The BA (Hons) English programme combines the creative and the critical, the personal and the social, the historical and the contemporary.
In the School of English, 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.
English as a discipline continues to be relevant to the lives we lead and is central to a wide range of contemporary and social contexts. It is this fact on which the School has built its philosophy and approach to English as a subject, which has interdisciplinary reach beyond its own boundaries.
Identifying how language works in practice, engaging with multiple forms of communication, examining how language and literature engage with societies and cultures past and present, and the place of English in a global context, are all vital aspects in understanding how the discipline connects with the wider world, enabling you to focus on the production, interpretation and negotiation of meaning and to understand the world from a variety of perspectives.
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 and expert practitioners who foster a community of experimentation, innovation and inclusivity.
Our graduates are characterised by their extensive subject knowledge, critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, reflected in the skills and abilities that enables them to adapt to a wide range of career paths and employment opportunities.
The School is committed to contributing to the cultural life of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands. We do this through working closely with partner colleges and schools, by maintaining close links with cultural institutions such as the Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI) and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG), and by working with agencies such as Writing West Midlands. In all of this we seek to widen participation and provide opportunities for the community to engage with the discipline and the University.
“The well-structured, relaxed seminars made it easy to have open conversation and debates about critical approaches, often prompted by the advance reading. I have improved my critical thinking and developed skills I will carry with me.” Melissa Churchill
The school has achieved excellent results for student course satisfaction and for graduates in work or full-time study after graduating.
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.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work in jobs such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
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 (or their equivalent).
|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. May consider film studies/communication studies/creative writing in lieu of English if applicant submits satisfactory essay set by the department. 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 from three Higher Level Subjects. Portfolio, where required and English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5|
|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) to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|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/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 from three Higher Level Subjects. Portfolio, where required and English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5
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).
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.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||6 years||TBC|
|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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
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.
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.
Since 2015, we have given all our students – not just the first years – the main textbook for all the core modules they take.
By beginning this scheme, we help to save you at least £50 in just the first year of your course!
You'll find that most of the books you need are available in the University library, with a range of physical and digital resources for you to use, including the Early English Books Online archive (EEBO), the Literature Online archive (LION), and the international digital library JSTOR.
You will have opportunities to attend field trips as part of your course. While these trips are optional, they’ll enrich your overall university experience and they’re generally subsidised by the School to help keep your costs down.
You will have access to laptops which can be hired out for free for up to six hours and can be found at the following buildings: Curzon, Millennium Point, Parkside and Margaret Street.
Additionally, printing credits also given to students across all year groups, per semester.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
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.
Literature, Drama and Origins (semester one)
This module introduces you to the study of literature through the examination of authorship, literary history, origins of form, and influence and allusion. You will also learn about the principles of dramaturgy and be encouraged to apply your knowledge in the practical explorations of plays.
Foundations of Language (semester one)
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.
Foundations of Creative Writing (semester one)
By experimenting with different ways of gathering source material and generating new writing in response to stimuli, you will shape and craft that writing into prose and poetry. You will develop a rigorous, inventive and sustainable writing practice, in weekly creative writing tasks that will serve as the foundation for your assessment.
Key Critical Concepts (semester two)
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.
In your second semester you will have a choice of two of the following modules:
Craft of Writing (semester two)
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)
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.
Language in Action (semester two)
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.
Modern Drama (semester two)
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.
Key Critical Traditions (semester one)
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.
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.
Collaborative Practice (semester two)
You will create an interdisciplinary project with students from other disciplines and academic staff in order to learn and critically reflect on the vital employability skill of collaboration. The module content will reflect the nature of the project, depending on your own interests as approved by your supervisor. Principles and techniques of collaboration will also be explored in tutorials, lectures and workshops.
Work Placement (semester two)
This module aims to develop professional attributes and subject skills through experience in the work place, and to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. You will arrange your own placement with support from academic staff and BCU Careers. Typically, the placement duration is 70 hours.
You may study any one 40 credit module in semester one and any two 20 credit modules in semester two to achieve the remaining credits.
In year three, you may study a combination of any two 20 credit modules and any two 40 credit modules.
In your second semester you will be required to choose from one of the Major Project modules worth 40 credits.
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 you develop key transferable skills to enhance your employment.The modules you study will involve critical analysis, investigative skills and imaginative thinking.
In Year one, you will focus on developing core knowledge, including theory and practice-based elements, across English Studies. In the second half of Year one, you will be able to specialise further in your chosen area of study, and expand that in your Year two and Year three modules.
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 8 to 10 hours per week in the classroom.
|37||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|63||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
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.
The School maintains close links with cultural institutions such as the Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI) and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) and works with agencies such as Writing West Midlands.
We encourage you to consider taking the opportunity provided by the Erasmus scheme during your time with us. Recent graduate, Charlotte Keogh, studied for a semester in Austria as part of her undergraduate degree.
Charlotte said: "Going to live and study in Austria was the single most terrifying and tremendous experience of my life. I left England with a self-taught basic knowledge of German (meaning I could say “hello”, “goodbye” and “can I have a glass of water please?”) and left being able to hold conversations with the gorgeous old ladies who shared my tram journeys through the city every morning."
After completing your undergraduate degree, you might want to progress to one of the many postgraduate programmes offered at the University, from a PGCE in English to become a teacher, the Graduate Diploma in Law to put your career on a legal track, through to a wide variety of business and media related degrees in areas such as PR, journalism, marketing and HR.
For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices - Tel: 0121 331 5595 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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.
We regularly seek out opportunities to build further links with partner organisations in the region, including Creative Black Country, Birmingham Literary Festival, Birmingham Museums Trust (including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery), Black Country Museum Trust, Arvon Creative Writing Foundation, Flatpack Film Festival, West 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 regularly organises talks and visits that will provide you with the chance to learn from industry experts with guest masterclasses and visiting authors.
Novelist Jim Crace delivered a series of workshops with students, giving feedback on their work and an insight into the world of professional writing and the publishing industry. Student Nabiyah Saddique said: "It was beneficial to students like me who want to write and be an author by career, to see how his experiences have shaped him and how he has created such beautiful pieces of work from these experiences."
Jim also enjoyed the chance to work with the students: "Everybody tried their hands at pitching an idea, writing the opening paragraphs of a novel, and line editing. It was testing and daunting but nobody fell short. The level of commitment and ability was astounding. London publishers should be beating a path to the School of English; it houses writing talent in abundance."
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.
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 go on to careers in teaching, librarianship, marketing, journalism and public relations.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
As you have a great deal of choice throughout your degree, it’s likely you’ll come into contact with many of our inspiring, research-active staff, including Dr Sarah Wood, Head of School of English, whose research focuses on speculative fiction, children’s literature and women’s writing; Dr Robert Lawson, Course Director of the BA (Hons) English programme, sociolinguistics specialist and former recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Award; and Dr Serena Trowbridge, who is a leading scholar in Gothic Studies, gender and literature, and nineteenth century poetry.
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.
Sarah Wood holds degrees from JMU, the University of Liverpool, and Birmingham City University, where she gained her PhD. Her research interests are in feminism and science fiction.
She has an article on Octavia Butler forthcoming in FEMSPEC and is working on further studies of Butler as well as of Nalo Hopkinson and slave narrative.