Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts - BA (Hons)

UCAS code LV99

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only

2019

Do you want to understand the world from a political, cultural, historical and economic perspective? Study Liberal Arts at Kent to examine how different disciplines interact, explore the forces and events shaping contemporary society, and learn a new language or improve your language skills.

Overview

Liberal Arts is a truly interdisciplinary degree. It develops your understanding of humanities subjects such as culture, history and politics, while enabling you to discuss key scientific controversies. This broad knowledge helps you to succeed professionally in the 21st century.

While the programme is run by the School of Politics and International Relations, you are taught by academics from across all three faculties at Kent. You receive high-quality teaching informed by cutting-edge research on a range of political, social, economic and cultural issues.

Our degree programme

At the heart of our Liberal Arts degree is a core set of modules that enable you to analyse and understand how and why we think, and act, the way we do. Through collective discussion and debate around seminal readings, you get a grasp of the full field of social sciences, physical sciences, arts and humanities. 

In the first year and second years, you take a combination of compulsory modules and optional modules to suit your interests and career plans. Study a broad range of subjects such as contemporary culture and society, modes of reasoning, and how technology and the economy shapes human cultures. You also take two language modules at beginner or intermediate level, in both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Your final year of study includes a dissertation module, where you focus on a topic related to your year abroad or on a research question of your choosing. You also take a compulsory module that develops your critical thinking skills and choose four optional modules, with approval from your tutor, from across the University.

Liberal Arts student Judith talks about her course at Kent.

Year abroad

You will spend the year between your second and final years studying or working abroad. We currently have links with universities in Europe and Japan. Students can opt out of studying/working abroad during stage one.

Study resources

Facilities and resources to support the study of Liberal Arts include:

  • access to the European Documentation Centre
  • a dedicated Student Support Manager, who advises on issues related to academic study as well as wider University life
  • a Study Skills Officer, who provides subject-related guidance
  • the Academic Peer Mentoring scheme, where first-year students are matched with second- or third-year students on a similar programme.

Extra activities

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

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

You are also encouraged to get involved in the programme of events and activities run by the School of Politics and International Relations, which focuses on bridging the gap between academic study and real-life politics. 

Our Public Speaker Programme features prominent academics and practitioners, who are invited to speak on current issues. You can also attend the Open Forum, a weekly debating group where staff and students discuss the hot topic of the week.

Independent rankings

The BA in Liberal Arts sits within the School of Politics and International Relations.

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 91% of final-year Politics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

In the National Student Survey 2018, over 91% of final-year Politics students who completed the survey, were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Of Politics students who graduated in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 95% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

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

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

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

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The BA in Liberal Arts is composed of compulsory and optional modules. Your optional modules can be chosen from a wide range of subjects across the University in consultation with the Programme Director. This may include subjects offered by Anthropology, Classic and Ancient History, Comparative Literature, Criminology, Film studies, History, Philosophy, Politics or Sociology. Please get in touch with the School of Politics and International Relations to discuss the modules in more detail.

The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Stage 1

You take all compulsory modules and then 30 credits of language modules in either Arabic, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Mandarin, Russian or Spanish (depending on your existing language level). Optional modules can be chosen from a wide range of subject within the University. 

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

One of the impediments to communication between different academic disciplines is their use of different ways of making, and validating, arguments and proofs. A key element of the programme in Liberal Arts is to develop a genuine inter-disciplinary approach so that students can understand, appreciate and assimilate the findings from diverse academic approaches. This module examines the varying modes of developing scientific, social scientific and humanities discourses to facilitate cross-disciplinary understanding of qualitative and quantitative reasoning. Following an introduction to Modes of Thought, engaging students with concepts of rationality as elaborated in logic and analytical reasoning, it will familiarise students in lectures and readings with quantitative and qualitative methodologies as well as with associated processes of data presentation, validation and conclusion reaching. Seminars will serve both to discuss and assess approaches and to familiarise students with working with techniques of data analysis and representation (quantitatively through statistical methods and software packages such as Excel and SPSS and qualitatively through sessions engaging grounded theory, narratology, actor network theory and image studies). Insofar as an element at the core of reasoning is representation per se, the issue of cognition and its unconscious shaping by both social and psychological forces will be addressed.

Themes introduced here not only intertwine with teaching and practical exercises in the two concurrent first year core modules (for instance the training in research design, statistical methods, and data analysis carried out here will be drawn upon in Understanding the Contemporaries' study of social and historical changes in local communities) but also recur throughout the rest of the programme. The cross-disciplinary debates – and communications – opened in this module will be revisited, and nuanced, over the following three years.

The module Modes of Reasoning is rich in transferable skills training, helping students to develop numeric and analytical skills, engaging them in the formulation and design of research questions and hypotheses, and familiarising them with select software packages.

Complimentary modules - Roots of Transformation (Autumn) and Understanding the Contemporary (Spring)

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30

'Understanding the Contemporary' will enable students to think critically about their own period, and analyse the forces and events shaping contemporary culture and society. Students will consider texts from a range of disciplines and will be selectively introduced to key ideas in contemporary theory and philosophy. They will furthermore apply insights drawn from their readings and discussions to practical analysis of contemporary situations, not only through developing awareness of current events but also through designing and carrying out field analysis of social and historical changes in local communities (linked both to the research plan designed in Modes of Reasoning and to SSPSSR's quantitative teaching methods programme). The focus of the module will be on the period since 2000, though clearly it will be necessary to reach back before that date to contextualise current issues. Students will be required to think critically about the ways different disciplines are formulating representations of the contemporary period, and to discuss themes and ideas that cross disciplines. Week by week, seminars and lectures will address topics that define the present period, for instance, migration, environmental change, financial crisis, democratic agency, and new media. The module will consider how different disciplines and intellectual traditions are responding to and framing such issues and developments so developing skills of comparative and cross-disciplinary reading. It is in the nature of the module that its study topics will vary from year to year. Overall, the module will develop multi-disciplinary understandings of the contemporary world and will encourage students to consider their role in shaping it.

Complimentary modules: Modes of Reasoning (Autumn and Spring), Roots of Transformation (Autumn)

View full module details
15

The module will prepare students to think critically about the forces shaping ways of being in the contemporary world, with attention to how 'the modern' has emerged from innovations and continuities in modes of production, reproduction and communication in the past two centuries.

