The top 5 modules that I have enjoyed studying
I hope you are well! This has been a difficult blog post to write (it honestly is challenging to choose just 5 modules that I have enjoyed across the three years that I have spent at Warwick!). Nevertheless, now that I have completed my degree, I felt like this may be a good reflection post that will help to demonstrate the diverse range of modules available in PAIS.
(Note: that there is no guarantee that these specific modules will be available to you, though I imagine that there will be something similar at the very least)
PO102 – Political Research in the 21st Century
This is a first-year module in research methods and academic skills led by Justin Greaves. The knowledge that I gained in this module has been extremely useful throughout my degree and even beyond (such as referring to it in job applications).
In particular, I really enjoyed the final assessment which was to research a pressure group of your choice. I chose the British Medical Association because of its interdisciplinary nature – linking politics and the more “science” side of things together. The flexibility offered by this coursework was really appreciated and was ultimately was what made me realise that I enjoy undertaking research.
PO240 – Capitalism and Its Alternatives
I would recommend this module to every PAIS student regardless of their political view. My tutor for this, Chris Rogers, was excellent and extremely helpful in answering questions/checking essay plans, providing feedback, etc.
I did my coursework for this on the political appeal of a universal basic income. This is one of my favourite pieces of work because it gave me an opportunity to undertake a piece of independent research on a topic that I really enjoy.
PO379 – United States Foreign Policy
I love studying US politics so taking this module was an obvious choice for me. The lectures, led by Ben Gannon and seminars, led by Julian Schmid have been really engaging with a particular focus on applying the study outside of just the reading list.
The assessments helped to bring everything together which is a nice way to understand the links between the various topics.
Despite this being a final year module, don’t worry if you haven’t studied US politics before at all – the module is designed in a way that it is approachable to people who have not had any prior experience with US foreign policy, but also very interesting to students who have.
PO382 – Vigilant State: Understanding Secret Intelligence
*Shout out to Richard Aldrich who is an excellent lecturer, and Melina Dobson who has been an amazing seminar tutor*
This module is about how policy-makers make use – or fail to make use – of intelligence, and how secret service might be regulated within a constitutional framework, as about the practices of the secret service itself.
My favourite pieces of work in this module were on whether torture is ethically justified, and on whether the United Nations should have its own, formal intelligence agency.
PO383 – The Politics of Religion
This is a cross-disciplinary module that explores the intersection of politics and religion in the modern world from both a theoretical and empirical perspective.
Steven Kettell is another tutor who has been great at making the lectures and seminars really engaging, and is more than willing to provide feedback on essay plans. I took this module as a very last-minute choice, yet it is probably one of the best decisions that I made this academic year. Its inter-disciplinary approach helped me realise the sorts of research areas that I am most interested in, potentially as a career too.
Best of luck deciding your modules! Admittedly, whilst there may be modules here and there that you aren’t so keen on – as long as you are passionate about Politics, I guarantee that you will enjoy your degree overall.
Shanita 🙂 xo