Politics and International Relations

Liberal Arts - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

A truly liberal education prepares you to live a productive and creative life in a dramatically changing world. It fosters well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition to life-long learning and an acceptance of responsibility for your ideas and actions.

Kent's Liberal Arts programme teaches you to see the world from a range of perspectives - political, cultural, historical and economic - and develops your understanding of how each impacts on the other. At the heart of the programme is a core set of modules that you follow through the duration of the degree; these provide interdisciplinary means of analysing and understanding how and why we think, and act, the way we do today. Through collective discussion and debate around seminal readings, you get a grasp of the full field of social sciences, physical sciences, arts and humanities. You develop an understanding of the impediments to communication between different academic disciplines; of technological and economic revolutions that configure human cultures; and of the wide range of forces that shape events.

Students choose optional modules from those offered across the three faculties of the University to suit individual interests and career trajectories and develop a high standard of capability in another language (European or non-European).

Kathryn Yatrakis, Dean of New York's Columbia College, Columbia University writes that "the University of Kent in Canterbury's new Liberal Arts Programme will be very attractive to those high achieving students who well understand that interdisciplinary study and thinking, combined with disciplinary training, is the way to best prepare for the professional world of the 21st century. I unreservedly endorse this liberal arts initiative which has been carefully developed and organised to provide a strong and coherent program of undergraduate study ... It has all the ingredients to be a ground-breaking initiative in the liberal arts.".

Think Kent video series

In the last few years a BA in 'Liberal Arts' has appeared as a degree programme offered by several of the top UK universities. This talk by Dr Glenn Bowman of the University of Kent provides a background to that 21st century re-emergence and demonstrates that the term refers to some very different programmes across those UK, European and US universities which advertise it.

Independent rankings

The BA in Liberal Arts sits within the School of Politics and International Relations. Politics at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, Politics at Kent was 8th for overall satisfaction.

For graduate prospects, Politics at Kent was ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and 9th in The Times Good University Guide 2017. Of Politics students who graduated in 2015, 96% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

 

Course structure

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.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take 'wild' modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

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.

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.

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 on the 19th and 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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FR300 - French Language Level 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 Language Levels 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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GE301 - German Language Level 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 Language 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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IT301 - Italian Language Level 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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LS300 - Spanish Language Level 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 Language Levels 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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LA300 - Learning Portuguese 1A (Beginners) (15 credits)

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA301 - Learning Portuguese 1B (Beginners) (15 credits)

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA302 - Learning Mandarin 1A: An Introduction to Elementary Mandarin (15 credits)

Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing at introductory level, equivalent to A1 on the CEFR, will include:

- everday elementary level conversation skills including greetings, asking and giving basic informations about oneself, friends and family members

- introductory skills useful to describe students' language abilities, preferred drinks and daily activities

- topics realted at introductory level to Chinese culture, geography including some major cities, etc.



There will be a balance between communicative activites, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA303 - Learning Mandarin 1B: An Introduction to Upper Elementary Mandarin (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at an elementary to upper-elementary levels, equivalent to lower A2 on the CEFR, with everyday life, activities and culture in China.



Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will include:

• every day conversation skills including greetings and introductions, talking about food, hobbies and time, and asking and giving simple opinions on familiar topics.

• elementary skills of understanding weather forecast, Chinese culture, festivals.

• elementary skills useful to people visiting China including expressing how to go to somewhere and taking transports, etc.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA304 - Learning Japanese 1A: An Introduction to Elementary Japanese (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities and culture in Japan.



Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will include:

- everyday elementary level conversation skills including greetings and introductions, talking about oneself and getting to know each other,

- elementary skills useful to people visiting Japan including describing locations and shopping,

- topics related at introductory level to Japanese culture, geography including major cities, social interaction etc.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary

and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA305 - Learning Japanese 1B: An Introduction to Upper Elementary Japanese (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at lower A2 level, with everyday life, activities, describing objects/products, talking about past events, expressing likes and dislikes and culture in Japan.



Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises will include:

- everyday lower A2 level conversation skills including talking about oneself and getting to know each other in detail, and describing locations, likes and dislikes about food and leisure activities, etc.

- lower A2 level skills useful to people visiting Japan including making enquiries, asking for where shops are and, describing travel experiences, etc.

- topics related at lower A2 level to Japanese culture, festivals, geography including major cities, famous places, etc.

- the translation from Japanese to English and vice versa of lower A2 level vocabulary and sentences will be included.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA307 - Learning Arabic 1A: An Introduction to Elementary Arabic Language (15 credits)

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Arabic language course books, video and audio materials as well as flash cards.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA308 - Learning Arabic 1B: An Introduction to Elementary Arabic Language (15 credits)

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:



- Communicate in Arabic by using simple sentences including basic greetings and introductions, and asking and answering simple direct questions on very familiar topics.



