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Global Politics and International Relations BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time L245 2018
4 years full time including foundation year LL22 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to University 2018

This course is subject to validation.*

Why choose this course?

What impact is the Syrian refugee crisis having on EU politics? How could Brexit affect US politics?

On this course you will gain the knowledge and skills to participate in the politics of a globalised world. You will learn about the interconnected levels of politics - from local to national and international. The course has a focus on social and human rights, and developing you into an active global citizen.

The course is flexible so you can study a combination of modules in politics, international relations, human rights, sociology, history and economics to suit your own interests.

You will develop transferable skills in writing for specialist and general audiences, public speaking, collaborative working and critically evaluating claims made in politics.

Kingston's proximity to central London enables you to participate in lectures, workshops, talks and political events in the capital and expand your knowledge beyond the classroom.

Foundation year - Social Sciences

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the Social Sciences. At Kingston these include Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Economics and Politics.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a social sciences degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say:

What you will study

In Year 1, you will develop the foundations for understanding and exploring the global world of politics. There is a strong rights based ethos on the course, and in the Introduction to Human Rights you will examine the concept and challenges of human rights.

In Year 2, you will take two core modules in Modern Political Thought and International Relations and Global Governance. You will also start to specialise in your main interests through a choice of flexible modules.

In Year 3, you will undertake an advanced research project on a topic of interest and receive training in research skills. The project culminates with a presentation at our annual student conference. You will also choose from a range of specialist modules such as political violence, global terrorism and developmental economics.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Foundation year

  • The module introduces you to a wide spectrum of disciplines and approaches in social and behavioural sciences. It'll look at common features of any social sciences degree, like the study of collective and individual human behaviour, and defining features of the individual disciplines.

    A key focus will be on the overlapping boundaries between different disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences. You'll learn how to use qualitative research methods to understand collective and individual human behaviour.

    By the end of the module, you'll have a better understanding of the differences and commonalities of the individual fields of study within the social and behavioural sciences and the key features of each.

     
  • Practical Research Skills gives you the opportunity to carry out a research project on a topic agreed with a supervisor, who will guide you in conducting a literature review, formulate a research question, design a research study, collect data and present findings.

     
  • Using Quantitative Methods enables you to apply mathematical knowledge to solve a range of problems within social and behavioural scientific contexts. You'll learn how to use calculators and computer software to analyse and present mathematical data in a variety of formats, and develop your competence in algebraic, graphical, numerical and statistical techniques, as well as elementary formal logic.

     
  • This module aims to prepare you for undergraduate study and gives you the skills and knowledge related to the study of social and behavioural science subjects. You'll cover research skills (like using a library and electronic resources), planning, note taking, building a bibliography, and avoiding plagiarism. You will also develop your communication skills, especially focusing on essay and report writing, delivering presentations and being an active participant in debates and discussions. It'll give you helpful strategies for time management and stress management, particularly focusing on recognising points at which stress needs to be dealt with.

    The module will encourage you to develop the independent learning, critical analysis, and reflective skills crucial to succeeding in a degree.

     

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module provides an introduction to some of the major strands in radical political thought, in both their historical and contemporary contexts. We will be looking at some of those ideas and ideologies which have emerged throughout recent history, and which have sought to bring about widespread political, social and economic reform. We will be examining the ideas themselves, and the ways in which they were seeking a fundamental change in the existing system. We will also be placing the ideas in the particular political and social contexts of their time, and will study some of the people and movements who have been key in developing these radical arguments. However, we will also focus on the contemporary relevance of radical thought, and consider whether these ideas have purchase in today's world. As such, this module is well-suited to both Politics and History students, and forms a core module for all those taking Politics, International Relations and Human Rights.

    This module is also aimed at preparing new students for their time at university, and will provide advice and training regarding academic skills and personal development.

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  • This module is core for students doing Politics or International Relations full fields and Human Rights as a half-field (either internal or external). It can be taken as an option by some students in related fields who are interested in learning about human rights. The module outlines the central themes in the history and evolution of human rights and introduces students to theoretical debates within the field. Through case studies of particular forms of human rights violations, it evaluates the political and legal structures in place to address these violations and assesses the degrees of success human rights actors have with enforcement. Over the spectrum of international, regional and local institutions and mechanisms, this module explores a range of organisations working within the field of human rights and looks at how they operate. This module embeds employability skills relevant to the field of human rights by providing students with the opportunity to apply their conceptual knowledge to practical situations designed to simulate working for human rights organisations. As an introduction to the subject, this module looks at the relationship between theory and practice within the field of human rights, and uncovers the challenges faced in defending, protecting and promoting human rights in the 21st Century.

