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About us

What do we stand for?

Giving everyone the confidence to find and critically develop their own voice is central to our ethos. Whether you are academic or administrative staff, a postgraduate or an undergraduate student, everybody is encouraged to be an active member of the department in pursuit of the common good. This goes all the way from senior professors putting together teams of postdoctoral researchers in which career development is possible for all involved, to students who organise self-run study groups and societies to complement their module-based learning. This ethos of empowerment and principles of inclusivity is also visible in a sector-leading widening participation and outreach programme, demonstrating our strong links with the local community and a wide range of local and national schools.

PAIS: One of the 'Big Five'

The Political Studies Association recently included Politics and International Studies at Warwick among the UK's 'big five' politics departments after analysing the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results. Here are some our actual REF results and what they mean:

  • PAIS ranked 4th out of 56, based on the all-important indicator of research intensity.
  • We scored the maximum 100% 4* for Research Environment, showing that our research, in all aspects of its organisation, conduct and management, is deemed ‘world leading’ by our professional colleagues; this includes incorporation of undergraduate and postgraduate students in our research activities as well as incorporation of research in the taught curriculum.
  • More than 93% of our research impact among non-academic beneficiaries was judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, demonstrating that our research continues to widely influence the policies of governments and international institutions, civil society, the media, business and the general public.

The strong link between research and teaching promoted by PAIS is evidenced by the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS). In the NSS, we achieved:

  • 94% overall satisfaction rate
  • 1st in the Russell Group for student voice, 1st for learning opportunities, 2nd for overall satisfaction, 2nd for assessment and feedback, 2nd for teaching and learning community.

This is replicated at the postgraduate level with a 91% overall satisfaction rate in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).

Fifty years of pioneering research, world class teaching and empowering people; we look forward to creating an exciting future.

In Politics and International Studies, we always aim high. As one of the founding departments at the University of Warwick, we have grown over the past 50 years into one of the strongest and best departments of our kind. The quality of our work across the spectrum of politics and international studies means we consistently rank highly in government and media league tables, both in terms of research and teaching.

Our Research

Our department is pluralist in nature, made up of four distinct research clusters. Each cluster has its own particular research culture and strategy, reflected in the wide range of subject pathways that students can choose from at both undergraduate and Masters level:

We also host several active research centres, networks, and seminar series, which strengthen our research culture and provide access to our cutting-edge research activities for staff, students, and the general public. Our work within the department is complemented by our researchers' involvement in several of Warwick's Global Research Priorities, including International Development and Global Governance. These structures enable us to make an impact beyond academia through informing and shaping multiple debates in government, among non-governmental organisations, and among the public that are both intellectually and politically significant. Collectively, we address political issues of pressing importance at both the national and international levels through our research output, departmental blog and media engagement.

This combination of broad subject coverage, rigorous scholarly enquiry, and engagement with stakeholders outside the academy allow our department to be a powerful generator of internationally competitive research funding, with grants, inter alia, drawn from the ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, European Union, and American foundations such as the Ford Foundation and Spencer Foundation.

Developing Students, Developing Staff

We are passionate about our teaching. This is reflected in the variety of programmes on offer at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, and also into our ever-expanding postdoctoral community. Research-led teaching by international scholars, an increasing widening participation programme, internships, and integration within the department’s research culture through our Student Research Assistant scheme all mean that our students get the best opportunities for their academic and professional development.

Our undergraduate programme is built around a core of four degrees: the single-honours BA Politics and BA Politics and International Studies, and the joint-honours BA Politics and Sociology and one of the UK's top PPE programmes. In recent years we have worked to expand our portfolio to include four new degrees in Politics, International Studies and Modern Languages to complement our core programmes and other joint degrees with the departments of Economics, History, and Philosophy. Additionally, the Nuffield Foundation-funded Warwick Q-Step Centre has deepened our expertise in quantitative methodologies, and resulting in the BA Politics, International Studies and Quantitative Methods. This expanded portfolio has helped us grow our annual intake of excellent undergraduates from 104 to 166 over five years.

At the Masters level, we have greatly expanded our core provision to include eleven MA programmes that span the breadth of expertise found in the department: Political & Legal Theory, Research in PAIS, PAIS: Big Data & Quantitative Methods (run in conjunction with the Warwick Q-Step Centre), US Foreign Policy, International Development, Public Policy, International Politics & Europe, International Politics & East Asia, International Security, International Political Economy, and International Relations. Building on strong international relationships, we have also introduced a suite of Double Masters degrees with overseas partners that include Monash University in Australia, American University in the USA, the University of Waterloo in Canada, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain, the University of Konstanz in Germany, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Our Masters programmes attracts around 130 students per year from over 40 different countries across these 17 programmes.

Our doctoral and post-doctoral programmes have expanded in step with taught programmes. Our PhD intake has doubled over the past five years to around 30 new research candidates per year, the majority fully-funded, including researchers on our European Joint Doctorate under the auspices of the Erasmus Mundus programme. And with 22 fully-funded postdoctoral fellowships in 2015, we have arguably one of the largest post-doctoral programmes in the UK, if not the world.

