An innovative, 2-year Masters programme taught in Birmingham and in Lille, which offers students an internationally-oriented understanding of European and international affairs. Students spend the second semester of Year 2 of this programme undertaking an EU-focused internship.
Subject guide & modules
The following module descriptions are indications only - the modules on offer and the content of the modules is subject to change. Core modules: -The European Union – A Web of Institutions -The EU as a Global Actor -Dissertation module
Elective modules: -Research Methods -Leaders and Leadership in a European and Global Context -Europe’s Regions and their Governance -Asia-Europe Relations: Between Interregionalism and Bilateralism -Religion and Politics -Security and Defence in Europe -International Political Communication -International Ethics and Literature -Transatlantic Relations in Historical Perspective: The US and Europe -International Security -Comparative and International Political Economy -EU Law and Policy-Making
Learning, teaching & assessment
You will take part in interactive seminars, discussion and simulation exercises, as well as undertaking group project work. There are also opportunities for individual research and guided study. MA students are a fundamental part of the intellectual life of the Politics and International Relations study group. All students on MA programmes take part in the regular series of guest lectures and research seminars on issues of contemporary political relevance as well as taking part in the conferences and events organised and hosted by the Aston Centre for Europe and by the study group. All students have the opportunity to take part in a week long study trip to visit the EU institutions and related organisation in Brussels.
All students are allocated a personal tutor at the start of their studies; this member of academic staff can offer individual study advice and guidance and is there to help support your studies.
Assessments on the MA programme take a wide variety of forms, ranging from essays and examinations through to policy reports, briefings and campaign portfolios.
All of our MA Programmes equip students with the knowledge and analytical and transferable skills to pursue further postgraduate research or a successful career in the public and private sector. The careers pursued by our students vary greatly, but typical careers include: -Employment in international organisations (EU, WTO, UN etc.) -Research in policy-oriented domestic or international think tanks -Careers in government administration -Further postgraduate research at PhD level -Journalism -International marketing or business
The double MA in Europe and the World is a two year course, with a semester at the prestigious Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Lille, France and a six month internship. I had already visited Aston University and knew that I wanted to study there. What's more, studying and living in the centre of a city as vibrant as Birmingham was another reason I was drawn to this university. I was also really lucky with regards to financial support at Aston University - I applied for two scholarships and was accepted for both! I chose the Double MA because I felt that such a unique qualification which combines academic work, the opportunity to improve my language skills as well as allowing me to gain practical experience in a related internship would make me stand out when applying for jobs.
Since graduating I secured a traineeship at the European Commission. I was a Blue Book Trainee in the Citizens Contact Unit of the Directorate General (DG) for Communication at the European Commission. One of my main roles was to liaise with directorate generals to find answers to complex EU policy-related enquiries sent to the Commission by organisations and the public. I organised promotional events, helped to write, edit and design publications and worked on internal and external communication including briefings and on social and online media. To gain a deeper understanding of the different policy areas on which I worked, I was also able to attend regular conferences, seminars, training sessions and press briefings. Alongside my responsibilities through the Citizens Contact Unit, I was elected the spokesperson for DG Communication which meant that I represented the trainees from my DG and was the link person between them, the traineeship committee and office of traineeships. One module I studied at Aston which I found to be particularly useful in this role was "International Political Communication, Advocacy and Campaigning". I thoroughly enjoyed this module and I was able to use the knowledge I gained from it in my work on communication campaigns at the Commission.
I am currently a Financial Services Research Assistant at a public affairs consultancy in Brussels. My role involves researching and monitoring updates in the EU institutions and in the press on different dossiers; attending relevant events; liaising with EU officials on developments on particular dossiers; drafting reports, bulletins and updates on EU policy, and attending debates and votes in parliamentary committees at the European Parliament.
All I can say is that the double-MA was a great academic and human experience. It allowed me to grasp both French and British perspectives of the EU affairs and international relations. I really enjoyed the international and multicultural atmosphere of both Aston's campus and Birmingham. In a world where people are getting more and more mistrustful and intolerant towards others, where people are cutting themselves off of the wealth of differences rather than gathering around diversity... Studying at Aston was a luck.
The first year at Aston, highly academic and oriented on research, is very complementary with the second year in Lille, where the lectures were more practical. Thanks to the added-value of this background, we have been able to find very interesting final placements. I am now working as "chargé de mission pour la coopération" (cooperation attaché or cultural attaché) in the French Embassy to Bahrain. I have signed this contract while I was still a trainee in Brussels. And I arrived in Manama only one month after the end of this traineeship in the EP. My mission consists in developing and enhancing the bilateral ties and cooperation partnerships between France and Bahrain, in the fields of culture, heritage, education and university affairs.
I have to say the double-MA was a perfect opportunity to benefit from a valuable knowledge and understanding of the diplomacy challenges and international relations. I was happy to put these "tools" into practice in Brussels at a "European scale" while working for the EU relations with the Arab world. I am now working on the ground. At the end of this mission, in one or two years, I guess I would come back in Europe for a final formation (e.g. College of Europe, SOAS, INALCO) prior to the preparation of the examinations to get in the French or EU diplomacy, or prior to a researcher career.
The School of Languages and Social Sciences offers 3 x £5,000 scholarships towards tuition fees in the 2015/16 academic year.If you wish to be considered for the scholarship you must submit an essay of approximately 1000 words on the following: "How will the LSS MA/MSc Scholarship enhance your career prospects and help you achieve your academic and professional goals? How would you benefit from a scholarship and what difference would it make to you?"
Value of Scholarship(s)
The scholarships are available to all students (full-time, part-time, on campus and distance learning) enrolling on LSS MA/ MSc programmes in 2015/16.
Email your completed essay to [email protected] NOTE: Applicants must hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an MA/MSc programme at LSS commencing at Aston University in October 2015.
CELCA Scholarship: For MA students with native speaker competence in English
The exact nature of this work will be decided at the beginning of the programme but may include providing support to international Postgraduate and International Year Abroad students, the IELTS team, deliver speaking classes for our IYA (International Year Abroad) and KYA (Kansai Year Abroad) students, help conference and workshop organisers, academic visitors or students with special needs. The work will often take place at different times every week - depending on the projects you support.
Value of Scholarship(s)
The School of Languages and Social Sciences offers 3 x £3000 bursaries towards the cost of the MA tuition fees for students with native speaker competence in English. In return, the students will complete up to six hours a week pastoral work for the School.
If you wish to be considered for the bursary, you must submit an essay of approximately 1000 words on the following:What do you consider to be your major strengths and weaknesses? How would you be able to support international students on programmes in the School of Languages and Social Sciences?Email your completed essay to [email protected] NOTE: Applicants must hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an MA programme (taught on-campus) at LSS commencing at Aston University October 2015.