Black Studies - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
L330
Attendance:
Full Time (3 Years), Sandwich (4 Years), Part Time (5 Years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

The BA (Hons) Black Studies course at Birmingham City University will help you to engage with the contributions of Black scholars, activism and communities in this expanding interdisciplinary field.

This unique course is the first of its kind in Europe. If you are interested in the history, politics, popular cultures, artistic and social movements of people across the African diaspora, Black Studies will provide you with the big picture perspective through this growing discipline.

Your course will be taught by leading, research-active lecturers and tutors, where you will encounter a range of viewpoints, as well as gaining valuable experience within the wider community.

What's covered in the course?

The purpose of Black Studies is to foster innovative teaching, learning and research that addresses historical and contemporary Black social life, culture and political activism both in Britain and across the African Diaspora. There has been a long tradition of Black studies in the United States. The discipline originally emerged on US campuses during the 1960s in an effort to open up universities to a more diverse student body, as well as recognising the contributions of Black scholars and activists.

However, in the UK, Black Studies has been taught more sporadically in higher education without having an independently named degree programme or disciplinary home. It is therefore important to recognise that Black Studies in Britain has also thrived within various local community settings in Britain and through forms of independent self-learning and activism.

Black Studies at Birmingham City University is an interdisciplinary subject that is committed to working with the wider community. The course aims to make a transformative impact upon society. Throughout the degree, we will engage you in the thinking and practice of contextualising your work within communities, and where possible, connecting you to projects and organisations outside of the University.

The course seeks to enable students with the capacities and skills needed to apply decolonising intellectual knowledge to a range of strategies for advancing community self-representation, social justice and global human rights. These commitments are based on the understanding that the perspectives and lives of people throughout the Black diaspora are entangled in complex intersecting power relations, structures and processes.

Black Studies prepares students on this programme for a range of graduate outcomes in a variety of occupations and occupational sectors (e.g. Public, Voluntary and Private). Black Studies graduates can go on to work in areas such as community development, charitable and voluntary organisations, NGOs, further and higher education, industry, retail and commerce, local and central government, human resources, social research, social work and youth work, amongst many others.

Why Choose Us?

  • This is the first course of its kind in the UK, and presents a unique opportunity for you to gain a thorough education in an insightful, rich subject.
  • You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long sandwich placement as part of your degree course, ensuring you have the experience you need to make an impact in your chosen career.
  • Our Black Studies team have links with some of the most respected academics in the field, including Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Gus John, Hazel Garby, Barnor Hesse and Joan Anim-Addo.
  • We work alongside a lot of important social organisations, who help shape our course. These include the Black Studies Association, the Race and Ethnicity Group, and Unmuted.
  • Don't meet the entry criteria? Our Foundation Year programmes offer a route to a full undergraduate degree at a lower entry tariff.
  • You will also get the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one, with a variety of exciting possibilities open to you. This ranges from our successful international travel scholarships scheme, through which you can spend a summer working for a charitable organisation overseas, to one of our many overseas study exchange programmes. Our international exchange opportunities could also see you spend some of your second term at an institution in the USA.
  • As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award programme enables you to gain award levels for all the extra-curricular activities you undertake so that you can stand out from the crowd on graduation. 

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.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

*DLHE 2016/17

Sir Lenny Henry, Chancellor

Actor, writer, comedian and charitable campaigner Sir Lenny Henry is our new Chancellor.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
A Level / AS Level BBC at A Level (112 points). A maximum of three subjects are considered. Most subjects accepted including Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking, excluding General Studies.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3, of which 18 Level 3 credits are at merit or distinction grade on a Social Sciences / Humanities pathway. Must also hold GCSE English Language at grade 4 or equivalent.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D* combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points. Excluding Early Years and Children's Play, Learning & Development
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma DMM (112 points). Excluding Early Years and Children's Play, Learning & Development.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points. Excluding Early Years and Children's Play, Learning & Development.
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 and alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points.

If taking the IB Certificate you will need to obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.  This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H5/D1).
Scottish Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.

Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD.  Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers). 

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate

B plus grades BB at A Level (or equivalent qualifications). 

Considered in combination with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas / OCR Cambridge Technical Diplomas / BTEC 12-unit or 90 Credit Diplomas etc to achieve a minimum 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
English language requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
Other accepted qualifications Visit our English language page
International Students

Entry requirements here

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 3 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years
TBC
Apply via UCAS
PT 5 Years
TBC

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 3 Years £12,300 per year
SW 4 Years
TBC

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. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. 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.

