English Literature - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full-time: Q320
Part-time: apply direct to the University
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years), Part Time (6 years)
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

The BA (Hons) English Literature programme will support you in developing your critical faculties, instilling in you the power and responsibility of informed reading and analysis, whilst deepening your appreciation for literature.

You will develop your writing, close-reading and research skills, and learn to express your arguments coherently and persuasively. In the School of English, you will be taught by world-leading academics and practitioners offering a diverse range of modules.

You will study literature from all of the major periods, movements and genres. You will also have the opportunity to study cinema, art and philosophy. Your degree will allow you to tailor your studies to your individual interests and career aspirations with both a local and global outlook.

What's covered in the course?

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.

Understanding 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 encourage 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 contributes to the cultural life of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands by: working closely with partner colleges and schools; maintaining close links with cultural institutions such as the Birmingham and Midland Institute (BMI) and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG); and working with agencies such as Writing West Midlands. The aim is to provide opportunities for the community to engage with the discipline and the University.

“The Fantastic module combines the structure of a literature module and the freedom of a creative writing one. You get to grips with the conventions used within Todorov’s Fantastic genre by analysing a text. Exploring the conventions enables you to delve into an enticing genre and write your own fantastic text(s). Thoroughly enjoyable!" Charlotte Davies

Why Choose Us?

  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 100 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • You will be taught by world-leading academics and expert practitioners who encourage a community of experimentation, innovation and inclusivity and create an environment in which your learning can flourish.
  • The programme offers multiple opportunities for you to collaborate across disciplines in order to gain new perspectives on the relevance of your study in the wider world.
  • English is a subject highly-prized by employers for the range of transferable skills it develops. Equipped with a strong subject knowledge, you will develop the ability to work as an independent researcher, to communicate effectively in spoken and written forms, to critically evaluate the work of others, and to respond imaginatively to original briefs.
  • English is a global language; its culture has an international reach. Understanding the effects of this and how English has been shaped and reshaped by its engagement with the world at large is a key principle of the programme. You will not only have the opportunity to contextualise English in this way as part of the taught programme but also to take advantage of the study abroad semester offered through the Erasmus scheme in your second year.

Did you know...

The school has achieved excellent results for student course satisfaction and for graduates in work or full-time study after graduating.

Read more about the school's success 

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Days - October 2017

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 14 October 2017. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now - 14 October

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.

Find out more

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 in jobs such as:

  • Authors, writers and translators
  • Marketing associate professionals
  • Primary and nursery education teaching professionals

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 at Grade C or above which MUST include English Language C+. No other equivalence (including Key Skills) will be considered.

Essential

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 3 A Levels (or their equivalent).

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
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 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 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 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 area (e.g. Media, Performing Arts).
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects 

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
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 2018/19
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

For students who complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

For students who do not complete the full IB Diploma: Obtain a total of 16 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects

In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International Students

Entry requirements here

 

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

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £9,250 per year* Apply via UCAS
PT 6 years See below

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

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 3 years £12,000 per year

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

*Subject to any further inflationary increase as approved by the government. 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.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Fees for part time students

If you study this course part-time or via distance learning, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis. This means your fee will be calculated per module.

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 your course. 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.

View additional costs for this course

This course is available part-time

How to apply

Apply opens
May 2017

UCAS Undergraduate Apply is open for 2018 entry. You can start your application now, but completed applications can't be submitted.

Submit applications
6 September 2017

Completed applications can be submitted to universities and colleges.

Part time and international

Part time and international students can apply direct via an online application form. The links to the forms will be available in September 2017.

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

Literature, Drama and Origin (semester one)
20 credits

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)
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.

Foundations of Creative Writing (semester one)
20 credits

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)
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.

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.

You will then have the choice of one of the following 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.

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.

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.

Year two

Key Critical Traditions
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.

In semester one you will have a choice of one of the following creative writing modules worth 40 credits:

The Romantics (semester one)
40 credits

You will be introduced to the principal works of Romanticism, one of the most dynamic and exhilarating periods in English literature. You will consider the relationship between literature and history by examining works in their context and the intellectual and spiritual traditions in which they participate.

The Victorians (semester one)
40 credits

Covering poetry and prose of the Victorian period, you will learn about the formal trends and properties of literature of the period. You will read widely and look through literary history to situate Victorian literature in its historical context of social change and innovations in gender roles and religion.

