BA English and History

Start date
September
Duration
3 Years
UCAS code
QV3C
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

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

Combining English and History offers the chance to explore two stimulating and diverse subjects, which give fascinating insights into one another, by allowing you to consider culture and society from different perspectives.

In History, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the medieval, early modern and near contemporary past, before specialising in the area of your choice. Whatever your interests, whether cultural, economic, military, political, religious or social history, there is someone in the Department teaching your kind of history.

On the English side of your programme, you can choose to follow either a Literature or Language pathway. On the Literature pathway, you will investigate the ways in which literary culture has engaged with and shaped society and continues to do so today. On the Language pathway, your English study will provide you with a deep understanding of the linguistic, political and social issues surrounding language and its use.

At Birmingham, you will benefit from internationally renowned research and teaching, as well as unparalleled resources including our Shakespeare Institute, cutting-edge technology for real language analysis and the University Special Collections - home to over 60,000 rare and early printed books and upwards of 2 million manuscript and archive items. 

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?

  • Global recognition – English Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham is ranked in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019, whilst History is ranked in the Top 100. 
  • Outstanding student experience - Our students gave the course an overall satisfaction rating of 100% in the National Student Survey 2018.
  • Excellent reputation - Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History 1st in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, whilst over 85% of research in English was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent.' Furthermore, English is ranked in the Top 5 in the Guardian University Guide 2020, whilst History is ranked within the Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
  • Excellent extra-curricular activities - join BEDSoc (Birmingham English Department Society), the English Language Society or the History Society. You can also enjoy opportunities such as working alongside members of staff on their research projects on our Undergraduate Research Scholarships and social events such as end-of-term parties and summer balls. We also host regular guest lectures and readings from visiting writers and historians. 
  • Exceptional resources - these include the University Special Collections, which are home to over 60,000 rare and early printed books and upwards of 2 million manuscript and archive items, our Research and Cultural Collections, which has a wide range of artefacts and our cutting-edge Corpus Linguistics Centre for real language analysis. If you are studying English Literature you will have access to our 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 with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre The Other Place.

Open day talks

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 English Language modules

  • Fundamentals of Language: Sounds and Words
  • Fundamentals of Language: Grammar and Discourse
  • Investigating Language

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules 

Compulsory English Literature modules

  • Prose
  • Poetry
  • Reading English
  • English in the World

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules 

Compulsory History modules 

  • Practising History A: Skills in History 
  • Practising History B: Approaches to History 
  • Choose one of these two modules:
  1. Discovering the Middle Ages 
  2. The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 
  • Choose one of the following modules:  
  1. Living in the Middle Ages 
  2. The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present
  3. War and Society 
  4. United States History 1865-2000*

*please note numbers on this module may be capped

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules 

Year 2

Compulsory English Language 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 

Detailed descriptions of year 2 compulsory modules 

Compulsory English Literature modules

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

Detailed descriptions of year 2 compulsory modules 

Compulsory History modules 

  • 80 credits - Group Research; History Option A and B; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited   
  • 60 credits – Group Research; History Option; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited
  • 40 credits – Group Research; History Option 

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 English Language modules

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

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules 

Compulsory English Literature 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 

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules 

Compulsory History modules 

  • 80 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option A and B
  • 60 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option
  • 40 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules 

 

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.

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

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:
AAB

A Level History, Medieval History or Ancient History at grade A

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. 

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

BTEC qualifications:

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

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

On the English side of your degree,  you can expect about 6 contact hours per week on both the Literature and Language pathways.

For the Language pathway this will be made up of a combination of workshops, lectures and seminars. In your second and final years this will also include 1 to 1 supervision meetings with a lecturer who will support you as you conduct independent research.

Literature classes will be made up 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.

On the History side of your degree, you can expect 4 hours per week in your first year, about 3.5-4 hours in your second year and about 3.5-4.5 hours in your final year depending on the focus of your dissertation.  There are also many additional activities that are 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.

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. 

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 

 

English and History graduates have a range of skills that are highly-valued by graduate employers.

These include:

  • Strong communication skills (both in writing and orally)
  • Understanding and appreciation of the past
  • Critical thinking skills
  • The ability to research, analyse and interpret complex information
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Forming concise and articulate arguments
  • Time management
  • Workload prioritisation.

Over 90% of our students enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017). Employers include:

  • Capita
  • Deloitte
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Explore Learning
  • JP Morgan
  • Ministry of Justice
  • National Trust
  • Teach First
  • Thames Water
  • Weightmans llp
  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Daily Mail
  • Hodder & Stoughton Publishers
  • ITV
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • National Citizens Service

Roles include:

  • Charity Engagement Assistant
  • Communications Assistant
  • English Teacher
  • Human Resources Business Partner
  • Major Gifts Officer
  • Management trainee
  • PR and Media Relations Intern
  • Researcher
  • Strategy Analyst
  • Social Media & Website Officer
  • Cultural Intern
  • PR Client Executive
  • Research Assistant
  • International Sales & Digital Executive
  • Schools Co-ordinator
  • Editorial Quality Executive

Examples of further study include:

  • NCTJ in Multimedia Journalism
  • MA Magazine Journalism
  • MA Medieval Studies
  • MRes Modern History
  • PGCE (various)
  • PgDipEd Early Years
  • MA Antiquity
  • TESOL Certificate in English Language Teaching
  • MA Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies
  • MA Writing for Performance and Publication
  • MA Creative Writing
  • Graduate Diploma in Law

You will benefit from organised events in both departments whereby our graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the variety of roles available. Recent speakers include authors, writers and graduates that hold positions at companies such as the Guardian, Network Rail, Capital One and the National Trust.

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.