The world on our doorstep

The world is changing... fast, and Kent is on the frontline

Kent is a place of stark contrasts

In just over an hour, you can travel by train from one of the most globalised and cosmopolitan cities in the world, to some of the most neglected and deprived boroughs in the UK.

Just 20 miles from our Canterbury campus, Thanet was ranked the 5th most deprived area in the country in 2019, with 35% of children living in poverty. In nearby Dover, and surrounding our Medway campus, 30% of children live below the poverty line.

And yet, the average house price in Kent hit over £380,000 in 2021. The county is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK.

Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England’ but like other areas of the country, once had largescale heavy industry – steelworks, coal mines, shipyards – now lost with devastating long-term impacts.

It is home to seaside towns with changing fortunes, reliant on tourism and the arts. It has great swathes of farmland and woodland – rural poverty and wealthy escapes. At one edge is borders the sea, and on the other the metropolis of London.

Kent is the gateway to the UK and Europe

In a political world of increasing hostility towards migrants, rising nationalism and Brexit, Kent has played host to the major political issues of the day.

It is where the leader of the UK Independence Party chose to stand for election in 2015, and where he was defeated.

It was seen as both a Brexit heartland, and had some of the most pro-European areas in the country.

It is where, in 2021, more than 23,000 refugees arrived on the shore in flimsy boats, having risked their lives to escape poverty, war and oppression.

Kent is at the forefront of the UK’s imports and exports – of the politics of global supply chains and logistics, both legal and illegal.

Kent is the place to study the social world

If you want to understand the social, cultural and political world we live in, the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent is the place to do it.

Here, where global issues play out on our doorstep, you will be guided by world-class academics in an interdisciplinary school, to understand our changing world and your place in it. You can make a real difference.

At the University of Kent you are encouraged to think critically about the societies we live in.

Through our range of programmes, you can explore different and varied approaches to studying the experiences, issues and questions that shape who we are, or specialise in a specific discipline.



Last updated