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Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development (BASc) (Full-Time, 2020 Entry)

Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development (BASc)

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  • UCAS Code
  • L2L8
  • Qualification
  • BASc
  • Duration
  • 3 years full-time


Studying Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development (BASc) enables you to take part in the critical analysis of political ideas in an international context. It will equip you with the theoretical foundations upon which you can build analysis of issue-based problems.


Global Sustainable Development requires a global political dialogue. Understanding key political concepts, ideologies, and practices of national and international governments is essential for providing solutions for sustainable development. This course considers testing questions: Why do states marginalise human rights in place of geopolitical aims? Why has water and food security become a critical foreign policy concern for governments? Why does political gridlock frequently emerge in discussions on climate change? You will be seeking to answer these questions, combining theoretical and analytical approaches from politics with the interdisciplinary outlook of GSD.

You’ll also complete professional skills certificates as part of the course, and will have the opportunity to spend part of your second year studying abroad at our partner institution in Melbourne, Australia – home to the world-leading Monash Sustainability Institute.

Year 1: 50% GSD and 50% PAIS. You will undertake four core GSD modules, three of which introduce you to the ‘three pillars of sustainability’: economy, environment, and society. Your fourth and final core module is a GSD Mini-Project. With PAIS, you will undertake two core modules— Introduction to Politics and World Politics—introducing you to a toolkit of ideologies, concepts, and political theories. A Certificate of Digital Literacy is also available with GSD.

Year 2: 50% GSD and 50% PAIS. As you begin to apply the perspectives you were introduced to in Year 1, you will have the opportunity to engage with a major issue in sustainability, studying either ‘Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development’ or ‘Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System’ (25% of workload). You will take a further 25% of your course load from GSD Department modules.

With PAIS, you must study the core module ‘Political Theory from Hobbes’ alongside one optional module of your choice. Options could include ‘Politics of International Development’ and ‘African Politics in Comparative Perspectives’. Optional Certificates are available – Certificate of Professional Communication (offered alongside a work placement), Certificate of Coaching and Certificate of Sustainability.

Year Two (with Terms abroad) - If you opt to travel abroad, you will take 50% of the course load outlined above at Warwick during Term 1, and the other 50% at Monash University where you will continue to study modules with an approved sustainability and PAIS focus.

Year Three: 50% GSD (including Dissertation) and 50% PAIS. Hone your research focus and break new ground as you undertake a compulsory dissertation with GSD and study intensive Honours level optional modules. With Politics, you will be required to take one core module—‘Issues in Political Theory’, alongside an optional module. Final year modules include ‘Violence, Rights, Justice and Peace in the Middle East’ and ‘Politics of Globalisation’.

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 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.

Contact hours
Core first year GSD modules have 23 hours of contact time each made up of lectures, workshops and, for the 'mini-project' module, group supervision sessions and a field trip. In the second year, optional core GSD modules have around 45 contact hours each for the 30 CATS versions and half this for the shorter 15 CATS versions.

Teaching is via workshops. Optional GSD modules are available with between 20 and 50 hours for scheduled contact time depending upon how the module is taught. For example, some modules have lectures, seminars, film screenings and research supervision whereas others have lectures and workshops. Some modules include field trips: Teaching on Politics modules normally comprises a weekly lecture and seminar each of one hour’s duration.

Class size
Seminar groups comprise between 10 and 15 students.

In the first year, two of the GSD core modules have an exam worth 40%. The remaining 60% of these modules and the other core GSD modules are assessed by methods other than formal examination. In the second year GSD optional cores and options do not have traditional examinations. The final year core GSD module is a Dissertation/Long Project and so is assessed via coursework. First year Politics modules are assessed wholly by traditional examination. Honours level modules may be assessed either by a combination of coursework (essays) and exam, wholly by coursework wholly by exam. The overall percentage of the course that is assessed by coursework depends upon the options taken.

