduction to and use of statistical software (SPSS). The focus will be on student-centred learning and critical reflection of selected examples of quantitative work in seminars and group work.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO661 - Fact, Evidence, Knowledge and Power (15 credits)

This course builds on students' knowledge of the approaches and methods used in the study of politics and international relations introduced in the first year of the degree program and the foundation in the analysis of quantitative data established in the second year. Students will be asked to consider the nature and purposes of descriptive and causal analysis in politics and international relations. Students will develop skills in choosing, using and evaluating the research designs, and techniques for the collection and analyses of data used by researchers in these fields. Emphasis in the course will be placed on a mixed methods approach to political analysis that enables student to integrate, analyse and evaluate both qualitative and quantitative data. In addition to developing a conceptual and theoretical understanding of different approaches to evidence gathering and analyses and how they can be combined, students will also have the opportunity to extend their skills in practical data analyses.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC531 - Policy Analysis (15 credits)

This module applies economic theory and statistical methods to the understanding and critical assessment of economic policy. It is designed for students who have completed Stage 1 Economics. For students studying for an economics degree, the module complements the core second year modules by focusing on the policy application of economic concepts and provides an introduction to material studied in greater depth in third year ‘specialist’ modules. For other students, it provides the opportunity to consider an economist’s perspective on important policy issues. A key aspect of this module is the relationship of economics to current and ongoing policy problems.



The module introduces you to a variety of contemporary, mainly microeconomic, policy issues. Alongside formal lectures, it also consists of several workshops, which provide opportunities to develop and demonstrate your problem solving and analytical skills. They also give guidance on identifying sources in the literature, data relevant to economic research, analysis of data and the presentation of results orally, as well as in writing. This focus provides opportunities to develop a range of highly transferable skills and lay the foundations to the independent learning skills you require for many of the modules in Stage 3.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC532 - Environmental Economics, Institutions and Policy (15 credits)

This module introduces you to environmental economics and economics generally. A key objective of the module is to help you develop an ability to apply economic thinking to environmental problems. The module considers various aspects of environmental economics including why pollution occurs and how policy can be designed and implemented to deal with it, how to place economic value on the environment and how to understand sustainable development in microeconomic terms.



The module is divided into three parts. In Part A we examine the relationship between the economy and the environment. In Part B we consider how environmental policy can be designed, implemented and evaluated in relation to environmental pollution. In Part C we examine issues of environmental valuation, which is a rapidly growing area of research in environmental economics. The emphasis in all parts of the course is to understand the links between theory and practice.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC534 - The Economics of Money and Banking (15 credits)

The module asks what determines the set of equilibrium prices required to provide an appropriate level of savings in an economy to finance the expected level of expected activity. It tries to link models of money, banking and finance into one generic, or foundation, view. Specifically, we shall move towards an understanding of how financial and economic innovation have moved hand in glove over many centuries and how it seems to be that when finance fails, so does the modern market economy. Some of the questions we consider are:



How can we analyse the appearance of money in an economy?

What is the link between money and finance?

What explains bank runs?

Why is it so difficult to explain exchange rates?

Can we explain the occurrence of financial crises?



This second-year optional module emphasises both historical experience and analytical techniques. The economic analysis of financial markets and instruments is the starting point for understanding financial markets.



Note, this module is a pre-requisite for students wanting to take EC562 in Stage 3.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC580 - Introduction to Econometrics (15 credits)

The quantitative estimation and evaluation of economic models is an essential feature of the study and application of economics. This module provides an introduction to econometric theory and the application of econometric techniques to economic models and data. This is achieved by explaining key economic and econometric issues using applications of econometrics that quantify and evaluate economic theory and which provide an empirical evaluation of economic behaviour and the assessment of economic policy.



The module provides both an analytical and practical introduction to econometric theory, equipping students with the analytical tools to carry out applied econometric work and to explore more advanced areas of econometric theory at later stages of their chosen degree programme. The practice and application of econometrics is achieved using both Microsoft Excel and specialist econometric software (eg Eviews &/or Stata).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC581 - Introduction to Time-Series Econometrics (15 credits)

This module provides an analytical introduction to time-series econometrics and the challenges that present themselves with the analysis of time-series economic data. A key issue in this regard involves consideration of whether or not a time-series process is stationary. Traditional econometric techniques such as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) are poorly suited to the estimation of economic models or data which exhibit non-stationary processes. This module provides an introduction to econometric methods that are suitable for stationary and non-stationary time series analyses.



The focus of the module is predominantly analytical providing students with the knowledge and understanding of time-series techniques commonly used to analyse economic data. The application of these techniques is also considered using specialist econometric software (eg Eviews). The module equips students with the analytical tools to carry out advanced time-series econometrics work at a later stage of their degree programme.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC538 - Economic Controversies (15 credits)

The purpose of this module is to teach the skills of economic reasoning and argument by exposing students to the big debates within the discipline and in economic policy.



The module will draw on current and past controversies across many economics sub-disciplines. This will equip students with the ability both to understand and contribute to the debates surrounding the recognised controversies within the discipline at a level consistent with an intermediate undergraduate degree course in Economics. The curriculum will also provide an insight into the academic and professional development of the discipline.



Students will be introduced to several controversies drawn from a range of topics pertinent to the discipline and relevant sub-disciplines. Students choose two of these to study in the Spring term.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO555 - International Organisation: The UN System (15 credits)

This module explores the origins, evolution and role of international organisations in world politics. The aim is to understand how these institutions have developed, why states choose, refuse and fail to use these institutions as a means to achieve their objectives, and to what extent international organisations can promote international cooperation. The module takes the United Nations system as its central focus, but will also consider historical forms of international organisation as well as the processes of global governance. International organisations are involved in a wide variety of issues in contemporary international politics. This module will survey a selection of them, exploring the political differences and questions that arise in international responses to these issues.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO617 - Contemporary Politics and Government in the United States (30 credits)

PO617 offers a comprehensive introduction to the politics and national government of the United States. It introduces students to the ‘foundations’ of the US political system, examining the history of the republic, its economy and society, the values and beliefs American people subscribe to, and the basic structure of the political system. We will also examine those ‘intermediate’ institutions (interest groups, parties, elections and the media) that link people to their government, and the three key institutions of the federal government: the Congress, Presidency and Supreme Court. Lastly, we focus on the policymaking process in the US. We will look at economic policy, civil rights and liberties and foreign policy, ask how and why policy is made as it is, and examine the extent to which the policy solutions produced by the political system are optimal.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PO618 - East European Politics (15 credits)

The module examines the politics of transition and change in post-communist countries in their effort to establish new democratic regimes and find their place in the world. The module consists of three main parts.

