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English and Music BA

School of English

Department of Music

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

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This dual honours English and music degree allows you to pursue your creative and critical passions across the arts.

Through English, you'll foster your love of literature, film, theatre, creative writing and more. You'll explore literary cultures from the medieval to the present day, engaging with diverse texts and media from all over the world. You can pursue either an English literature or an English language pathway, or take modules from both areas.

The music side of your degree is carefully designed to develop your skills as a musician and music researcher. We offer academic and practical study in most music genres, including classical, pop, jazz, folk and world music. Our curriculum is spread across seven different areas - performance, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, music psychology, musical industries and music technology.

As a dual honours student, you'll divide your studies between the School of English and the Department of Music. Choice and flexibility are at the heart of our teaching, which means you can pursue and develop your own interests. At every level, there is a wide variety of modules to choose from. You will be taught by world-leading experts from both departments.

You'll be required to take a minimum number of credits within both departments each year, but how you choose to divide your modules after this is up to you: split your modules evenly between English and music or choose to weight your degree in favour of one subject or the other.

Throughout your degree, you'll be studying in an environment dedicated to high-quality teaching, world-leading research, and innovative public engagement. We have cutting-edge facilities, including purpose-built music practice rooms, recording studios and music psychology labs.

Outside of your degree, there are many ways to develop your interests, insights and critical faculties. Opportunities include student-led reading groups, multiple theatre and performance societies, and our University Concerts series, which hosts over 100 musical events and performances every year.

Dual and combined honours degrees

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Modules

Over the course of each academic year at Sheffield, you will need to study modules that equate to the value of 120 credits. Some of these credits will be taken up by our core modules, which are designed to give you the breadth of knowledge and ways of thinking necessary to the degree being awarded.

For your remaining credits, you will be able to choose from an extensive range of optional modules, allowing you to shape your degree to the topics that interest you.

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Title: English and Music BA course structure
UCAS code: QW33
Years: 2021

For your first year of English all students take the core module: Renaissance to Revolution (40 credits). Remaining credits can be chosen from the list of optional English modules listed below (all 20 credits) or from guided modules from across the University.

The music modules for dual honours students are the same as those for single honours music students except that there are no compulsory modules. You can choose to split your 120 credits per year equally 60:60 between your two subjects, or you can choose a ‘major/minor’ split of 80:40.

English core module:

Renaissance to Revolution

This module surveys the poetry and prose from the early modern period in England, i.e., that written between the beginnings of the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century to the late eighteenth century. We will look at different genres, from court complaint to sonnets, prose fiction, erotic verse, restoration drama and the works of writers such as Donne, Herbert, Spenser, Marlowe, Dyrden, Milton and Pope. The texts studied will be related to critical methods that help us understand the relationships between literature and the culture, society, and politics of the period in which it was produced.

40 credits

English optional modules:

Early Englishes

Early Englishes works backward over a whole millennium of English, 1600 to 600. Each week's lectures and seminar focus on one century and one text representative of that century (for example, Beowulf and Piers Plowman). We will use a variety of techniques , literary, linguistic, anthropological, cultural historical, to analyse each text, thereby opening up discussion of the issues that preoccupied the English of the time, from glorious monster-slaying to the slow surrender of pagan belief to terror at the imminent arrival of Antichrist and on to the first expressions of love and desire. Texts will initially be studied in translation so no prior knowledge of Old or Middle English is necessary, but students will also be given the opportunity to examine texts in the original language.

20 credits
Contemporary Literature

This module introduces students to a diverse range of texts in English (prose, poetry, and film) with a focus on texts published since 2000. Texts will be chosen to provoke thinking and debate on urgent and controversial topics that might include: globalisation and neoliberalism; ecology and animal lives; artificial intelligence and the posthuman; political activism and social justice; migration and displacement; state violence and armed conflict. We will discuss formally and conceptually challenging works, raise ethical and philosophical questions and begin to discover how current critical and theoretical approaches can help us to engage with contemporary texts.

20 credits
Introduction to Creative Writing

The aim of this unit is to help students to develop their expressive and technical skills in writing poetry and prose and to improve their abilities as an editor and critic of their own and other people's writing. Students will be guided in the production of new work and encouraged to develop an analytical awareness of both the craft elements and the wider cultural and theoretical contexts of writing. This module explores poetic techniques for creating new poems and narrative techniques for generating some prose work through the critical study of published examples, imaginative exercises, discussion and feedback on students' own writing. This exploration will help students to develop their own creative work while sharpening critical appreciation of published poetry and modern and contemporary fiction. The course is designed to give students the expereince of being workshopped as well as to establish basic creative writing techniques on Level 1 to preparing students for the challenges of Creative Writing Level 2.

20 credits
Shakespeare

This unit introduces students to the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare. Students will read a wide range of his works and will analyse them in the context of the cultural and historical energies of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. We will consider the range of dramatic styles and genres that he engages, alongside the conditions of performance, kinds of publication, and the characteristics of the language in which he worked. We shall also relate the texts to critical methods that help illuminate the relationships between drama and the culture, politics, and religion of the period.