The final degree classification is determined by your second and final year marks and each contributes 50%.

There is an option to spend part of the second year abroad studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. You may be based at either the University’s Melbourne campus or at its campus in Malaysia.

You will spend the first term of your second year studying at Warwick and will travel to Australia in February to join Monash for the start of its second semester (which spans Warwick’s second and third terms). This arrangement is the integrated terms abroad variant of the course.

During your time abroad you will study approved modules/units and will undertake assessments. The credit gained from this study is used to contribute towards your final degree classification awarded by Warwick. You may also choose to spend a year studying or working abroad (e.g. as part of the ERASMUS scheme).

Marks gained from such study do not count towards the overall Warwick degree but recognition of the time spent abroad is recorded on the HEAR.

A level: AAA as well as Grade B/Grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE

IB: 38 to include English and Mathematics (at Higher Level or Standard Level 5)

Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

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. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

  • 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 the IFP website.
  • We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
  • Taking a gap year
    Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

    Interviews
    We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

    Open Days
    All students who have been offered a place are invited to visit. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

Year One
Economic Principles of GSD

You’ll start your studies with an introduction to the concepts and perspectives related to the measurement of global sustainable development, and the links between economics and policy. You’ll progress to analysing real-world problems, such as the connection between poverty and the environment, to deepen your conceptual understanding of how economic activity relates to development. You’ll be expected to critique alternative economic models and interventions, using theories and explanations based on externalities, game theory, and theories of decision-making under risk and uncertainty. You’ll also learn to use quantitative information to evaluate policy design, this will also improve your skills of oral and written communications and independent learning.

Social Principles of GSD

You’ll engage with the social and political principles of global sustainable development, and use stimulus and simulation techniques to grapple with the ideas through a combination of practical activities, groupwork, seminars and online collaboration. By the end of this module, you will be able to offer well-informed, evidence-based evaluations of key global challenges, and to explain how particular forms of economic development cause social problems. You will be able to provide ideas for strategies that could tackle problems of social inequality in food, education and health, and be able to write competently and proficiently on topics such as goal-based development, in preparation for your second-year.

Environmental Principles of GSD

You’ll investigate a range of perspectives on sustainable development from the standpoint of environmental studies, to equip you with the capacity to engage in critical discussion of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, as outlined by the framework of the nine planetary boundaries. You’ll demonstrate your understanding of the causes and impacts of anthropogenic activities, and appraise discourses of environmental decline and sustainability from a rigorous and interdisciplinary perspective. You’ll also gain important employability skills, such as independent research and persuasive communications, through creating and presenting a briefing paper and policy pitch.

GSD Mini-Project

During this module, you will collaborate with your peers on a task of investigating the issue of sustainable transport. Immersing you in a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data that you will gather, examine, analyse and critique. As well as deepening your understanding of the economic case for sustainable transport, you’ll be strengthening your academic research skills to deconstruct a major problem, formulate and test hypotheses, evaluate the evidence, and undertake field research, including interviews and focus groups.

Introduction to Politics

Introduction to Politics gives you a broad overview of main issues and theoretical perspectives. You will learn first to understand and then apply the core concepts of comparative political science and theory to processes, institutions, ideologies and practical policy-making. You will conduct a comparative study of different political systems and political change, both in writing and in open debate.

World Politics

In this introduction to world politics and international relations, you will gain a solid understanding of the historical underpinnings of the structure and systems of states, and become familiar with major theories of international relations post-1945. You will analyse contemporary writings on world politics and engage critically, both orally and in writing, with key concepts and theoretical debates on the nature of international political systems.

Year Two

Bodies, Health and Sustainable Development

Your starting point on this module is the sustainable development goals for health and well-being, gender equality and reducing inequalities, with an overarching theme of how our bodies relate to various forms of development. You can expect to articulate your knowledge of major global inequalities and apply your understanding across different cultural and social norms. Asking provocative questions and critically engaging with the way the environment is affecting health outcomes, and critiquing the efficacy of policy measures that aim to address health-related global crises. You’ll also improve your research skills by generating original, well-researched arguments for policies that address health and inequalities outcomes.

