The BA (Hons) English and Journalism course is ideal for anyone wishing to follow a career in the dynamic and competitive world of journalism.
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 work experience placements on live stories in media environments will teach you how to craft a story in a way that engages the audience.
The course brings together a study of English with knowledge of journalism practice and professional development. 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 journalism component, where you will publish your stories, use blogs - including the student-run Birmingham Eastside website, runner-up in the Guardian Student Media Awards - create wikis, and employ social media channels and other interactive media to support your work and self-development.
Work experience placements on live stories in media environments will teach you how to craft a story in a way that engages the audience.
Teaching for the journalism 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.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Saturday 20 October 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, 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. Terms and conditions apply.
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 4 (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).
|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||
Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three higher level subjects and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.|
|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|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|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 and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
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:
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.
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:
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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
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.
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.
Media Law and Ethics (semester one)
Live Newsroom 1 (semesters one and two)
This module will run for the whole of year one (semester one and two).
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 also complete one of the following English modules:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disruptive Publishing (semester one)
In this module you’ll explore alternative ways of delivering journalism through linear and digital platforms such as Snapchat and YouTube as well as exploring the development of independent publishing through zines and hyperlocal outlets.
Live Newsroom 2 (semesters one and two)
This module will run across both semesters for the whole of Year two.
You will get the chance to take part in multiplatform production days, delivering content for a number of outlets simultaneously.
You will also choose two 20 credit English modules from the list below
20 credit module option (semester two)
Take a look at the 20 credit modules on the blue button below.
Live Newsroom 3 (semester one)
Building on your year one and year two studies, this module will encourage you to work in different editorial roles within a news team. You’ll get the chance to edit sections as well as leading and planning on coverage of key events and stories.
20 credit module option (semester one)
During semester one you will study two 20 credit English modules totalling 40 credits. Choose any two 20 credit modules from the blue button below:
Global Community and Impact 3 (semester two)
This module supports you in defining an in-depth exploration of an issue with your chosen organisation, culminating in the production of items such as a short documentary or long-form piece of reporting.
In your second semester you will also complete one of the major project modules which include: Dissertation, Advanced Poetry, Drama Workshop, Undergraduate Conference and Media Portfolio (please see below).
Dissertation (semester two)
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area of personal interest. The research outcome is individually negotiated with your supervisor and will take the form of a written piece. Your area of study must be relevant to your programme and you are actively encouraged to choose a topic relevant to your future academic or professional development. The focus of the module is independent learning, with one to one sessions from a supervisor who is familiar with the selected topic. (In addition, you will be supported by group seminars, workshops and online materials relevant to the discipline.)
Drama Workshop (semester two)
This module will provide you with the skills to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed practical project as part of a group. You will work collaboratively to identify, stage and perform a play, extracts of more than one play, or alternative type of dramatic text. This task will enable you to explore an area of theatre production or performance that is of personal interest. You will be offered guidance on your choice of text(s) on the basis of the composition and interests of the group, and logistical and technical considerations including performance space. By keeping a production log throughout the rehearsal process, you will record and self-evaluate your developing practice in relation to relevant research. This will enable you to reflect critically on your work, and contextualise it within Drama and English studies.
Advanced Poetry (semester two)
This module will enable you to build upon your current reading and writing of poetry, and to develop your range, technique and sophistication as a contemporary poet and thinker on poetry. As well as cultivating your ability to read poetry sympathetically and critically, you will learn how to nurture the poetic imagination and what Ted Hughes called its ‘psychic disciplines’, with a view to strengthening and emboldening the intuition and sensitivity upon which poetic technique depends. You also will acquire practical knowledge of publishing and performing your own work. In composing, designing and producing a volume of your own poetry, you will initiate, manage and complete an independent creative project, and in writing an author statement to accompany it, you will describe and justify your own ideas concerning poetry, and the relationship between your work and the intellectual and poetic traditions in which it participates.
Undergraduate Conference (semester two)
This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed independent research project while working collaboratively with other students to stage an undergraduate conference. As a group you will be given a broad theme (for example, ‘Contemporary Identities’, ‘Making History’ or ‘Modern Myths’) decided by your module tutor in advance. You will interpret that theme to produce a focused, 10 minute, oral research paper in one of the following areas: language, literature, drama or creative writing.
You will examine different ways of interpreting the brief based on subject discipline and practice the skills necessary to work collaboratively with others in the running of an academic conference. You will be able to identify a relevant topic and develop it to produce an evaluative and theoretically or creatively-informed response to the initial brief. The conference itself will be supported by a micro-site and twitter feed. Here you will have to create a professional online presence and participate in the marketing and effective communication of the conference proceedings and publicity.