Part I focuses on the experience and nature of communist rule, to develop basic understanding of communism as an ideal, political system, and a life style. Part II looks at transitions, examining regional patterns of change and relating them to the 3rd and 4th waves (coloured revolutions) of democratisation globally. Part III discusses the issues of post-communist politics in Europe, by way of exploring the forms and quality of democracy in the new states, considering the effect of EU enlargements on the new Member States and the EU neighbours; and discussing the future of communism in the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO623 - Modern Political Thought (15 credits)

This module provides an introduction to some of the major developments in Western political thought by discussing the work and impact of key figures such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. Focusing on reading the primary works of these thinkers, putting them in their historical context, and understanding their reception in contemporary scholarship, this module addresses the overall problems which ‘modernity’ poses for political theory in Western societies.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO667 - War and Peace in International Society (15 credits)

The purpose of the module is to enable students to critically engage with the International Society (or “English School”) approach to International Relations. Combining political theory, IR theory, philosophy, sociology, and history this approach seeks to understand the theory and practice of international politics by reference to the historical development of relations between large scale political entities (from empires, hordes, kingdoms, to the modern nation-state and beyond) and the discourses that have emerged (Machiavellian, Grotian, Kantian) in response to the development of first European international society and eventually world society. The course focuses on the central features of international society - war and peace - as they have been conceived by the three traditions and members of the English School from Martin Wight to more contemporary figures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO671 - International Security (15 credits)

This module provides an introduction to the various approaches to security studies by way of introducing key thinkers, the key literature. Its core aim is to provide a solid theoretical and conceptual grounding for students interested in the diversity of issues, institutions and actors engaged in the practice of international security.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO658 - The Rise of China (15 credits)

This module aims to provide students with a critical review of China’s hegemonic role in pre-modern East Asia and its political development since the 1840s when it was forced to open up to the outside world and to lay a solid foundation for even more detailed study of present-day China.



It deals with a recurrent theme in the study of Chinese politics, that is, how successive Chinese leaderships since the 1840s have reconciled Chinese indigenous political culture with models of modernisations that originated in the West. Focus is on how indigenous and foreign models for state-building and political development have guided Chinese thinking about national rejuvenation and modernisation.



This module assumes no prior knowledge of Chinese history or politics, and introduces students to the defining features of the Chinese traditional political system, including: Confucianism and Legalism, the causes of the demise of imperial China in 1911, the abortive attempts of republicanism and constitutionalism between 1912 and 1949, the rise of communism, and major political events since 1949 as well as its recent ascendancy.



Questions to be explored in this module include: Why did the Chinese imperial system fail to meet the challenges and encroachment from the West and Japan? How did Chinese leaders understand ‘modernisation’? Why did Chinese political elites embrace communism? What have been the impacts of revolutions on China’s external behaviour and relations, post-1949? How has China’s worldview been ‘socially constructed’ in its interactions with Western powers? What is China’s grand strategy for development in the early 21st century?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO660 - International Conflict and Cooperation (15 credits)

The course provides an overview of the broad field of international conflict analysis and resolution. Students have the opportunity to explore the motivations driving different forms of conflict, including interpersonal, group and civil violence. Students will also be exposed to a range of theories and approaches used to understand violent conflict, and a number of different methods of conflict resolution (e.g. negotiation, mediation, peacekeeping operations, and transitional justice.) The approach is interdisciplinary and juxtaposes traditional approaches used to study conflict management with new scientific studies of conflict and cooperation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO611 - Politics of the European Union (15 credits)

The decision by a majority of the British electorate who voted on Thursday 23rd June 2016 to leave the EU sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the world and created a political earthquake within the UK's political system. Focusing on the European level, as this module does, the result of the referendum plunged the EU into its most serious existential crisis as, for the first time, a member state has signalled its desire to exit. According to Marine Le Pen, leader of France's Front National, the Brexit vote was 'by far the most important political event taking place in our continent since the fall of the Berlin Wall'. The reverberations of this decision will be felt for many years to come and affect an EU experiencing what some commentators have termed a 'polycrisis’ since the Euro-crisis erupted in Greece six years ago. As well as bailing out Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus and the economic fall-out from the global financial crisis of 2008-9, the EU has also witnessed the worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War, terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and heightened tension with Putin’s Russia over the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. The EU has never been under such pressure and its resilience so tested. The purpose of this module in this context is thus two-fold. First, we learn and understand how the EU has reached where it is today, how its political system works, its strengths and weaknesses and how it is driven both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system. At the same time, we analyse the process of Brexit, how it will be managed by the UK and the EU27 and its implications for the future of the EU. There has certainly never been a more challenging or interesting time to learn about the EU!

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

EC538 - Economic Controversies (15 credits)

The purpose of this module is to teach the skills of economic reasoning and argument by exposing students to the big debates within the discipline and in economic policy.



The module will draw on current and past controversies across many economics sub-disciplines. This will equip students with the ability both to understand and contribute to the debates surrounding the recognised controversies within the discipline at a level consistent with an intermediate undergraduate degree course in Economics. The curriculum will also provide an insight into the academic and professional development of the discipline.



Students will be introduced to several controversies drawn from a range of topics pertinent to the discipline and relevant sub-disciplines. Students choose two of these to study in the Spring term.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC540 - Development Economics (15 credits)

There is a wide range of views and approaches to the study of economic development spanning the whole of the political spectrum from the Marxist left to the libertarian right, and also a rich historical literature. To understand the module, some prior knowledge of economic theory and statistics is required, and a willingness to read widely. But the aim of the module is to teach the basic principles of economic development in order to answer such questions as:

Why are there divisions in the world economy between rich and poor countries?

How did these divisions arise and what forces perpetuate them?

How important are such factors as agriculture, industry, investment performance, population growth, domestic finance, international finance and trade in explaining the economic performance of nations?

What role does economics in general have to play in an understanding of why some countries are poor and others rich?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC541 - Economics Dissertation (30 credits)

This dissertation is a 30-credit module based on self-directed study, which allows you to develop a complete piece of work within the general field of economics, from the initial idea through to a final written report. It is unique amongst the modules you are taking towards your degree in Economics, both in the ways that you learn and in the ways that you are assessed. Your learning will be largely independent, but is supported by structured supervision from your dissertations supervisor and weekly computing sessions to help in accessing, coding analysing and interpreting your data.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EC542 - Econometrics I: An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata (15 credits)

This is a 15-credit module in applied econometrics using Stata (the most popular general-purpose statistical software package used by empirical economists), for students who have followed Stage 1 modules in mathematics and statistics and who have taken the Stage 2 module in quantitative methods (EC511) or equivalent. What distinguishes this module is the adoption of the modern learning-by-doing approach to teaching econometrics, which emphasises the application of econometrics to real world problems. The focus is on understanding the theoretical aspects that are critical in applied work and the ability to correctly interpret empirical results.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC543 - Econometrics 2: Topics in Time Series (15 credits)

Empirical research in macroeconomics as well as in financial economics is largely based on time series, ie chronological sequences of observations, showing the development of quantities, goods and asset prices, and interest rates. The module offers an introduction to contemporary time-series econometrics, linking the theory to empirical studies of the macroeconomy. Topics include: stationary and non-stationary stochastic processes; linear autoregressive and moving average models; linear difference equations; autoregressive distributed lag models; cointegration and equilibrium correction; vector autoregressive models. These topics are illustrated with a range of theoretical and applied exercises, which are discussed in seminars and computer classes.



