Develop skills in critical analysis of contemporary European integration, in both English and French language.
We’re ranked 1st in the UK for 'value added', comparing our students entry grades with their final degree result (Guardian, 2020).
Active membership of the Aston Centre for Europe, a thriving research hub which organises debates, study visits, and conferences and seminars on current international issues
Employed Aston social science graduates earn £4,000 (23 per cent) more than the UK average, one year after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2020)
Course outline and modules
The Europe and the World Double MA course at Aston is an innovative, two year masters programme taught in Birmingham and in Lille, France.
You will develop skills in critical analysis of contemporary European integration in both English and French language and further your practical skills in European issues through undertaking an EU-focused internship during your second year.
You will spend the first year at Aston University in Birmingham in the UK, and the second year at Sciences Po Lille, France, benefitting from a multicultural teaching environment and the combined expertise and experience of teaching staff at two prestigious institutions.
What you’ll learn
As a student on the Double MA in Europe and the World, you will be able to tailor make the course to suit your interests and future career goals. The core modules focus on providing you with a broad understanding of the important developments within the European polity. You’ll analyse the evolution of the EU, the role of European institutions, recent trends in European politics, economics and society, and the impact of European integration at both national and supranational levels.
You’ll also examine the process of European political and economic cooperation up to the present day and beyond; particularly, Europe’s growing role as an international actor. Within this framework, issues looked at will include the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and its role as mediator in international conflicts such as the Gulf War, Middle East, and the former Yugoslavia, with a particular emphasis on the war on terrorism, Iraq, and intelligence co-operation, as well as the Union’s positioning vis-à-vis the United States, particularly since the latest EU enlargement.
You’ll explore Europe as an economic power and her relations with its immediate neighbours, its major partners such as the US, Japan and South-East Asia, particularly in the age of the euro, and its role in Third World development and global environmental issues. While analysing these issues, you will evaluate what the trends appear to be, in the context of globalisation and world developments.
Throughout your masters course, you will benefit from active membership of the Aston Centre for Europe, a thriving research hub which organises debates, study visits, and conferences and seminars on current international issues.
- Core modules
Rethinking European Integration
This module provides students with a rounded understanding of European integration and the current state of the EU, equipping them with the analytical tools to consider why the EU functions as it currently does, whether the EU is sufficiently democratic, the politics behind EU law-making, and controversies over various key policies (the Euro, migration, foreign relations). Hence the module provides the platform for students to become informed and advanced participants in the broader discussion of the challenges and changes facing European integration.
Assessment method: The assessment is by 2.500 words policy report (80%) and by leading seminar discussion (20%).
The EU as a Global Actor
The module aims at understanding the EU’s growing role as an international actor. Issues looked at include external policy areas, such as trade, security, human rights and environmental protection, and the EU’s relationship with other states and regions, such as the US and ASEAN. While analysing these issues, the module evaluates current trends and assesses the actorness, identity and effectiveness of the EU in the international sphere.
Assessment method: Assessment for this module is on the basis of one 3,000 word essay.
Students will demonstrate their ability to design, conduct and report the results of a research project in the subject domain relevant to their masters programme. They will work independently, under the guidance of a supervisor. Preparing a masters dissertation is a complex exercise which will strengthen and test various subject-specific and transferable research skills, including research methodology and academic writing.
Assessment method: Students prepare a 15,000 word dissertation on a research subject of their choosing, guided by a member of the academic staff.
- Optional modules
- International Relations Theory
- Governance of Global Problems
- Post-migration Europe
- Rouge states
- IR and East-Asia
- Changing China: People’s Republic in the 21st Century
- Religion and Politics
- Critical Approaches to Security Studies
- International political economy
- Interest groups and lobbying
- International political communication
- Negotiation skills: EuroSim and ModelUN
- Concepts and Strategies for Social Data Analysis
- Concepts and Strategies for Qualitative Social Science
- Languages modules
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.
2:1 degree in Social Science, Language or a related subject. Other degrees might be suitable depending on personal statement and motivation. Working knowledge of French language (CEFR B2).
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.
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.
Application: We recommend that overseas students apply before the end of June due to visa requirements as these can take a few weeks to process.
Learning, teaching and assessment
Learning and teaching
You will take part in interactive seminars, discussion and simulation exercises, as well as undertaking group project work. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. MA students are a fundamental part of the intellectual life of the Politics and International Relations study group. All students on MA programmes take part in the regular series of guest lectures and research seminars on issues of contemporary political relevance as well as taking part in the conferences and events organised and hosted by the Aston Centre for Europe and by the study group. All students have the opportunity to take part in a week long study trip to visit the EU institutions and related organisations in Brussels.
All students are allocated a personal tutor at the start of their studies; this member of academic staff can offer individual study advice and guidance and is there to help support your studies.
Furthermore, you will have access to:
- Our Virtual Learning Environment – Blackboard – to support your studies, including Blackboard discussion groups.
- The University Library, including over 25,000 books and a wide range of electronic journals. The library has special provision in place to help part time and distance learning students access their resources.
- University wide facilities such as the Careers Service, Students’ Advice Centre, Students’ Jobshop, Counselling Service, Sports Facilities and the Chaplaincy.
Assessments on the MA programme take a wide variety of forms, ranging from essays through to policy reports, briefings and campaign portfolios.
The MA focusses on developing your practical skills, so assignments may include working with simulated negotiation sessions, and analysing speeches delivered by politicians. We also help you develop your presentation skills and public speaking, alongside classical assignments such as essay writing. Preparing a masters dissertation is a complex exercise which will strengthen and test various subject-specific and transferable research skills, including research methodology and academic writing.
Students on this postgraduate course come to study at Aston from the UK and all different parts of the world, so you’ll become part of a diverse academic community which will further broaden your horizons.
Dr Davide Vampa
Fees and scholarships
UK students (2021/22): £6,350*
International students (2021/22): £14,750*
*This tuition fee is for the first year of the course at Aston University and does not include the tuition fee requirement for the partner institution.
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.
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.
All our MA programmes equip students with the knowledge and analytical and transferable skills to pursue further postgraduate research or a successful career in the public and private sector.
The careers pursued by our students vary greatly, but typical careers include:
- employment in international organisations (EU, WTO, UN etc.)
- research in policy-oriented domestic or international think tanks
- careers in government administration
- further postgraduate research at PhD level
- international marketing or business.
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 Double MA in Europe and the World at Aston?
The two year double MA in Europe and the World course at Aston will give you the chance to develop skills in critical analysis of contemporary European integration in both English and French language, alongside the opportunity to spend a year in the UK and in France, benefiting from the academic and multicultural experience of studying at two prestigious European universities. You will also be able to further your practical skills in European issues through undertaking an EU-focused internship during your second year.
- Do I need to speak French to take this joint masters?
Students should have a working knowledge of the French language to enable them to maximise the opportunity of studying in France.
- Why should I do a masters degree with Aston?
All our MA courses equip students with the knowledge, along with analytical and transferable skills to pursue further postgraduate research or a successful career in the public or private sector.
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