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 Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them 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

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

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.

Get personal statement advice

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

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Introduction to Black Studies
20 credits

The module provides an introduction to the key themes and areas in the discipline of Black Studies. It lays the foundation for the study of the degree and connects into the modules that follow. The module will discuss the principles of Black Studies; offer counter historical narratives to Black experiences and; explore contemporary forms of Blackness in Britain and beyond.

Download the full module specification

City, Community and Culture
20 credits

City, Community, Culture introduces students to the sociology of the city and teaches the ethnographic method for explore urban settings. We will focus on the key theories of the city, including theories from Black sociologists, who were some of the first to explore urban life. This module will engage students in applying the theories we learn into exploring the city of Birmingham. The module will equip students with the skills to understand the city and to study the city using ethnographic methods.

Download the full module specification

Understanding Society
20 credits

Understanding Society introduces students to the idea of modernity, the Enlightenment and key classical thinkers in sociology. The module presents critiques of the Enlightenment view of modernity as progress, outlining the ‘dark side’ of modernity’s emergence. As well as discussing classical thinkers such as Marx, Durkheim and Weber, the module introduces WEB DuBois and considers how slavery, imperialism and the rise of capitalism impacted the making of the modern world. We also consider how the emergence of modern knowledge and power were gendered and racialized from the outset.

Download the full module specification

Black Intellectual Thought
20 credits

This module aims to introduce students to different intellectual ideas and perspectives throughout the Black diaspora that theorise the subject of Black peoples and populations across the world in historical and contemporary times.

The module will examine events, movements, theories, and texts that have shaped our knowledge and understanding of the African diaspora. We will explore how approaches to studying intersecting systems of power, gender, class, sexuality, race and racism in society offer important insights into the human condition. In particular, we will be considering how Black intellectual thought provides a framework that produces knowledge from the perspective of people and groups who have been historically marginalised both in the academy and wider society.

Download the full module specification

State and Society
20 credits

State and Society introduces students to understanding the role of the state, politics and policy in social life. We consider different political perspectives and how these are articulated through the political process. The module also examines key policy agendas and the impacts on groups in society. Students will learn about political ideologies, influences on the political process and we will discuss contemporary issues in social policy. The module will also examine the history of and contemporary debates around migration into the UK, in order to discuss political ideologies and state policy.

Download the full module specification

Sociological Imagination
20 credits

This is a core module which introduces students to the scholarship of key contemporary social thinkers. The module aligns with the aims of the Sociology programme by providing students with the tools to develop a critical awareness of a variety of sociological perspectives and their relevance to the contemporary social world. This module encourages students to link key theoretical perspectives to the wider programme-level expectations and learning outcomes. Deep learning is encouraged with interactive lectures and workshops which stimulate discussions.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

Black Political Activism
20 credits

Black Political Activism introduces students to the different approaches that have been used to resist racism across the African Diaspora. We will explore a range of liberal, radical and contemporary forms of activism and root this in a discussion of how society is understood. The module engages with a range of case of studies of organisations and politics, and will also consider intersectionality in the context of Black political activism.

Download the full module specification

Exploring Popular Culture
20 credits

This module aims to develop your ability to critically analyse contemporary popular culture. We will examine social and cultural studies theories relevant to the study of cultural sociology, with a specific focus on topics including class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, music, ‘the body’, media, consumption and Black popular culture. In particular, the module will consider how popular culture can act to confirm or resist dominant ideologies produced in society.

Download the full module specification

Black Feminism
20 credits

This module aims to extend your critical knowledge and analysis of Black feminist discourses, in particular, to understand Black feminist ways of knowing and being in the world. We will examine black feminism through the lens of theory, popular culture, and political activism to ask questions about power and ongoing forms of domination. In particular we will consider how Black feminism provides an epistemological framework that resists, transgresses and negotiates dominant ideologies.

The module will explore how Black Feminism can speak to and construct democratic ideas of freedom and liberation while engaging questions of hypervisibility, invisibility and marginality. The core of this module will begin from an intersectional position to consider how black feminist theories are complex and varied in exposing the operations of power and transformative forms of political possibility.

Download the full module specification

Black Studies Methods
20 credits

Black Studies Methods aims to teach students methods of engaging in research that directly impacts on the social world outside of the university. We will explore a range of methodological approaches that complement and extend traditional approaches in sociology. Students will be expected to critique “taken for granted” notions of research and also to develop engaged and community based research projects.