The module introduces you to the research methods used by macroeconomists in academia, government departments, think tanks and financial institutions. It also helps you to prepare for the quantitative requirements of a masters programme in economics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC544 - Economic Integration in the EU (15 credits)

The European Union features strongly in all discussions of economic policy and political decision making. Frequently economists are unable to provide a consistent analytical framework for the analysis of the various issues posed. In this module we explore the meaning and analysis of regional economic integration in the context of the EU. This provides a general introduction to the economic rationale for the existence of the EU, the working of some of its main policy areas, and a critique and assessment of the achievements to date. The module deals first with the origins of the EU, the theory of a Customs Union and questions of trade integration. Secondly, it covers the problems and relevance of monetary integration and the common currency area to the process of economic integration. Thirdly, it deals with some specific policy areas, in particular labour market policies, common agricultural policy and competition policy. At the end of this module you are expected to have knowledge of the basic theories underlying customs unions, and of the rationale for, and strength and weaknesses of, policy intervention at EU level.



This is a module in applied economics and the emphasis throughout is on the development of appropriate economic theories and their application in the specific context of the EU. It is not concerned with the detailed discussion of the Treaties or the implementation of policy measures. Decision making in the EU is introduced in order to understand the question of the exercise of economic power. The nature of the economic role of the European Union is such that this involves a broad coverage of both microeconomics and macroeconomics, often involving applied issues and applied analysis going beyond that covered in the main theory courses.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC545 - Economics of the Labour Market (15 credits)

Unemployment has become one of the biggest economic challenges facing many countries, placing the labour market at the core of current economic debate. Understanding the labour market is a prerequisite for informed discussions of issues surrounding the unemployment problem as well as other important topics like discrimination and immigration.



The first part of the module follows a fairly conventional approach to the study of labour economics, and covers the supply and demand for labour. We incorporate policy-orientated material throughout – for example, we examine the incentive effects of taxation and unemployment benefits on labour supply, and discuss the effect of pay-roll taxes on labour demand. The second part of the module covers the process of wage determination and unemployment. We analyse the dynamic behaviour of unemployment from a flow perspective (the ins and outs of unemployment) and introduce the role of matching and search frictions to explain the presence of frictional unemployment. Frictional unemployment exists because, even if there are as many vacancies as unemployed workers, in a labour market with imperfect information workers and firms need to spend time to meet and create a new employment relationship. Finally, the module analyses the dramatic rise in unemployment in some OECD countries over the last economic crisis, focusing particularly on the role played by the labour market institutions.



During the module you attend computer sessions to learn how to solve the labour supply model and the labour market equilibrium with the Excel Solver. The basic function of applied sessions in these labs is to improve your analytical skills in a dynamic and interactive way. The Excel Solver is described as a user-friendly and flexible tool for economic optimisation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC546 - Games for Economics and Business (15 credits)

The growing use of game theory by economists suggests that a professional economic education is incomplete without a firm understanding of this new tool. The module aims to introduce you to a topical and important research area of microeconomic analysis, to develop your skills in setting up and solving games that arise in business and economics, and to enable you to apply game theory to different areas of economics and business.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC547 - Industrial Economics (15 credits)

Industrial Economics studies why and how firms and industries behave and interact with each other. This is probably one of the most important and interesting areas in economics. Understanding firms' behaviour is relevant not only to the firms but also to the governments that design industrial policies in order to favour consumers without decreasing firms' efficiency.



During the module, we deal with issues that are present in everyday news: anti-competitive practices, the effect of market power on consumer welfare and the incentives for product innovation, and private and public effects of mergers. You have the chance to discuss and understand many of these topics in a deeper and more economically informed way.



This module has been designed for students who have already taken intermediate microeconomics. You are encouraged to apply economic analysis and techniques to understand the behaviour of firms and industries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC548 - International Finance (15 credits)

When we open a newspaper or an economics and business magazine, we often read topics related to monetary and financial relations between countries. A good deal of political debate is also focused on the various aspects that constitute international finance. However, these debates do not allow us to understand their theoretical underpinnings. This is what we are going to study in this module from a rigorous perspective. The first part of the module deals with some basic concepts of international macro such as the balance of payments and exchange rates, and arbitrage conditions. We then go on to analyse the impact of opening up the economy on the alternative macroeconomic policies available. In that part we also analyse the main factors that determine the exchange rates between currencies, and the power of the different models proposed. The third part of the module deals with ‘hot topics’ in international finance. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks of fixed and floating exchange rates, the concept of a speculative attack, how to understand current account imbalances from an inter-temporal perspective, and how world macroeconomic imbalances drove the 2008/09 international financial crisis and recent sovereign debt crisis in Europe.



The module has both a theoretical and an applied emphasis in order to insert the available theories into the real problems of the world economy. It does not analyse the detailed workings of international financial markets or questions related to firm financial management in international capital markets but students interested in these aspects can acquire basic foundations that are fundamental in understanding the context in which firms and governments work.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC549 - International Trade (15 credits)

The study of international trade has always been an especially lively and controversial area in economics. Yet there was never a time when the study of international trade was as important as today. The economies of different countries are more dependent on each other than they have ever been before, meaning that, among other things, regional crises can spread throughout the world. Keeping up to date with this changing international environment and being able to understand the dynamics behind it is of key importance to firms and governments.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC550 - Monetary Economics (15 credits)

This final year optional module covers a variety of monetary issues from both a theoretical and a policy perspective. It starts with an introduction to the role of money in the economy, and theories of money supply and demand. A discussion of the IS/LM model gives a basic foundation for analysing how monetary policy affects the economy, and a first theoretical perspective on the neutrality of money – ie whether monetary policy has real effects on the macroeconomy, in either the short or long run. This is followed by a discussion of other theoretical perspectives on neutrality, and relevant evidence. If monetary policy does have real effects, how are these brought about and what are the implications for monetary transmission? The remainder of the module discusses current issues in monetary policy – the goals of monetary policy and how these are expressed in modern simple models of monetary policy, central bank independence and inflation targeting.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC553 - Public Economics (15 credits)

To understand and be able to evaluate the role played by government in the economy it is important to understand key elements of microeconomic analysis and then be able to apply this understanding to the practical evaluation of policy issues. Economic theory is typically a positive science with right and wrong answers but evaluating policy issues is a much more normative science where there are often no correct answers (just opinions). The module reflects these two sides of studying public economics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC562 - Economics of Finance 1 (15 credits)

The economic analysis of financial markets and instruments is the starting point of financial economics and this module provides a concise overview of capital markets. Specifically, it examines how the economics of uncertainty have been applied extensively in financial markets. It focuses on the structure of each financial market (such as the trading volume and investors in it), recommended investment strategies for a specific type of investor, and market conventions. We emphasise both practical knowledge and analytical techniques and several useful mathematical skills are explained.