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  • This module provides students with an introduction to foundational concepts in the study of international relations and significant issues in contemporary international politics through which these concepts can be understood and interpreted.  The module is designed to help students to reconcile the more abstract concepts that frame the academic study of international relations, with the empirical issues they may more familiar with from news media and their day-to-day engagement with international politics.  The module is designed to provide a foundation for the study of international relations theory at Level 5 and to help students develop skills in academic writing, researching and writing a report for a non-specialist audience.

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  • This module is a core module for all students following the BSc in Global Politics and International Relations. The module is designed introduce students to a range of pathways to power available to active citizens in the UK.
    The module will focus on the way that politics in the UK works, seen through the prism of power through active citizenship. The module's concept of power is based on Morgenthau who defines it as: ‘Power may comprise anything that establishes and maintains the control of man over man [sic]. Thus power covers all social relationships which serve that end, from physical violence to the most subtle psychological ties by which one mind controls another.'


    In addition, Michels argued that: ‘A class which unfurls in the face of society the banner of certain claims [...] needs an organisation. Be the claims economic or be they political, organisation appears the only means for the creation of a collective will. Organisation is the weapon of the weak in their struggle with the strong.'
    The module will therefore look both at formal organized avenues to power through political parties, via elected office and executive office; to the work of pressure groups; and direct action. It will look at ‘traditional' forms of active citizenship, such as party membership and activism; and ‘new' forms of active citizenship, such as more or less ad hoc activities and social media - and discuss the effectiveness and efficacy of each.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This module is a core module for Full-Field Politics & International Relations students and Half-Field Politics students. It can be taken as an option by Half-Field International Relations and Human Rights students.

    The module offers a critical introduction to the foundations of modern political thought. It is organised around an examination of the work of several major political philosophers and the concepts associated with their writings. Beginning with an exploration the origins of modern political theory in Machiavelli, it goes on to look at debates about of human nature, the state, and property within social contract theory, and the development of political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by thinkers such as Mill, Marx, and Rawls. The module will examine a number of core political concepts, including freedom, justice, gender, equality, democracy, and tolerance, and address the central questions of moral and political philosophy: How should we act? How can we live together? Why should we obey the state? Throughout the module students will be encouraged both to challenge the arguments and assumptions of the thinkers that they study and to consider their contemporary relevance.

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  • Contemporary international politics involves a plethora of global actors, institutions and processes that provide governance at an international level.  They help to regulate the behaviour of states, maintain stability in global politics and encourage cooperation between.  Moreover, in an increasingly inter-connected world, global governance mechanisms provide the starting point for a fuller sense of international community – a platform for the peaceful resolution of disputes and an environment in which human rights and international development goals might be realised. 

    At the same time, contemporary global governance mechanisms are also affected by important limitations, with states demonstrating the frequent tendency to pursue their own narrow national interests, rather than working towards a global common good.  Students taking this module examine these themes by exploring different theory perspectives and by learning about the characteristics of the existing global governance structures. 

    The module begins by introducing students to some of the key tools for understanding and analysing international politics. International relations theory has played valuable role in helping us to understand the nuances and underlying processes that influence state behaviour and the development of foreign policy.  It follows on by introducing students to the study of the organisation and processes of international relations in a wider sense, examining the ways in which international development policy is formulated and the systems of global governance are organised.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This module begins with a survey of the main sweep of historical, political and economic developments, social actors and movements that gave shape to Latin American politics from its colonial beginnings to the early modern era.  The over-arching theme in the first teaching block is the contentious development of the nation-state and national economy in the global system, the legacy of which continues to shape the political landscape of the region.  In the second teaching block, students will engage with substantive themes in contemporary Latin American politics, and examine current flashpoints in regional politics through the eyes of a range of actors.  We explore and evaluate the range of new forms of participation that have emerged since the 1990s to contest the limitations of formal democracy under neoliberal globalization: from the barrio to factories, communities taking root on occupied land and urban spaces, constituent assemblies, popular assemblies and UN summits – or if all else fails, the streets.  We end by examining national and regional development strategies that emerged at the beginning of the 21st century as a response to the perceived failure of neoliberalism, and ask, is there a new politics emerging in the region?

