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BA Drama and English

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
WQ43
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2020/21:
£9,250 (Home/EU)
£18,780 (Overseas)
More detail.

Studying Drama and English allows you to explore many aspects of culture, performance and society.

Your Drama modules will develop your practical theatre-making skills, as well as giving you an understanding of the historical and political context of theatre. On the English side of your programme, you will investigate the ways in which literary culture has engaged with and shaped society and continues to do so today.

At Birmingham you will benefit from internationally renowned research and teaching in both disciplines, as well as unparalleled resources, including those for the study of Shakespeare, through our world-leading Shakespeare Institute. Drama at the University of Birmingham is ranked Top 5 in the Complete University Guide 2020 and Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019. English is ranked Top 5 in the Guardian University Guide 2020 and Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019. 

My favourite module for Drama would be Theatre Practice because it's more practical and we do a lot of exercises. Some of the exercises can be as random as getting a piece of paper, crumpling it up, and then trying to replicate that with our bodies, trying to really focus on how our muscles work and feeling it in our limbs.

Kathryn

Why Study this Course?

  • Excellent global rankings – English Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham is ranked in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019, whilst Drama is ranked in the Top 100. We also have one of the largest concentrations of Literature and Language expertise in the UK, with over 85% of our academic research judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.
  • Well-respected departments - The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham is one of the most respected and established of its kind, having celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2015. We are currently ranked in the Top 5 for Drama in the Complete University Guide 2020. Meanwhile, English is ranked in the Top 5 in the Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • 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. 
  • Local theatre - Birmingham is an ideal place to study Drama as it has one of the highest concentrations of live theatre in the country.  It is home to many theatres ranging from the Birmingham Hippodrome and the Birmingham Rep, to the mac (Midlands Arts Centre) and the Old Joint Stock (which is a pub and a theatre), as well as being within a convenient distance of Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick. To learn more about the city of Birmingham visit our Discover Birmingham page. 
  • Student societies - we have a range of very active student societies including BEDSoc (Birmingham English Department Society) and seven different drama and theatre societies including: Article 19 (innovative productions of ‘classical’ theatre); Footnotes (comedy); Three Bugs Fringe Theatre; Watch This (original and experimental plays) and Guild Musical Theatre Group. You will have many opportunities to be involved in performing, writing, directing and technical support in productions performed in the Guild, in the local area and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Four full videos on YouTube of recent open day talks relevant to this course:

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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 

  • Studio Practice
  • Performance: Theory, Practice and Critique 
  • Preparing Performance 
  • Engaging Performance 
  • Prose 
  • Poetry 
  • Reading English 
  • English in the World 

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules 

  • Theatre Realistaion
  • Drama Study Option
  • Drama Practical Option
  • Histories of Literature
  • Themes in Literature or Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean 

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 

  • Production Module
  • Drama Study Option
  • English Literature Extended Essay
  • English Literature Special Subjects

or

  • Drama Extended Essay
  • Drama Study Option
  • Drama Practical Option
  • English Literature Extended Essay
  • English Literature Special Subjects  

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, 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 2020/21 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £18,780

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas 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.


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

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

  • Students who are classed as home/EU for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as overseas 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

A-Level English Literature or English Language and Literature grade A is required.

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

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD, 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 subject/s mentioned above.

Please note: we will only accept BTEC qualifications in Performing Arts, Performing Arts (Acting), Performing Arts (Dance) and Performing Arts (Musical Theatre).

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.

The text itself evades meaning. One of the things that is fascinating about Godot is that it is a text that seems to fall apart as the play is produced, as the play is performed.

Dr David Pattie

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

For the Drama side of your degree, you can expect an average of 6 hours of taught contact time per week in each year of your degree, although this can vary significantly depending on the modules that you are studying. This may include lectures, seminars, performance workshops, supervisions of practical and written work, and intensive periods of rehearsal. Outside of these times staff are also available for individual meetings and informal supervisions.

You can expect about 6 contact hours per week throughout the English side of your degree. Literature classes will be made up of lectures and seminars and the independent research you will conduct in your final year will be supported by 1 to 1 supervision meetings with a lecturer.

Outside of this timeframe, lecturers will be on hand during office hours to answer questions and the Academic Writing Advisory Service and the Careers Network run workshops throughout the academic year.

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.

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. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

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. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

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. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

You will develop fantastic skills for your future career, such as presentation delivery, confidence, communication, teamwork, intellectual analysis, critical thinking and articulate expression.

These are skills that last a lifetime and qualify you for many possible careers. Over 90% of our Drama and English students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017). Our graduates can be found in roles such as:

  • Journalist
  • Corporate fundraiser
  • Copyrighter
  • Healthcare professional
  • Marketing manager
  • Teacher
  • Publisher
  • Account manager
  • Technician
  • Dramatherapist
  • Videographer
  • Lawyer

Our graduates also gain employment with well-known employers such as:

  • NHS
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • Amazon
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital
  • McCann PR
  • Macmillan Publishing
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Birmingham REP Theatre
  • Bloomsbury Publishing Group

Of course, we also have professional actors and theatre practitioners amongst our alumni community, including:

  • Tamsin Greig, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1998: Olivier-winning actor.
  • Matthew Goode, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1999: actor in British and American film and TV including The Imitation GameWatchmenDownton Abbey and The Good Wife.
  • Phyllida Lloyd, BA English and Drama, 1979: director of plays, opera and film including Mamma Mia! on stage and screen and the recent film The Iron Lady.
  • Victoria Wood, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1974: comedian, actor, singer-songwriter, screenwriter and director.
  • Ben Shephard, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1997: television presenter currently working for Sky Sports and ITV.
  • Stuart Blackburn, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 1987: current series producer of Emmerdale at ITV.
  • Pippa Evans, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 2004: comedian - arrived on the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008 and nominated for Best Newcomer.
  • Patsy Ferran, BA Drama and Theatre Arts, 2011: stage actor, including playing Jim in the 2014 National Theatre production of Treasure Island and Portia in the 2015 Royal Shakespeare production of The Merchant of Venice.

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. You may also want to apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement through our Global Challenge Internship Programme.

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