- Explain very simple factual information on personal and familiar topics such as expressing someone's personal data and explaining about items in a shop.



- Read and write Arabic numbers. Students will be able to use numbers in familiar topics such as asking about the weather and the price of certain items.



- Understand short, simple texts such as short letters, emails and diaries written in simple and compound sentences.



- write very short, simple texts such as short letters and emails.



- Gain basic knowledge of the life and culture in Arabic speaking countries such as family, name, food, shopping and transportation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA309 - Learning Russian 1A: Introduction to Elementary Russian Language (15 credits)

This module is intended to give students some familiarity, at an introductory level, with everyday life, activities, tourism, history, geography and culture in Russia.



Topics for reading, writing, speaking and listening exercises will include:



- Everyday elementary level conversation skills including greetings and introductions, talking about oneself and getting to know each other



- Elementary skills useful to people visiting Russia including making enquiries, asking for help and directions, discussions of travel, tourism and sightseeing, visiting people's homes, using public transport, using hotels, shopping, ordering in restaurants etc.



- Topics related at introductory level to Russian culture, history, geography and the arts including major cities, famous places, literature, museums, music, theatre , ballet, circus etc.



- The translation from Russian to English and vice versa of elementary sentences will be included.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA310 - Russian 1B: Upper Elementary Russian Language (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at lower A2, with everyday life, activities, tourism, history, geography and culture in Russia. Topics for reading, writing, speaking and listening exercises will include:



• Everyday lower A2 level conversation skills including talking about oneself and getting to know each other in detail, discussions of friends and family, activities, interests, studies, jobs etc.

• Lower A2 level skills useful to people visiting or living in Russia including making enquiries, asking for help and directions, studying in Russia, discussions of travel, tourism and sightseeing, visiting particular cities and places of historical and/or cultural interest, visiting people's homes, using public transport, using hotels, shopping, ordering in restaurants etc.,

• Topics related at lower A2 level to Russian culture, history, geography and the arts including major cities, famous places, literature, museums, music, theatre, ballet, circus etc., elementary discussion of topics from Russian history, famous stars and presidents, the Bolshevik revolution and the Soviet Union.

• The translation from Russian to English and vice versa of lower A2 level sentences will be included.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


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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LA500 - Learning Portuguese 2A - Intermediate Portuguese (15 credits)

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA501 - Learning Portuguese 2B - Intermediate Portuguese (15 credits)

Key grammatical structures and cultural background will be taught through the means of purpose designed Portuguese language course books, video and audio materials. Students will also have access to these materials and Portuguese television channels for self-study in the media lab.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA502 - Learning Mandarin 2A: Post-Beginners Mandarin (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity, at the upper elementary level, equivalent to upper A2 on the CEFR, with everyday life, activities and culture in China.



Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing will include:

• everyday conversation skills including asking and giving directions;

• skills useful to describe illness, people's appearance and personalities;

• topics related to currency and shopping in China, etc.;



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA503 - Learning Mandarin 2B: Upper Post-Beginners Mandarin (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students some familiarity with everyday life, activities and culture in China. Topics for listening, speaking, reading and writing with proficiency, equivalent to lower B1 on the CEFR, will include:



• everyday conversation skills including expressing time duration of an action and the distance between 2 places;

• skills useful to talk about entertainments, giving and receiving compliments and gifts;

• topics related to travelling and living in China, etc.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA504 - Learning Japanese 2A - Post-Beginners (15 credits)

This module is for students who can read and write Hiragana and Katakana comfortably and also have a command of 50 basic Kanji. The curriculum contents are intended to familiarise students with the Japanese language used in the most immediate environment. The module is designed to give a well-balanced approach to reading, writing, listening and speaking. There will be a balance between communicative activities and grammatical instructions. Students will also gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst learning the language.

Some of the example topics are stated in the 'Learning outcomes' section.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA505 - Learning Japanese 2B: Upper Post-Beginners Japanese (15 credits)

This module is for students who can read and write Hiragana and Katakana comfortably and also have command of 110 basic Kanji. The curriculum contents are intended to familiarise students with the Japanese language used in everyday life and when travelling. The module is designed to give a well-balanced approach to reading, writing, listening and speaking. There will be a balance between communicative activities and grammatical instructions. Students will gain the relevant cultural information around the course topics whilst learning the language.

