IMG_0170My name is Samantha, and I am a third year English Literature student here at Birmingham City University. My overall experience of studying here has been very positive, and has given me the transferable skills to go on to further study or employment. Within the School of English, I have learned to be articulate and a good communicator, whilst also studying a fascinating subject. From late night study sessions to early morning lectures, everything felt worthwhile.

The support from lecturers and staff within the School, as well as peers, made the experience a lot easier. I have gained a sense of community from the School and the University as a whole which I will greatly miss. The inter-connectedness of the Faculties within BCU means that I have not been limited to experiences within my own course. For example, I have been involved in collaborative projects within Arts, Design and Media where I have proofread work written by those whose native language is not English. This is a transferable skill that has even made me look at my own work more closely to ensure that I practice what I preach! Alongside this I am also a Student Ambassador and a Student Academic Mentor. The former involves interacting with prospective students and their guests, promoting all that the University has to offer. This is especially enjoyable as it means I get to share these highlights and show others how studying here has improved my life.

A personal high has been immersing myself in the world of literature, and I have been taught by incredible academics who are experts within their field. You can tell how passionate they are, and this has deepened my own passion for the subject. Right from my first semester here, I decided that I wanted a career in academia. Further, I have had opportunities that I would not have had outside of the University. I have met David Crystal, and got to hear him give an incredible lecture on the way Shakespeare – and thus those performing his plays at the time – would have spoken. Another highlight has been visiting literary locations, such as Strawberry Hill House, the home of Horace Walpole which greatly inspired his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. The School of English allows me to go after my passions, which include Twentieth-Century Literature and Gender Studies. Incredible modules like ‘Gender, Sex and Culture’ and ‘Literature 1880-Present’ have ensured I can study my interests in depth, and have kick-started my academic endeavour of studying these topics further.

Obtaining a degree can be extremely difficult for so many different reasons. The stress of wanting to do well is something we all carry with us, no matter what we choose to go on to after university. I have been immensely lucky in that, during my time at Birmingham City University, I have been supported by incredible people, including tutors, staff in the School of English, and staff within the wider University. I have been taught to turn any challenge into a positive, and I feel I am well-equipped to face life after graduation.


Hello and welcome to the School of English blog! My name is Dr Robert Lawson and I’m the Course Director for the School of English at Birmingham City University. I’m responsible for the undergraduate programme of studies in English, which includes not just looking after students’ academic progression, but also their pastoral and professional development.

The School of English started this blog with the main aim of this blog of giving you a better perspective of what it’s like studying here at the School of English at BCU. Starting university can be daunting, especially if you’re moving away from home. Hopefully, the experiences of our students will give you a bit of a better insight into university life, what to expect when you arrive, and the kinds of things that you can look forward to studying and reading.

Over the course of the next six months, we’ll have a variety of posts from our current students talking about their experience on their degrees in literature, language, drama, and creative writing, as well as our joint degrees in English and Media. All of our students come from different walks of life, but they’re all united by a passion and a love for English, in all its guises.

We expect our readers to come from all sorts of different backgrounds. You may be a prospective student looking for more information about our courses; you may be a parent checking out what we offer here in the School; or you may just be dropping in because you’re interested in what kinds of things folks in the School of English get up to. Whatever your reason for visiting the blog today, we hope that you find the information you’re looking for.