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

Why choose this course?

  • 2nd (84%) for Graduate Level Destinations six months after graduation, Guardian, 2014
  • Politics & International Relations at Aston has been rated between 101-150 institutions globally for 2012-13, in the QS World University Rankings
  • International Relations at Aston is currently ranked Top 20 in the UK for Employability in the latest Guardian University Guide and Sunday Times University Guide.
  • International Relations at Aston achieved 95% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.

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

Typical Offers
A Levels
: ABB- BBB from 3 A-levels, including at least one of French, German or Spanish Grade B.  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: 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 2014/15: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU 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:

Europe and the Making of the Modern World     LP1016
Information Skills     LP1012
Introduction to International Relations     LP1021
Introduction to the European Union     LP1065

If taking French:
French Language Skills I     LF1005
Introduction to French Culture     LF1024
France since the Revolution     LF1025

If taking German:

German Language Skills I     LG1001
Introduction to the German-speaking countries     LG1038
Postwar Germany     LG1039
German Language Past and Present     LG1011
German Current Affairs     LG1023

If taking Spanish:
Spanish Language Skills I     LS1001
Introduction to Spain     LS1015
Introduction to Latin America     LS1019  
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 

If taking French:
French Language Skills II     LF2005
Reading the French Press     LF2016
France in the Fifth Republic     LF2050
French Society: Conflict and Consensus     LF2009
History of the French Language     LF2014

If taking German:
German Language Skills II     LG2002
Austrian Cultural History     LG2014
German Politics and Society     LG2026
Metropolis Berlin     LG2018
The Legacy of National Socialism     LG2025

If taking Spanish:
Spanish Language Skills II     LS2001
Contemporary Spain     LS2016
Contemporary Latin America     LS2017
Spanish in the World     LS2018
Spanish Media     LS2019

Choose one of the following optional modules:

Introduction to Political Economy     LP 2022
Security Studies in a Changing World     LP2021

Year 3 - Year Abroad

Compulsory Placement / Year Abroad

Final Year

International Relations Research Dissertation     LP3009

If taking French:
French Language Skills III     LF3002
French Research Dissertation     LF3203 

If taking German:
German Language Skills III     LG3003
German Research Dissertation     LG3204

If taking Spanish:
Spanish Language Skills I & II     LS3001                  
Spanish Research Dissertation     LS3004           
Hispanic Film     LS3006    


The International Relations of East Asia
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

If taking French

La France d’Outre Mer     LF3404
Vichy France: Occupation, Collaboration, Liberation     LF3006
Contemporary French     LF3007
Technology in France: Inventing Progress and Disaster     LF3009

If taking German:
Global Germany     LG3017
German Identity Since Reunification     LG3016
German-Jewish Biographies     LG3013
East Germany on Film     LG3015

If taking Spanish:

Major Hispanic Authors     LS3009
Human Rights in Contemporary Latin America     LS3012

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 cultures and societies, their communication skills and motivation for team work. Recent destinations for Language and Translation Studies graduates include:   

  • English Teacher, Business Language Skills
  • PR Graduate Scheme, LIDL
  • French Customer Service Co-ordinator, CRP
  • Bilingual Sales Coordinator, Narrow Aisle Ltd
  • Language Assistant, British Council
  • Translator/Analytical Support, B&Q
  • Immigration Assistant, Australian Embassy UK
  • Marketing Analyst, Deutsche Bank
  • Graduate Trainee Managers for British Airways, Aldi Stores, John Lewis and Selfridges
  • Journalist, Tatler Magazine
  • Account Manager Interpreting, Smoby (French Toy Company)
  • Senior AdministratorMichelin
  • Public Relations Officers for a number of companies
  • European Union/European Parliament Officers/Assistants
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching Qualification at universities including King’s College London, Warwick University and Exeter
  • Marketing Assistant at Beiersdorf  

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.

For further information, see the International Relations and Modern Language programme specification.

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.

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 204 3777

Student Profile

Student Profile

Rachel Williams, Graduate 2013

BSc International Relations and Spanish

During my placement year I undertook a Community Development Internship with The Phoenix Projects in Ecuador. This was a great way to combine my degree studies of International Relations and Spanish along with my passion for sustainable community development.


Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure

Fees and funding

Fees and funding



Outstanding graduate career prospects

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