This module examines the technological and economic revolutions that shape human cultures, with a particular focus from the 17th century to the early 20th century roots of modernity and the impacts of recent and developing technological innovations. Students will be introduced to basic issues in scientific and technological developments impacting upon the contemporary world and will, building on their understanding of these, investigate their ramifications in social practices and ideations, in philosophical discourse and in the fields of aesthetic and literary production.

Students will be required to think critically about the ways different disciplines respond to and are shaped by technological and social developments, and will be encouraged to engage these from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

Overall, the module will develop multi-disciplinary understandings of the history of the contemporary world and will encourage students to become aware of, and to understand, the 'unseen' influences which enable and constrain our ways of being so as to both work with them and, where appropriate, seek to shape them.

Complimentary modules: Modes of Reasoning (Autumn and Spring), Understanding the Contemporary (Spring)

View full module details
15
Optional modules may include Credits

This module will build on from the Common European Framework of Reference A2.1 level (LA305) where you can, in a simple way, introduce yourself and family, express daily routine and describe people with a full command of Hiragana, Katakana and basic 50 Kanji. In LA320, you will continue to develop the vocabularies, expressions, sentence structures, grammar that are used in your immediate environment and learn a further 50 new Kanji. Seminars will focus on 'practising the language' through communicative activities, grammar exercises and writing short compositions in a friendly, stimulating atmosphere. You will also gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst developing speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. You will find example of topics in the 'Learning outcomes' section.

View full module details
15

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA318 (equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) A2.2 level), or for students who can use approximately 600 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA319 is to build from module LA318. This is intended to help students achieve the proficiency level which is equivalent to lower B1 level on CEFR.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on: everyday communication skills including expressing time duration of an action and the distance between 2 places, talking about entertainments, giving and receiving compliments and gifts, etc. Topics related to travelling and living in China will also be covered in this module.

You will gain knowledge on the cultural aspects of the above topic areas through seminars. Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practised through communicative activities in the stimulating and engaging seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games for self-study.

View full module details
15

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA303, or for students who can use approximately 350 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA318 is to build from the Post-Beginners module of LA303. This is intended to give students some familiarity, at an upper elementary level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in China.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on everyday communication skills including: exchanging personal information; expressing opinions about shopping experiences; asking and giving directions; describing illness, people's appearances and personalities, exchanging currencies etc.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained and practised through communicative activities in stimulating and engaging seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games for self-study.

View full module details
15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. The course consolidates and extends the skills acquired on Arabic Post-Beginners A2.2 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your communicative skills to enable you to engage in interactive activities and situations and gain a better understanding of university life and culture in the Arab world, and develop your cultural awareness of the countries and cities around the Arab world.

This module aims to enable you to use a wide range of grammatical patterns as well as to use sophisticated vocabulary and expressions. It also aims to develop your ability to process the Arabic writing system accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a range of texts on different topics with confidence.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. The course consolidates and extends the skills you acquired on Arabic Post-Beginners A2.1 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your communicative skills to enable you to express yourself effectively and confidently in a variety of situations regularly encountered at university and studying. You will be encouraged to exchange information on topics such as friendship, hobbies and travel.

It aims to enable you to use a range of grammatical patterns as well as to use fairly sophisticated vocabulary and expressions. It also aims to develop your ability to process the Arabic writing system accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a range of texts on different topics with ease.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

This module will build on from the Common European Framework of Reference A2.2 level (LA320) where you learned the vocabularies and grammar used in directions, polite requests, hobbies, illness and personal descriptions in complex structures with a full command of Hiragana, Katakana and a basic 100 Kanji. In this module, you will develop the vocabularies, expressions, sentence structures, grammar that are used in university, part-time work and leisure situations and will learn a further 54 new Kanji. You will learn the relevant vocabularies and grammar for seminars prior to each seminar and seminars will focus on you practising these in role play, grammar exercise and writing short compositions in a friendly, stimulating atmosphere. You will also gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst developing speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. You will find example of topics in the 'Learning outcomes' section

View full module details
15

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, with everyday life, activities and the culture in Mandarin Chinese speaking countries.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life including greetings and introductions, talking about oneself and getting to know each other. Basic skills useful to people visiting China will be taught including describing preferred drinks and daily activities. An introductory level of Chinese culture will be covered such as social interaction and geography including major cities.

The cultural aspects of the above topic areas will be taught in seminars, by means of Mandarin Chinese course books, audio materials and online resources and through sharing experiences of a tutor and students. Students will have access to these materials and additional resources on Moodle. A range of resources is also available at the library.

View full module details
15

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity with everyday life, activities and the Chinese culture.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an elementary level of communication skills to explain very simple factual information on personal and very familiar topics such as talking about food, time, asking and giving simple opinions on familiar topics. Basic skills useful to people visiting China will be taught including expressing how to go to/come to somewhere and taking transports. An elementally level of Chinese culture will be covered such as festivals, geography including major cities and famous places.

The cultural aspects of the above topic areas will be taught in seminars, by means of course books, audio materials and online resources and through sharing experiences of a tutor and students.

Students will have access to these materials and additional resources on Moodle. A range of resources is also available at the library.

View full module details
15

This module is intended for students who are complete newcomers to Arabic.

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of a vibrant and diverse culture. Arabic Beginners A1 provides you with an introduction and familiarity with everyday life, activities, and culture of the Arab world. The module is taught in English and 'Standard' Arabic, the dialect common to the entire Arabic-speaking part of the world and not specifically associated with any given country or region. The course provides a balance between understanding the basic concepts of Arabic grammar and vocabulary, in addition to developing the skills to help you understand and speak Arabic.

Key language structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Arabic language course books, video and audio materials. You will learn how to introduce yourself, express simple factual information useful for going to a restaurant and ordering food, in addition to learning about topics related to travelling including the names of the main cities and capitals in the Arab world.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. Arabic Post-Beginners A2.1 builds on the skills you acquired on the Arabic Beginners course (or its equivalent) in order to develop your communicative skills to enable you to engage in interactive activities and everyday situations through using a range of phrase and sentence structures such as ordering food in a restaurant, asking and giving directions. A mixture of Arabic and English is employed to introduce new grammatical topics and class instructions. You are encouraged to practise in pair work and group work.

