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BA in Politics, International Studies and German: UCAS Code M164

Learning style and contact time | Assessment | Degree structure

germanThis degree enables you to explore approaches to political ideas and critically engage with political issues both nationally and globally. It will also develop an in-depth understanding of the German language, and of society and culture in Germany and Austria.

Core course content focuses on political theory, international relations, and the study of Modern German Language. You can also choose from a variety of options from within PAIS and the Department of German, which include Justice, Democracy and Citizenship, Culture and Politics in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich and Politics of Developing Areas. You can also get involved with extra-curricular activity linked to your studies, such as our international studies film club. The course is good preparation for a career in European Union politics, although it develops transferable skills in investigative and evaluative research, presentation, and critical analysis that can be applied in many careers. Our graduates also emerge with strong written and oral German communication skills.

Your first year builds a strong foundation in all three areas, focusing on core modules. In your second year there is more flexibility to choose optional modules to match your interests. The third year is spent in Germany or Austria studying or on work placement. In your final year you can choose a 50-50 split between PAIS and German, or take 75% of modules in one or other of the disciplines.

The Course Director in PAIS is Dr Erzsebet Strausz, and your main contact is Course Director Prof Alison Ribeiro de Menezes.

Learning style and contact time

Warwick operates on a three term basis with all PAIS modules running for the full year and you can normally expect to take four modules in each year of your degree. Teaching follows a pattern of weekly lectures and seminars supplemented by a range of innovative teaching and learning techniques including group work, screening of relevant documentaries and films, and the use of web-based material. Guest speakers are sometimes invited to share their experiences or research. Every student is also given the opportunity to make at least one seminar presentation on the topic of your choice in each module and focused open debates in seminars are encouraged. You will also write a number of formative essays for which you will receive extensive feedback in preparation for your module assessments.

You will typically have eight hours per week of classroom contact with faculty. However, if further help is needed, all PAIS faculty hold at least two office hours each week during which you can bring questions about their modules and assessment. These meetings offer excellent opportunities to discuss your progress on a one-to-one basis with your tutors. Each PAIS student is also assigned a Personal Tutor who is responsible for monitoring your progress on your degree.


Assessment on PAIS modules is mainly through a combination of examinations and extended essays at the end of each year. In almost all modules, second and third year students have the option to either take a full three hours examination or write a 3000 word essay and sit an hour and a half examination. Final year students have the option to write two 3000 word essays instead of sitting an examination on some of their modules. Final year students can also choose to research and write a 10,000 word dissertation in place of one of their modules.

Yearly structure

Year 1

1. Core module: Introduction to Politics
2. Core module: World Politics
3. Core module: Modern German Language I or Modern German Language for Beginners
4. Option: Either The Changing Face of Germany in Film and Text or Aspects of German Culture in the Age of Enlightenment

Year 2

1. Core module: Political Theory from Hobbes
2. Core module: Modern German Language II
3. Option 1: Any second-year PAIS module
4. Option 2: Any second-year module(s) offered by the German Department, totalling 30 CATS credits

Year 3

The second year is spent studying and/or on work placement in a country where German is the native language. Possible exchange universities include:

  • Universität Konstanz
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Universität Wien
  • Technische Universität Wien
  • Universität Salzburg
  • Universität Bayreuth
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Universität zu Köln
  • Ludwig Maximilians Universität München
  • Universität Würzburg
  • Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Year 4

1. Core: Issues in Political Theory
2. Core: Modern German Language III
3. Option 1: Any third-year PAIS module OR any third-year module(s) offered by the German Department, totalling 30 CATS credits
4. Option 2: Any third-year PAIS module OR any third-year module(s) offered by the German Department, totalling 30 CATS credits