Business and International Relations BSc 2021

Study business alongside International Relations to learn more about contemporary issues in global politics, with an integrated placement year to give your career prospects a real boost.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 years with integrated placement year /

3 years without integrated placement year (option only available for international/EU students)

UCAS code(s)

LN21

Start date

Overview
Explore Business and International Relations BSc at Aston University
Mamfuka Chilengwe - Business and International Relations

“I spent my placement year as an intern at the A21 Campaign, USA – an anti-human trafficking organisation. The highlight for me was being able to assist survivors of human trafficking to court cases, as it allowed me to witness them receive some sort of closure, and has also led me to pursue a legal career.”

Mamfuka Chilengwe

BSc (Hons) Business and International Relations

Here's for the ones who do things differently and carve out their own path

Best University Careers Service Award

Here to support you.

Aston University recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020.

Uniqua Brown Business and International Relations student

"During my time at Aston, I took an extra module on sustainability, participated in three professional internships and multiple insight days, was involved in a society, ran a social enterprise project, completed two leadership programmes, and won two awards. All of this demonstrates that I have left Aston with more than just a degree. I have left with a network, valuable work experience and had lots of fun along the way!"

Uniqua Brown

BSc (Hons) Business and International Relations

Aston Business School triple accreditation icon
Uniqua Brown Business and International Relations student

"During my time at Aston, I took an extra module on sustainability, participated in three professional internships and multiple insight days, was involved in a society, ran a social enterprise project, completed two leadership programmes, and won two awards. All of this demonstrates that I have left Aston with more than just a degree. I have left with a network, valuable work experience and had lots of fun along the way!"

Uniqua Brown

BSc (Hons) Business and International Relations

Aston Business School triple accreditation icon

Course outline and modules

The joint honours in Business and International Relations BSc gives you a comprehensive understanding of business and management alongside an in-depth knowledge of contemporary politics in a global context. 

What you’ll learn

As a business student at Aston, you’ll study the theories, principles and underlying concepts 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, providing you with a solid starting point for your future career.

On the international relations strand of the course, you’ll get an introduction to the international state system and to the structure and purpose of international organisations, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and NATO. You will develop a knowledge and understanding of the nature between states and also of the roles played by international institutions, other intergovernmental organisations, multinational corporations and NGOs.

Important strengths of the course include its focus on key contemporary issues in international relations and policy, such as security and the globalisation of the international political economy. It is strongly geared towards increasing your employability, therefore designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills relevant to careers involving international partnerships in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

An integrated placement year offers the chance to apply your learning in a work or study placement in the UK or overseas. Whether you choose to study abroad, work for a company or to teach, Aston’s links with employers, schools and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

You will also have the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of individual work in the form of a dissertation on an agreed topic of your choice.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham 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 and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

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 and 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.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International Relations
  • Introduction to the European Union
  • Introductory Accounting for Business
  • Economics Environment of Business
  • Law for Business
  • Introduction to Marketing Management

 

Optional modules:

  • The Making of the Modern World
  • What's Trending (Current Affairs in Politics and International Relations)
Year 2

Core modules:

  • International Relations: Theories
  • Critical Approaches to Security Studies
  • Fundamental Strategy
  • Strategic Finance
  • Operations Management
  • Virtual Business Simulation

 

Optional modules:

  • West European Politics and Society
  • Russian and East European Politics and Society
  • North American Politics and Society
  • East Asian Politics and Society: China and Japan
  • South Asian Politics and Society
  • International Relations in Political Thought
  • Security Studies: Theories and Issues
  • The Politics and Policies of the European Union
  • International Political Economy

 

Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • Research Skills and International Relations Dissertation
  • Theories and Practice of Leadership
  • Business Ethics

 

Optional modules:

