BSc Politics and Social Policy  

Why choose this course?

  • Politics at Aston is currently ranked Top 20 in the UK for Employability in the latest Guardian University Guide and Sunday Times University Guide.
  • Social Policy at Aston has been ranked 6th in the country in the Times Good University Guide 2013.
  • Politics at Aston achieved 95% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: L201

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.

The Social Policy strand of the course examines the major economic and social issues facing governments across the world, and the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations. It builds upon various A-levels, including Politics (e.g. the role of the Government), Sociology (e.g. modern forms of power), Economics (e.g. market failure), Geography (e.g. globalisation) and Business Studies (e.g. Government support for enterprise). 

The Politics strand of the course is concerned with the study of government and political action. In year one you will study introductory modules in Politics, the European Union, and governance. At the core of your second year are modules dealing with the history of political thought, as well as a focus on British, foreign and domestic policy. In your final year a politics research dissertation on an agreed topic of your choice counts for a substantial and challenging part of your programme.

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

Social Problems and Public Policies A     LK1012
Social Problems and Public Policies B     LK1013
Becoming a Social Scientist     LK1011

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

Global Social Policy     LK2012
Economy and Society     LK2013
Government, Globalisation and Money     LK2010

A choice of one of:
History of Political Thought     LP2001
Introduction to Political Economy     LP2022

And choice of options to total 30 credits:
Comparing Public Policies     LK2009
Environmental Policy     LK2014
Government and Management     LK2011
Embodiment and Feminist Theory     LK2005
Global Society     LK2004
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice     LK2006
Race and Racisms     LK2008
Media and Society     LK2007

Year 3

Optional Placement

Final Year
Politics Research Dissertation     LP3004

Ageing, Society, and Policy     LK3006
Modern British Governance     LK3002
Risk and Regulation     LK3003
Health Matters: Understanding Patterns and Policies     LK3009

Choice of four of the following:

Central and East European Politics     LP3008
Immigration & Citizenship in Western Europe     LP3011
The International Relations of East Asia     LP3015
Religion and Politics in Contemporary Europe     LP3016
Political Communication     LP3018
The American Presidency     LP3019
Nationalism & Political Power     LP3020
Ethics and International Politics     LP3022
Political Parties and Party Systems     LP3024
Conflict and Politics in Contemporary Balkans     LP3025
Intellectuals and Politics     LP3026
Contemporary Conflict     LP3028
The Far Right in Europe     LP3030
Regions and Regionalism in Europe     LP3412
Contemporary Political Theory     LP3416
Political Leaders: Case Studies and Comparative Perspectives     LP3415

Choice of options to total 30 credits:
Corporate Power in a Globalised World     LK3004
Dissertation     LK3001
Risk, Environment and Society     LK3005
Work, Organisations and Society     LK3008
Racism, class and gender     LK3010
Contemporary social movements     LK3011
Learning to Labour: Education and Society     LK3007
Religion and Society     LK3014
Sport and Society     LK3012
Pregancy and Politics     LK3013

Career prospects   

Aston is ranked 5th in the UK and 1st outside London for graduate employability - beating Oxbridge (2012 Sunday Times University Guide).

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 Languages and Social Sciences graduates include:   

  • Graduate Trainee Managers for British Airways, Aldi Stores, John Lewis Partnership and Selfridges
  • Journalist for Tatler Magazine
  • European Union/European Parliament Officers/Assistants
  • Marketing Assistant at Beiersdorf (makers of NIVEA amongst other products) 
  • Trainee Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers 
  • Case Worker - Crown Prosecution Service
  • PhD Forensic Linguistics - Aston University
  • MSc Human Resource Management, King's College London
  • Tenancy Support Worker, Midland Heart  
  • Islamic Relief – Orphan Support Officer

  • Worcestershire County Council – Project Support Manager
  • MA Political Thought & Theory

  • BAE Systems – Graduate Trainee (Finance)

  • Birmingham City Council – Project Assistant

  • Department of Constitutional Defence – Administrative Officer
  • National Probation Service – Training Probation Officer
  • Warwickshire County Council , Political Group Assis

Facilities & equipment

The School of Languages and Social Sciences has a dedicated Learning Support Team and excellent facilities including:

  • 70 computers in 4 rooms
  • Free DVD library (French, Spanish, German, English)
  • Audio and video-editing tools
  • corpus linguistics tools (Wordsmith and Antconc)
  • research software (NVIVO and PASW/SPSS)

Dr Nathaniel Copsey, Head of Politics and International Relations, Co-Director of the Aston Centre for Europe (ACE)

Nat Copsey

"Politics and international relations at Aston offers a fascinating insight into the challenges facing our societies in the 21st century. It is also home to the Aston Centre for Europe, a world-class research facility for the study of Europe which provides access the most up-to-date new thinking on all matters relating to Europe. We aim to prepare our students thoroughly for demanding, often international, careers and the placement year gives our students a distinct advantage on the graduate labour market.''


Contact Details

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

Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure



Outstanding graduate career prospects

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