Download the full module specification

Race, Racism and Ethnicity
20 credits

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to critical knowledge of the historical and social impact of ‘race’ ethnicity and racism in western societies. Students will gain a critical understanding of key theoretical definitions of, and the debates concerning the concepts of race, racism and ethnicity. Students will learn about the historical development and social constructions of race, ethnicity and racism within western history, culture and politics.

Download the full module specification

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Black Studies Placement
20 credits

The aim of the Placement Module is to offer Level 5 students the opportunity to apply their Level 4 knowledge and understanding of Black Studies perspectives to the world of community practice and employment. This includes public, private and voluntary sector organisation settings. In addition to developing the skills of reflexive practice, students will gain critical insight into the structures, processes and working practices of their host institution.

Download the full module specification

Sociology of the Media
20 credits

This module aims to consider sociological theories and concepts to understand the media. You will consider the role of media in society, looking at key theories of the media and understanding media texts (e.g. movies, TV programmes, YouTube videos, blogs, books, magazines, social media, etc…).

Download the full module specification

Youth, Socialisation and Identity
20 credits

Through examining the broad sociological understanding of the youth, socialisation processes and identities, this module will explore how historical and contemporary perspectives which have led to competing constructions of youth culture. The module will draw on research and theoretical insights into the social worlds of young people, building upon key concepts such as sub-cultural theory, identity and the construction of difference in an attempt to place young people in the in the UK and global contexts.

Download the full module specification

 
Please note list of optional modules is indicative only. Students’ choice will not be guaranteed for optional modules but a fair and transparent process will be adopted and shared with students.

Final Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits).

Power and Inequality
20 credits

This module will critically examine how we can make epistemic links between past histories of colonialism and the complex ways these histories continue to impact contemporary forms of inequalities in the present. We will examine how we can understand and address the role of race, gender, sexuality and coloniality in shaping the modern world.

Critical discussions and debates to decolonise the curriculum directly draw attention to the relationship between the production of power (coloniality), the politics of knowledge and the reproduction of social inequalities. Students will be expected to engage issues of power and inequality from a variety of critical perspectives in order to develop and extend their understanding of these social, cultural and political issues through a decolonial lens.

Download the full module specification

Black Arts Movement
20 credits

The module explores and examines the historical context which produced the Black Arts Movement in the UK. It aligns with the aims of the Black Studies degree programme as it focusses on a social movement, and discusses the contribution that artists from the African diaspora have contributed to visual culture. By engaging with a range of intellectual perspectives that contributed to the development of the Black Arts Movement, students will have the opportunity to understand how, in the case of the Black Arts Movement, intellectual thought and artistic production are symbiotic.

Download the full module specification

Black Studies Project
40 credits

The Black Studies Project is the culmination of the work that the students have completed over the preceding years of the degree. They will draw upon the work in the Level 5 module Black Studies Methods in order to carry out their own independent research project.

Download the full module specification

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Visual Sociology
20 credits

This is an option module which aligns with the aims of the Sociology programme by assisting students to gain a deep understanding of the complex visual world around them. This is an interdisciplinary module which examines sociological inquiry that is theoretically informed, knowledge-applied, with the specific focus on visual research methods. The module will encourage students to utilize their knowledge and understanding of different sociological perspectives and social research methods acquired at Levels 4 and 5. The module will be delivered with interactive workshops to facilitate group discussions.

Download the full module specification

Activism, Social Movements and Social Change
20 credits

Activism and social movements have attempted to address a wide range of social problems and influence social change. Historically, movements have had significant influence on social relations and social policy.

This module will critically investigate a range of social movements and activism from the past and present in order to better understand these movements and their internal processes and external contexts. Various theories will be explored in order to get a good grasp of what brings about social movements, how they operate, and when they succeed.

Download the full module specification

Music and Society
20 credits

This is an optional module concentrating on cultural sociology with specific reference to music. The module will provide students with an in-depth introduction to some of the key sociological ideas and perspectives on music, and it will focus on three main themes: the social and historical settings in which musical forms are produced and consumed; music in relation to identity and politics; and the political economy of music.

By the end of the module, students should have a good understanding of the social functions, and significance, of music. Key issues we will explore include: the influence of class, race and gender on musical styles; music in its relationship with sub-cultural groups and as a force for political expression; and the commodification of popular music. Alongside considering these issues, we will be listening to a variety of music.

Download the full module specification

Globalisation, People and Society
20 credits

The module provides students with an opportunity to explore concepts, research and debates in relation to globalisation, people and society. The module encourages students to develop a critical approach to thinking about globalisation as a set of social and historical processes which shape (and may be shaped by) the economic, political, cultural and ecological dimensions of social life.

From the conceptual to the grounded, the module then explores the social consequences of globalisation with reference to selected themes and topics in and with relevance to sociology to include: the exercise of economic and political power; forms of political organisation and governance; the dynamics and effects of economic development; the creation of social divisions and inequality; cultural transformations; identity and belonging; population movements; urban and rural life; ecological change. The module closes with a consideration of conjectures on social futures in a globalising world.

Download the full module specification

Self, Identity and Society
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding of how the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘identity’ are continually shaped, regulated and maintained through varying aspects of identity formation, social divisions and inequalities. The module focuses on sociological approaches to exploring the ‘self’ and ‘identity’ in a social context.

Students are encouraged to develop an appreciation of the ways that identities are fluid, complex and, multifaceted. Within the teaching and learning aspects of the module, students are encouraged to consider the ways in which cultural, political, social and economic contexts impact on their own and others’ identities through mediated practices, processes and discourse.

Download the full module specification

 
Please note list of optional modules is indicative only. Students’ choice will not be guaranteed for optional modules but a fair and transparent process will be adopted and shared with students.

Course Structure

Teaching is a combination of large lectures mixed with smaller workshops and seminars. Assessment is a mixture of coursework and exams. 

The interdisciplinary nature of Black Studies means that you will leave with a critical and comprehensive understanding of society. Expanding the range of knowledge is vitally important, as it will equip you with the skills and knowledge to navigate and transform our ever-changing society.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

What our students say

"I definitely recommend this course, from the support you receive from the faculty as a whole to the friendships you build. Regardless of your background and ethnicity do this course - it will change your life""

Sarah Bristol-Abbott, Black Studies student
 

Enhancing employability skills

The benefit of Black Studies is that as society becomes increasingly diverse, employers recognise the need to have a much deeper range of knowledge about society. It will also be an advantage because it demonstrates a wealth of knowledge on issues of race, inclusion and society.

As well as this, you will gain the transferrable skills that employers always crave such as skills in critical thinking, analysis and research. 

Placements

There is a mandatory placement in your second year, where you will gain experience in either the private, public or voluntary sector. You will also, in your third year, have the chance to engage with an organisation outside of the University.

The placements are focused on working with organisations who work to improve the lives of people in different communities. 

More about our placement opportunities...

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.

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

Studying a broad-ranging subject like Black Studies is an excellent route into a range of professional jobs, where you can be exposed to a variety of different ideas and critical thinking. This will enable you to consider a multitude of career options upon graduating, with the degree keeping the door open to professions such as social work, teaching and law. 

*DLHE 2016/17

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

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.

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

Travel abroad

As a subject, Black Studies covers areas such as the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa, and thus international exchanges and ideas will be a central component of your studies.

We are also finalising plans to offer a semester abroad during your second year, through one of our partner universities in the USA. 

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free

Our staff

Our staff carry out high-quality research, writing books and articles that lead the development of Black studies in the UK. They have recently published the first British edited book on Black studies, entitled 'Blackness in Britain'. Our staff are also producing the acclaimed book series 'Blackness in Britain', which features books covering topics such as Black radicalism, Black criminology and mixed heritage identities.

Our staff have also organised the major international conference, also titled Blackness in Britain, which brought in scholars from across the world and included contributions from Professor Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland), Dr Barnor Hesse (Northwestern University) and Professor Gus John (Institute of Education), all major figures in Black Studies.

Dr Kehinde Andrews

Professor of Black Studies

Kehinde is an academic, activist and author whose books include Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century (2018). His first book was Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement (2013).

Lisa Palmer profile

Dr Lisa Palmer

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Lisa Palmer's research interests include Black Studies in Britain, the cultural politics of Lover's Rock music; community archiving and heritage; the intersections of gender, sexuality, racism and decoloniality. 

Dr Karen Wilkes

Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Karen Wilkes's research is concerned with analysing visual culture (tourist brochures of the Caribbean, advertising, television and films). Her work examines how gender, race and class work together and are represented in popular culture.

Dr Denise Noble

Senior Lecturer of Sociology

Denise has taught  media, cultural studies, sociology, African American and African studies, and social work in the UK and USA. In addition to her academic career she has extensive experience of community activism and community work.