BSc English Language and Social Policy 

Why choose this course?

  • Social Policy at Aston has been ranked 6th in the country in the Times Good University Guide 2013
  • Social Policy at Aston is ranked joint 5th for Graduate prospects (70%) out of 58 universities in the Complete University Guide 2014
  • English Language at Aston is ranked 13th (out of 105 programmes in the UK) in the Guardian University Guide 2015

  • English Language staff work routinely with law enforcement as expert witnesses in cases where speech and/or text constitutes part of the evidence
  • In the 2013 National Student Survey BSc English Language scored 100% for overall satisfaction 

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LQ43

Typical Offers
: ABB from 3 A-levels. General Studies accepted. 

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 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. 
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.

Tuition fees 2015/16: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU 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 BSc in English Language and Social Policy takes a practical approach to the teaching of English Language and Social Policy, through the optional placement year and professionally relevant modules which draw directly on our Astons’ cutting-edge research. You will gain a theoretical knowledge and understanding of the English language, how it works in society and its role in the world today. You will also investigate the economic, social and political forces which influence policy and give rise to conflicts between the achievement of economic, environmental and social objectives. Important strengths of the course include the research-active teaching staff who are internationally recognised researchers in fields such as gender, race and racism, sociology of education, ageing, healthcare,sociology of human reproduction, critical policy analysis, multi-national enterprises and location, forensic linguistics, language and gender and TESOL studies. The professional placement year is an optional feature of the programme and is designed to give our students a distinct advantage on the graduate labour market. The programme is 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.

For further information, see the English Language Joint Honours programme specification and the Social Policy Joint Honours programme specification.

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.

Click on the module titles to find out more.

Year 1
Core modules:

Introduction to English Language: contexts, modes and media     LE1085 
Introduction to English Language: Language in Society     LE1086 
Grammar and Meaning     LE1008 
Academic Communication Skills     LE1087 

Social Problems and Public Policies A     LK1012
Social Problems and Public Policies B     LK1013
Becoming a Social Scientist     LK1011

Year 2
Core modules:
Research Methods in Language and Communication     LE2019 
Variations of English     LE2053 
Working with Language Data     LE2032 

Crime Subversion and Injustice  LK2006
Welfare States and Welfare Change  LK2015
Government and Globalisation  LB2010
Comparing and Evaluating Public Policies  LK2016

Choice of options to total 20 credits:
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages  (20 Credit)   LE2055 
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages  (10 Credit)  LE2012 
Language at Work     LE2007 
Computer-mediated communication     LE2057 
The Language of the Law     LE2056 
Language in the News Media     LE2022 
Work Based Project (10 Credit) LE2058
Work Based Project  (20 Credit) LE2059

And choice of options to total 30 credits:
Environmental Policy     LK2014
Government and Management     LK2011
Embodiment and Feminist Theory     LK2005
The Social Life of Stuff    LK2018
Global Society     LK2004
Media and Society     LK2007
Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context    LK2017

Year 3

Optional Placement

Final Year
English Dissertation     LE3006 

International Migration and Policy  LK3018
Health Policy  LK3019
Ageing, Society, and Policy     LK3006 

Choice of options to total 40 credits:
Spoken Discourse Analysis     LE3022
Learning English    LE3026
Corpus Linguistics     LE3028 
Multimodal Analysis     LE3029 
Language as Evidence     LE3031
Language Contact and Globalization     LE3033 

Choice of options to total 30 credits:
Corporate Power in a Globalised World     LK3004
Dissertation     LK3001
Work, Organisations and Society     LK3008
Racism, class and gender     LK3010
Contemporary social movements     LK3011
Learning to Labour? Education and Society     LK3007
Religion and Society     LK3014
Sport and Society     LK3012
Pregancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family Policy     LK3013
Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context    LK3020
Popular Music and Society    LK3016
The Challenge of Climate Change     LY3031   

Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers who value their understanding of different cultures and societies, their communication skills and motivation for team work. Recent destinations for our English Language and Social Policy graduates include:   

