Business and Politics

BSc (Hons)

Ready to get a head start in business and unpack major issues facing governments worldwide, from terrorism to climate change?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements

BBC (standard offer)

BCC (contextual offer)

Duration

4 years with integrated placement year (international students may opt out of the placement year)

UCAS code(s)

LN2C

Start date

Course overview

Our BSc (Hons) Business and Politics course provides a comprehensive education in management and politics. You will gain a strong foundation in management principles and business concepts, including strategic decision-making. You will explore political topics going beyond the UK and Europe, covering Africa, Asia and North America. You will gain a profound understanding of political systems, economic policies and explore how business and politics intersect.

You will be taught by research-active staff who are experts in their respective fields and who constantly update their teaching based on the newest research findings.

The integrated placement year will bridge the gap between theory and practice, and provide you with invaluable real-world experiences in the UK or abroad, equipping you with the skills and insights you need for a range of professional roles within business, government or advocacy.

Yesmeen Singh Business and Politics student

"I really enjoyed studying politics especially because I wanted to start a political career after my degree. Most of my modules were based on modern day politics which really helped me to relate and utilise my current affairs knowledge critically."

Yesmeen Singh
BSc (Hons) Business and Politics
Vice President Education, Aston Students' Union

Why Business and Politics at Aston University?

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Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
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Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
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Our academics are clear
96% of students felt that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (Politics programmes; National Student Survey, 2023)
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Safe in our hands
Politics at Aston University was ranked top 5 in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Complete University Guide, 2023)
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66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

BSc (Hons) Business and Politics

Our BSc (Hons) Business and Politics degree at Aston University will equip you with the skills, deep knowledge and practical understanding required by leaders within the public and private sector across the world.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. Our course content will be diverse, research-led and teaching methods will be innovative and interesting. There will be a focus on workshops and group discussions to develop the skills that will make you career ready.

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies. You must be motivated and have a willingness to learn. As well as contact hours, there is a strong emphasis on your own private study. You must be willing to grow as an independent learner and self-direct yourself to take full advantage of our learning facilities. 

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What skills we teach
You will develop the core skills sought after by any employer such as communication, teamwork and effective negotiation. You will become strategic decision makers and will have the ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers form judgements. 

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Placement year
We all know that taking a placement year will boost your employability – it’s what makes Aston University graduates some of the most employable in the country. It’s for this reason that we encourage every student to take one. The placement year gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.

The placement year is compulsory for BSc (Hons) Business and Politics students. International students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Business and Politics graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. Our recent graduates have gone on to work across the public, private and third sectors for organisations including: IBM, TikTok, Accenture, Morgan Stanley, HSBC and University Hospitals Birmingham.

How you will learn

Our teaching approach is innovative, comprehensive, and practical, emphasising real-world application. The BSc (Hons) Business and Politics programme employs diverse teaching methods, including lectures, tutorials, seminars, project work and independent study. At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance.

Our emphasis is on practical knowledge application, with guest lectures from prominent business leaders and mentoring programs offering unique insights. Our renowned Visiting Professors, top UK business figures, share their expertise and expectations from students and graduates.

Complementing traditional teaching, our virtual learning environment provides electronic support materials. You'll have access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals. University-wide services like the careers service, Jobshop, counselling and advice services, sports facilities, and Chaplaincy enhance your overall university experience and prepare you for your professional career.

In your final year, you will undertake a major piece of independent research in the form of a dissertation. You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules including EuroSim, where students compete in an international intercollegiate negotiation simulation.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of society and future employers, our course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of key political, business and management theories and concepts and an ability to critically analyse these, alongside the opportunity to specialise in areas of business and politics that interest you most.

First year

In the first year, you will develop a fundamental knowledge of business and politics. You will explore management and political theories, apply them to analyse institutions and companies and learn about business and management functions. You will gain data analysis, problem-solving and communication skills while fostering collaboration, time management and independence.

Second year

With the fundamentals mastered in the first year, your second year will see you delve more deeply into the critical analysis of politics and management theories for practical applications in companies and institutions. You will explore strategic decision-making, examine national and regional political systems, and adapt concepts for broader contexts.

Placement year

The Aston University placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills. Our award-winning careers and placements team are on hand to support you through every step of your placement journey.

Final year

In your final year, you will complete a research dissertation on a political topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods. You will specialise in topics you enjoy most by choosing from a range of optional modules.

Tolu Olugunju Business and Politics student

My placement year experience

Tolu Olagungu completed two placements as part of his BSc (Hons) Business and Politics degree - at Redbull and Mercedes Benz. His experiences opened his eyes to the world of opportunities out there.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with an intellectually rigorous and up-to-date education in politics and business administration which will help you to identify and achieve your personal, academic and professional goals.
  2. Provides you with the ability to analyse and understand political problems, socio-cultural change and political institutions and structures.
  3. Develops your ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers make decisions.
  4. Offers you the opportunity to obtain relevant industrial experience or study abroad through a placement year.
  5. Provides you with the knowledge and skills to find employment in a range of business and management roles, in both the public and private sectors.
  6. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston University academic staff.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introduction to Studying and Researching Politics30
British Politics since 199015
Introductory Accounting for Business15
Economic Environment of Business15
Law for Business15
Introduction to Marketing Management15
Total105

You will choose one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
The Making of the Modern World15
What’s Trending (Current Affairs in Politics and International Relations)15

Year 1 outcomes

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature and significance of politics as a human activity in national, regional/European and international or global frameworks.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic theories and methods used in the study of management and politics, as applied to the analysis of management and political ideas, companies, institutions and practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main functions of business and management.
  • Present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of politics and management.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving political and management problems.
  • Communicate the results of your study/work accurately and reliably, with structured and coherent arguments.
  • Collaborate with others effectively to achieve common goals.
  • Work independently and manage time.

