Politics and Sociology (BA)
Studying Politics and International Studies 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.
This joint honours degree is split 50:50 between Politics and Sociology with the option of a 75:25 focus in the final year in either discipline. It explores theoretical and empirical approaches to political and social ideas and issues, and the impact of these on our everyday lives. An interdisciplinary approach encourages you to consider the world from different political and sociological perspectives. It enables you to think critically about contemporary society in the UK and beyond. It also encourages you to explore sub-fields such as gender and sexuality, race and difference, international relations, international political economy, sociology of media and culture, and international development. It offers an important empirical dimension, linking ethical questions around the provision of public goods like welfare or security to the demands of existing social movements and policy elites. Additional opportunities include the possibility of a year studying or working abroad.
This joint degree offers a 50-50 split between the disciplines in Years 1 & 2 with a choice of continuing 50-50 in the Final Year or focusing 75-25 on either Politics or Sociology.
Most modules are taught by a combination of weekly lectures and seminars.
8-12 hours of classroom contact per week. Teaching follows a pattern of weekly lectures and seminars, supplemented by group work, one-to-one advice and feedback hours, and the use of web-based materials.
Lectures vary; Seminars in Year One - maximum 14 students; Seminars in later years - maximum 18 students.
Assessment depends on your choice between coursework and exams; also dependent on modules chosen. The final degree classification is determined by your second or third year (50%) and final year marks (50%).
We offer a wide range of opportunities to study abroad. You can apply to spend the second year of your degree on one of our competitive North America exchange placements in the United States at institutions such as the University of California, or in Canada at the University of Waterloo. These integrated study abroad programmes enable you to still complete your Warwick degree in three years. We also offer extensive study abroad opportunities for an intercalated year in France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong that extend your degree by a year.
A level: AAB
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.
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.
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.
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.
Introduction to Social Analytics 1
In the age of ever-increasing data availability which is paired with a growing sophistication of statistical techniques, the opportunities for social science research are vast. This module will give you an understanding of the basic elements of core descriptive and inferential statistics which will allow you not only to critically engage with quantitative findings in existing social science research, but also conduct quantitative analysis yourself. The module covers the topics of conceptualisation, operationalisation and measurement, as well as the principles of sampling and the basics of statistical inference. You will be introduced to the statistical methods and process of social science research in one hour lectures, and then explore these in extended seminars (2h) both through readings, and the statistical software STATA. We will be working on real data sets, such as the World Development Indicators, but you will also conduct your own little survey amongst other students and analyse the data in class afterwards.
Researching Society and Culture
What is society and how do you study it? Is human behaviour governed by rules similar to the natural world that you can study objectively? Or do human beings consciously act upon their environment and change the world through creativity and intelligence, driven by their own understanding and motivations.
You will be introduced to the core ideas behind sociological research and the practical tools to undertake research yourself. As well as looking at some of the key qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, ethnography, discourse analysis), you’ll also examine the political, ethical and practical issues that social research inevitably entails.
History of Sociological Thought
What holds societies together? How do societies change? And how is politics in the conventional sense affected by factors such as class, status, ethnicity or religion, or the state of the economy? These are some of the questions that you will engage with when you consider the history of sociological thought. You will gain skills of research, analysis and debate by considering to what extent sociology may be considered a science and how the evolution of sociological thought has been shaped by events and the cultural, economic and political problems of the day.
Sociology of Gender
Through case studies from the gender pay gap to the politics of Christmas, this module will transform how you see gender and its impact on the world. You’ll explore the origins of gender ideas and analyse their effects on areas of social life including: language; media and popular culture; science; work; family relationships; sexuality; violence; education; politics; and feminist movements.
While gender is the focus of this module, you’ll also consider how gender connects to other dimensions of social difference and inequality, such as sexuality, race, class or disability.
Class and Capitalism in the Neoliberal World
Protest and anger characterise the contemporary era – young people taking part in militant politics, protest parties gaining more votes, and even NHS doctors taking to the streets.
In this module, we’ll explore the social consequences of the economic and political transformations associated with neoliberalism that have taken place in recent decades. We will ask why these changes might be responsible for the global rise in urban unrest and dissatisfaction.
Topics will include growing inequality and elite power, militant policing, consumerism, anxiety, debt, the destruction of industrial communities, class identity, the marketisation of education, and the diminishing spaces of public life.
Race and the Making of the Modern World
The Haitian Revolution (1804) was the first revolution by enslaved Africans asserting their rights for liberty, equality and political self-organisation against their European colonisers. But you may not have heard of it, even though it occurs around the same time as the French and American revolutions.
This module will raise tough questions about the global processes of dispossession, genocide, enslavement and appropriation. You’ll examine:
• the emergence and development of structures of race
• the sanctioned ignorance of these processes within the usual descriptions of the modern world
• how central race is to the organisation of the world today
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.
Designing and Conducting Social Research
This module will teach you the core concepts and practical skills to undertake qualitative social research in academic and professional settings. These include research design, ethnography, in-depth interviewing, documents and discourse. As well as practical skills, you’ll investigate how social research has changed in recent decades, considering:
• ethical questions when researching life online
• how (and whether you should) study Twitter
• effects of social media on social interactions
• how to engage diverse audiences
You'll also gain analytical skills to critically evaluate previous research, and develop your ability to collect and analyse data using a range of qualitative methods.
Modern Social Theory
This module will introduce you to the main thinkers and movements in critical social theory. Topics include Marxism, post-structuralism, class and culture. The changing conceptualisation of power and class is a focus throughout the module. This helps you to see how the different theoretical approaches relate to each other, and to historical and political events.
Practice and Interpretation of Quantitative Research
Quantitative methods can help you answer questions such as:
• Is income inequality in the UK growing?
• Does marriage improve health?
• Does growing up in a poor neighbourhood affect your life chances?
Analysing representative, large-scale social surveys is crucial for sociologists to understand social processes. This module will introduce you to quantitative methods and how to analyse large data sets using SPSS Statistics software. It will help you engage with published quantitative sociological research and to undertake your own basic quantitative data analysis.
You can select from a range of modules in year three.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students
Sociology of Gender; Class & Power after Neoliberalism; Race and the Making of the Modern World; Bodies, Property and Politics; Educational Inequalities; Politics of the USA Sociology of Health and Medicine; Europe: Politics and Ideas; Racism and Xenophobia; Britain and the War on Terror; Politics of Asylum; East Asian Transformations; US Foreign Policy.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Houses of Parliament, Cancer Research UK, Her Majesty’s Civil Service, United Nations, Lloyds Banking Group and Citizens Advice.
They have pursued roles such as: environment-related professionals; journalists, newspaper and periodical editors; public relations professionals; social and humanities scientists; non-governmental associations professionals; and teachers.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who works within Student Careers and Skills to help you as an individual. Additionally your Senior Careers Consultant offers impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events, tailored to our department, throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- 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
- What next? No need to panic! Careers thinking for busy PaIS finalists
- Assessment Centres and Interviews: an overview of what to expect for PaIS students
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
A level: AAB
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
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 choose to complete a 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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