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Politics, International Studies and Hispanic Studies (Full-Time, 2017 Entry)

Why study Politics, International Studies and Hispanic Studies 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?

If you are interested in both the political world and in Hispanic language and culture, this course considers approaches to national and global political issues and political theory alongside international relations, and Spanish language study.

You can focus on sub-themes within each discipline including comparative politics, international political economy, Hispanic literature, and international development. In addition to core modules, you can choose from optional modules offered by PAIS and the Department of Hispanic Studies, such as Justice, Democracy and Citizenship, and Language, Text and Identity in the Hispanic World. You can also get involved with extracurricular activities linked to your studies, such as the PAIS Film Club and visiting speaker series.

The degree is good preparation for a career in an international organisation, and graduates emerge with strong written and oral Spanish communication skills, as well as sought-after investigative, evaluative and presentation skills, gained through independent and collaborative study.

Your first year builds a strong foundation in all three areas. Your second or third year is spent studying or on work placement in Spain or in another Hispanic country. In your final year, you can choose a 50-50 split between PAIS and Hispanic Studies, or take 75% of modules in one or other of the disciplines.

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 spend the second or third year of your course in Spain or a Spanish speaking country. We offer placements at carefully chosen partner institutions through the University’s study abroad scheme or through independent partnerships. It may be possible to work for the British Council as an English language assistant, or to set up an independent work placement.

Entry Requirements

A level AAB, to include B in Spanish or another modern or classical language

International Baccalaureate 36 points, to include 5 in Higher Level Spanish or another modern or classical language

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.

Essential Subjects

A Level B or 5 in Higher Level Spanish or another modern foreign language. Applicants should also be able to provide evidence of a genuine commitment to the discipline of Politics.

Further Information

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 Either Modern Spanish Language I (for those with A level or equivalent in Spanish) or Modern Spanish Language for Beginners and Either Language, Text and Identity in the Hispanic World or Images and Representations of the Hispanic World.

The second year is spent studying and/or on work placement in a country where Spanish is the native language. Possible exchange universities include: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Universidade de Vigo, Universidad de Zaragoza, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Universidad de Granada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

In third year, your core modules may be Political Theory from Hobbes and Modern Spanish Language II, along with two optional modules with one being any second-year PAIS module and any second-year module offered by the Hispanic Department totalling 30 CATS credit. In your fourth year your core modules may include Issues in Political Theory and Modern Spanish Language III. You will have the choice of two optional modules,which are both any third-year PAIS module OR any third-year module(s) offered by the Hispanic Studies Department, totalling 30 CATS credits.

Find out more about the modules that might be available 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.

Essential Information

Entry Requirements
A level:
AAB, including B in Spanish or another modern or classical language

IB: 36 points, including 5 in Higher Level Spanish or another modern or classical language


Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)

4 years full time (30 weeks per academic year), including a year abroad

Department website
Department of Politics and International

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Student blogs

Shanita Jetha - Politics and International Studies

Simran Thakral - Politics and International Studies

Mélissa Chan-Cheape - French and Hispanic Studies

Claudia Lussana - Hispanic Studies and Italian

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.

This information is applicable for 2017 entry.