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Business & International Relations

Radhika Madlani - Politics and IR

One main reason Aston stands out is the the placement year. It can be life changing."

Radhika Madlani 
Parliamentary Affairs Officer, Industry and Parliament Trust

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB from three subjects.

*Variable offers available. 


This course is designed to help you build a comprehensive understanding of the various functions of management and examine politics in the international realm. 

Employed Aston Social Studies (including Politics) graduates earn £4,800 (27%) more than the UK average one year after graduating, according to the government's Longitudinal Education Outcomes survey (LEO).

Read about recent Languages and Social Sciences placement experiences.

 

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Politics and International Relations as Aston is ranked 13th in the UK by the Sunday Times League Table, 2016.
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Politics & International Relations is ranked Top 20 in the UK for Student Satisfaction (Complete University Guide, 2017).
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Aston is ranked 3rd in the UK for Area Studies Research (REF 2014)
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Understand the roles played by international institutions, intergovernmental organisations, multinational corporations and NGOs.

ABB - BBB from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.   

A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.   

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: Distinction plus two A Levels at grade BB.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: Distinction, Distinction plus grade B in one A-level.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma  Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.   

Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

32 points in the IB diploma (including TOK/Bonus points) with 6,5,5 at HL.   

Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.   

Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.

EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice, plus an alternative offer which will be one grade lower plus a grade B in EPQ, providing this course is selected as their Firm UCAS choice.

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.   

International Qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

Foundation Programme in Social Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

Key Information:

4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LN21

GCSE requirements:   
GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.   

Tuition fees 2018/19: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £14,950 (£2,500 during placement year) for overseas students. More on fees.   

  • Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated below).
  • In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement.
  • Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:

    • Have A level (or equivalent) qualifications similar to those required for first year entry
    • Have gained (or be expected to gain) 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
    • Obtained (or be expected to obtain) an overall average of 60% or above on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
    • Have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere
    • Individual programmes may have additional requirements in addition to those stated above. These will be clarified upon application.
  • Applicants receiving offers are invited to an Applicant Visit Day

View our Admissions Policy. 

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International Relations

You will develop a knowledge and understanding of the nature of relations between states and also of the roles played by international institutions, other intergovernmental organisations, multinational corporations and NGOs.

Year one introduces you to key modules focusing on the international state system and to the structure and purpose of international organisations; you also learn about ethics and international politics.

Your second year covers theories and contemporary issues in international relations, security studies and the globalisation of the international political economy.

During the final year you will explore more specialised topics through the completion of an individual research dissertation and a range of modules covering topics such as the  international relations of East Asia, US foreign policy, and the international relations between post Soviet Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.


Business

You’ll study the theories, principles and underlying concepts of the main functions of management and develop a strong understanding of business models and processes. You’ll examine how strategic decision-making within organisations takes place, and develop the ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers make decisions.

Your career

Your placement year will give you the opportunity to apply your key skills and competencies within a real work-based situation.

The course is strongly geared towards increasing your employability since it is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required of professionals working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Sample module options: The modules below are indicative only. When an offer is made, students will receive a detailed programme specification which forms part of our terms and conditions. 


Year 1

Core modules:
Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International Relations
Introduction to the European Union
The Making of the Modern World
What’s trending? (Current affairs in International Relations and Politics)
Introductory Accounting for Business
Economic Environment of Business
Law for Business
Introduction to Marketing Management

Year 2

Core modules:
International Relations Theories and Issues
Business, Government and Society
Business Policy
Business Game
Business Economics
Operations Management
Management Accounting

Optional modules:

You will select one module from each of the following categories:

European Politics and Society

French Politics and Society 
German Politics and Society
The Politics and Policies of the EU
Russian and Eastern European Politics and Society

Regional Politics and Society

East Asian Politics and Society
South Asian Politics and Society
North American Politics and Society
Latin American Politics and Society

Additional modules

Introduction to Political Economy
Security Studies in a Changing World

Year 3

You will spend this year in a professional placement or you may choose to take up an international study opportunity at one of our partner institutions. This year is compulsory for all UK and EU students.

See placement year section or find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year

Core modules:
International Relations Research Dissertation
Research and Dissertation Skills
Principles of Finance
Value Based Strategy

Optional modules:
EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation Games
The International Relations of East Asia
Religion and Politics in Contemporary Europe
Political Communication
The American Presidency
Nationalism & Political Power
Political Parties and Party Systems
Conflict and Politics in Contemporary Balkans
Conflict and Intervention
Diplomacy and Soft Power
The Far Right in Europe
Understanding Foreign Policy
Northeast Asia: From Conflict to Cooperation
Gender and Politics
Interest groups and lobbying
Regions and Regionalism in Europe
Contemporary Political Theory
Political Leaders: Case Studies and Comparative Perspectives
Intellectuals and Politics
Power and Parliamentary Decision-Making
Ethics and International Politics
The Politics of Development
The Politics of Sport
BRICS and Emerging Power Shifts in World Politics
Politics and Islam
Britain and the EU
Politics and Protest
International Institutions
African Politics
Making Managerial Decisions using Accounting Information
Theories and Practice of Leadership
Consumer Research and the Customer Experience
International Marketing
International Operations
Global Working
International Business Economics

Although based in the School of Languages & Social Sciences, this course is taught jointly with staff from Aston Business School.

You will participate in lectures, tutorials, seminars, group and individual project work.  Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

The course deals with many topical issues, and as a result we try to incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and to link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible.

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing.

We use a range of assessment methods and most modules are assessed with a combination of coursework and an end of year examination. Coursework includes essays, research reports, individual and group projects, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations.

The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience. It is highly attractive to potential employers and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

You can choose whether your placement has an international relations or a business focus and may be in the UK or abroad. Placements taken by Aston students are generally paid, with the average salary being around £16,000.

In recent years our Joint Honours international relations and business degrees at Aston have undertaken placements in a variety of organisations, including:

  • African Development Bank in Uganda
  • Aston Villa Football Club
  • Audit Commission
  • British Energy
  • British High Commission in Ghana
  • Civil Service
  • Ford Motor Company
  • HM Inspectorate of Constabulary
  • Home Office
  • House of Lords
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Ministry of Defence
  • NHS
  • TNS Global Market Research
  • University research and study placements (UK, US, Australia, Finland and Singapore)
  • Working for local MPs

You'll receive plenty of help and advice in finding your placement and specialist support and supervision from the University during your placement.

Find out more about placement years at Aston.


"Interested? I'd love to hear from you."

Balazs Szent_Ivanyi

What's next?

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Student finance
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