Social Policy at Aston University was ranked 8th in the UK for ‘Graduate Prospects – Outcomes’ (Complete University Guide, 2023)
Social Policy at Aston University was ranked second in the UK for ‘value added’ (Guardian, 2022).
Business modules delivered by Aston Business School - one of just 1 per cent of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation
95% of students felt positive about teaching on their course and the academic support they received (Business Management and Public Policy; National Student Survey, 2023)
Course outline and modules
You’ll study the theories, principles and underlying concepts of the main functions of management and develop a strong understanding of business models and processes. You’ll examine how strategic decision-making within organisations takes place, and develop the ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers make decisions.
On the social policy strand of the course, you will investigate the economic, social and political forces which influence government decision-making and develop a detailed understanding of policy-making processes at global, national and local levels of government. You will also explore in detail, the outcomes and consequences of various government policies on the economy and society. Studying the nature of policy delivery and management by various organisations, such as local governments, schools and businesses, will prepare you for a range of career paths.
We also explore the social constraints we encounter in our everyday lives and how they are reinforced by class, race, religion and gender. To understand how these issues perpetuate existing inequalities and unequal life chances, we analyse what impact official policies has on such processes, how politics is intertwined with the profit-making aims pursued by big corporations and how their combined interests dominate our social imaginations.
Social policy will equip you with the knowledge and analytical skills that will enable you to think critically and work independently. This includes how to design a research project, collect empirical data, handle complex datasets (e.g., through applying coding techniques) and, most importantly, develop an advanced analytical mindset. This training will be essential for your final-year dissertation during which you will carry out your own individual research project. This experience will provide you with a skillset that is highly desired in a wide range of industries and areas of work.
- Information for international applicants
Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.
Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.
For more information on applying as an international student, visit our webpage: www.aston.ac.uk/international/students-applying
Post-study work visa
Graduate Immigration Route
Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics while group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.
For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS
- Year 1
- Becoming a Social Scientist
- Critical Debates in Society and Policy
- From Social Problems to Public Policies
- Introductory Accounting for Business
- Introduction to Organisational Behaviour
- Introduction to Marketing Management
- Economic Environment of Business
- Year 2
- Research Methods
- Critical Policy Analysis
- Strategic Finance
- Operations Management
- Fundamental Strategy
- Virtual Business Simulation
- Global Society
- Crime, Subversion and Injustice
- Health and Society
- Year 3
The Aston placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and is compulsory for all home students. International/EU students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.
- Final Year
- Dissertation (Policy)
- Theories and Practice of Leadership
- Business Ethics
- Migration, Borders and Belonging
- Health Policy
- Corporate Power in a Globalised World
- The Challenges of Climate Change
- International Marketing
- Sustainable Operations Management
- Learning and Development
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Consumer Research and the Customer Experience
Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.
- A Levels
BBC (standard offer)
BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
BCC (contextual offer*)
29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects.
Standard level Maths and English grade 4 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
- BTEC, Access & other
BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)
The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.
We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.
- T Levels
The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:
- T-Level - Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D
- T-Level - Digital Production, Design and Production Grade D
- T-Level – Education and Childcare Grade D
- T-Level – Onsite Construction Grade D
- T-Level – Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D
- T-Level – Digital Business Services Grade D
- T-Level – Digital Support Services Grade D
- T-Level – Health Grade D
- T-Level – Healthcare Science Grade D
- T-Level – Science Grade D
5 GCSE grades A*/9 – C/4 to include:
- GCSE Maths – grade C/4
- GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4
- Learn more about admission to this course
Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).
Entry onto our Foundation Programme may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved. Aston University welcomes applications from students with a wide range of qualifications from the UK and overseas, including combinations of qualifications. If your qualifications are not listed here and you wish to check whether they meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the university.
Please note that General Studies does not contribute towards the UCAS points requirement but is welcomed as an additional qualification.
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.
For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.
Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. Find out more.
*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.
Learning, teaching and assessment
Our close employer links and focus on practical experiences to transfer to the workplace means you will get a blend of learning and teaching experiences that will equip you for your career. You’ll also get the opportunity to undertake your own research in the heart of Birmingham.
Learning and teaching
As a business and sociology student at Aston, you will experience our innovative approach to teaching, which combines a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and group and individual project work.
Traditional teaching is supported by our virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of digital support materials. For example, all business students undertake the Business Game module and compete in teams in a computer simulation exercise that culminates in a presentation to a panel of internal employers.
Because the course deals with many topical issues, we incorporate current media coverage and public and policy debates into class discussions and link these to academic research wherever possible.
There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. The University offers training courses in study skills, and the Library’s Learning Development Centre provides one-to-one instruction, workshops and study guides for academic research and writing. You will be allocated an academic supervisor to help you with your final year dissertation and a personal tutor who can provide you with help and advice throughout your studies.
To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in a standardised online learning environment, which provides full details of all modules including week-by-week breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year.
We use a range of assessment methods and most modules are assessed with a combination of coursework and an end of year examination. Coursework includes essays, research reports, individual and group projects, portfolios, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations.
Our business degrees are designed to also give you a range of transferable and practical skills to succeed within your chosen career. We make extensive use of group working and presentations to prepare you for the reality of working life. This experience will develop your team working and negotiating skills.
The integrated placement year gives you the genuine practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues such as office politics, which cannot be replicated in a purely academic environment.
Dr Doaa Shohaieb (Business)
Dr Tom Mills / Dr Sarah-Jane Page (Sociology)
Fees and scholarships
UK students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: £9,250
During placement year: £1,250
International/EU students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: TBC
During placement year: £2,500
The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as home students. Further information can be found here.
Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.
At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.
Our Business Management and Social Policy course is focused on increasing your employability and our graduates have excellence communication and teamwork skills, are critical and analytic and can design, conduct, analyse and evaluate research. As a manager you will be a problem solver, planner and leader, and this course aims to prepare you for these challenges.
Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of organisations, management and the issues driving government policy are essential. Recent employers include:
- British Gas
- The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
- Channel 4
- Solihull Care Housing Association
- Imperial College London
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Graduates have worked in roles including Business Analyst, Corporate Engagement Executive, Insurance Broker, Business Consultant, National Project Coordinator, Person Centred Support Worker and Procurement Manager.
Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.
The Careers and Placement team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placements Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.
Frequently asked questions
- Why study Business Management and Social Policy at Aston University?
You’ll develop the knowledge and experience to equip you for a career in the private, public and voluntary sectors as well as an informed opinion on the influences on social policy and a broad business perspective.
- Is a placement useful for Business Management and Social Policy?
Your integrated placement year will help you to demonstrate to employers that you are able to transfer your knowledge to a real-world environment. A placement also helps you to understand the type of career you may want to establish once you graduate. It helps you put the learning in lectures into practice and develop skills that you can’t replicate by studying alone.
Recent placements students have been on include those at Aston Villa Football Club, Behavioural Support Centres, British Energy, the Home Office and Marks and Spencer.
- What kind of jobs does a degree in Business Management and Social Policy lead to?
You will gain strategic management skills, a broad-based knowledge of business and opportunities to develop your understanding of public policy. Typical destinations include careers in the private sector, central and local government, European Union, organisations providing health and social care, education, housing, leisure, environmental protection, as well as charities and social enterprise.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles including Business Analyst, Corporate Engagement Executive, Insurance Broker, Business Consultant, National Project Coordinator, Person Centred Support Worker and Procurement Manager.
- Why should international students choose Aston University?
Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great play to study, it’s also a great place to live.
Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.
Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme in social science will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course.