Key language structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Arabic language course books, video and audio materials.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

The curriculum will focus on communication in the immediate environment. The content is intended to give students some familiarity with everyday life and activities.

Topics for listening, reading, speaking and writing will include: greetings and introductions; numbers; shopping and ordering in restaurants. Students will also be exposed at introductory level to Russian life and culture.

View full module details
15

The curriculum will focus on communication in the immediate environment. The content is intended to give students some familiarity on everyday life, activities and relevant culture in Russia.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will include: time and days of activities, hobbies, interests,; skills useful for people visiting Russia including sightseeing, at the airport, visiting particular cities and places of historical and/or cultural interest, using public transport.

The cultural aspects of the above topic areas will be taught in seminars, by means of course books, audio materials and online resources and through sharing experiences of a tutor and students.

Students will have access to these materials and additional resources on Moodle. A range of resources is also available at the library.

View full module details
15

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

This module is for Post-A-level students and students who have mastered level A2 but not yet B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level B1. The emphasis in this course is on furthering knowledge of the structure of the language as well as vocabulary and cultural insights while further developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

This is an intensive module for absolute beginners, Post-GCSE students and students who have not yet mastered level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). On successfully completing the module students will have mastered level A2. The emphasis in this course is on acquiring a sound knowledge of the structure of the language as well as basic vocabulary and cultural insights while developing the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

View full module details
30

Stage 2

You take all compulsory modules and then 30 credits of language modules in either Arabic, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Mandarin, Russian or Spanish (depending on your existing language level). Optional modules can be chosen from a wide range of subject within the University. 

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

Connections is an innovative module that aims to provide a 'diagnosis of the present' informed by an interdisciplinary variety of approaches such as historical narratives, life writings (auto-biography), literature, photography and data analysis. A key question to be discussed is: what are the themes and issues that define our contemporary era, and how are they connected and impact on each other? In previous years, the module explored issues of class, peace(-keeping) and violence, borders and imagination, exile, media and democracy, and others. The module further aims to make connections with current events as they are unfolding, and depending on circumstances may include sessions on topics of particular relevance at the time that the module is being taught.

View full module details
30
Optional modules may include Credits

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA318 (equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) A2.2 level), or for students who can use approximately 600 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA319 is to build from module LA318. This is intended to help students achieve the proficiency level which is equivalent to lower B1 level on CEFR.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on: everyday communication skills including expressing time duration of an action and the distance between 2 places, talking about entertainments, giving and receiving compliments and gifts, etc. Topics related to travelling and living in China will also be covered in this module.

You will gain knowledge on the cultural aspects of the above topic areas through seminars. Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practised through communicative activities in the stimulating and engaging seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games for self-study.

View full module details
15

This module will build on from the Common European Framework of Reference A2.1 level (LA305) where you can, in a simple way, introduce yourself and family, express daily routine and describe people with a full command of Hiragana, Katakana and basic 50 Kanji. In LA320, you will continue to develop the vocabularies, expressions, sentence structures, grammar that are used in your immediate environment and learn a further 50 new Kanji. Seminars will focus on 'practising the language' through communicative activities, grammar exercises and writing short compositions in a friendly, stimulating atmosphere. You will also gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst developing speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. You will find example of topics in the 'Learning outcomes' section.

View full module details
15

This module is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in FREN3000 (French Lower Intermediate B1), to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken French through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into French.

View full module details
30

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners French course such as FR330, and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 waystage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).

This module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of French in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in France as a foreign country. This module is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

View full module details
30

This module is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in GRMN3010 (German Lower Intermediate B1), to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken German through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into German.

View full module details
30

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners German course such as GRMN3290 (German Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive)), and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 waystage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).

This module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of German in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Germany as a foreign country. This module is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

View full module details
30

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Italian course such as ITAL3010 (Italian Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive)), and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 waystage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).

This module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of Italian in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Italy as a foreign country. This module is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

View full module details
30

This module is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in ITAL3080, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Italian through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Italian.

View full module details
30

This module will build on from the Common European Framework of Reference A2.2 level (LA320) where you learned the vocabularies and grammar used in directions, polite requests, hobbies, illness and personal descriptions in complex structures with a full command of Hiragana, Katakana and a basic 100 Kanji. In this module, you will develop the vocabularies, expressions, sentence structures, grammar that are used in university, part-time work and leisure situations and will learn a further 54 new Kanji. You will learn the relevant vocabularies and grammar for seminars prior to each seminar and seminars will focus on you practising these in role play, grammar exercise and writing short compositions in a friendly, stimulating atmosphere. You will also gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst developing speaking, listening, writing and reading skills. You will find example of topics in the 'Learning outcomes' section

View full module details
15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. The course consolidates and extends the skills you acquired on Arabic Post-Beginners A2.1 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your communicative skills to enable you to express yourself effectively and confidently in a variety of situations regularly encountered at university and studying. You will be encouraged to exchange information on topics such as friendship, hobbies and travel.

It aims to enable you to use a range of grammatical patterns as well as to use fairly sophisticated vocabulary and expressions. It also aims to develop your ability to process the Arabic writing system accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a range of texts on different topics with ease.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of an exciting, vibrant and diverse culture. The course consolidates and extends the skills acquired on Arabic Post-Beginners A2.2 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your communicative skills to enable you to engage in interactive activities and situations and gain a better understanding of university life and culture in the Arab world, and develop your cultural awareness of the countries and cities around the Arab world.

This module aims to enable you to use a wide range of grammatical patterns as well as to use sophisticated vocabulary and expressions. It also aims to develop your ability to process the Arabic writing system accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a range of texts on different topics with confidence.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA303, or for students who can use approximately 350 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA318 is to build from the Post-Beginners module of LA303. This is intended to give students some familiarity, at an upper elementary level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in China.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on everyday communication skills including: exchanging personal information; expressing opinions about shopping experiences; asking and giving directions; describing illness, people's appearances and personalities, exchanging currencies etc.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained and practised through communicative activities in stimulating and engaging seminars.

In addition to the textbook, there will be plenty of specially designed video and audio materials, flashcards and web based games for self-study.

