English and Media - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years)
September 2017

The BA (Hons) English and Media course brings together a study of English with Media knowledge, practice and professional development. The course is housed in the School of English, where you will be taught by world-leading academics and practitioners offering a diverse range of modules in literary studies, linguistics, creative writing and drama. Your degree will allow you to tailor your studies to your individual interests and career aspirations with both a local and global outlook.

The programme focuses on the development of core knowledge and skills for English study, and the Media side of your degree will concentrate on media theory and research, as well as developing your employability through work placements.

What's covered in the course?

Combining the study of literature, language, drama and creative writing from the School of English with the development of skills to become a thinking media worker with the School of Media, you will benefit from subject knowledge and transferable skills from both disciplines.

Through study of English you will develop an ability to work as an independent researcher, to communicate effectively in spoken and written discourse, to critically evaluate the work of others and respond imaginatively to original briefs.

Understanding how language works in practice and how language and literature engage with societies are both vital aspects in understanding how the discipline connects with the wider world, enabling you to focus on the production, interpretation and negotiation of meaning.

These skills are transferrable to the Media component, where you will be offered a blend of theory and professional studies, helped by strong links with many influential media organisations, regardless of the options you choose.

The Professional and Academic Development module prepares you for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation, such as the BBCMaverick TelevisionThe NEC, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.

Teaching for the Media component takes place in radio, TV and photography studios, editing suites and computer suites in our £62 million Parkside Building, part of our City Centre Campus where you will build on your skills as you begin to make contacts in the industry and make your first moves into media work.

“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*

Why Choose Us?

  • You will benefit from student-focused and research-informed teaching in a friendly and supportive learning environment where you will be taught by world-leading academics, expert practitioners and experienced media professionals.
  • English at the University is, by definition, interdisciplinary. Students can collaborate across disciplines to gain new perspectives on the relevance of their study in the wider world.
  • English is a global language; its culture has an international reach. Understanding how English has been shaped and reshaped by its engagement with the world at large is a key principle of the programme. You can also take advantage of the study abroad semester offered through the Erasmus scheme in year two.
  • The Media component encourages you to take creative risks and be a ‘thinking’ creative industries worker, able to adapt to a fast-moving industry and lead change, rather than being a cog in a machine.
  • Huge range of guest speaker masterclasses. Past talks have included BBC newsreader Huw Edwards; Twitter's Jo Geary; UB40’s Brian Travers; Vogue fashion photographer Eliot Siegel; and BSkyB’s Head of Production Services, Dave Rooke.

This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

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:

  • Barr Beacon School
  • Birmingham City University
  • Nuvasive

And in jobs such as:

  • Teacher (Trainee)
  • Student Success Advisor
  • Assistant Territory Manager

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.


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

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level Grades BBC required. 112 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 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM (112 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 112 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 14 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points, including 4 higher level passes
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 112 points, including 3 higher level passes
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Pass plus grades CC at A-Level including English(or equivalent qualifications) combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 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
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 14 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).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year

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


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.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

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 not available part-time

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

Researching the Media and Communication (semester one)
40 credits

This module is core for all English and Media students and will provide you with a theoretical understanding of media texts and audiences. You will learn key analytical concepts through which you will interpret media texts within their social, cultural and technological contexts. You will also learn key approaches within audience studies.

Professional and Academic Development (semester one)
20 credits

This module is also core for all English and Media students. It includes study skills and developing your employability, as well as a two week placement in Year one.

Foundations of Language (semester one)
20 credits

This module introduces you to a number of core topics in contemporary language studies, including pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics. You will also learn about key linguistic concepts and terminology and will develop your skills in critical thinking, analysing data, and identifying and synthesising complex information.

Key Critical Concepts (semester two)
20 credits

This module introduces you critical concepts fundamental to undergraduate-level English studies, In order to analyse literary, linguistic, dramatic and media texts. Lectures and seminars will develop your understanding of the key theories of meaning, critical distance and representation, and how these can be applied to texts.

Researching the Media and Communication (semester two)
20 credits

This module is core for all English and Media students and will provide you with a theoretical understanding of media texts and audiences. You will learn key analytical concepts through which you will interpret media texts within their social, cultural and technological contexts. You will also learn key approaches within audience studies.

In your second semester you will have a choice of one of the following English modules:

Language in Action (semester two)
20 credits

This module further develops your understanding of language studies and covers a variety of topics, including phonetics, grammar, and corpus linguistics. You will learn how to identify and analyse the phonetic and grammatical features of English in context and will develop your ability to critically evaluate data, construct clear arguments and integrate scholarly research into your writing.

