Why study Politics, International Studies and French at Warwick?
- Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) is one of the largest and most highly regarded departments of its kind in the UK, with a global reputation for excellence. PAIS was ranked 3rd in the UK by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016, 5th in the The Guardian 2016 league table, 6th in The Complete University Guide 2016, and 46th globally by the QS World University Rankings 2015. We were rated 4th for ‘research intensity’ and ‘research power’ in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and came 1st in the UK among politics departments for research environment. The department also received an overall student satisfaction rating of 92% in the NSS for 2015.
- Our core modules provide you with a comprehensive disciplinary grounding, while the broad range of options allows you to tailor your programme, perhaps developing an area of specialism in political theory, international security, international political economy or comparative politics.
- We attract some of the best students and academics from around 40 countries, providing PAIS with a unique mix of diversity, dynamism and valuable international expertise and experience. Our large undergraduate community provides scope for forming study groups and friendships across complementary disciplines including Sociology, Philosophy, Economics, History and Modern Languages.
- You will also study with the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, which was ranked ninth by the Guardian University Guide 2016.
- You will have access to outstanding facilities, including:
- the University Language centre, where you will find resources relating to a variety of languages, and opportunities to take extra language courses in addition to your main course of study;
- the Transnational Resource Centre (TRC), giving you exclusive access to over 3,000 DVDs and videos in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese plus multimedia facilities, satellite television with integrated off-air recording facilities, video-editing software (with technical support), and DVD projection equipment.
Dr Trevor McCrisken
Politics and International Studies
Why study at Warwick?
A view from our academics
What will I learn?
This multidisciplinary degree enables you to engage with political theory and international relations issues while studying the French language in depth. Core training in Politics is combined with the global perspective provided by International Studies modules and a focus on French and Francophone society.
Political theory, international relations, and French language modules provide the core of the degree. Independent and collaborative study in these areas will develop your abilities in investigative and evaluative research, presentation and critical analysis, and build strong written and oral French communication skills.
You can explore sub-fields within each discipline, including political systems, comparative politics, international political economy, French literature, French cinema and international development. You can choose options from a variety of modules within PAIS and the French, including Justice, Democracy and Citizenship, and Government and the Shaping of Culture in Contemporary France. The Departments are also a hive of extracurricular activity, such as international film screenings and regular visits from guest speakers.
Your first year builds a strong foundation in all three areas, focusing on core modules. In your second year, there is more flexibility to choose optional modules to match your interests. Your third year is spent studying or on work placement in a French-speaking country. In your final year, you can choose a 50-50 split between PAIS and French, or take 75% of modules in one of the two disciplines. Third-year module options include a dissertation, which allows you to explore further an area of particular interest.
How will I learn?
The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) has more than 50 academic staff, almost all of whom teach at undergraduate level or supervise final-year dissertations. You normally take four modules in each year and have 12-15 hours of classroom contact per week. Teaching follows a pattern of weekly lectures and seminars, supplemented by group work and the use of web-based materials.
In preparation for seminars, you are expected to read widely from recommended texts and conduct extensive independent research. You usually have the opportunity to deliver at least one seminar presentation per module. You can also attend the Departmental research seminar series that features guest speakers from other universities as well as from our own faculty, independent researchers, and politics practitioners presenting their own research or speaking on relevant topics.
We also have a Departmental film club, which regularly screens documentaries and films with political themes tied to our degree pathways. Films range from Hollywood blockbusters such as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty to independent foreign-language films such as The Lives of Others and La Haine. Screenings are open to all PAIS students and staff. Each one is introduced by a member of academic staff and is followed by an informal discussion, enabling you to share your opinions.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is via a combination of essays and examinations at the end of each year. You will be given extensive feedback on formative essays, assessed essays and examinations. Most modules enable you to choose between examinations or assessed essays.
Can I study abroad?
You will normally spend the third year of your course abroad. We offer placements at carefully chosen partner institutions through the University’s study abroad scheme or through independent partnerships. It is also possible to work for the British Council as an English language assistant, or to set up an independent work placement.
A level AAB, to include B in French.
International Baccalaureate 36 points, to include 5 in Higher Level French.
Other Qualifications We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Access Courses Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units.
Warwick International Foundation Programme 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 page.
General Studies/Critical Thinking Offers normally exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
A Level B or 5 in Higher Level French. Applicants should also be able to provide evidence of a genuine commitment to the discipline of Politics.
Taking a 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.
Departmental Open Days The Department offers three Departmental Open Days during spring term for applicants who have received an offer. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.
What modules could I study?
First year core modules may include Introduction to Politics, World Politics and Modern French Language I. You may also choose between Modern and Contemporary France or Defining France: An Introduction to French History and Culture for your optional module.
Second year core modules may include Political Theory from Hobbes and Modern French Language II. For your optional modules, you may choose one optional module from any second-year PAIS module as well as any second-year module offered by the French Department, totalling 30 CATS credits.
The third year is spent studying and/or on work placement in a country where French is the native language. Possible exchange universities include: Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris), Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence (Sciences Po Aix), Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux (Sciences Po Bordeaux), Institut d'études politiques de Lyon (Sciences Po Lyon), Université de Caen Basse Normandie, Université de Bourgogne, Université Paris X Nanterre, Université Paris IV Sorbonne, Université Sendhal, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (Martinique), Institut Supérieur de Traducteurs et Interprètes (Bruxelles), Université Bordeaux III.
The fourth year, you'll be studying two core modules; Modern French Language III and Issues in Political Theory. For your optional modules, you can choose any third-year PAIS module OR any third-year module(s) offered by the French Department, totalling 30 CATS credits for both options.
More information about the modules that you may be able to choose can be found on the PAIS website.
Please note: Course structure is indicative. Modules on offer change year on year, dependent on staff research interests and availability.
Recent graduate destinations include:
House of Commons, Parliamentary Researcher; NHS Graduate Scheme – HR Management; Save the Children Korea, Communications Officer; Reuters, Freelance Video Producer and Reporter; IPSOSMORI, Research Officer; Labour Party, UK Parliamentary Candidate.
A level: AAB, including B in French
IB: 36 points, including 5 in Higher Level French
Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)
4 years full time (30 weeks per academic year), including a year abroad
Department of Politics and International Studies
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
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.
This information is applicable for 2017 entry.