In the curriculum: Modules
Political Research in the 21st Century
The first-year core module for all BA Politics and BA Politics & International Studies students encourages students to see themselves as active and independent researchers, and as partners, collaborators and producers in learning. The module equips students with a wide range of research skills, culminating in an end-of-module project.
Study and Research Skills Sessions
Study skills are incorporated into the core first-year module, Political Research in the 21st Century (e.g. essay writing, exam technique, critical thinking, independent research, and use of the internet and the library etc).
Student as Producer
Research is embedded throughout the undergraduate curriculum. Students are taught by experts within their field, and academics at the 'cutting edge of research'. Academics share both their research findings and how they have undertaken their research. Through this students learn how to be researchers in their own right.
In the curriculum: Dissertation
Final Year Dissertation
Final year students can choose to research and write a 10,000 word dissertation in place of one of their modules. A dissertation is your chance to undertake research into an area which fascinates you. Our broad expertise offers you unprecedented choice, individuality and support. It is a particularly useful choice for students thinking of going onto graduate level study, but it is also potentially beneficial in terms of employability.
PAIS Undergraduate Dissertations Conference
At our Undergraduate Dissertations Conference, students present their research in front of their peers and engage with a panel of academics. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to have a conference experience, to work on their presentation skills, and receive valuable feedback (staff and peer feedback) on their research.
Extra-curricular research opportunities
PSA Undergraduate Conference
The Political Studies Association (PSA) hosts an annual conference for undergraduate students. PSA Undergraduate Conference is a great opportunity for politics students and those in related subjects who are studying for undergraduate degrees to come together and share their research. PAIS encourages students to both present and attend the conference, which this year takes place on the campus of Cardiff University on Thursday 29 March 2018. For more information visit the Conference webpage.
PAIS Funding Support Scheme
The scheme allows undergraduates to request funding of up to £100, per year, for research-related activities, such as presenting at conferences, e.g. BCUR and ICUR.
Research Assistant Scheme
The scheme has a robust recruitment process and students are paid for their work. Final year students work within the department for up to 8 hours per week for up to 20 weeks, assisting a member of the department with research, teaching preparation and enhancing the student experience. Recuitment takes place at the start of the academic year. We currently have 13 research assistants working in the department. Students on our PAIS administered degrees are eligible to apply. PPE run a parallel scheme for their students. History operates a similar scheme for History and Politics students.
Study and Research Skills Sessions
Study skills workshops (essay writing and exam techniques) are held in the Spring/Summer terms for all second years and finalists taking a PAIS module.
Departmental forms and guidance for URSS, 2019/20
The deadline to apply is Sunday, 5th January, 2020. More information on the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) website
Examples of departmental (URSS) student research projects
URSS Projects (2017)
- Wing Hui - Bottom-up depoliticisation: The Neo-coloniality of Hong Kong
- Aadya Rathmore - The history of ISIS - its leaders and political ties with the Middle East
- Steffi Teo - Is rising youth activism in Hong Kong a universal experience shared by all
URSS Projects (2016)
- Calum Bray - The Rise of China and the Re-orientation of Europe: A study of the impact of the Chinese political economy on Britain and Germany'
- Robert Ebenbuger - The Role of Charities in Britain under Austerity: A Political Economy Analysis of Food Banks in Coventry
- Emma Jones - If E=mc², who’s side are you on? A critical study of political stances on climate change in the main oil-producing states of the Latin America
Research opportunities for postgraduate taught students
populated by the department
- Academic Support Librarian
Your Academic Support Librarian provides targeted support in your subject area, helping you to develop information and research skills during your course.
Support and training is available in:
- literature searching
- finding, using, and evaluating information
- referencing and avoiding plagiarism
- reference management tools
- using digital tools
Browse a full range of Library courses, visit and enrol on the dedicated Moodle learning page.