In your second semester you can choose to complete either the Collaborative Practice option or the Work Placement option (see below).   

Collaborative Practice (semester two)
20 credits

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)
20 credits

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 also study any two of the following 20 credit modules listed below in semester two, or chose from the English Options list.

Gender, Sexuality and Culture (semester two)
20 credits

You will explore the concepts of gender and sexuality by challenging ‘common sense’ understandings and interrogating cultural identities including queer, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and transgendered. Moving chronologically between examples of twentieth-century fiction, popular culture and theory you will explore topics within social, cultural, political and historical fields of investigation.

Literature and the Child (semester two)
20 credits

This module will provide you with a broad historical knowledge of the development of children’s literature as a distinct genre, enabling you to identify its narrative conventions. Through critically evaluative readings of a range of texts, you will examine how the dominant social and cultural constructions of childhood are explored.

Multicultural Writing (semester two)
20 credits

This module explores Black, Asian and other multicultural writing from Britain in the 1950s up to the present day, developing a critical awareness of literature dealing with racism, stereotyping, cultural hybridity and asylum. The module spans poems, short stories and novels alongside histories of migration and critical debates about multiculturalism. 

Early Modern Literature (semester two)
20 credits

Examine historical, dramatic and poetic texts from the late fifteenth to early eighteenth centuries, in key social, political, religious and theatrical contexts. With critical analysis, discuss key concepts including materiality, versionality and authorship, and understand the role of the early modern period in the formation of an English literary canon.

English Options (semester two)
20 credits

If you choose to take the Study Abroad module, this will allow you to achieve all of the 60 credits for semester two.

Study abroad
60 credits

You can choose to study abroad in semester two.

Year three

In your first semester you will choose one 40 credit module and one 20 credit module from the list below, or choose one 20 credit module from the English Options list:

Modernism and its Legacies (semester one)
40 credits

This module covers the rise of modernism and its successor post-modernism. You will analyse texts considering innovation and key thematic concerns including identity, politics, gender and form. Focusing mainly on British and American writing, some key European movements such as Dada and Surrealism will also be explored.

Shakespeare Studies (semester one)
40 credits

You will examine in detail a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and poems, considering the reasons for his prominent position in the English canon and wider popular culture and society. You will focus attention on Shakepeare’s social context, early modern theatrical settings and conventions, and the language of Shakespeare’s works.

Literature, Art and Philosophy (semester one)
20 credits

Philosophical aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that deals with questions about the nature of art and beauty. You will explore aesthetic theory beginning with Plato and Aristotle, through to twentieth-century thinkers via Kant and the Romantics. The module’s second part focuses on notably ‘philosophical’ literature in depth to understand how the theories might be applied to individual works.

The Gothic (semester one)
20 credits

You will trace the development of the gothic form from its origins through to recent manifestations of the genre, exploring its major themes and aesthetics. Manifesting cultural anxieties, the undercurrents of gothic literature that often express radical, socially unacceptable or psychologically submerged ideas will be identified.

Psychology in Victorian Literature (semester one)
20 credits

This module explores the historical emergence of psychology as a scientific discipline, and its relationship with literature. Pseudo-scientific discourses such as phrenology and mesmerism will be examined, and you will learn to recognise the presence of Victorian medical discourse in nineteenth-century texts.

Speculative Fiction (semester one)
20 credits

In this module you will consider how speculation, the ‘what if’, intersects with literature, allowing us to reimagine the past, recontextualise the present and consider new futures. You will identify formal literary techniques used to enable speculation and apply them to texts from the late twentieth century.

English Options (semester one)
20 credits

In your second semester you will choose one 40 credit Major Project module and one 20 credit module from the list below, or choose a 20 credit module from the English Options list. 

Film (semester two)
20 credits

Apply your existing knowledge of formal, narratological and historical concepts to the medium of film. Beginning with David Bordwell’s model ‘The Classical Hollywood Cinema’ you will theorise issues including Genre and Auteurism in lectures, film viewings and seminar discussions. Explore subversion by counter-cultural formations particularly Film Noir, 50s Melodrama and Horror.

Milton's Epic (semester two)
20 credits

Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost holds an important place in the English literary canon, and you will focus on a thorough reading of the epic itself and key critical responses. You will analyse the themes, characters, settings and language of the work and explore Milton’s political, religious and literary ambitions.

