About this taught graduate course
Big data and quantitative methods are transforming political processes and decisions in everyday life.
Local, national and international administrations are making ‘open data’ available to wide audiences; giant, world-level web organisations are putting more and more services in synergy; and some private companies or governments are developing strongly ideological projects in relation with big data. Therefore, there is a need for trained specialists who will have the capacity to compete and/or collaborate with strictly business or technique-oriented actors on the basis of sound knowledge from political and international studies.
Our programme provides you with an understanding of the implications of different approaches to issues concerning big data and public policy.
General entry requirements
2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.
Visit our PAIS web pages for department-specific advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.
English language requirements
You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:
- Band B
- IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.
Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods
This module introduces you to quantitative methods for the social sciences. It is suitable for all students interested in applied data analysis, from a background in any social science, or at least the interest in these disciplines. Prior background in quantitative methods before the module may range from none to intermediate.
Big Data Research: Hype or Revolution?
Big data is said to be transforming science and social science. On this module, you will critically engage with this claim and explore the ways in which the rapid rise of big data impacts on research processes and practices in a growing range of disciplinary areas and fields of study. In particular, the module considers the following questions: What is big data? To what extent is 'big data' different to other kinds of data? What key issues are raised by big data? How are the 'nuts and bolts' of research practice (e.g. ethics, sampling, method, analysis, etc.) transformed with big data? How does big data transform core concepts relating to research practice - such as comparison, description, explanation and prediction?
Advanced Quantitative Research
This module builds on Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods. It introduces students to a selected set of advanced statistical methods that are commonly used in quantitative social research. A further aim is to familiarise students with the key issues in the craft of applied work so that they become careful, considered and thoughtful researchers in quantitative social sciences.
Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:
- Theories and Issues in International Development
- Normative Analysis
- Theories and Traditions in Public Policy
The optional module lists are updated regularly.
You will have the freedom to select 2-3 modules that appeal to you from our extensive range of optional modules, up to a total of 120 CATS of taught modules.
Modules are taught via one 2-hour seminar per week (3-hour in the case of the three core modules). Seminars give you the opportunity to interact with leading scholars as well as with your peers to explore a set topic each week. Every seminar will be based on extensive guided reading you will do each week, but there is no strict pattern to how sessions are run. This may include mini-lectures followed by discussion, Q&A sessions, organised debates, peer presentations, policy briefs, small group work, and other projects (1-hour lecture and 2-hour lab for core modules).
You can also choose to study part-time with us. Find out more about part-time study on our PAIS web pages.
Normally a maximum of 18 per seminar group in PAIS delivered modules.
Typical contact hours
6 hours of Seminars per week for 9 weeks in Terms One and Two plus advice and feedback hours when requested and Dissertation supervision in Terms Two and Three.
Assessment methods include research essays and other (written) assignments throughout the year, culminating in a 10,000 word dissertation at the end.
Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.
Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules in a module pre-registration process about which you will receive information at the beginning of September.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Action Aid; World Bank; UN agencies; UK and other universities; Deloitte; Japan Ministry of Defence; Nationwide Building Society; and the UK Cabinet Office. They have pursued roles such as: communications officers for major INGOs, business and financial project management professionals; economists; finance officers; policy analysts and public services associate professionals.
Our Department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Quantitative methods Job talks and alumnae(i) roundtables (for students on the MA in PBDQM)
- Your future awaits - the many things you can do after your degree in the PAIS Department
- Careers in Government and Politics
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- After your PAIS Master’s – What Next?
- Assessment Centres and Interviews: an overview of what to expect for PAIS students
Politics and International Studies at Warwick
Join an innovative, creative and passionate department with a lively and interactive culture. Stretch and challenge yourself with the support of friendly staff and your peers.
Our Postgraduate courses
- International Development (MA)
- International Political Economy (MA)
- International Politics and East Asia (MA)
- International Politics and Europe (MA)
- International Relations (MA)
- International Security (MA)
- Politics and International Studies (PhD)
- Political and Legal Theory (MA)
- Politics, Big Data and Quantitative Methods (MA)
- Public Policy (MA)
- United States Foreign Policy (MA)
Our Double Degree programmes allow you to study a Warwick MA programme for one year as well as a Masters programme at a partner university.
Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.
Fee Status Guidance
The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.
If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.
Additional course costs
As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:
- Core text books
- Printer credits
- Dissertation binding
- Robe hire for your degree ceremony
Scholarships and bursaries
Find out about the many different funding routes available for postgraduate study at Warwick.
Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available in our department.
Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.
Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.
Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.
Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.