This three-year joint degree is run by the Politics and International Studies (PAIS) and Sociology departments in concert. Although they are regarded as distinct disciplines, politics and sociology have much in common; sociologists are concerned with power and contestation, while political scientists consider how communities organise themselves.
If you want to understand and critically engage with the world from a political and sociological perspective, explore the theoretical and empirical approaches to political and social ideas,
problems and issues, and confront the social themes and politics of our everyday lives, then this programme is right for you.
On this Joint Degree, you’ll be a member of both PAIS and Sociology – two closely associated departments that share the same wing of the Social Sciences Building at Warwick. Although they are regarded as distinct disciplines, politics and sociology have much in common: both sociologists and political scientists are concerned with power, contestation and how communities
The degree allows you to get the best of both worlds across two social science disciplines. It will enable you to think critically about contemporary society in the UK and beyond: by enriching your understanding of key concepts such as gender and the state. It will also offer an important empirical dimension, linking ethical questions around the provision of public goods, like welfare or security, to the demands of social movements and policy elites.
You can focus on a range of sub-fields within each discipline, including political theory, social theory, comparative politics, gender and sexuality, race and difference, international relations, international political economy, media and culture and international development.
The emphasis on the integration of theory and practice in both disciplines is reflected in the foundation modules you will take in the first year and in the core and optional modules taken in subsequent years. Political and social theory provides the core of the degree but you can choose options across the full range of PAIS and Sociology modules.
As the years progress, you will take a decreasing proportion of core modules and specialise your degree with an increasing proportion of optional modules. In the first two years of the degree, you will have an equal share of modules in Politics and in Sociology. In the final year, you can retain this equal split or give greater emphasis to either discipline.
Typical questions you might come across when you study Politics and Sociology are:
- Why is there apathy toward voting in elections?
- Is surveillance by the state for the benefit of society?
- What does the global environmental movement look like?
- Why does racial inequality persist today?
- How can the body be a site of resistance?
- Can we prove what caused the London riots?
You will be taught by a wide range of staff in two large and successful departments with international profiles. The degree will be overseen by a dedicated Pol/Soc Directorship, giving the cohort its own identity. The degree is administered by PAIS and so you should consult the PAIS handbook for further details.
Studying both politics and sociology has provided me with a much more stimulating and deeper understanding of the areas of society I hadn’t encountered before my undergraduate. PAIS’ flexibility in its degree structure meant that I could tailor my degree to my needs as well as choose a whole range of interesting modules from the two departments to stretch my academic knowledge considerably. That, alongside seminars with fruitful discussions and debates with students from both departments, and from multi-national and cultural backgrounds are what had made my studies at Warwick so rich and alive.
During my degree, I took the opportunity to take on one of PAIS’s study abroad programmes at Sciences Po Paris-Reims, France. It was very exciting, and challenging at the same time. I had the opportunity to learn at a different educational system, broaden my cultural horizon and improve my French language skills. It was challenging in many ways, but I came out feeling so independent, confident, open-minded, adventurous and wild!Heejin Yoon, BA Politics and Sociology