Politics and International Relations

Politics and Law - BA (Hons)


This degree offers you the opportunity to study the closely related disciplines of Politics and Law in a three-year programme, with a pathway enabling you to obtain a Qualifying Law Degree*.


You gain a solid grounding in politics, both national and international, and are able to choose modules that reflect your interests from the extensive range on offer. Our modules reflect the research interests of our staff, and cover areas including conflict resolution, federalism, comparative politics, European integration, ethnic conflict, terrorism, the theory of international relations, political theory, and the politics of countries such as China, Japan, Russia and the USA.

You also develop an understanding of the law, taught from a critical perspective which will allow you to engage in informed debate about contemporary legal issues (with an understanding of its history and development).

Kent Law School is recognised as one of the leading law schools in the UK. It has an international reputation both for its world-leading research and for the high-quality, innovative, critical and socio-legal education that it provides.

*Please be aware that the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board are conducting independent reviews of the legal training and education required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. These reviews cover the 'Academic Stage' of training and may impact upon the role of the law degree as part of the training process. Please see the website of each regulator for more information (www.sra.org.uk/t4t and www.barstandardsboard.org.uk).

Independent rankings

Politics at Kent was ranked 9th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. In the National Student Survey 2017, over 91% of final-year Politics students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Law at Kent was ranked 14th in The Times Good University Guide 2017 and 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. In the National Student Survey 2017, over 93% of final-year Law students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. Law at Kent was ranked 15th for overall satisfaction.

Politics & International Studies and Law at Kent were both ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings 2017.


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:

LW313 - A Critical Introduction to Law (30 credits)

The module will introduce students to critical legal techniques grounded in critical legal and social theory, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial theory and law and the humanities. Throughout the course, concepts are introduced through socio-legal and critical investigation of selected case studies - such as new pieces of legislation, emerging political campaigns and prominent litigation - ensuring that the course maintains a focus on ‘law in action’. Particular attention will be paid to developments in foreign jurisdictions and in the international arena. Accordingly, case studies will alter from year to year, and draw heavily on research projects on-going in the Law School. The course has a heavy focus on primary legal materials and core critical texts, but will also draw on film, museum artefacts, art and literature as appropriate.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW315 - Introduction to Obligations (15 credits)

This module introduces the law of obligations, which comprises the private law of duties and rights to which individuals and organisations are subject. Traditionally, it includes the law of contract and tort (but not property). As well as introducing some of the content (which is covered more extensively in LW650 and LW651), a key focus is on the institution of the common law through which most of the law of obligations has emerged. This aspect is especially explored through the case classes, which run alongside the lectures and seminars.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW316 - Foundations of Property (15 credits)

‘Property’ is something we tend to presume we know about, and rarely examine as an idea or practice closely. Most often we use it to connote an object or ‘thing’, and presume that it has something to do with ‘ownership’ of that object. It is so simple to say ‘my property’ or ‘this is mine’. This module begins to unpack and examine the ideas and practices of property more closely: How are property claims constructed? What do we mean by ‘ownership’? What happens when a number of competing ‘ownership claims’ in one object exist? When preparing for the module it will be useful to think about (and collect material on) current debates over contested ownership (or use) of property and resources: art collections or cultural artefacts, land or natural resources dispossessed, land squatted, etc. And why, in our jurisdiction in particular, has such a strong link been made between being a ‘property owner’ (in this context a ‘home-owner’) and a ‘good citizen’.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW327 - The English Legal System and Skills (4 credits)

Part A: English Legal System

This module provides an overview of the English Legal System, including the following indicative topics:

1) An introduction to Parliament and the legislative process

2) The court structure and the doctrine of precedent

3) An introduction to case law, including how to identify and the importance of ratio decidendi and obiter dicta

Part B: Introduction to Legal Skills

The module also gives students an introduction to the basic legal skills that they will develop further in their other modules throughout the degree. The focus here is on specific exercises to support exploration and use of the library resources that are available, both in paper copy and electronically through the legal databases, and on understanding practices of legal citation.

Credits: 4 credits (2 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO326 - Introduction to Political Science (15 credits)

This core module introduces students to the wide range of different methodologies commonly employed in political science. This includes the scientific method and both traditional and newer forms of research. Students will also be introduced to some of the fields of inquiry that dominate the study of politics, including public choice, social movements, political behaviour, economic development and democracy. The module integrates these two main components to create both an awareness of the breadth of political science and its approaches, ultimately providing students with the foundation for further study in political science. Substantive topics include: the nature of inquiry (questioning and determining what constitutes evidence), methods of comparison, theory and hypotheses. They will also be introduced to and explore quantitative methods, formal methods, experimental methods and empirical quantitative methods. Students will implement basic quantitative research techniques for themselves. Finally, they will be introduced to concepts such as equivalence, selection bias, spuriousness, value bias and ecological and individualist fallacy in order to illuminate the difficulties faced when making comparisons.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO327 - Introduction to Comparative Politics (15 credits)

The module introduces students to the empirical study of the key structures, institutions and processes in political life. It does so through the lens of the comparative method, in which political systems are compared and contrasted to test hypotheses about the factors producing similarities and differences across countries and over time. The module first introduces the comparative method, and then discusses the different ways in which political systems can be organized and classified. It focuses on the three key powers in all political systems – executive, legislative and judicial – the ‘intermediate’ actors that link people to their governments, namely political parties, interest groups and the media, and how citizens behave politically in relations to such institutions and actors. Throughout the module, students are encouraged to identify the factors and the processes leading to different political outcomes across states and over time and to use both qualitative and quantitative data to support their arguments.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW588 - Public Law 1 (30 credits)


• Constitutionalism: history, theories, principles and contemporary significance

• Models of Government at national, local and supra-national levels


• Human Rights – history and contemporary significance and deployment

• The scope of governmental authority and its limits

• Judicial review and other forms of citizen redress

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

LW650 - The Law of Contract (15 credits)

This module will offer a one-week overview of Contract law doctrine by reviewing the essentials of contract law gained by students in Introduction to Obligations and provide an overview of the lectures to follow.

Thereafter, students will spend the majority of the time on contract doctrine and problem-solving in contract law, comprised of doctrinal topics not covered in LW315 Introduction to Obligations e.g. breach of contract and remedies, contractual terms, misrepresentation, termination and frustration of contracts and policing bargaining behaviour.

The remainder of the module will focus on contract theory (e.g. freedom of contract, relational contract theory, contract and the vulnerable, contract and consumption). This section of the module will overlay the doctrine covered in the previous section with a basic theoretical framework, and ground students' understanding of critical essay writing in contract law. It will also build on discussion of the purposes of contract law in Introduction to Obligations.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW651 - The Law of Tort (15 credits)

The bulk of this module will concentrate on the Tort of Negligence in contrast to students' knowledge of the law of trespass to the person (gained in Introduction to Obligations). Students will focus on the conceptual structure of the tort of negligence, its rise and dominance over other torts, its role in accident compensation, the funding of accident compensation and the role of insurance, and the system’s contribution to an alleged "compensation culture". This is primarily doctrinal but informed by various theoretical perspectives examining differing notions of justice.

A smaller part of this module will contrast the predominantly case-based Tort of Negligence with various statutory torts. Students will also consider the Land Torts, drawing further attention to the diverse range of harms protected by tort law and to the diverse conceptual structures of different torts.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW592 - Public Law 2 (15 credits)

The module builds on the understanding of constitutional government developed in Public Law 1 to examine the changing nature of the state in new modes of governance and governmentality. The focus is on the shift away from the vertical character of the relationship between state and citizen to a more diffuse mode of governing populations through expertise, techniques of management, and biopolitics.

In recent times there has been a shift away from states governing through legislation as a mode of command and control. Legislation is increasingly understood as enabling administration and governance rather than as the definitive word on a social or political problem. In some respects, this is a continuation of legislation as a mode of authorising the exercise of public power. However, the nature of power deployed and regulated through legislation has changed. Government through officials or agents directly responsible to Ministers or Parliament is increasingly replaced by quasi-government authorities (QUANGOS) whose strength is technical expertise. While the administrative state as it has evolved in the last century views this shift as a new strength in public administration, the key weakness is that accountability in the exercise of public power is lacking. What are the implications of these transformations for public law? How has public law facilitated these developments? What are the socio-legal and critical legal responses to these developments? These are the central concerns of this module. It thus offers a specialised and complementary extension of themes and issues introduced to students in Public Law 1 in Stage 1 of the LLB degree.

The administrative authorities that have emerged in the era of the ‘new administrative law’ – post 1970s - lack the formality of liberal constitutional protections. Consider the relative informality in the administration of ASBOS. Moreover, the traditional public/private divide has broken down - e.g. the privatisation of prisons, private corporations providing public services such as nursing homes or transport. The absence of social consensus, or unitary sovereign power has meant that the governance of gambling, security, the environment, gender and sexuality, science and technology, are not phenomena that can be dealt with through traditional liberal concepts or constitutional mechanisms. This module will examine how public law has been the site of social, political, and legal contestations regarding these issues.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW593 - European Union Law (15 credits)

This 15 credit undergraduate law module is designed to introduce law students to foundational legal principles of the European Union (EU). It will place particular emphasis on studying the role and impact of the judicial institution of the EU, namely the Court of Justice of the EU, in interpreting the scope and effects of Union law.

