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
ABB from 3 A-levels. General Studies accepted.
*Variable offers available.
ABB from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.
A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.
BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: Distinction plus two A Levels at grade BB.
BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: Distinction, Distinction plus grade B in one A-level.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.
32 points in the IB diploma (including TOK/Bonus points) with 6,5,5 at HL.
Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.
EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice, plus an alternative offer which will be one grade lower plus a grade B in EPQ, providing this course is selected as their Firm UCAS choice.
Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.
International Qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages. 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.
Foundation Programme in Social Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.
3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year UCAS Code: LL2K
GCSE requirements: GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.
Tuition fees 2018/19: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £14,300 (£2,500 during placement year) for overseas students. More on fees.
Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:
View our Admissions Policy.
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.
International Relations and Social Policy examines the major political and social issues faced by governments across the world. You will develop a knowledge and understanding of the nature between states and also of the roles played by international institutions, other intergovernmental organisations, multinational corporations and NGOs. 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 programme include its focus on key contemporary issues in international relations and policy, such as global economic change and the environment as well as international comparisons of government policies. 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 strongly geared towards increasing your employability since it is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills relevant to careers involving partnerships in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Core modules: Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International RelationsThe Making of the Modern WorldIntroduction to the European UnionWhat’s trending? (Current affairs in International Relations and Politics)
Social IssuesFrom Social Problems to Public PoliciesBecoming a Social Scientist
Core modules: International Relations: Theories and IssuesRegional Politics and Society
Welfare States and WelfareChangeResearch Methods
Optional modules: Introduction to Political EconomySecurity Studies in a Changing World
Environmental PolicyGovernment and ManagementGlobal SocietyAdvanced Research MethodsCSI: Crime Subversion and InjusticeHealth Matters
Integrated placement year
Core modules: DissertationResearch and Dissertation Skills
International Migration and PolicyHealth PolicyAgeing, Society and PolicyThe Challenges of Climate ChangeThe Citizen and the StateCorporate Power in a Globalised World
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 Politics Power and Parliamentary Decision-MakingEthics and International Politics
Work, Organisations and SocietyRacism, class and genderContemporary Social MovementsLearning to Labour? Education and SocietyReligion and SocietySport, Culture and SocietyPregnancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family PolicyPopular Music and SocietyFood and Society in a Global Context
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 fro 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. For further information, see the International Relations Joint Honours programme specification and the Social Policy Joint Honours programme specification.
“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.”
''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 International Relations 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.