OR

Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System

At least 800 million people are chronically undernourished globally, and the global population is projected to increase to a staggering 10 billion by 2050. From this challenging starting point, you’ll be working with active researchers from across various disciplines at the University of Warwick, especially those involved in the Global Research Priority on Food. You will become acquainted with contrasting disciplinary approaches to the investigation of food systems, and be able to analyse scholarly concerns surrounding food security, sovereignty and sustainability. You’ll evaluate competing solutions, and research, evaluate and synthesise academic and other credible research and analysis in order to respond critically to the essential topics and questions in this exciting field.


Political Theory from Hobbes

How should human beings be governed? The thinkers you will study – from Hobbes to Marx – had very different answers to this question. Building on your understanding of political philosophy, you will read significant primary and secondary texts to develop your understanding of how political convictions are shaped by the context and history of individual thought and social interaction. You will confront and assess complex ideas in political theory, and present and defend your point of view, both orally and in writing.

Year Three
Dissertation/ Long Project
Issues in Political Theory

Should parents send their children to private schools? Is freedom of movement a moral right? Is it unjust to rear animals for food? Who should bear the costs of climate change? You will explore fundamental questions of political morality by critically analysing complex arguments from contemporary political philosophy. You will study closely John Rawls’s theory of justice, and consider the rival theories of Robert Nozick, G. A. Cohen and Ronald Dworkin. You will have practical opportunities to develop and defend your own ethical standpoint through your considered judgements on current dilemmas, taking into account opposing arguments and perspectives.

Examples of optional modules/options for current students

Rawlsian Liberalism and Justice; Philosophy of Religion; Keeping the Phoenix Flying or Clipping its Wings?: Learning through Student Research into the Praxis of ‘Local’ Sustainable Development; Extinction & Survival; Inequality: Wealth, Behaviour and Society; Surviving the Apocalypse.

Click here to view the full list of optional modules.

Our degree programmes have been developed to provide you with a set of skills that will enable you to compete for existing and emerging roles across a variety of professions. Your options are varied across a range of industries, from working in the United Nations to advising small businesses on issues that will affect the local community.

You will also learn valuable transferable skills that will help you with your employment prospects including:

  • Analytical and problem solving: Through your study of economic principles and models, you’ll learn how to extract the essential features of complex systems, providing useable frameworks for evaluation.
  • Critical thinking: Assess arguments, make judgements, formulate reasoned debates and generate feasible solutions.
  • Communication: Develop advanced communication skills that enable you to communicate with a variety of audiences and in different settings.
  • Research: An integrated programme of research skills training, teaching you how to source, evaluate and use different forms of information and data.
  • Organisational: Through a rigorous assessment schedule and a compulsory dissertation module in your final year, you’ll learn the essentials of time management, prioritisation and how to be well organised.
  • Team working: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with others and nurture your emotional intelligence, developing a professional attitude.

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, such as:

  • 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

The GSD Department has a dedicated Placements' Officer who is able to offer careers guidance, provide information about suitable placement opportunities and support you to secure appropriate work experience. The Placements' Officer gives specialist pre-placement advice, guidance and preparation, and provides on-going support for you whilst on placement. In addition, the Officer delivers the associated Certificate of Professional Communication.

A level: AAA as well as Grade B/Grade 6 in English and Mathematics at GCSE

IB: 38 to include English and Mathematics (at Higher Level or Standard Level 5)

Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

UCAS code
L2L8

Award
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)

Department
Global Sustainable Development Politics and International Studies

Duration
3 years full-time

Start date
28 September 2020

Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who transfer to the intercalated course and do a year-long work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

This information is applicable for 2020 entry.

Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.

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