September 2025

English BA (Hons)

Undergraduate, Honours Degree, September 2025

Key Details

  • Q300 Course Code
  • 3-4.5* Years
  • TBC Typical UCAS Tariff
English lecture

You will study a combination of literature, language, film, and cultural studies in this innovative English degree which has been shaped for relevance to the 21st century. This approach allows you to engage with the big issues of the day whilst following your love for literature, film and TV by learning about the application of stories in the real world. You will come to understand English as a broad discipline that encompasses Shakespeare to Twilight; the contemporary landscape of literature; how books are marketed to and read by the public; the role of social media in understanding our world; and how classic texts from the past return in the present. 

 

  • Study in a supportive and student centered environment (English at Birmingham Newman University came 1st out of 45 for Student Satisfaction (in NSS, 2023). 
  • Develop employability skills in a supportive environment that allows personalized and flexible learning, and will help you reach your potential in communication, collaboration and creative problem solving. 
  • Take authentic assessments that allow you to write in a range of forms including blogs, personal essays, essays, project proposals, and no exams. 

During your first year, you will study a range of texts which may include literature, creative non-fiction, popular non-fiction, film and media. You will explore how to extend and deepen your skills in studying texts of all kinds. You will develop your abilities to study, research independently and write well. 

The skills you will focus on this year include: 

  • Analysis and attention to detail – learning to read text closely and editing your own writing instils an attention to detail that is important in many careers, including editing, publishing, and law.  
  • Research – researching any topics from literary studies to historical contexts, and critical interpretations helps develop the critical analysis which is valuable in many graduate professions. 

In your second year you will continue to study a range of texts with a focus on how English works in the context of work, globalization and new fields such as the digital humanities. This will be grounded in an understanding of the history of the subject and the formative texts of the discipline, and you will explore the relevance of English to today’s society. 

This year you will continue to develop skills in: 

  • Communication – developing even stronger written and verbal communication skills through participating in class discussions and developing your assessed work. Strong writing skills are particularly valuable in fields such as teaching, marketing, public relations, and law. 
  • Cultural Awareness – thinking about the power of stories and texts help you to foster empathy and awareness of different perspectives which will be important for the diverse environments you will be working in after you graduate.  

In the final year you will be challenged to think about the future of English and your own future as an English graduate, including carrying out a research project on a topic of your choice. 

The additional advances skills that you will develop this year include: 

  • Adaptability – the wide range of topics you have studied, and the need to conceive of and complete an independent project will cultivate the ability to work with diverse subject matter which is a feature of all graduate employment. 
  • Creativity – being able to think outside the box with an attention to detail and a critical eye is an advanced skill in which students graduating with an English degree are particularly strong; it is beneficial in fields such as teaching, advertising, marketing, and content creation. 

You are assessed in a variety of ways during the course so that you can practice a range of skills. Assessment includes coursework, portfolios, presentations but not exams. As the course is student centred there is room for some negotiation around assessment and reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate specific needs you may have.

Many of the assessments are designed to authentically represent what you might do in graduate work following your English degree. This includes assessments requiring you to problem solve around real-world issues and work-based scenarios, to write public facing material such as blogs, and to collaborate and negotiate with others. Some assessments will develop more person-centred learning around your values, goals and aspirations, encouraging you to develop confidence in expressing your ideas and opinions. 

Students from the English course enjoy a wide range of successful careers. Our emphasis on employability comes not just from the work placements but also from our innovative approach to teaching with an emphasis on preparing you for the workplace. Students’ progress to careers in teaching, publishing, library and archive services, marketing, journalism, and the professions such as law, health and human resources management. 

It is clear Newman’s English programme is successful in developing strong and confident students
External Examiner

Birmingham Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Birmingham Newman, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).

Entertainment

Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!

Location

Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

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Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for 2025 entry TBC

Course Fees

Course fees for 2025 entry TBC

 

 

Modules

Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

*As a part-time undergraduate student, you choose how many modules to study each year (up to a maximum of 6). To qualify for a student tuition fee loan you will need to choose at least 4 modules. A normal 3-year degree will take 4.5 years (if you take 4 modules per year) up to a maximum of 8 years to complete. You will be taught alongside full-time undergraduate students.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

 

