English Literature and International Relations BSc

Study a BSc English Literature and International Relations degree course at Aston University, and you’ll have the chance to explore literary genres and periods and hone your creative writing skills while learning more about politics around the world.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

 

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)

Duration

4 year with integrated placement year /3 year course without integrated placement year option only available for international students.

UCAS code(s)

Q3L2

Start date

Overview
Explore English Literature and International Relations BSc at Aston University
Grace Marr

"The most amazing thing about my placement, teaching English in Vietnam, was the opportunity to live in an incredible place and being able to immerse myself in a new culture."

Grace Marr

Marketing and PR Manager at Sherwood Event Services Limited

Jessica Metcalfe

"I spent my placement year in Paris, where I worked as a General Manager and Language Assistant at HSBC for part of the year and a Digital Marketer at Digimind for the rest of my time. The highlight of my placement experience was being able to improve and really get a hold on the French language which at the start was not easy! I also enjoyed having the flexibility to travel around Europe and beyond to see friends and of course finding all the hidden treasures in Paris."

Jessica Metcalfe

BSc International Relations and English Language

Jessica Metcalfe

"I spent my placement year in Paris, where I worked as a General Manager and Language Assistant at HSBC for part of the year and a Digital Marketer at Digimind for the rest of my time. The highlight of my placement experience was being able to improve and really get a hold on the French language which at the start was not easy! I also enjoyed having the flexibility to travel around Europe and beyond to see friends and of course finding all the hidden treasures in Paris."

Jessica Metcalfe

BSc International Relations and English Language

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

You’ll study literature, culture and history and explore the style choices of films, digital fiction, Instapoetry and Twitterfiction, alongside more traditional modes of text. We will equip you to critically engage with a variety of texts across both literary genres and periods, and you’ll be able to develop your skills as a writer through our Creative Writing module.

On the international relations strand of the degree course, you will have the unique opportunity to explore political topics going beyond the UK and Europe, covering North America, South Asia, China, Japan and other emerging global powers.

You’ll be able to find answers to questions such as: What are the major political issues that governments across the world face? What is the nature of relations between states? Can international institutions and intergovernmental organisations provide solutions to global issues that affect our daily lives, from peace and conflict to environmental change?

You will not only study the traditional subjects of the discipline, such as security, political economy or democratisation but also have the chance to delve into politics and ethics, sports, gender, protests or religion.

The Aston placement year offers the chance to apply your learning in a work or study placement in the UK or overseas and in your second year we’ll make sure you’re ready to get the most from this opportunity. 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. 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 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:

  • Literary Genres in English
  • Literature in History
  • Literature and Film
  • Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International Relations
  • Introduction to the European Union

 

Optional modules:

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

Core modules:

  • Literature, Culture and Society
  • Writing and Ideology
  • International Relations: Theories
  • Critical Approaches to Security Studies

 

Optional modules:

  • Stylistics
  • Crime Fiction
  • Creative Writing
  • Post-apocalyptic Fiction
  • 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:

  • Dissertation (Literature or International Relations)

 

Optional modules:

  • Cognition and Style
  • Marriage in Literature: Class, Race, Gender and Money
  • Language and Literature in Education
  • Ghouls, Goths and Vampires
  • 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

 

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC-CCC from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.

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 – DDM  

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

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BC 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 more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Foundation programme in Social Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirements.

 

GCSE

GCSE English Language and Maths grade C/4.  

We’ll make sure you’re career-ready. Employed English graduates earn £3,400 (20 per cent) more than expected one year after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019).

 

View our Admissions Policy.

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 Year maybe offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

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

In addition to your predicted grades, when making offers we also consider your previous academic performance (eg GCSEs), your school/college reference and the commitment and motivation you demonstrate for your chosen course via the personal statement.

Application for second year entry will be considered by the programme director if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, successful applicants for second year entry will:

  • Have A level (or equivalent) qualifications similar to those required for first year entry
  • Have gained (or be expected to gain) 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Obtained (or be expected to obtain) an overall average of 60 per cent or above on an equivalent programme at another recognised university
  • Have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere

Individual programmes may have additional requirements in addition to those stated above. These will be clarified upon application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

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.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

You will be involved in lectures, tutorials, seminars, e-seminars, small-group work, project work and independent study. 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. English at Aston is ranked 1st in the UK for staff/student ratio (Guardian, 2020).

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 to help 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 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

Assessment is through a combination of written and oral exams, coursework, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year. Exams take place in January and May/June.

Course Director

Dr Chloe Harrison (English)

Dr Yaprak Gursoy (International Relations)

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International students (2020/21)

Annual tuition fees: £15,600

During placement year: £2,500

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

English Literature and International Relations graduates go on to a range of professions. Recent roles include Business Analyst, Digital Marketer, Corporate Engagement Executive, Marketing and Communications Specialist, Teacher, Project Manager, Recruitment Administrator, Insurance Broker, Mental Health Support Worker, National Project Coordinator, Support Worker, and Procurement Manager.

Potential employers include Morgan Stanley, the Department for International Development, HSBC, Bosch, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Economic Commission, IBM, Capgemini, Virgin Active, Hayes, Bosch, British Gas, Airbus and The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

We’ll make sure you’re career-ready. Employed English graduates earn £3,400 (20 per cent) more than expected one year after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2019).

Frequently asked questions

Why study English Literature and International Relations at Aston?

Our versatile joint honours programme means you can pursue your interest in international relations alongside your passion for English literature, providing you with a great springboard for a wide range of careers. What’s more, our teaching is informed by world-leading research that saw Politics ranked 12th in the UK for Research Quality (Complete University Guide, 2020).

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.

What careers can an English Literature and International Relations degree lead to?

A whole range of potential careers are available after graduating, across the public, private and third sectors.

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 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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