Business, Management and Public Policy

Strong focus on key contemporary policy issues and decision making, their outcomes and consequences.
  • Integrated placement year allows you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience
  • A robust, relevant business curriculum which is rooted in the real world
  • Opportunity to specialise in the areas of particular interest and relevance to your career

4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LN41

Typical offers:
A Levels: ABB-BBB from three subjects.

If your predicted grades are close to those stated in Aston's typical offers and if you are interested in Aston University and the courses we offer we encourage you to apply to us as one of your 5 UCAS choices. In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg AS grades, GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement. Applicants and their teachers/advisers are welcome to contact us with individual queries about entry qualifications via lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk.

View our Admissions Policy. 

IB: 33 points
BTEC, Access & other: Students applying with BTEC or Access qualifications are considered on individual basis.

Specific subject requirements: GCSE: Maths & English at grade C or above.

Tuition fees 2014/15: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students. More on fees

This course is designed to help you build a comprehensive understanding of the various functions of management and examine the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations across the world.

Public Policy & Management

You will investigate the economic, social and political forces which influence government
decision-making, and which give rise to conflicts between the achievement of economic,
environmental and social objectives.

The course examines why governments take particular decisions in key policy areas (such as the economy, health, and the environment) and develop a detailed understanding of processes of policy making at global, national and local levels of government. You will also study the nature of policy delivery and management by various organisations, such as local governments, schools and businesses.

The course explores in depth the outcomes and consequences of various government policies on the economy and society. 


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..

Public Policy and Management & Business students take 120 credits of modules per year, 60 from public policy modules and 60 from business modules. A 10 credit module comprises approximately 100 learning hours and has up to three contact hours per week.

Year 1

  • Issues in Welfare (20 credit module)

  • The State and the Economy (20 credit module)

  • Research Methods (20 credit module)

  • Quantitative Methods

  • Organisational Behaviour

  • Principles of Financial Accounting

  • Economic Environment of Business

  • Critical Perspectives on Business & Management

Year 2

You will study eleven core modules, and select one elective module.

  • Comparing Public Policies

  • Government, Globalisation and Money

  • Government and Management

  • Global Society (Elective module)

  • Economy and Society (Elective module)

  • Environmental Policy (Elective module)

  • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice (Elective module)
  • Business Policy
  • Business Game
  • Business, Government and Society
  • Management Accounting
  • Operations Management
  • Business Economics

Placement year

At Aston the placement year is an integral part of your course, and contributes to your final grade. Find out more about the Public Policy & Management and Business placement year.

Final year

Public Policy
You will study four core modules and select two elective modules.

  • Governance of Economic Development Policy

  • Modern British Governance

  • Risk, Regulation and the Financial Crisis

  • Health matters: Understanding Patterns and Policies

  • Corporate Power in a Globalised World (Elective module)

  • Risk, Environment and Society (Elective module)

  • The Sociology of Work and Society (Elective module)

  • Racism, Class and Gender (Elective module)

  • Sociology of Education (Elective module)
  • Contemporary Social Movements (Elective module)
  • Sport, Politics and Culture (Elective module)

You will study two core modules, and select elective modules worth 40 credits. 

  • Finance (Core module)

  • Value Based Strategy (Core module)

  • Making Managerial Decisions using Accounting Information  (20 credit elective module)

  • Theories and Practice of Leadership (20 credit elective module)

  • Psychology & Work (20 credit elective module)

  • Marketing Psychology (20 credit elective module)

  • International Marketing (20 credit elective module)

  • International Operations (20 credit elective module)

  • Effective Project Delivery (20 credit elective module)

  • Entrepreneurial Management (20 credit elective module)

  • Learning, Training and Development in Organisations (10 credit elective module)

  • Global Working (10 credit elective module)

  • Business Ethics (10 credit elective module)

  • International Business Economics (10 credit elective module)

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. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in an online student guide. This includes full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year with the relevant deadlines. 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.

For further information, see the programme specification (PDF).

Personal development

This course is designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. Such work develops your team working and negotiating skills.

Our placement year gives you the opportunity to gain practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

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 a business or a public policy focus and your 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 business and public policy degrees at Aston have undertaken placements in a variety of organisations, including:

  • Aston Villa Football Club

  • Behavioural Support Centres

  • British Energy

  • Children’s Society

  • Civil Service

  • Ford

  • Home Office

  • Marks and Spencer

  • NHS

  • People and Planet

  • Pupil referral units

  • Suffolk Youth Offending Service

  • University research and study placements (UK, US, Australia, Finland and Singapore)

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.

Our Public Policy & Management and Business course is focused on increasing your employability by providing you with the knowledge and skills for working in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of
organisations, management and the issues driving government policy are essential.

Typical destinations include careers in the private sector, central and local government, European Union, organisations providing health and social care, education, housing, leisure, environmental protection, as well as charities and social enterprises.

Our graduates have excellent communication and teamwork skills, are critical and analytic and can design, conduct and analyse and evaluate research. As a manager you will be a problem solver, planner and leader, and this course aims to prepare you for these challenges.

Graduate destinations

Graduates who have studied a Joint Honours public policy or business course, have a strong track record in finding jobs and have gone on to work in organisations including: 

  • Finance Analyst, Jobcentre Plus

  • HR Consultant Jaguar Land Rover

  • Graduate Management Trainees at a variety of companies including Sainsbury's, Dixons, local government, Nestlé, NHS, KPMG, Scottish Power, PwC and Deloitte  

  • Graduate Buyer, Carillion

  • Theatrical Marketing, Warner Brothers

  • Events Coordinator, BMW

  • Geographic Buying Analyst, Intel

  • PGCE – Primary, Secondary, College Teaching

  • Management Trainee for the NHS

  • Finance Officer, English Heritage

  • Policy and Planning Officer, London Borough of

  • Marketing Assistants (variety of companies)

  • Financial Analyst, IBM

In the Business School, teaching rooms and facilities have also been recently refurbished. All lecture theatres and seminar rooms are fully equipped with the latest teaching aids and extensive use is made of our Virtual Learning Environment to help support your studies.

The School of Languages and Social Sciences has a dedicated student room, the ‘Cadbury
Room’, with social seating, study stations and meeting tables, WiFi, networked printing and
photocopying facilities.

As a Public Policy student you'll have access to a wide range of resources for study and research, including access to thousands of online journals, books and databases; computer labs equipped with SPSS and NVivo data analysis software; and a dedicated learning technologies team that supports student research and creative production.

You are encouraged to borrow from our stock of research equipment, including video and digital voice recorders. You can sign up for workshops which focus on techniques of interviewing, conducting recorded focus groups, analysing audio and visual data, and
producing and editing video and audio media.

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 204 3777
Email: lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Download the course brochure

Fees and funding

Fees and funding



Outstanding graduate career prospects

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