It is an excellent starting point for any student researcher. You can access subject support with dedicated discipline key electronic sources, contacts, resources, professional bodies, as well as guidance and other resources related to studying and conducting research in your faculty and discipline.
For interdisciplinary research and projects spanning your department and degree interests, please visit the full list of library subject support or contact the library at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Library can also buy materials for your subject. Contact the Library with requests for book purchase, skills training or for any assistance with your research at email@example.com
- Academic Writing Day
Academic Writing Day is a full day writing workshop that runs from 10am to 4pm and include topics such as:
- stages and requirements of writing
- organisation and structure of assignments and essays
- paragraph construction
- language and style academic style
- ethics in writing and research, referencing
- reporting (paraphrase/summary)
The day covers all major aspects of academic writing for taught students, and is a combination of lectures and seminars. The topics aim to address in depth the challenges posed by essay/assignment writing. Check out the workshop page and book your place at the next Academic Writing Day.
After attending the Academic Writing Day you can continue developing your research skills at the Academic Writing Open Fora.
- British Conference of Undergraduate Research
The British Conference of Undergraduate Research promotes undergraduate research in all disciplines. The Conference meets annually every Spring in a different British university. Undergraduates of all levels are invited to submit papers, posters, workshops and performances to the Conference. Abstracts are peer-reviewed and those accepted will be invited to attend the conference. The call for papers is usually published in the autumn.
An undergraduate research conference is just like any other academic conference. There will be spoken papers, lectures, poster presentations and workshops — but each one will be delivered by undergraduate students presenting work they have done either as part of their course, internship, or individual project. For two days, you will be able to talk to undergraduate researchers from your own disciplines, and you will also learn a lot about how other disciplines approach research problems.
If you are an undergraduate student, this is a great opportunity to meet students from other universities and share your work. Many courses include opportunities to develop independent research. You might be working on a dissertation, or you may have devised your own topic for an assessment. You might have worked with an external company, or worked with a researcher over the summer to help them with their research project. All research is welcome at this conference, in any discipline taught in Higher Education.
Find out more on the BCUR website.
Please note: Conference fees are usually covered by student's own university. Check with your department before submitting to the Conference and/or registering to attend.
- EndNote training
EndNote is software which helps you to organise your references and to automatically format citations, reference lists and bibliographies in Word. It is an essential tool for any student researcher.
Want to know more about managing your references, saving time and avoiding plagiarism? Sign up to one of EndNote Online Workshops.
The workshop will introduce you to your enhanced EndNote Online (formerly EndNote Web) account, enable you to add references to your library and use the Cite While You Write function in Microsoft Word to generate citations and bibliographies.
More support and help with Endnote firstname.lastname@example.org (EndNote Online) or email@example.com (Endnote Desktop)
- Global Research Priorities (Energy) bursary
Since 2012, the Energy GRP have been supporting up to 5 Undergraduate Summer Placements, each with a bursary of up to £2,000. The Energy GRP bursaries are affiliated with the University's Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS), and are to help with living costs and expenses associated with a research project and will be paid directly to the student. The project normally lasts between 4 and 10 weeks and supports energy research. Students from any department are welcome to apply and the Energy GRP encourage applications from both science and non-science disciplines.
The scheme is open to all Warwick undergraduate students, usually non-finalists.
The Energy GRP are particularly interested in projects that develop connections between departments and with external partners.
Find out more on the Energy GRP website
- Global Research Priorities (Materials) bursary
The Materials GRP support up to eight Summer Placements, each with an award of up to £2,000. The Materials GRP bursaries are affiliated with the University's Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS), and are to help with living costs and expenses associated with students’ chosen projects. The project lasts between eight to ten weeks and must involve the study of Materials. The level of support depends on the length of the project, based on a calculation of £200 per week, up to a maximum of 10 weeks, or £2,000.
Students from any department are encouraged to apply, but they must secure their own project before they apply.
