2019
2020

Politics and Social Policy BSc (Hons)

Course overview

  • Course level
    Undergraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    3 years full time or 4 years full time with integrated placement year
  • Course options
    Integrated placement, Optional placement year
  • UCAS code(s)
    L201
  • School

Entry requirements

  • A levels
    ABB
  • BTEC Extended Diploma:
    DDD
More information

Key Dates

  • Open Days
    Saturday 6th October
  • Application deadline
    15th January
  • Start date
    September
  • Open Days
    Our next Open Day is taking place on:
    Saturday 5th October

We’re #1 for Added Value. Comparing our students’ entry grades (A Levels/BTECS/IB etc) with their final degree result shows the quality of our teaching.We’re ranked us 1st in the UK by this measure (Guardian, 2020)

We’ll make sure you’re career-ready. Employed Aston Politics graduates earn £5,300 (22%) more than expected five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2018)

We’ll give you a head start. Social Policy is ranked 7th in the UK for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide, 2020)

Examine the major economic and social issues facing governments across the world.

Course Summary

This course examines the major political, economic and social issues facing governments across the world, and the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations.

Employed Aston Social Studies (including Politics) graduates earn £4,800 (27%) more than the UK average one year after graduating, according to the government's Longitudinal Education Outcomes survey (LEO).

Entry Requirements & Fees (2020 entry)

A levels

ABB from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.

A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

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.

BTEC

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: Distinction plus two A Levels at grade BB*.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: Distinction, Distinction plus grade B* in one A-level.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma  Distinction, Distinction, Distinction

*Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the A Level grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

International Baccluarate

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.

Applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

Access to Higher Education

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.

Other qualifications

EPQ: A Level applicants who meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice, plus an alternative offer which will be one grade lower plus a grade B in EPQ, providing this course is selected as their Firm UCAS 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 future 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.

Key Information:

3 years full time or 4 years full time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: L201

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

Tuition fees 2020/21: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £15,600* (£2,500 during placement year) for overseas students. More on fees.

*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.

  • 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.

Placement year

The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your studies in context and gain valuable professional experience. It is highly attractive to potential employers and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

You can choose whether your placement has an international relations or a business focus and may be in the UK or abroad. Placements taken by Aston students are generally paid, with the average salary being around £16,000.

Learning, teaching & assessments

You will participate in lectures, tutorials, seminars, group and individual project work.  Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

The course deals with many topical issues, and as a result we try to incorporate current media coverage and public debates into class discussions and to link these to academic research and commentary wherever possible.

There is a much stronger emphasis on reading and on your own private, independent study than at pre-degree level. To help you manage your learning, we set out your work for the year in an online student guide. This includes full details of all modules including week-by-week lecture breakdowns, reading lists and all coursework assignments for the year with the relevant deadlines. 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.

We use a range of assessment methods and most modules are assessed with a combination of coursework and an end of year examination. Coursework includes essays, research reports, individual and group projects, statistics assignments, class tests and both individual and group presentations. 

Facilities & equipment

The School of Languages and Social Sciences has a dedicated Learning Support Team and excellent facilities including:

  • 70 computers in 4 rooms
  • Free DVD library (French, Spanish, German, English)
  • Audio and video-editing tools
  • Corpus linguistics tools (Wordsmith and Antconc)
  • Research software (NVivo and PASW/SPSS)
Course Outline and Modules

The Social Policy strand of the course examines the major economic and social issues facing governments across the world, and the policies developed and delivered by governments and other organisations. It builds upon various A-levels, including Politics (e.g. the role of the Government), Sociology (e.g. modern forms of power), Economics (e.g. market failure), Geography (e.g. globalisation) and Business Studies (e.g. Government support for enterprise). 

The Politics strand of the course is concerned with the study of government and political action. In year one you will study introductory modules in Politics, the European Union, and governance. At the core of your second year are modules dealing with the history of political thought, as well as a focus on British, foreign and domestic policy. In your final year a politics research dissertation on an agreed topic of your choice counts for a substantial and challenging part of your programme. 

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
Introduction to Studying and Researching Politics
British Politics since 1990
Critical Debates in Society and Policy
From Social Problems to Public Policies
Becoming a Social Scientist

Options
The Making of the Modern World
Introduction to the European Union
What’s Trending (Current Affairs in Politics and International Relations)


Year 2
Core
Political Theories and Ideologies
Comparative Government and Politics
Critical Policy Analysis
Research Methods

Options
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
Environmental Policy
Welfare States and Welfare Change
Global Society
CSI: Crime Subversion and Injustice
Contested Cities
The Politics and Policies of the European Union
Introduction to Political Economy: Institutions and Rational Choice


Year 3
Integrated placement year


Final Year
Core
Dissertation

Options
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 & ISI
Political Parties
Migration, Borders and
Belonging
Health Policy
The Challenges of Climate Change
Corporate Power in a Globalised World
Work, Organisations and Society
Bodies, Power and Resistance
Contemporary Social
Movements
Education and Digital Society
Religion and Society
Pregnancy and Politics: Cultural Norms and Family Policy
Community Engagement

Contact details

Tel: 0121 204 3777  Email: ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk

What's it like to study at Aston?

My placement year at the Office for National Statistics was crucial in helping me discover what I was passionate about. I realised I am fascinated by foreign affairs, so I knew the Foreign & Commonwealth Office was somewhere I wanted to embark my career, and now I’m really happy I’ve secured a graduate internship there.

Mohammed Khonatt
BSc Politics and Economics
What's it like to study at Aston?

The placement opportunities at Aston were a big highlight. I delivered talks in schools about careers in technology, the future job market, and specifically inspiring young girls to get involved in STEM related roles. I also had the opportunity to get involved with some of Microsoft’s big accounts across a number of sectors such as finance and security and defense.

Victoria Poku
BSc Politics and Economics
What's it like to study at Aston?

I worked as an English Language Assistant in France during my year abroad. The highlight for me was getting to experience a new culture and having the opportunity to travel and explore new cities. The experience also gave me the ability to live independently and filled me with confidence and open-mindedness to grabbing new challenges.

Sumbal Gul Zaman
BSc International Relations and Sociology