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    • This module is a Level 5 option that introduces students to the multi-faceted entity called ‘Europe' and looks at key political, social and cultural trends in today Europe, including its geo-political role in a globalised world. Teaching block one focuses on political parties and party families, the growth of populism and of xenophobic parties. Attention is also paid to changing patterns of political participation and the rise of protest politics, which is analysed via a variety of case studies such as environmental organisations, feminist groups and student anti-tuition fees protest. Teaching block two starts by asking a key question: what is Europe? followed by equally important questions such as how Europeans feel about Europe today? Why is Euro-scepticism on the rise throughout Europe? It also investigates European integration and European Union enlargement: does an integrated Europe still make sense as a political project? Was the euro a good idea? Should Turkey be part of the EU? By posing these questions, the module attempts to capture different voices of contemporary Europe in order to equip students with solid grounding to make sense of what is happening in the contemporary world.

      The module will be delivered through lectures and seminars.

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    • This module is a core requirement for students taking Human Rights at level 5, and can also be taken as an option by students in related fields. The module introduces the contested and evolving relationships between the theory and practice of securing human rights.

      It starts with an overview of key frameworks and mechanisms designed to secure rights at the international, regional and domestic levels.  A central feature of the module is to introduce key critical themes, from which issues can be dissected and analysed through a range of contemporary and international case-studies.

      Themes may include:

      • Human Rights, Security and Forced Migration', which analyses the way in which the issue of forced migration brings together a variety of legal, political and security debates.
      • The Politics of Human Rights in Development', which examines the recent convergence of the fields of human rights and development (inclusive of ‘the right to development' and the proliferation of ‘rights-based approaches to development').
      • Rights in the aftermath? Truth, Justice and Reconciliation', which examines the globalization of transitional justice discourses and the propagation of different mechanisms (ranging from International Criminal Tribunals, to national truth commissions, to local justice initiatives).
      • And, ‘Indigenous Peoples, Rights and Beyond' that engages with central issues surrounding indigenous peoples' claims, whilst also probing the gravity of particular contested issues (such as ‘the right to self-determination' and broader ‘sovereignty' challenges).

      The module concludes by asking: what is the future for human rights? 

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    • The module aims to develop your ability to apply economic analysis to a range of contemporary economic problems and policies.

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    • Crime, Media, and Policy is designed to provide second year undergraduate students with a critical introduction to the field of crime and the media.  The module provides a historical foundation to the subject before reviewing key media and criminological debates against twenty-first century concerns about crime and deviance. The syllabus develops to explore criminological theory, crime in media culture and the complex interactions between consumers and producers.  The module is designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to critically engage with debates about crime news reporting, media and moral panic, media constructions of women and children, crime fiction, film and television crime drama, crime and surveillance society, and crime online.  Direction to core factual material and substantive material will be provided via StudySpace, with weekly lectures and seminars used to explain and explore key concepts, and present visual material for dissemination and discussion.   

      On completion of the module you should be able to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the concepts of crime and deviance within the media, and the ability to engage critically with debates and developments within this controversial sphere of criminological theory and public policy. You should also be able to undertake a content analysis and show that you can apply appropriate context and theory to set questions on crime, media and associated policy.

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    • Building on SO4001 ‘Contemporary Issues in Sociology' and SO4003 ‘Social Selves', this module will develop the concept of ‘the sociological imagination', first outlined by the US theorist C. Wright Mills to indicate "the vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society" (1959). Although Mills was writing in the post-war era, the concept can be traced back to the development of the discipline as it emerged in response to the challenges of social life in industrial cities of the 19th century. Hence this module will use a range of classic and contemporary thinkers to address the double role that sociology has inherited from its origins: not just to understand the world, but to try to change it. This problem will be explored within the context of the city as a strategic unit of analysis in order to understand wider processes of modernisation, industrialisation and the subsequent onset of postmodernity and post-industrialism.

      By studying original texts and placing them within their social and historical contexts, students will deepen their understanding of the discipline's critical engagement with different aspects of social life. There will be a strong focus on London with opportunities for fieldwork.

      The module will be team-taught and will address the underlying questions: what role can sociologists play in tackling different forms of social injustice and inequality?   

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    • Through TV, newspapers, and other forms of media we are continually told that we live in a fast-moving globalised world. Yet whilst ‘globalisation' is now a common term, what it entails and how it affects our lives is often more difficult to discern.