View full module details
15

This module is the natural follow-on for those who have, in the previous academic year, successfully taken an intensive beginners Spanish course such as HISP3020 (LS302), and who have covered the basics of grammar, acquired a stock of high frequency vocabulary and reached a degree of proficiency beyond GCSE and approaching A-level (A2 way stage in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference).

The module is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to the B2 threshold, turning students into independent users of Spanish, in both oral and written contexts. The course is thus also designed to prepare students for their year abroad and independent life in Spain as a foreign country. It is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

View full module details
30

This is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in HISP3000 (Spanish Lower Intermediate B1), to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken Spanish through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practise translation skills both from and into Spanish.

View full module details
30

Arabic is fast becoming a language which is considered popular for prospective employers, travelling or simply to gain knowledge of a vibrant and diverse culture.

The course extends the skills you have acquired on Arabic Lower Intermediate B1.1 (or its equivalent) in order to further develop your written and communicative skills to enable you to engage confidently in interactive activities and situations and gain useful insight into customs relevant to studying, travelling or working in the Middle East.

The course aims to develop your ability to process Arabic language accurately and fluently so that you can read and write a wide range of texts on different topics with ease.

Some of our students who have previously studied on our Arabic language courses have gone onto internships, attended summer courses or simply travelled to the Middle East to enhance their learning experience.

View full module details
15

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing with a proficiency equivalent to upper B1 level on the CEFR, will include:

1) everyday conversation skills including going shopping and travelling

2) skills useful to talk about; Arab customs and family life and gender roles

3) topics related to Arab culture and history, traditions including living in the Arab world, etc.

The cultural aspects of the above topic areas will be taught through seminars and the means of Arabic language course books, video, audio materials and through on the tutor's and students' experiences and expectations.

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15

This module is for students who can deal with most situations likely to arise in everyday life in Japan, and read and write Japanese including around 300 Kanji. The curriculum will focus on living in Japan, by using complex expressions in an appropriate style of speaking. Topics covered in this module vary, including job hunting, a CV in the Japanese style, making a complaint in a shop, and expressing one's opinion in a discussion on formal topics. Students also read and listen to news articles to gain knowledge of social issues and current affairs. Discussions take place in the class on the topic areas covered in the module.

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15

This module is for students who can communicate in Japanese comfortably on familiar topics encountered in everyday life and read and write Japanese including around 200 Kanji. The curriculum will focus on communication in a real life of university student studying in Japan, by using complex expressions in an appropriate style of speaking. Various styles of readings are given such as formal letter, article and website providing factual information. Discussions take place in the class on the topic areas covered in the module.

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15

The curriculum will focus on communication in the immediate environment with some exposure to simple articles/TV news on current affairs. Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing with a proficiency equivalent to upper B1 level on the CEFR, will include:

- everyday conversation skills including expressing general culture related to customs such as wedding traditions, Chinese traditional clothes, Chinese cuisine, etc

- renting accommodation, describing a room

- negotiating prices, asking for a refund/an exchange in a shop

- grammar useful for communicating with Mandarin Chinese native speakers at upper B1 level, for example: verb-complement structures and expressions etc.

The cultural aspects of the above topic areas will be taught through seminars and the means of Mandarin Chinese language course books, video and audio materials as well as through the sharing of experiences between tutor and students.

There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structures, Students will be expected to use the range of resources available to them in the library and on the Moodle page for self-study.

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15

The curriculum will focus on living in China. Students are encouraged to listen to the news and watch the popular programmes in Mandarin Chinese to understand current affairs and issues around the world and in China. Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing with a proficiency equivalent to lower B2 level on the CEFR, will include:

• important Chinese festivals and traditions: explaining the traditions of the festivals; giving details of the symbolic meanings of the traditional festival activities and the variety of food eaten during the festivals; comparing Chinese traditional festivals and Western festivals.

• reporting stolen items.

• understanding weather forecasts and discussing extreme weather conditions.

• applying for a job: writing a satisfactory CV.

• grammar useful for communicating with Mandarin Chinese native speakers at lower B2 level, for example: imperative sentences, passive construction, etc.

The cultural aspects around the above topic areas will be taught through seminars and the means of Mandarin Chinese language course books, video and audio materials as well as through the sharing of experiences between the tutor and students.

There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will be expected to use the range of resources available to them in the library and on the Moodle page for self-study.

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15

Year abroad

Having the option of going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities in Europe and Japan. For a full list, please see Go Abroad. Places are subject to availability, language and degree programme.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad.  If the requirement is not met, you will be transferred to the equivalent three-year programme. The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

This module code is used for recording the Liberal Arts Year Abroad.

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120

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

The research dissertation module aims to give students of politics and international relations the opportunity to do independent and original research on a topic of their choice. While we try to give students as much freedom as possible in their choice of topic, the final thesis title will require approval by the module convenor in order to ensure that (a) the title falls within the subject area of politics and international relations (broadly conceived) and that (b) the learning resources and expertise available in the School allow us to supervise the dissertation.

Many PO679 students already know the general area of their dissertation topic at the time of their registration for the module but there is still a long way to travel from your 'interests' in a particular topic or research area to a suitable and feasible dissertation title. In PO679 you will go through the entire process of writing a dissertation (8,000 words long): from the original 'problem' to a suitable research 'question', to choosing a method, to designing your research, to conducting the research; from taking notes to drafting the dissertation, to revising and writing the dissertation, and finally to submitting the dissertation. Lectures, supervision and a conference will help you along the way.

We recommend PO679 to all students considering postgraduate studies. Most postgraduate programmes – at MA, MPhil and PhD level – require you to write a substantial dissertation.

PLEASE NOTE: PO679 is worth 45 credits. If you wish to take PO679, please keep this in mind when choosing your other modules. PO679 is worth 15 credits in autumn term, and 30 in spring. The module is weighted more to the Spring term to enable you to dedicate the time needed to produce your dissertation.