The module first introduces key principles, such as discounting, diversification, no arbitrage and hedging, and then discusses each asset class, such as bonds, equities and their derivatives (instruments), emphasising the general idea behind them. Although different types of assets require different methods of valuations and risk control, the basic principles are common to all asset classes. The module also covers asset liability management (ALM) and other related topics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC563 - Economics of Finance 2 (15 credits)

The module develops your skills in asset pricing and your understanding of the theoretical basis of this subject. It stresses practical training in asset pricing.



The two main topics in the module are investors’ utility maximisation and arbitrage theory in derivative pricing, which is mainly discussed in discrete time models. The most important goal is to give you the ability to apply the model to real data.



Although the module requires some mathematical techniques, its aim is to offer practical training, putting stress on the intuitions and heuristics behind theorems and formulae, rather than their rigorous derivations and semantic definitions. Moreover, you are not only expected to understand theories but also expected to master how to use them.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC565 - Extended Economics Essay (15 credits)

The module aims to provide an alternative to the EC541 dissertation option for students. In this module, rather than conducting an original piece of research, you are given a set of questions with readings. You can also construct your own question so long as it is approved. You choose a question and (with help from your supervisor) write a 5,000 word essay on this question. The material covered in these essays is typically broader than that explored in the dissertation option and there is no requirement to make any 'contribution to knowledge'. However, the essays still demand more independent work than required for coursework in other modules. You are expected to read round the question AND to assimilate concepts and ideas not covered in lectures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC568 - World Economic and Financial History from the 19th Century (15 credits)

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the evolution of the world economy from the 19th century to the present. This period experienced rapid growth of trade, saw a massive migration from Europe to the Americas and the rise, fall and rise again of globalisation. A knowledge of the history of the world economy in this period allows us to understand today’s world economy better; enlightens our understanding of world income inequality, trade patterns and sources of growth; and teaches us important policy lessons from past recessions and recoveries.



Topics covered on the module include growth and trends pre-1913 and the interwar years; the gold standard; commodity and labour market integration; the Great Depression; and recovery from the Great Depression.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC569 - Economic Growth (15 credits)

This module covers a variety of growth issues from both empirical and theoretical views. The first part of the course deals with basic concepts of economic growth, including how to measure growth and the core theories of economic growth. The second part deals with productivity; how to measure productivity and analyse different sources of productivity growth. The third part deals with economic fundamentals, including the relationship between government policies, income inequality, and growth.



The aim of the module is to teach the basic principles of economic growth in order to answer such questions as:

- what are the determinants of growth?

- how can we improve productivity?

- what kind of role does the government play on growth?

- why are there differences in the level of income among countries?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC570 - Microeconomics of Development (15 credits)

In the last 30 to 35 years, the study of economic development has increasingly focused on the behaviour of individuals – their opportunities, constraints, and choices – to understand the causes and nature of poverty, and on formulating strategies for improving their economic well-being. This trend includes the increased application of microeconomic theories to understand phenomena related to underdevelopment, the collection and analysis of data at the individual level (as opposed to the regional or national level) and, most recently, the use of lab and field experiments to better understand individual behaviour.



The module introduces you to these trends, to show how the related microeconomic tools have contributed to a better understanding of the process of economic development. Some of these methods are now widely used by international development agencies – such the World Bank and DfID – as well as academic researchers to critically assess development strategies and evaluate programmes aimed at improving the economic well-being of the poor in developing countries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC571 - Agricultural, Food and Natural Resource Economics (15 credits)

This module introduces you to agriculture, food and natural resource economics and economics generally. A key objective is to help you develop an ability to apply economic thinking to problems in this area. The module considers various aspects of agricultural, food and resource economics including food production, economic theory related to agricultural policy, food supply chains and food prices, food economics specifically food labels and various economic aspects of natural resource management such as forestry and fisheries.



The module is divided into three parts. In Part A we examine the relationship between the economy and the agriculture. In Part B we consider aspects of food economics. In Part C we examine various issues relating to natural resource. The emphasis in all parts of the module is to understand the links between theory and practice.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC581 - Introduction to Time-Series Econometrics (15 credits)

This module provides an analytical introduction to time-series econometrics and the challenges that present themselves with the analysis of time-series economic data. A key issue in this regard involves consideration of whether or not a time-series process is stationary. Traditional econometric techniques such as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) are poorly suited to the estimation of economic models or data which exhibit non-stationary processes. This module provides an introduction to econometric methods that are suitable for stationary and non-stationary time series analyses.



The focus of the module is predominantly analytical providing students with the knowledge and understanding of time-series techniques commonly used to analyse economic data. The application of these techniques is also considered using specialist econometric software (eg Eviews). The module equips students with the analytical tools to carry out advanced time-series econometrics work at a later stage of their degree programme.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC580 - Introduction to Econometrics (15 credits)

The quantitative estimation and evaluation of economic models is an essential feature of the study and application of economics. This module provides an introduction to econometric theory and the application of econometric techniques to economic models and data. This is achieved by explaining key economic and econometric issues using applications of econometrics that quantify and evaluate economic theory and which provide an empirical evaluation of economic behaviour and the assessment of economic policy.



The module provides both an analytical and practical introduction to econometric theory, equipping students with the analytical tools to carry out applied econometric work and to explore more advanced areas of econometric theory at later stages of their chosen degree programme. The practice and application of econometrics is achieved using both Microsoft Excel and specialist econometric software (eg Eviews &/or Stata).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC534 - The Economics of Money and Banking (15 credits)

The module asks what determines the set of equilibrium prices required to provide an appropriate level of savings in an economy to finance the expected level of expected activity. It tries to link models of money, banking and finance into one generic, or foundation, view. Specifically, we shall move towards an understanding of how financial and economic innovation have moved hand in glove over many centuries and how it seems to be that when finance fails, so does the modern market economy. Some of the questions we consider are:



How can we analyse the appearance of money in an economy?

What is the link between money and finance?

What explains bank runs?

Why is it so difficult to explain exchange rates?

Can we explain the occurrence of financial crises?



This second-year optional module emphasises both historical experience and analytical techniques. The economic analysis of financial markets and instruments is the starting point for understanding financial markets.



Note, this module is a pre-requisite for students wanting to take EC562 in Stage 3.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC532 - Environmental Economics, Institutions and Policy (15 credits)

This module introduces you to environmental economics and economics generally. A key objective of the module is to help you develop an ability to apply economic thinking to environmental problems. The module considers various aspects of environmental economics including why pollution occurs and how policy can be designed and implemented to deal with it, how to place economic value on the environment and how to understand sustainable development in microeconomic terms.



The module is divided into three parts. In Part A we examine the relationship between the economy and the environment. In Part B we consider how environmental policy can be designed, implemented and evaluated in relation to environmental pollution. In Part C we examine issues of environmental valuation, which is a rapidly growing area of research in environmental economics. The emphasis in all parts of the course is to understand the links between theory and practice.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EC531 - Policy Analysis (15 credits)

This module applies economic theory and statistical methods to the understanding and critical assessment of economic policy. It is designed for students who have completed Stage 1 Economics. For students studying for an economics degree, the module complements the core second year modules by focusing on the policy application of economic concepts and provides an introduction to material studied in greater depth in third year ‘specialist’ modules. For other students, it provides the opportunity to consider an economist’s perspective on important policy issues. A key aspect of this module is the relationship of economics to current and ongoing policy problems.



