Business and Politics

Why choose this course?

  • Politics & International Relations as Aston is ranked 13th in the UK by the Sunday Times League Table, 2016
  • Politics & International Relations is ranked Top 20 in the UK for Student Satisfaction (Complete University Guide, 2017)
  • Politics at Aston is ranked 11th for Teaching Quality in the Sunday Times League Table 2016.
  • Aston's Politics course is ranked 12th in the UK for Research Quality in the 2017 Complete University Guide
  • 78% of Aston’s Politics graduates enter graduate level destinations, according to the Guardian University Guide 2017
  • A robust, relevant business curriculum which is rooted in the real world
  • Develop the ability to analyse and understand political problems, socio-cultural change and political institutions and structures
  • Integrated placement year allows you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience
  • Opportunity to specialise in the areas of particular interest and relevance to your career.

Download the Politics and International Relations subject brochure.   

Download the Business Combinations subject brochure.   

4 years full-time with integrated placement year


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 2017/18: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £14,630 (£2,500 during placement year) for overseas students. More on fees. 

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

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. 

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


Politics will deepen your understanding of the world. You will gain knowledge about the institutions, processes and concepts of politics as well as general insight into how these affect society, both in the UK, the European Union and worldwide.

In your first year you will study introductory modules in politics, the European Union and governance. At the core of your second year are modules dealing with the history of political thought, as well as a focus on British foreign and domestic policy. In your final year a politics research dissertation on an agreed topic of your choice counts for a substantial and challenging part of your programme.


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 Studying and Researching Politics
British Politics since 1945
Introduction to the European Union
People and Organisations
Principles of Financial Accounting
Economic Environment of Business
IT for Business
Foundations of Business Analytics
Introduction to Marketing Management

Year 2

Core modules:
Introduction to Political Economy
Comparative Government and Politics
Business, Government and Society
Business Policy
Business Game
Business Economics
Operations Management
Management Accounting


Optional modules:
History of Political Thought
Security Studies in a Changing World
Regional Politics and Society

Year 3

Placement Year

Final Year

Core modules:
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
Contemporary Conflict
Diplomacy and Soft Power
The Far Right in Europe
The Politics of Climate Change
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
Making Managerial Decisions using Accounting Information
Theories and Practice of Leadership
Consumer Research and the Customer Experience
International Marketing
International Operations
Business Ethics
International Business Economics

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.

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

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 politics or business 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 politics and business degrees at Aston have undertaken placements in a variety of organisations, including:

  • African Development Bank in Uganda

  • Aston Villa Football Club

  • 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

  • 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.

Our Politics & 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.

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

  • Assistant Financial Investigator - Serious Fraud Office

  • Events Coordinator, BMW
  • Finance Officer, English Heritage
  • Graduate Management Trainees at a variety of companies including BAE Systems, Dixons, local government, Nestlé, NHS, KPMG, Scottish Power, PwC and Deloitte 
  • HR Consultant Jaguar Land Rover

  • Orphan Support Officer - Islamic Relief
  • Political Group Assistant, Warwickshire County Council
  • Policy and Planning Officer, London Borough of
  • Policy Officer - Wokingham District Council
  • Theatrical Marketing, Warner Brothers

  • Trainee Probation Officer, National Probation Service

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.

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 Politics 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

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Ben Culloty, Graduate 2012

BSc Business and International Relations

In July 2010 I started my placement for Airbus as a Government Affairs Assistant. It was my job to assist a small team in analysing government policy to deduce how it might affect our ability to do business. I was also required to engage with key political stakeholders, and write speeches for key political events.




Outstanding graduate career prospects

Fees and funding

Fees and funding
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