As you can chose the equivalent of 4 x 15 credits in the autumn and 4 x 15 in the Spring, picking PO679 would look like this:

Autumn:

PO679

XX

XX

XX

Spring:

PO679

PO679

XX

XX

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45

This module prepares students both to think about the ways in which the landscapes are evolving and being shaped by contemporary developments in technical, scientific, and theoretical fields; and to think about how they want to take part in these developments in their own lives, through professional activity or further study. It will prepare students to think critically about the opportunities and dangers that come with the future, notably through the changes taking place in production techniques (through three-dimensional printing), ecological change and planning, scientific advancements and their impact on the humanities and social sciences (such as quantum theory's challenge to historical studies). By building on bodies of work that have already discussed the potential impact of new technologies and scientific innovations on our understanding of the human, this module will demand intellectual reflection on the potential for change and transformation, with reference to past events and how transformation has occurred to this day. In additional, the module will provide practical guidance on how to think about the student’s own future, whether professionally or for further studies. It will guide students through the possibilities open to them, and give them practical skills to secure an interview and present themselves successfully.

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15
Optional modules may include Credits

The module provides an overview of some of the core arguments and issues that arise within the context of debates on political resistance: moral justifications of resistance to political authority, the techniques of resistance employed in historical examples, the presuppositions underpinning these techniques, the tensions and difficulties that typically arise in any act of resistance. Starting with Socrates, sent to the Athenians to act as a 'gadfly', the module will look at selected historical examples of resistance, identify and analyse aims and methods, and review and discuss outcomes and consequences. A special feature of this module is that students can submit a ‘documented practice of resistance’ for assessment.

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15

This module will address the politics and international relations of East Asia since 1945. We will analyse the causes and significance of events such as the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution, the economic take-off of both Japan and South Korea, China's economic reforms, democratisation and violence across the region, and the growing importance of populism and nationalism.

A central theme of the module will be uncovering the decisions that leaders take in order to hold onto power – from conflict to corruption, purges to propaganda – and how these decisions continue to influence the domestic and international politics of this vitally important region. We will explore differences in the countries’ domestic political systems and their economic and security considerations to shine a light on major historical and contemporary policies.

In seminars and their policy report, students will develop their own expertise on one East Asian country, in order to provide cutting-edge political analysis of the policy challenges that East Asian leaders face today.

Please note that this course covers a wide range of countries and time periods, so to succeed students will need to spend time engaging fully with the readings, lectures, and seminars. Students are expected to read at least two articles/chapters per week, and seminar grades will depend on having carried out these readings.

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15

The Asia-Pacific is one of the world's most economically and politically dynamic regions. But despite nuclear, territorial, and historical tensions, growing superpower competition, and cross-border threats from crime to the environment, the region has remained relatively peaceful and stable since 1945.

In this module we will begin by explore the puzzle of the region’s stability using approaches drawn from Western and non-Western international relations theories. We will then use these theories to help understand the causes of the region’s most pressing security and development concerns, analyse the likelihood that they will lead to instability and conflict, and evaluate policy measures that might resolve them. We will look at the risk of war over the Taiwan Straits, a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and historical grievances with Japan, before analysing regional solutions to cross-national security and economic challenges. The module will conclude by examining whether the region’s stability is likely to continue in the face of major shifts in the regional balance of power.

Please note that to succeed in this course students will need to spend time engaging fully with the readings, lectures, and seminars. Students are expected to read at least two articles/chapters per week, and seminar grades will depend on having carried out these readings.

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15

PO686 explores the political biographies of three icons of 20th and 21st century politics: Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. All three have arguably changed the course of history not just in their home countries, and we will be studying how their lives brought them to the forefront of the historical struggles which they came to represent. In particular, we will be looking at how they came to make the personal commitment to engage in these struggles and how they came to accept and deal with the sacrifices that their involvement entailed. We will be particularly interested in the self-understanding of these figures as political actors. Did they intend or plan to have the impact they had? Or did political fame catch them by surprise? Did they understand themselves as political leaders, and if yes, what notions of leadership did they develop as part of their political struggles? How did they understand the resistance they offered to colonial oppression, racial discrimination and oppressive military regimes? What were the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of their resistance? What influenced them to offer this resistance? How did they reflect on their acts of resistance? What gave them the courage they needed in order to offer this resistance? And what were their methods? Were the means of their struggles appropriate for achieving their ends? What was the role of violence in these methods?

Apart from asking questions about their political lives and the impact these lives had on world history, we will also be able to ask more general questions about political reality itself: Can individuals really affect the course of national and world history? What enabled these figures to have such an impact? Personality? Charisma? Luck? Or were the circumstances such that anyone in similar positions could have provoked change? In fact, how did these figures relate to the world of politics? For example, was Gandhi a 'politician'? Did they have the impact they had because they stood in some sense ‘outside’ conventional politics? And also what does it say about us, about our political present, if we today revere these figures as icons of righteous resistance? Why is there a Nelson Mandela building on Campus? Why is his picture in the Rutherford Dining Hall? What is it that we admire in Mandela? And is the fact that Aung San Suu Kyi failed to live up to our expectations enough to justify her recent fall from grace? These are just some examples of the kinds of questions we will discuss in PO686.

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15

How does truth relate to existence? This module looks at the connection between truths and the things that make them true. We consider questions relating to the connection between truth and ontology (or existence) concerning time, persistence, possibility, generality, composition, and causation. We will look at how these issues are discussed in contemporary analytic metaphysics. We will explore both what solutions looking at the connections between truth and ontology might offer, whether this approach to the problems is useful, and how best to communicate the problems we discuss.

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30

This module explores the origins, evolution and role of the United Nations (UN) in world politics. The aim is to understand how and why states and other actors participate in the UN. The module further explores the extent to which the United Nations is able to achieve its stated goals of maintaining peace and security, achieving cooperation to solve key international problems, and promoting respect for human rights. The module examines the work of key UN organs, agencies, and member states in a variety of issue areas, with the aim of critically assessing the successes, challenges, and failures of the United Nations.

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15

This module explores the origins and evolution of post-Communist Russia. It covers the period from the late 1980s and Mikhail Gorbachev's attempts to reform the Soviet Union, but the main focus is on the years since 1991, starting with the failed putsch against Gorbachev and the rise of Boris Yeltsin and ending with the dilemmas facing Vladimir Putin in his fourth presidential term from 2018. The module examines political developments in post-Communist Russia, with a glance backwards to the decline and fall of the Soviet Union and also analysis of relations with the former Soviet states and the international system. The theoretical focus is on the problems of the transition from authoritarianism to democracy, coupled with the broader problem of establishing a new political order in the context of problematic relations with the West. Linked to this are constitutional developments, economic transformations and social changes. The degree to which the legacy of the past affects contemporary Russia will be examined, with particular attention to questions of political culture, geopolitical determinism and economic interdependence.

