We will send you an acknowledgement of your application form within 21 days of receiving it. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, then please contact us as this may mean it has not arrived. All application forms will be passed to the Course Director, Tom Sperlinger. Interviews for this course will be held in July 2012. If you are likely to be away during that month, you are encouraged to apply early so that we can arrange an alternative interview date.
One aim of the interview will be to give you a detailed picture of the course. So, the interview is partly an opportunity for you to ask questions. We will ask you about: your reasons for wanting to study on the degree, what you enjoy reading, how the course would fit in with your other commitments, and your aims and ambitions after you finish the degree.
Yes! You do not need to have previous qualifications to apply for the course, if you can demonstrate that you are motivated and enthusiastic, that you have read a range of literature, and that you are committed to the idea of studying at a higher level. If you do apply without prior qualifications, we may ask you to complete a short piece of written work as part of the application process. You will receive advice on this before you are asked to do it.
As well as looking at prior qualifications or at evidence of your interest in the subject, we will be looking for students who are motivated, enthusiastic and committed; who have strong reasons for wanting to study on this particular degree in a part-time mode; and who can demonstrate that they will be able to manage the demands of study at this level.
The English Literature and Community Engagement (ELCE) course is part of Bristol’s commitment to offering more flexible learning opportunities – it is designed for people who have to balance studying with work, family, or other parts of their life. The course is taught on approximately thirty evenings per year. By concentrating the contact hours within one night per week, we hope to make the degree accessible to those with other commitments. On top of this, you would normally be expected to complete approximately 10-12 hours of work in your own time each week.
The BA ELCE is designed to draw on the strengths of the BA English at Bristol, which runs during the day, particular through a commitment to studying a wide variety of literature in English across many different periods. It aims to offer a similar programme within more flexible hours and in combination with a unique community engagement element. Both BAs in English are taught by the same staff and validated by the same exam board – that is, overseen by the same examiners at Bristol and externals from other universities – so the same academic standards are applied on both programmes.
Students may request to switch to full-time study after completing the Certificate (at the end of year two) or Diploma (at the end of year four). This will, however, depend on circumstances and student numbers in any given year and it cannot be offered as a guaranteed option.
Students who for any reason are unable to complete all six years can still complete one of two awards: a Certificate (after two years) or Diploma (after four) in English Literature and Community Engagement. It may also be possible to transfer credits accumulated on this course to another institution.
Yes! The University has a proud tradition of involvement in adult education and community engagement and we welcome the different perspective and knowledge mature students bring to their studies. In the English Department in 2011-12, over 250 people have studied on short and longer part-time courses. Statistical information gathered from these courses shows that we recruit students crossing all barriers of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, social class, and prior educational achievement.
We realise that financing a degree, or any long-term programme of study, can seem daunting, particularly if you have other responsibilities. But there is help available, both from the Government and from the University (see the information on Fees and Funding above). The new systems of loans being introduced for part-time students in 2012-13 means that any student starting an undergraduate degree for the first time will not have to pay any of their fees up front.
The community engagement units are a compulsory part of the course. However, they are also an especially flexible element of it, designed to fit with each student’s interests and other commitments. Some of our students undertake a project at work, for example, or at a community setting with which they already have some involvement. Some of our students feel nervous about undertaking this element of the course before it begins, but each student is able to develop a project that is appropriate for them.
The first year of study will offer some background information and training to prepare each student for the community engagement work. During the second year, we will help you to find a suitable project in the community. You may, for example, wish to run a reading group at work or in a community setting with which you are familiar (where agreement is reached with the employer or other relevant persons); or we will be offering a range of projects organized with Bristol Libraries and a number of community groups; or you may wish to use what you are learning in other ways.
You can see some more, general information on being a mature student at Bristol here.