Want to study PAIS at Warwick? Here’s a quick rundown
In today’s blog post, I will briefly explain how my Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Studies (PAIS) course works in the first year. This was the basic introduction the department gave us first years during fresher’s week. If you join us next year, you’ll probably be seated in the same room packed in with fellow first-years bubbling with excitement over all the parties to attend throughout the week, wondering when this information-laden introduction will end. So, suppose you’ve missed the meeting because you’re too tired and hungover from last night’s activities, or you made it to the meeting. However, you’re still too tired and hungover to process what’s being said. In that case, this post will help you out. Or, if you’re simply a prospective student looking for clarity and specific insight into the PAIS department, consider this your cheat sheet.
This dynamic and engaging degree offers students a comprehensive understanding of contemporary global politics and international relations. The course is designed to equip students with various skills, knowledge and critical thinking abilities, preparing them for government, diplomacy, journalism, international business, and non-governmental organisations careers.
For the first year, the PAIS program is worth 120 CATS, equivalent to 60 ECTS credits (for all my non-British friends). To meet this requirement, students must take three compulsory core modules, each worth 30 CATS— Introduction to Politics, World Politics, and Political Research in the 21st Century (as of writing). These modules provide a strong foundation in political theory, international relations, global governance and political research. They explore key issues such as globalisation, conflict, development, and various schools of political thought.
In addition to the core modules, students can choose from multiple optional modules to complete the remaining 30 of the 120 CATS. This can be two modules worth 15 CATS each or one optional module worth 30 CATS. These modules can be chosen from within the PAIS department or other related departments at the University of Warwick. The optional modules cover various topics, allowing students to tailor their degrees to their interests and career aspirations. Examples of optional modules offered within the PAIS department include Foundations in Political Economy, Comparative Politics and a Quantitative and Statistical module.
Optional modules from other departments like economics, history, sociology, philosophy or languages are also available (see my other blog post to learn more about this). The teaching and learning methods within the PAIS program are varied and innovative. Lectures combined with seminars provide students with opportunities to develop their critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills.
One of the unique aspects of the PAIS program at the University of Warwick is the emphasis on research-led teaching. The faculty members are active researchers and experts in their fields, and students have the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge research through their coursework, as well as through research assistantships and independent study project opportunities.
Now that I am more than halfway through my first year, I can safely say PAIS at Warwick is a challenging and rewarding program that prepares its students for various career paths in politics and international relations. The combination of core and optional modules, research-led teaching, and innovative teaching methods ensure that students receive a well-rounded, academically rigorous education relevant to the contemporary global context.