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BSc in International Relations, French & Spanish


PLEASE NOTE:  This course is for 2011 applicants only.  We would recommend that applicants for 2012 look at our new International Politics and Languages (IPL) course.  For further information, please contact the LSS Admissions team via lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Key facts

4 years full-time with integrated year abroad

UCAS Code: LR2D

Typical offers: 

A Levels: BBB - ABB from 3 A-levels (or 2 A-levels and 2 AS levels.)  General Studies accepted.

A-level French and Spanish grade B required.  Applicants with AS level in one of French/Spanish considered on an individual basis.

IB: 31-33 points in the IB diploma including TOK/Bonus points.   Standard level Maths and English 5 required.
Higher level French 5-6 required.

BTEC, Access & other: Typical offers (BTEC, Access and other qualifications)    Access: You will normally be required to pass the Access certificate, with 25% additional Level 3 credits than are required to pass the Access course.  A-level grade B in French and Spanish or equivalent.

BTEC: National Diploma DDM – DMM.   A-level grade B in French and Spanish or equivalent.

Other UK/International qualifications: please contact us for further advice.

Specific subject requirements: GCSE: English Grade C, Maths Grade C

A-level French and Spanish grade B required.  Applicants with AS level in one of French/Spanish considered on an individual basis.

Tuition fees: £9,000 (£1,000 during placement year) for UK/EU students. (2013).  More on fees

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

Key benefits

  • Ranked 3rd in the UK for job prospects and 9th overall for languages (Guardian University Guide 2010)
  • Internationally recognised research, backed by the Aston Centre for Europe (ACE)
  • Develop expertise on the politics and International Relations that are fast reshaping Europe both in the EU and beyond its borders
  • Contemporary and applied focus, with a high level of teaching delivered in French and Spanish
  • Fully integrated year abroad, including placements at the European Parliament in Brussels, and international companies across Europe
  • Excellent student support: Languages at Aston had the 6th highest rating of all UK University European Languages programmes for overall satisfaction in the 2007 National Student Survey
 If you want a truly international career, which relies on foreign language skills as well as an understanding of the international arena, our International Relations: French and Spanish degree will be ideal for you.


The course combine modules in French and Spanish language, media, politics, cultural studies and linguistics, with International Relations topics such as the international state system, ethics and international politics and the globalisation of the international political economy. 

There is a fully integrated Year Abroad with extensive preparation and support offered by our dedicated international placements team.

Jump to:

  • Subject guide & modules
  • Learning, teaching & assessment
  • Year abroad
  • Career prospects
  • Personal development
  • Facilities & equipment
  • Teaching staff
  • Further information

Subject guide & modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Modern Europe and the World
  • French Language Skills I & II
  • France Since the Revolution
  • Spanish Language Skills I & II
  • Spanish History I
  • Spanish History II

Year 2

  • Introduction to Security Studies
  • International Relations: Theories and Issues
  • French Language Skills I & II
  • France in the Fifth Republic
  • Spanish Language Skills I & II
  • Contemporary Spain I
  • French Language Skills III: Communication Skills
  • Contemporary Spain II 

Year 3 - Year abroad

Choose from a Work Placement, Exchange at a Partner University or a Teaching Assistantship.  See the ‘Placement Year’ section above for further details.

Final Year

  • Spanish Research Dissertation and Oral OR French Research Dissertation – French Research Evaluation
  • Spanish Language Skills I and II
  • French Language Skills I and II
  • International Relations research Dissertation

Learning, teaching & assessment

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.  All courses in the French and Spanish department are taught in their repective languages, 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 who can provide you with help and advice.

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year.

Career prospects

Aston’s Modern Language courses are ranked 3rd in the UK (out of over 90 universities) for job prospects (Guardian University Guide 2009) and joint 1st for % of graduates employed (www.unistats.co.uk.)  

Our graduates enter careers in UK and international business/marketing, the languages and communications professions, education, European institutions and research.   
Recent Aston Graduate First Destinations included:
  • Graduate Trainee Managers for British Airways, Aldi Stores, John Lewis Partnership and Selfridges
  • Journalist for Tatler Magazine
  • Smoby (French Toy Company) – Account Manager
  • Michelin – Senior Administrator
  • Public Relations Officers for a number of companies
  • European Union/European Parliament Officers/Assistants
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching Qualification – French and German Teachers
  • Marketing Assistant at Beiersdorf (makers of NIVEA amongst other products)
  • Spanish/English/French Translators at companies such as Volkswagen and freelance work
  • Bilingual Marketing Assistant at 3Com (an international Internet and Telecomms company)
  • Trainee Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Further study and PhD Research in the areas of International Politics, European Cultural Studies, Linguistics and Translation/Interpreting.

Personal development

As well as gaining near-native fluency in French and Spanish, this course helps you to develop team working skills, presentation and communication skills.  Your IT skills will also benefit from use of our newly refurbished e-learning language centre.

The Year Abroad will develop your initiative, confidence and independence, as well as improving your language skills.  In your final year you complete an individual research dissertation which improves your independent research skills and report writing skills.

 All students are encouraged to undertake Personal Development Planning (PDP.)

Facilities & equipment

The School of Languages and Social Sciences has a dedicated e-learning centre for the exclusive use of its students.  The e-learning centre is supported by a dedicated team and has specialist software for language students including:

  • Sanako 1200 language lab

  • “Tell Me More” in French, German, Spanish (1000s of hours of self-study language learning material)

  • TRADOS (industry-standard translation tool)

  • Multilingual keyboard setup (French, German, Spanish, Chinese)

  • Coming soon - streamed satellite television (French, German, Spanish)

Extensive use is also made of our Virtual Learning Environment to help support your studies.

Our newly refurbished “Cadbury Room” contains social seating areas, study stations and meeting tables as well as newspapers in French, German, and Spanish, which are updated daily. 

Teaching staff

Coming soon...

Further information

School of Languages and Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions
Tel: 0121 204 3700
Email: lss_ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research