      Focusing on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of globalisation, this module exposes the different dimensions and implications of global social change. Opening with a critical examination of the meaning and competing definitions of globalisation, it moves on to examine: processes and theories of uneven global development, international inequality, the evolution and changing face of global capital, the significance of global environmental risk, the creation of global cultures and the transformation of local culture, migration and transculturalism, the rise of global cities and the urban experience, and the significance of global networks.

      Although not a pre-requisite, this module is also a good preparation for students wishing to study Migration and Social Transformation (SO6022) in level 6. The module will help to prepare students for a variety of professions in which knowledge and understanding of international and global social processes is relevant.

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    • This is a core module for History single-honour students at L5 but it may also be of interest to students in a variety of other subjects. This module introduces students to world history in the twentieth century. It is taught through lectures and seminars, and there is a strong element of student participation through seminar presentations. We examine wars and their  consequences from a variety of geographical perspectives: Africa, China, Japan, India, Russia, the US and the Middle East, with special focus on the First World War. No other event so significantly altered political boundaries around the world, or stimulated such nationalist sentiment. We will also look at several themes that underscore the war's worldwide impact: the radicalisation of warfare; the use of propaganda; advances in medical care and psychiatry; the mobilisation of women; economic change; the emergence of new artistic movements; the stimulus given to revolution and movements for independence; and efforts to establish global governance. The module therefore provides a world history emphasising political developments but shedding light on social and economic issues as well.

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    • In the past, as today, within the legal frameworks laid down by governments and authorities, perceptions of what constitutes criminal or deviant behaviour are both shifting and contested. The function of a protest over food supplies, for example, may be viewed differently by those engaged in the action than by those enforcing the law. Similarly, in many early modern societies, it was deemed acceptable for the man, as head of the household, to exert ‘moderate correction' on his wife and children to ensure they continued to uphold acceptable standards of behaviour. However, exactly what constituted ‘moderate correction' meant different things to different groups.

      This module will give students an understanding of the cultural and social history of crime and deviance in Britain and Europe c. 1450 - 1850. Although broadly following the chronology across the 400 years, the approach is primarily thematic. Aspects of criminality covered include historical approaches to the study of homicide and violence; the relationship between gender and crime, for example, in attitudes towards prostitution and infanticide, and in the prevalence of domestic crime; attitudes towards sexual crimes such as rape and sodomy; and notions of ‘social crime' within acts of riot or protest. Aspects of deviancy considered include women's adultery and effeminacy in men, as well as the behaviours and lifestyles that left many vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft. Within the overall structure there will be two elements of greater focus. Firstly an examination of witchcraft, a crime which combines the aspects of violence, sexuality and gender, and one which was classed as ‘exceptional' by the authorities in their attempt to demonstrate the reality of the ‘Satanic Pact'. The second focus will look at crime in eighteenth century Britain, a period of unprecedented social change and wealth creation that witnessed an explosion in the number of crimes for which a person could be hanged, and the widespread adoption of transportation overseas as penal policy. The course ends with a look at the works of Enlightenment thinkers such Beccaria and Bentham and the impact of such ideas on a changing penal policy that moved swiftly from maiming and attacking the body, to the rise of new penitentiary systems in the nineteenth century where, arguably, the mind became the focus for punishment.

      Through the use of primary source materials in a variety of formats (imagery, written documentation, statistical data, web-based resources), and through comparison of alternative historiographies this module will enhance student's analytical skills in history.