World Literature (semester two)
20 credits

You will gain insights into how certain literary trends in Britain were pioneered or paralleled overseas whilst also offering you the opportunity to join up major lines of development in global literary history. Exploring novels from different parts of the world, the module emphasises what is distinct about literatures from specific geographical areas.

The Uncanny (semester two)
20 credits

You will engage with the legacies of Sigmund Freud’s speculative essay ‘Das Unheimliche’/ ‘The Uncanny’. Moving from literary criticism through deconstruction, you will be introduced to contemporary phenomenology, a branch of philosophy dealing with experiences of the self. Recent philosophical considerations of psychoanalysis, melancholia and unease will then be explored. 

English Options (semester two)
20 credits

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 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.


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 8 to 10 hours per week in the classroom. 

Teaching breakdown

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

Assessment breakdown

valuelabelcolor
5 Written exams DarkOrange
89 Coursework FireBrick
6 Practical exams #fece5a

Teaching and learning activities

Teaching and learning activities may include lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips 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.

Example - Philip K Dick Day

The conference in April featured four panels with topics including Philip K Dick and psychology, visual media, creative constructions and recitations, as well as a discussion on The Man in the High Castle, chaired by Professor John Goodridge and students from the School’s Science Fiction module.

The keynote speaker was Italian scholar Umberto Rossi who delivered a paper entitled ‘Vinyl and Tapes: P.K. Dick and the Reproduction of Sound’. This one-day conference explored evolving conceptions of culture and the countercultural through the lens of the life and works of Philip K Dick, a countercultural figure who appears to be in danger of recuperation into the mainstream. 


Links

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.

View more examples of student work...

Overseas Opportunities  

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."

Read Charlotte's story

Further Study

For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices - Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5595 Email: choices@bcu.ac.uk.

Trips and Visits

All Saints House (Asylum)

In October 2015 group of third year students visited All Saints House - the former Birmingham lunatic asylum - as part of their Literature and Psychology module. In this module they were learning about the emergence of psychology as a science, medical discourse in literature and the treatment of mental health patients. The students had a guided tour of the building and had the pleasure of former student, Jessica Smith, discussing her recent Master's dissertation on lunatic asylums.

Enhancing Employability skills

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. 

Placements

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.


Our Graduates

Rebecca Lovell profile

Rebecca Lovell, graduated in 2016

“I chose the BA (Hons) English Literature course because of the variety of modules, the enthusiasm of the staff and the option to study the course part time. It gave me the flexibility to study a subject I am passionate about, as well as gain voluntary experience alongside it.

The opportunities offered by the School, such as speaking at a student undergraduate conference and working as a student ambassador gave me experience of interacting with others and of public speaking. These skills have been incredibly useful during my placement at Gladstone’s Library, a placement I was made aware of through discussing career options with my tutors, and I am confident that they will continue to be of use as I pursue a career in Library and Information studies."

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.

Links to Industry

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.


Learn from industry experts

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."

Firewalking

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 go on to careers in writing, 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:

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
UK
Australia
Canada
NZ
US
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

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 Curzon Building
Curzon Building entrance
Lecture theatre in The Curzon Building.
ADM English Discussions
ADM English Discussions 2
Curzon Building - Social space
Entrance to Curzon Library, which is open 24 hours a day during term time.
A selection of books in our six storey library.
English Drama Workshop 3
English Drama Workshop 1
English Drama Workshop 2
English Drama Workshop 4
Drama room controls 1
Drama room controls 2
The ASK desk – your first point of contact for all queries related to university life.
The light filled atrium leads into the café and restaurant.
The restaurant has a diverse menu with affordable and high quality food.
Curzon Building - Eagle and Ball bar
Eastside Park

Our Staff

As you have a great deal of choice throughout your degree, it’s likely you’ll come into contact with a whole host of our inspiring, research-active staff, including Dr Tony Howe, Reader in Romanticism and Director of Graduate Research, whose work on Byron and Shelley is internationally respected. Dr Serena Trowbridge is Subject Lead for English Literature, and has published widely on Victorian poetry, Gothic and Pre-Raphaelitism. Dr Sarah Wood, Head of the School of English, focuses on speculative fiction, children’s literature and women’s writing in her research.

Dr Sarah Wood

Head of School

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.

Read Sarah's full profile

Serena Trowbridge

Dr Serena Trowbridge

Lecturer in English Literature

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.

Read Serena's full profile

Dr Anthony Howe

Reader 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.

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