Craft of Writing (semester two)
20 credits

This module introduces you to a range of techniques used in creative writing, such as showing, telling, detail, and description. Through exploring different literary formats, such as screenplay and poetry, you will learn about key elements of effective writing and how to apply these techniques to enhance your own work.

Literature and Conflict (semester two)
20 credits

You will examine the idea of conflict in poetry, the short story and novel. From war and revolution to social class and gender, and also at a psychological level, conflict creates dramatic interest in narrative, and you will consider how a historical understanding of conflict is important in our contemporary world.

Modern Drama (semester two)
20 credits

This module introduces you to dramaturgical styles associated with ‘modernism’ through the exploration of key playwrights and practitioners from the late nineteenth century. You will examine seminal works from this era, both as written texts and in performance, concluding with your own practical interpretation of a chosen play informed by historical and critical research.

Year two

Key Critical Traditions (semester one)
20 credits

This module introduces you to the most influential twentieth-century schools of thought within English. You will employ different critical perspectives for thinking about literature and related art forms, using tools of analysis to reveal the unexpected and exciting possibilities of critical thought. You will explore theoretical works in their own right, and gain insight into how criticism has developed historically.

Media Research 1 (semester one)
20 credits

You will choose one research option from the following:

  •          Television Studies
  •          Journalism Studies
  •          Popular Music Narratives
  •          The New Media Industry
  •          Events and Exhibition in Context
  •          PR in Context
  •          Radio and Audio Studies
Professional and Academic Development (semester one)
20 credits

You will undertake a three-week media placement.

In your second semester you will have a choice of one of the following modules or the Study Abroad module to achieve all of the 60 credits for semester two.

Media Option 1 (semester two)
20 credits

In the second semester you will choose one research option, from a range of specialist topics, such as:

  • Comedy in the Media and Popular Culture
  • Fandoms and Subcultures
  • Celebrity Culture
  • Media Censorship and Regulation
  • Film Cultures
Collaborative Practice (semester two)
20 credits

You will have a choice of working on a Collaborative Practice module in either English or Media.

English Option Module (semester two)
20 credits

Year three

In your first semester you will study one media module plus a choice of any two English modules:

Media Option 3 (semester one)
20 credits

You will take a Media research module from a wide choice, including:

  • Promotional Culture
  • Cinema and Psychoanalysis
  • Global Quality Television
  • DIY Music Cultures
  • Understanding Social Media
English Options (semester one)
20 credits
Major Project (semester two)
40 credits

In your final year you will undertake a major project on a subject and approach of your choice. This could be in either English or Media and might take the form of a dissertation.

Professional and Academic Development (semester two)
20 credits

This module will aid your employability, and will include career preparation.

Course Structure

The programme combines traditional teaching and learning approaches with innovative, multi-platform learning support, grounded in a student-partnership model which will encourage engagement beyond the scope of the course and ensure that students develop key transferable skills to enhance their employment.

The modules you study will involve critical analysis, investigative skills and imaginative thinking.

In your first year, you will focus on developing core knowledge, including theory and practice-based elements, across English studies. In the second half of your first year, you will be able to specialise further in your chosen area of study, and expand that in your second and third-year modules.

Hours in the classroom

In your first year, you will spend a cumulative total of 216 hours in taught class time. In your second year, you will spend a cumulative total of 180 hours in taught class time. In your final year, you will spend a cumulative total of 144 hours in taught class time. The exact pattern of this will vary depending on which modules you select and when these modules run. Overall, you will usually spend eight-to-ten hours per week in the in classroom. 

Teaching breakdown

37 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
58 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
5 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

3 Written exams DarkOrange
88 Coursework FireBrick
9 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.

Teaching and learning activities

Teaching and learning activities may include lectures, seminars, workshops, fieldtrips and guided independent study. You will also have access to a wide range of extracurricular opportunities, including seminars by prestigious guest speakers and published authors and a programme of scholarly and creative events. Online facilities, such as the University’s Virtual Learning Environment Moodle, are used to guide, support and enhance your learning experience. You will benefit from tutorial support and spoken or written feedback on your learning and preliminary work to help you in preparing for and reflecting on your assignments. A wide range of assessment methods are used in the programme, including essays, presentations, exhibitions, conferences and creative portfolios, giving you the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills.