This module builds on the knowledge that students acquire in Public Law 1 where they are provided with a basic introduction to the history of the EU, the main institutions of the EU and key constitutional issues arising from the supremacy of EU law. It will focus predominantly on certain aspects of EU law not addressed in Public 1, including the free movement rules underpinning the single market.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO661 - Fact, Evidence, Knowledge and Power (15 credits)

This course builds on students' knowledge of the approaches and methods used in the study of politics and international relations introduced in the first year of the degree program and the foundation in the analysis of quantitative data established in the second year. Students will be asked to consider the nature and purposes of descriptive and causal analysis in politics and international relations. Students will develop skills in choosing, using and evaluating the research designs, and techniques for the collection and analyses of data used by researchers in these fields. Emphasis in the course will be placed on a mixed methods approach to political analysis that enables student to integrate, analyse and evaluate both qualitative and quantitative data. In addition to developing a conceptual and theoretical understanding of different approaches to evidence gathering and analyses and how they can be combined, students will also have the opportunity to extend their skills in practical data analyses.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW598 - Equity and Trusts (15 credits)

This module, normally taken in Stage 2, introduces the student to the main principles and doctrines of equity and trusts. It is designed to challenge the somewhat dull image of this area of law and to encourage a critical and imaginative understanding of the subject. The law of equity and trusts is contextualized within a historical, social and jurisprudential inquiry thereby providing a much wider range of possible interpretations of its development and application. What then becomes central to the module’s approach is the complex interrelation of law with ethical, political, economic and jurisprudential considerations, and that between legal outcomes, pragmatic concerns and policy objectives.

Drawing upon the student’s experience of the study of law, in particular that gained from Foundations of Property Law and Property Law, this module examines the trust both as a private legal institution (the trust in family and commercial settings) and a public one (the charitable trust), placing special emphasis on the management of the trust and the powers, duties and obligations of the trustee. Yet in departing from conventional approaches this module does not study equity merely in regards to its role as the original creator of the trust. Equity is instead acknowledged to be what it really is - a vital and fruitful component of the English legal system; a distinct form of legal interpretation possessing its own principles and method of legal reasoning, and comprising an original and continuing source of legal development in the sphere of remedies.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW599 - Land Law (15 credits)

The focus of the module is private property in English land: title by registration; squatting; owner-occupation; leases; covenants and land development. It builds on the Foundations of Property module to develop an in-depth understanding of English land law, its conception of property and its politics and effects. And it gives experience in how to advise clients on land law problems – and on how to avoid problems for clients.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO657 - Political Research and Analysis (15 credits)

The study of social and political phenomena is a vast endeavour and this class will serve as an introduction to methods for social science research. This 15 credit intermediate-level module is normally taken in Stage II. It provides a basic, non-technical introduction to the use of quantitative methods in the political sciences for students from a variety of educational backgrounds (including those with very limited knowledge of mathematical terminology and notation). The progression of this course will address scientific research design and methodology and consider many examples of such research In short, it seeks to enable students to read, interpret, and critically assess arguments drawing on quantitative methods in Politics and International Relations. Students with some prior exposure to quantitative methods will have the opportunity to improve their command of statistical software as well as apply their general statistical skills to data sets commonly found in policy and academic work.

The module is divided into two main components: In the first part, students will be introduced to both the logic of empirical research in the social sciences and to basic concepts and techniques of descriptive uni-, bi-, and multi-variate data analysis. The second part will focus on uni-, bi-, and multi-variate inferential statistics. ICT skills will be acquired/enhanced of students by the introduction to and use of statistical software (SPSS). The focus will be on student-centred learning and critical reflection of selected examples of quantitative work in seminars and group work.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

LW601 - Advanced Level Criminal Law (30 credits)

While the curriculum for LW508 Criminal Law Level I and LW601 Advanced Criminal Law Level H is by and large the same in that the same topics are considered, students following the course at level H will consider each discrete topic to a much greater depth making use of, and improving, skills developed in earlier years of their degree programme.

The module is structured to provide students with the opportunity to explore the major issues in criminal law through class presentation, through consideration of essay style topics and to engage in critical analysis of topics by considering criminal law problem questions. Students will be expected to discuss particular issues of criminal law and their implications for a wider social context. At the commencement of the module students are provided with a Seminar Workbook which outlines the weekly seminar topic and task.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW602 - Law and Medical Ethics (15 credits)

This module considers the legal regulation of medical practice in its ethical, socio-economic and historical context, drawing on a range of critical, contextual and interdisciplinary perspectives. Students will be introduced to the major western traditions of ethical theory and the major principles of medical law. They will then pass on to their incorporation in medical negligence, confidentiality, consent and competence, and medical research. They will then draw upon these to engage in critical legal analysis of major areas of medical ethics and law.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW604 - Morality and Law (15 credits)

This course will give students the opportunity to explore the ways in which morality has been understood and theorised and then to trace the development of a particular moral concept (namely, that of individual rights), that is central to legal discourse today. The methodology will be historical/contextual as well as theoretical/analytical. We will look at the way in which the idea of individual rights arose (and continues to develop) in a philosophical, political and historical context and we will examine and critically evaluate modern theories of rights and their relationship to law. The concept of a right is deceptively simple. When examined closely is gives rise to all sorts of questions and problems including, for example: how is the idea of a right justified? What is its relationship to the older idea of liberty? Can it survive the discrediting of theories of natural rights tied to natural law? Can it stand alone as a moral concept or is it merely the ‘other side’ of a duty?

Block 1: A critical introduction to the major theories of moral philosophy: virtue theory, duty based (deontological) Kantian theory and consequentialism (utilitarianism).

Block 2:. A historical/contextual examination of the development of a particular moral concept; that of individual rights.

Block 3.Oral presentations by students in pairs.

Block 4.An analytical examination and critique of modern theories of rights and their relationship to law (incl. ‘interest’ and ‘will’ theories and the legal analysis of Wesley Hohfeld)

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW609 - Advanced Topics in Property Law: the politicsof ownership (30 credits)

This module, building on Foundations of Property, explores the nature of property as a legal institution and its economic, political and cultural importance in a variety of contexts. It seeks to question the common sense understandings of property as privately owned 'things', in relation to which the role of law is essentially passive and protective. This course will bridge the too often repeated divide in law school curricula between forms of real property (land law) and intellectual property, exploring theoretical approaches alongside concrete examples drawn from both of these fields, and thereby asking what and why holds such different fabrications together (and apart) under the rubric of 'property'. We will look at intangible forms of property, such as intellectual property (eg patents, copyright) and financial property (eg stocks, shares, government bonds), and will explore the active, constructive and political role of law in constituting property and property rights. One of the module's themes will be the complex relationship between property and power. During the course of the module, in a series of case studies, a wide range of different topics in which issues of property and property rights are central will be examined: from issues surrounding corporate rights and power to land rights (especially in the colonial context); from the construction and protection of intellectual property rights to those surrounding housing and access to housing. The module will also explore the cultural dimension of property, and examine the role played by property practices and thinking in the recent financial crisis, and the potential to think and practice property differently under the rubric of 'alternative property practices'(eg in commons, land trusts, mutuals, co-operatives etc).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW611 - Law Dissertation Autumn Option (15 credits)

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 2 and 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW616 - Law and International Development (15 credits)

The first half of the module will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the idea of development, the international development project, the main international development institutions and the international context in which they developed, and the field of Law and Development. The second half of the module will examine contemporary topics in law and international development, including (but not limited to) human rights and development; decentralization and local development; sustainability and development; law and the informal sector; rule of law promotion.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW617 - Legal Ethics: Exploring the Ethics of Lawyersand Lawyering (15 credits)

This course will give students the opportunity to explore the ways in which moral reasoning can inform the study and practice of lawyering. Students will be asked to think and argue about the (possible) moral dimension of the practice of law. The course will include a theoretical component during which we will explore ways in which we might justify (or deny) a moral dimension to the practice of law. In the practical component we will use case studies (including that of the US government lawyers who provided legal justifications for the use of torture on ‘War on Terror’ prisoners). This case study and others will be used to discuss and debate issues in legal ethics, broadly conceived. The methodology will combine theoretical discussion of the principles that should inform the notion of legal ethics with analysis and discussion of actual moral and ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers and their resolution.

Block 1: Why Legal Ethics? An exploration of the moral reasoning and arguments behind the idea of ‘legal ethics’. Do lawyers have moral responsibilities as well as legal ones?

Block 2: Case studies and the ethical issues they raise. Answers to moral questions and dilemmas in legal practice.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW623 - Race, Religion and Law (15 credits)

This module is concerned with theoretical perspectives on race, religion, and ethnicity as concepts; case studies in the social and legal history of race and religion; overview of contemporary legal regulation of these categories in UK law.

