English - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full-time: Q301
Part-time: apply direct to the University
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Part Time (6 years)
Starting:
September 2015

Places on this course are available through Clearing

Our Clearing hotline (0121 331 6777) opens at 7am on Thursday 13 August. See how we can help you in the meantime.

Our BA (Hons) English degree offers a wealth of opportunity to combine subjects to suit your interests. With a broad array of options available, you will enjoy a range of study topics from literature and language to creative writing and drama; ideal if you don't want to focus your studies on a particular area through one of our specialist pathways.

What's covered in the course?

  • A common first year will give you a solid grounding in four key areas of English – literature, language, creative writing and drama.
  • A variety of literature modules cover influential periods in literature, theories and ideologies, enabling you a wide spectrum of learning.
  • Language modules on offer will broaden your skills of description and analysis and you will learn about the context of language in use.
  • Working with fellow students and expert staff encourages a cross-flow of ideas and creative inspiration, where you can share and absorb different insights.
  • A range of assessment forms will develop your research skills, your confidence and your competence, enhancing your employability.

“I’ve discovered, having been at the University for a year-and-a-half now, that the tutors are fantastic – they are always there to help the students, and they are enthusiastic about the modules they teach, which is always something that gives your own enthusiasm a boost.”Danielle Cotton

Why Choose Us?

  • The only English course in the region offering such a flexible combination of subjects that can be adapted to suit your interests.
  • You will receive inspirational tuition and guidance from nationally and internationally renowned experts and writers.
  • The university is an important research centre in linguistics and the latest Research Assessment Exercise results found 80 per cent of the School's research to be of international standard and some to be 'world-leading'.
  • You will be supported by a richly-stocked library, including electronic resources giving you access to every printed book published in the UK between 1470 and 1800.
Visit our open day

Visit our next Open Day

Our next University-wide Open Days are:

  • Saturday 3 October 2015
  • Saturday 14 November 2015
Book now for 3 October
Book now for 14 November

This course is open to International students

School of English

Discover the School of English

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Bellgrave High School
  • EF (English First)
  • Rexel

And in jobs such as:

  • Teacher
  • English teacher
  • Bidwriter

Entry Requirements

Clearing 2015

This course is likely to have places available through Clearing.

  • The entry requirements for this course will differ from the usual requirements detailed below during Clearing. Exact details of tariff points will be published closer to results day.
  • The Clearing hotline (0121 331 6777) will open at 7am on Thursday 13 August. In the meantime, you can register your interest in this course or find out more about Clearing.

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

You must have the minimum of 5 GCSE's at Grade C or above which MUST include English Language C+. No other equivalence (including Key Skills) will be considered.

Essential

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 3 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2015/16
GCE A Level/ AS Level 280 UCAS Tariff points from 3 A level subjects including English at grade C or above.  This may also include General Studies and Critical Thinking. Remaining points can be made up with AS levels in different subjects.  AS level in the same subject of an A level will not be accepted.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with 60 credits, 45 at level 3 and 15 at Level 2 including English at Level 3.  Distinction/merit in 18 credits at Level 3 plus answer set essay question.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM (280 UCAS points) in related area (e.g. Media, Performing Arts).
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 26 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 points, including 4 higher level passes
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 points, including 3 higher level passes
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2015/16
IELTS 6.0 overall with TOEFL 550 (paper) 213 (computer based)
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 26 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2015/16 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
or
be predicted DMM profile at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2015 FT 3 years £9,000 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 6 years TBC

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2015 FT 3 years £11,500 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office.You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

You should allow approximately £100 per semester for buying books.

This course is available part-time

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

Approaches to Reading Criticism (semester one)

This module introduces students to a range of critical theory including debates about what might define an author, the role of the reader, what constitutes a text, intertextuality, semiotics, formalism, defamiliarization, cultural materialism, feminism and postcolonial literary theory.

These aspects of reading will be examined in relation to a range canonical, non-canonical, print, digital and film texts, as well as key writings in literary theory. Students will be encouraged to engage directly with scholarly material, and to produce their own online resources in the form of an individual reflective blog.

Drama (semester one)

The module is a structured and purposeful introduction to staging, interpretation, reception and styles of representation. Specific topic covered include:

  • Key critical and theoretical perspectives relating to issues of staging, audience, writing for the stage, theatre space and critical approach to performance.
  • Key examples within the scope of an extensive historiography and review of Western performance practices.
Reading Literature: Prose (semester one)

This module enables students to consider prose in a variety of forms from the Renaissance to the present day. While the central focus is on fiction, we will also examine some other forms such as letters, essays, biography and autobiography.

