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BA in Politics, International Studies and Hispanic Studies: UCAS Code M166

Learning style and contact time | Assessment | Degree structure

hispanic studiesIf you are interested in both the political world and in Hispanic language and culture, this course considers approaches to national and global political issues and political theory alongside international relations, and Spanish language study.

You can focus on sub-themes within each discipline including comparative politics, international political economy, Hispanic literature, and international development. In addition to core modules, you can choose from optional modules offered by the Politics and International Studies (PAIS) and Hispanic Studies Departments such as Justice, Democracy and Citizenship, and Language, Text and Identity in the Hispanic World. You can also get involved with extra-curricular activities linked to your studies, such as our international studies film club and visiting speaker series. The degree is good preparation for a career in an international organisation, and graduates emerge with strong written and oral Spanish communication skills, as well as sought-after investigative, evaluative, and presentational skills, gained through independent and collaborative study.

Your first year builds a strong foundation in all three areas. Your second or third year is spent studying or on work placement in Spain or in another Hispanic country. In your final year you can choose a 50-50 split between PAIS and Hispanic Studies, or take 75% of modules in one or other of the disciplines.

The Course Director for 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: Either Modern Spanish Language I (for those with A level or equivalent in Spanish) or Modern Spanish Language for Beginners
4. Core module: Either Language, Text and Identity in the Hispanic World or Images and Representations of the Hispanic World

Year 2

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

  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  • Universidad Pablo de Olavide
  • Universidade de Vigo
  • Universidad de Zaragoza
  • Universidad de Puerto Rico
  • Universidad de Granada
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Year 3

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

Year 4

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