Politics and International Relations - BA (Hons)
with a Foundation Year

Engage with key issues in world politics, from the BlackLivesMatter and MeToo movements to the climate crisis. Think critically about the ideas and institutions that shape our lives, learning how to analyse data to inform your arguments. It’s such an interesting time to study politics and international relations; join the conversation.

Overview

Explore the complex way in which societies, states and cultures interact around the world. Our innovative lecturers provide expert insights into issues from human rights and feminism to war and security. Develop the skills so you can make a difference.

The Foundation Year offers students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and age groups access to university education and prepares you for our three-year Politics and International Relations degrees. On passing your Foundation Year you move on to the first year of our BA (Hons) programme.

Reasons to study Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year at Kent

  • You’ll study a wide range of modules developed by our innovative lecturers, who advise governments around the world. Build your degree around your interests.
  • You join the supportive and welcoming community on our Canterbury campus, set among green and tranquil open spaces, with access to the world-class resources of our Templeman Library.
  • You can shape your degree outside of the classroom through our Politics and IR Society and Kent Model UN. These student-led societies host regular events, talks and debates with high-profile speakers, such as Jess Phillips MP, on tackling domestic violence.

What you’ll learn

You learn to explore the challenges facing the world, utilising the different concepts and approaches of political theory. You benefit from the expertise of staff who have advised governments and conducted conflict mediation exercises, deepening your understanding and developing solutions to a range of issues, from terrorism to the impact of the pandemic on politics, and political polarisation.

See the modules you'll study

Year abroad

We also offer four-year Politics and International Relations courses where you 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:

Year in Computing/Journalism

The Year in Computing and the Year in Journalism are both free-standing, self-contained years and can be taken after stage 2 or 3 (that is, between your second and final year, or after your final year). You can take a Year in Computing or a Year in Journalism if you are a current undergraduate student at the University of Kent, studying a non-computing or non-journalism degree respectively.

You can only apply for a Year in Computing or a Year in Journalism once you are a student at Kent.

Featured video

Watch to find out why you should study at Kent.

Kent offered all the things that mattered to me in one place and opened up the world.

Kami Asamani - Politics and International Relations BA

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    DDD

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    N/A

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    N/A

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    24 points overall

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    N/A

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

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

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC

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.

Additional costs

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

Funding

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

Search scholarships

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

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.

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:

  • place questions of political and international order and decision-making at the centre of social-scientific analysis
  • provide knowledge of political and international relations theory and analysis within a supportive learning environment
  • enable students to grasp the concepts, approaches and methods of politics and international relations, and to understand their contested nature
  • encourage students to think critically about political and international events, ideas and institutions
  • enable 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 cognitive and transferable skills relevant to their vocational and personal development.

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
  • 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 nature and significance of politics as a global activity
  • the origins and evolution of the international political system, including contemporary changes
  • 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 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.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding the nature and significance of politics as a human and global activity
  • 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
  • the contending and comparative approaches to politics and international relations
  • understanding the nature of conflict in relations 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.

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.

Alumni profiles

Kami Asamani (née Peters) was at Kent between 2001 and 2006. She studied BA Politics and International Relations and LLM International Law with International Relations. She works for the British Council, as Head of Business Management for Arts Sub Saharan Africa.  

Read Kami's full profile

Apply for Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

International applicants

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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