Studying Language (semester one)

This first language module provides an introduction to the field of linguistics and language studies. It starts by discussing the history of the English language and focuses in particular on its very beginnings during the Old English period. It further includes sessions on pragmatics, that is the study of how speakers use language when communicating with each other, and on politeness, investigating ways in which language can be used to express politeness.

In the second half of the semester, several sessions focus on language acquisition, language and the mind as well as phonetics and the sounds of English.

Approaches to Reading - Contexts (semester two)

This module will give students the opportunity to contextualise the critical concepts and practices of reading covered in 'Approaches to Reading: Criticism'. There is a strong emphasis on practical fieldwork, and students will learn how to apply a number of research methodologies to reflect on how reading, literary and cultural contexts might vary (e.g. according to mode, historical period or social community).

Tasks may include: conducting a research interview, designing and interpreting survey results, using archive material, producing a bibliography, close reading exercises, critiquing essays and reviews. The module will include a field trip and guest lectures, showing how English studies are relevant to our local communities (e.g. in relation to book festivals, museums and art galleries).

Adaptation (semester two)

This module introduces students to the creative and critical processes involved in translating narrative from one medium to another. Continuing from the semester 1 module, Drama, it gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of dramatic theory and form through practical work, while encouraging the development of imaginative writing skills in different genres.

Through historical and genre case studies, it provides an introduction to ideological and formal questions in the study of adaptation. Work undertaken may include a case study on (for example) Shakespeare adaptation in film, prose and drama; rewritings of Ovid's Metamorphoses in poetry and drama.

Reading Literature: Poetry (semester two)

This is an introductory module to English poetry that requires students to examine a range of English language poetry from the Middle Ages to the present and so demonstrate awareness of the formal properties relating to these types, the relationships between poetry and historical moment, and the critical/technical language required for degree-level analysis. It asks students to develop and engage with personal preferences through the production of a mini-anthology.

Describing Language (semester two)

The module builds on the first semester module Studying Language and further develops some of the topics covered in this previous module. Thus, it discusses varieties of the English language, that is to say different accents and dialects spoken in the UK but also abroad.

It comprises classes on the history of English with a focus on Middle English and it includes several sessions on the importance of grammar. Towards the end of the semester, students then get to know the field of literary linguistics, which combines the study of linguistics and literature.

Year two

In year two, you may study a combination of any four modules.

See the full module list

Year two

Year three

In year three, you may study a combination of any four modules.

See the full module list

Year three

Course Structure

Following the common first semester, and making use of regular module guidance fairs, you will begin to customise your study by selecting module options that complement your core studies in language and literature.

The BA (Hons) English course includes a wealth of topics where core study in period literature modules is complemented by specialist interests from any area of the course. Literature modules include 21st Century Poetry, Early Modern Drama, Gender, Sex and Culture and more. Language modules provide an overview of the description, analysis and context of language in use, with options to study each area in greater depth. Practical modules in drama and creative writing are also available.

Alongside class teaching and discussion, workshops combining elements of small group work, mini-lectures and other tasks will make a fundamental contribution to your learning. Throughout the course, you will have regular contact not only with your fellow students, but with our team of expert and dedicated staff, each of whom is active in research, professional practice or both. The course is supported throughout by a range of electronic resources, including the latest web 2.0 applications. Assessed group work, such as presentations, will help you to develop confidence as well as competence in your area of study. The development of basic research skills - covering library research, the use of electronic databases and web material - will make an important contribution to your employability. In the final stage of your studies, an independent study module will give you the option of focusing on a creative or critical project of your own devising.

Teaching breakdown

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37 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
63 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

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7 Written exams DarkOrange
82 Coursework FireBrick
11 Practical exams #fece5a

Summer showcase

Our students celebrate their work in the end of year Summer Showcase. It's an opportunity to look at the work you and other students have produced and value your outstanding achievements.

Erasmus scheme

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

We offer a respected MA English Linguistics and Research degrees (MPhil or PhD) in all areas of English. Postgraduate study in a range of other disciplines is available through the wider University. For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices - Tel: 0121 331 5595 Email: choices@bcu.ac.uk.

Student stories David Whitehead OBE

Awarded the Order of the British Empire

After studying for a degree in English at the then Birmingham Polytechnic, David's career began with commercial roles for the publishing and food industries, as section head for Oyez Stationery Ltd between 1975 and 1978, followed by a management traineeship at Fyffes Group Ltd in 1978 to 1982. He then spent two years at the British Poultry Federation before joining the ports industry in 1990 as Director of Policy of the British Ports Federation, subsequently becoming Director of the BPA in 1992.