Specifically, we will discuss issues such as democratisation, the role of the presidency, the emergence and evolution of the multi-party system, electoral and parliamentary politics, federalism and regionalism, as well as economic, foreign, security and defence policy. We will also look at problems of leadership, evaluating the achievements and failures of Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991), Boris Yeltsin (1991-1999), Vladimir Putin (2000-2008 and 2012-present) and Dmitry Medvedev (2008-12 as president and 2012-present as Prime Minister). We will study empirical issues to provide the knowledge and evidence against which conceptual questions can be addressed and rival theories tested.

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15

The purpose of this module is to consider the ways in which feminist thought has influenced political theory. We examine a range of feminist approaches to politics, asking what unifies them and where and why they diverge from one another. Throughout, we ask how meaningful it is to speak of feminism in the singular: given the immense variety displayed by feminist thinking, should we talk about feminisms? Another guiding question will be the extent to which these approaches pose a fundamental challenge to traditional political theory. Can feminist theories of politics just 'add women and stir'? Or do feminist approaches compel us to new or different methodologies, conceptual tools and even definitions of politics?

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15

This module aims to provide students with a critical introduction and review of China's political development from 1949 to today. Following a brief historical review of the evolution of the Chinese political system since 1949, this module is designed around two core blocks of study.

The first block looks at the principal political institutions. They include the Communist Party, the government (State Council), the legislature (National People’s Congress) and the military (People’s Liberation Army). The second block examines the socio-political issues and challenges the country is facing in its ongoing development. They range from political participation and state-society relations, the cost of economic growth to environment and public health, tensions with ethnic minorities, the issues of nationalism and the relationship with Taiwan and Hong Kong, irredentism and territorial disputes with neighbouring countries, and finally China’s grand strategy of the Belt and Road Initiative.

A theme running through various lectures of this module is to ask why post-Mao China has performed better than many other authoritarian regimes in achieving both economic growth and political stability and acquiring international influence, despite the fact that China faces numerous mounting development challenges.

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15

The decision by a small majority of the British electorate in June 2016 to leave the European Union (EU) sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the world and created a political earthquake within the political system of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). For the first time, a member state signalled its desire to exit the EU. From an EU perspective, this decision is yet another challenge the EU has faced since the Euro-crisis erupted in Greece ten years ago. The EU has also experienced a refugee crisis as well as a number of terrorist attacks and a rule of law crisis in Poland and Hungary. Changes in the international system have also affected the EU with heightened tension with Putin's Russia over the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Finally, the election of Donald Trump as US President with an accompanying weakening of the liberal international order and an increase in trade wars and disputes has added further instability. In response, EU member state governments, parliaments and the EU’s institutions have begun a dialogue on ideas to recast the EU in this changing environment.

In this module we will endeavour to 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 this time of uncertainty and flux. We will also look at the process of how the UK is exiting the EU, how it has been managed by the UK government and the EU27 and its implications for the future of the EU and the future of the UK. There has certainly never been a more challenging or interesting time to learn about the EU and its politics!

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15

Since 2009, the European Union (EU) has grappled with a crisis in the Eurozone, a refugee crisis, terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and the UK, the rise of challenger parties, heightened tension with Putin's Russia, the UK’s Brexit decision and rule of law disputes with Hungary and Poland. This has led to increased questioning of the purpose and trajectory of European integration and policy-making. The focus of this module is on assessing the capacity of the EU as a system of public policy-making as it faces these myriad challenges. In so doing we endeavour to understand how the EU’s system of governance works and how it is driven by both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system. This module focuses on the EU’s 'outputs’ in terms of public policy in this context, with particular attention paid to the fields of market regulation, economic and monetary union, environmental policy, agriculture policy, regional policy, justice and home affairs policy (internal security), foreign policy and trade policy. As well as analysing the effectiveness of EU policy-making in these policy areas, where appropriate we also explore the impact of ongoing political events on their operation.

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15

With the world's largest economy and most powerful armed forces, the United States bestrides the world stage. Culturally, politically, diplomatically and intellectually, it is the most important player, too. To understand the world, one must understand America and its politics. Yet, according to many critics, the US’s own political system is in crisis and turmoil, not least because of the ascension to power of an outsider president who revels in his disruptive capabilities. Trump challenged our notions of who could be elected to the most powerful job in the world and he is currently challenging long established theories about how the US government can and should work. His presidency is layered on top of an ongoing 'war’ over cultural issues and the deep-seated antipathy between the political parties and between the presidential and congressional branches. All this has further reinforced perceptions about the system’s dysfunctionality. The US, like many other nations, also faces serious public policy questions on the economy, health, energy, education, guns, crime, poverty and immigration, among others. But good, politically viable solutions seem remote. George Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents since polling began, and the bubble of expectation surrounding Barack Obama on his election in November 2008 quickly burst. Now the American people have chosen a neophyte populist to govern them. How will he do? More broadly, how will, or even can, the US political system rise to the challenges facing it when its political institutions and actors appear deeply divided?

It is not hard to see why many observers believe that the US has become harder to govern and increasingly interesting as a subject for academic study. In order to answer some of the questions outlined above, PO617 offers a comprehensive introduction to the politics and government of the United States.

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30

This module examines the politics of transition and change in Eastern Europe over the last three decades, with an emphasis on processes of disintegration and integration, international cooperation and the challenges of post-communist internal political reform. Accordingly, the module consists of three parts.

Part One (Weeks 1-4) examines the region's recent political inheritance, with a focus on the communist system, the subsequent collapse of the USSR and the end of socialism in Central and Eastern Europe.

Part Two (Weeks 6-8) looks at the political re-orientations of Central and Eastern Europe during the 1990s and 2000s, with a focus on transition processes, political change, economic change, and the different challenges that came with these transitions.

Part Three (Weeks 9-12) reflects on more recent developments, including international cooperation, new forms of regional integration, and discussions about the feasibility and the future of socialism.