Interactive teaching and learning is important to us, especially as this fosters an active and engaged community of thinking media workers. Twitter has been used in modules to enable more students to engage in informal, fun and diverse ways of learning. This gives students a sense of ownership of the module content and greater freedom to discuss topics through applying their own examples/practice

View more examples of student work...

Study and work abroad

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

Alongside our postgraduate course in Creative Writing and Birmingham School of Media also offers a range of Masters in related areas such as journalism, photography, TV production, broadcasting and new media. For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices - Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5595 Email: choices@bcu.ac.uk.

Employment Opportunities

Employability is embedded across our programme, from sector and industry-specific skills in creative writing, drama, linguistics and literature, through to transferable skills that hold real value regardless of your employment direction, including literacy and numeracy, time management and organisation, oral and written communication, team work, initiative and enterprise, creative and analytical thinking, self-direction and discipline, independence, information gathering and interpersonal skills. 

You will have multiple opportunities to engage in problem solving and problem-based learning, particularly through individual assessments and collaborative practice modules, and to reflect on your own career development needs through participating in the Graduate+ scheme and other employability schemes over the course of your degree. 


The School of English is committed to developing strong links with employers in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Several language and creative writing modules have explicit employer and industry engagement, where you work in collaboration with employer and external partners over the course of the semester and are encouraged to adopt industry-standard practices to facilitate connections and links independently with external partners.

In the case of the Work Placement module, you will have the opportunity to develop skills and abilities in a sector-specific context, while ensuring that academic aims and objectives are met as part of your wider learning journey.

The School of Media strongly believes in the practical application of learning and is fortunate to have very strong links with employers and the media industry. Students on placements have worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Maverick Television and Endemol.


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.

Links to industry

We regularly seek out opportunities to build further links with partner organisations in the region, including Creative Black CountryBirmingham Literary FestivalBirmingham Museums Trust (including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery), Black Country Museum Trust, Arvon Creative Writing FoundationFlatpack Film FestivalWest Midlands Screenwriters' Forum, and other Schools within the University, in addition to publishers, charities, third sector organisations, and more, in Birmingham and beyond.

The School of Media has links with a number of cultural and community organisations, e.g. Sky, BBC, NEC, many of whom are able to offer exciting placement opportunities for students.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Our graduates are characterised by their extensive subject knowledge, critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, reflected in the skills and abilities that will enable them to adapt to a wide range of career paths, employment opportunities, or further study at Master’s or PhD level. Graduates are known to go on to careers in teaching, librarianship, marketing, journalism and public relations.

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:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

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 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

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

The Curzon Building

This course will be held at our newest facility, The Curzon Building, part of our City Centre Campus.

The £63 million building provides you with a unique learning space, featuring plenty of informal ‘break out’ areas available, creating an open, sociable atmosphere. There is also a new home for the Students’ Union, with its location moving to the restored Victorian pub The Eagle and Ball. Both City North and Millennium Point libraries have moved to the new building.

The dedicated social learning spaces ensure you’ll have the perfect facilities to work independently and confidently, having the time and support you need.

All this ensures that The Curzon Building is a vital support hub and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.

Learning from industry experts

Discover more about the industry experts you can meet on our English degree courses. Islam Issa is one of our lecturers - watch this video to find out more.

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.

Dr Robert Lawson

Lecturer and BA Course Director

Robert completed his PhD in 2009 at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he examined the language use of Glaswegian adolescent males, focusing on fine-grained phonetic variation and the linguistic construction of social identity in interaction. During the course of his PhD, he studied at the University of Arizona for a year, teaching a range of undergraduate courses at the University of Glasgow and University of Stirling, and present at a number of international conferences.

In 2009, Robert took up a post as lecturer in English Language at Birmingham City University, where he continues to research language use in Scotland and the UK. 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 this time, he completed a major edited volume about sociolinguistic research in Scotland, as well as a number of peer-reviewed journal articles.

In 2013, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics and BA Course Director, with responsibility for the administration and organisation of the undergraduate BA course. More recently, his research has been on two main areas. The first is language in the media, where him and his colleagues have been looking at gender, interruption and turn-taking in the television show Mock the Week and the broader issue of institutional sexism in the entertainment industry. The second area is language in the public eye and the application of sociolinguistic research beyond academia. This programme of research has resulted in a landmark volume which examines the different ways in which sociolinguistic research can be leveraged for the improvement of human wellbeingand has been a key part of growing the field of applied sociolinguistics.

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