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    • ‘Development' is a troublesome term. While the notion of development as a discrete project for improving human well-being emerged in the aftermath of World War II, the notion of making planned interventions towards ‘social progress' and the ‘greater good' arose much earlier, in step with the global system itself. Whilst the post-war development project seems now to be in jeopardy, there is still little consensus over what development actually is: whether it is a ‘one size fits all' measure of progress, or whether more than one path is possible, and desirable; whether development as a project is meant to include everybody or whether it necessarily involves ‘winners and losers'; what scale and conception of society and economy we're talking about; how current projects relate to more long-standing processes and structures that gave rise to the global system; and whether in fact development goals (however defined) should intersect with an ethics of social justice, equity and equality, and anti-oppression.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • This module is the 'capstone' module for full-field Politics and International Relations students. Working in small groups, students will be provided with the skills and support necessary to embark upon, complete and present a final year research project. The initial focus of the module will be on small groups of students working to familiarise themselves with an area of staff research expertise, under close supervision of that subject matter expert. This will be made possible through the establishment of a range of staff-led, research-orientated 'reading groups', to which students will sign up. During the first half of the module, students will also receive training in project design and implementation, to complement and consolidate the research methods training received at Levels 4 and 5. The research skills and foundational subject knowledge acquired in the first part of the module will allow students to embark upon their own research project as the year progresses. Individual projects will reflect student interests and desired focus, but will remain embedded within one of the areas of Politics, International Relations and/or Human Rights offered by staff as an initial 'reading group'. The student-led research projects will be presented at the end of the year in an undergraduate academic conference: Themes and Issues in Politics, International Relations and Human Rights.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • Culture and politics are often taken for granted; we tend to assume we know what they are. However, when it comes to defining either culture or politics, much uncertainty arises. Does culture mean a collection of artefacts or a ‘web of meaning' as anthropologists would put it? Is culture part of a superstructure or part and parcel of hegemony? Is it part of structure which constrains human behaviour? What is politics? If the personal is political as feminists have claimed, is everything and anything politics? Is the distinction between the public and private no longer tenable? What is the relationship between culture and politics? Is there any? Is culture driving politics or the other way round? And where is identity situated in this relationship? The module explores these fundamental questions using identity politics as an overall framework.

      Identity politics is an umbrella term that refers to a type of politics which does not appear to be class based, such as environmental politics or the LGBT movement. While the traditional political parties are generally losing their members, these often single-issue based movements attract more participants, thus facilitating political participation of a different form. The central contention in the idea of identity politics is that the focus of politics has shifted from industrial values to post-industrial values (Inglehart), and that we are witnessing the rise and development of new types of politics in which identity and culture play as major a role as class position, if not a more important one. This is a contestable claim which deserves careful examination. For instance, is the idea of identity politics a form of ideology in the Marxist sense?

      The module use the idea of identity politics as a starting point to investigate culture and identity in today's politics through thematic studies and case studies.

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    • This module will be examining some deeply troubling events in recent history and politics and the various ethical, legal and political responses that they have generated. It has been argued that the Holocaust was a critical turning point, a catastrophe which required a fundamental ethical, legal and political rethinking of how the rights of human beings could be protected when states in the modern world engage in the systematic attempt to murder large numbers of people, including many of their own citizens. The module begins with reflections on the Nazi attempt to eliminate a whole group of people (the Jews) and to murder and enslave millions of others. It then considers a range of responses, including the Nuremberg trials, the Genocide Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It examines a number of cases of genocide and crimes against humanity that have nevertheless occurred subsequently. It evaluates the repeated failure for decades to halt or prevent these crimes and then considers the rethinking caused by the genocides in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the setting up of ad hoc tribunals and an International Criminal Court to prosecute perpetrators and provide justice to victims. It concludes with reflections on how much progress has been made in protecting citizens in a world of sovereign nation states and what forms of justice can work after such crimes have been committed. These are highly contested questions and the module is designed to encourage the critical analysis and evaluation of a wide range of arguments that have been put forward from a variety of perspectives.

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    • This module takes a critical look at the concepts of crime, power and class in the contemporary world, and the impact of ‘crimes of the powerful' on the struggle for human rights and social justice.

      The gaze of many political scientists and criminologists tends to be focused firmly ‘downwards', towards analysing the misdemeanours of the poor, the dispossessed, the underclass

      This module, in contrast, will focus ‘upwards', in an attempt to understand and explain deviant actions by states, corporations, and the ruling class more broadly. Through the use of case studies, presented by the teaching team but also generated by students, we will examine issues such as war crimes, torture, corruption, global supply chains, police abuses, and state terrorism. 

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    • Conceptions of self and other are deeply embedded in violent conflict, an activity which typically results in the most egregious violations of human rights.  Highly polarised identities often sit uneasily with a universal humanity.  Based on the broad theme of the universal versus the particular, this module explores the interaction between identity, violent conflict and the abuse of human rights.  It provides students with the opportunity to consider how protracted conflicts may be better resolved more effectively and human rights better protected.  The module blends theoretical discussion of political violence with an analysis of recent conflicts and the legal and institutional mechanisms which have emerged to reduce their detrimental impact on human rights.