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15

The module aims to introduce students to the major developments in Western political thought from the 16th century onwards. More generally, it aims to make students aware of the historical dimension of political thought and to enable them to distinguish those aspects of an idea which are contingent upon the concrete historical circumstances of its emergence from those which transcend its historical context.

Students who successfully complete this module will be familiar with the standard canon of modern Western political theory. They will be able to summarize the main ideas of the key thinkers in these traditions and place them in their respective historical context. They will be able to appreciate that contemporary political concerns are often the result of long-term historical processes. In addition, students will be aware of the specific problems which 'modernity' poses for political theory in Western societies and beyond.

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15

This module provides an introduction to the scholarly study of terrorism and political violence. It aims to thoroughly deepen students' existing knowledge of this controversial subject. The initial series of lectures pertain to key debates in the field of terrorism studies: the definitional challenges around the concept of 'terrorism’ itself; competing perspectives on the causes of terrorist violence; and disagreements as to the efficacy of terrorism as an expression of political agency. After the reading week, the module focuses in greater detail on various forms of terrorism and political violence: dissident/non-state terrorism; counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency; state terrorism; ‘new terrorism’; and torture. The module examines terrorism and political violence in a variety of historical, political and geographical contexts, and through a variety of theoretical lenses. It addresses methodological problems in the study of terrorism and the potential link between religion and political violence. The course also examines the implications of the ‘War on Terror’ for democracy, human rights and international security.

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15

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.

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15

A thread running through this module is a belief that to understand today's China we have to know how it has come to the present. Present-day China is a product of its deep imperial past and of its revolutions in the 20th century, the Republican, the Nationalist and the Communist. Before studying the 'rise' of contemporary China, we must therefore understand the collapse of imperial China in the early 20th century. We can perceive the said rise of China as the process of regaining its rightful place in the Western-dominated international system and of mutual accommodation between China and the rest of the world.

Also, for many students of international relations, China's entry and integration into the international society since the 1970s has been strikingly non-violent. A secondary focus of this module will be on how China and other key members of the world have been mutually accommodating to each other and whether the 'peaceful rise' can continue.

Overall, the module is built on a historical study of China’s foreign relations and theoretical study of International Relations concepts/theories of hegemony, hierarchy, (social) legitimacy and national identity.

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15

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.

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15

The curriculum is intended to familiarise students with the conservative tradition in modern politics. This is achieved by reference to a range of key conservative thinkers selected by the module convenors to help students understand the diversity of the conservative tradition and consider what factors help to cohere it. Comparison within the tradition and across a variety of thinkers is achieved by examining these thinkers' views on four basic categories of modern politics, namely the state, the market, society and international relations. In order to meet these broad learning outcomes, essay questions will be designed in order to ensure that students have to compare at least two thinkers. The module is structured around lectures and seminars.

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15

One of the most striking developments in established Western democracies has been the rise of radical right politics, as reflected in the growth of parties in Europe like the National Front in France, the Freedom Party of Austria, the UK Independence Party and then Brexit Party, and in the election of Donald Trump in the United States. In this module, students will investigate the nature and rise of populism and explore related issues such as national populism and racially-motivated violence and/or terrorism. This module will familiarise students with conceptual and theoretical debates within the academic literature, and introduce students to 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. More broadly, the module will enable students to strengthen their communication and presentational skills, critically assess academic debates and improve their understanding of theory and methods.

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15

This module looks at a group of politically inspired literary texts, comics and films, some of which were produced under the totalitarian regimes which held sway in Europe between 1917 and 1989. Others deal with the Middle East conflict, and the Islamic revolution in Iran and Mao's Cultural Revolution in China, or power relations in other contexts. Most explore ways of challenging and subverting authoritarian power structures and of articulating a critique in what Bertolt Brecht called 'dark times’. But we also focus on less obvious negotiations of fiction and power, especially with respect to the various forms of power to which these texts are subject, in which they participate, and on which they reflect metafictionally. The approach is comparative in various ways as the texts range historically and culturally, as well as across genres and language barriers (Arab, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Greek, Polish, Russian and Chinese).

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30

This module investigates representations of gender and identity in a selection of texts by women writers from different temporal, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. In particular, it seeks to explore the way in which representations of "self" and "other", love and desire, madness and motherhood reflect the respective socio-cultural contexts and the situation of women therein. Corporeal aesthetics, patterns of behaviour labelled as feminine or masculine, representations of transgressive conduct, and relations of power will be investigated, drawing on classic feminist theory and historiography (Wollstonecraft, Beauvoir, Irigaray, Butler, Moi, Badinter), psychoanalytical thought (Freud), narratology (Genette), genre-theory (Bakhtin) subject-theory (Sartre, Levinas, Derrida) and studies in visual culture (Barthes, Sontag, Mulvey).

Students will be asked to engage with the significance of images and representations of women and men proliferated through literature. These representations provide or question role models and perpetuate or problematise stereotypical versions of female/male goals and aspirations. Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on close readings of the selected literary works, on cultural differences and variations, and on how conceptions of sex and gender are changing in the course of time.

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30

This module studies individual genres, which may vary across different academic terms (it may focus on the horror, science-fiction, western, musical, comedy, the noir or the gangster film, among others). It combines aesthetic and narrative analysis with the history of the genre. The theoretical framework draws from traditionally employed methods to study the genre in question (for example, psychoanalytical, postmodern or cognitive theory). The historical portion of the course examines the genre's growing commercial viability, the proliferation of subgenres, and the growing attention of academics. Topics include, but are not restricted to, gender politics, representations of sexuality, political commentary, allegory.

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30

The French Revolution continues rightly to be regarded as one the great turning points of modern European History. This course will introduce students to the political, social and economic context of France from the accession of Louis XVI to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. It will explore and assess the divergent interpretations for the origins of the revolutionary conflagration of 1789. There will also be an attempt to understand how a revolution based on the triad 'liberty, equally and fraternity,' lost of sight of its humanitarian aspirations and quickly descended into fratricidal political terror and warfare on a trans-European scale. Students will also be encouraged to cast a critical eye on the vexed question of the French Revolution's contribution to modern political culture.

