Black Studies – BA (Hons)
Attendance Full Time (3 Years), Sandwich (4 Years), Part Time (5 Years)
The BA (Hons) Black Studies course at Birmingham City University will help you to engage with the contributions of Black scholars, activism and communities in this expanding interdisciplinary field.
This unique course is the first of its kind in Europe. If you are interested in the history, politics, popular cultures, artistic and social movements of people across the African diaspora, Black Studies will provide you with the big picture perspective through this growing discipline.
Your course will be taught by leading, research-active lecturers and tutors, where you will encounter a range of viewpoints, as well as gaining valuable experience within the wider community.
What’s covered in the course?
The purpose of Black Studies is to foster innovative teaching, learning and research that addresses historical and contemporary Black social life, culture and political activism both in Britain and across the African Diaspora. There has been a long tradition of Black studies in the United States. The discipline originally emerged on US campuses during the 1960s in an effort to open up universities to a more diverse student body, as well as recognising the contributions of Black scholars and activists.
However, in the UK, Black Studies has been taught more sporadically in higher education without having an independently named degree programme or disciplinary home. It is therefore important to recognise that Black Studies in Britain has also thrived within various local community settings in Britain and through forms of independent self-learning and activism.
Black Studies at Birmingham City University is an interdisciplinary subject that is committed to working with the wider community. The course aims to make a transformative impact upon society. Throughout the degree, we will engage you in the thinking and practice of contextualising your work within communities, and where possible, connecting you to projects and organisations outside of the University.
The course seeks to enable students with the capacities and skills needed to apply decolonising intellectual knowledge to a range of strategies for advancing community self-representation, social justice and global human rights. These commitments are based on the understanding that the perspectives and lives of people throughout the Black diaspora are entangled in complex intersecting power relations, structures and processes.
Black Studies prepares students on this programme for a range of graduate outcomes in a variety of occupations and occupational sectors (e.g. Public, Voluntary and Private). Black Studies graduates can go on to work in areas such as community development, charitable and voluntary organisations, NGOs, further and higher education, industry, retail and commerce, local and central government, human resources, social research, social work and youth work, amongst many others.
Why Choose Us?
- This is the first course of its kind in the UK, and presents a unique opportunity for you to gain a thorough education in an insightful, rich subject.
- You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long sandwich placement as part of your degree course, ensuring you have the experience you need to make an impact in your chosen career.
- Our Black Studies team have links with some of the most respected academics in the field, including Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Gus John, Hazel Garby, Barnor Hesse and Joan Anim-Addo.
- We work alongside a lot of important social organisations, who help shape our course. These include the Black Studies Association, the Race and Ethnicity Group, and Unmuted.
- Don’t meet the entry criteria? Our Foundation Year programmes offer a route to a full undergraduate degree at a lower entry tariff.
- You will also get the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one, with a variety of exciting possibilities open to you. This ranges from our successful international travel scholarships scheme, through which you can spend a summer working for a charitable organisation overseas, to one of our many overseas study exchange programmes. Our international exchange opportunities could also see you spend some of your second term at an institution in the USA.
- As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award programme enables you to gain award levels for all the extra-curricular activities you undertake so that you can stand out from the crowd on graduation.