Why study Politics and International Studies at Warwick?
- Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) is one of the largest and most highly regarded departments of its kind in the UK, with a global reputation for excellence. PAIS was ranked 3rd in the UK by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016, 5th in the The Guardian 2016 league table, 6th in The Complete University Guide 2016, and 46th globally by the QS World University Rankings 2015. We were rated 4th for ‘research intensity’ and ‘research power’ in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and came 1st in the UK among politics departments for research environment. The department also received an overall student satisfaction rating of 92% in the NSS for 2015.
- Our core modules provide you with a comprehensive disciplinary grounding, while the broad range of options allows you to tailor your programme, perhaps developing an area of specialism in political theory, international security, international political economy or comparative politics.
- We attract some of the best students and academics from around 40 countries, providing PAIS with a unique mix of diversity, dynamism and valuable international expertise and experience. Our large undergraduate community provides scope for forming study groups and friendships across complementary disciplines including Sociology, Philosophy, Economics, History and Modern Languages.
Dr Trevor McCrisken
Politics and International Studies
Why study at Warwick?
A view from our academics
What will I learn?
This course combines the study of Politics with the global and multidisciplinary perspective of International Studies. It examines theoretical and empirical approaches to political ideas and issues, both nationally and globally. The course is centred around the critical analysis of political ideas and global politics, with core modules focusing on political theory and international relations. You can also choose options from within the Department, allowing you to pursue specialised sub-fields, and study a language or choose an approved option each year in a related discipline.
Optional PAIS modules include Critical Security Studies, States and Markets, United States Foreign Policy, and Politics of Developing Areas. Exciting additional learning opportunities include our guest lecture series, the PAIS Film Club, and the chance to undertake an internship or to study abroad. You will gain a wide range of key skills, including investigative and evaluative research and presentation skills, in addition to more general transferable skills such as the ability to organise and meet deadlines, work under pressure, and work both independently and collaboratively.
First-year foundation modules are built upon in your second and third years. For example, questions about the nature of international relations that you discuss in the World Politics module will be pursued in the second year International Security option and may be developed further in specialised third-year modules, such as Britain and the War on Terror. Opportunities to choose optional modules to match your academic interests increase as you progress through the course.
How will I be taught?
The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) has more than 50 academic staff, almost all of whom teach at undergraduate level or supervise final-year dissertations. You normally take four modules in each year and have 12-15 hours of classroom contact per week. Teaching follows a pattern of weekly lectures and seminars, supplemented by group work and the use of web-based materials.
In preparation for seminars, you are expected to read widely from recommended texts and conduct extensive independent research. You usually have the opportunity to deliver at least one seminar presentation per module. You can also attend the Departmental research seminar series that features guest speakers from other universities as well as from our own faculty, independent researchers, and politics practitioners presenting their own research or speaking on relevant topics.
We also have a Departmental film club, which regularly screens documentaries and films with political themes tied to our degree pathways. Films range from Hollywood blockbusters such as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty to independent foreign-language films such as The Lives of Others and La Haine. Screenings are open to all PAIS students and staff. Each one is introduced by a member of academic staff and is followed by an informal discussion, enabling you to share your opinions.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is via a combination of essays and examinations at the end of each year. You will be given extensive feedback on formative essays, assessed essays and examinations. Most modules enable you to choose between examinations or assessed essays.
Can I study abroad?
The Department offers a wide range of opportunities to study abroad. You can apply to spend the second year of your degree on one of our competitive North America exchange placements in the United States at the University of California, or in Canada at the Universities of Waterloo or Toronto.
These integrated study abroad programmes enable you to still complete your Warwick degree in three years. If you would rather study abroad for only part of your second year, you can apply for our half-year exchange programme with City University, Hong Kong. We also offer extensive study abroad opportunities in France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong that extend your degree by a year.
A level AAA
International Baccalaureate 38 points
Other Qualifications We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units.
Warwick International Foundation Programme All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP page.
General Studies/Critical Thinking Offers normally exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
No specific subject requirements, but applicants should be able to provide evidence of a genuine commitment to the discipline of Politics.
Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry are welcomed.
Interviews We do not typically interview applicants.Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.
Departmental Open Days The Department offers three Departmental Open Days during spring term for applicants who have received an offer. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.
What modules could I study?
First year core modules may include Introduction to Politics, Political Research in the 21st Century and World Politics. You may also take any first-year PAIS module or an approved option from another Social Sciences or Humanities department or an approved foreign language module.
Second year core modules may include Political Theory from Hobbes, and Theories of International Relations as well as optional modules from any second-year PAIS module, or an approved option from another Social Sciences or Humanities department or an approved foreign language module.
In your third year your core module may be Issues in Political Theory and you may choose three third year PAIS optional modules or an approved option from another Social Sciences or Humanities department or an approved foreign language module. Find out more about the degree structure and module information.
Find out more on the PAIS website.
Recent graduate destinations include:
House of Commons, Parliamentary Researcher; NHS Graduate Scheme – HR Management; Save the Children Korea, Communications Officer; Reuters, Freelance Video Producer and Reporter; IPSOSMORI, Research Officer; Labour Party, UK Parliamentary Candidate.
A level: AAA
IB: 38 points
Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full time (30 weeks per academic year)
Department of Politics and International Studies
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Other course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. For further information on the typical additional costs please see the Additional Costs page.
This information is applicable for 2017 entry.