Students will undertake contemporary case studies; research training

as part of the module.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW624 - Labour Law (15 credits)

This module is concerned with contemporary labour law. It combines legal analysis and the transmission of practical legal skills with a highly contextual and interdisciplinary understanding of the labour law and regulatory debates around labour regulation. To that end, workshops will feature extended discussion on key aspects of contemporary labour legislation using scholarly texts. Students will also study key legal aspects of the modern employment relationship including the contract of employment, statutory employment protection provisions (for example unfair dismissal and redundancy protection), anti-discrimination legislation and provisions for reconciling work and family life (e.g. pregnancy protection and parental leave). The module will also explore selected aspects of collective labour law including the role and status of trade unions, the legal regulation of collective bargaining and/or the regulation of industrial conflict. The module seeks to combine a detailed knowledge of fundamental key aspects of labour law with the development of broader conceptual, critical and evaluative perspectives on workplace regulation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW626 - Appropriate Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice (15 credits)

In recent times, 'alternative' forms of dispute resolution (ADR) have been widely recognised as possessing the potential to limit some of the damage caused by civil disputes. Therefore, a lawyer’s skill-set ideally should include a well-developed ability to analyse, manage and resolve disputes both within and outside the usual setting of the courtroom. Thus, the module’s primary aim is to introduce students to the legal and regulatory issues surrounding methods of dispute resolution aside from litigation. Specifically, the module focuses on the practical factors relevant to selecting appropriate dispute resolution in distinct circumstances, including, for example, the employment and family law arenas.

Students will be provided with the resources to acquire a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the contextual constraints associated with the use of different forms of dispute resolution and will be encouraged to develop their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of particular interventions, especially when used as an adjunct to court proceedings. The module tracks historic and current developments in relation the use of ADR, highlighting how government policy and courts appear, increasingly, to sanction failure to use ADR. This may well enhance students’ opportunities to hone career-advancing expertise in the field.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW629 - Critical Law and Practice of International Business Transactions (15 credits)

The module focuses on current issues in the law and practice of international business and trade law from critical perspectives. This includes exposing deficiencies in the regulation of international trade finance, international marketing operations, Countertrade, international commercial dispute settlement mechanisms and corruption in international business. The module considers the involvement of emerging business and financial jurisdictions in international trade. It broadly explores the inequities of global integration of international trade law and considers the influences of European Union law and those of leading developed economies and financial jurisdictions on regulation and actual practice of the field of international business transactions. Attention will be given to specialist and emerging areas of law such as international mergers and acquisition as well as philosophical aspects of international trade such as the Lex Mercatoria. It seeks to provide a comparative overview of emerging trends in international business regulation and aims to make students aware of ethical dimensions of international business transactions. Topics to be covered include International Trade within the contexts of public and private international law and international politics; Development and underdevelopment of commercial laws in international trade; mergers and acquisitions; counter trade as an alternative to current system of international business and trade; international franchising and agencies abroad; international commercial dispute settlement mechanisms; international corruption and the bribery of foreign officials; doctrine and practice of the New Lex Mercatoria.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW632 - Critical International Economic Law (15 credits)

The object of this module is to offer a critical introduction to the legal and theoretical aspects of investments and the globalisation of the world economy. The module considers at the macro-level the legal implications of the changing roles of international economic institutions. This includes an understanding of both the global and regional (European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement) contexts of international economic law. The course pays special attention to the inequities of international trade and seeks to explain the effect of these inequities on the interplay between international and national regulatory frameworks, which is fundamental to an understanding of the globalisation of economic law. It offers a critique of the New International Economic Order beginning in the 1970s. The module offers an overview of the way lawyers and social scientists in the critical legal tradition interpret and conceptualise the changes that are taking place in the global economy such as the judicialisation and autonomisation of trade and investment law. It presents a critical overview of the role that the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF and World Bank) play in the global economy and focuses on efforts to hold multinational companies to account for their activities in developing countries and on selected issues relating to the regulation of international business through codes of conduct. Topics to be covered include: Sources and nature of international economic laws; international economic organizations; the fundamental principles of trade law; subjects of International Economic Law; extraterritorial enforcement of economic law; fragmentation of economic law -the rise of bilateralism; preferential trade agreements (PTAs), bilateral investment treaties (BITs); role of the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF and World Bank) in the global economy; multinational companies and the Law; norm of compensation-for-expropriation; Dispute settlement and sanctions; Feminist legal perspectives to International Economic Law; Alternative visions of development strategies; Most-Favoured-Nation principle and exceptions to Most-Favoured-Nation principle.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW633 - Clinical Option: The Criminal Justice System (30 credits)

The provision of a Clinical Option with a focus on criminal justice is an opportunity for students to consider the most crucial aspects of the rule of law namely power, control and accountability. Criminal Justice as a branch of state power and paternalism opens many questions for debate not least the imposition of rules by the state and the degree to which those are balanced, fair and open to challenge.

Students on this module must become members of the Kent Law Clinic and work under solicitor supervision on client's cases that have been taken on by the Clinic. The proposed module will be based on the LW543 Clinical Option casework model.

Students are expected, from the second week of the Autumn term onwards until the end of the Spring term, to undertake the conduct of one substantial case under supervision or a project on an area of law relevant to the field of Criminal Justice and relevant to the objects of the Clinic. Students will normally work on cases rather than projects.

Students will be supervised on a one to one basis for between one and two hours per week. This may increase dependant on the stage a case has reached and supervision may increase considerably if the need to work intensively on the case arises. There may also be periods of little or no weekly supervision dependant on the demands of the case. Student will maintain client files in accordance with Case Management Guidelines and Student Folders containing drafts and research materials.

Putting law into practice in this way increases knowledge of the relevant law, procedure and legal practice and in turn further the aims and ethos of the Kent Law Clinic most importantly in the provision of a crucial public service.

Interactive seminars of 1.5 hours length are proposed due to the small number of students. Allowing additional time will allow flexibility in the structure of the session. For example in some weeks a proportion of the session will be used as a lecture on the area substantive law and the remainder for a discussion incorporating the required reading and informed by the private study undertaken. Other weeks may be presentations by students on their cases and the issues they have identified allowing for a discussion in which we will build on the knowledge and study from earlier substantive law seminars.

In summary, the primary aim of the module is to introduce students to the functions of key players in the CJS including police, prosecution, judiciary, probation and defence. This overarching understanding of the roles and regulation of each is advantageous to those interested in pursuing a career within the CJS. Through casework and research students will have the opportunity to apply the law, to consider appropriate legal strategies to help the client and to critically reflect on the laws and procedures they have encountered. The module should appeal to those students intending to practise in the areas of criminal law and civil liberties but is aimed too at those not intending to pursue a legal career.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW635 - Law, Space and Power (15 credits)

This module examines the intersections between forms of legal regulation or 'government', conceptions of power and power-spatial configurations. It traces elements of such intersections accessibly with the aid of insights from a variety of the most relevant sub-fields (including legal geography, architectural history and theory, critical planning studies, urban design, spatial studies, anthropology, legal theory and philosophy). It interrogates the intersections in question both through a thorough introduction to all the contemporary relevant theories and practices of spatial power configuration and with a focused 4-week seminar preparation of a unit theme, each year, on a particular city or relevant event or project which informs the assessment set.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW636 - Mental Health Law (15 credits)

The module will cover the historical development of mental health law (in brief), the Mental Health Act 1983, civil and criminal admissions to hospital, consent to treatment, capacity, sections of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 relating to deprivation of liberty, discharge (including the role of the Mental Health Review Tribunal) and care in the community; proposals for reform; interaction with the criminal justice system.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW640 - Critical and Legal Reasoning (15 credits)

A central question of this module is whether, and to what extent, there is anything distinctive about legal reasoning compared to reasoning in general. That question is posed from the perspective of a legal practitioner, in particular, an advocate. The aim of the module is to equip students – as potential advocates, but also in general – with a range of tools and skills of argument that are easily transferrable across legal and non-legal contexts.

It is a premise of the module that any competent advocate, or indeed lawyer, must demonstrate a proficient grounding in elementary logic. As such, the module will explore, and students will be expected to demonstrate, the role played inferential logic within legal reasoning. The module will also consider logical and other fallacies. For example, and drawing on Schauer, by asking whether authority-based reasoning (ie the doctrine of precedent) is a fallacy; and, drawing on Kahneman, by investigating the role played by psychological heuristics in all forms of decision-making including legal forms.

In addition to the conventional categories of inferential reasoning, the module will consider other forms of reasoning including, but not limited to, practical, statistical, and marginal/economic forms. In the latter context, and drawing on Farnsworth, it will consider the differences between ex post and ex ante forms of reasoning: the first response being about cleaning up after things have gone wrong, and the second about the effects of decisions in the future. The latter perspective leads naturally to a broader consideration of policy-based reasoning in general.

Students will explore the role played by different forms of reasoning in different contexts; for example by considering and demonstrating the use of logical deduction and probable inference in the context of legal proof (evidence) and the role of other forms of reasoning, including rhetoric, in the formulation of legal arguments.

The theoretical background will provide the basis upon which students will learn to construct effective (legal) arguments and to practice the skills learned in a variety of written and oral contexts ranging from skeleton arguments, oral presentations, mock trials and/or applicationsand/or mooting (subject to availability). Students will be expected to reflect critically on their learning practice by producing a self-reflective portfolio.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW642 - International Law: Principles and Sources (15 credits)

The module will examine the role and function of international law in regulating relations between States and resolving international disputes. It will introduce students to a number of theoretical frameworks through which to understand and critically evaluate international law historically and in context. It will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of international law and of its key concepts, principles and rules. The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international law to contemporary international problems and to critically assess its limitations and effects. This will be achieved through a range of topics and case studies.