In Politics and International Studies, we always aim high. As one of the founding departments at the University of Warwick, we have grown over the past 50 years into one of the strongest and best departments of our kind. The quality of our work across the spectrum of politics and international studies means we consistently rank highly in government and media league tables, both in terms of research and teaching.

Giving everyone the confidence to find and critically develop their own voice is central to our ethos. Whether you are academic or administrative staff, a postgraduate or an undergraduate student, everybody is encouraged to be an active member of the department in pursuit of the common good. This goes all the way from senior professors putting together teams of postdoctoral researchers in which career development is possible for all involved, to students who organise self-run study groups and societies to complement their module-based learning. This ethos of empowerment and principles of inclusivity is also visible in a sector-leading widening participation and outreach programme, demonstrating our strong links with the local community and a wide range of local and national schools.

Our research

Our department is pluralist in nature, made up of four distinct research clusters. Each cluster has its own particular research culture and strategy, reflected in the wide range of subject pathways that students can choose from at both undergraduate and Masters level:

We also host several active research centres, networks, and seminar series, which strengthen our research culture and provide access to our cutting-edge research activities for staff, students, and the general public. Our work within the department is complemented by our researchers' involvement in several of Warwick's Global Research Priorities, including International Development and Global Governance. These structures enable us to make an impact beyond academia through informing and shaping multiple debates in government, among non-governmental organisations, and among the public that are both intellectually and politically significant. Collectively, we address political issues of pressing importance at both the national and international levels through our research output, departmental blog and media engagement.

This combination of broad subject coverage, rigorous scholarly enquiry, and engagement with stakeholders outside the academy allow our department to be a powerful generator of internationally competitive research funding, with grants, inter alia, drawn from the ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, European Union, and American foundations such as the Ford Foundation and Spencer Foundation.

Developing students, developing staff

We are passionate about our teaching. This is reflected in the variety of programmes on offer at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, and also into our ever-expanding postdoctoral community. Research-led teaching by international scholars, an increasing widening participation programme, internships, and integration within the department’s research culture through our Student Research Assistant scheme all mean that our students get the best opportunities for their academic and professional development.

Our undergraduate programme is built around a core of four degrees: the single-honours BA Politics and BA Politics and International Studies, and the joint-honours BA Politics and Sociology and one of the UK's top PPE programmes. In recent years we have worked to expand our portfolio to include four new degrees in Politics, International Studies and Modern Languages to complement our core programmes and other joint degrees with the departments of Economics, History, and Philosophy. Additionally, the Nuffield Foundation-funded Warwick Q-Step Centre has deepened our expertise in quantitative methodologies, and resulting in the BA Politics, International Studies and Quantitative Methods. This expanded portfolio has helped us grow our annual intake of excellent undergraduates from 104 to 166 over five years.

At the Masters level, we have greatly expanded our core provision to include eleven MA programmes that span the breadth of expertise found in the department: Political & Legal Theory, Research in PAIS, PAIS: Big Data & Quantitative Methods (run in conjunction with the Warwick Q-Step Centre), US Foreign Policy, International Development, Public Policy, International Politics & Europe, International Politics & East Asia, International Security, International Political Economy, and International Relations. Building on strong international relationships, we have also introduced a suite of Double Masters degrees with overseas partners that include Monash University in Australia, American University in the USA, the University of Waterloo in Canada, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain, the University of Konstanz in Germany, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Our Masters programmes attracts around 130 students per year from over 40 different countries across these 17 programmes.

Our doctoral and post-doctoral programmes have expanded in step with taught programmes. Our PhD intake has doubled over the past five years to around 30 new research candidates per year, the majority fully-funded, including researchers on our European Joint Doctorate under the auspices of the Erasmus Mundus programme. And with 22 fully-funded postdoctoral fellowships in 2015, we have arguably one of the largest post-doctoral programmes in the UK, if not the world.

PAIS: One of the 'Big Five'

The Political Studies Association recently included Politics and International Studies at Warwick among the UK's 'big five' politics departments after analysing the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) results. Here are some our actual REF results and what they mean:

  • PAIS ranked 4th out of 56, based on the all-important indicator of research intensity.
  • We scored the maximum 100% 4* for Research Environment, showing that our research, in all aspects of its organisation, conduct and management, is deemed ‘world leading’ by our professional colleagues; this includes incorporation of undergraduate and postgraduate students in our research activities as well as incorporation of research in the taught curriculum.
  • More than 93% of our research impact among non-academic beneficiaries was judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, demonstrating that our research continues to widely influence the policies of governments and international institutions, civil society, the media, business and the general public.

The strong link between research and teaching promoted by PAIS is evidenced by the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS). In the NSS, we achieved:

  • 94% Overall Satisfaction for PAIS
  • 1st in the Russell Group for student voice and learning opportunities; and 2nd in the Russell Group for overall satisfaction; assessment and feedback; teaching and learning community.

This is replicated at the postgraduate level with a 91% overall satisfaction rate in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES).

Fifty years of pioneering research, world class teaching and empowering people; we look forward to creating an exciting future.