The module introduces you to a variety of contemporary, mainly microeconomic, policy issues. Alongside formal lectures, it also consists of several workshops, which provide opportunities to develop and demonstrate your problem solving and analytical skills. They also give guidance on identifying sources in the literature, data relevant to economic research, analysis of data and the presentation of results orally, as well as in writing. This focus provides opportunities to develop a range of highly transferable skills and lay the foundations to the independent learning skills you require for many of the modules in Stage 3.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO612 - Policy-making in the EU (15 credits)

Since the mid-1980s the EU has experienced an intense period of constitution building with the ratification of more than five amending treaties. These treaty changes have significantly altered the Union’s policy-making process both in terms of competence and policy reach. Nearly every area of domestic public policy now has some ‘European’ dimension. At the same time the EU has also experienced deep economic crisis and increased questioning of the purpose and trajectory of European integration and policy-making. The focus of this module is on the European Union (EU) as a system of public policy-making at the heart of all these changes. The module will address topics including: the evolution of various flagship EU policies including the Single Market programme, environmental policy, economic and monetary policy, foreign, security and defence policy, and justice and home affairs. At the end of the module, students will be able to conceptualise and contextualise key developments in EU policy-making. They will also be able to analyse the kind of political and economic order that has emerged in Europe today as well as the various challenges it faces.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO616 - The Politics of Trust (in the USA) (15 credits)

Much recent academic and popular commentary has focused on citizens’ supposed mistrust of government, especially in the United States of America. The central aim of the Politics of Trust is to uncover the reasons for Americans’ malaise. However, students will also examine other western democracies where trust has fallen to see if these countries’ experiences can inform our understanding of the US case specifically and the politics of trust more generally. The course begins with a history of trust in America, with an overview of the putative reasons for declining trust in the post-World War II period, with an examination of the experiences of other western democracies. The second part turns to the specific explanations for declining trust as posited by academics and political commentators. Explanations include the crisis of government performance, spin, the internecine warfare between Republicans and Democrats, the changing nature of the modern labour market, declining social capital, and the media.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO664 - Conflict Analysis and Northern Ireland: History, Politics & Culture (15 credits)

This course will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the recent political history of Northern Ireland. The course will be accessible to all students, whether they are new to the topic or not. The main objective of the course is to provide students with a greater understanding of one of the most complex regions within the United Kingdom. Students who take the course will learn about the central issues that underpinned community conflict, why sectarian conflict broke out in the region in the late 1960s, why it continued for so long, and what political dynamics led to the ‘peace process’ of the 1990s. In addition to looking at the conventional historical and political development of Northern Ireland, the course will also focus on wider aspects of the society such as representations in Irish poetry, music and sport, and the way in which these have mirrored political and cultural relationships within the region.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO665 - Advanced Topics in Politics and International Relation (15 credits)

This module is designed to offer Stage 3 Politics and International Relations students an opportunity to study a topic in politics and international relations at an advanced level. Participation will be limited to students who have demonstrated strong writing and analytical skills in their Stage 2 coursework (with a minimum average of 60%) and the topics may vary from year to year depending on the research and teaching interests of academic staff. The module will build on the concepts, theories and methods that students have acquired in their previous studies, introducing them to more advanced readings and further developing their knowledge and understanding of the scholarship at the forefront of their discipline in a given issue area. Students will work very closely with academic staff and will benefit from their research expertise and individual feedback in a small group setting. The module will assist students in developing their critical and analytical skills and help them to understand the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge concerning their advanced topic in politics and/or international relations.



FOR THE 2016/2017 ACADEMIC YEAR



Two topics will be offered in 2016/17, and BOTH will take place in the Spring Term. Students may only take one topic within this module.





Topic title: Global Gender Justice, Convenor: Dr Andrea Den Boer



This module addresses some of the complex issues regarding achieving justice for women internationally through a thematic examination of classical and cutting-edge scholarship in the areas of gender, security, and human rights. We will interrogate practices of representation of women as victims and explore the cultural, religious, political, and social challenges and barriers to achieving gender justice within the family, the community, the state and global society. We will analyse the effectiveness and limits of international organisations, international human rights instruments, NGOs and activists to bring about change in women's lives. The seminar will be guided by an overall aim to explore the extent to which gender inequality within the state has an impact on state behaviour, with a specific focus on state development and state security.



Students gain an awareness of the following themes: the situation of women around the world; the ways in which gender affects social, political, and economic status; the evolving study of gender in international politics (with an emphasis on security and human rights); the political implications of scholarship; and the links between gender, feminism, and activism.



The seminar requires previous knowledge of international relations, but will introduce students to feminist theories relevant to the study of gender in international relations. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve a close reading of key texts as a group as well as discussion/debate of the weekly topics.





Topic title: Russia and its Neighbours, Convenor: Professor Richard Sakwa



The crisis over Ukraine from 2013 was stark demonstration of the failure to establish an inclusive and mutually legitimate system of European security and international politics after the end of the Cold War. On the one side, Russia was treated as a defeated power, even though the country did not see itself as such, and was assigned a modest role in world affairs. In the end this provoked a type of Weimar syndrome in a country whose dignity and interests were perceived to have been ignored. On the other side, the European Union and NATO have claimed to be advancing a type of 'post-modern' politics in which traditional Westphalian notions of balance of power and geopolitical interests have given way to a benign notion of economic and normative homogenization. Two contrasting visions of world order came into contestation.



The module will examine the evolution of Russian foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and its interactions with the EU and NATO. The broader context of the tension between greater and wider visions of Europe will be analysed, as well as the tensions within representations of Europe itself. More specifically, Russia's relations with its immediate neighbours will be studied in the context of moves towards the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the development of greater Asian ideas, notably in the consolidation of 'non-Western' institutions (such as the SCO and BRICS) accompanied by the emergence of a narrative of resistance and insulation from Western hegemony.