An indicative list of topics studies follows:

• The history of international law

• Sources of international law

• The relationship between international law and domestic law

• Jurisdiction and Immunities

• Statehood

• Self-determination

• State responsibility

• International dispute settlement

• The International Court of Justice and International Organisations

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW643 - International Law and the Use of Force (15 credits)

The module will examine the role and function of international law in the use of force between states as well as non-state actors. It will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of international law on the use of force and of its concepts, principles and rules governing the use of force (jus ad bellum) and the conduct of armed conflict (jus in bello). The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international law on the use of force to contemporary international disputes and to critically assess its limitations and effects. This will be achieved through a range of topics and case studies.

The topics covered may include:

• The prohibition of the threat or use of force and the right to self-defence in international law

• Principles of International Humanitarian Law

• UN Peacekeeping and UN-authorised Peace Enforcement

• Humanitarian intervention and the 'Responsibility to Protect'

• Other doctrines of unilateral intervention

• Combatants and civilians

• Weapons and Methods of Warfare

• War Crimes

• The role of international humanitarian law in international criminal trials

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW644 - International Human Rights Law in Context (15 credits)

The module will examine the evolution, principles, institutions and functions of international human rights law in their political, social and economic contexts. It will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of human rights law through critical study and analysis of key theoretical perspectives and debates. The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international human rights law to historical and/or contemporary challenges and to critically assess its limitations and effects.

An indicative list of topics is as follows:

• The History of Human Rights Law and Contemporary Approaches to Human Rights Law.

• United Nations Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures.

• Regional Human Rights Systems and Approaches.

• The International Bill of Human Rights: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

• The Prohibition of Torture.

• Human Rights in Times of Crisis.

• Rights of Women.

• Rights of the Child.

• Minority Rights.

• Indigenous People's Rights.

• Forced Migration and Displacement.

• Right to Development.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW645 - International Law and Global Problems (15 credits)

This course explores selected global problems in their historical, social, political and economic contexts in light of international legal frameworks. The course begins with an examination of key critical perspectives in international law, such as Third World Approaches to International Law, before moving on to specific topics of historical or contemporary concern. Attention will be paid in particular to systemic problems of the global legal order and students are encouraged to analyse the limits and potential of international law to present solutions to global problems as well as the role played by international law in framing and constituting those problems in the first place.

By necessity these topics will vary, but an indicative list follows:

• International legal methods, critical histories and theoretical perspectives

• History and historiography of international law

• Reconciliation, transition and conceptions of justice

• International criminal law

• Territorial disputes

• Inequality, poverty and international law

• Natural resource use and extraction

• International law and the global political economy

• International trade and biosecurity

• International law and international relations

• Key cases in international law

• International Law and Violence

• International Law and Migration

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW646 - Homelessness Law and Policy (15 credits)

• Social understandings of home and homelessness.

• The history of contemporary homelessness law and policy.

• England's current legal framework of homelessness law.

• Comparative legal and policy perspectives.

• Street homelessness and its regulation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW505 - Family Law (30 credits)

This module focuses on the way law defines, constructs and regulates the family and familial relations. Autumn term deals broadly with the institution of marriage and relations between partners, including definitions of the family, marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation, domestic violence, divorce and family dispute resolution. Spring term deals with the relationship between parents, children and the state, including reproductive technology, parenthood, children’s rights, private law disputes over post-separation arrangements for children, child support, and public law provisions for the care, supervision and adoption of children

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW509 - Human Rights and English Law (30 credits)

This module seeks to provide a sound knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles underlying the

law relating to human rights, including a grounding in the historical development and political philosophy of human

rights law; to provide a detailed grasp of the current protection of human rights in English law, with particular

reference to the Human Rights Act 1998 and European Convention on Human Rights; and to promote a critical

discussion about the nature, function and effects of human rights as they are, or might be, expressed in English law.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW518 - The Law of Evidence (30 credits)

The role of evidence in a courtroom is technical but its rules reflect core principles of the due process of law. These are becoming more significant with the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998. The module considers matters such as the functions of judge and jury, standards and burdens of proof, the competence and examination of witnesses, the exclusionary rules relating to character, opinion and hearsay, improperly obtained evidence. The module also introduces students to the process of inferential logic.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW520 - Company Law and Capitalism (30 credits)

This module seeks not only to familiarise students with the basic concepts and structure of modern British company law, but also to provide them with a critical understanding of the nature and dynamics of modern capitalism and of the historical development of industrial organisation and the emergence of company law within it. In addition to a selection on modern company law, therefore, the module also traces the rise of the joint stock company in the nineteenth century and the emergence of company law in its wake. It moves on to trace the twentieth century rise of the modern multidivisional, multinational company and its impact on company law. In this context, it also considers the nature of the share and of shareholding, and the role of the Stock Market, and explores contemporary debates about corporate governance. Key aspects will include exploring the contractual relations between, on the one hand, the company and its agents and on the other hand, third parties who deal with the company, tracing the evolutionary changes from the Common Law to the modern predominantly statutory framework. It will also deal with aspects of corporate management and control, including directors’ duties, shareholders’ rights and the increasingly important issues pertaining to market abuse and how the law seeks to deal with such practices. Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with current issues in the commercial world by reading the financial pages of the newspapers, as reference will frequently be made to current events to facilitate the learning process. The module will address a range of inter-related questions: How well suited is modern company law to the regulation of the large modern corporation? What do shareholders do? What does the Stock Market do? In whose interests are modern corporations run? In whose interest should they be run? How do companies contract and what are the relationships between the organs of the company?

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW522 - Comparative Law (30 credits)

Over the academic year, a wide range of topics will be covered, these may include the following:

- The History of Comparative Law

- The Strengths and Weaknesses of Comparative Law

- The Politics of Comparative Law

- Method: Comparative Law's Quandary

- The Relationship Between the (Legal) Self and the Other

- Reading Foreign Law: The Possibilities and Limits of Legal Translation

- Common Law and Civil Law: Not so Different?

- How Legal Concepts Travel (or Not) Across Legal Cultures

- Can Western Comparative Law Work in Asia?

- The Use of Foreign Law in Constitutional Interpretation

- The Debate Over Harmonization and Uniformization of Laws

- Towards a Global Legal Order? Comparative Law’s Contribution

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW540 - The Philosophy of Law (30 credits)

The Philosophy of Law module is designed for those who think they might be interested in philosophical reflection and enquiry into law. The module assumes no prior knowledge of either philosophy or law. The module uses the tools of analytic philosophy in order to promote understanding and criticism of current and historical understandings of law and legal practice, and to promote students' own critical, reflective understandings concerning these topics. Module learning divides into two parts. The first part occupies Autumn Term learning and teaching, and comprises an introduction to philosophy of law and to the major school of thought in jurisprudence that have dominated reflection on the nature of law. A significant theme of this programme of study is to develop understanding of the relation of ideas in philosophy of law to a wider scholarship that includes historical and sociological understandings of legal practices. The second part occupies Spring Term learning and teaching, and is taken up with the close critical reading of a single monograph in the philosophy of law. The aim of this part of the module is to build upon and supplement Autumn Term learning through the focussed and detailed examination of a single, sustained argument offered within the subject field, thereby deepening earlier understandings and also enabling students to develop and refine their skills of philosophical reading and critique.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW542 - Policing (15 credits)

The module seeks to provide an historical, legal and social understanding of the police, one of the key social and legal institutions of the modern state. The police are an integral part of the criminal justice system and as such, this module is a core element in a criminal justice programme.

The following topics will be covered:

• The History of Policing

• Modern organisation of the Police

• Transnational Policing

• Policing Strategies

• The Constitutional Role and Accountability of the Police

• Fighting crime

• Police Powers and Police Discretion

• Interrogation and Confessions

• Prosecution and Policing

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW543 - Clinical Option (30 credits)

Students on this module must become members of the Kent Law Clinic, and work under Supervisors on ‘live’ cases for clients of the Clinic under the supervision of solicitors, or other experienced legal practitioners working alongside them. All Supervisors are members of the academic staff at Kent Law School. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of specific areas of English law and procedure, and some specific skills. Students are encouraged to view their clinical work as a means to an end – not just the acquisition of important legal skills but primarily a better understanding and critical analysis of law and of legal practice. The excellent opportunity which clinical work provides for active learning, and for studying the interface between theory and practice, is placed firmly in this context.

Students are expected to undertake from the second week of Autumn term onwards until the end of the Spring term, under supervision, the conduct of at least two substantial cases (or the equivalent), involving proceedings in courts or tribunals or other legal forums, or projects on an area of law of relevance to the objects of the Clinic. Students will normally work on cases rather than projects. A Supervisor will decide whether a student has undertaken two substantial cases (or the equivalent) for the purposes of this module.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW556 - Intellectual Property Law (30 credits)

This module will focus on the leading topic areas of intellectual property law (including practical aspects), namely:

• Copyright

• Patents

• The uses of IP, remedies for infringement and enforcement

• International intellectual property

• Trade marks

• Passing off

• Breach of confidence

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW563 - Law - Dissertation (30 credits)

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Public Law II is a compulsory prerequisite module. Entry to this module will be based on gaining a Merit in stage 1, however, if they achieve a 2:1 in the Public Law 2 special study they may be admitted subsequently. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW566 - Law Dissertation (1 unit option) (15 credits)

This module allows a student to undertake a lengthy writing project on a law -related subject that interests her/him under the supervision of a KLS staff member. It is available to Stage 2 and 3 students taking single or combined honours law programmes. Students wishing to take this module must settle on their topic and find a dissertation supervisor near the end of the Spring term of the academic year previous to the start of this module. During the first term of this module, the convenor will conduct several sessions on how to research and write a law dissertation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW570 - Law and Social Change (15 credits)

This module investigates the relationship between law and social change, and explores the political, economic and social dynamics that affect this relationship over time. We will consider questions such as:

• Why is the law a terrain of social struggle?

