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BSc Sociology and 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

  • English Language achieved 100% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.
  • In the 2013 National Student Survey BSc English Language scored 100% for overall satisfaction 
  • Sociology at Aston is currently ranked Top 15 in the UK for Employability in the 2015 Complete University Guide
  • Staff work routinely with law enforcement as expert witnesses in cases where speech and/or text constitutes part of the evidence

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LQ33

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.

This multi-disciplinary programme takes an applied approach to the teaching of Sociology and English Language, through the optional placement year and professionally relevant modules which draw directly on our cutting-edge research. You will be provided with a theoretical knowledge and understanding of the English language, how it works in society and its role in the world today. You will also examine social processes, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. Important strengths of the course include the research-active teaching staff who are internationally recognised researchers in fields such as ethnic and gender equalities, global change, theories of social change, forensic linguistics, language and gender and TESOL studies. The 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 graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of societies, organisations, institutions and communication skills are required.

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:


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

Social Theory 1     LK1007
Becoming a Social Scientist     LK1011



Year 2
Core modules:

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


Research Methods 2     LK2002
Social Theory 2     LK2001


A choice of options to total 20 credits:
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages     LE2012
Computer-mediated Communication     LE2057
Language at Work     LE2007
The Language of the Law     LE2056
Language in the News Media     LE2022
Work-based Project  LE2058
OR
Work-based Project    LE2059


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:
English Dissertation    LE3014


Choice of options to total 40 credits:
Spoken Discourse Analysis     LE3022
Language as Evidence     LE3031
Corpus Linguistics     LE3028
Multimodal Analysis     LE3029
Linguistics of the Individual     LE3030
Leadership and management communication: 1     LE3024
Leadership and management communication: 2     LE3025
Language Contact and Globalization     LE3033

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

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 English Language and Sociology graduates include:   

  • Project Officer, Worcester City Council
  • Classified Sales Executive, Conde Naste Publisher
  • Support Worker, Future Homecare
  • Graduate Management Trainee, Lloyds Bank
  • Graduate Buyer, Carillion
  • Theatrical Marketing, Warner Brothers
  • Case Worker, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Management Trainee for the NHS
  • Graduate Trainees for: Warwickshire County Council, Nestlé, Deloitte and Touche
  • PhD Research – Sociology and Social Sciences
  • Procurement, BP
  • Editorial Assistant, Blast TV 
  • Case Worker, Crown Prosecution Service 
  • Learning Support Assistant, Balfor Education 
  • Tenancy Support Worker, Midland Heart 
  • Trainee Teacher, Castle Vale School 
  • MA Broadcast Journalism, University College Falmouth 
  • PGCE Secondary English, the University of Birmingham 
  • MSc Human Resource Management, King’s College London
  • 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 Sociology Joint Honours programme specification and the English Language Joint Honours programme specification.

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.”


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.”

The placement year is optional for students studying English Language 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.

Contact Details

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

Graduate Profile

Graduate Profile

Hayley Chisholm, Graduate 2012

BSc English Language and Sociology

During my Placement Year, I went to Japan to work as a Teaching Assistant in a university located near Tokyo. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain paid work experience in Japan whilst studying. I was able to learn Japanese to a conversational level which has allowed me to form friendships and improve my confidence.

 

Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure

Accommodation

Accommodation

Outstanding graduate prospects

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Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research