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BSc International Relations & Sociology  

Why choose this course?

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

  • International Relations at Aston achieved 95% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.

  • Sociology at Aston is currently ranked Top 15 in the UK for Employability in the 2015 Complete University Guide.

  • Sociology at Aston achieved 97% Overall Satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LL2H

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.

Our BSc in International Relations and Sociology offers a fascinating insight into the sociological and political challenges facing our society in the 21st century. This multi-disciplinary programme provides a comprehensive understanding of social and political processes, the sociology of inter-group relations and the relationships between states. You will examine the roles played by organisations, international institutions, multi-national corporations and NGOS. You will also benefit from teaching staff who are internationally recognised researchers in fields such as ethnic and gender equalities, global change, theories of social change, relations between the European Union and its eastern neighbours, as well as the politics and governance of Poland and the Ukraine. Strengths of the programme include its focus on key contemporary issues, policy and decision making, and international comparisons of structures and policies. 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 International Relations and Sociology 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:

Year 1
Core modules:
Europe and the Making of the Modern World     LP1016
Information Skills     LP1012
Introduction to International Relations     LP1021
Introduction to the European Union     LP1065


Social Theory 1     LK1007
Becoming a Social Scientist     LK1011


Year 2
Core modules:
International Relations: Theories and Issues     LP2014
Research Methods in Political and Social Science     LP2006
The Politics and Policies of the European Union     LP2020

Research Methods 2     LK2002
Social Theory 2     LK2001


One of the following optional modules:
Introduction to Political Economy     LP 2022
Security Studies in a Changing World
    LP2021


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:
International Relations Research Dissertation     LP3009


Choose four of the following optional modules:
Central and East European Politics     LP3008
Immigration & Citizenship in Western Europe     LP3011
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
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

Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers who value their understanding of different organisations, their communication skills and motivation for team work. Recent destinations for our International Relations and Sociology 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

  • Project Officer, Worcester City Council

  • Support Worker, Future Homecare

  • Graduate Management Trainee, Lloyds Bank

  • Theatrical Marketing, Warner Brothers

  • Case Worker, Crown Prosecution Service

  • Management Trainee for the NHS

  • Graduate Trainees for: Warwickshire County Council, Nestlé, Deloitte and Touche

  • 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).


You will participate in lectures, tutorials, seminars, group and individual project work. The courses deal with many topical issues, and as a result we try to incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and to link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible.

You will be require expertise in critical reading, writing, research and presentation. For his reason, many of our courses are designed to help you develop skills in these areas. You will undertake a range of different kinds of course work and research, from informal interventions into issues of concern to formal research dissertations. Modules are assessed through essays, written and oral exams, project work and presentations.

For further information, see the International Relations Joint Honours programme specification and the Sociology Joint Honours programme specification.

Dr Chrissie Rogers - Senior Lecturer in Sociology

“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 Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations 

Read what the staff have to say about their courses:

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 Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations 

Dr Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik

“My research focuses on post-conflict societies and their democratisation and reconciliation, drawing on Serbia and Kosovo as specific cases. Throughout my research, I also collaborate with other scholars, and therefore the issues that I look at can be quite wide ranging. For instance, I’ve recently investigated how Serbia as a society deals with war crimes and legacies of the past, but also how Serbia and Kosovo – previously at war – interact in peacetime. Much of this feeds directly into my teaching. I teach a module called ‘Conflict and Politics in Contemporary Balkans’, where I include insights from my research and trips to the region. On a module called ‘Conflict, Intervention and Reconciliation’, there are sessions dedicated to post-conflict justice and prosecuting of war crimes, so Serbia and Kosovo often feature as examples which we compare to other parts of the world. Most recently, I spent some time at the Centre for European Studies, Harvard, as a visiting scholar, where I worked on a new research project on social movements in Serbia. There is a rich tradition of protest and social movements in the Western Balkans more generally, so this will be the basis of one of the lectures I will teach next semester.”

The placement year is optional for students studying International Relations 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

Amy Leighton, Graduate 2012

BSc Sociology and Business

I undertook my first 12 month placement at a creative undergraduate agency, designing marketing campaigns for companies such Morgan Stanley, UBS and Nestle. My Placement Year strengthened my ability to communicate with others effectively and take on vast amounts of responsibility quickly. I now work as a Product Marketing Manager for Atos.

 

Download the course brochure

Download the course brochure

Accommodation

Accommodation

Outstanding graduate career prospects

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