Welcome from the Head of School

Welcome to the School of Politics and International Relations at Kent. We are one of the few self-standing departments of political and international studies in the UK. With about 35 academic staff in Canterbury and 5 at our campus in Brussels, the School has grown into a vibrant centre of research and teaching in the areas of political thought, British and comparative politics, Europe in the world, conflict analysis and international relations.

Our School remains distinctive among its peers in taking a holistic approach and joining up our four priority areas: (1) student experience, combining student support and employability with a stimulating programme of extra-curricular activities; (2) innovative teaching based on original programmes, modules and research-led teaching; (3) world-leading research on key themes, such as old and new ideologies, trust in political institutions, federal systems, the dynamics of Brexit, conflict mediation and post-war settlements; (4) public engagement and impact by bringing our research to bear on public debate and policy-making.

In the UK and throughout the European continent, the School is unique in operating across two countries. We have a major stake in continental Europe through the School’s substantial presence at the University’s Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) where members of our department offer innovative post-graduate programmes and conduct internationally leading research.

Our School also offers more partnerships with other universities than virtually any other UK institutions. For many years we have been running the bi-diplôme with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lille – a fully integrated double-degree programme for undergraduates students. It is one of our flagship programmes that embodies Kent’s outlook as the UK’s European university.

Other original programmes in School include our BA in War and Conflict and our BA in Liberal Arts – an intellectually very demanding and enriching degree based upon interdisciplinary study that draws on social sciences, natural sciences and the humanities.

The overarching aim of the School is to balance the need to impart skills and knowledge with the importance of fostering critical, creative thinking. For our students, this balance is key to gaining meaningful employment and making a difference. For the years to come, one of our priorities will be to strengthen our role as a civic institution that helps its members to exercise judgement and relate it to their lived everyday experience. This will require a strong commitment by both staff and students to a shared community of enquiry and learning.

Welcome and we hope that you enjoy your time at the School of Politics and International Relations

Best Wishes

Dr. Adrian Pabst