Birkbeck, University of London has opted into the TEF and received a Silver award.
Our BA English offers you the chance to chance to study the full range of English literature, and to develop valuable new skills in writing, reading and critical thinking.
Based in our historic campus in the heart of Bloomsbury, in a Georgian terrace once occupied by Virginia Woolf, this course offers both depth and breadth through its wide and diverse range of modules. You’ll gain a detailed knowledge of the most significant literary works from the medieval period to the present.
Foundational modules in Year 1 introduce you to key techniques in literary analysis, and show how theoretical approaches such as feminism, post-colonialism and psychoanalysis can transform the ways in which you read and think. You can then choose from a huge range of option modules that allow you to focus on single authors, genres and literary periods.
You’ll read texts by Dickens, Zadie Smith, Shakespeare and Plath; encounter genres such as science fiction and romance; and explore literary forms from the novel to comics and beyond. The course’s flexible structure allows you to shape your degree according to your own literary and critical interests.
Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.
In the 2017 National Student Survey, our English courses came top in London and third in the country for overall course satisfaction.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality.
You could be studying in a building that was once home to Virginia Woolf and frequented by members of the Bloomsbury Group - now home to our School of Arts - and be taught by leading novelists, dramatists and artists. The building houses our own creative hub which includes the Peltz Gallery, the Gordon Square Cinema and a theatre and performance space.
Based at the heart of one of the world's most exciting cities, we combine lectures, seminars and workshops with visits to theatres and other cultural and artistic institutions, and we frequently collaborate with leading arts, cultural, theatre and dance and performing arts organisations, allowing you to ground your studies in real-world practice.
- The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.
For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.
A mixture of continuous assessment of written work and examinations. One three-hour examination in Year 1; two three-hour examinations in Year 2; in Year 3 only certain modules have examinations.
How to apply
If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:
15 January*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!
You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.
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Points of entry
The following entry points are available for this course:
- Year 1
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
|UCAS Tariff||120 points||The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.|
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.
As part of the application process, you may be invited to complete a written task or attend an interview.
Alternative entry routes:
We welcome applications from students on Access to Higher Education Diplomas. As part of the application process, you may be invited to complete a written task or attend an interview.
A Certificate of Higher Education in either Higher Education Introductory Studies or Literature in English can lead to exemption from Year 1 if you successfully complete designated modules to an appropriate standard.
You must successfully complete modules worth at least 120 credits before applying for direct entry into Year 2 of one of the BA degrees. Students interested in progressing to an undergraduate degree are encouraged to discuss their plans with the relevant admissions tutor.
You can progress onto this degree if you successfully complete the foundation year of our BA Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course. This is an ideal route onto an undergraduate degree if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree.
Additional entry requirements
Institutions Own Test (IOT)
Institutions Own Test (optional). Optional admissions test
Fees and funding
|Channel Islands||£9,250||Year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£9,250||Year 1|