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Multilevel Governance & International Relations (with integrated professional training) (Joint MA)

Course Description

Delivered jointly by Aston University and the Institute d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) de Rennes, France (http://www.sciencespo-rennes.fr/)

Why choose this course?

- Scholarships available

- 100% graduate employability rate

- Active membership of the Aston Centre for Europe (http://www.aston.ac.uk/lss/research/research-centres/aston-centre-europe/)

- Benefit from the combined knowledge and expertise of teaching staff at two leading sites for research on governance in both Britain and France

- Undertake a work placement within the framework of the year of study, and reflect critically on your placement through a written exercise, which forms a key element of the MA

Visit the website http://www.aston.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-programmes/languages-social-sciences/multilevel-governance-and-international-relations/

Course Outline

This new Joint MA programme offers students an exceptional opportunity to pursue a graduate programme that will deliver an excellent understanding of multilevel governance and international relations which is enhanced and enriched by the mix of both British and French perspectives. Students spend the first semester at Aston University, taking a number of core and optional modules. They then spend semester two at Sciences Po, Rennes, where they study a further suite of core modules through the medium of French language, before moving on to undertake a related internship, and completing a final “Rapport de Stage”.

This is a demanding programme, which challenges students to engage fully with study opportunities in both learning institutions, but it is a rewarding experience, developing life-long skills and opening up new professional opportunities to its graduates.

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 study visits and 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.

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 Multilevel Governance & International Relations (with integrated professional training) (Joint MA) page on the Aston University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Marine Le Cam

After four years of majoring in politics at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in France, I wanted to further my education on the other side of the Channel. I had already had my first taste of the British educational system after spending a year at Portsmouth University as an Erasmus student from 2010 to 2011. I really enjoyed the small class sizes, the international atmosphere and the one-on-one interaction with professors.

As a master’s student, I specialised in International Relations and European policies. As the last step towards completing my degree, I was looking for an MA that offered a wide range of modules covering different levels of governance and their intricate connections. When I heard about the Multilevel Governance MA programme, I felt like it was the perfect fit. I was particularly attracted to its Anglo-French dimension and was impressed by Aston's reputation with regards to European studies and International Relations.

I feel privileged to be part of the first graduating class. I found it a pleasant and exciting experience to be able to start the year at Aston, continue in Rennes and then complete an internship at a Brussels-based think tank. All that within the span of a year! The approach in Birmingham was rather theoretical whereas in Rennes everything was more practical-based as we prepared on how best to integrate ourselves into working life. For instance, we had the opportunity to experience what life would be like working for any of the European institutions during a visit to Brussels in January.

As a master's student, professors treat you as young professionals, which was very encouraging for me. I was amazed by the quality and the variety of the events organized by both teachers and speakers alike, all of whom were eager to share their experience and knowledge with us. In the end, I felt truly inspired by all of my classmates and their extremely diverse cultural backgrounds.

The MA in Multilevel Governance has undoubtedly helped me to gain confidence in working in a professional environment. Interviewers are very often impressed by my ability to adapt to changing conditions and to different teaching cultures, skills which I credit directly to this programme.

I may not know what the future holds for me, but I do know that applying to this programme at Aston had turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.


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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