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BSc English Literature and 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 3 A-levels.


This innovative programme combines literature, international relations and history and offers the opportunity to develop creative writing skills and investigate how new technologies impact upon studies in both arenas.

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

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Politics and International Relations at Aston is ranked Top 15 in the UK for Career Prospects in the 2017 Guardian University Guide.
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Politics and International Relations at Aston is ranked 13th in the UK, in the Sunday Times League Table 2016.
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Aston's English degrees received a 5-star rating in the 2016 QS rankings.
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English at Aston achieved 93% overall student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey.

Duration: 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: Q3L2

Typical Offers
A-levels:
ABB - BBB from 3 A-levels.

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, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.  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. Applicants and their teachers/advisers are welcome to contact us with individual queries about entry qualifications via lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk.  If you already have your grades and would like to check your suitability for one of our courses please contact us via e-mail.  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: 32-33 points in the IB diploma including TOK/Bonus points. Standard level Maths and English 5 required.
Access: Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities or Social Sciences Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview prior to an offer being made.
BTEC: National Extended Diploma - DDD. Mix of Diploma/ Subsidiary Diploma/A-levels acceptable.

We accept a wide range of UK, EU and International qualifications: please contact us for further advice.

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

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.

Tuition fees 2017/18: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £14,000 (£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.

Our innovative English Literature degree aims to cover the breadth and depth of English Literature across the world, whilst also allowing you to develop your own interests in specific areas.  As an English student, you will study literature, culture, history,  have the opportunity to develop your creative writing skills and investigate how new technologies impact upon the study of literature.   Your First Year of studying English Literature at Aston will give you a broad introduction to literary genres and periods from the seventeenth century to the present day. In the Second Year you build upon the themes introduced in your First Year through the study of core and elective modules designed to broaden your understanding of the breadth and range of English literature and equip you to critically engage with a variety of literary texts across both literary genres and periods.  In the Final Year you can choose from a wide range of elective modules to suit your interests.   

The programme explores international relations in European and global settings and examines theories about the nature of politics and international relations from the ancient to the modern world. You will explore the complex relationship between ethics and international action via co-operation or conflict. The history and present day functionality of the European Union and policy-making at international, national and regional levels is also explored. 

You will also have the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of individual work in the form of a dissertation on an agreed topic of your choice.

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

Year 1
Core modules:

Literary Genres in English 
Literature in History 
Literature and Film  
Literary Texts in Society 

Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International Relations
The Making of the Modern World
Introduction to the European Union
What’s trending? (Current affairs in International Relations and Politics)


Year 2

Core modules:
Literature, Society and Culture
20th Century Literature 

International Relations: Theories and Issues
Regional Politics and Society

Optional modules:
The Language of Literature 
American Literature 
Creative Writing 
Ghouls, Goths and Vampires 

Introduction to Political Economy
Security Studies in a Changing World


Year 3

Placement year


Final Year

Core modules:
Dissertation
Research and Dissertation Skills

Optional modules:
Literature and War
Children and Young Adult’s Literature 
Crime Fiction
World Literature in English 
Literature in translation 

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

You will be involved in: lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. There are also opportunities for group and collaborative work. Students undertake a major piece of independent research in final year.

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor when you join us and you will be encouraged to make regular contact with them throughout your studies. Personal Tutors are there to help discuss academic and, in some cases, personal issues. Personal Tutors can also often offer support by writing references for placement/graduate employment and academic research.

Assessment is through a combination of written exams, coursework, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year. Exams take place in January and May/June.

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 literature 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.

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."

Dr Marcello Giovanelli
Dr Marcello Giovanelli - Programme Director

What's next?

Accommodation
Student finance
Birmingham
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