The seminar requires some familiarity with international relations theory and European politics, but will introduce students to the fundamental developments in Russian and Euro-Asian politics and international relations. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve a reading of key texts as a group as well as discussion/debate of the weekly topics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO666 - Religion and International Politics (15 credits)

This module introduces students to the complex set of questions surrounding religion in international politics. The module begins by exploring contending political and sociological understandings of religion at the turn of the 20th century. It looks, in particular, at the constructed nature of the categories of the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’, and at the limits of the secularization thesis, which anticipated the privatization, decline and ultimately disappearance of religion in modernity. The discussion then turns to the relation between religion and secularism in Europe – with a focus on the question of European identity, multiculturalism, the relation between Europe and Islam and the numerous controversies surrounding Islam in Europe – and in the United States – with a focus on the concept of civil religion and the role of religious rhetoric and thinking in US foreign policy, particularly in the so-called ‘war on terror’. The module then explores the relation between religion and violence by looking at the role of the 16th and 17th wars of religion in the process of modern state formation and by asking whether there is a genuine connection between religion and violence. The concluding part of the module focuses on the emerging concept of the ‘postsecular’, its contending meanings, understandings and possible applications by focusing on the case of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO675 - Politics and IR Internship (15 credits)

This module blends practical workplace experience, in the form of an internship in the area of politics and international relations, with taught seminars and private study. The internship will allow students to experience first-hand the practical application of their degree subject in the wider world of work, and will provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and self-organisation. The taught seminars will provide an opportunity to reflect upon, and develop, knowledge of the sector and its relationship with the academic field of study, using the student’s internship experiences and a range of other resources. This will include input from School staff and alumni working in relevant fields, as well as appropriate support from employability and careers-guidance professionals.



It will be the student’s responsibility to source and apply for internship opportunities, but assistance will be provided both by the School’s Employability, Internships, Placements and Alumni Relations Officer, and the University’s Careers and Employability Service. These opportunities should be in an organisation whose aims and activities are broadly related to politics and international relations, and the internship should reflect these activities and give the student the opportunity to work in a way which allows the module learning objectives to be achieved. Students on pre-approved School-administered internships (currently those based with Kent Union and the Representation of the EU Commission to the UK) will also be eligible to take this module.



The internship must consist of at least 60 hours of work, but this may be spread across a number of days / weeks and need not be a full-time position. The module convenor will approve of all internship opportunities prior to their commencement and students are advised to liaise closely with the module convenor and other appropriate staff in good time. Internships must finish by the date of the final seminar, and the School will provide all documentation and relevant insurance / health and safety checks to ensure that the placement meets both University and sector requirements and guidance on work-related learning opportunities.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO676 - The Radical Right in Western Democracies (15 credits)

One of the most striking developments in established Western democracies has been the electoral growth of extreme right and radical right-wing political parties. In this module students will investigate the nature and rise of extreme and radical right-wing parties, while also exploring other related issues such as right-wing extremist and racially-motivated violence and/or terrorism. This module will introduce students to the academic literature that has followed a resurgence of support for the extreme right. The module will familiarise students with conceptual and theoretical debates within this literature, and introduce students to some of the associated methodological debates. Students will be encouraged to think critically about concepts, classifications, ideologies, electoral behaviour and the broader implications of the rise of these parties and social movements in areas such as public policy and social cohesion.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO629 - Terrorism and Political Violence (15 credits)

This module introduces students into the study of terrorism and political violence, and thereafter deepens their knowledge of the controversial aspects of this subject. The initial lectures will deal with definitional problems involved in the concept of "terrorism" and various theories about the causes of political violence in its different forms. With a point of departure in a chronological review tracing the origins of the phenomenon long back in history, the module will later study the emergence of political terrorism during the second half of the 19th century. This will be followed by a study of state and dissident terrorism in different parts of the world. The module will also address the relationship between religious radicalism and different forms of political violence, including "new terrorism" and possible use of weapons of mass destruction. Then, the focus of attention will be shifted to implications of various counter-terrorism strategies and "The War on Terrorism" for democracy and human rights. These issues will be addressed with a special focus on methodological problems involved in the study of terrorism and political violence.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO630 - Politics of The Middle East (15 credits)

This module introduces students into the study of the Middle East as a region and an arena of international conflict. Against the background of a historical review of the developments in the 20th century, the module will focus on the colonial past of the region, the imperial legacy, the emergence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the impact of sub-state loyalties – i.e. factors which have shaped the Middle East as a region and as a security complex. In this context, the students will explore the ideological developments in the region, most important among them, the rise and fall of Arab nationalism, the emergence of Islamic radicalism and the consolidation of the Israeli right. Adopting an international relations perspective, the module will also cover the impact of outside state actors, such as USA, Russia and the EU on the Middle East as a whole and on the relationships among those states that compose this region. Finally, the students will study the debate about "Orientalism" and the problematic aspects of the Western academic study of the Middle East and the Islamic world. These issues will be addressed with a special focus on the problem of bias involved in the academic study of the Middle East.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO634 - Understanding US Foreign Policy: War, Trans- formation and Terror (15 credits)

This module offers a comprehensive study of US foreign policy since 1945. Ranging from ‘containment’, ‘democratic enlargement’, and ‘the war on terror’ the module introduces students to the concept of ‘grand strategy’ and the need to understand the broader intellectual platform and foundations of the way in which the United States engages with the world. A number of case studies are used to explore this such as the work of George Kennan, the Vietnam War, and the move towards ‘smart power’ under presidents Bush and Obama. In addition to this the course also explores questions on the social construction of state identity in the American national consciousness and how both the media and political elites help to shape public opinion and attitudes that relate to America’s ‘friends’, ‘allies’, and ‘enemies’. The course also explores the concept of ‘soft power’ as a method of extending American influence and power in the world and questions the idea of American decline.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO645 - Market States and Post Democracy (15 credits)

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

The first part of the module examines the formation of 'market-states', beginning with a critical discussion of this concept. This will be the starting point for a wider engagement with Smithian, Marxist, Keynesian and neo-liberal accounts. The focus will be on those who theorise the conditions for the convergence of state and market. The second part turns to the evolution of democracy in relation to capitalism. A brief survey of the recent post-democracy literature will be followed by a discussion of key concepts. Examples include the conception of capitalism and democracy as "quasi-religions" (Walter Benjamin) and various arguments that formal democratic representation and abstract capitalist exchange engender a "society of spectacle".

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO646 - Presidents, Parliaments and Democracy (15 credits)

This module introduces students to central debates about the influence of different executive formats on democratic government. The course examines the differences between and within presidential, parliamentary and semi-presidential constitutions and examines their consequences for the quality of democracy and for policy outcomes. The course initially focuses on identifying the key institutions and processes that shape the behaviour and strategies of politicians in the executive, before moving on to consider the consequences of these for governance, policy-making and democratic stability. Throughout the central focus is on understanding the extent and the ways that formal political institutions may shape how politicians respond to citizen preferences, bargain with each other to resolve political conflict and choose policies. Students will be exposed to different ways of thinking about the impact of political institutions on politics, different ways of conceptualizing and measuring democratic performance and encouraged to think about how a broad range of other factors may interact with constitutional formats to shape outcomes. The approach used will be broadly comparative and will use case-specific and cross-national evidence from both developed and less developed democracies in all regions of the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO652 - Politics in the Classroom (15 credits)

The module will begin with training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These will include sessions on the relationship with the teacher, how to behave with pupils, as well as how to organise an engaging and informative session on an aspect of politics drawn from the national curriculum. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend one session per week for six weeks in a school in Spring term (this session includes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher and ‘in class’ time with the teacher and pupils – 3 hours in total). They will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take ‘hotspots’: brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally the student will progress to the role of “teacher” and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a weekly log of their activities. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of citizenship and politics within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special project (final taught lesson) in consultation with the teacher and with the module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the project.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO653 - Marxism: Politics and International Relations (15 credits)

