Sociology and Modern Languages BSc

Explore the fascinating world around you by studying the innovative multi-disciplinary BSc Sociology and Modern Languages degree course at Aston University and turn your talent for modern languages into serious future employment prospects.

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 option only available for international students.    

UCAS code(s)

LR34 - (Spanish)

LT02 - (Mandarin Chinese)

Start date

Overview
Explore Sociology and Modern Languages BSc at Aston University

The Sociology and Modern Languages BSc degree course at Aston is designed to equip you with the tools, skills and knowledge you’ll need to thrive in this global, multilingual and multicultural world.

sociology-modern-languages-banner

"All the lecturers that I encountered at Aston were great. Since the very first day they always told us that if we had any doubts or needed further support we could always e-mail them or come by their office."

Alina Fuhrmann

BSc Translation Studies, Spanish and German

Lola Abbas Silvera Sociology and French

“The teaching and support on my course was amazing. Without the lecturers, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve a 2:1, especially in French.

The highlight of my placement year was studying at Sciences Po Bordeaux in France, where I was able to meet new people and make friends for life!”

Lola Abbas Silvera

BSc Sociology and French

Lola Abbas Silvera Sociology and French

“The teaching and support on my course was amazing. Without the lecturers, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve a 2:1, especially in French.

The highlight of my placement year was studying at Sciences Po Bordeaux in France, where I was able to meet new people and make friends for life!”

Lola Abbas Silvera

BSc Sociology and French

Course outline and modules

What you’ll learn

Whether you are coming to us with an A Level language or picking up a new language from beginner’s level, Aston’s BSc Sociology and Modern Languages degree course offers something quite different. The programme takes an applied approach to the teaching of sociology and modern languages through the integrated placement year and professionally relevant modules, designed to help you flourish in your future career.

Our research-led sociology course aims to provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, inequalities, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. You’ll cover pressing social issues such as migration, climate change, welfare, crime, health and sexuality. In class, we explore the inequalities, injustices and dependencies that pattern our social lives. Through reflective learning, you'll explore the social structures, such as class, gender, ethnicity, religion and identity, that have shaped your own life, and you'll have the chance to do your own research into city life in the neighbourhoods of Birmingham.

Through our flagship ‘Becoming a Social Scientist’ module and beyond, you'll be equipped with the skills you need, such as research design, use of the comparative method and written and oral presentation skills, to research what matters to you.

Our modern languages courses have a practical focus, with an emphasis on language as a means of communication and mutual understanding. At Aston, you will acquire near-native linguistic skills and a deep understanding of social, cultural and political realities that mark Aston’s students out.
 

You will spend a year abroad on a professional or study placement and return equipped with the experience, resilience and emotional intelligence to succeed in the world of work.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. 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. 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

BSc Sociology and Spanish (Beginner/A Level) UCAS code: LT02
Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Social Theory
  • Becoming a Social Scientist
  • Spanish Language Skills I*

 

Optional modules:

  • Introduction to Spain and Latin America*
  • International Business Environment (Spain)*

 

* Beginners (ab initio) students do not take these modules as they have more language skills classes.

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Advanced Social Theory
  • Research Methods
  • Spanish Language Skills II*

 

Optional modules:

  • 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
  • Politics and Society (Spain and Latin America)*
  • Culture and Conflict (Spain and Latin America)*
  • International Business Environment (Latin America)*
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

 

* Beginners (ab initio) students do not take these modules as they have more language skills classes.

Year 3

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year work and/or study placement in a Spanish-speaking country.

Final Year

Core modules:

  • Dissertation (Sociology)
  • Spanish Language Skills III

 

Optional modules:

  • 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
  • Cultural Studies in the Spanish-Speaking Countries
  • National and Transnational Identities in Spanish-Speaking Countries
  • International Business Environment (Spain)
  • Spanish Research Dissertation
BSc Sociology and Mandarin Chinese (Beginner) UCAS code: LT02
Year 1

Core modules:

  • Mandarin Chinese Language Skills (Ab Initio) I
  • Introduction to China
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters I
  • Introduction to Social Theory
  • Becoming a Social Scientist
Year 2

Core modules:

  • Mandarin Chinese Language Skills (Ab Initio) II
  • International Business and Markets (Mandarin)
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters II
  • Advanced Social Theory
  • Research Methods

 

Optional modules:

  • 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

Integrated placement year - find out more about the Aston placement year.

