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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. 

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. 

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.

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)

Social Theory 1
Becoming a Social Scientist


Year 2

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

Research Methods
Contemporary Social  Theory

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

Advanced Contemporary Social Theory
Advanced Research Methods
Global Society
Embodiment and Feminist Theory
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice
Media and Society
Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context
The Social Life of Stuff
Health Matters
Race and Racisms
Contested Cities and Changing Neighbourhoods


Year 3

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 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

Ageing, Society, and Policy
Work, Organisations and Society
Racism, Class and Gender
Contemporary Social Movements
Corporate Power in a Globalised World
Sport, Culture and Society
Pregnancy and Politics
Food and Society in a Global Context
Learning to Labour: Education and Society
Religion and Society
Popular Music and Society
International Migration and Policy
Health Policy
The Challenges of Climate Change
The Citizen and the State

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

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