  • A Great Misunderstanding: Britain and the EU
  • African Politics: From the Colonial Period to the Present Day
  • America in the World
  • The American Presidency
  • BRICS and Emerging Power Shifts in World Politics
  • Chinese Politics and Society
  • Conflict and Intervention
  • Democracy, Authoritarianism and Regime Change
  • Diplomacy and Soft Power
  • Ethics and International Relations
  • EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation Games
  • Gender and Politics
  • Interest Groups and Lobbying
  • International Institutions
  • Nationalism and Political Power
  • Political Communication
  • Leaders and Leadership: Case Studies and Comparative Perspectives
  • Politics and Islam: Past and Present
  • Politics and Protest in a Globalised World
  • Politics of Development
  • Religion and Politics in Contemporary Europe
  • Sport and Politics
  • The International Relations of East Asia
  • The Populist Radical Right in Europe
  • Understanding Foreign Policy
  • Debates in Contemporary British Politics
  • Changing Patterns of Warfare
  • Intelligence Agencies and the Modern World - MI6, CIA and ISI
  • Political Parties
  • International Marketing
  • Sustainable Operations Management
  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Innovation and New Product and Service Development
  • Global Working

 

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.

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC-CCC from 3 A Levels.

BBC in 3 A Level subjects

BCC with B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths

CCC in 3 A Level subjects for our contextual offer scheme

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDD

BTEC Diploma (QCF/National) with A Levels - Distinction, Distinction (DD) and Grade B at A Level

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BB at A Level.

IB

29 points overall with grades 5, 5, 4 in 3 higher level subjects

Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.

Access to HE & other

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.

EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our International pages. 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 students with good A Level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, you may be interested in the Foundation Programme in Social Sciences (UK students) or the International Foundation Programme in Social Sciences (International students)

GCSE

5 GCSE grades A*/9 – C/4 to include:

GCSE Maths – grade C/4

GCSE English Language OR English Literature– grade C/4

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

This course is taught jointly by staff from the School of Languages and Social Sciences and Aston Business School - one of just 1 per cent of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation.

You will be involved in lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials. The course deals 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.

Many of your modules will be in a 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 the final year.

Study skills

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on 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 for this work 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 online student guides and module handouts, which include full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year. 

Assessment

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, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations.

Personal development

Our 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 genuine practical work experience to add to your CV, which will further boost your employability.

Programme Director(s)

Dr Yaprak Gursoy (International Relations)

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International/EU students (2021/22)

Annual tuition fees: £15,950

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 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. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

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.

Career prospects

Business and International Relations graduates go on to a range of professions with recent roles including Broadcast Journalist, Editorial Assistant, Civil Service Administrator, Human Resources Officer, Marketing Trainee, Policy Officer, Research Assistant, Solicitor, Languages Teacher, Account Manager, Analyst, Business Analyst, Corporate Engagement Executive, Public Policy and Strategic Relationships Intern.

Potential employers include Morgan Stanley, the Department for International Development, HSBC, Bosch, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Economic Commission.

Employed Business and Management graduates earn £11,100 (41%) more than the UK average five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019).

Best University Careers Service Award

Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020 for it's use of innovative ideas to engage a high number of students with the service in order to support them with their career planning.

Aston University has strong links with national and international organisations with over 200 employers interacting with students on campus each year.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I study Business and International Relations at Aston?

The BSc Business and International Relations joint honours degree course at Aston allows you to combine study in two fascinating subjects, with an integrated placement year to enhance your employability. The business modules are delivered by Aston Business School - one of just 1 per cent of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation.

Why should I do a placement year with Aston?

Aston is one of the leading universities for professional placements abroad. A placement year at home or abroad gives you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Why Aston University Business School? 

Aston University’s Business School is amongst the top 1 per cent of business schools in the world to have triple accreditation. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rates us ‘Gold’ and we are first in the UK for ‘Value Added’, comparing our students’ entry grades with their final degree result, showing the quality of our teaching (Aston University, Guardian University Guide, 2020). All of this means we really value your learning experience and the skills you develop and demonstrate as part of your course.

Why should international students choose Aston University? 

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. 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 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.

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. 

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