Priority is given to (in the following order):
new collaborations (i.e. where the two academic supervisors have not previously worked together)
new projects (i.e. where there is an existing link between supervisors, but a new area of research is being explored)
Find out more on the Materials GRP website
- IATL Interdisciplinary Modules
The Institute for Advanced Teaching & Learning (IATL) hosts a range of interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate modules that encourage students from different departments and faculties to formulate relevant questions and propose novel ideas via independent and collaborative research. Students are encouraged to further develop those ideas for publication.
Please note: UG modules are available to all undergraduate students in years 2, 3, or 4, and PG modules to all Masters/PGT students, but require home department approval. Speak to your personal tutor or Director of Studies to find out more.
- IATL Masters' Project Funding
Institude of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) has a number of Master's student funding opportunities to support innovative student projects under the following strands: Research, Collaboration and Performance.
Visit IATL's student funding page to find out more information on these and other research and funding opportunities, requirements, and deadlines.
You are welcome to discuss any aspect of these research opportunities and your application with the IATL team. Please contact the team at IATL@warwick.ac.uk
- IATL Student Ensemble
The Student Ensemble is a trans-disciplinary group of Warwick students and an alumni network that facilitates learning through performance practice. Established at the CAPITAL Centre in 2009 (with funding from the Higher Education Academy), this group has since worked with international practitioners and local communities at the Emerge Festival and Laboratory as well as visiting professionals and graduate companies.
Find out more on the IATL website
- IATL Student as Producer
IATL's Student funding opportunities are in place to support innovative student projects under the following strands: Research, Collaboration and Performance.
IATL's Student as Producer (Research) funding is available to undergraduate students and taught Masters students only, who may apply for up to £1,000 for their project. Funded projects must be for research of students’ own devising, and work must be unrelated to anything they are required to do as part of their course.
IATL's Student as Producer (Collaboration) funding is available to undergraduate and taught Masters students only, who may apply for up to £2,000 for their project. The key criterion for this funding stream is that projects must be collaborative and student-led. IATL encourage students to consider the word 'collaboration' in a wide and innovative sense. Projects should always involve more than one Warwick student but students might also wish to work together with a wider interdisciplinary group of students, with members of staff, or with members of the local or international community. Their project must relate to at least one of IATL's key themes.
IATL's Student as Producer (Performance) funding is available to both postgraduate (PGR and PGT) and undergraduate students, who may apply for up to £500 for their performance project which must cover any technical costs, e.g. guidance from an approved theatre technician. Rehearsal and performance space in IATL's spaces is provided.
All IATL funding recipients need to submit a final report on completion of their project. This can take the form of a written report (1,500-2,000 words), films, podcasts, reflective journals or other resources.
Find out more on the IATL website
- International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR)
Led and sponsored by the University of Warwick and Monash University, the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) is an annual, two-day academic conference. Using video-conferencing technology, ICUR provides undergraduate researchers with a unique opportunity to present and discuss their own research – in any discipline in real-time, without having to leave their home university.
ICUR challenges undergraduate students to rethink their work in an international context. As a forum, it requires presenters to consider the perspective of students from different backgrounds, and to anticipate what may be shared across cultures and local contexts. This challenge translates to research questions as well, encouraging students to examine global and regional trends in their research field, and how these might conflict with local concerns and specificities.
Since its establishment in 2013, more than 2000 students from 17 institutions on 5 continents have presented at ICUR. At Warwick alone, 568 students have presented since ICUR began.
Find out more on the ICUR website.
- Library Study Blog
The blog is designed to connect students with information, support and their community. It contains posts offering tips and secrets on a wide range of study skills for example improving presentations, avoid plagiarism pitfalls, preventing library fines and much more. Posts are written both by Library staff and by students about their study experiences.
- Masters Academic Writing Programme
Masters Academic Writing is the first step into research writing. Your examinations are mostly based on (module) written assignments, leading to your dissertation. Your writing should be able to demonstrate not only your ability to analyse, critically engage with material and develop complex arguments, but also aspects of originality. You can find a range of courses on academic writing, critical thinking and discipline specific literature reviews. Browse the courses and select those that suit you best.