Media Portfolio (semester two)
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 year one, you will be able to specialise further in your chosen area of study, and expand on that in your second and third-year modules.
You’ll study a blend of practical production modules, sourcing, developing, designing and publishing real stories, and learning the art of crafting a compelling story.
We maintain close contacts with a variety of media, including Sky, BBC, Maverick Television and Future Publishing, which means you’ll benefit from masterclass sessions from visiting tutors and guest speakers, to enhance and enrich your learning.
Your professional studies will prepare you for at least two placements – previous students have worked with organisations such as the BBC, Maverick Television, Warwickshire County Cricket Club, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.
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. You will also be set study tasks each week.
|38||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|57||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|5||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
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.
We pride ourselves on giving students real journalism experience through practical activities. These have included reporting live on breaking news stories, as well as planning and implementing coverage of major sporting, cultural and political events alongside professional outlets.
You will also get the chance to see your work published on the award-winning Birmingham Eastside website which is run by students on our Journalism modules.
77 per cent of research undertaken by lecturers from the School of English, classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF2014)
A partnership with other local news organisations has seen students create and run live blogs on issues such as local and general elections.
Students are using virtual reality and 360 degrees technology to tell stories in innovative ways – work which has led to coverage on a leading industry website.
Multiplatform reporting is allowing our students to create unique and powerful ways of telling real stories using a range of skills and different types of media.
Previous visits have included BBC newsrooms in Salford, London and Birmingham, helping provide a first-hand glimpse of how professional journalists operate. You will also get the chance to visit places where the news happens, such as courtrooms and live events across Birmingham.
The School of Media offers the following MA courses as progression for your study:
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.
These skills include 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 course will equip you with first-hand practical expertise and provide you with the rigorous academic knowledge you’ll need to fulfil a career in your chosen communications and journalism field.
As one of our graduates, your skills will be very highly sought after because we teach valued transferable skills, in addition to providing solid academic grounding and practical skills in real-world application.
Our modules regularly adapt to cover live news events as they happen. For example, our students have covered general election counts across the region through the night alongside staff and professional journalists.
Because we use industry-standard software and equipment, and focus on creating content for a modern world, you’ll be capable of covering a story for any outlet and have the adaptable skills necessary to thrive in this fast-paced industry.
95 per cent of our English graduates are in work or continuing their studies.
(2015/16 DLHE statistics)
Our third year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year. It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.
The university 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.
You’ll be expected to undertake at least two placements during your course, a two-week placement in your first year and a three-week placement in your second year. You’ll identify which placement will suit your needs – some of our previous students have chosen to work at newspapers, while others have opted for magazines and independent online publishers.
Placements should reflect the broadening horizons of journalism through such organisations as hyper local publications, or websites and specialist publications.
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.
Regular guest speakers and visiting lecturers from newspapers, broadcast, magazines and online publications will provide you with an insight into the modern journalism industry. By working with specialists in their field you will be able to learn how to bring stories to life.
You’ll also get the chance to engage directly with industry through activities such as hack days and projects with the likes of the BBC, The Times and Trinity Mirror. We have excellent links with a number of national, regional and local outlets, with students regularly taking up placements with the likes of Sky and the BBC.
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 are known to go on to careers in teaching, librarianship, marketing, journalism and public relations.
The journalism side of the course is highly respected in the industry and will prepare you well for a career in your chosen field. You’ll complement your studies by building contacts in the industry, and working on live, meaningful projects. It’s what makes our graduates highly sought after by employers.
Our graduates have gone to pursue careers with respected organisations such as the BBC, Sky, Trinity Mirror, and the Midlands News Association.
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:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
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.
Our School of English is housed in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus, in the vibrant second city that is Birmingham.
Discover your bright and open learning spaces, your 24 hour (during term time) library, drama, media and radio studios, along with state of the art lecture theatres, and a variety of sociable break-out areas, all adding to your unique learning experience.
Our teaching staff comprises specialists in their respective fields, including academics and industry professionals, all of whom are perfectly placed to offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. Birmingham School of Media students also benefit from access to high-profile guest speakers from across the industry.
A dynamic community that is responsive to the changing face of the media industry, Birmingham School of Media is the perfect starting point to your media career
Paul Bradshaw leads both the MA in Data Journalism and the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University, and works as a consultant data journalist in the BBC England data unit.
He is also the founder of the investigative journalism crowdsourcing site, Help Me Investigate, which was shortlisted in 2010 for Multimedia Publisher of the Year and won the Talk About Local Investigation of the Year award the same year. His other awards include the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2016 for an investigation into Nigerian football agents, and the BBC England 2017 Data Journalism award for a story on discrimination in the housing sector.