This course is aimed at those who enjoy reading and writing, but also have a passion for drama, theatre and screenplay. Covering a range of periods from Ancient Greece to the present day, this course balances your literary studies with practical, workshop-based experience of scripting, adaptation, performance theory, and theatre history and criticism.
If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.
“My English degree changed my life. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. It made me a better human being and more analytical.” Frank Skinner comedian, writer and alumnus*
“I’ve discovered, having been at the University for a year-and-a-half now, that the tutors are fantastic – they are always there to help the students, and they are enthusiastic about the modules they teach, which is always something that gives your own enthusiasm a boost.” Danielle Cotton *Taken from the Metro, 20 Sep 2011
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 11 June 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies 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.
280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 3 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||Grades BBC required. 280 UCAS Tariff points from 3 A level subjects including English at grade C or above. This may also include General Studies and Critical Thinking. Remaining points can be made up with AS levels in different subjects. AS level in the same subject of an A level will not be accepted..|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass with 60 credits, 45 at level 3 and 15 at Level 2 including English at Level 3. Distinction/merit in 18 credits at Level 3 plus answer set essay question.|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM (280 UCAS points) in related area (e.g. Media, Performing Arts).|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||26 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 points, including 4 higher level passes|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 points, including 3 higher level passes|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|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 2016/17|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||26 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2016/17 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
280 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
be predicted DMM profile at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
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 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||PT||6 years||£1,125 per 15 credit module|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Approaches to Reading Criticism (semester one)
This module introduces students to a range of critical theory including debates about what might define an author, the role of the reader, what constitutes a text, intertextuality, semiotics, formalism, defamiliarization, cultural materialism, feminism and postcolonial literary theory.
These aspects of reading will be examined in relation to a range canonical, non-canonical, print, digital and film texts, as well as key writings in literary theory. Students will be encouraged to engage directly with scholarly material, and to produce their own online resources in the form of an individual reflective blog.
Drama (semester one)
The module is a structured and purposeful introduction to staging, interpretation, reception and styles of representation. Specific topic covered include:
Reading Literature: Prose (semester one)
This module enables students to consider prose in a variety of forms from the Renaissance to the present day. While the central focus is on fiction, we will also examine some other forms such as letters, essays, biography and autobiography.
Studying Language (semester one)
This first language module provides an introduction to the field of linguistics and language studies. It starts by discussing the history of the English language and focuses in particular on its very beginnings during the Old English period.
It further includes sessions on pragmatics, that is the study of how speakers use language when communicating with each other, and on politeness, investigating ways in which language can be used to express politeness. In the second half of the semester, several sessions focus on language acquisition, language and the mind as well as phonetics and the sounds of English.
Approaches to Reading - Contexts (semester two)
This module will give students the opportunity to contextualise the critical concepts and practices of reading covered in 'Approaches to Reading: Criticism'. There is a strong emphasis on practical fieldwork, and students will learn how to apply a number of research methodologies to reflect on how reading, literary and cultural contexts might vary (e.g. according to mode, historical period or social community).
Tasks may include: conducting a research interview, designing and interpreting survey results, using archive material, producing a bibliography, close reading exercises, critiquing essays and reviews. The module will include a field trip and guest lectures, showing how English studies are relevant to our local communities (e.g. in relation to book festivals, museums and art galleries).
Adaptation (semester two)
This module introduces students to the creative and critical processes involved in translating narrative from one medium to another. Continuing from the semester 1 module, Drama, it gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of dramatic theory and form through practical work, while encouraging the development of imaginative writing skills in different genres.
Through historical and genre case studies, it provides an introduction to ideological and formal questions in the study of adaptation. Work undertaken may include a case study on (for example) Shakespeare adaptation in film, prose and drama; rewritings of Ovid's Metamorphoses in poetry and drama.