Students must undertake a 1 year work and/or study placement in a Mandarin-speaking country.

Final Year

Core modules:

  • Mandarin Chinese Language Skills (Ab Initio) III
  • Perspectives in International Business (Mandarin)
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters III
  • Dissertation (Sociology)

 

Optional modules:

  • 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

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels

BBC-CCC from 3 A Levels including Spanish grade B if studying Sociology/Spanish. General Studies accepted. 

BBC in 3 A Level subjects (including grade B in Spanish if studying Sociology/Spanish)
BCC with B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths (including grade B in Spanish if studying Sociology/Spanish).

CCC in 3 A Level subjects for our contextual offer scheme (with grade C in Spanish if studying Sociology/Spanish) 

 

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (+ Spanish at A Level).

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

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BC at A Level grade B in Spanish or equivalent. Mix of Diploma/ Subsidiary Diploma/A Levels acceptable. 

IB

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

Standard level Maths and English 5 required and 6 in Higher Level Spanish. Spanish can also be taken as a beginners course. Chinese is suitable for beginners - no previous experience of Chinese required.
 

Access to HE & other

Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module.  Humanities or Social Sciences Access course preferred, but other courses considered on an individual basis.  A level grade B in Spanish or equivalent.

Other qualifications: If your qualification is not listed, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.

GCSE

GCSE English Language and Maths grade C/4.  

 

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 may be 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 (e.g. 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

Our close employer links and focus on practical experiences to transfer to the workplace means you’ll get a blend of learning and teaching experiences that will equip you for your career. You’ll also get the opportunity to undertake your own research in the heart of Birmingham.

Learning and teaching

As a Sociology and Modern Languages student at Aston, you’ll be taught by research experts with international reputations in their fields, all in a lively, friendly, experienced and enthusiastic department. You’ll experience our innovative approach to teaching, which combines a range of teaching methods including interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. Teaching is almost exclusively in your chosen language to work quickly towards the kind of fluency and adaptability that employers value. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study.

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, translation tasks, presentations and an extended dissertation during your final year. Exams take place in January and May/June. The year abroad is an integral and assessed part of language studies at Aston, fully supported by us, and of direct relevance to your degree.

Personal development

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

The year abroad gives you an immersive language experience that is invaluable in developing language skills and knowledge that cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

Course Director

Dr Tom Mills (Sociology)

Dr Claudia Gremler (Languages)

Placement Year

The integrated placement year gives you the genuine, practical work experience that is invaluable in developing an appreciation of issues such as office politics, which cannot be replicated in the lecture room.

We have a dedicated Employer Team within our Careers and Placements department who have links with local, national and international organisations and advertise vacancies to students through an online platform exclusively for Aston students and graduates.  

Find out more about the Aston placement year, and view the careers and placements page.

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

Our Sociology and Modern Languages graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers, with former Aston students now working at companies such as Bloomberg LP, Deutsche Bank and Apple, as well as for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in schools, colleges and universities across the UK and overseas.

Recent graduates have gone on to work in roles including Analyst, EFL Teacher, International Sales Coordinator, HR Coordinator, Languages Teacher, Operations Support Analyst, Senior Project Manager and Translator.

Frequently asked questions

Why should I study Sociology and Modern Languages BSc at Aston?

Our versatile joint honours programme means you can pursue your interest in sociology alongside your talent in modern languages, which will give you a real head start in your chosen career.

Why study Modern Languages at Aston?

You’ll acquire near-native linguistic fluency in your chosen language, which means you’re at a real advantage when it comes to applying for jobs. What’s more, the integrated placement year abroad will give you the high-level political, social and cultural insights that make Aston’s students stand out. We’ll make sure you’re happy: Modern Languages at Aston are ranked 5th for teaching satisfaction (Guardian University Guide, 2020).

What jobs can I get with a Modern Languages degree?

Our recent graduates are often our best ambassadors, with former Aston students now working at companies such as Bloomberg LP, Deutsche Bank and Apple, as well as for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in schools, colleges and universities across the UK and overseas.

Why do a placement year at Aston?

A distinctive feature of our year abroad is the flexibility that we offer. You will be able to choose between undertaking a paid work experience placement with a company, working as a teaching assistant in a school or studying at one of our partner universities - you might even choose to combine two of these options. We are extremely proud of the high level of preparation, orientation and support that we provide before and during your year abroad. We have a full-time Careers and Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away.

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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