Why study this course
English at BGU has been ranked 1st in the UK for course satisfaction (Guardian University Guide 2021)
English at BGU has a 100% overall course satisfaction rating (National Student Survey 2020)
This is predominantly a theatrically-focused degree, excellent for you if you're looking to develop technical theatre skills, such as stage and theatre management, acting and script writing.
It's an engaging and collaborative course that enables you to get to know your peers and work together to gain a strong sense of community.
If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.
Studying English at BGU provides an exciting and wide-ranging engagement with the power of human creativity and the rich heritage of literary expression. You will study great works of literature from Sophocles to Ali Smith, Bernardine Evaristo, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, directing your own path of learning through module options including creative and environmental writing, crime fiction, American and World Literature, drama and children’s literature, film studies, Victorian, Romantic, and contemporary literature.
Drama at BGU is a forward-looking programme that looks beyond historic and established conventions by exploring what drama can be now and in the future. The programme is grounded in the academic elements of drama as well as practical performance making.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this course
Studying English at BGU gives you access to the intense power of human creativity, with opportunities to debate critical questions that continue to shape the investigation of literature. You will encounter authors such as Shakespeare, Wilde and Pinter, Blake, Tennyson and Dylan, Wollstonecraft, Woolf and Winterson, Dickens, Morrison, and Blackman, and explore the richness and diversity of literary expression. All of this whilst you develop your understanding of key genres, styles, periods and contexts, supported by a passionate team of research-active lecturers.
At BGU you will study an exciting range of writers, texts and topics. You will be able to study works in their historical and genre contexts, explore literary concepts and themes (identity, memory, gender and adolescence), make intertextual and creative connections (myth, adaptation, film, creative writing) and develop your critical independence and career prospects with extended research and work-based projects (English@Work, research project). Throughout your studies you can follow your own interests through optional modules, and choose your own focal points and textual examples for assessment tasks.
You will acquire key academic and transferable skills such as critical thinking and evaluation, analysis, research and high-level communication skills through diverse methods of assessment, which blend established critical and communication skills with up-to-date digital literacies and platforms. You will develop expressive and creative skills fit for the 21st century; combining written essays and oral presentations with e-portfolios, multimodal video, posters, hypertext, digital publication, and independent research projects. You will benefit from an innovative and flexible approach to teaching and learning that promotes student participation and engagement. With the close academic support you will receive here at BGU, you will have the opportunities and guidance to fulfil your full potential.
As an English student at BGU, your engagement with literature won’t stop at the seminar door. The English team are all research-active lecturers who are passionate about the study of literature and its positive impact on the individual and wider society. We actively support a range of organised events and visits to enable a wider participation with literary culture, including visiting speakers, a research seminar series, subsidised film and theatre trips, workshops and celebrations, poetry readings and literary awards.
(Please note that depending on your choice of English course, you may have a choice of optional modules in your second and third years.)
The BA (Hons) Drama focuses on contemporary drama – creating, adapting, devising and developing new work with fresh ideas. The ultimate goal of the programme is not to train actors, however, a substantial amount of acting is part of the programme at all levels, and a Level 4 module, Acting Skills, which focuses on Stanislavski’s acting techniques, is meant to lay a firm foundation for this. And because we believe that there is more into drama than acting, you will acquire a variety of skills – intellectual, practical and transferable skills – that can prepare you for the life after your programme at BGU. You will have the opportunity to take part in productions throughout your time, which will enrich and enhance your experience at BGU. By the end of the course, you’ll leave us equipped with a wide range of transferable skills, which can be taken to a broad set of public, private, commercial and third-sector settings.
In addition to our full-time and part-time staff, we bring in specialist practitioners to all our drama degree programmes. This means that we can offer an up-to-date and relevant professional perspective. Our specialist practitioners offer students the chance to work alongside professional companies and take part in local and national festivals. Elements of enterprise and problem-solving, which are invaluable assets in the employment market, are central to our drama courses. As well as performance skills, you’ll develop good communication skills, confidence and resourcefulness.
The programme will equip you with analytical skills, enabling you to contribute to academic debates on drama, theatre and performance. You will gain valuable experience and skills, which will be nurtured through a variety of teaching methods including productions, lectures and seminars, theatre visits, and practical workshops, providing a thorough and an in-depth understanding of professional practice. You will develop your own skills in critical analysis and interpretation of play-texts from different playwrights while enhancing your research skills and advancing your knowledge and understanding of drama in general. The structure of the programme will enable you to combine theory with practice, identifying the link between the two. Through a combination of theoretical and practical explorations, you will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of creative practices and develop your own capacity as a contemporary practitioner and critical thinker.
