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Seventh Heaven: Politics Success

Originally Published 12 December 2001

The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) scored full marks of 24 out of 24 in its subject review in the last week of the Autumn term. PAIS, which had the doubtful honour of being the final department at Warwick to be assessed under the current method of Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject review, became the seventh subject at the University to achieve a maximum score across all of the six aspects of provision. The scores were:

  • 4 Curriculum design, content and organisation
  • 4 Teaching, learning and assessment
  • 4 Student progression and achievement
  • 4 Student support and guidance
  • 4 Learning resources
  • 4 Quality management and enhancement

The chair of the five-strong review panel, in delivering the verdict at the conclusion of the four-day visit, identified a wide range of strengths in PAIS, including:

- An integrated and coherent curriculum with research-led modules reflecting the latest thinking in the discipline.

- Very high quality teaching, using a variety of methods, and rigorous assessment procedures.

- The very high standard of student work and good progression and completion rates.

- A comprehensive system of academic and pastoral support, good quality careers advice (particularly highly praised by former students) and good University welfare and pastoral support services.

- An effective strategy for the provision of learning resources and an extensive stock of specialist materials in the library.

- Extensive and significantly improved quality management processes and responsiveness to student concerns.

Responding on behalf of the University, the Registrar, Dr Jonathan Nicholls, paid tribute to the enormous efforts of all staff in the department and added “this result reflects enormously well on the quality of teaching in the department and the excellent and well-supported learning experience enjoyed by students”.

PAIS joins six other departments at Warwick which have achieved a clean sweep of 24 points: Sociology, Theatre Studies, Physics, Education (comprising the Institute of Education, CELTE and Continuing Education), Economics and Philosophy.

A new method of QAA review will be introduced during 2002, the details of which have yet to be finalised. However, the new method is likely to focus more on University-level systems and therefore we have, we sincerely hope, seen the last of this kind of intensive subject review process.

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