International Relations and English Language BSc (Hons)

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A level entry
    ABB - BBB
  • BTEC extended diploma
    DDD
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
    32 points in the IB diploma (including TOK/Bonus points) with 6,5,5 at HL. Standard level Maths and English grade 5 required in lieu of GCSE English and Maths grade C/4.
  • Further requirements
    GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.
More information
Apply via UCAS

Key Dates

  • Start date
    September

Politics and International Relations achieved 93% Overall Satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017

English achieved 90% Overall Satisfaction in the National Student Survey, 2017

Politics at Aston is ranked 12th in the UK for Research Quality (Complete University Guide, 2019)

Teaching draws on internationally recognised research by the Aston Centre for Europe and the Centre for Forensic Linguistics

Course summary

This multi-disciplinary programme has a key emphasis on the practical application of International Relations and English Language to the real world, through the optional placement year and professionally relevant modules which draw directly on Aston’s cutting-edge research.

Entry requirements & fees

Key Information:

3 years full time or 4 years with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: LQ23

GCSE requirements:
GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.

Tuition fees 2019/20: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £14,600 (£2,500 during placement year) for overseas students. More on fees.

  • 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 below).
  • 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% 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.
  • Applicants receiving offers are invited to an Applicant Visit Day.

View our Admissions Policy. 

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.

Course outline

This multi-disciplinary programme has a key emphasis on the practical application of International Relations and English Language to the real world, through the optional placement year and professionally relevant modules which draw directly on Aston’s cutting-edge research. You will examine the nature of relations between states and also of the roles played by international institutions, other intergovernmental organisations, multinational corporations and NGOs. You will also be provided with the theoretical knowledge and understanding of English language and how it works in society. Important strengths of the course include the research-active teaching staff who are internationally recognised for their work on Western and Eastern Europe, Forensic Linguistics, Language and Gender and TESOL Studies. Aston is also one of only a few UK universities to offer International Relations and English Language with a fully integrated placement year. The distinctive placement year is an optional feature of the programme and is designed to give our students a distinct advantage on the graduate labour market. Our International Relations and English Language graduates are in demand from a wide range of employers where a sound understanding of societies, organisations, institutions and communication skills are required.

Modules

Sample module options: The modules below are indicative only. When an offer is made, students will receive a detailed programme specification which forms part of our terms and conditions.

Year 1

Core modules:
Introduction to the Concepts and Methods of International Relations
The Making of the Modern World
Introduction to the European Union
What’s trending? (Current affairs in International Relations and Politics)

Introduction to Linguistics
Introduction to Discourse Analysis
Language and Society

Year 2

Core modules:
International Relations: Theories and Issues
Regional Politics and Society

Working with Language Data
Written Text Analysis

Optional modules:
Introduction to Political Economy
Security Studies in a Changing World

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Psychology of Language & Communication
Language at Work
The Language of the Law
Language in the News Media
Language Policy and Language Planning
Phonetics
Literature, Society and Culture
Creative WritingStylistics

Year 3

Placement year

Final Year

Core modules:
Dissertation
Research and Dissertation Skills

Optional modules:
EuroSim: Learning Negotiation through Simulation Games
The International Relations of East Asia
Religion and Politics in Contemporary Europe
Political Communication
The American Presidency
Nationalism & Political Power
Political Parties and Party Systems
Conflict and Politics in Contemporary Balkans
Contemporary Conflict
Diplomacy and Soft Power
The Far Right in Europe
The Politics of Climate Change
Understanding Foreign Policy
Northeast Asia: From Conflict to Cooperation
Gender and Politics
Interest groups and lobbying
Regions and Regionalism in Europe
Contemporary Political Theory
Political Leaders: Case Studies and Comparative Perspectives
Intellectuals and Politics
Power and Parliamentary Decision-Making
Ethics and International Politics

Spoken Discourse
Learning English
Multimodal Analysis
Computer Mediated Communication
Language as Evidence
Communication Across Cultures
Leadership and Management Communication
Advanced Leadership and Management Communication
Forensic Phonetics
Language Contact and Globalisation
Theories of Language and Identity
Cognitive Poetics
Language and Literature in Education

Learning, teaching and assessment

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 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 final year.

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor when you join us and you will be encouraged to make regular contact with them throughout your studies. Personal Tutors are there to help discuss academic and, in some cases, personal issues. Personal Tutors can also often offer support by writing references for placement/graduate employment and academic research.

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.

Placement year

The placement year is optional for students studying International Relations and English Language. If you choose to take a placement year, this will take place during your third year at Aston and is worth 10% 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.

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. 

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 Placements Team who will give you plenty of individual help and advice, and even come and visit you during your time away. 

Find out more about the Placement Year.

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