Business Management and Social Policy

BSc (Hons)

Are you ready to enhance your strategic business acumen and delve into the intricacies of social policy-making?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

4 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course overview

Studying the BSc (Hons) Business Management and Social Policy programme at Aston University offers a unique blend of business acumen and sociological insights. You will master the principles of management, strategic decision-making, and business processes while simultaneously delving into the forces shaping government policies.

You will be taught by research-active staff who are experts in contemporary topics like inequality, racism, health, migration, and more, and who constantly update their teaching based on research findings.

With a professional placement year as one of its key features, the programme is geared towards increasing your employability by providing you with the knowledge and skills required of professionals working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Aston graduate Rachel Appiah

“I’ve taken many things from Aston University that have helped me in my career. I think it’s been really beneficial for me to understand how people work, their different personality traits, and ultimately tailoring my communications to different people.”

Rachel Appiah
BSc (Hons) Business Management and English Language
Senior policy adviser, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Why Business Management and Social Policy at Aston University?

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Our academics are clear
100% of students felt that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (Business Management and Social Policy; National Student Survey, 2023)
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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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Excellent prospects
Aston University was named runner-up in the University of the Year for Graduate Employment Award (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024)
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Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023)
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Safe in our hands
Social Policy was ranked top 5 in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation

Course description

BSc (Hons) Business Management and Social Policy

Studying BSc (Hons) Business Management and Social Policy at Aston University allows you to understand the functions of management and examine the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations 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. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and authentic assessment. As a student on this programme, you will be one of the first to know about advancements in topical research by staff across the department, even before it is published.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel. 

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What skills we teach
You will develop management, leadership and critical thinking skills that are applicable to real life situations. Our graduates are articulate and versatile problem solvers equipped with the necessary skills for a rapidly changing world of business and policymaking.

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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 Management and Social Policy 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 Management and Social Policy 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: Amazon, Lidl, Financial Times, Civil Service and West Midlands Pension Fund.

How you will learn

Our programme is designed to provide you with a dynamic and engaging learning experience that prepares you for a successful career beyond graduation. Our teaching approach combines academic rigor with practical application, ensuring that you not only grasp management theories and concepts but also develop an understanding of policymaking and factors which influence government decision-making.

You will engage in a range of learning activities including lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, group work, project work, and independent study. Many of your modules will be taught in a seminar format, bridging theoretical input with practical activities, and allowing you to develop your understanding in discussion with your tutor and fellow students. You will complete a major piece of independent research (a dissertation) in the final year.

Applied modules, study trips, and the compulsory placement year will provide hands-on experience, enabling you to apply what you have learned in a professional context, whilst preparing you to tackle the complexities of a rapidly changing world.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of industry and individuals, our course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of business management and social policy alongside the opportunity to specialise in topics that interest you. Our graduates leave well-equipped as critical thinkers and strategic decision makers.

First year

In your first year, you will grasp the fundamental concepts, terminology and principles across different aspects of business management and social policy. You will delve into business functions, problem-solving and analysing management theories and practices, whilst honing your critical thinking, communication and data analysis skills.

Second year

Building on the foundations of first year, your second year will delve deeper into business and social policy. You will develop advanced research methods, independence and communication skills, and you will gain expertise in policy development, critical analysis, strategic decision-making and corporate functions.

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 topic of your choice relating to social policy, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods. You will have the opportunity to specialise in topics you enjoy most by choosing from a range of optional modules.

Charlotte Boon

Innovating for success

Charlotte Sutton made a big impact during her placement year with Marubeni Komatsu Ltd.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston University academic staff.
  2. Develops your knowledge of a range of government activities delivered in key policy areas.
  3. Provides a sound understanding of how policy is formulated and implemented.
  4. Develops you to critically evaluate policy initiatives and apply research techniques to policy issues.
  5. Maintains and enhances your graduate employability.
  6. Enables you to reach a clear perspective on the changing nature of government policy.
  7. Develops your ability to recognise and analyse the economic, technical, financial, social and organisational parameters within which modern managers make decisions.
  8. Ensures relevance by maintaining and enhancing the School’s links with business, professional and public sector organisations.
  9. Equips you with the knowledge and skills to find employment in a range of business and management roles.
  10. Develops you as a well-qualified graduate with key skills for life-long learning.
  11. Meets the accreditation requirements of appropriate management-related professional bodies.


Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

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

Module TitleCredits
Becoming a Social Scientist30
Critical Debates in Society and Policy15
From Social Problems to Public Policies15
Introductory Accounting for Business15
Introduction to Organisational Behaviour15
Introduction to Marketing Management15
Economic Environment of Business15

Year 1 outcomes

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

  • Understand the underlying concepts and principles associated with business and social policy as academic disciplines, including key theoretical and ethical issues.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of the main functions of business and management.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving management problems.
  • Understand basic theories and methods used in the study of management as applied to the analysis of management ideas, companies, institutions and practices.
  • Think critically and develop lines of argument and analysis in accordance with basic social scientific theories and concepts.
  • Evaluate and interpret research design, and qualitative and quantitative data and methods.
  • Understand and critically assess the basic structure of the policy making process.
  • Use information technology for word processing, data handling, communication, and information gathering.
  • Communicate accurately, effectively, and appropriately, presenting structured and coherent arguments, demonstrating awareness of professional norms.
  • Demonstrate a range of transferrable academic skills, including an ability to reflect on your own learning and development, to engage effectively with feedback, and to work effectively and collaboratively with peers.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of a range of possible career pathways that graduates of the programme might pursue, and you will be able to articulate the employability skills and attributes required in these careers.

Year 2 modules

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

Module TitleCredits
Research Methods15
Critical Policy Analysis15
Strategic Finance15
Operations Management15
Fundamental Strategy15
Virtual Business Simulation15

You will choose one of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Global Society15
Crime, Subversion and Injustice15
Health and Society15

*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:

  • Understand the main methods of enquiry in business and social policy as academic disciplines, and critically evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches.
  • Synthesise, explain, and evaluate different concepts, theories, and evidence to form compelling arguments.
  • Understand a range of basic descriptive and inferential statistics used in data analysis and key methods used in qualitative research.
  • Think critically and understand different epistemological approaches and how they influence analyses and interpretations.
  • Understand advanced processes involved in developing policy at different stages of the policy process.
  • Apply the basic tools of policy analysis to appraise of the strengths and weaknesses of specific policies.
  • Understand and critically assess theories and methods used in the study of management as applied to the analysis of management ideas, companies, institutions and practices.
  • Understand strategic decision making within companies.
  • Understand the roles of various corporate functions in theory and practice.
  • Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management skills.
  • Communicate information, arguments and analysis effectively in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences and deploy key techniques of management effectively.

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:

  • Demonstrate increasing personal and professional development through a placement.
  • Articulate key personal, cultural, professional and disciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to the placement experience and reflect on performance.
  • Communicate the ways in which placement-related skills can be transferred to support ongoing personal, professional and academic development.

Final year modules

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

Module TitleCredits
Dissertation (Policy)30
Theories and Practice of Leadership15
Business Ethics15

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Migration, Borders and Belonging15
Health Policy15
Corporate Power in a Globalised World15
The Challenges of Climate Change15

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
International Marketing15
Sustainable Operations Management15
Learning and Development15
Strategic Human Resource Management15
Consumer Research and the Customer Experience15

*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 a systematic understanding of key aspects of business and social policy as academic disciplines.
  • Demonstrate a systematic and critical knowledge of the key theories, methods, and applications of management.
  • Create and present sustained arguments backed up with evidence that reflects contemporary understanding of business and social policy as academic disciplines.
  • Design, undertake, and report independent social research with a clear consideration of theory, methods and ethical considerations.
  • Synthesis and critically evaluate the concepts, theories and methods used, and findings of, social scientific research.
  • Identify a research question and design, execute and report an extensive, empirically based research project.
  • Exercise personal initiative and responsibility and make informed decisions in complex and unpredictable contexts.
  • Communicate ideas, problems, solutions and research results to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

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

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

International students

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

More information on fees

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 UK students.

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.

Explore our scholarships 


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 Management and Social Policy 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 social policy programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Account executive
  • Business manager
  • Business development consultant
  • Store manager
  • Digital marketing executive
  • Project manager
  • Business consultant
  • Research and content writer
  • Policy adviser
  • Commercial graduate
  • Strategy specialist

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as the Civil Service, Amazon, Lidl, Financial Times, Atos, Nissan, Aldi and KPMG.


Dreaming big

Ali-Reza Panjwani talks about his experience at Aston University and how it propelled him to becoming an executive director at J.P. Morgan in New York City.

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


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

What kind of jobs does a Business Management and Social Policy degree 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.

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


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