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    • Cold War, Hot War examines various events in the Middle East from past to present and will provide a comprehensive outlook on a troubled area.

      It begins by studying the historical foundations in the region and then explores the impact of the Cold War on the region through case studies such as the Eisenhower Doctrine; the Baghdad Pact, the Suez Crisis and the 1973 war. All this would be assessed against the wider framework of nationalism and regional politics from the early 1950s to the collapse of the USSR in 1990s. Using primary documents we will then assess the consequences of the end of the Cold War on the current crisis and the rise of religiopolitics. The theme of nationalism and leadership will be further explored during the second half of the module, focusing on a number of case studies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Israel) their ‘hot wars', foreign policy and current upheavals and challenges.

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    • This module will introduce the economic structure of developing countries, the specific challenges they face and their position in world economy today. It is an optional module for all Economics full-fields and Applied Economics. It should intrest all students who wish to acquire a good background in issues of growth and development in lower income countries and their significance for world economy.

      The will start by introducing theories of economic development amd measurement issues. It will examine some problems affecting all or groups of these countries, such as population growth, poverty, environment, income distribution, structural adjustment and volatile capital flows. It will also deal with policy issues specific to developing countries

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    • The aim of the module is to introduce students to relevant issues within the realm of globalisation, terrorism and international crime: eg. terrorism, environmental crime, piracy, human trafficking, criminal networks, cybercrime. It will enable students to develop a detailed comprehension of the complexity of these criminogenic experiences.

      In the first part of the course, the module focuses on terrorism. It will be introducing students to a range of complex historical, political and social factors that have contributed to the articulation of terrorist practices. Students will have a chance to engage in the understanding of the reasons why certain practices emerge, the interaction between terrorist discourses and the media and how international law enforcement bodies work and interact.

      The second part of the module will present a critical overview of different organised and transnational crimes. Students will be offered a chance to explore the articulation, social control and impact of organised criminal behaviour at an international level. Students will understand the links between terrorist practices and other organised crime (eg. cybercrime or trafficking of humans).

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    • Many social theorists argue that the prospect of ‘endless war' will be an abiding feature of the 21st century. Terms such as ‘securitisation' and ‘militarisation' are increasingly used to describe the condition of contemporary societies, whether or not their armed forces are engaged in combat and/or ‘peacekeeping' roles in other parts of the world. As the lines between ‘war' and ‘peace' become increasingly blurred through the idea of the ‘war on terror' and so-called ‘hybrid' wars, the impact of past and present wars on our social imaginaries can often remain hidden or unexamined in the study of key sociological and criminological themes.

      This module aims to encourage students to develop a critical awareness of the ways in which war, militarism and militarisation influence contemporary social relations and culture.  Taking the UK as a primary case study in a variety of comparative contexts, this module will explore the effects of war in shaping nationhood, identity, class, gender, race, culture and citizenship in postcolonial European societies. The focus will be largely on civil societies and noncombatants although the political, social and cultural aspects of military institutions will be a significant component.

      While the module will be based within a sociological and criminological framework, a variety of disciplinary and methodological approaches will be used, including cultural history, social policy, visual analysis, media studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies and citizenship studies.

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    • Global migration has intensified rapidly since 1960, with the UNPD estimating an increase from 80 to 210 million by 2009. It has become a contentious political topic with far-reaching consequences for contemporary societies, and arguably for established sociological paradigms (e.g. methodological nationalism).

      The module will equip students to understand and investigate in depth the social dynamics of migration and its consequences, and enable them to offer informed and critical comment on contemporary debates (e.g. media coverage of migration, on the economics of migration, and on migration's consequences for social solidarity).

      It offers students the opportunity to build on interests and skills developed at Level 5 (e.g. in International Perspectives and Sociological Approaches), and broadens the department's offering at Level 6 to a new area of contemporary social relevance.

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    • This module explores the social intersections between gender, race and class. It begins by examining historical conceptualisations of these terms and intersections, and the social and civil movements that challenged how these terms were considered in both women's and men's lives.

      From the beginning, the module will introduce you to a wide range of feminist approaches in order to make sense of various intersections of gender, race and class. In this module you will consider how such categories and intersections contribute to identity constructions and contestations. You will reflect on these elements within contemporary examples of everyday life – for example, consumption, families and intimacies, education and sport. Upon completion of this module you will have expanded your skills in critical reflection and analysis of social intersections and inequalities.

