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BSc International Relations & Sociology  

Why choose this course?

  • Politics & International Relations as Aston is ranked 13th in the UK by the Sunday Times League Table, 2016
  • Politics & International Relations is ranked Top 20 in the UK for Student Satisfaction (Complete University Guide, 2017)
  • Sociology at Aston is ranked Top 20 in the UK for Research Quality (Complete University Guide, 2017)

  • Aston's Sociology course is ranked Top 25 in the UK in the Sunday Times League Table, 2016.

Download the Politics and International Relations subject brochure.   

Download the Sociology subject brochure.  

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LL2H

Typical Offers
A-levels
: 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. £13,800 (£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. 

Our BSc in International Relations and Sociology offers a fascinating insight into the sociological and political challenges facing our society in the 21st century. This multi-disciplinary programme provides a comprehensive understanding of social and political processes, the sociology of inter-group relations and the relationships between states. You will examine the roles played by organisations, international institutions, multi-national corporations and NGOS. You will also benefit from teaching staff who are internationally recognised researchers in fields such as ethnic and gender equalities, global change, theories of social change, relations between the European Union and its eastern neighbours, as well as the politics and governance of Poland and the Ukraine. Strengths of the programme include its focus on key contemporary issues, policy and decision making, and international comparisons of structures and policies. 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 for your future career. Our International Relations and Sociology graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of societies, organisations, institutions and communication skills are required.

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:

Year 1
Core modules:
Europe and the Making of the Modern World     LP1016 
Information Skills     LP1012 
Introduction to International Relations     LP1021 
Introduction to the European Union     LP1065 

Social Theory 1     LK1007 
Becoming a Social Scientist     LK1011 


Year 2
Core modules:
International Relations: Theories and Issues     LP2014 
Research Methods in Political and Social Science     LP2006 
The Politics and Policies of the European Union     LP2020 

Research Methods 2     LK2002 
Social Theory 2     LK2001 


One of the following optional modules:
Introduction to Political Economy     LP 2022 
Security Studies in a Changing World     LP2021  


And a choice of options to total 20 credits:
Global Society     LK2004  
Embodiment and Feminist Theory     LK2005  
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice     LK2006  
Media and Society     LK2007  
Government and Globalisation     LK2010 
Government and Management     LK2011 
Environmental Policy     LK2014 
Welfare States and Welfare Change     LK2015 
Comparing and Evaluating Public Policies     LK2016 
Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context     LK2017 
The Social Life of Stuff     LK2018 


Year 3

Optional Placement


Final Year
Core:
International Relations Research Dissertation     LP3009 


Choose four of the following optional modules:
The International Relations of East Asia     LP3015 
Religion and Politics of Contemporary Europe LP3016
Political Communication     LP3018 
The American Presidency     LP3019 
Nationalism & Political Power     LP3020 
Political Parties and Party Systems     LP3024 
Conflict and Politics in Contemporary Balkans     LP3025 
Contemporary Conflict     LP3028 
Diplomacy and Soft Power    LP3029
The Far Right in Europe     LP3030 
The Challenges of Climate Change    LY3031
Understanding Foreign Policy    LP3033
Northeast Asia: From Conflict to Cooperation    LP3034
Gender and Politics    LP3035
Interest groups and lobbying    LP3036
Regions and Regionalism in Europe     LP3412 
Contemporary Political Theory     LP3416 
Political Leaders: Case Studies and Comparative Perspectives     LP3415 

And a choice of options to total 60 credits:
Dissertation     LK3001  
Ageing, Society, and Policy     LK3006  
Work, Organisations and Society     LK3008  
Modern British Governance     LK3002  
Racism, Class and Gender     LK3010  
Health matters: understanding patterns and policies     LK3009  
Contemporary Social Movements     LK3011  
Corporate Power in a Globalised World     LK3004  
Sport and Society     LK3012  
Pregnancy and Politics     LK3013  
Learning to Labour: Education and Society     LK3007  
Religion and Society     LK3014  
Music and Society     LK3016  
International Migration and Policy     LK3018 
Health Policy     LK3019 
The Challenges of Climate Change     LY3031 
Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context (Final Year Version)     LK3020

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 participate in lectures, tutorials, seminars, group and individual project work. The courses deal with many topical issues, and as a result we try to incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and to link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible.

You will be require expertise in critical reading, writing, research and presentation. For his reason, many of our courses are designed to help you develop skills in these areas. You will undertake a range of different kinds of course work and research, from informal interventions into issues of concern to formal research dissertations. Modules are assessed through essays, written and oral exams, project work and presentations.

Dr Chrissie Rogers - Senior Lecturer in Sociology

“Sociology enables us to understand the personal and private lives of individuals and engage with the messy nature of everyday life. All of this can then be viewed in the context of the public sphere. For example, one of my areas of research is around the impacts of inclusion and exclusion for children and young people and in the UK ‘Every Child Matters’ promotes a meaningful sense of well-being for all children and ‘Education for All’ positions a global inclusive education strategy. These are just two of the policy contexts that address education as a means to promote inclusion and meaningful learning. But do they? Large numbers of pupils are not included, have poor educational experiences and are either marginalised or demonised. Education is failing children and young people. Not least of
all because they are disengaged, alienated and excluded from a meaningful learning process. League tabling and competitive schooling is stifling. We need to address these divisions as sociologists. This focus is just one area that within teaching sociology we can really get to the heart of understanding difference and diversity. More broadly, as a sociologist I have written Parenting and Inclusive Education, Critical Approaches to Care (with Susie Weller) as well as working on Intellectual Disability and Social Theory.”

Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations 

Read what the staff have to say about their courses:

Dr Chrissie Rogers - Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Chrissie Rogers

“Sociology enables us to understand the personal and private lives of individuals and engage with the messy nature of everyday life. All of this can then be viewed in the context of the public sphere. For example, one of my areas of research is around the impacts of inclusion and exclusion for children and young people and in the UK ‘Every Child Matters’ promotes a meaningful sense of well-being for all children and ‘Education for All’ positions a global inclusive education strategy. These are just two of the policy contexts that address education as a means to promote inclusion and meaningful learning. But do they? Large numbers of pupils are not included, have poor educational experiences and are either marginalised or demonised. Education is failing children and young people. Not least of all because they are disengaged, alienated and excluded from a meaningful learning process. League tabling and competitive schooling is stifling. We need to address these divisions as sociologists. This focus is just one area that within teaching sociology we can really get to the heart of understanding difference and diversity. More broadly, as a sociologist I have written Parenting and Inclusive Education, Critical Approaches to Care (with Susie Weller) as well as working on Intellectual Disability and Social Theory.”

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.”

The placement year is optional for students studying International Relations and Sociology. 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.

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Keep In Touch

Contact Details

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

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Amy Leighton, Graduate 2012

BSc Sociology and Business

I undertook my first 12 month placement at a creative undergraduate agency, designing marketing campaigns for companies such Morgan Stanley, UBS and Nestle. My Placement Year strengthened my ability to communicate with others effectively and take on vast amounts of responsibility quickly. I now work as a Product Marketing Manager for Atos.

 

Accommodation

Accommodation

Outstanding graduate career prospects

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