  1. In this module you will explore a range of strategies used in English studies to analyse a variety of written, visual, digital, and spoken texts. You will learn methods and approaches for analysis and critique these in terms of their effectiveness, limitations, and biases. Strategies will range from close reading to contextual readings which consider the nature of the text, who is addressing whom, where and when the text is located, how the text achieves its effects, and why it was written (after Pope, 2012, p. 85-86).
  2. This module will develop your ability to think critically. It introduces you to the notion of critical theory and considers how a range of critical frames can be employed in reading, writing, performance and reflection, including feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, postmodernism and intersectionality.  The module will use current issue-based topics to develop your critical thinking. It will link these topics to a range of contemporary texts, practices and communication strategies, drawing from fiction and non-fiction, oral, media, film and performance-based sources.
  3. This module will extend the work done in Semester 1. You will continue to study how to analyse and critique text using a range of examples that build on the breadth and depth of subject knowledge covered in the first semester. You will explore the ideas of specific thinkers who have been influential in literary and linguistic studies (e.g., Roland Barthes, Judith Butler, Rita Felski). You will explore how to write in original, fluent, and accurate ways. There will be a focus on how to use writing as thinking to develop ideas as well as strategies to make writing pleasurable and/or efficient. The module will explore writing as a craft: e.g what good writing looks like, writing to deadlines, writing creatively, and writing for different audiences and purposes. In the second part of the module, you will be working on redrafting and editing alongside your tutor and peers to produce your final written piece.
  4. You will take responsibility for researching a field (or ‘topic’) relevant to your degree studies in this module. As part of the module, you will learn research and library skills such as how to undertake literature reviews, create annotated bibliographies, use others’ work to build arguments alongside your own, and academic referencing. You will also explore some of the ethical issues that relate to research and practice in your studies. You will learn techniques for working successfully in a group.
  1. In this module you will look at the public face of ‘English’ and its social and cultural value. The module will cover the ways in which English is used in public language (for example, written and oral; such a political speech or news media); the power of language (for example, language for protest or the use of censorship); private uses of English (for example, reading groups, bibliotherapy). You will explore how the critical nature of ‘English’ studies is socially useful as it enhances and complicates social debates around important issues. For example, the provisional nature of truth, the construction of knowledge, or the ways that narratives, discourse and language shape understanding, or how gender, race, sexuality and other forms of social hierarchy and discrimination reinforce one another in defining status and power. The module will also start you thinking about the careers that might follow from taking an English degree (such as Teaching, Lexicography, Editing, Creative Writing). You will also learn techniques for making presentations to support your professional development.
  2. In this module, you will explore the impact of technology on the Arts and Humanities. For example, you may critically reflect on the future of the author, book, performance or live arts event, examine how text, images, embodied action, audio and video are represented in digital environments, and interrogate the threats to the Arts and Humanities posed by a current focus on STEM subjects. You will explore the opportunities for creativity, transformation and reinvention that arise from digital technologies, as well as the potential for diversity, accessibility and inclusion. In practical terms, you will start to build on your current digital skills and practices, explore ways of using digital technologies to develop and support your own learning.
  3. The social, historical and cultural contexts of texts will be the focus of this module. It may include topics such as: the rise of the novel; challenges to canonical literature; transitions between literary periods; transcultural writing; neo-literary forms; how language changes and why; the relationship between language, discourse and social norms, and the development and impact of new communicative forms such as the digital. In this module you will also learn how to structure and write a long, continuous piece of work.
  4. You will consider how Arts and Humanities projects can engender change, to highlight social issues and injustice, and promote social justice. The module will be themed around current affairs that highlight, for example, citizenship and belonging; prejudice; cultural dissent; or taboos. It may consider local, national or global issues. You will explore good practice in terms of diversity, inclusion and ethical considerations within Arts and Humanities projects.
  1. In this final year module, you will be thinking about the future in a variety of ways, including the future of English as a discipline as well as how the subject deals with questions and imaginings of the future. You may explore speculative fiction (including opportunities to undertake some creative writing); the development of the English language as a Global medium of communication; the posthuman and posthumanities; the most current critical developments in English (for example, ecocriticism, raciolinguistics, queer linguistics, future studies or decolonization).
  2. In this module you will prepare for your independent project. You will explore the nature of a 'capstone' project and how to develop a project that reflects your learning and your post-graduation goals (e.g., further study, career). You will develop advanced research skills that will enable you to successfully propose a relevant and focused proposal for your independent project. One-to-one tutorials will be part of the delivery of this module to support you in developing your own project.
  3. The independent project allows you to undertake a sustained piece of independent research into a topic of your own choosing. This might be a text-based study, an empirical study where you collect data, a work-based research project, or practice-based work with evaluation. This is a capstone module which serves as a culminating piece of work, drawing on all your studies. Whatever you choose to do, your project should show a grounding in current research and establish clear lines of original enquiry. At the beginning of the module a series of workshops will help you revise and develop the research skills you will need to complete your project successfully. You will also be supported by an individual supervisor in one-to-one tutorials.
  4. This module will focus on the practical application of English knowledge and skills in the workplace. Students will be encouraged to take leading roles in the delivery of the module through student-led sessions, sandpit activities, group guided study, reading groups, and/or sharing practice.