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University of Birmingham
United Kingdom, Birmingham
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As an English undergraduate on our prestigious BA course, you will develop expertise in analysing literary texts across the whole range of English literature, from medieval to modern; and you will explore a wide range of theoretical approaches, from historicism to postcolonialism and digital culture. You will be supported in your learning by our excellent research and teaching staff, whose specialisms reach from the literature of the Anglo-Saxon period to the literature and culture of the digital age.

You will also benefit from the Department of English Literature’s close connections with other parts of the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies. In your first year, you can take modules in exciting modes of creative practice – film, creative writing, drama, or language. In your second year, you might choose to make one of these a central pathway in your studies, or to revert to more traditional literary studies. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with colleagues at the world-renowned Shakespeare Institute in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon, both through our second-year Shakespeare modules and through our annual Stratford residential trip. This collaboration will give you access to unparalleled resources for the study of Shakespeare, including the Royal Shakespeare Company. In third year, you can choose from a wide range of specialist modules in subjects ranging from ‘Fantasy and Fandom’ to ‘Last Year’s Novels’ and ‘Imagining the Digital’.

From your first to your final year, we will support you to become a confident and accomplished reader, researcher and writer with excellent career prospects, whatever field you choose to go into. The wide range of posts our graduates have secured includes roles in journalism, law, marketing, publishing and teaching at every level.

Programme structure

First year
Our first-year modules in BA English will introduce you to key genres of English Literature across a wide historical and international span, and train you in new ways of thinking about literature. By studying core modules on ‘Poetry’, ‘Prose’ and ‘Plays and Performance’, you will develop the close reading skills needed to analyse all kinds of texts, from medieval plays and early modern poetry to contemporary drama. You will also develop new understanding of how the historical and cultural contexts in which literature is produced and read can shape its meaning.

Alongside these literature-focused modules, ‘Language for Literature’, taught by expert colleagues in English Language, will develop your technical skills and understanding of how literary texts are put together, and how literary language works.

Enhancing these traditional subjects, the first year is also an opportunity for you to explore more creative options, according to your interests. Two ‘Creative Practice’ modules give you the chance to sample topics in Creative Writing, Film, Language or Drama. You will have the option of focusing more closely around these subjects in the second and third years of your BA English degree. Alternatively, you can choose to take one of our ‘Comparative Literary Cultures’ modules and develop your knowledge of European literature in translation or medieval literary contexts.

In addition, you will also take a Module Outside the Main Discipline (MOMD) in e.g. History, Psychology or Modern Languages. This is an excellent opportunity to continue a subject you enjoyed at A Level, or to pursue a brand new interest.

Second year
The second year of your degree is an excellent opportunity to build on the new interests and passions that you discover in your first-year modules. You can choose from 12 modules in ‘Histories of Literature’ to deepen your knowledge and understanding of all literary periods from medieval to the present day.

In the second year you will also encounter Shakespeare’s work through two exciting modules taught in collaboration with Birmingham’s world-leading Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, and working closely with the Royal Shakespeare Company. You can also take part in our popular Stratford Residential.

If you are keen to spend more time studying Creative Writing, Film, English Language or Drama, you can opt to specialise in these areas, supported by experts from across the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies.

You can replace two of your ‘Histories of Literature’ options with specialist modules in these subjects. These include ‘Writing Poetry’ and ‘Writing Screenplays’ (Creative Writing), ‘Film-making Practices’ and ‘Fantasy Cinema’ (Film), ‘Voice and Actor’ and ‘Shakespeare on Screen’ (Drama) and ‘The Language Poets Use’ and ‘Voices in Fiction’ (Language).

Final year
In your final year, you will write a 12,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice, guided and supported by a supervisor who is an expert in your area of interest.

You will also be able to choose from a very wide range of Special Subjects, working closely with specialists in each field.

If you have chosen to specialise in a ‘Creative Practice’ subject, you will take two of your Special Subject Modules in this area e.g. ‘Scripting a Short Film’ (Creative Writing), ‘Cold War Film’ (Film), ‘English Language Teaching’ (Language) or ‘Classic Comedy’ (Drama).

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States