• How does the law respond and/or contribute to social change? How can the law be harnessed for social change?

• How do the values or worldviews that the law incorporates affect the legal advancement of social change?

• How does the character of the law change in relation to different social, economic and political dynamics?

• What are the obstacles and limitations to the law contributing to and creating social change?

• How can we engage with the law to pursue change towards social justice?

The first part of the module examines the relationship between law and social change as addressed by some key classical and contemporary social theorists. This exploration is then extended with an analysis of how and to what extent social movements can affect legal reform and contribute to social change. The second part of the module investigates a number of concepts and areas in relation to which the approaches and ideas explored in the previous part can be applied, questioned, reframed or expanded. These concepts and areas are morality, democracy, globalisation, rights and citizenship, and the role of legal professions in social change. The module wraps up with a student-led session on their essay-in progress.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW571 - Law and Society: Regulating Communities (15 credits)

This module focuses on governance, regulation, norm-maintenance and rule non-compliance within communities and institutions. It provides a distinct perspective to general questions of law, socio-legal theory, and jurisprudence. Key questions include: when do norms count as law? How do communities govern themselves, and what role do law and social norms play in this process? What authority do intentional communities possess when it comes to rule-breaking? What is the relationship between community rules and state law? Can communities function without rules? And is institutional law-breaking (or non-compliance) analogous to individual disobedience? Topics include: legal pluralism and legal consciousness, Foucault and governmentality, norm-following among strangers, etiquette within public sex communities, virtual worlds, governing through local currencies, nudism, self-regulation in a free school, and Speakers Corner.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW572 - Immigration, Asylum and Refugee Law (30 credits)

The following key themes will be covered in the module:

I. Legal Sources of Immigration, asylum and refugee law: British, EU, Council of Europe, international, comparative.

II. Historical Evolution of the government and regulation of immigration, asylum and refugee subjects.

III Asylum and Refugee law: (1) International, ECHR and EU standards on asylum and refugee protection (2) Key aspects of British law and practice on asylum.

IV. Select aspects of Immigration law (British, EU and ECHR standards will be integrated)

V. Key contemporary problems in each of the fields of immigration, asylum and refugee law (as case studies).

VI. Key interdisciplinary contemporary debates and contributions to the study of immigration, asylum and refugee law.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW578 - Law and Political Theory (30 credits)

This module is designed to provide an understanding of the interrelationship between political theory and law in modernity. Drawing upon political theory it explores ideas of law, power, resistance, community, sovereignty and the subject. The objective is to build a solid understanding of political theory in relation to these key concepts, and then use this understanding to examine contemporary political and juridical questions such as those of democracy and citizenship; multiculturalism, bio-politics, secularism, terrorism, post-colonialism and contemporary formations of Empire. In so doing, the module seeks to equip students with the necessary intellectual tools for deploying insights from political theory and philosophy to the study of law.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW580 - Consumer Law (30 credits)

The module addresses the regulation of consumer markets. This module is aimed at students who wish to have an understanding of substantive law, policies and institutional framework concerning the regulation of consumer markets. The topic which will be covered in the module include:

• Consumer society and the rise of consumer protection policy

• Rationales for regulating consumer markets

• Techniques for regulating consumer markets

• The regulation of advertising and marketing practices

• The regulation of unfair commercial practices

• The regulation of unfair contract terms

• The regulation of consumer credit

• The regulation of food safety and quality

• The regulation of product safety and quality

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW581 - Law and Literature and Film (15 credits)

So much of law is about text and the manipulation of language: Becoming sensitive to the construction of narratives in judgements, learning to read argument in its many forms, recognising the ways in which words, and patterns of words, can be used to create effect, playing with ambiguities or seeking to express an idea with clarity, all these are fundamental skills for a lawyer. Law is also about performance, the roles which are assigned to us and the drama of the court room. And law, as text and performance, carries fundamental cultural messages about the society we live in and the values we aspire to. During this module, we will examine some of the many ways in which reading, viewing and listening to, 'the arts' helps us to think more concisely as well as more imaginatively about law. We welcome on to the module anyone who shares, with us, an enjoyment of reading, viewing and listening – this is a chance to be introduced to material you may not be familiar with as well as a chance to pursue an interest you may already have. Although the module is designed primarily for law students, it is also open to undergraduates from other degree programmes.

The module focuses on a small number of key texts through which to explore the themes and develop student skills. These vary from year to year.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW582 - Banking Law (15 credits)

The module will be divided into three main sections. The first section will involve an examination of the banker-customer relationship, including the rights and obligations of the parties in that relationship, the use of different methods of payments and remedies. The second section will focus on the provision of credit by banks to customers. This section will look at the types of credit facilities provided by banks, the taking of security by banks and the enforcement of such security. The final section will focus on money laundering regulation within the banking industry.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW583 - Art and Cultural Heritage Law (30 credits)

This area of law considers a developing jurisprudence that involves international treaties, laws, ethics, and policy considerations relating to the art market and cultural heritage. This module aims to define art and cultural heritage/cultural property; to identify the need for national and international regulation of the art trade (theft, illegal export, trafficking) both in time of peace and in time of war as well as the issue of restitution of wrongfully displaced objects. It will also explore areas of the art trade that need regulation such as consumer protection (fakes and forgeries); the role of experts (opinion and liability), artists (his rights, his freedom and his life), dealers (auction houses and private dealers), and museums (role and collection management) in the trade. Finally, the module addresses the essential question of the need to change the law to accommodate the specific needs of protection of cultural heritage and it aims to give coherence to a complex body of rules at the intersection of civil law, property law, criminal law, public law, private international law and public international law.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW584 - Forensic Science in Criminal Trials (15 credits)

This module considers how criminal law makes use of science. Forensic evidence is a rapidly developing area in criminal trials – new techniques are continually being developed and forensic evidence such as DNA profiling is increasingly presented as evidence. This rapid expansion has resulted in forensic evidence becoming increasingly debated in the media and by the criminal justice process – from articles hailing DNA profiling as preventing or undoing miscarriages of justice to those questioning a lay jury's ability to make a judgement in case involving highly complex scientific or medical evidence.

The module will be broken down into 4 parts:

1. Initially, analysis of the historical development of the use of forensic evidence will be made along with explanation of both what constitutes forensic evidence and the basic scientific techniques involved.

2. Consideration of the way in which forensic science has developed as a useful tool within the criminal justice process

3. Analysis of the difficulties of placing emphasis on forensic science within the trial system – cases in which forensic science has resulted in subsequently questioned decisions.

4. Current issues surrounding the use of forensic science: This section of the course will be devoted to considering the questions which arise out of the use of forensic evidence such as:

• Who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence,

• Who are the experts who present the evidence to juries

• To what extent does the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW585 - Environmental Law I (15 credits)

Environmental Law I involves lectures covering the following topics:

• Introduction: basic concepts in Environmental Law

• Public health origins and statutory nuisances

• Regulatory approaches at national, European Community and international levels

• The legal protection of the aquatic environment

• Waste management and the legal protection of land quality

• The legal protection of air quality

• The integration of pollution control

• Enforcement at national and European Community levels

• Alternative approaches to environmental protection

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW586 - Environmental Law II (15 credits)

Environmental Law II involves lectures covering the following topics:

• Civil law and the protection of the environment

• Environmental human rights

• Planning law and land use

• Environmental impact assessment

• The legal status of flora and fauna

• Conservation Law in national, EC and international law

• The protection of species

• The protection of habitats

• The interface between planning and conservation

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW596 - Gender, Sexuality and Law (15 credits)

The media is full of gender controversies: there’s same-sex marriage (or not) in California, violence against women pretty well everywhere, and a whopping 17% gender pay gap in the UK. What do you think about these issues? How do you think the law should respond?

