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BA in Politics, International Studies and Italian: UCAS Code M165

Learning style and contact time | Assessment | Degree structure


This four-year degree gives the opportunity to acquire language skills while receiving a thorough training in the study of Politics and International Studies (PAIS). You will critically engage with the political world from national and global perspectives, exploring the theoretical and empirical approaches to political ideas.

You will be taught from two of the biggest and most successful departments of Politics and Italian Studies in the UK. The core study of Politics is combined with the theoretical, global and multidisciplinary perspective provided by International Studies modules and a focus on the study of Italian language, culture and society. You will gain highly sought-after skills in research and analysis as well as an advanced level of fluency in Italian written and oral communication.

Political theory, international relations, and the study of the modern Italian language provide the core of the degree, which emphasises the integration of political theory and practice. Options can be taken from the full range of PAIS and Italian modules. These include States and Markets; Representations of Modern Italy and Europe: Politics and Ideas. The second or third year is spent studying or on work placement in Italy. In your final year you can choose a 50-50 split between PAIS and Italian Studies, or take 75% of modules in one or other of the disciplines. You can choose the combination of essays and exams which will make up the assessment for your degree, including the possibility of a final year dissertation.

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: Either Italian for Beginners or Modern Italian Language I (Intermediate) or Modern Italian Language I (Advanced)
4. Core module: Either Representations of Modern Italy or Introduction to Italian Culture

Year 2

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

  • Università di Firenze
  • Università di Siena (Arezzo & Siena)
  • Università di Bologna
  • Università di Pavia
  • Università di Pisa
  • Università di Roma La Sapienza
  • Università di Genoa
  • Università di Napoli L'Orientale
  • Università di Salerno
  • Università di Torino
  • Università di Urbino Carlo Bo
  • Università di Cagliari
  • Università di Verona
  • Università di Trieste
  • Università di Messina
  • Università di Catania (Catania & Ragusa)
  • Università di Brescia
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Università di Milano

Year 3

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

Year 4

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