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
3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year UCAS Code: L290 Typical OffersA-levels: ABB from 3 A-levels. General Studies accepted.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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/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.
Politics and International Relations – two closely related disciplines – are combined in this popular, single honours political science degree. The programme explores politics and international relations in British, 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.
To prepare our graduates for careers in a global environment, there is a practical element of language learning via a module in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Japanese or Portuguese.
The placement year is an optional feature of the programme and is designed to give you real life experience and to act as a springboard to your future career.
Core modules: Introduction to Studying and Researching PoliticsIntroduction to the Concepts and Methods of International RelationsBritish Politics since 1945Introduction to the European UnionLanguages for All
Optional modules: The Making of the Modern WorldWhat’s trending? (Current affairs in International Relations and Politics)
Core modules: History of Political ThoughtComparative Government and PoliticsInternational Relations: Theories and IssuesRegional Politics and Society
Optional modules: Security Studies in a Changing WorldIntroduction to Political EconomyLanguages for All
Integrated placement year
Core modules: Extended Politics/International Relations DissertationResearch and Dissertation Skills
Optional modules: EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation GamesThe International Relations of East AsiaReligion and Politics in Contemporary EuropePolitical CommunicationThe American PresidencyNationalism & Political PowerPolitical Parties and Party SystemsConflict and Politics in Contemporary BalkansContemporary ConflictDiplomacy and Soft PowerThe Far Right in EuropeThe Politics of Climate ChangeUnderstanding Foreign PolicyNortheast Asia: From Conflict to CooperationGender and PoliticsInterest groups and lobbyingRegions and Regionalism in EuropeContemporary Political TheoryPolitical Leaders: Case Studies and Comparative PerspectivesIntellectuals and PoliticsPower and Parliamentary Decision-MakingEthics and International PoliticsLanguages for All
You will be involved in lectures and seminars, small group work projects 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 an academic supervisor for this work and a Personal Tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies.
Assessment is through a combination of exams, project-based course work, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year.
“I became interested in politics because, when I was younger, I realised everything was political in some way – whether you could afford to go to university, for example – or whether you could afford not to! I became particularly interested in how leaders persuaded us of what we should do about injustices in the world, and how to make things better. All my teaching and research are about leadership and persuasion and how the world works politically. One really fascinating thing to do is to compare different countries to see similarities and differences between their histories and political cultures. My favourite place (outside the UK!) is France, and I often appear on British and French TV and radio, and I blog, and write in letters to The Guardian and do opinion pieces for New Statesman, Cnn.opinion, huffington post etc to try and persuade people I am right!”
“My research focuses on post-conflict societies and their democratisation and reconciliation, drawing on Serbia and Kosovo as specific cases. Throughout my research, I also collaborate with other scholars, and therefore the issues that I look at can be quite wide ranging. For instance, I’ve recently investigated how Serbia as a society deals with war crimes and legacies of the past, but also how Serbia and Kosovo – previously at war – interact in peacetime. Much of this feeds directly into my teaching. I teach a module called ‘Conflict and Politics in Contemporary Balkans’, where I include insights from my research and trips to the region. On a module called ‘Conflict, Intervention and Reconciliation’, there are sessions dedicated to post-conflict justice and prosecuting of war crimes, so Serbia and Kosovo often feature as examples which we compare to other parts of the world. Most recently, I spent some time at the Centre for European Studies, Harvard, as a visiting scholar, where I worked on a new research project on social movements in Serbia. There is a rich tradition of protest and social movements in the Western Balkans more generally, so this will be the basis of one of the lectures I will teach next semester.”
The placement year is optional for students studying Politics and International Relations. 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.