Sociology and English Language BSc

Study a BSc Sociology and English Language degree course at Aston University to explore the English language, how it works in society and its role in the world today and learn about issues and policies affecting the world.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Placement year (UK/abroad)


4 years with integrated placement year /

3 years without integrated placement year


UCAS code(s)


Start date

Gemma Godfrey BSc (Hons) Sociology and English Language

“The teaching and support at Aston was second to none. Both academic and in regards to welfare, there was always someone to turn to or talk to and it is so important, now more than ever to take advantage of the readily available support.”

Gemma Godfrey

BSc (Hons) Sociology and English Language

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

As well as gaining theoretical knowledge and understanding of the English language, you’ll also examine social processes, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. You’ll learn from teaching staff who are internationally recognised researchers in fields such as ethnic and gender equalities, global change, theories of social change, forensic linguistics, language and gender and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Our Sociology and English Language course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, inequalities, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. It combines an introduction to specific skills such as research design, use of comparative method, written and oral presentation with an emphasis on social change. Strengths of the course include its research-led nature and focus on key contemporary social issues, social policy and decision making, global trends and international comparisons.

The placement year is optional for students studying Sociology and English Language and is designed to give you real-life experience and to act as a springboard for your future career. Our graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of societies, organisations, institutions and communication skills are required.

If you choose to take a placement year, this will take place during your third year at Aston and is worth 10 per cent of the final degree result. Unlike some other universities, the placement year at Aston is not a ‘bolt-on’ year, it is an integral part of your degree for which you are prepared in your second year.

We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your placement year. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and visit you during your time away.

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.


Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Introduction to Discourse Analysis
  • Language and Society
  • Introduction to Social Theory
  • Becoming a Social Scientist
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Working With Language Data
  • Written Text Analysis
  • Advanced Social Theory
  • Research Methods


Optional modules:

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Psychology of Language & Communication
  • Language at Work
  • The Language of the Law
  • Language in the News Media
  • Language Policy and Language Planning
  • Phonetics
  • Literature, Culture and Society
  • Creative Writing
  • Stylistics
  • Work-based Project
  • Advanced Topics in Sociolinguistics
  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Global Society
  • Embodiment and Feminist Theory
  • Media and Society
  • Kith and Kin
  • The Social Life of Stuff
  • Crime, Subversion and Injustice
  • Racisms
  • Contested Cities
  • Welfare States and Welfare Change
  • Organising for Social Justice
Year 3

This course is available as a 3 year BSc without a placement, or a 4 year BSc with an integrated sandwich placement. Both options are available to home, EU, and international students.

Find out more about the Aston placement year.

Final Year 

Core modules:

  • Dissertation (Sociology or English)


Optional modules:

  • Spoken Discourse Analysis
  • Learning English
  • Multimodal Analysis
  • Computer Mediated Communication
  • Language as Evidence
  • Communicating Across Cultures
  • Leadership and Management Communication
  • Advanced Leadership and Management Communication
  • Forensic Phonetics
  • Language Contact and Globalisation
  • Theories of Language and Identity
  • Cognition and Style
  • Language and Literature in Education
  • Digital Approaches to Analysing Text
  • Work, Organisations and Society
  • Bodies, Power and Resistance
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • Pregnancy and Politics
  • Education and Digital Society
  • Religion and Society
  • Corporate Power in a Globalised World
  • Migration, Borders and Belonging
  • Health Policy
  • The Challenges of Climate Change
  • Community Engagement


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 (standard offer)

BCC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)

CCC (contextual offer*)


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.

BTEC, Access & other

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (standard offer)

BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM (contextual 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.

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

Further requirements

GCSE Maths – grade C/4

GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

Learn more about admission to this course

View our Admissions Policy.

All applications are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed carefully, including previous and predicted qualifications, experience, reference and your motivation to study the course. 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, any offer made will not be lower than stated above.

*Click here for details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme.

Entry onto our Foundation Programme may be offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved. Aston University welcomes applications from students with a wide range of qualifications from the UK and overseas, including combinations of qualifications. If your qualifications are not listed here and you wish to check whether they meet the entry requirements for this course, please contact the university.

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

Personal development

You will develop a range of skills that transfer to the workplace, such as critical thinking, teamworking and communication skills. 

Programme Director(s)

Dr Chloe Harrison (English)

Dr Tom Mills (Sociology)

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 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.

More information on fees


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 language and sociology graduates go on to a range of professions. Recent roles include Business Analyst, Corporate Engagement Executive, Insurance Broker, Mental Health Support Worker, National Project Coordinator, Support Worker and Procurement Manager.

Potential employers include Hayes, Bosch, British Gas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Airbus and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Employed Aston social science graduates earn £4,000 (23 per cent) more than the UK average, one year after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2020).

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 its 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 study Sociology and English Language at Aston?

Our joint honours degree means you can pursue your interest in sociology alongside your passion for the English language, providing you with a great springboard for a wide range of careers.

What can I do during a placement year at Aston?

A distinctive feature of our placement year is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work-experience placement with a company or working as a teaching assistant in a school (either in the UK or abroad) - you might even choose to combine two of these options.

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 is 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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