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BSc Politics & English Language

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

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

This multi-disciplinary programme takes a practical approach to the teaching of Politics and English Language, through the optional placement year and professionally relevant modules which draw directly on our Aston’s cutting-edge research.
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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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English at Aston achieved 93% Overall Satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015
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Internationally recognised research, backed by the Aston Centre for Europe (ACE)
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English Language at Aston is ranked Top 25 in the UK for Graduate Prospects in both the Complete University Guide, 2017 and Sunday Times League Table, 2016.

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: QL32 

Typical Offers
A-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 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: 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 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 multi-disciplinary programme takes a practical approach to the teaching of Politics and English Language, through the optional placement year and professionally relevant modules which draw directly on our Aston’s cutting-edge research. You will examine the major issues facing governments across the world, and the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations. You will also be provided with the theoretical knowledge and understanding of English language and how it works in society. Important strengths of the course include the research-active teaching staff who are internationally recognised for their work on Western and Eastern Europe, Forensic Linguistics, Language and Gender and TESOL Studies. Aston is one of only a few UK universities to offer Politics and English Language with a fully integrated placement year. The distinctive placement year is an optional feature of the programme and is designed to give you real life experience and to act as a springboard for your future career. Our Politics and English Language graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of societies, organisations and institutions is required. It will also provide you with a range of desirable skills such as communication skills, critical thinking and the ability to evaluate data.

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.

Year 1

Core modules:
Introduction to Studying and Researching Politics
British Politics since 1945
Introduction to the European Union

Introduction to Discourse Analysis
Language in Society
Grammar and Meaning
Academic Communication Skills


Year 2

Core modules:
Comparative Government and Politics
History of Political Thought

Written Text Analysis 
Psychology of Language and Communication
Working with Language Data

Optional modules:
Introduction to Political Economy
Security Studies in a Changing World
Regional Politics and Society

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Language at Work
Computer-mediated
Communication
The Language of the Law
Language in the News Media
Language Policy and Language Planning
Work-based Project


Year 3

Optional placement year


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 Communicatio
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

Spoken Discourse Analysis
Learning English
Corpus Linguistics
Multimodal Analysis
Language as Evidence
Language Contact and Globalisation

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 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.''

Professor John Gaffney - Professor of Politics 

John Gaffney

“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!”

The placement year is optional for students studying Politics and English Language. 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.


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

Balazs Szent_Ivanyi
Balazs Szent_Ivanyi- Head of Politics & International Relations

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