Politics at Kent encourages you to think critically about political events, ideas and institutions while engaging with the key issues of today. Our flexible programme gives you a solid foundation in the subject and allows you to tailor your own pathway from a wide range of topics.
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, terrorism, social theories of justice, divided societies, and US and European politics.
In your first and second years, you learn how to use the concepts, approaches and methods of politics to develop an understanding of their contested nature and the problematic character of inquiry in the discipline. You acquire knowledge and understanding of political analysis in a supportive and responsive learning environment.
In the final year, you can choose the specialist dissertation module, where you produce an academic piece of writing on a topic of your choice based on your own research. The module concludes with the student conference, where you present your work to a panel of staff and fellow students.
We have recently developed an internship module which blends practical workplace experience with taught workshops and private study. This final year module helps to develop skills highly prized by employers, such as teamwork, communication and self-organisation
Facilities and resources to support the study of Politics include:
At Kent, there are many student societies related to your studies, for example:
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 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.
Please also see our general entry requirements.
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.
Distinction, Distinction, Merit
34 points overall or 15 at HL
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.
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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Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
The BA in Politics is composed of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
The modules below are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
The compulsory modules in Stage 1 will introduce you to the ideas, concepts, methods and historical developments which are foundational and essential for the academic study of political science. The number of compulsory modules you will take varies depending on your programme, and if a module is not compulsory for you, you will still be able to choose it as an option. As you progress to subsequent stages of your programme, the number of compulsory modules will decrease, thus giving you more opportunities to select optional modules on the basis of your interests in the more specialised subfields of our discipline.
Our popular Stage 1 modules cover key areas such as political science concepts and methods, international history, international relations theory, global politics, comparative politics, political theory, conflict analysis and resolution, and British politics. During your first year we will also help you develop key academic skills including essay writing, giving presentations and revising for exams.
The compulsory modules in Stage 2 will build on and develop the foundations laid in Stage 1. We will introduce you to more advanced techniques of political science methodology, including the analysis of political data. We will also look in greater depth at how political scientists establish, verify and corroborate their findings, how they create concepts and theories, and how knowledge interacts with power. Some of our programmes may require you to take compulsory modules specifically related to subjects that are essential to the programmes in question. For example, Politics and International Relations students will take a compulsory module on international relations concepts, theories and methods.
We offer Politics and International Relations programmes where it is possible to spend a year studying abroad between your second and final year. Studying abroad is a great experience and gives you the opportunity to discover how politics works in other cultures.
For details, see:
The Year in Journalism is a free-standing, self-contained year and can be taken after stage two or three (that is, between your second and final year), or after your final year. You can take a Year in Journalism if you are a current undergraduate student at the University of Kent, studying another non-computing degree programme.
Modules currently being offered on the Year in Journalism:
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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.*
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.
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.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You develop transferable skills in the following areas:
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).
Recent graduates have gone on to develop careers in areas including:
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.
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:
To help you appeal to employers, you also learn key transferable skills that are essential for all graduates. These include the ability to:
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.
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