This module focuses on how law interacts with gender and sexuality. It examines, and encourages you to discuss, the interconnections between law, policy, gender, and sexuality. We will start by focusing on key concepts in feminist and queer legal theory, such as heteronormativity (the dominance of heterosexual family and social structures). We will then relate these theories to current dilemmas: same-sex marriage; transgender rights; gay refugees; diverse family formations. Finally, we tackle the really big questions. Should we use the law to change the law? Are rights really any use? What is neo-liberalism and how does this relate to gender?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW652 - Advanced Topics in Tort Law (15 credits)

The module will assume prior knowledge and understanding of the foundational levels of tort law taught in LW315 and LW597/LW651. In the module, students will focus on contentious areas of tort law from a critical perspective. They will look at areas such as those in the following (not exhaustive or all-inclusive) list: reproductive harms, wrongful birth/life, 'toxic torts' and developments in the law on causation, invasion of privacy and/or autonomy, feminist perspectives/critiques on torts, negligent policing (and of other public bodies), tort law and human rights, access to justice, conceptions of justice in/philosophy of tort. Teaching of these areas may be undertaken by ‘experts’ in a particular topic, so the availability of each topic may vary on an annual basis to account for e.g. periods of study leave.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW589 - The Skills of Argument - How to Argue and Win (15 credits)

Argument occurs across the full spectrum of human interaction - in pubs, at home, in seminar classes, and in professional contexts such as those provided by law, science and medicine. However, despite the importance allotted to argument and the desire of those engaged in arguments to win them, little systematic attention is given to the nature of argument and the practical skills required to argue successfully, even though this information is readily available. The ambition of the module is to equip students with this knowledge base and skills, thereby enabling them to enter into argument more confidently and with a greater prospect of success. The module divides into three parts, the first being a very brief historical and theoretical contextualisation of the topic. The second part of the module treats argument and arguing formally, by mapping the standard forms of argument and by developing the skill of picking out a bad argument from a good one, and by showing how to spot the set of common but typically unnoticed mistakes in one’s own argument or in those of others. The third part of the module turns to the skills of rhetoric and persuasion, including examination of the ploys that are often used to give bad or weak arguments persuasive force. The themes of the module are illustrated throughout using real examples from law and elsewhere.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO664 - Conflict Analysis and Northern Ireland: History, Politics & Culture (15 credits)

This course will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the recent political history of Northern Ireland. The course will be accessible to all students, whether they are new to the topic or not. The main objective of the course is to provide students with a greater understanding of one of the most complex regions within the United Kingdom. Students who take the course will learn about the central issues that underpinned community conflict, why sectarian conflict broke out in the region in the late 1960s, why it continued for so long, and what political dynamics led to the ‘peace process’ of the 1990s. In addition to looking at the conventional historical and political development of Northern Ireland, the course will also focus on wider aspects of the society such as representations in Irish poetry, music and sport, and the way in which these have mirrored political and cultural relationships within the region.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO665 - Advanced Topics in Politics and International Relation (15 credits)

This module is designed to offer Stage 3 Politics and International Relations students an opportunity to study a topic in politics and international relations at an advanced level. Participation will be limited to students who have demonstrated strong writing and analytical skills in their Stage 2 coursework (with a minimum average of 60%) and the topics may vary from year to year depending on the research and teaching interests of academic staff. The module will build on the concepts, theories and methods that students have acquired in their previous studies, introducing them to more advanced readings and further developing their knowledge and understanding of the scholarship at the forefront of their discipline in a given issue area. Students will work very closely with academic staff and will benefit from their research expertise and individual feedback in a small group setting. The module will assist students in developing their critical and analytical skills and help them to understand the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge concerning their advanced topic in politics and/or international relations.


Two topics will be offered in 2017/18, one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term. Students may only take one topic within this module.

Topic title: Global Gender Justice, Convenor: Dr Andrea Den Boer - AUTUMN TERM

This module addresses some of the complex issues regarding achieving justice for women internationally through a thematic examination of classical and cutting-edge scholarship in the areas of gender, security, and human rights. We will interrogate practices of representation of women as victims and explore the cultural, religious, political, and social challenges and barriers to achieving gender justice within the family, the community, the state and global society. We will analyse the effectiveness and limits of international organisations, international human rights instruments, NGOs and activists to bring about change in women's lives. The seminar will be guided by an overall aim to explore the extent to which gender inequality within the state has an impact on state behaviour, with a specific focus on state development and state security.

Students gain an awareness of the following themes: the situation of women around the world; the ways in which gender affects social, political, and economic status; the evolving study of gender in international politics (with an emphasis on security and human rights); the political implications of scholarship; and the links between gender, feminism, and activism.

The seminar requires previous knowledge of international relations, but will introduce students to feminist theories relevant to the study of gender in international relations. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve a close reading of key texts as a group as well as discussion/debate of the weekly topics.

Topic title: Russia and its Neighbours, Convenor: Professor Richard Sakwa - SPRING TERM

The crisis over Ukraine from 2013 was stark demonstration of the failure to establish an inclusive and mutually legitimate system of European security and international politics after the end of the Cold War. On the one side, Russia was treated as a defeated power, even though the country did not see itself as such, and was assigned a modest role in world affairs. In the end this provoked a type of Weimar syndrome in a country whose dignity and interests were perceived to have been ignored. On the other side, the European Union and NATO have claimed to be advancing a type of 'post-modern' politics in which traditional Westphalian notions of balance of power and geopolitical interests have given way to a benign notion of economic and normative homogenization. Two contrasting visions of world order came into contestation.

The module will examine the evolution of Russian foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and its interactions with the EU and NATO. The broader context of the tension between greater and wider visions of Europe will be analysed, as well as the tensions within representations of Europe itself. More specifically, Russia's relations with its immediate neighbours will be studied in the context of moves towards the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the development of greater Asian ideas, notably in the consolidation of 'non-Western' institutions (such as the SCO and BRICS) accompanied by the emergence of a narrative of resistance and insulation from Western hegemony.

The seminar requires some familiarity with international relations theory and European politics, but will introduce students to the fundamental developments in Russian and Euro-Asian politics and international relations. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve a reading of key texts as a group as well as discussion/debate of the weekly topics.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO666 - Religion and International Politics (15 credits)

This module introduces students to the complex set of questions surrounding religion in international politics. The module begins by exploring contending political and sociological understandings of religion at the turn of the 20th century. It looks, in particular, at the constructed nature of the categories of the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’, and at the limits of the secularization thesis, which anticipated the privatization, decline and ultimately disappearance of religion in modernity. The discussion then turns to the relation between religion and secularism in Europe – with a focus on the question of European identity, multiculturalism, the relation between Europe and Islam and the numerous controversies surrounding Islam in Europe – and in the United States – with a focus on the concept of civil religion and the role of religious rhetoric and thinking in US foreign policy, particularly in the so-called ‘war on terror’. The module then explores the relation between religion and violence by looking at the role of the 16th and 17th wars of religion in the process of modern state formation and by asking whether there is a genuine connection between religion and violence. The concluding part of the module focuses on the emerging concept of the ‘postsecular’, its contending meanings, understandings and possible applications by focusing on the case of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO667 - War and Peace in International Society (15 credits)

The purpose of the module is to enable students to critically engage with the International Society (or “English School”) approach to International Relations. Combining political theory, IR theory, philosophy, sociology, and history this approach seeks to understand the theory and practice of international politics by reference to the historical development of relations between large scale political entities (from empires, hordes, kingdoms, to the modern nation-state and beyond) and the discourses that have emerged (Machiavellian, Grotian, Kantian) in response to the development of first European international society and eventually world society. The course focuses on the central features of international society - war and peace - as they have been conceived by the three traditions and members of the English School from Martin Wight to more contemporary figures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO669 - Conservatism: Politics and International Relations of the Right (15 credits)

This course is intended to familiarise students with the conservative tradition in modern politics. This is achieved by reference to a range of key conservative thinkers selected to help students understand the diversity of the conservative tradition and consider what factors help to cohere it. Comparison within the tradition and across a variety of thinkers is achieved by examining these thinkers' views on four basic categories of modern politics, namely the state, the market, society and international relations. In order to meet these broad learning outcomes, essay questions will be designed in order to ensure that students have to compare different thinkers.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO671 - International Security (15 credits)

This module provides an introduction to the various approaches to security studies by way of introducing key thinkers, the key literature. Its core aim is to provide a solid theoretical and conceptual grounding for students interested in the diversity of issues, institutions and actors engaged in the practice of international security.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO675 - Politics and IR Internship (15 credits)

This module blends practical workplace experience, in the form of an internship in the area of politics and international relations, with taught workshops and private study. The internship will allow students to experience first-hand the practical application of their degree subject in the wider world of work, and will provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and self-organisation. The taught workshops will provide an opportunity to reflect upon, and develop, knowledge of the sector and its relationship with the academic field of study, using the student's internship experiences and a range of other resources. Students will also examine learning theory and consider the value of experiential learning experiences within Higher Education.

It will be the student's responsibility to source and apply for internship opportunities, but assistance will be provided both by the School's Employability, Alumni Manager, and the University's Careers and Employability Service. These opportunities should be in an organisation whose aims and activities are broadly related to politics and international relations, and the internship should reflect these activities and give the student the opportunity to work in a way which allows the module learning objectives to be achieved. Students on pre-approved School-administered internships will also be eligible to take this module.

The internship must consist of at least 60 hours of work, but this may be spread across a number of days / weeks and need not be a full-time position. The module convenor will approve of all internship opportunities prior to their commencement and students are advised to liaise closely with the module convenor and other appropriate staff in good time. Internships must finish by the date of the final seminar, and the School will provide all documentation and relevant insurance / health and safety checks to ensure that the placement meets both University and sector requirements and guidance on work-related learning opportunities. Students who fail to complete necessary paperwork relating to their internship and the module will be unable to proceed.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO676 - The Radical Right in Western Democracies (15 credits)

One of the most striking developments in established Western democracies has been the electoral growth of extreme right and radical right-wing political parties. In this module students will investigate the nature and rise of extreme and radical right-wing parties, while also exploring other related issues such as right-wing extremist and racially-motivated violence and/or terrorism. This module will introduce students to the academic literature that has followed a resurgence of support for the extreme right. The module will familiarise students with conceptual and theoretical debates within this literature, and introduce students to some of the associated methodological debates. Students will be encouraged to think critically about concepts, classifications, ideologies, electoral behaviour and the broader implications of the rise of these parties and social movements in areas such as public policy and social cohesion.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

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:











Credits: 45 credits (22.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

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).

