Spring into Shakespeare is a short course designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to study Shakespeare at postgraduate level.
You will develop a strong understanding of key concepts relating to the study of Shakespeare, such as language, genre, early modern playing practices, and contemporary performance.
Successful completion of the course may be used as an alternative qualification to those listed as entry requirements for the Shakespeare Institute MA programmes in Shakespeare, and Shakespeare and Creativity.
This short course is also an opportunity for those who wish to study Shakespeare for pleasure. If you do not intend to continue onto a Masters programme, you will still acquire significant knowledge of Shakespeare, which can be applied in a variety of educational, outreach, and cultural settings.
What will you study?
This course is delivered by the Shakespeare Institute and features lecture content from leading scholars in Shakespeare Studies. Drawing on the University of Birmingham’s collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Spring into Shakespeare also provides multiple opportunities for students to discuss productions with RSC theatre practitioners.
Each week will focus on a particular approach to studying Shakespeare:
Weeks 1 to 4
- Analysing Shakespeare’s language
- Defining genre
- Exploring early modern playing practices
- Shakespeare and the history of thought
Weeks 5 and 6
- Shakespeare in contemporary performance (seminars held in collaboration with Royal Shakespeare Company theatre practitioners)
Weeks 7 and 8 (optional)
- Research Skills A: Using digital and physical resources to conduct research
- Research Skills B: Academic writing and referencing
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Discuss key areas of Shakespeare Studies, including genre, text, Shakespeare in performance, Shakespeare’s language, characters, plot, and themes
- Demonstrate a strong understanding of Shakespeare’s writing in the broad context of the early modern period.
- Write in an academic style appropriate for MA-level study in Shakespeare
- Use an academic referencing system (such as MLA or MHRA) with confidence
- Undertake research at the level required for MA-level study, using online databases, academic books, and journals
The course content will include weekly lectures, optional virtual seminars, discussion boards, Q&A sessions with RSC practitioners, and access to a wide range of resources.
When will you study?
The seminars will run on Mondays, with a break for Easter Monday so the course will end on 22nd of April 2024.
Who is the course for?
This course is for those who wish to undertake MA-level study in Shakespeare but may not have the necessary qualifications for entrance to one of our programmes. It also caters to people who are interested in the language and legacy of William Shakespeare more generally.
How to apply?
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for Spring into Shakespeare. You will create an account with the University application system and complete a short form to register onto the course. Applications are now closed. Please register your interest via the enquiry form below to receive updates about the next intake.
What will you receive?
Spring into Shakespeare will allow you to focus on specific areas in order for you to develop your career in the way that you want to. The course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge that are necessary to undertake a postgraduate degree in Shakespeare. These skills include:
- Analysing early modern plays
- Researching Shakespeare on the page and in performance
- Academic writing
- Academic referencing
- Discussing ideas in virtual seminars, one-on-one meetings, and in writing
A Certificate of Participation will be awarded to participants who contribute constructively to weekly discussions and exercises/assignments for the duration of the course.
The tuition fee for this course is £400 (in 2024) .
You can decide to register for the two optional 'Research Skills' weeks after the start of the programme. Should you chose to study the two Research Skills weeks, there will be no additional fees.
A BA Hons in any subject OR professional experience of working with Shakespeare.
You should have a high level of proficiency in the English Language across all language learning areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening). It is your responsibility to ensure that you can cope with the language demands of this short course.