.

BSc Politics and Sociology

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.
  • Politics at Aston achieved 95% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.
  • Sociology at Aston is currently ranked Top 5 in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2015 Complete University Guide and Guardian University Guide. 
  • Sociology at Aston is currently ranked Top 15 in the UK for Employability in the 2015 Complete University Guide. 

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LL42

Typical Offers
A-levels
: 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.

Subject guide and modules

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.
The Sociology strand of the course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, social change, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships.  You will complete introductory and intermediate modules in research methods in preparation for designing your own independent research project in the Final Year. You will also take courses that deal with more complex issues including the relationship between science and ‘race’, reproductive politics, corporate power, climate change, ageing, religion and media power.

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.

The Sociology strand of the course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. 

They combine an introduction to specific skills such as research design and use of comparative method, with an emphasis on social change. Strengths of the programme include its focus on key contemporary social issues, social policy and decision making, and international comparisons of social structures and policies.

Sample module options: The following module descriptions are indications only -  the University reserves the right to change the modules on offer, the module content and the assessment methods.  

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

Social Theory 1     LK1007
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

Research Methods 2     LK2002
Social Theory 2     LK2001

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

And a choice of options to total 20 credits:
Global Society
    LK2004
Embodiment and Feminist Theory
    LK2005
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice
    LK2006
Media and Society
    LK2007
Race and Racisms
    LK2008




Year 3

Optional Placement


Final Year
Core:
Politics Research Dissertation     LP3004

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

And a choice of options to total 60 credits:
Dissertation
    LK3001
Ageing, Society, and Policy
    LK3006
Modern British Governance
    LK3002
Risk and Regulation
    LK3003
Risk, Environment and Society
    LK3005
Work, Organisations and Society
    LK3008
Racism, Class and Gender
    LK3010
Health matters: understanding patterns and policies
    LK3009
Contemporary Social Movements
    LK3011
Corporate Power in a Globalised World
    LK3004
Sport and Society
    LK3012
Pregnancy and Politics
    LK3013
Learning to Labour: Education and Society
    LK3007
Religion and Society
    LK3014
Music and Society
    LK3016

The Placement Year is optional for students studying Politics and Sociology. 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.


You will be involved in lectures and seminars, small group work projects 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 fro group and collaborative work. Students undertake a major piece of independent research in Final Year.

You will be allocated an academic supervisor for this work and a Personal Tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies.

Assessment is through a combination of exams, project-based course work, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year.

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
  • Warwickshire County Council - Political Group Assistant
  • Journalist for Tatler Magazine
  • Birmingham City Council – Project Assistant
  • European Union/European Parliament Officers/Assistants
  • London Borough of Bexley – Policy and Planning Officer

  • Marks and Spencer – Finance and Commercial Managers

  • Trainee Accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers 
  • Case Worker - Crown Prosecution Service
  • Birmingham City Council – Organisational Development Officer

  • PhD Research in Public Sector Management, Sociology and Society

  • MSc Human Resource Management, King's College London
  • Tenancy Support Worker, Midland Heart  

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!”

Dr Chrissie Rogers - Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Chrissie Rogers

“Sociology enables us to understand the personal and private lives of individuals and engage with the messy nature of everyday life. All of this can then be viewed in the context of the public sphere. For example, one of my areas of research is around the impacts of inclusion and exclusion for children and young people and in the UK ‘Every Child Matters’ promotes a meaningful sense of well-being for all children and ‘Education for All’ positions a global inclusive education strategy. These are just two of the policy contexts that address education as a means to promote inclusion and meaningful learning. But do they? Large numbers of pupils are not included, have poor educational experiences and are either marginalised or demonised. Education is failing children and young people. Not least of all because they are disengaged, alienated and excluded from a meaningful learning process. League tabling and competitive schooling is stifling. We need to address these divisions as sociologists. This focus is just one area that within teaching sociology we can really get to the heart of understanding difference and diversity. More broadly, as a sociologist I have written Parenting and Inclusive Education, Critical Approaches to Care (with Susie Weller) as well as working on Intellectual Disability and Social Theory.”

Contact Details

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

Student Profile

Student Profile

Michelle Lee

BSc Politics and Sociology

My placement year was spent in one of the busiest cities in the world, Central London. This gave me an incredible insight into the Consulting world and a fantastic opportunity to network across the globe. IBM sets their standards well above the average and gave me challenging roles that truly provided me with an invaluable life experience.

 

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Chloe Piper, Graduate 2013

BSc Sociology

During my Placement Year I worked full time in a homeless centre in Central London. I worked as a fundraiser and also helped to run activity sessions in creative writing, ICT and art. My Placement Year helped me discover what field I want to go into after I graduate.

 

Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure

Accommodation

Accommodation

Outstanding graduate career prospects

gjgjgkghkg

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Visit our YouTube channel

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research