Read more

PO555 - International Organisation: The UN System (15 credits)

This module explores the origins, evolution and role of international organisations in world politics. The aim is to understand how these institutions have developed, why states choose, refuse and fail to use these institutions as a means to achieve their objectives, and to what extent international organisations can promote international cooperation. The module takes the United Nations system as its central focus, but will also consider historical forms of international organisation as well as the processes of global governance. International organisations are involved in a wide variety of issues in contemporary international politics. This module will survey a selection of them, exploring the political differences and questions that arise in international responses to these issues.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO557 - Japan in the World (15 credits)

This module explores the place of Japan in today’s international system. It not only investigates Japan’s most important bilateral relationships, such as the Japan-US axis and relations with China, Korea, etc., but also Japan’s increasing role in multilateral bodies, such as the UN, ASEAN and APEC. Economic questions and security issues will both be addressed alongside the problems of Japanese energy. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of how the China/Japan conflict gets more important and how Japan’s perception may differ from those in Europe or the USA.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO558 - The Contemporary Politics of Japan (15 credits)

This module will examine the domestic politics of Japan, starting with the changes made by the American occupation. We will then explain the institutions and informal practices which maintained long-term one-party-dominant rule of the LDP (1955-1993). Attention will be paid to electoral rules, the government and opposition parties, collusion between the LDP/business/bureaucracy and voting behaviour.

Attention will then move to how the system has changed since the 1993 election which saw the LDP lose its majority. We will analyse the successes of Koizumi and the new era of post-Koizumi politics. We will assess the current Prime Minister and how he is running Japan. We will analyse the 2009 DPJ government and assess its' successes and failures. The module will end with assessment of the Fukushima management of the disaster and the new LDP government.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO563 - Foreign Policy Analysis and Management (15 credits)

This module examines the complex relationship between foreign policy analysis and foreign policy practice. It does so by exploring shifting approaches to making and examing foreign policy, including the contributions of IR theory to Foreign Policy Analysis. Historical antecedents of foreign policy as a practice are examined via observations of traditional bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, followed by traditional state-based actors, non-state actors, and the nature of the structure they inhabit. FP decision-making is then examined, followed by the process of foreign policy implementation. The issue of motivation is tackled through analyses of the largely domestic impact of culture, interests and identity and broader effect of intra-state norms, ethics, the issue of human rights. Case studies of key countries reinforce the practical implications of above-mentioned issues throughout the module.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO566 - Europe and the World (15 credits)

This module focuses on European foreign policy, i.e. the ‘external dimension’ of European politics, exploring the relationship between Europe and the rest of the world. Following the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU now stands poised to unleash significant foreign policy potential in its neighbourhood, and beyond. The difference between the EU and ‘Europe’ will be examined in component fashion through the foreign policies of some of the major European states.

Thereafter, the foreign policy tools of the EU will be looked at, after moving into an in-depth thematic treatment of the key foreign policy issues facing the EU vis-à-vis its security, defence, economic, trade and development relations, and its dynamics with ‘rising powers’, the US, its eastern and southern neighbours in Central Europe, Asia and North Africa.

Other issues include its burgeoning military capacity and a growing set of overseas military missions. Broader themes will include the impact of global developments on Europe, the international significance of European integration and the more general role of Europe in the new world order This course will draw on theories from political science and international relations and concepts defining Europe’s global role.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO579 - Post Communist Russia (15 credits)

We examine the main challenges facing post-communist Russia and in particular assess the development of democracy. We discuss the main institutions and political processes: the presidency, parliament, federalism, elections, party development and foreign policy, as well as discuss Yeltin’s, Putin’s and Medvedev's leadership. We end with a broader evaluation of issues like the relationship of markets to democracy, civil society and its discontents, nationalism, political culture and democracy and Russia's place in the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO597 - Governance & Politics of Contemporary China (15 credits)

This module aims to provide students with a critical review of China's political development in the 20th and early 21st centuries. After a brief overview of China's political history since 1949, it is designed around two core blocks of study.

The first block looks at the principal political institutions that include the Communist Party, the government (the State Council), the legislature (the National People's Congress) and the military (the People's Liberation Army).

The second block examines the socio-political issues and challenges facing the country in its ongoing development. They range from the prospects of democratisation and the growth of civil society, the issue of quality of life in the areas of the environment and public health, corruption, nationalism and ethnic minorities, national reunification, territorial disputes with neighbouring countries to China's engagement with global governance.

A major theme of the module is to address why the Chinese communist regime is more durable and resilient than other non-democratic countries in achieving both economic growth and political stability and acquiring international influence, despite the fact that it faces numerous mounting development and governance challenges.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO599 - European Security Co-operation (15 credits)

This module places the contemporary developments in European security integration within a historical context while focusing on institutional formation and the role of nation-states with the view to highlight continuities and changes constituted in the new Security Architecture. The module locates (Western) Europe’s place in international security vis-à-vis other actors including the United States and emerging powers in order to determine what type of security identity Europe has carved for itself in the post-War period. The module further considers the implications of cooperation for Europe’s ability to respond to external New Security Challenges.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO611 - Politics of the European Union (15 credits)

The decision by a majority of the British electorate who voted on Thursday 23rd June 2016 to leave the EU sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the world and created a political earthquake within the UK's political system. Focusing on the European level, as this module does, the result of the referendum plunged the EU into its most serious existential crisis as, for the first time, a member state has signalled its desire to exit. According to Marine Le Pen, leader of France's Front National, the Brexit vote was 'by far the most important political event taking place in our continent since the fall of the Berlin Wall'. The reverberations of this decision will be felt for many years to come and affect an EU experiencing what some commentators have termed a 'polycrisis’ since the Euro-crisis erupted in Greece six years ago. As well as bailing out Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus and the economic fall-out from the global financial crisis of 2008-9, the EU has also witnessed the worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War, terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and heightened tension with Putin’s Russia over the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. The EU has never been under such pressure and its resilience so tested. The purpose of this module in this context is thus two-fold. First, we learn and understand how the EU has reached where it is today, how its political system works, its strengths and weaknesses and how it is driven both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system. At the same time, we analyse the process of Brexit, how it will be managed by the UK and the EU27 and its implications for the future of the EU. There has certainly never been a more challenging or interesting time to learn about the EU!

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO612 - Policy-making in the EU (15 credits)

Since 2009, the European Union (EU) has been grappling with a crisis in the Eurozone, a refugee crisis, terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, the rise of challenger parties and heightened tension with Putin's Russia. This has led to increased questioning of the purpose and trajectory of European integration and policy-making. The Brexit decision by the UK electorate in June 2016 plunged the EU further into crisis, sending shockwaves throughout the world as for the very first time an EU member state chose exit over voice or loyalty. Membership of the EU is now clearly contingent and the reverberations of this decision will affect both the EU and the UK for many years to come. The focus of this module is on assessing the capacity of the EU as a system of public policy-making as it faces these myriad challenges. In so doing we endeavour to understand how the EU’s system of governance works and how it is driven by both the politics and economics of its member states and the global system. This module focuses on the EU’s 'outputs’ in terms of public policy in this context, with particular attention paid to the fields of market regulation, monetary union, environmental policy, agriculture policy, regional policy, justice and home affairs, foreign policy and trade policy. As well as analysing the effectiveness of EU policy-making in these policy areas, we also evaluate the impact of Brexit on their operation, as well as the process of Brexit itself, how it is being managed by the UK and the EU27 and its implications for the future of the EU.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO616 - The Politics of Trust (in the USA) (15 credits)

Much recent academic and popular commentary has focused on citizens’ supposed mistrust of government, especially in the United States of America. The central aim of the Politics of Trust is to uncover the reasons for Americans’ malaise. However, students will also examine other western democracies where trust has fallen to see if these countries’ experiences can inform our understanding of the US case specifically and the politics of trust more generally. The course begins with a history of trust in America, with an overview of the putative reasons for declining trust in the post-World War II period, with an examination of the experiences of other western democracies. The second part turns to the specific explanations for declining trust as posited by academics and political commentators. Explanations include the crisis of government performance, spin, the internecine warfare between Republicans and Democrats, the changing nature of the modern labour market, declining social capital, and the media.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO617 - Contemporary Politics and Government in the United States (30 credits)

PO617 offers a comprehensive introduction to the politics and national government of the United States. It introduces students to the ‘foundations’ of the US political system, examining the history of the republic, its economy and society, the values and beliefs American people subscribe to, and the basic structure of the political system. We will also examine those ‘intermediate’ institutions (interest groups, parties, elections and the media) that link people to their government, and the three key institutions of the federal government: the Congress, Presidency and Supreme Court. Lastly, we focus on the policymaking process in the US. We will look at economic policy, civil rights and liberties and foreign policy, ask how and why policy is made as it is, and examine the extent to which the policy solutions produced by the political system are optimal.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO618 - East European Politics (15 credits)

The module examines the politics of transition and change in post-communist countries in their effort to establish new democratic regimes and find their place in the world. The module consists of three main parts.