BG offers two full time single honours Drama degrees. BA (Hons) Applied Drama in the Community offers students the opportunity to take their drama skills into community settings working with people of all ages such as children and the elderly and into specialist areas such as special educational needs, mental health and work with other vulnerable groups. Students develop workshop skills and directing and devising skills which enable them to create and deliver work which can enhance wellbeing, participation and wider education. The programme has a strong practical element which will enhance graduate employability and allows students to combine theory with practice and develop strong analytical skills. The programme involves small group and individual projects in community settings and enables students to use their skills to make a difference in society.
Both single honours courses share a common first year which means greater flexibility for students.
What will you study
Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules
In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practice and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.
You will learn about a range of resources and practice locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.
This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.
Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.
The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Enrivonment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.
This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.
Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.
Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.
During this module, you will be introduced to the literacy-critical skills and approaches that are fundamental to the study of English. It will equip you with specialist analytical terminology and techniques, and reinforce and develop your existing skills of analysis.
This module is an introduction to Gothic effects, such as suspense, mood, eeriness, the weird, fantasy and horror. It covers texts from the eighteenth century to the present and aims to build your knowledge of the rise of the Gothic as well as its different manifestations in different genres and creative outputs, such as the novel, poetry and film.
This foundation module will equip you with the necessary skills to analyse and evaluate poetry as a text. It will give you an idea of the breath and range of poetry in English by developing intertextual connections and recognising its relation to changing contexts.
During this module, you will study Shakespeare’s timeless work and investigate the ways his texts are repeatedly rewritten and performed today. You will engage in current debates about the nature and function of Shakespeare’s work by reading the work of the Elizabethan bard in relation to changing contexts through a range of production instances.
During the course of this module you will explore key contemporary theories relating to the functions of fact based theatre, including the work of Douglas Murray and Littlewood and work of many verbatim theatre makers such as Richard Norton-Taylor, Gillian Slovo, Moises Kauffman, Alana Valentine. The historical origins and nature of verbatim and documentary will be considered in addition to theatre design, convention and the staging of plays.
This module will act as a foundation for the rest of the course and will ensure that you have a common core understanding of essential critical and practical skills. The module will reference the work of a selection of theatre practitioners and theatre styles such as Stanislavski, Artaud, Grotowski.
This module will take a European perspective of theatre history in a social context. A representative selection of eras from the following list; Greek, medieval, Elizabethan, Restoration, Commedia dell‘Arte, Melodrama, pantomime and Naturalism will be selected and exemplar texts from each of the eras will be explored.
During the course of this module there will be an analysis of key contemporary community art practitioners/theories and how to relate these to the needs of the community. You will engage in the exploration of key contemporary community art practitioners/theories in relation to the function of the arts, with specific emphasis on dance and musicianship.
In this module, you will be introduced to the generic and thematic diversity of the Victorian period (1837-1901). This module emphasises the specific historical, socio-cultural contexts of the Victorian era to reflect on the ways in which Victorian writers negotiated groundbreaking ideas and discoveries, and significant events. (core module)
This module offers a survey of the development of western drama from the late 19th century to the present day. You will be introduced to dramatists such as Ibsen, Brecht, Williams and Beckett, alongside key developments and debates in dramaturgical theory and practice. (optional module)
You will examine the impact of women in literature through transnational parallels and contrasts. This module highlights identity politics and the ways in which women have fought to change discriminations based on race, gender, class, age, and sexuality. (optional module)
This module provides you with opportunities to apply your subject-specific skills and knowledge, being developed throughout the programme, in a transferable manner. Suggested projects could take the form of a publication project (print or web), targeted writing project (such as brochure, newsletter or resource pack), or a project relating to a particular industry (such as arts, heritage, education, journalism, etc.), although this is not proscriptive. (optional module)
In this module, you will work on many Shakespeare’s plays, looking at their relevance in the 21st century to a contemporary audience and different cultures. It will cover major topics such as critical analyses of Shakespeare's works, theoretical approaches to understanding, reading and performing Shakespeare as a ‘theatre brand’ and as an adaptation.
Some issues and concepts within postcolonial drama – culture, identity, assimilation, separatism, inter/multiculturalism, Colonialism, homogeneity, heterogeneity, Hybridity, equality, difference, notions of the ‘other’, notions of ‘great chain of being’, cultural re/presentation and values – will be explored and theoretically analysed. You will be introduced to post-colonial theory and other relevant and important theories, which can be used in the analysis of some post-colonial plays that will be discussed in the sessions.