The UK ports industry plays a fundamentally important role in the country's economy. A staggering 95 per cent of the UK's international trade - imports and exports - is carried through UK ports, which also handle 25 million international passenger journeys each year. Created in 1992, the British Ports Association represents the interests of its 91 full members, and numerous associate members, to the United Kingdom and devolved Governments, the European Union and national and international bodies.

David's current roles include board membership of the EcoPorts Foundation which coordinates environmental research and good practice schemes for use throughout the EU as well as membership of the government (BIS) Ports Advisory Group, the Industrial Advisory Panel to the Marine Geography Department, Cardiff University and the Greenwich Forum.

Enhancing your employability skills

Due to their ability to analyse and interpret text, accurately communicate information, work independently or collaboratively and present material with confidence, English graduates are highly employable.

Our alumni have found employment in arts administration, teaching, lecturing, law, media and marketing, management, research and writing, politics and public relations, social work and social administration and librarianship, information services and many other areas.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

Moving to the Curzon Building

In September 2015 all business, English, law and social sciences courses will move to our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building.

The £63m building will offer students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Curzon Building will also feature:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which will be located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

What do our students think?

"It's shaping out to be a great futuristic building."

English student Isaac will be moving into the building in September and had an exclusive tour of the new facilities.

Read Isaac's blog >>

Dr Anthony Howe

Senior Lecturer and Director of Graduate Research

Dr Anthony Howe hails from the North East of England and was educated at Liverpool and Cambridge; he has held posts at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

His main research focus is Romantic period poetry, but he has wider interests in literary theory, literary controversies, and the connections between poetry and philosophy. His recent monograph, Byron and the Forms of Thought, offers a provocative re-reading of Byron’s philosophical thought through an analysis of the poet’s varied use of literary form. He has published a number of essays on the Romantics and is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

He is currently working on a project about letter writing and Romantic poetics. He is keen to receive PhD proposals in the area of Romantic poetry, letters and poetics.

Dr Robert Lawson

Lecturer & Joint BA Course Director

Dr Robert Lawson completed his ESRC-funded PhD thesis at the University of Glasgow in 2009 which focused on urban adolescent language use in Glasgow. During the course of his PhD, he completed a period of overseas research training at the University of Arizona, taught a range of undergraduate courses at the University of Glasgow and University of Stirling, and presented at a number of international conferences.

Since starting in his role at Birmingham City University, Dr Lawson has continued to focus on language use in Scotland and the UK, as well as the application of sociolinguistic research beyond academia. In the academic year 2012/13, he was seconded to the University of Pittsburgh as the recipient of the Fulbright Scholar's Award in Scottish Studies, during which he completed a major edited volume about sociolinguistic research in Scotland and started a longer term project examining the application and impact of sociolinguistic research beyond academia (with Dr Dave Sayers).

Dr Lawson is also working on a project with Dr Ursula Lutzky which analyses patterns of interruption and turn-taking in the television show 'Mock the Week' and examines these patterns in relation to issues of institutional sexism in the entertainment industry.

Dr Serena Trowbridge

Lecturer

Dr Serena Trowbridge read English and Art History at King's College London, followed by an MA in textual studies at the University of Birmingham. Her PhD, entitled 'Christina Rossetti's Fractured Gothic', was completed at Birmingham City University in 2010, supervised by Professor Fiona Robertson. Her monograph Christina Rossetti's Gothic was published by Bloomsbury in 2013.

Serena has taught at the University of Worcester and Birmingham City University, mostly in the fields of gender and literature, and poetry. She has recently developed a new module on Gothic literature, and is preparing proposals for a book on graveyard poetry and Gothic. She is the editor of the journal of The Pre-Raphaelite Society, and a member of the committee of the Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Seminars (MIVSS). She blogs for the Journal of Victorian Culture Online.

Professor Mark Addis

Professor of Philosophy

Mark primarily focuses upon Wittgenstein and related areas but also has active research interests in the philosophies of language, mind, and religion. He has published three books on Wittgenstein, namely, Wittgenstein: Making Sense of Other Minds (1999), Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Religion (2001) and Wittgenstein: A Guide for the Perplexed (2006).

Mark's contributions to the study of Wittgenstein are widely cited across academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, and have received international recognition. He is the General Editor for the Philosophy Insights series at Humanities-Ebooks.

In 2005, Mark was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University and from 2007 onwards a Visiting Professor at the Department of Philosophy at Aarhus University.

He is a Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics and Deputy Director for the Centre for the Study of Expertise at Brunel University.

Mark is a member of the Schools and Executive Committee of the British Philosophical Association and the AHRC Peer Review College (2007 - 2014). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295