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.

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. 

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.

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:
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 
History of Political Thought     LP2001

Crime Subversion and Injustice  LK2006
Welfare States and Welfare Change  LK2015
Government and Globalisation  LB2010 
Comparing and Evaluating Public Policies  LK2016

And choice of options to total 30 credits: 
Environmental Policy     LK2014 
Government and Management     LK2011 
Embodiment and Feminist Theory     LK2005 
The Social Life of Stuff    LK2018
Global Society     LK2004 
Media and Society     LK2007 
Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context    LK2017

Year 3

Optional Placement

Final Year
Politics Research Dissertation     LP3004 

International Migration and Policy  LK3018
Health Policy  LK3019 
Ageing, Society, and Policy     LK3006 

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 30 credits:
Corporate Power in a Globalised World     LK3004 
Dissertation     LK3001 
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: Cultural Norms and Family Policy     LK3013 
Kith and Kin: Family in a Social Context    LK3020
Popular Music and Society    LK3016
The Challenge of Climate Change     LY3031 

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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