- Masters Skills Programme
The Masters Skills Programme brings together several of the development opportunities that are offered to Warwick Master’s students in one place.
- Organising yourself and your time
- Planning and managing projects
- Academic study skills
- Critical thinking
- Critical writing
- Speed reading
- Taking notes effectively
- Planning and managing projects
- Effective literature searching
- Introduction to Masters Writing
- On Track - dissertation workshops*
*Your school may also offer specific dissertation support - check with your personal tutor
There is also support available for group research projects:
- Becoming more assertive
- Working in a team
- Intercultural training
- Leading a group project
- Planning and managing projects
For a full list of workshops visit the Programme page and sign up for the workshops that interest you and develop your skills!
Workshops run across all three terms and can be used towards the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award.
If you think the Programme is missing a workshop that you are interested in, please email the the Programme team the details at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monash-Warwick Alliance funding
Monash University and the University of Warwick have formed a strategic alliance that aims to enhance the experiences of students at both universities through the development of new models of education and research collaboration.
The Student-led Activity Scheme provides support for activities that seek to integrate the student bodies of both universities, develop ”globally-engaged students” through working as part of international teams, increase both the impact and profile of existing student-led activities at both universities, and transfer knowledge and innovation in student activities across both campuses.
Examples of activities which can be considered for support include academic-related events (e.g. summits, student conferences), cultural and intercultural activities, including sporting events, and skills development events.
The Student-led Activity Scheme provides support of up to a maximum of £15,000 (for expenses incurred by Warwick students).
Find out more on the Monash-Warwick Alliance website
- PG Hub
The Postgrad Hub (PG Hub) is a dedicated space for postgrads, enabling them to access support, work in a collaborative environment and socialise with peers. Click on the link to check availability, latest updates, support, and exclusive postgraduate and research events.
- Reinvention Journal
Reinvention is an online, peer-reviewed journal, dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate student research. The journal welcomes academic articles from all disciplinary areas. All articles undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by two or three anonymous referees. Reinvention is published bi-annually and only houses papers written by undergraduate students or papers written collaboratively by undergraduate students and academics.
Reinvention is published through the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning and is an open access journal. Students are encouraged to make their work as interactive as possible and to include tables, diagrams and links to films, photographs and other websites where appropriate. Papers should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length, not including the abstract, bibliography and any appendices. They receive thorough feedback on their paper, regardless of whether it gets published or not.
Students also receive training on writing for publications, learning about what a journal article is, how it’s structured, and how to critically revise one’s publications.
Find out more on the Reinvention website
- Research and Study Skills (for UG and Masters’ students)
- The Student Development team at Student Opportunity offer training and support to develop your research and study skills. You might find the following workshops particularly interesting:
For a full list of workshops visit the Undergraduate Skills Programme or the Masters Skills Programme web pages. Sign up for the workshops on MyAdvantage. Workshops run across all three terms and can be used towards the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. If you think a workshop that you are interested in is missing, please complete our bespoke workshop request form.
- Being a researcher
- Defining your research question
- Designing academic posters
- Exploring research methodology
- Planning and managing projects
- Working with your supervisor
- Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS)
The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) gives students the chance to become directly involved in the research work of the University, experience what it's like to be a member of a research team and take part in cutting-edge research. URSS is a competitive scheme that provides living expenses (up to £1,000) and skills development training to support successful applicants who wish to carry out a summer research project as an addition to their undergraduate degree course. Undertaking a summer research project via the URSS is more than just doing a project – it will give you dedicated skills training opportunities too. The Scheme gives you both a taste of research, invaluable for those looking to pursue postgraduate study, and also adds further value to your degree from Warwick. URSS has been in place since 2002, with students on the scheme having travelled to Europe and further afield to undertake the research.
Find out more on the URSS website.