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Europe and the World - Double MA with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lille, France

Course Description

Spend two years studying at leading research centres on contemporary Europe and international relations.

Why choose this course?

- Develop skills in critical analysis of contemporary European integration, in both English and French language

- Active membership of the Aston Centre for Europe (http://www.aston.ac.uk/lss/research/research-centres/aston-centre-europe/), a thriving research hub which organises debates, study visits (http://www.aston.ac.uk/lss/research/research-centres/aston-centre-europe/news/ace-events/study-visits-seminars/), and conferences and seminars (http://www.aston.ac.uk/lss/research/research-centres/aston-centre-europe/news/ace-events/) on current international issues throughout the academic year

- Further your practical skills in European issues through an EU-focused internship during the second year of study.

Visit the website http://www.aston.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-programmes/languages-social-sciences/europe/

Course outline

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.

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.

Teaching Staff

Professor John Gaffney, Professor of Politics, Co-director Aston Centre for Europe. Author of “The French Left and the FifthRepublic” (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)
DPhil (Politics) Sussex University, MA (Comparative Politics), BA (French and European Studies)

“This is a unique MA programme that delivers a wide range of perspectives into European integration, Europe’s place in the world and relations with other global organisations. It provides excellent training for a career in the EU by allowing students to develop practical skills through an EU-focused internship. The opportunity to study in both English and French at two leading research centres is an excellent way to develop your career.”

Professor Simon Green, Co-director Aston Centre for Europe. Co-author of ''The politics of new Germany'' (Routledge)
PhD Birmingham, BA Manchester

“The Double MA in Europe and the World is a challenging but rewarding MA programme. It is an innovative MA, in that it builds in an internship as part of the 2-year programme, and therefore develops’ students practical skills as well as fostering their intellectual development. It is ideal for students looking to pursue careers in a multi-lingual working environment”.

Career prospects

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.

Facilities & equipment

You will have access to:

- Our Virtual Learning Environment – Blackboard – to support your studies, including Blackboard discussion groups

- The University Library, including over 25,000 books and a wide range of electronic journals. The library has special provision in place to help part time and distance learning students access their resources: http://www.aston.ac.uk/lis/studentinfo/parttime

- University wide facilities such as the Careers Service, Students’ Advice Centre, Students’ Jobshop, Counselling Service, Sports Facilities, and Chaplaincy.

About LSS

The School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston University is one of only a handful of academic units in the UK to span both the Humanities and Social Sciences. In doing so, it draws on a particularly rich and distinguished tradition of teaching, scholarship and research. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Department of Modern Languages (French, German, Linguistics), as it was then known, was one of the UK’s pioneers of the study of language in contemporary society. In 1995, reflecting the growing interest in and awareness of Europe, it became the School of Languages and European Studies. In 2004, we adopted our current title.

Since then, the School has grown rapidly in student numbers and in its academic coverage and now comprises four academic subject groups: English Language, Languages and Translation Studies, Politics and International Relations as well as Sociology and Policy. The School also hosts the Centre for English Language and Communication at Aston (CELCA).

This combination of subjects is almost unique in British Higher Education and leaves the School ideally-placed to investigate how language and society function, both in their own context and in relation to each other. The School is led by its Executive Dean, Professor Simon Green, along with a team of Associate Deans and the Heads of Subject Groups. The School is supported in its work by an Advisory Board comprising key stakeholders in the city of Birmingham and beyond.

Today, therefore, the School of Languages and Social Sciences is a closely integrated, innovative, multilingual and multidisciplinary School with an international outlook. Our degree programmes combine a rigorous disciplinary grounding with a cross-disciplinary, practical and issue-focused perspective. Our main research centres, Aston Centre for Europe (ACE), The Centre for Forensic Linguistics (CFL), The Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC), The Centre for Language Education Research at Aston (CLERA) are leaders in their respective fields. We work closely with schools and local partners, both through our research centres and through Routes into Languages and Network for Languages. We play a major role in the University’s Forward 2020 strategy, through providing the Languages for All programme, our research, our placements and our high levels of student satisfaction. In short, the School is at the forefront of delivering ‘employable graduates, exploitable research’.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.aston.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the Europe and the World - Double MA with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lille, France page on the Aston University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Kiki Roberts

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.

(Student Profile)

Vincent Meriaux

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.


Scholarships for all MSc/MA students - 3 Awards

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.

Application Procedure

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.

Further Information



CELCA Scholarship: For MA students with native speaker competence in English - 3 Awards

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.

Application Procedure

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.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

2.1 Degree in any discipline (or equivalent). Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

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