The module is aimed to introduce students to Marxist theory and to enable them to assess both the contemporary and historical significance of Marxism in world politics. Students are expected to read some of the key texts of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels and to consider varied interpretations and critiques of Marxist methods, writings and theories. Students are also expected to consider the political contexts in which these theories and debates emerged and their implications for political practice. Students are not expected to demonstrate any detailed knowledge of the history of Marxist-inspired governments, regimes or political movements.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO654 - Politics of Deeply Divided Societies (15 credits)

This module explores the linkages between mediation theory and the practice of conflict resolution in deeply divided societies. Topics include the theory and practice of negotiations, conflict escalation and peace mediations while specific emphasis will be given to the role of regional or international institutions in early conflict prevention. The module applies negotiation theory in the study of state disintegration, demographic and environmental conflict, property rights, federal management and transitional justice. The course engages with the core literature in negotiation theory and exposes students to a number of simulations aiming to improve negotiation skills (identifying best alternatives, revealing or not preferences, identifying win-win arrangements, defeating spoilers and exercising veto rights). Because of the practical skills taught in the module and the interactive nature of in-class simulations, students are expected to attend lectures and tutorials. Finally, the course examines the role of citizens and community organizations in peace mediations focusing on a number of selected case studies from deeply divided societies specifically Israel/Palestine, the former Yugoslavia, South Africa, Greece/Turkey (including Cyprus & the Kurdish issue), Rwanda and Northern Ireland.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO655 - Public Opinion and Polling (15 credits)

Democracy rests on the will of citizens. But how can we identify this ‘will’? Elections are one method; but more regular expressions of citizen views are possible via opinion polls. Indeed, a range of public and private bodies routinely use polls to identify popular attitudes. But what are the ‘opinions’ supposedly revealed by these polls, how do surveys go about identifying opinions and how valid are their results?



This module introduces students to the theory and practice of public opinion and its measurement. The module focuses on two main questions. First, what is public opinion? How far do people’s attitudes pre-exist and how far are they instead ‘shaped’ by the way questions are asked? Are attitudes informed and considered, or are they largely knee-jerk responses based on little information? If, in fact, citizens know little about politics, are there ways in which they can, nonetheless, form meaningful views on important public issues? The answers to these questions are central to the task of assessing the proper role of public opinion in modern democracies. The second question asks how public opinion is measured. What are the main features of social surveys, and how well do they measure public attitudes? This section of the module pays particular attention to the ways that different types of survey can affect the responses that people give, and to the principles and practices of effective survey design.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO656 - Humans at War (15 credits)

This module aims to investigate the different roles and experiences of human beings at and in war. Following an introduction to issues regarding agency (How do people act in the social world? How much freedom do they have? What impact can their actions have?), the course will examine the roles of combatants (both state and non-state), civilians (men, women and children), and third parties (peacekeepers, humanitarian workers, journalists, and academics). The module will draw on academic literature, but also written, oral and video testimony and artwork to examine these categories first as a social group (examining questions such as age brackets, income brackets, education, life expectancy), then in terms of their political functions and roles, and finally in an attempt to access some degree of experiential knowledge of war and peace. Due to the sensitive nature of the material examined, the module will not be using lecture capture.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO557 - Japan in the World (15 credits)

This module explores the place of Japan in today’s international system. It not only investigates Japan’s most important bilateral relationships, such as the Japan-US axis and relations with China, Korea, etc., but also Japan’s increasing role in multilateral bodies, such as the UN, ASEAN and APEC. Economic questions and security issues will both be addressed alongside the problems of Japanese energy. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of how the China/Japan conflict gets more important and how Japan’s perception may differ from those in Europe or the USA.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO558 - The Contemporary Politics of Japan (15 credits)

This module will examine the domestic politics of Japan, starting with the changes made by the American occupation. We will then explain the institutions and informal practices which maintained long-term one-party-dominant rule of the LDP (1955-1993). Attention will be paid to electoral rules, the government and opposition parties, collusion between the LDP/business/bureaucracy and voting behaviour.

Attention will then move to how the system has changed since the 1993 election which saw the LDP lose its majority. We will analyse the successes of Koizumi and the new era of post-Koizumi politics. We will assess the current Prime Minister and how he is running Japan. We will analyse the 2009 DPJ government and assess its' successes and failures. The module will end with assessment of the Fukushima management of the disaster and the new LDP government.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO563 - Foreign Policy Analysis and Management (15 credits)

This module examines the complex relationship between foreign policy analysis and foreign policy practice. It does so by exploring shifting approaches to making and examing foreign policy, including the contributions of IR theory to Foreign Policy Analysis. Historical antecedents of foreign policy as a practice are examined via observations of traditional bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, followed by traditional state-based actors, non-state actors, and the nature of the structure they inhabit. FP decision-making is then examined, followed by the process of foreign policy implementation. The issue of motivation is tackled through analyses of the largely domestic impact of culture, interests and identity and broader effect of intra-state norms, ethics, the issue of human rights. Case studies of key countries reinforce the practical implications of above-mentioned issues throughout the module.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO566 - Europe and the World (15 credits)

This module focuses on European foreign policy, i.e. the ‘external dimension’ of European politics, exploring the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world. Following the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU now stands poised to unleash significant foreign policy potential in its neighbourhood, and beyond. The difference between the EU and ‘Europe’ will be examined in component fashion through the foreign policies of some of the major European states.

Thereafter, the foreign policy tools of the EU will be looked at, after moving into an in-depth thematic treatment of the key foreign policy issues facing the EU vis-à-vis its security, defence, economic, trade and development relations, and its dynamics with ‘rising powers’, the US, its eastern and southern neighbours in Central Europe, Asia and North Africa.

Other issues include its burgeoning military capacity and a growing set of overseas military missions. Broader themes will include the impact of global developments on Europe, the international significance of European integration and the more general role of Europe in the new world order This course will draw on theories from political science and international relations and concepts defining Europe’s global role.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO579 - Post Communist Russia (15 credits)

We examine the main challenges facing post-communist Russia and in particular assess the development of democracy. We discuss the main institutions and political processes: the presidency, parliament, federalism, elections, party development and foreign policy, as well as discuss Yeltin’s, Putin’s and Medvedev's leadership. We end with a broader evaluation of issues like the relationship of markets to democracy, civil society and its discontents, nationalism, political culture and democracy and Russia's place in the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO590 - Specialist Dissertation (2 units) (30 credits)

PO590 gives students an opportunity to write an 8,000-word dissertation on a topic of their choice, thus allowing them to become specialists in the subject area they find most interesting. A series of lectures and seminars will guide students through the research process from turning research interests into proper research questions, to choosing a method, to designing the research, and to conducting the research. Students will also have supervisors who will be able to advise them on how to make effective progress with their projects. PO590 gives interested final-year students an opportunity to creatively apply what they have learned in their programmes in order to produce a ‘showpiece’ of academic work, which can be used as a writing sample in support of applications for jobs or admission to graduate studies. The module also includes the PO590 Student Conference (normally held on the Friday of the Spring term reading week), where students present their projects and preliminary findings.



