Politics and International Relations

Liberal Arts with a Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

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 have the option to spend the year between your second and final years studying abroad. We currently have links with universities in Europe and Japan.

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. 

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).

 

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

Possible modules may include:

SE310 - Modes of Reasoning (30 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)

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE311 - Understanding the Contemporary (15 credits)

'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)

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE312 - Roots of Transformation (15 credits)

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)

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA319 - Mandarin Chinese Lower Intermediate B1.1 (15 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA318 - Mandarin Chinese Post-Beginners A2.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LA320 - Japanese Post-Beginners A2.2 (15 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS300 - Spanish Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

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..

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS302 - Spanish Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LA317 - Arabic Lower Intermediate B1.1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA316 - Arabic Post-Beginners A2.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA315 - Japanese Lower Intermediate B1.1 (15 credits)

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

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR300 - French Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR330 - French Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LA302 - Mandarin Chinese Beginners A1 (15 credits)

This module is aims to give students who have never studied Mandarin Chinese before some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in China. It is designed to build a solid foundation for students in order to further develop their Mandarin Chinese skills in an easy and systematic approach. Any students who are absolute beginners or have very little knowledge of Mandarin Chinese are welcome to take LA302.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life. Basic knowledge of some major cities in China and an introductory level of Chinese culture will be covered in seminars.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced through communicative activities in the friendly and stimulating seminars.

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

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LA303 - Mandarin Chinese Post-Beginners A2.1 (15 credits)

The module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA302, or for students who can use approximately 150 basic Mandarin Chinese Characters in 4 skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum content of LA303 is to build from the beginners' module of LA302. This is intended to give students some familiarity, at an 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 greetings and introductions, asking and giving simple opinions on familiar topics, such as hobbies, weather, etc.

If you are going to visit China, basic language is useful for ordering food, making very simple enquiries about times, locations and transportations. These topics will be covered in this module.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LA304 - Japanese Beginners A1 (15 credits)

The module is for students who have never studied Japanese before or have very little knowledge of Japanese. The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities and the culture in Japan. Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life. Basic skills useful to people visiting Japan will be taught including describing locations and shopping. An introductory level of Japanese culture will be covered in seminars.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA305 - Japanese Post-Beginners A2.1 (15 credits)

The module is for students who can read and write Japanese letters, Hiragana and Katakana, and have very basic knowledge and skills of Japanese. The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity with everyday life, activities and the culture in Japan. 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. Basic skills useful to people visiting Japan will be taught including ordering food, making very simple enquiries and asking for locations. An introductory level of Japanese culture will be covered in seminars.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA307 - Arabic Beginners A1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA308 - Arabic Post-Beginners A2.1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LA309 - Russian Beginners A1 (15 credits)

This module aims to give students who have never studied Russian before some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities, tourism, history, geography and culture in Russian. It is designed to build a solid foundation for students in order to further develop their Russian language skills in an easy and systematic approach. Any students who are absolute beginners or have very little knowledge of Russian language are welcome to take LA309.

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will focus on an introductory level of communication skills used in everyday life, such as: greetings and introductions; numbers; asking for help and directions; describe living rooms; talk about weather; shopping and ordering in restaurants, etc. Students will also be exposed at introductory level to Russian life including major cities, famous places, museums, music, theatre, ballet, etc.

Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be explained, practiced through communicative activities in the friendly and stimulating seminars.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA310 - Russian Post-Beginners A2.1 (15 credits)

This module is designed for students who have successfully completed the module LA309 or for students who have the equivalent Russian language knowledge to further develop their language skills.

The curriculum will focus on communication in the immediate environment. The content is intended to give students some familiarity, at lower A2 level on CEFR, on everyday life, activities, tourism, history, geography and culture in Russia.

Topics will include: talking about oneself and getting to know each other in detail; discussions of friends and family; time and days of activities, hobbies, interests, studies and jobs, etc.; discussions of travel, tourism and sightseeing; at the airport; visiting particular cities and places of historical and/or cultural interest; using public transport; using hotels; writing formal and informal letters, etc. Russian culture, geography and the arts including major cities, famous places, literature, museums, music, theatre, ballet, circus, etc.

Students will have chances to discuss topics, at elementary level about Russian history, famous people, etc. through the seminars.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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IT301 - Italian Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT308 - Italian Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE301 - German Lower Intermediate B1 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE329 - German Beginners A1-A2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

SE606 - Connections (30 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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LA320 - Japanese Post-Beginners A2.2 (15 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LA318 - Mandarin Chinese Post-Beginners A2.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LA319 - Mandarin Chinese Lower Intermediate B1.1 (15 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LS504 - Spanish Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS505 - Spanish Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

LS505 is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in LS300, 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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR648 - French Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

This is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in FR300, to consolidate students' vocabulary and improve their knowledge of written and spoken French through immersion in a variety of texts, and to practice translation skills both from and into French.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR652 - French Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE507 - German Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

This is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in GRMN3010, 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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE516 - German Intermediate B1 - B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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 GE329, 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 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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT508 - Italian Intermediate B1-B2 (Intensive) (30 credits)

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 IT301, 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).

IT508 is designed to allow students, upon completion, to demonstrate a level of ability up to the 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. IT508 is an intensive course, which develops the student's active and passive aural and written skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT563 - Italian Upper Intermediate B2 (30 credits)

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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LA315 - Japanese Lower Intermediate B1.1 (15 credits)

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

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA316 - Arabic Post-Beginners A2.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA317 - Arabic Lower Intermediate B1.1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA541 - Arabic Lower Intermediate B1.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA542 - Arabic Upper Intermediate B2.1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA546 - Japanese Upper Intermediate B2.1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA548 - Japanese Lower Intermediate B1.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA555 - Mandarin Chinese Lower Intermediate B1.2 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA556 - Mandarin Chinese Upper Intermediate B2.1 (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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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.

Possible modules may include:

PO678 - Liberal Arts Year Abroad (120 credits)

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

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

PO679 - Research Dissertation (45 credits)

PO679 allows students to do independent, original research under supervision on a political science or liberal arts topic close to their specialist interests. The dissertation module gives them the opportunity to further these interests and acquire a wide range of study and research skills in the process. All dissertation topics have to be approved by the module convenor as well as by an academic supervisor. The module takes students 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 the 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 help students along the way. The curriculum includes structured opportunities for students to discuss their research ideas with each other as well as mock panel presentations in preparation for the student conference.



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

Credits: 45 credits (22.5 ECTS credits).

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PO681 - Landscapes of the Future (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & 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.

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.

KIS Course data

UNISTATS / KIS

Key Information Sets

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.

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 or 6 in English Language and Grade C or 4 in a modern European language other than English or experience of learning a second language

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)

Distinction, Distinction, Merit 

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL

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.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
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.

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.

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.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources


Read our student profiles


Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 8272122

Subject contact: polirugadmissions@kent.ac.uk 

Open days

Our general open days will give you a flavour of what it is like to be an undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time student at Kent. They include a programme of talks for undergraduate students, with subject lectures and demonstrations, plus self-guided walking tours of the campus and accommodation.

Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

 

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department for Education or Research Council UK) permitted increases are normally inflationary and the University therefore reserves the right to increase tuition fees by inflation (RPI excluding mortgage interest payments) as permitted by law or Government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. If we intend to exercise this right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

If, in the future, the increases to regulated fees permitted by law or government policy exceed the rate of inflation, we reserve the right to increase fees to the maximum permitted level. If we intend to exercise this extended right to increase tuition fees, we will let you know by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which we intend to exercise that right.

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Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824429 or email the school

Last Updated: 22/07/2019