Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons)

This course is currently available through Clearing

Call 0800 917 5923 or apply online

  • Entry Requirements:
    A Level: CCC | BTEC Unref: DDM | BTEC Ref: DMM | GCSE C/4 in English and C/4 Maths

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A level (2019 entry)
    ABB
  • BTEC extended diploma (2019 entry)
    DDD
  • International baccalaureate diploma (2019 entry)
    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 (2019 entry)
    GCSE English Language and Maths Grade C/4.
More information

Key dates

  • Start date
    September

Both Politics and Sociology are ranked Top 20 in the UK for Research Quality (Complete University Guide 2018)

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

Aston Social Studies graduates earn the 9th-highest average salary in the sector, one year after graduation (Longitudinal Education Outcomes 2017)

80% of Aston graduates are in professional level jobs or further study, 18th highest percentage in the UK (Complete University Guide 2018)

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 (2019 entry)

Key Information:

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

UCAS Code: LL42

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

Tuition fees 2018/19: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students. £14,300 (£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:

  • 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 modules:
Introduction to Studying and Researching Politics
British Politics since 1945
Introduction to the European Union
Social Theory 1
Becoming a Social Scientist


Year 2

Core modules:
Comparative Government and Politics
History of Political Thought
Research Methods
Contemporary Social Theory

Optional modules:
Introduction to Political Economy
Security Studies in a Changing World
Regional Politics and Society

Advanced Contemporary Social Theory
Advanced Research Methods
Global Society
Embodiment and Feminist Theory
CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice
Media and Society
Kith and Kin: Family Lives in a Social Context
The Social Life of Stuff
Health Matters
Race and Racisms
Contested Cities and Changing Neighbourhoods


Year 3

Optional 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 Balkan
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

Ageing, Society, and Policy
Work, Organisations and Society
Racism, Class and Gender
Contemporary Social Movements
Corporate Power in a Globalised World
Sport, Culture and Society
Pregnancy and Politics
Food and Society in a Global Context
Learning to Labour: Education and Society
Religion and Society
Popular Music and Society
International Migration and Policy
Health Policy
The Challenges of Climate Change
The Citizen and the State

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