Politics and International Relations - BA (Hons)

with a Year in the Asia-Pacific

Politics and international relations is a fast-changing, broad-based discipline, allowing you to engage with the key issues of today. On this programme, you study the international and global dimension of contemporary world politics and spend a year at one of our partner universities in the Asia-Pacific.

Overview

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

At Kent, you are taught by people who have advised government departments or have conducted international conflict mediation exercises. They bring this experience to their teaching, giving you the opportunity to see how theoretical ideas apply in the real world.

Many of our lecturers have also won teaching awards for their innovative teaching practices.

Our degree programme

This very popular programme combines all the strengths of our three-year BA degree in Politics and International Relations with the opportunity to spend a year in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore or Taiwan. A full list of our available partnerships is available on our Go Abroad pages.

You spend your first and second years at Kent, you then spend your third year in your chosen country, returning to Kent for your final year. You are taught in English throughout, which allows you to take advantage of the year abroad experience without having to be fluent in the language of the country where you intend to study.

While at Kent, you follow the existing programme of the BA in Politics and International Relations as well as take specific modules tailored to the country where you intend to study. If you spend a year in Japan, you take modules on the Politics of Japan and study Japanese to a basic level. If you spend a year in China/Hong Kong, Singapore or Taiwan, you take modules on the Politics of China. In China or Taiwan, you also study Mandarin to a basic level.

Our programme helps you to think critically about political and international events, ideas and institutions.

In addition, we offer a three-year Politics and International Relations programme without a year abroad. For details, see Politics and International Relations.

Student view

Politics and International Relations student David talks about his course at Kent.

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.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty 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 we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in the Politics module if taken.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

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

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

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800

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

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

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 stages 1,2 or 3 of this course. All textbooks are available from the library, although some students prefer to purchase their own.

Students cover all travel and accommodation costs associated with the Year Abroad. 

You must make sure you have sufficient funds available to you on arrival at your host university or work placement, to cover the initial costs. You should also budget for the remainder of your time abroad. More advice can be found on our Go Abroad website.

General additional costs

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

Funding

University funding

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

Government funding

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

Scholarships

General scholarships

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

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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

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

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

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Our main teaching methods are lectures, seminars, working groups, PC laboratory sessions and individual discussions with your personal tutor or module teachers. Assessment is through continuous feedback, written examinations, assessed essays and oral presentations.

Politics Open Forum

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

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:

  • allow our students to study politics and international relations in the UK and take a year abroad (either studying at a university or gaining professional experience through an internship)
  • place questions of political and international order and decision-making at the centre of social-scientific analysis
  • ensure that students gain an understanding of political and international relations theory in a supportive learning environment
  • enable students to grasp political concepts and methods and understand their contested nature
  • develop students' abilities to think critically about political events, ideas and institutions
  • encourage students to relate the academic study of politics and international relations to questions of public concern
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and a research culture that promotes wide-ranging intellectual enquiry and debate
  • enable students to develop skills relevant to their vocational and personal development
  • introduce students to different academic or professional cultures.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts, theories and methods used in the study of politics and international relations and their application to the analysis of political ideas, institutions, practices and issues
  • the structure, institutions and operation of different political systems
  • the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts of political institutions and behaviour
  • the political dynamics of interaction between people, events, ideas and institutions
  • factors accounting for political change
  • the contestable nature of many concepts and different approaches to the study of politics and international relations
  • the normative and positive foundations of political ideas
  • the intersection of politics with related disciplines
  • the nature and significance of politics as a global activity
  • the origins and evolution of the international political system, including contemporary changes underway
  • different interpretations of world political events and issues.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in how to:

  • gather, organise and deploy information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
  • identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to problems
  • develop reasoned arguments, synthesise information and exercise critical judgement
  • reflect on and manage your own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback to enhance your performance
  • employ an understanding of different educational curricula and teaching methods in your own work
  • integrate into a different educational, cultural, social and, in some cases, linguistic and/or professional environment.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding the nature and significance of politics as a human activity
  • the application of concepts, theories and methods in the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices in the global arena
  • how to evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
  • the ability to describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting political information
  • understanding the competing approaches to theories of politics and international relations
  • the nature of political conflict between and within states.

Transferable skills

You develop transferable skills in how to:

  • communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing
  • use communication and IT for the retrieval and presentation of information, including statistical or numerical data
  • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management
  • collaborate with others to achieve common goals.

Independent rankings

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

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

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

Careers

Graduate destinations

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

  • teaching
  • publishing
  • practical politics
  • local and central government
  • the diplomatic service
  • EU administration
  • financial services
  • non-governmental organisations
  • journalism
  • international business.

Help finding a job

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

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

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

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

Work experience

We have recently developed an internship module, enabling you to gain hands-on experience in the workplace in a field relevant to your studies.

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.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

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

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