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International Relations and Modern Language (French/German/Spanish)

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, including at least one of French, German or Spanish Grade B.  General Studies accepted.


A combination of courses reflecting the current state of global affairs, with a particular European focus, allows students to maximize their understanding of political institutional arrangements and practices while honing their chosen language skills while focusing on topics of contemporary social and political interest.
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Politics & International Relations is ranked Top 20 in the UK for Student Satisfaction (Complete University Guide, 2017)
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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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Modern Languages at Aston achieved 93% Satisfaction with Teaching and 91% Overall Satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide, 2017.
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Develop your linguistic skills to near-native proficiency and fluency.

4 years full-time with integrated year abroad

UCAS Code:
International Relations and French LR2C
International Relations and German LR2G
International Relations and Spanish LR2K

Please note these UCAS codes apply to applicants who wish to apply for Post A-Level German/Spanish or for beginners German/Spanish.

Typical Offers
A Levels
: ABB- BBB from 3 A-levels, including at least one of French, German or Spanish Grade B.  General Studies accepted.

Applicants for beginners Spanish or German are not required to have any previous experience of language learning but we would anticipate that applicants receiving an offer would demonstrate a clear commitment to studying languages via the AS Personal Statement. Applicants with GCSE Spanish are welcome to apply for the ab initio programmes. Applicants with AS would normally be interviewed and may receive an offer for the ab initio programme or for the post A-Level programme depending on the level of language demonstrated at interview.

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 and 6 in Higher Level French, German or Spanish.
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.  A-level grade B in French, German or Spanish or equivalent.
BTEC: National Extended Diploma DDD.   A-level grade B in French, German, Spanish or equivalent.  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 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.

This program highlights the benefits of an interdisciplinary course of study.  A combination of courses reflecting the current state of global affairs, with a particular European focus, allows students to maximize their understanding of political institutional arrangements and practices while honing their chosen language skills while focusing on topics of contemporary social and political interest.

Students will begin their course of study acquiring a sound knowledge of domestic and international politics. Upon completion students will have a sound understanding of the nature of global and European and domestic political institutions, which, when combined with the year abroad component of this degree program, will set them on a strong career path further developing the language and critical thinking skills acquired during their four years at Aston University.

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 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)


Core if taking French:
French Language Skills I

Optional if taking French:
Introduction to the French -Speaking Countries
IBE (France)


Core if taking German:
German Language Skills I
Introduction to the German -Speaking Countries
IBE (Germany)


Core if taking Spanish:
Spanish Language Skills I
Optional is taking Spanish:
Introduction to Spanish-Speaking Countries
IBE (Spain)
TESOL 

Year 2

Core modules: 
International Relations: Theories and Issues
Regional Politics and Society

Optional modules: 
Introduction to Political Economy
Security Studies in a Changing World

Core if taking French: 
French Language Skills II
Optional if taking French:
Politics and Society (French-speaking countries)
Culture and Conflict (French-speaking countries)
IBE (France)
TESOL 


Core if taking German: 
German Language Skills II
Politics and Society (German-speaking countries)
IBE (German)


Core if taking Spanish:
Spanish Language Skills II
Optional if taking Spanish:
Culture and Conflict (Spanish-speaking countries)
IBE (Latin America)

Year 3 - Year Abroad

Placement / Year Abroad

Final Year

Core modules: 
Dissertation
Research and Dissertation Skills

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


Core if taking French

French Language Skills III
Optional if taking French

La France d’Outre Mer
Vichy France: Occupation, Collaboration, Liberation
Contemporary French
Technology in France: Inventing Progress and Disaster
French Research Dissertation
Representations of Minorities


Core if taking German:
German Language Skills III
Optional if taking German:

Cultural Identities in the German-speaking countries
Global Germany
IBE (German)


Core if taking Spanish:

Spanish Language Skills III
Optional if taking Spanish:

Cultural Studies in the Spanish-speaking countries
Political Landscapes in Spain and Latin America
IBE (Spain)

As an ab initio student, you will take an intensive 40 credit language module in year one and two and will be taught separately from those students who already have an A-level to ensure that your language skills progress rapidly. You will spend your third year in a German/Spanish-speaking country in order to allow for maximum exposure to the language and culture, and can choose between an approved study programme at a partner exchange university, a work placement or a post as a Teaching Assistant in a school. If you are studying two languages (including one language ab initio) you will normally divide your time equally between the two countries where each of your languages are spoken. After the Year Abroad, students who studied Spanish/German ab initio are taught with those who started university with an A-level and take the usual final year modules, including modules taught in the target language. 

There can be no doubt that the UK needs more of its people to speak foreign languages – for employability, for trade and the economy, and for our cultural life. (Languages for the Future Report, 2013
John Worne, Director of Strategy, British Council 

  • Aston is 6th for Languages Graduate Level destination sixth months after Graduation - Guardian 2013 
 Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers who value their understanding of different organisations, their communication skills and motivation for team work.  

For information on graduate destinations please see the careers service:http://www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/careers-centre/graduate-destinations/lss/

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. We teach our courses in French/German/Spanish, which means that our students are at a real advantage when it comes to gaining maximum benefit and experience from the year abroad. 

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 Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations 

Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik

“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.”

Dr Stefan Manz - Head of German

Dr Stefan Manz

“At Aston, research is not an ‘ivory tower’ activity but a way of engaging with the world around us. We aim to make a real impact through our research – and that begins in the classroom. My own teaching is always informed by the latest thinking in my areas of specialism, which include migration studies, German history and society, and European Studies. A recent example is my volume on EU-enlargement. The material is perfect to be used in my seminar on German Politics and Society. Should Turkey join the European Union? Should Greece leave? Why does Croatia join and not Serbia? And what about the UK? After I chart Germany’s position on these questions, students engage in lively and sometimes controversial small-group discussion about the nature of the European Union. This is just one example of how my research feeds into and enlivens my teaching. We aim to equip our students with an in-depth and relevant understanding of the modern world. Our research helps us to achieve this aim.”

 

 

 

Campus accommodation guaranteed for First Year and Final Year students returning from year abroad.

The Third Year of your course is spent abroad in a French/German/Spanish speaking country - increasing your fluency, enhancing your cultural awareness and adding value to your degree. The year abroad is an integral and assessed part of language studies at Aston University, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree. A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities. 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 International 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 year abroad.


"Interested? I'd love to hear from you."

Balazs Szent_Ivanyi
Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi - Programme Director for Politics and International Relations

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