English and Drama - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full-time: QW34
Part-time: apply direct to the University
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Part Time (6 years)
Starting:
September 2015

This course is aimed at those who enjoy reading and writing, but also have a passion for drama, theatre and screenplay. Covering a range of periods from Ancient Greece to the present day, this course balances your literary studies with practical, workshop-based experience of scripting, adaptation, performance theory, and theatre history and criticism.

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.
  • In the second year, you will examine performance theory including the approaches of Stanislavski, Brecht and many more.
  • The final year includes a drama workshop, as part of which you will prepare and produce your own performance, as well as the option to focus on either Shakespeare or Playing the Past.
  • A variety of literature and language modules cover influential periods in literature, theories and ideologies, along with broadening your description and analysis skills. You will learn about the context of language in use.
  • A range of assessment forms will develop your research skills, your confidence and your competence, enhancing your employability.

“My English degree changed my life. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. It made me a better human being and more analytical.” Frank Skinner comedian, writer and alumnus*

“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 *Taken from the Metro, 20 Sep 2011

Why Choose Us?

  • You will gain a solid understanding of both English and Drama, developing your knowledge and your written approach
  • You will be taught by a highly-qualified teaching team in dedicated spaces, including rehearsal rooms and a drama studio.
  • You will benefit from our excellent working relationships with local theatre groups, institutions, creative individuals and your contemporaries - students from Birmingham School of Acting, the University's NCDT-accredited actor training college.
  • 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

Registration will open later in the Summer but in the meantime, why not sign up to receive email updates about the University?

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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:

  • No 77 Interior
  • Paper ball Collective

And in jobs such as:

  • Blogger
  • Technical Director
  • Volunteer Workshop Reader

Entry Requirements

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 Grades BBC required. 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 5.5 minimum in all bands
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 an online application form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates. You can find the application form on the 'How to apply' section of your course page.

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.

This course is available part-time

Applying for a September 2015 full-time course?

Already got your results?

Simply fill in our quick form and our admission team will contact you within two working days about a possible place.

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Still waiting for your results?

We can offer help if you're worried or want to explore other options. We'll also let you know about course vacancies once you get your results.

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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

Literature 1660-1830

This module offers a chronological and critical experience of English literature within the period defined. It is key to the historical experience of literature that the course seeks to provide. Moreover, it continues to develop close reading skills, written and spoken presentation skills, the capacity for original thought, and scholarly practice. Major authors and significant texts provide the focus.

Early Modern Drama

This module will examine the emergence and development of public drama in English culture from the late fifteenth to the mid seventeenth centuries. It traces the development of forms, concepts, performance spaces and attitudes, and recognises the evolution and revolution of ideas across historical periods.

Inviting students to evaluate changing critical-historical responses to dramatic texts, it enables them to understand and interrogate the concept of generic boundaries in drama. Texts selected from the medieval mystery cycles and from the works of Kyd, Jonson, Webster, Ford, Heywood and other major dramatists of the Renaissance period.

Contemporary Theatre and Theory

The module will be a structured and purposeful introduction of key critical/theoretical concepts alongside theatrical texts that have been pivotal in the recent and contemporary period, staged in major London and regional UK theatres from 1956 onwards.

The module will examine key critical and theoretical perspectives relating to issues of society, nation, identity, gender, language, perception, reception, cultural conditioning, and taste.

Any two English modules

Year three

Drama Workshop

This module enables students to engage with a range of performance approaches to dramatic text; to explore theory in practice; to put into practice performance skills and production techniques; justify key decisions made in the production process; evaluate artistic choices and work collaboratively both in a production team and an acting ensemble. Previous set texts have been Plautus, Amphitryo, Martin Crimp's Molière adaptation, The Misanthrope, and Simon Stephens, Pornography.

At least one more drama module
Any other English modules

Course Structure

Our joint honours degrees offer study to the same level in two named areas – either English Literature and English Language, or English and a related subject. The latter gives you the option of developing your interests in reading, writing and critical thought alongside practical study in another area, broadening your skills base and suggesting a possible career path.

Each of these courses is composed of an ‘English half’ and a ‘specialist subject routeway’. For joint degrees where the specialist subject routeway is outside the School of English (English and Media; English and Psychology), students will study designated modules in their subject specialist schools from the first semester onwards. For joint degrees where the subject specialist routeway is within the School of English (English and Drama; English and Creative Writing), students will study the same foundation first semester as all other students on BA English programmes.

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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4 Written exams DarkOrange
75 Coursework FireBrick
21 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

Further study in creative writing can be undertaken on our MA in Writing course. Alternatively, Birmingham School of Acting offers graduate training in acting and other drama-related fields. For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices - Tel: 0121 331 5595 Email: choices@bcu.ac.uk.

Employment Opportunities

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.

Our approach to employability

We are committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

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 Ursula Lutzky

Senior Lecturer & Joint BA Course Director

Ursula Lutzky studied English, French and Finnish at the University of Vienna, where she completed her MA in English and French studies and her PhD in English linguistics. Her PhD thesis, which was awarded a DOC-scholarship by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, contributes to the field of historical pragmatics, dealing with the use and distribution of the discourse markers 'marry', 'well' and 'why' in Early Modern English. This project involved the extension of the 'Sociopragmatic Corpus' (Jonathan Culpeper, Lancaster University) through the annotation of sixteenth and early seventeenth century drama texts, showing that corpus methods can reveal new insights into socio-pragmatic phenomena. Ursula published this work in the monograph 'Discourse Markers in Early Modern English' (Benjamins, 2012), which received the European Society for the Study of English Book Award 2014.

Ursula Lutzky previously worked as a lecturer and research assistant at the English department of Vienna University (2005-2010). She has presented and organised workshops at numerous international conferences, published in the field of her research interests and adopted several editorial responsibilities, having been a member of the editorial boards of the Vienna English Working Papers and Folia Linguistica Historica.

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