  • Program Policy Officer, Department of Health
  • Tax Associate, Grant Thornton
  • Trainee Manager Graduate Scheme, Travelodge
  • Economic Development Support Officer
  • Customer Logistics Executive, Beiersdorf
  • Supply Chain Analyst, Aero Engine Controls
  • Graduate Trainee Buyer, Tesco
  • Business Consultant, Hewlett- Packard
  • Financial Analyst, Jaguar Landrover
  • Management Trainee, Bexley Council
  • HR Consultant Jaguar Land Rover
  • Events Coordinator, BMW
  • Geographic Buying Analyst, Intel
  • HR Administrator, Warwickshire County Council
  • Graduate Trainees for: Scottish Power, Stagecoach
  • PGCE Primary, the University of Birmingham
  • Graduate Management, NHS
  • Trainee Chartered Accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Recruitment Manager, South West Trains
  • Policy and Planning Officer, London Borough of Bexley.
  • Bilingual Speech & Language Therapy Assistant, NHS 
  • Editorial Assistant, Blast TV 
  • Case Worker, Crown Prosecution Service 
  • Learning Support Assistant, Balfor Education 
  • Tenancy Support Worker, Midland Heart 
  • Trainee Teacher, Castle Vale School 
  • MA Broadcast Journalism, University College Falmouth 
  • PGCE Secondary English, the University of Birmingham 
  • MSc Human Resource Management, King’s College London
  • PhD Forensic Linguistics, Aston University 



You will be involved in: lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. Many of your modules will be in workshop format, alternating theoretical input with practical analysis, and allowing you to test out your understanding in discussion with other students and your tutor. 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 and oral exams, coursework, essays, translation tasks, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year. Exams take place in January and May/June.

Dr Krzysztof Kredens - Director of Undergraduate Programmes in English Language

Dr Kredens

“In my five years at Aston possibly the most flattering praise I received came from a student who said ‘This module messes with my head’. ‘Messing with students’ heads’ is not necessarily what the official course description promises but in my teaching I try and challenge students’ perceptions of what language is and what it can – and cannot – do for them. The key message I try to get across is that understanding the linguistic phenomena we encounter, but rarely notice, on an every-day basis is crucial for understanding and shaping the world around us. We all acquire knowledge in essentially two ways – either through direct experience or from others. For most of our knowledge we have to rely on other people’s perceptions, which, before reaching us, are encoded into language. Language then carries knowledge; once we realise the importance of this simple notion, we can make fully informed and conscious choices as to how we can use language as a powerful tool to achieve certain aims. At Aston our focus is on language use rather than structure. We do make sure our students acquire the relevant theoretical concepts, but our ultimate aim is to show how language works in actual interactions. We focus on the practical applications of English Language studies. We are passionate about teaching and, importantly, use our own research to inform it. As a result our students often have access to the latest research findings even before they are published in academic journals or the media.”

Dr Karen West - Senior Lecturer in Public Policy 

Karen West

“For the last five or six years I’ve been involved in a number of research projects that deal with older people and the needs of an ageing population. For example, I’m working on three projects at the moment. The first is concerned with the kind of housing arrangements that older people want and need in later life; in particular housing arrangements that are integrated with care and support. The second is about how the organisations of the national health service and local authorities are trying to work better with each other to meet older people’s health and social care needs and how, sometimes, government policies that appear to support this aim can actually prevent it from happening! The third concerns the way in which older and younger people get jobs and stay employed in difficult financial and economic times and, importantly, how they understand and misunderstand each others’ motivations and needs. As I teach courses in social policy and public policy making, I find that these kinds of projects help me to understand better (and teach better) how welfare systems address the needs of older people; how scarce public resources are distributed between the generations; and how ideas in general, like the idea of an ageing population, come to frame and justify different policies and initiatives and with what consequences for society. I also find that I learn a lot about these issues from my students: their life experiences and general impressions.”




The placement year is optional for students studying English Language and Social Policy. If you choose to take a placement year, this will take place during your third year at Aston and is worth 10% of the final degree result. Unlike some other universities, the placement year at Aston is not a ''bolt-on'' year it is an integral part of your degree for which you are prepared in your second year. 

A distinctive feature of our placement year is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company or working as a teaching assistant in a school (either in the UK or abroad) - you might even choose to combine two of these options.  

We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

Find out more about the placement year.

Contact Details

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

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Keep In Touch

Student Profile

Student Profile

Holly Morgan

BSc English Language

All the lecturers are willing to help and are always available at the end of an email. The relationship with my lecturers has definitely benefited my studies and is something that makes LSS unique, the small classes enable this relationship to be developed.


Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure



Outstanding graduate prospects


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