Politics and International Relations (Bi-diplôme) - BA (Hons)

This is a challenging and rewarding bi-lingual and bi-national programme offered in partnership with the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (IEP) de Lille, one of France’s most prestigious grandes écoles. You study politics and international relations within a broader social science context in the UK and France.

Overview

At Kent we have recognised expertise in the study of peace, conflict, security and human rights. We also host the Global Europe Centre that researches the challenges Europe faces in today’s world. We have been collaborating with the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (IEP) de Lille in France for more than 15 years. Our programme was the first of its kind in the UK.

You study modules from various disciplines including political science, international relations theory, economics, law, sociology and philosophy.

You also develop spoken and written language skills in both French and English. On top of that you obtain a degree recognised in both educational systems.

Our degree programme

Your first and fourth years of study are spent on the Science Po Lille campus where you attend compulsory as well as optional modules that are taught in French.

You spend your second and third years of study at Kent. You study political research and analysis and explore one of the key bodies of contemporary international politics, the United Nations. There are also a wide range of optional modules to choose from on topics such as international security, East European politics, terrorism and political violence. Our wide range of elective modules give you the opportunity to further study any topic you feel passionate about.

After four years of studies, successful students gain their BA degree (from the University of Kent). You can then choose to spend a fifth year of study in either Canterbury or Lille. Students who complete their studies in Lille can graduate with a Science Po diplôme. Students who complete their fifth year at Kent can graduate with an MA degree (from the University of Kent) and the Science Po diplôme.

Study Resources

You have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format through Kent’s Templeman Library. Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development. Our Student Learning Advisory Centre also offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.

Extra Activities

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.

There are also a number of student-led societies relating to your interests such as:

  • Current Affairs Society
  • Francophone Society
  • Kent European Debates
  • Model United Nations
  • EuroSoc

Programme fees

Please note that the fees indicated in the fee box (right) relate to the second and third year while studying in Kent. For details on the fees payable during the first and fourth year, please contact polirugadmissions@kent.ac.uk

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

    ABB including French grade A

  • 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

    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.

    A typical offer would be to achieve Distinction, Distinction, Merit plus A Level French at Grade A

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 16 at Higher, including French HL A1/A2/B at 4/5/5 or SL A1/A2/B at 5/6/6

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

In order to be considered for this programme applicants will have to attend a Bi-diplome selection day which includes a two-part written test and an interview in English and in French. Upon receiving your application if you meet our initial entry requirements, you will be invited to attend a selection day. In order to be considered for the programme it is mandatory to attend one of the selection days.

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 for BA, plus one additional year to obtain the Diplôme of the IEP

The BA in Politics and International Relations (Bi-diplome) 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.

Modules offered at Sciences Po Lille will be taken in Stages one and four.

Fees

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

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £9250
  • 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 this course. All textbooks are available from the library, although some students prefer to purchase their own.

General additional costs

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

Funding

University funding

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

Government funding

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

Scholarships

General scholarships

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

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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

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

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

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

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:

  • meet the needs of those who wish to study politics and international relations within a broader social science context
  • provide the opportunity to study in the UK and France and obtain degrees recognised in both educational systems
  • enable you to experience academic and personal life in two different institutional, national and linguistic environments and develop knowledge and understanding of their respective cultures and societies
  • place political questions, both domestic and international, at the centre of social-scientific analysis
  • enable you to understand and use the concepts, approaches and methods of politics and develop an understanding of their contested nature
  • enable you to link your studies to related disciplines such as economics, law and philosophy
  • develop your capacity to think critically about political and social events, ideas and institutions
  • encourage you to relate your academic studies to questions of public concern
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship and a research culture that promotes wide-ranging intellectual enquiry and debate
  • enable you to develop skills relevant to your vocational and personal development
  • enable you to perfect your command of English and French.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts, theories and methods and how to use them to analyse political ideas, institutions, practices and issues in the global arena
  • 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
  • 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 ways in which politics is linked to related disciplines such as economics, law and philosophy
  • advanced use of the French language
  • in-depth knowledge of French culture and society.

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 relevant information and exercise critical judgement
  • reflect on, and manage, your own learning and make use of constructive feedback to enhance your own performance and personal skills
  • use your understanding of different educational curricula and learning methods in your own work
  • integrate into a different educational, cultural, social and linguistic environment.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding the nature and significance of politics as a human activity within its wider economic, legal and philosophical context
  • the application of concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, institutions, practices and issues in the global arena
  • how to evaluate different interpretations of world political events and issues
  • the ability to describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting political information
  • either economics, law, philosophy or a third European language, depending on the option chosen
  • advanced knowledge and use of the French language
  • in-depth knowledge of French culture and society.

Transferable skills

You develop transferable skills in the following areas:

  • communication – how to communicate effectively in speech and writing in both English and French; how to organise information clearly; how to use communication and IT for the retrieval and presentation of information, including statistical or numerical data
  • numeracy – how to make sense of statistical materials; integrate numerical and non-numerical information, and understand the limits and potentialities of arguments based on quantitative information
  • information technology – how to produce written documents; undertake online research; communicate using email; process information using databases
  • reflective learning – how to explore personal strengths and weaknesses; review your working environment (especially the student-staff relationship); develop autonomy in your learning; work independently, demonstrate initiative, self-organisation and time-management
  • working with others – how to define and review the work of others; work co-operatively on group tasks; understand how groups function; collaborate with others and contribute to the achievement of common goals
  • problem solving – how to identify and define problems; explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them
  • intercultural awareness – how to recognise the differences and similarities between British and French academic and cultural contexts and develop the flexibility to perform well in different environments.

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

As part of your degree, you develop critical thinking and transferable knowledge and skills that enable you to work in a variety of professions.

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

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

Help finding a job

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

You complete a mandatory internship of at least six weeks before the start of your fourth year. Past students have had internships with international organisations, NGOs, think-tanks, governments, museums and media across Europe and beyond.

Career-enhancing skills

Our graduates develop substantial transferable skills that are valued in a range of professions.

These skills include:

  • planning and organising projects
  • analysing and summarising complex material
  • expressing your opinions coherently and with sensitivity
  • cultural and political literacy for the UK and France.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for 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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