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Politics and International Studies and Global Sustainable Development (Full-Time, 2018 Entry)


What will I learn?

Our GSD joint degrees enable you to investigate the contemporary problems that our governments, scientists, philosophers, educationalists and charities are grappling with, and challenge you to explore possible, practical solutions. You’ll combine your study of sustainable development with Politics and International Studies and will learn how to apply your expertise to the investigation of the world’s most pressing concerns.

Each year, you’ll take half of your modules in Global Sustainable Development and the other half from Politics and International Studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete professional certificates in: Digital Literacy, Coaching and Sustainability Auditing.

The GSD component of your course examines crucial challenges in areas such as health, ageing, food security, hunger, energy, labour, climate change, and production and consumption patterns,
from a variety of perspectives offered by experts engaged in real-life research.

Practitioners from the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities spheres will explain how they approach and analyse these issues. You’ll learn their techniques and acquire the research, analytical and rhetorical skills necessary to critique the various approaches. You’ll also examine the possibilities for bringing together sustainability efforts and development policies in a politically sound, economically
fair and socially democratic setting.

How will I learn?

You will attend lectures and take part in seminars, workshops and tutorials and work with your fellow students in teams on controversial, topical problems that pose significant sustainable development questions. You will undertake fieldwork, archival research, interviews with members of the local area and engage in peer discussion to propose alternative solutions. You will review the work of your fellow students.

You will be taught by a range of academics, from different disciplines, who will communicate their expertise on a specific issue and describe their methodology for addressing it. Your role is to bring together these various approaches and to develop your own informed stance on each issue.

How will I be assessed?

We have devised an assessment strategy that allows you to develop your expertise in addressing problems using a variety of perspectives from the Arts, Sciences and Social Sciences. We will teach you to use quantitative and qualitative methods of research, and this will equip you with a solid foundation from which you can approach contemporary problems critically and creatively.

During the course you will produce essays, research papers and portfolios and make oral presentations. You will be expected to present your work in a public forum such as the British Conference for Undergraduate Research or the International Conference of Undergraduate Research. You will contribute to group projects and deliver extended pieces of writing (for the final year Dissertation) as well as sit mid and end of year short tests and traditional end of year written examinations.

What opportunities are there to study abroad?

In the second year of the course, you can choose to go abroad after the first term and spend the remainder of the academic year studying at one of our partner institutions in Europe, Australia or the USA. The Study Abroad Team based in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities.

  • Entry Requirements

    A level: AAA, to include grade B in English and Mathematics at GCSE

    International Baccalaureate: 38 points, to include Mathematics and English

  • Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria outlined at Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

    Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units. Candidates must meet essential subject requirements.

    Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit

  • We welcome applicants with nonstandard qualifications or relevant experience, and applicants with other internationally-recognised qualifications.

    Further Information

    Gap Year Applications for deferred entry are welcomed.

    Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your predicted and actual grades, along with your personal statement. Occasionally, some applicants may be interviewed, for example candidates returning to study or those with non-standard qualifications.

  • Personal Statements: Applicants who meet or who are predicted to meet the entry requirements for this course will be requested to submit a second personal statement directly to the University. Details on how and when to do this, as well as guidance about what the statement should contain, will be provided at the time of the request.

    Open Days We invite all offer holders to Departmental Open Days in the spring term. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

What modules could I study?

First-year core GSD modules consider different perspectives that might be taken on global issues, corresponding to the United Nations’ three pillars of Sustainable Development – Economic, Social and
Environmental. You’ll also complete a group project on a controversial, local, topical problem that poses significant sustainable development questions.

In your second year, you have a choice of GSD modules. You can take either Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development, which examines issues surrounding health and the representation of bodies in contemporary culture, or Food Security which will examine the relationship between
food and sustainability using theories and methods from the sciences, social sciences and humanities.
You will also choose a module from a range of options available across the University which has a focus on sustainability. Alternatively, after the first term at Warwick studying Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development or Food Security you may choose to travel to one our overseas partners, where you’ll continue taking relevant modules in Global Sustainable Development and your joint degree subject.

In your final year, you’ll be able to choose to study topics that raise global sustainable development issues from a range of options offered by the GSD Department (such as ‘Work’ and ‘Energy’) as well as from around the University. You’ll also bring together your knowledge, ideas and conclusions in a dissertation focusing on a GSD issue.

During your first year of the Politics course element, core modules introduce the main issues, theoretical perspectives, processes and core concepts in the study of politics. You’ll also gain an overview of international politics and the theoretical and empirical study of international relations. Second-year core modules examine the political philosophy of some of the most important European writers from 1640 onwards. A final-year core module on Issues of Political Theory analyses and assesses opposing arguments in political philosophy and relates those arguments to contemporary political and social issues. In your second and third years, you’ll also be able to choose from a variety of optional PAIS modules. For current students these include: International Security, Politics and Religion, and Gender and Development – enabling you to examine specialised topics in depth.

For more information about the course, please visit the department website.

* The modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.

Where can a Warwick degree in Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development take me?

In recent years, demand for graduates with expertise in sustainable development has increased
dramatically. Our courses have been designed with employability in mind. They will support
you to develop skills that are valued within industries such as construction, transport, energy,
engineering, communications; and within private, public-sector or charitable organisations.
This opens doors to a variety of job roles in areas including project management, corporate
governance, resource management, environmental planning and consultancy.
About Global Sustainable Development

The United Nations defines Global Sustainable Development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

This exciting new BASc allows you to combine the study of Global Sustainable Development with an optional disciplinary specialism, acquiring knowledge and expertise in that subject which you will use to enrich your understanding of current global sustainable development debates.

Our degrees address the key issues that the world’s nations have identified as central to our future. They equip you with the expertise, skills and knowledge that enable you to contribute meaningfully to the debates about these big problems, so that you can make a real difference in the world.

What sort of jobs will Global Sustainable Development be relevant for?

The nature of our GSD degrees is such that graduates can go into global sustainable development itself, or take their interdisciplinary skills, along with the specialist knowledge gained from subject-specific modules into a wide range of roles. E.g.:

  • Project work / lobbying for international organisations, NGOs and charities
  • Advisory / consultancy roles in public services, education or the environmental or energy sectors
  • Roles in communications, public relations and the media
  • Sustainable finance
As this is a new course which began in October 2016, the information to inform an accurate KIS widget for Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development is not available. Please visit the Unistats website for more information.

Essential information

Entry Requirements
A level:
AAA, to include grade B in English and Mathematics at GCSE

IB: 38 points, to include Mathematics and English


Degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)

3 years full time (30 weeks per academic year)

Department website

Global Sustainable Development

Politics and International Studies Department

Student blogs

Meredith Whiting - Global Sustainable Development

Shanita Jetha - Politics and International Studies

Simran Thakral - Politics and International Studies

Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

Other course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course.

For further information on the typical additional costs please see the Additional Costs page.

Download a prospectus (PDF)

Visit campus

This information is applicable for 2018 entry.