Some of the example topics are stated in the 'Learning outcomes' section.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA522 - Learning Arabic 2A: Post-Beginners 1 (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students familiarity at an upper A2 level, with the most immediate environment, house and home, town/city where I live and/ or study, describing colleagues and friends at work/university, sport, travel and food.



Listening and reading exercises will include basic information about others and their family, local geography, simple everyday materials such as advertisements, menu, street signs and a short, simple personal letter.



Writing and speaking exercises will include, using a series of simple phrases and sentences linked with simple connectors like ’and,’ ‘but’ and ‘because’ to describe in simple terms my family, other people and their family, living conditions, one’s educational backgrounds, one’s present and most recent job.



Basic knowledge about some Arab countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria will be covered.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LA523 - Learning Arabic 2B: Post-Beginners 2 (15 credits)

The curriculum content is intended to give students familiarity at a lower B1 level, with familiar everyday matters often encountered in work/university environment, leisure, traveling, and shopping.



Listening and reading exercises will include reading about routine university/school life, academic subjects and listening to news about familiar topics and weather forecasting.



Writing and speaking exercises will include, using connected phrases in a simple way to ask for advice, giving instructions and describing items in shops.



Basic knowledge about some Arabic countries such as Iraq, Algeria and the Gulf will be covered.



There will be a balance between communicative activities, and understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structure.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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LS504 - Learning Spanish 3B(Intensive Post A-Level) (30 credits)

This module is intended for students who have attained the equivalent of an 'A' Level pass in Spanish or who have taken LS302 Intensive Learning Spanish 1 (Beginners). The main aims of the module are to consolidate and expand knowledge of the grammar and structure of the language, and to promote a high level of skill in speaking, listening, reading and writing. A secondary aim is to increase awareness of the history and culture of Spain and Spanish America, through the study of appropriate texts. Regular written work will be required throughout the year.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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LS505 - Learning Spanish 4 (30 credits)

This module is intended for students who have attained a level of proficiency in Spanish equivalent to at least that of first year undergraduates. The main aim is to develop communicative skills with much of the emphasis being placed on speaking and listening but also involving a fair amount of writing. It will focus on the ability to operate in a variety of registers and respond adequately to different styles of discourse. There are four one-hour contact hours each week: two language seminars, one language lab class and one conversation class.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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IT508 - Learning Italian 2 (Intermediate) (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 bring students from A2 level to B1 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 - Learning Italian 4 (Advanced) (30 credits)

IT563 is an intermediate level module. Its aims are to strengthen and widen the linguistic knowledge provided in IT308, 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. IT563 is an intensive course which requires serious commitment.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE507 - Learning German 4 (30 credits)

The module develops proficiency in writing, speaking and comprehending German. It concentrates on translation into German and English and the development of analytical skills in the production of written and spoken German. Translation exercises confront students with a variety of texts in different styles and registers, and encourage accuracy and critical reflection as well as acquisition and consolidation of grammatical structures. The language skills component combines vocabulary development with discursive writing on topics of relevance to the contemporary German-speaking world. Oral classes with a native speaker develop oral competence through discussion, enabling students to speak confidently and effectively at the intermediate level.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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GE516 - Advanced Intermediate German (30 credits)

This module comprises: translation from German to English, grammar exercises, conversation classes, and the culture and politics of the German-speaking countries ('Landeskunde').

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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FR648 - French Language Level B2 (30 credits)

Three topics are covered each week: grammar, oral/aural skills, and written skills. Students will develop the four linguistic skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) to a level where they can confidently understand and convey information about themselves and their environment in all the tenses, and express their feelings and wishes in the conditional and subjunctive moods. They can account for and sustain views clearly by providing relevant explanations and arguments for and against particular points of view.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

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.

Students on a four-year degree programme 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:

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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PO679 - Research Dissertation (45 credits)

PO679 allows students to do independent, original research under supervision on a political science 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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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

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 in Mathematics and in a modern foreign language other than English

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)

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.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies 5 at SL)

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.

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

The versatility of Liberal Arts graduates – a result of their interdisciplinary experience, their engagement with qualitative and quantitative data analysis, their linguistic abilities, and their critical acumen - qualifies them for postgraduate study and makes them highly marketable to prospective employers. 

As a Liberal Arts graduate, you have a global perspective and an understanding of different cultures, attitudes and approaches giving you a distinct advantage in the international job market. Through your study, you also develop other key transferable skills considered essential by graduate employers. These include research, analytical and interpersonal skills, high facility in a foreign language, and the ability to write succinctly, speak clearly and present ideas effectively.

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. 

For 2018/19 entry, 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 827272

Subject contact: g.w.bowman@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) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

University of Kent - © University of Kent

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

Last Updated: 04/07/2016

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