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    • This module explores the social, cultural and political history of Britain from 1960 to the present day.  Particular weight will be attached to considering the changes and continuities in ordinary people's lives and leisure in this period, through an examination of the impact of such phenomena as the Beatles, Eastenders and Facebook.  These cultural aspects will be complemented by an evaluation of the role of such social factors as class, gender, ethnicity, and education as well as the place of individual character in influencing people's experiences and opportunities.  The inter-action between socio-cultural changes and politics will also be a major theme, with analysis of changes in government policy, ideology and leadership style from Harold Wilson through Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair.  The issue of a changing British national identity and character will also be addressed.  This is contemporary history, with a firm emphasis on the relationship between the near past and the present, encouraging students also to reflect on their own experiences of a very recent period of history.  A range of contemporary sources, including film, television, music and memoir will be used to foster engagement with the period.  This is also an era increasingly attracting the attention of historians both of society and political culture, and this growing historiography will be analysed, with a particular focus on debates over the leisure, habits and attitudes of 'the people'. 

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    • This research-led module explores the rise and impact of the Extreme Right in the 20th and early 21st centuries in Britain and in three other countries in Western Europe (namely France, Germany and Italy). It adopts a historical and comparative approach, and focuses on fascist, populist and authoritarian ideas, parties and movements in Britain and across Europe, and the challenges these posed for the liberal democratic state and its main institutions. The relationship between democracy and dictatorship proved to be a major source of controversy and change in the 20th century, and the question of how the liberal state 'managed' (or mis-managed and succumbed to) the threat from the Extreme Right has been a major theme in the historiography in recent years. In fact, such issues remain very prominent today. The first half of the course thus describes and analyses the historical developments, main patterns and key controversies engendered by these events and challenges in the interwar period. The second half of the course explores the extent to which these historical developments and the associated challenges were possibly replicated in the post-1945 period, especially with the more recent resurgence of the extreme Right across Britain and Europe in the early 21st century. 

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    • Of interest and value to students of history, politics, international relations and economics, this L6 option module examines offers a comparative historical perspective on twentieth British, American and world affairs. That century was of immense significance for both countries. At its outset Britain, with a worldwide empire, appeared to be the primary global power. At century's end (and with the demise of the Soviet Union), it had been supplanted by the United States. Now, in the twenty-first century, there is speculation as to whether and for how long American primacy may endure. The prospect of American 'decline' is currently a source of anxiety among American policymakers. Historians have identified many reasons for American ascendancy and British ‘decline' during the period 1900-2000. Were these two phenomena related, closely or otherwise? The answer to that question is by no means straightforward. Vitally important as were internal social and political changes, study of relations between the two countries – and of their relations to other states and nations – also provides us with insight into the scale and nature of historical change on a global scale. Focusing on key case studies in twentieth century British, American and international history the module provides stimulating study into issues of power and 'decline'.     

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    • This module will focus upon ways in which the arts have intersected with ever changing political, social and historical circumstances. The arts are both influenced by and, ultimately, inseparable from the social and political context, cultural traditions and institutional frameworks within which they are created. As such, understanding and critiquing the standpoints and desires of those artists and groups involved in an engaged and political art practice, as well as their relationships to others within their specific world historical conditions, will form a central plank of the module. Mindful of working towards an inclusive curriculum, we cover a broad spectrum of material in terms of geographic locations, artistic genres and cultural and political approaches, illustrating key demands articulated by movements for liberation e.g. Socialist, radical, anti-colonial, post-colonial, anti-war, Black, feminist, Queer or intersections thereof. We combine this focus upon radical (re-) interpretations of problems of social injustice with the evolution of new approaches to artistic practice and their relationship to the formulation of collective identities. Therefore, students will be introduced to a range of applicable critical and social theory in order to broaden and deepen our understanding.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

*Subject to validation

We have robust internal approval procedures to ensure that our programmes of study are of the highest quality and will offer our students the best academic experience.  Our approval process is called validation.  Where a course is described as 'subject to validation' this means that the course is in development and the details are in the process of being finalised by the University. Whilst courses on our website with the status of 'subject  to validation' are approved by Kingston University, validation is not guaranteed. Should the course not go ahead you will be informed by the University and assistance will be provided to those who have been offered a place to find a suitable alternative course either at Kingston University or another provider.

Please note that students who require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK will not be issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for courses that have a Subject to Validation status.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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