University of Warwick
Welcome to PAIS
PAIS is one of the largest and most highly-ranked Politics departments in the UK and internationally. We consistently appear in the top 10 of every ranking system produced by the UK government and media organisations for evaluating teaching and research.
PAIS boasts over 40 academic staff, all of whom are research-active and represent a broad spectrum of specialisms within Politics and International Studies. We also have a growing community of postdoctoral research fellows at the cutting edge of research, and PAIS is the home of several major research projects and centres, including the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation, Centre for Studies in Democratisation, the interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics, Law and Public Affairs, and the European Commission-funded GR:EEN Project.
Our eleven Masters programmes include:
The MA Programme
The regular MA programmes in PAIS are 12 months long, with a combination of taught modules during the first two terms and a research dissertation during term 3 and the summer vacation. A full time course load consists of 180 CATS (credits): a 40 CATS core module (all degrees except Political Research), 80 CATS of optional modules, and 60 CATS for the dissertation.
The PAIS programmes are designed to give you a good grounding in your chosen field, with the flexibility to tailor your degree according to your goals and interests through the selection of optional modules. PAIS boasts over 30 modules to choose from, and more are added each year as the department expands. You can also undertake a core module from another PAIS degree as an option, or you can apply to take a module taught in one of the other departments within Social Sciences and Humanities.
PAIS programmes are research-focused and emphasise independent study, which is guided by the taught elements of the course. Each module consists of one 2-hour seminar per week, during which your module tutor will lead discussion surrounding a set of readings and questions. Module groups are limited to 15 students, so you will experience intimate and discussion-based learning during each session. In addition to discussion in the classroom, you will have the opportunity to meet with your tutors during their office hours, and you will be assigned a Personal Tutor who can help guide you through your degree and give advice if you have any academic problems throughout the year.
All postgraduate assessment in PAIS is done through written work. When you are not preparing for seminars, you will be expected to conduct independent research to write a series of essays throughout the year (normally 1 in term 1, 3 in term 2,and 3 in term 3). These research essays will help to hone your research and writing skills for the major piece of assessed work: the dissertation.
In addition to your research and seminars, you will participate in a series of skills workshops throughout the year on everything from how PAIS essays are assessed to writing the dissertation. You will also have the opportunity to attend the PAIS seminar series, guest lectures, and other workshops held in the department. There is an annual dissertation conference held during term 3, as well as events put on by student societies throughout the year. And of course you will have the opportunity to join the many societies and clubs at Warwick.
Why choose PAIS?
PAIS has a strong reputation in the UK and around the world PAIS consistently ranks within the top 10 politics departments within the UK and the top 40 worldwide; in the 2011-12 QS rankings, we were 5th in the UK and 31st globally. Companies recognise the quality of Warwick and PAIS students, resulting in a high employability rate, and the rigor and flexibility of a PAIS degree has launched our alumni into successful careers in everything from politics and policymaking to journalism and corporate management.
PAIS has excellent teaching across a wide range of specialisms
PAIS students can be confident that they will learn the most up-to-date theories and explore relevant case studies while gaining a solid foundation in the critical tradition. PAIS consistently receives excellent feedback on student satisfaction with teaching, and we were hailed as a model of good practice among Warwick departments during the 2011 internal teaching review.
PAIS has a vibrant international community
The postgraduate cohort in PAIS hails from over 40 countries each year, and around 50% of our MA students are from outside Europe. With classmates from all over the world, our students have an enhanced seminar experience through discussing the course material from multiple diverse viewpoints. This diversity extends to PAIS staff, who also come to the department from several countries, bringing their unique perspectives into the mix. Finally, PAIS students can tap into our strong international network built on exchange programmes, the double degrees, and international research projects.
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