Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons)

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A level
    BBC-CCC
  • BTEC extended diploma
    DDM
  • International baccalaureate diploma
    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.
  • Further requirements
    GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.
More information

Key dates

  • Start date
    September

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)

Teaching is informed by world-leading research that saw Politics ranked 12th in the UK for Research Quality (Complete University Guide, 2019)

Explore how social structures such as class, gender, disability, ethnicity and identity impact on our lives. Understand political problems, socio-cultural change, political institutions and structures.

Course summary

This course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, social change, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships as well as government and political action.

Entry requirements & fees (2020 entry)

A levels

  • BBC-CCC from 3 A Levels. General Studies accepted.
  • BBC in 3 A-Level subjects

  • BCC with B in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core Maths

  • CCC  in 3 A-level subjects for our contextual offer scheme

  • 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 Extended Diploma – DDM

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

  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) or Extended Certificate (national) with A-Levels – Distinction (D) and grades BC at A-Level.

IB

  • 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.

Access to HE

  • Pass Access to HE Diploma with Merit in each module. Humanities, Social Sciences or Business 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.
  • 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

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

Key Information:

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

UCAS Code: LL42

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:

  • For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your future webpage.
    • 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 & modules

Subject guide and modules

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. The Sociology strand of the course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, social change, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships.  You will complete introductory and intermediate modules in research methods in preparation for designing your own independent research project in the Final Year. You will also take courses that deal with more complex issues including the relationship between science and ‘race’, reproductive politics, corporate power, climate change, ageing, religion and media power.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.

The Sociology strand of the course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of social processes, organisational dynamics and inter-group relationships. 

They combine an introduction to specific skills such as research design and use of comparative method, with an emphasis on social change. Strengths of the programme include its focus on key contemporary social issues, social policy and decision making, and international comparisons of social structures and policies.

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
Introduction to Social Theory
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
Advanced Social Theory
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
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
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
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
Work, Organisations and Society

 

Placement year

The Placement Year is optional for students studying Politics and Sociology. 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.

Learning, teaching and assessment

You will be involved in lectures and seminars, small group work projects 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 fro group and collaborative work. Students undertake a major piece of independent research in Final Year.

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.

Assessment is through a combination of exams, project-based course work, essays, presentations and an extended dissertation during your Final Year.

What's it like to study at Aston?

The staff and facilities at Aston blew me away, but the real winner was the opportunity to do a year abroad in any industry. During my placement year I worked in a secondary school, in Alicante, teaching English. I hadn’t considered a career in teaching before, but after finishing the year I knew it was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. The lifelong friends at Aston were one of the best things about my time here. Being a small community, it was like one big happy family. I would do university at Aston all over again.

Nishtar Hussein
BSc Sociology
What's it like to study at Aston?

During my time at Aston, I received great academic teaching and support from lecturers. My placement prepared me for a career which is fast-paced and challenging. I am able to manage my workload efficiently and use my initiative.

Kanisha Warrican
BSc Sociology
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

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