BA English and Classical Literature & Civilisation

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
QQ3V
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2019/20:
£9,250 (Home/EU)
£17,640 (Overseas)
More detail.

This innovative degree is for those fascinated by ancient cultures, as well as the written and spoken word.

Study the full range of literature or language in English, alongside the society and literature of the classical world.  Embrace the diversity of Greek and Roman culture, drawing together literature, drama, myth, religion, history, philosophy and art. Choose either an English Literature or Language pathway, allowing you to focus your studies on how literary culture has shaped society, or the linguistic, social and political issues surrounding language.

In your Classical studies, explore the classical civilisations of Greece and Rome as well as the cultures of Ancient Egypt, Western Asia and the Byzantine Empire.  Work with the plays, poems and speeches that have come down to us from antiquity, and study the monument, religion and mythology that make up classical civilisation.

The Literature pathway will provide a strong foundation in all major periods and genres and specialise in areas ranging from medieval poetry to twenty-first century digital literary culture.  The Language pathway will give a thorough appreciation of the technical aspects of the English language and its social and political context.

I love the course at Birmingham because of the wide range of modules I'm offered. First year compulsory modules cover such different and interesting areas of ancient history, literature and archaeology that I don't feel restricted in my learning.

Jessica

Why Study this Course?

  • Well-respected departments - Times Higher Education ranked the Department of Classics in the Top 5 in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise. Meanwhile, English Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham is ranked in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019.
  • High student satisfaction - Our students gave the course an overall satisfaction rating of 100% in the National Student Survey 2018.
  • Vibrant and inspiring environment - You will benefit from plenty of extra-curricular opportunities, from working alongside members of staff on their research projects on our Undergraduate Research Scholarships to regular social events such as end-of-term parties and summer balls. You will also be able to enjoy regular guest lectures and readings from visiting writers. Recent guests have included novelist David Lodge, poet and writer Jackie Kay, poet Simon Armitage, playwright Simon Stephens, theatre director Greg Doran and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Students have also been involved in the Classics in the Community project, working with teachers on developing new ways of telling ancient stories.
  • Shakespeare Institute and RSC collaboration - 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. You will also benefit from our exciting five-year collaboration (2015-2020) with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre, The Other Place. You will be able to access creative and teaching spaces at The Other Place, as well as the expertise of RSC artists and practitioners.
  • Student societies – We have a range of very active student societies including BEDSoc (Birmingham English Department Society), the English Language Society and BACAS (Birmingham Ancient History, Classics and Archaeology Society).

Open day talks

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

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.

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

You can see more information about the different modules and options that may be available on the links below. Within the English side of your programme you can follow either a Literature or a Language pathway.

First year

Classical Literature and Civilisation compulsory modules:

  • Project A (10 credits)
  • Project B (10 credits)

20 credits in each semester from

  • The Greek World
  • The Roman World
  • Beginners' Greek 1 and 2
  • Beginners' Latin 1 and 2 

Descriptions of Classical Literature and Civilisation First Year Compulsory Modules

English Literature compulsory modules:

  • Prose (20 credits)
  • Poetry (20 credits)
  • Reading English (10 credits)
  • English in the World (10 credits)

Descriptions of English Literature First Year Compulsory Modules

English Language compulsory modules:

  • Fundamentals of Language: Sounds and Words (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Language: Grammar and Discourse (20 credits)
  • Investigating Language (20 credits) 

Descriptions of English Language First Year Compulsory Modules 

Second year

Classical Literature and Civilisation compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - optional modules, including the appropriate level of language (beginners or intermediate or advanced Latin, Greek, Egyptian or Akkadian) from the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology)
  • 60 credits - optional modules, including the appropriate level of language (beginners or intermediate or advanced Latin, Greek, Egyptian or Akkadian) from the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology)
  • 40 credits - optional modules, including the appropriate level of language (beginners or intermediate or advanced Latin, Greek, Egyptian or Akkadian) from the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology)

Descriptions of Classical Literature and Civilisation Joint Honours Second Year modules

English Literature compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - Histories of Literature; Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean; Themes in Literature module
  • 60 credits - Histories of Literature; Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean or Themes in Literature module
  • 40 credits - Histories of Literature

Descriptions of English Literature Joint Honours Second Year modules

English Language compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - Professional Research Skills for Linguists; English Grammar; English Language Options 
  • 60 credits - Professional Research Skills for Linguists; English Language Options 
  • 40 credits - English Language Options 

Descriptions of English Language Joint Honours Second Year 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

Classical Literature and Civilisation compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - Dissertation (40 credits) or Extended Essay (20 credits); optional modules
  • 60 credits - Dissertation (40 credits) or Extended Essay (20 credits); optional modules
  • 40 credits - Dissertation (40 credits) or Extended Essay (20 credits); optional module

Descriptions of Classical Literature and Civilisation Joint Honours Final Year modules

English Literature compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - English Literature Dissertation or Extended Essay; English Literature Special Subjects
  • 60 credits - English Literature Extended Essay; English Literature Special Subjects
  • 40 credits - English Literature Extended Essay and / or English Literature Special Subject/s 

Descriptions of English Literature Joint Honours modules

English Language compulsory modules

  • 80 credits - English Language Dissertation or Investigation; English Language Options 
  • 60 credits - English Language Investigation; English Language Options 
  • 40 credits - English Language Options 

Descriptions of English Language Joint Honours Final Year 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 2019/20 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £17,640

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

Please note: When making your selection on UCAS please specify ‘Literature pathway’ or ‘Language pathway’ in the ‘Further details’ box.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 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.

For the English Literature pathway, A level English Literature or English Language and Literature grade A is required.

For the English Language pathway, A level in English Language, English Literature, English Language and Literature or a Modern Foreign Language is preferred. We also welcome applications from candidates who can demonstrate an interest in and an aptitude for the study of language, so other combinations of complementary Humanities and Social Science subjects will be considered. Please contact us to discuss.

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 Ancient Greeks believed that the gods were angry with humans and decided to wipe them all out in a great flood. One man survived, Deucalion. His son Hellen was born from the Earth and he is the first Greek.

Dr Andrew Bayliss

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • 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 - We have 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 talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you 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.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

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.

Contact hours

In your first year, you can expect to have 9-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures and small-group teaching. 

In your second year, you can expect to have 8-12 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision.

In your third year, you can expect to have 8.5-9.5 contact hours, depending on your module choices. These will consist of a mixture of lectures, small-group teaching, and supervision. There are also many additional activities that are also available to students.

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 

 

Studying English and Classical Literature and Civilisation at Birmingham is an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a diverse cultural, textual and linguistic discipline, but also to develop skills in intellectual analysis, critical thinking and articulate expression.

Over 94% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

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

Our graduates have started careers with employers including the BBC, Headline Publishing Group, Mirror Group Newspapers, The National Trust and Oxford University Press, as well as media companies, educational institutions, local councils, charities, museums, and cultural and heritage organisations. Many graduates also pursue postgraduate study to specialise in an academic area, or prepare for careers such as law and teaching.

Graduate roles are equally diverse, including account executive, editorial assistant, marketing coordinator, recruitment consultant, parliamentary caseworker and events coordinator.

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - 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. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.