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BA English

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
Q300
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (International)
More detail.

Studying an undergraduate English degree will enable you to explore past and present cultures and societies, through a wide range of perspectives and in a variety of different literary genres.

At the University of Birmingham, our internationally renowned academic staff have a huge range of literary specialisms across the full historical range to the present day. Our degree programme offers you an exciting core programme in English Literature, while also giving you the opportunity to explore pathways in the closely related fields of Creative Writing, Drama, Film Studies and English Language. You will also have access to unparalleled resources for the study of Shakespeare, through our world leading Shakespeare Institute, not only looking at the poetry and plays of Shakespeare himself, but how these works have been interpreted, reworked and reimagined by diverse audiences.

 

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

I love studying English at Birmingham. You are taught new fields of study and apply them to texts to see them in a new light. My favourite is postcolonial criticism as you see how racial identities are portrayed across time and how they have changed.

David

Why Study this Course?

  • Top 40 world ranking - English Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham is ranked in the Top 40 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2020, as well as ranking in the Top 10 in the Guardian University Guide 2021. On top of this, over 85% of our academic research was judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. Research and teaching areas cover both the traditional literary canon and cutting edge areas of literary study, such as postcolonial literature and twenty-first century digital literary culture.
  • Rewarding student experience - Our students gave the course an overall satisfaction rating of 94% in the National Student Survey 2019.
  • Outstanding employability - 95% of our graduates enter work or full-time study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).
  • Shakespeare Institute - We have a unique provision for the study of Shakespeare: the Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, is a world leading centre for international Shakespeare scholarship. Meanwhile, our very popular residential study trip to Stratford-upon-Avon includes lectures, creative workshops, theatre trips, cultural activities, offers academic and creative inspiration and the opportunity to socialise with fellow students and staff.
  • Guest lectures - you will be able to enjoy regular guest lectures and readings from visiting writers. Past guests have included Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, poet Simon Armitage and theatre director Greg Doran.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

Visit our FAQs

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Prose
  • Poetry
  • Plays and Performance
  • Language for Literature or Theory for English Literature  
  • Reading English
  • English in the World
  • Literary Practice or Creative Practice 

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean 
  • Histories of Literature or Histories of Literature and Creative Practice 
  • Themes in Literature 

Detailed descriptions of year 2 compulsory modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year 

Compulsory modules

  • English Literature Dissertation 
  • English Literature Special Subjects or English Literature Special Subjects and Creative Practice 

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level English Literature grade A (English Language and Literature A level also accepted).
General Studies:
Not accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,6,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus an A at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including an A in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Woolf is fascinating as a pioneer of feminist literary criticism in the 20th century. She was hugely preoccupied throughout her writing with the relationship of women and fiction and the role of women in history and the history of literature.

Dr Deborah Longworth

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

learning-teaching-english

Contact hours

Throughout your English degree you can expect around 10 contact hours per week. This will be made up of a combination of lectures and seminars in your first and second years. In your final year this will also include 1 to 1 supervision meetings with a lecturer who will support you as you conduct independent research.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

The principal means of assessment for English are coursework essays and written exams.

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Studying for an English BA at Birmingham is an unparalleled opportunity to not only engage with a diverse cultural, textual and linguistic discipline, but also to develop skills in intellectual analysis, critical thinking and articulate expression.

These skills last a lifetime and qualify you for many possible careers. You will also be encouraged to acquire practical skills that you will find just as useful in your future career, including oral presentation, professional documentation, group work and the use of information technology.

English graduates from the University of Birmingham have a high rate of employability for the subject. 95% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

Our graduates have started careers with employers including the BBC, Headline Publishing Group, Mirror Group Newspapers and Oxford University Press, in roles such as account executive, editorial assistant, marketing assistant and sales and events coordinator. Many English graduates pursue postgraduate study to specialise in an academic area or prepare for careers such as law and teaching.

 

Developing your career

There is a range of opportunities through our Careers Network and beyond. For example, our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six-month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market.

Current partners include Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, and the Library of Birmingham. There are also internships available at the University’s own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

There are regular events each year covering careers in teaching, events management, working with charities and more, to help you meet potential employers and learn more about a range of sectors.

There are also summer internship opportunities and work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts.

Our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project run by one of our researchers in drama and theatre. You gain work experience over the summer after your first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.

Our employer-endorsed Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

There are also a huge number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, our students’ union, which cover a wide variety of interests across drama and the arts.

With more than 300 societies and groups at The Guild, there is something for everyone.If your interest does not yet have a group, then The Guild will support you to set it up and find likeminded individuals to join you.

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Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities