BSc Politics & English Language

Why choose this course?

  • English Language at Aston is ranked 13th (out of 105 programmes in the UK) in the Guardian University Guide 2015

  • Politics at Aston is currently ranked Top 20 in the UK for Employability in the latest Guardian University Guide and Sunday Times University Guide

  • English Language achieved 100% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey
  • Internationally recognised research, backed by the Aston Centre for Europe (ACE) 

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: QL32 

Typical Offers
: 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 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 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.

Click on the module titles to find out more.

Year 1
Core modules:
Information Skills     LP1012
Introduction to Politics     LP1019
British Politics since 1945     LP1020
Introduction to the European Union     LP1065

Introduction to English Language: contexts, modes and media     LE1085 
Introduction to English Language: Language in Society     LE1086 
Grammar and Meaning     LE1008 
Academic Communication Skills     LE1087 

Year 2
Core modules:
Research Methods in Political and Social Studies     LP2006
Comparative Government and Politics     LP2007
The Politics and Policies of the European Union     LP2020
History of Political Thought     LP2001

Research Methods in Language and Communication     LE2019 
Variations of English     LE2053 
Working with Language Data     LE2032 

And choice of options to total 20 credits:
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages  (20 Credit)   LE2055 
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages  (10 Credit)  LE2012 
Language at Work     LE2007 
Computer-mediated communication     LE2057 
The Language of the Law     LE2056 
Language in the News Media     LE2022 
Work Based Project (10 Credit) LE2058
Work Based Project  (20 Credit) LE2059

Year 3

Optional Placement

Final Year
Politics Research Dissertation     LP3004 

English Dissertation     LE3006 

Choice 40 credits from 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 

Choice of options to total 40 credits:
Spoken Discourse Analysis     LE3022
Learning English    LE3026
Corpus Linguistics     LE3028 
Multimodal Analysis     LE3029 
Language as Evidence     LE3031
Language Contact and Globalization     LE3033

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 our Politics/English Language graduates include:   

  • Campaign Assistant, Conservative Party
  • Graduate Trainee, Tesco
  • Research Executive, Info Group / Orc International
  • PR Graduate Trainee, Lidl
  • Project Coordinator, International Bridges to Justice
  • Junior Publicist, Warner Bros Pictures
  • Worcestershire County Council, Project Support Manager
  • Graduate Trainee, BAE Systems
  • Project Assistant, Birmingham City Council
  • Orphan Support Officer, Islamic Relief
  • Trainee Probation Officer, National Probation Service
  • Political Group Assistant, Warwickshire County Council
  • Postgraduate Degrees at a range of institutions (e.g. Aston, University of Birmingham, Warwick University, University of Durham, King’s College London, SOAS and LSE)
  • Bilingual Speech & Language Therapy Assistant, NHS
  • Case Worker, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Learning Support Assistant, Balfor Education
  • PGCE Secondary English, the University of Birmingham
  • PhD Forensic Linguistics, Aston University

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.

For further information, see the Politics Joint Honours programme specification and the English Language Joint Honours programme specification.

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.

Contact Details

Tel: 0121 204 3777

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Roberta Smith, Graduate 2013

BSc English Language

I love my course because it opens up so many doors for my future; it isn't the same old stuff from A-level but an exciting development into linguistics and language. My favourite module is one I am studying at the moment called “language of evidence” which is an introduction to Forensic Linguistics.


Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure

Fees and funding

Fees and funding



Outstanding graduate career prospects

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