Students with a poor record of coursework submission and with an average of coursework grades of less than 60% across all their Stage 2 modules will not be allowed to attend PO590. If you register for this module but fail to meet these conditions – good record of coursework submission and an average of 60% or higher in Stage 2 coursework grades – you will be asked to change your registration and select alternative modules.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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PO597 - Governance & Politics of Contemporary China (15 credits)

This module aims to provide students with a critical review of China's political development in the 20th and early 21st centuries. After a brief overview of China's political history since 1949, it is designed around two core blocks of study.



The first block looks at the principal political institutions that include the Communist Party, the government (the 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 facing the country in its ongoing development. They range from the prospects of democratisation and the growth of civil society, the issue of quality of life in the areas of the environment and public health, corruption, nationalism and ethnic minorities, national reunification, territorial disputes with neighbouring countries to China's engagement with global governance.



A major theme of the module is to address why the Chinese communist regime is more durable and resilient than other non-democratic countries in achieving both economic growth and political stability and acquiring international influence, despite the fact that it faces numerous mounting development and governance challenges.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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PO599 - European Security Co-operation (15 credits)

This module places the contemporary developments in European security integration within a historical context while focusing on institutional formation and the role of nation-states with the view to highlight continuities and changes constituted in the new Security Architecture. The module locates (Western) Europe’s place in international security vis-à-vis other actors including the United States and emerging powers in order to determine what type of security identity Europe has carved for itself in the post-War period. The module further considers the implications of cooperation for Europe’s ability to respond to external New Security Challenges.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & Assessment

Economics

All of our modules are taught by a combination of lectures and small group sessions, which include seminars, computing practicals, problem sets, debates and role-play games.

The School of Economics is committed to making sure that you leave Kent with much more than just a degree in Economics. We put great emphasis on the development of transferable skills, including numeracy, analytical problem solving, data analysis, and written and oral communication, as well as subject-specific skills for further study at postgraduate level.

The modules are assessed by continuous assessment of coursework throughout the year and an end-of-year exam in the final term. A number of modules at each stage are assessed solely through coursework.

Politics

Our main teaching methods 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.

Politics Open Forum

We hold a weekly extra-curricular Open Forum organised by our School research groups, where students and staff have the opportunity to discuss and debate key issues of the day that affect higher education and politics in the world today.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a stimulating education in the principles of economics and their application, in which high-quality teaching motivates students to achieve their full potential.
  • provide a flexible and progressive curriculum that is suitable for students who have or have not studied economics before.
  • develop in students the ability to apply economic knowledge, analytical tools and skills to theoretical, applied and policy problems.
  • provide a range of options to enable students to study selected areas of economics in depth. The teaching of these options is informed by the research and scholarship of teaching staff.
  • provide students with the knowledge, analytical and other skills from which they can proceed to employment in a related area to economics or further study in economics.
  • develop in all students, through the study of economics, a range of skills that will be of value in future employment.
  • provide information and advice on future employment and higher education opportunities.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main concepts, principles, theories, models and methods of modern economic analysis and their application in different areas of economics.
  • the analytical skills that allow students to formulate and consider economic problems and issues.
  • the mathematical and statistical methods used in economics.
  • some areas of the economic anlaysis of policy.
  • specific problems, issues and policies in a selection of areas in economics.
  • key concepts affecting decision-making.
  • critical discussion of selected economic problems, issues and policies in politics and media.
  • the study of other social science subjects.

Intellectual skills

You develop the ability to:

  • abstract the essential features of a complex system.
  • think about what are the important variables and fixed parameters in solving a problem.
  • ability to analysis complex issues using deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • ability to organise and use information to analyse complex issues and test different hypotheses.
  • ability to review critically alternative explanations and analyses of a problem.

Subject-specific skills

You develop the following subject-specific skills:

  • Analytical skills in economics
  • Ability to apply economic principles and analysis to selected issues, problems and policies
  • Ability to abstract the essential features of an economic issue, problem or system.
  • Knowledge and ability to make and provide advice on how to make economic decisions
  • Ability to synthesise and compare critically different economic analyses of an economic issue
  • Ability to research the literature on an economic issue.

Transferable skills

You develop the following transferable skills:

  • Effective communication of analysis and ideas both orally and in written form.
  • Ability to assemble, analyse, use and present data.
  • Understanding and ability to use economic, mathematical and some quantitative methods to analyse issues and problems.
  • Ability to analyse and make decisions using economic concepts, eg opportunity cost and strategic behaviour.
  • Development of some information technology skills.
  • Independence in initiating and executing work.
  • Ability to think critically about proposed analyses and solutions to a problem or issue.
  • Become responsible for managing own learning and academic performance.

Careers

Economics

Economics at Kent has a high success rate in the graduate employment market, with past students going on to careers in accountancy, banking, finance, journalism, management consultancy and business. Our range of modules provides the opportunity to tailor your degree to support your particular career choice, giving you a competitive edge in the employment market. Additionally, there are modules that concentrate on preparing you for life as a professional economist.

Our degrees not only provide you with economics training but also with many transferable skills. Most employers are looking for skills such as good communication, initiative and proactiveness, team working, time management, planning and organisation, analysing information and problem solving.

Economics at Kent has been recognised for its excellent employability record in the national league tables:

  • 7th for Graduate Prospects (based on 88% of full-time, first degree UK graduates taking up professional level employment or further study within 6 months of graduation) in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016
  • 5th for career prospects in the The Guardian University Guide 2016

Recent Economics graduates have gone on to work for Deloitte, the Government Economic Service, HMRC, Citibank, KPMG, PwC, Bank of America, Schroders, Goldman Sachs and Barclays.

Politics

Through your study, you acquire many of the key qualities that graduate employers expect, including: the ability to plan and organise projects; to analyse and summarise complex material, and to express your opinions coherently and with sensitivity. Those students who choose to take advantage of our study abroad options find it gives them a definite advantage in the employment market.

Recent graduates have gone into areas such as teaching, publishing, practical politics, local and central government, the diplomatic service, EU administration, financial services, non-governmental organisations, journalism, international business or international organisations. Many have also gone on to postgraduate study.

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 the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB from 3 full A levels, or BBB if A level Mathematics is included.

GCSE

Mathematics grade B

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

BTEC National Diploma at DD or BTEC Extended Diploma at DDD plus A level Mathematics at grade B.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL, including Mathematics SL or HL at 4, or Mathematical Studies at 6.

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
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 through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised. However, details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.  

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. Details of the scholarship for 2017 entry have not yet been finalised. However, for 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page. 

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Read our student profiles

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810
Part-time £4625 £6920

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.

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

Key Information Sets

Full Time


Part Time


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 information@kent.ac.uk.

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

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

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000