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Comparative Government and Politics15
Introduction to Political Economy: Institutions and Rational Choice15
Fundamental Strategy15
Strategic Finance15
Operations Management15
Virtual Business Simulation15
Total90

You will choose one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Politics and Society of the Middle East15
West European Politics and Society15
North American Politics and Society15
East Asian Politics and Society: China and Japan15
South Asian Politics and Society15

You will choose one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
The Politics and Policies of the European Union15
Political Theories and Ideologies15

*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.

Year 2 outcomes

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the theories of politics and management as applied to the analysis of political and management ideas, companies, institutions and practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of strategic decision making within companies.
  • Demonstrate understanding of different national and regional/European political systems; the nature and distribution of power in them; the social, economic, historical and cultural contexts within which they operate, and the relationships between them.
  • Apply the concepts and principles of political science and management in contexts outside of which they were first studied, including an employment context.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the roles of various corporate functions in theory and practice.
  • Use established techniques to construct reasoned argument, gather and synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement.
  • Communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management skills.

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year120

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Apply your knowledge, skills and competencies within a real work-based situation, or in a foreign context.
  • Manage your future learning and reflect upon your own learning and development.
  • Reflect on the practical applications of subject knowledge.

Final year modules

In your final year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Research Skills and Politics Dissertation30
Theories and Practice of Leadership15
Business Ethics15
Total60

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
African Politics: From the Colonial Period to the Present Day15
America in the World15
The American Presidency15
Chinese Politics and Society15
Conflict and Intervention15
Diplomacy and Soft Power15
EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation Games15
Gender and Politics15
Interest Groups and Lobbying15
Politics and Islam: Past and Present15
Politics and Protest in a Globalised World15
Politics of Development15
Religion and Politics in Contemporary Europe15
Sport and Politics15
Technology and Digital Politics15
The International Relations of East Asia15
The Populist Radical Right in Europe15
Debates in Contemporary British Politics15
Political Parties15

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
International Marketing15
Sustainable Operations Management15
Ethics in a Crisis15
Strategic Human Resource Management15
Innovation and New Product and Service Development15
Global Working15

*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.

Final year outcomes

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate systematic and critical knowledge of the key theories, methods, and applications of political science and management. 
  • Identify a research question and design, execute and report an empirically based research project.
  • Evaluate critically and comment on advanced political science and management scholarship.
  • Develop quantitative and qualitative skills required to make assessments of the business and political environment.
  • Exercise personal initiative and responsibility, and make informed decisions in complex and unpredictable contexts.
  • Communicate ideas, problems, solutions and research results effectively to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

We regularly review our modules to provide the best possible teaching and learning experience, incorporating academic developments, student feedback and employer feedback.

There may be some change to some of the modules on this course for 2025/26 entry.

We’ll make sure to let you know of any changes to modules at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. 
 
We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints may mean it isn’t possible to take some module combinations. The structure of some courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.


 

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBC (standard offer)
    BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
    BCC (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

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.

29 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 5,5,4 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 4 in Mathematics and grade 5 in English Language.

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.

 

The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade D
  • Education and Childcare - grade D
  • Onsite Construction - grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Business Services - grade D
  • Digital Support Services - grade D
  • Health - grade D
  • Healthcare Science - grade D
  • Science - grade D
  • Accounting - grade D
  • Finance - grade D
  • Management and administration - grade D
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing - grade D 
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing - grade D
  • Legal Services - 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
Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a first year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 3 entry onwards: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3 or final year. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 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.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

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.

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.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

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.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£18,250
During placement year:£2,500

Fees listed are for 2024 entry. For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/UK students and £2,500 for International students. For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies. For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

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.

Explore our scholarships 

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments. Special emphasis will be placed on authentic assessment.

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) Business and Politics programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

The transferable skills that our business and politics programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Project manager
  • Senior recruitment consultant
  • Regulation specialist
  • Business development manager
  • Compliance analyst
  • Risk management support officer
  • Security specialist
  • Technology consultant

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as TikTok, PwC, IBM, BT, Accenture, Reed Specialist Recruitment, University Hospitals Birmingham and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

L'myah Sherae - Politics and Sociology graduate

One of the best decisions I made

L’myah Sherae knew she wanted to work in race relations and politics from a young age. She completed her placement year at the Houses of Parliament and now runs her own political campaigns company.

Our students achieve some amazing things during their time with us and after they graduate - whether it's setting up their own businesses, landing competitive graduate schemes, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.
 

Frequently asked questions

Why study politics or international relations?

Why study politics and international relations? Dr Laura Southgate, a lecturer at Aston University, explains the benefits of studying this discipline.

Read more

 

How will a placement year benefit me?

Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston University’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

Our work placements give 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.

Find out more

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

 

Register your interest