Reading Literature: Poetry (semester two)
This is an introductory module to English poetry that requires students to examine a range of English language poetry from the Middle Ages to the present and so demonstrate awareness of the formal properties relating to these types, the relationships between poetry and historical moment, and the critical/technical language required for degree-level analysis. It asks students to develop and engage with personal preferences through the production of a mini-anthology.
Describing Language (semester two)
The module builds on the first semester module Studying Language and further develops some of the topics covered in this previous module. Thus, it discusses varieties of the English language, that is to say different accents and dialects spoken in the UK but also abroad.
It comprises classes on the history of English with a focus on Middle English and it includes several sessions on the importance of grammar. Towards the end of the semester, students then get to know the field of literary linguistics, which combines the study of linguistics and literature.
This module offers a chronological and critical experience of English literature within the period defined. It is key to the historical experience of literature that the course seeks to provide. Moreover, it continues to develop close reading skills, written and spoken presentation skills, the capacity for original thought, and scholarly practice. Major authors and significant texts provide the focus.
Early Modern Drama
This module will examine the emergence and development of public drama in English culture from the late fifteenth to the mid seventeenth centuries. It traces the development of forms, concepts, performance spaces and attitudes, and recognises the evolution and revolution of ideas across historical periods.
Inviting students to evaluate changing critical-historical responses to dramatic texts, it enables them to understand and interrogate the concept of generic boundaries in drama. Texts selected from the medieval mystery cycles and from the works of Kyd, Jonson, Webster, Ford, Heywood and other major dramatists of the Renaissance period.
Contemporary Theatre and Theory
The module will be a structured and purposeful introduction of key critical/theoretical concepts alongside theatrical texts that have been pivotal in the recent and contemporary period, staged in major London and regional UK theatres from 1956 onwards.
The module will examine key critical and theoretical perspectives relating to issues of society, nation, identity, gender, language, perception, reception, cultural conditioning, and taste.
Any two English modules
This module enables students to engage with a range of performance approaches to dramatic text; to explore theory in practice; to put into practice performance skills and production techniques; justify key decisions made in the production process; evaluate artistic choices and work collaboratively both in a production team and an acting ensemble. Previous set texts have been Plautus, Amphitryo, Martin Crimp's Molière adaptation, The Misanthrope, and Simon Stephens, Pornography.
At least one more drama module
Any other English modules
Our joint honours degrees offer study to the same level in two named areas – either English Literature and English Language, or English and a related subject. The latter gives you the option of developing your interests in reading, writing and critical thought alongside practical study in another area, broadening your skills base and suggesting a possible career path.
Each of these courses is composed of an ‘English half’ and a ‘specialist subject routeway’. For joint degrees where the specialist subject routeway is outside the School of English (English and Media; English and Psychology), students will study designated modules in their subject specialist schools from the first semester onwards. For joint degrees where the subject specialist routeway is within the School of English (English and Drama; English and Creative Writing), students will study the same foundation first semester as all other students on BA English programmes.
|37||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|63||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
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.
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.
Further study in creative writing can be undertaken on our MA in Writing course. Alternatively, Birmingham School of Acting offers graduate training in acting and other drama-related fields. For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices - Tel: 0121 331 5595 Email: email@example.com.
English and Drama students recently had the chance to work alongside the Sonnet Man, a US rap artist who delivers Shakespeare’s sonnets set to hip hop beats.
Emma Blyth, a second year student, said: “The Sonnet Man was able to create in me even more admiration for Shakespeare’s work."
Due to their ability to analyse and interpret text, accurately communicate information, work independently or collaboratively and present material with confidence, English graduates are highly employable. Our alumni have found employment in arts administration, teaching, lecturing, law, media and marketing, management, research and writing, politics and public relations, social work and social administration and librarianship, information services and many other areas.
OpportUNIty: 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.
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.
We are committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.
Read our Employability Statement to find out more.
You could have the chance to learn from industry experts with guest masterclasses and visiting authors.
Novelist Jim Crace visited to carry out 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."
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.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
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.