You will explore a range of literary and other texts associated with the cultural and artistic developments of Modernism during the early decades of the twentieth-century. You will be introduced to the diverse strands of Modernism, as exemplified by writers such as Conrad, Joyce, Hemmingway, Woolf, Eliot, Pound, Yeats, Mansfield and Faulkner. (optional module)
This module promotes detailed knowledge of the major developments in English Literature occurring during the Romantic period. With its emphasis on the cultural contexts of literary, poetic and dramatic language this module enables you to discuss critically changing modes of expression in relation to political, philosophical, aesthetic and social contexts. (optional module)
In this module, you will be asked to undertake an independently-conceived research project, on a subject of your choosing and to work on and prepare a substantial literary critical essay. The module will continue to deepen and refine your knowledge of a specialist area, as well as offering insight and supervisory guidance in the construction of longer pieces of analytical written work. (core module)
This module offers a final opportunity for you to extend your critical engagement with modern writing through an examination of some of the most significant writers, movements, and innovations in literature since the end of the second world war. Central strands of investigation will likely include: challenges to realism and aesthetic experimentation; the rise of apocalyptic imaginaries and the arrival of the Anthropocene; multiculturalism and globalisation; and the deconstruction of self and subjectivity. (optional module)
This module introduces and discusses texts from the nineteenth century through to the present day. It explores the meaning and origins of the concept of adolescence by investigating its functioning in works of literature written for and about adolescents and in relation to relevant social or cultural contexts. (optional module)
During this module, you will consider the role of memory as topic and method in the production of literary texts from the Victorian period to the 21st century. You will explore current issues in memory studies, including (for example) trauma theory, the ethics of memorialisation, and the role of memory in cultural consciousness and heritage. (optional module)
This module asks you to undertake an independently-conceived and researched research project, on a subject of your choosing and to work on and prepare a substantial literary critical essay. The module will continue to deepen and refine your knowledge of a specialist area, as well as offering insight and supervisory guidance in the construction of longer pieces of analytical written work. (core module)
Through a series of structured exercises, games and workshops, using different creative mediums, you will use variety of structures to create site-specific pieces of work in a widening scope. You will read about and view documentation of site-specific work by site specific practitioners to enable you develop your thinking about the aesthetics and politics embedded in site-specific performance practice and help stimulate your creative impulse.
This module will focus on equipping you to identify an area that interests you regarding your research project on a topic of your own choosing. This module will enable you to demonstrate your understanding of and ability to integrate the conceptual and substantive foundations laid in the earlier part of the programme.
During the course of this module, you will be introduced to a number of theories appropriate to the module including, cultural theory and interculturalism. World theatre, dance and music will be introduced through video, visits and practical sessions with professional artists.
Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GCSE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.
Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.
The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year.
How you will be taught
Please note that due to COVID-19 our delivery methods may be subject to change in 2021. You will be informed of any changes at the earliest opportunity.
There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.
You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.
Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.
During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.
Assessments in English are designed to give you the oral, written and digital skills to be confident and successful in the 21st-century world. Through a staged process of development, you will learn how to express yourself persuasively and reflectively across a range of media and platforms: you will write short essays and a long dissertation, deliver oral arguments and create presentations, build digital portfolios and develop personal projects. Instead of time spent in examination rooms, you will experience a diversity of assessment methods, and acquire a broad platform of transferable skills that will prepare you for your future life.
We use a versatile range of assessments in Drama which reflect both the equal emphasis we place on theory and practice, and the importance we give to the future employment skills of our graduates. Theory-based assessment methods include analytical reports, student-led seminars, presentations, essays, dissertations, exhibitions of work and portfolios. More practical assessment methods may include analysed performances, group presentations, practical performances or large scale individual community placements.
Careers & Further study
Studying English at BGU equips you to succeed in a diverse range of professions, including creative and professional writing, publishing, editing, human resources, public policy, journalism, social media, and public relations fields, marketing, technology, librarianship, teaching, and a wide range of creative and media industries.The highly transferable skills embedded in the English course focus on the creative thinking, flexibility, communication skills and problem solving abilities that are consistently sought after by graduate employers. English staff work closely with BGU’s Careers and Employability department and a range of community partners to find ways of engaging students in real-world projects, and putting those transferable skills to use in a way that builds your CV. As an approachable, supportive team we get to know our students well, so we can help you identify and develop your individual strengths, and build your confidence in areas where you want to improve.
Throughout our drama courses you will acquire a number of useful skills which can be transferred to the workplace, such as good communication skills, the ability to work effectively in groups and as an individual, good organisational and decision making skills, effective analytical skills, and the ability to apply theory to practice. Possible future careers for Drama graduates could include theatre management, drama therapy, or in teaching and academic careers. All Drama graduates may also find employment in the public or private sectors, in the creative industries, within the media, the tourism and leisure sector, or within education.
Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.
We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.
Fees & Finance
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2021 entry, the application fee is £20 for a single choice, or £26 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.