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30

This module combines theoretical and methodological approaches from sociology, cultural and media studies, history and literature to examine how our understandings of the past, present and future are formed, framed, mediated and remediated in a variety of social, cultural and political contexts. It aims to introduce students to key themes and issues related to the social experience of time. It will encourage them to reflect on how this experience informs our approaches to social problems, relationships of power and inequality, and the formation of collective identities. Over the course of the term, we will debate and critically explore the roles of heritage, nostalgia, the imagination, narrative and imagery at the heart of both processes of social change and cultural continuity. We will question what it is that forms the constitutive narrative of a cultural identity, its foundations, expression and trajectory. We will also examine the material and symbolic construction of social groups such as generations, classes and communities.

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15

The course is concerned with the relatively new ideas of living in a ‘risk society’ which theoretically capture the heightened sensitivity within Western societies to the numerous ‘risks’ which shape our lives. The course will explore basic concepts of risk, hazard and probability and how risk is managed and communicated. Topics will include risk and globalization, and risk and the media. Developments will be examined through key examples such as ‘mad cow’ disease and genetically modified ‘frankenfoods’. The course will suggest that heightened perception of risk is here to stay, and is leading to a reorganisation of society in important areas.

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15

Images of 'trim, taut and terrific' bodies surround us in contemporary consumer culture. They look down on us from billboards, are increasingly central to advertisers’ attempts to sell us clothes, cosmetics, cars, and other products, and pervade reality television programmes based on diet, exercise and ‘extreme’ makeovers. These trends have occurred at the same time that science, technology, genetic engineering and medicine have achieved unprecedented levels of control over the body: there are now few parts of the body which cannot be remoulded, supplemented or transplanted in one way or another. In this course we explore how culture represents and shapes bodies, and also examine how embodied subjects are themselves able to act on and influence the culture in which they live. We will seek to understand the relationship between the body and self-identity, embodiment and inequalities, and will explore various theories of the body. In doing this we range far and wide by looking at such issues as work, music, sex/gender, cyberbodies, Makeover TV, film, transgenderism, sport, music, work and sleep. Embodiment is the enduring theme of this course, though, and we will explore its many dimensions via a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and by asking and addressing a range of questions such as ‘How and why has the body become increasingly commodified?’, ‘Why has the body become increasingly central to so many people’s sense of self-identity?’, ‘If we live in a culture that has been able to intervene in the sizes, shapes and contents of the body like never before, have people have become less sure about what is ‘natural’ about the body, and about how we should care for and treat our bodily selves?

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30

Teaching and assessment

Modules are taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. You usually have 10 to 12 hours of contact time with staff each week.

Compulsory Liberal Arts modules are assessed by 100% coursework (essays, projects, dissertation), but optional modules may be assessed by a combination of examination and coursework, usually in the ratio of 50:50, 60:40 or 80:20.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a cross-disciplinary, research-led, inspiring learning environment
  • offer a pioneering educational opportunity within the UK context through which you progress into high-level careers and related postgraduate opportunities
  • develop the following range of aptitudes and skills: communication, language, reasoning, numeracy, information literacy and research methods
  • engage you in a range of disciplines to be able to pursue careers in a range of complex organisational settings
  • promote an understanding of the relations between disciplines and an appreciation of the ways in which cross-disciplinary thinking leads to alternative and approaches to contemporary global challenges.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles and application of underlying modes of inquiry within different academic disciplines and contexts
  • cross-disciplinary understanding of qualitative and quantitative reasoning
  • the relation between technological and economic development and cultural change in historical context
  • the forces and events shaping contemporary thought and behaviour across a range of practices and disciplines
  • the various ways in which different disciplines and practices – across the arts, the social sciences, history and politics – conceptualise the contemporary
  • how to communicate seminal ideas across the fields of the social sciences, sciences, arts and humanities
  • how multi-disciplinary approaches and inter-disciplinary thinking can address future cultural and political challenges, such as environmental crises, the state and meaning of democracy and the potentialities of scientific development
  • how the study of given historical contexts can inform contemporary policy and practice
  • a selected topic within a given discipline and application of appropriate research methods.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • research skills: how to formulate research questions and hypotheses to address problems across a range of disciplines
  • analytical skills: interpretation of arguments, evidence and data; marshalling information from published sources; critical evaluation of your own research and that of others
  • how to use appropriate IT skills to retrieve, analyse and present information
  • numerical evaluation: the use of appropriate analytical methods in handling statistical evidence and data.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • reasoning: how to construct arguments within different intellectual contexts and disciplines, and how to formulate and address research questions and problems
  • communication: how to communicate across disciplines, how to mediate key ideas between disciplines, and how to speak and write persuasively in discursive contexts
  • language: the functional use of a second language equal to the demands of  professional communication
  • presentation of research: how to write essays and a dissertation in an appropriate style in keeping with the conventions of different subject areas
  • numeracy: how to handle and interpret numerical evidence in differing intellectual contexts
  • careers: recognition of career opportunities available to Liberal Arts graduates.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • communication: the ability to organise information clearly, present information orally and in writing, and adapt presentations for different audiences
  • reflection: make use of constructive informal feedback from staff and peers, and assess your own progress to enhance your performance and personal skills
  • self-motivation and independence: time and workload management to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines
  • team work: the ability to work independently and as part of a research group using peer support, diplomacy and collective responsibility.

Careers

Graduates from the School have gone on to work in fields including:

  • diplomacy
  • the civil service
  • European and international organisations
  • NGOs
  • the media
  • banking
  • teaching.

Help finding a job

The School of Politics and International Relations runs an Employability Programme, focused on providing you with the skills you need when looking for a job. You can book one-to-one sessions for help with employability, skills development and advice on job applications.

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

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

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

Career-enhancing skills

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

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

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

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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

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

New GCSE grades

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

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

GCSE

Grade B in Mathematics and in a modern foreign language other than English

Access to HE Diploma

The University 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 achieving 60 credits in total, with 45 credits at level three including 30 at distinction and 15 at merit. Access candidates may also be invited to attend an interview and provide an additional academic reference/written work in support of their application.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies 5 at SL)

International students

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

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

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

Meet our staff in your country

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

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700

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

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

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

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

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

General additional costs

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

Funding

University funding

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

Government funding

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

Scholarships

General scholarships

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

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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

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

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

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.