Part I focuses on the experience and nature of communist rule, to develop basic understanding of communism as an ideal, political system, and a life style. Part II looks at transitions, examining regional patterns of change and relating them to the 3rd and 4th waves (coloured revolutions) of democratisation globally. Part III discusses the issues of post-communist politics in Europe, by way of exploring the forms and quality of democracy in the new states, considering the effect of EU enlargements on the new Member States and the EU neighbours; and discussing the future of communism in the world.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO623 - Modern Political Thought (15 credits)

This module provides an introduction to some of the major developments in Western political thought by discussing the work and impact of key figures such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. Focusing on reading the primary works of these thinkers, putting them in their historical context, and understanding their reception in contemporary scholarship, this module addresses the overall problems which ‘modernity’ poses for political theory in Western societies.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO629 - Terrorism and Political Violence (15 credits)

This module introduces students into the study of terrorism and political violence, and thereafter deepens their knowledge of the controversial aspects of this subject. The initial lectures will deal with definitional problems involved in the concept of "terrorism" and various theories about the causes of political violence in its different forms. With a point of departure in a chronological review tracing the origins of the phenomenon long back in history, the module will later study the emergence of political terrorism during the second half of the 19th century. This will be followed by a study of state and dissident terrorism in different parts of the world. The module will also address the relationship between religious radicalism and different forms of political violence, including "new terrorism" and possible use of weapons of mass destruction. Then, the focus of attention will be shifted to implications of various counter-terrorism strategies and "The War on Terrorism" for democracy and human rights. These issues will be addressed with a special focus on methodological problems involved in the study of terrorism and political violence.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO630 - Politics of The Middle East (15 credits)

This module introduces students into the study of the Middle East as a region and an arena of international conflict. Against the background of a historical review of the developments in the 20th century, the module will focus on the colonial past of the region, the imperial legacy, the emergence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the impact of sub-state loyalties – i.e. factors which have shaped the Middle East as a region and as a security complex. In this context, the students will explore the ideological developments in the region, most important among them, the rise and fall of Arab nationalism, the emergence of Islamic radicalism and the consolidation of the Israeli right. Adopting an international relations perspective, the module will also cover the impact of outside state actors, such as USA, Russia and the EU on the Middle East as a whole and on the relationships among those states that compose this region. Finally, the students will study the debate about "Orientalism" and the problematic aspects of the Western academic study of the Middle East and the Islamic world. These issues will be addressed with a special focus on the problem of bias involved in the academic study of the Middle East.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO634 - Understanding US Foreign Policy: Power, Tradition and Transformation (15 credits)

This module offers a comprehensive study of US foreign policy since 1945. Ranging from ‘containment’, ‘democratic enlargement’, and ‘the war on terror’ the module introduces students to the concept of ‘grand strategy’ and the need to understand the broader intellectual platform and foundations of the way in which the United States engages with the world. A number of case studies are used to explore this such as the work of George Kennan, the Vietnam War, and the move towards ‘smart power’ under presidents Bush and Obama. In addition to this the course also explores questions on the social construction of state identity in the American national consciousness and how both the media and political elites help to shape public opinion and attitudes that relate to America’s ‘friends’, ‘allies’, and ‘enemies’. The course also explores the concept of ‘soft power’ as a method of extending American influence and power in the world and questions the idea of American decline.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO638 - Political Behaviour in Britain (15 credits)

The module examines the nature of political behaviour in Britain today. It focuses on two key issues. The first is the way that citizens participate in politics. The module explores the nature of political participation, and how this has changed in the last few decades. It also examines the characteristics of people who participate, and the factors that motivate individuals to engage in different forms of political participation. The second key issue examined is voting behaviour. The module considers how far electoral decisions are shaped by stable ‘sociological’ factors, and how far voters today are less closely aligned with parties and more open to the influence of particular policy messages, personalities and media coverage. Alongside this focus on the behaviour of citizens, the module also considers the activities of key intermediary organisations, such as legislators. Throughout, the module seeks to develop students’ understanding and analytical skills, by considering theories and models of political behaviour along with the way data and other evidence can be brought to bear in testing the validity of these models.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO652 - Politics in the Classroom (15 credits)

The module will begin with training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These will include sessions on the relationship with the teacher, how to behave with pupils, as well as how to organise an engaging and informative session on an aspect of politics drawn from the national curriculum. These sessions will be run by the Partnership Development Office.

After training the student will spend one session per week for six weeks in a school in Spring term (this session includes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher and ‘in class’ time with the teacher and pupils – 3 hours in total). They will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take ‘hotspots’: brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally the student will progress to the role of “teacher” and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.

The student will be required to keep a weekly log of their activities. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of citizenship and politics within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special project (final taught lesson) in consultation with the teacher and with the module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the project.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO653 - Marxism: Politics and International Relations (15 credits)

The module is aimed to introduce students to Marxist theory and to enable them to assess both the contemporary and historical significance of Marxism in world politics. Students are expected to read some of the key texts of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels and to consider varied interpretations and critiques of Marxist methods, writings and theories. Students are also expected to consider the political contexts in which these theories and debates emerged and their implications for political practice. Students are not expected to demonstrate any detailed knowledge of the history of Marxist-inspired governments, regimes or political movements.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO656 - Humans at War (15 credits)

This module aims to investigate the different roles and experiences of human beings at and in war. Following an introduction to issues regarding agency (How do people act in the social world? How much freedom do they have? What impact can their actions have?), the course will examine the roles of combatants (both state and non-state), civilians (men, women and children), and third parties (peacekeepers, humanitarian workers, journalists, and academics). The module will draw on academic literature, but also written, oral and video testimony and artwork to examine these categories first as a social group (examining questions such as age brackets, income brackets, education, life expectancy), then in terms of their political functions and roles, and finally in an attempt to access some degree of experiential knowledge of war and peace. Due to the sensitive nature of the material examined, the module will not be using lecture capture.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO658 - The Rise of China (15 credits)

This module aims to provide students with a critical review of China’s hegemonic role in pre-modern East Asia and its political development since the 1840s when it was forced to open up to the outside world and to lay a solid foundation for even more detailed study of present-day China.

It deals with a recurrent theme in the study of Chinese politics, that is, how successive Chinese leaderships since the 1840s have reconciled Chinese indigenous political culture with models of modernisations that originated in the West. Focus is on how indigenous and foreign models for state-building and political development have guided Chinese thinking about national rejuvenation and modernisation.

This module assumes no prior knowledge of Chinese history or politics, and introduces students to the defining features of the Chinese traditional political system, including: Confucianism and Legalism, the causes of the demise of imperial China in 1911, the abortive attempts of republicanism and constitutionalism between 1912 and 1949, the rise of communism, and major political events since 1949 as well as its recent ascendancy.

Questions to be explored in this module include: Why did the Chinese imperial system fail to meet the challenges and encroachment from the West and Japan? How did Chinese leaders understand ‘modernisation’? Why did Chinese political elites embrace communism? What have been the impacts of revolutions on China’s external behaviour and relations, post-1949? How has China’s worldview been ‘socially constructed’ in its interactions with Western powers? What is China’s grand strategy for development in the early 21st century?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PO660 - International Conflict and Cooperation (15 credits)

The course provides an overview of the broad field of international conflict analysis and resolution. Students have the opportunity to explore the motivations driving different forms of conflict, including interpersonal, group and civil violence. Students will also be exposed to a range of theories and approaches used to understand violent conflict, and a number of different methods of conflict resolution (e.g. negotiation, mediation, peacekeeping operations, and transitional justice.) The approach is interdisciplinary and juxtaposes traditional approaches used to study conflict management with new scientific studies of conflict and cooperation.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

Teaching & Assessment

Kent Law School emphasises research-led teaching, which means that the modules taught are at the leading edge of new legal and policy developments. Kent Law School is renowned nationally for research quality, being 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'. All of our research active staff teach so you are taught by influential thinkers who are at the forefront of their field.

Our main teaching methods are lectures, seminars, working groups, PC laboratory sessions and individual discussions with your academic adviser or module teachers. Assessment is through continuous feedback, written examinations, assessed essays and oral presentations.

Assessment can also incorporate assessment through oral presentation and argument in in the style of legal practice (such as mooting), and client based work and reflection through our Law Clinic.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes depend on your specific module selection:

KIS Course data


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


Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

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 16 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.

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.


Combining Politics and Law opens up a wide range of career opportunities, including legal practice for those who follow the qualifying pathway. Kent Law School has a specialist Law Clinic and Mooting programme, which allow you to experience both real and simulated legal practise. The School of Politics and International Relations and the Law School each have a dedicated Employability Officer to help and support students in finding suitable careers and making the most of the skills they have developed through the programme.

Recent graduates have gone into areas such as local and central government, the diplomatic service, EU administration, financial services, non-governmental organisations, journalism, international business or international organisations.

Independent rankings

For graduate prospects, Politics at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2018, 7th in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 9th in The Times Good University Guide 2017. Of Politics students who graduated in 2016, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

For graduate prospects, Law at Kent was ranked 7th in The Complete University Guide 2018, 11th in The Times Good University Guide 2017 and 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2018. Of Law students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Professional recognition

This programme can lead to a Qualifying Law Degree*, which exempts you from the first stage of professional examinations required for qualification as a solicitor or as a barrister by the English Law Society and Bar Council.

*Please be aware that the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board are conducting independent reviews of the legal training and education required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales. These reviews cover the 'Academic Stage' of training and may impact upon the role of the law degree as part of the training process. Please see the website of each regulator for more information (www.sra.org.uk/t4t and www.barstandardsboard.org.uk).


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.


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


Read our student profiles


Related schools


T: +44 (0)1227 827272

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.

University of Kent - © University of Kent

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

Last Updated: 10/03/2015

Banner image attribution Antonin Rémond