20 credits
History of English

This module traces the history of the English language of the Fifth century AD through to the present day. Students will learn about the development of English over this period, looking at the factors which have shaped the language, and learning a variety of techniques for studying the language. The module will also introduce students to the range and variety of the English language at all periods, and to the ways in which English influences, and is influenced by, other languages.

20 credits
Practical Stylistics

How are literary effects created through language? How can we describe these effects? This course will aim to provide literature students with a gentle introduction to language, and provide language students with experience of applying linguistic analysis to literary texts. The emphasis will be upon a practical hands-on approach, and topics covered will include sentence structure, lexical choice, cohesion, narrative structure, discourse analysis (with reference to drama and dialogue) and point of view in narrative fiction. The texts studied will be predominantly literary and twentieth century, and will include extracts from novels, plays, poetry and short stories.

20 credits
Introduction to Cinema

This module aims to study a cross-section of the most important American films up to the present day and to develop both a formalist and an institutional analysis of these works. Its intention is to study the growth of the classical Hollywood style, a matter of a sophisticated range of technical stratagems as well as of a genre-based cinema, and of the institution of Hollywood itself, the most significant force in cinema to-day.

20 credits
Studying Theatre: A History of Dramatic Texts in Performance

Covering classical, contemporary and popular texts, Studying Theatre; A History of Dramatic Text in Performance aims to turn an interest in theatre and theatre-going into a more thorough appreciation of the ways in which playwriting, acting, design and performance have shaped theatre's development. Each week students will study a particular play and the historical context that informed its first performances and its theatrical afterlife. The course emphasis is on theatre as a social practice and practical discipline. Seminars and lectures will focus on the play in performance, and the processes that underlie production. Students do not need previous knowledge or experience, but should be prepared to try some new approaches to texts, for example through practical workshops.

20 credits
Foundations in Literary Study: Biblical and Classical Sources in English Literature

This module provides foundational knowledge about the treatment of Biblical and Classical sources in English Literature. It is an important unit for the study of literature and the Humanities, preparing students for work at higher levels. Typically a Biblical or Classical source and a literary text will be discussed together, to expose a range of meanings and to prepare participants for their own research about both the Bible and Classical material as literature and the treatment of Bible and Classical material in Literature. It will also prepare students for independent research. It is recommended that all students of English take this module.

20 credits
Reviewing Theatre: The Art of the Critic

This module focuses on:1) The development of appropriate skills and vocabularies to facilitate analysis and discussion of theatre performance.2) The question of how an essentially ephemeral event might be most effectively documented for the benefit of future researchers.3. An exploration of the reception and impact of specific 'historical' performances, and how we know what we know about them.Students will watch contrasting kinds of live theatrical performance, which they will discuss, analyse, and respond to in a variety of ways. They will also carry out research into selected past performances and consider the role and practice of threatre criticism.

20 credits

Music optional modules:

History of Western Music

This module considers key moments in the history of Western music from the 1500s to the present day. Taking individual composers and works, it aims to introduce students to different approaches to the study of music history, the development of particular musical genres, and the impact of cultural, historical and geographical context on composers. In addition, the module will consider ways of writing about music, and the use of primary and secondary sources for informing critical discussions of the subject.

20 credits
Music of the World

As a foundation for more specialised studies in particular forms of music, this module introduces you to the study of music as a phenomenon common to all humanity, and cultivates your awareness of the many different things that music can be to people in different times and places.

You’ll develop a broad familiarity with a variety of musical styles and genres from around the world, acquiring both knowledge of music (the sounds and styles of the music itself) and knowledge about music (the social and cultural contexts in which the music functions). You’ll also develop skills in recognising features of musical sound organisation, representing them visually and describing them in words.

20 credits
Tonal Music Analysis and Criticism  

In this module you'll address the core skills of listening to, analysing, and writing critically about Western Classical music. With a focus on eighteenth-century “common practice” tonality, you will study harmony, counterpoint, melody, texture and form in preparation for analysing short pieces, and will learn to write about the music you hear as well as the notes you see on the page. Your work will also prepare you for future music modules.

10 credits
Exploring Tonal Styles

This module builds core skills of hearing, describing and using tonal procedures in a range of Western musical styles. It extends MUS133 Tonal Music Analysis and Criticism by moving on from classical “common practice” to explore styles that use tonality in different ways.

We’ll explore styles like Medieval and Renaissance music, jazz and rock. You’ll produce analyses from written scores and recordings, and write examples and exercises in the appropriate styles. You’ll develop musicianship skills that prepare you for composition, analysis and performance work in subsequent years.

10 credits
Technologies for Music

Whatever your musical interests, you cannot avoid music technologies - they are central to how we listen to, enjoy and study music. This module introduces you to several important and useful music technologies that will help you throughout your future studies. You will start by learning the essential principles of those technologies, before learning how they work in practice. By the end of the module, you will be versed in the basics of digital audio, sound recording, wave-editing, audio and MIDI, sound effects and plugins, file types and formats.

10 credits
Composition

In this module you will develop your composition skills, practice writing music in staff notation, and learn to write effectively for different instrumental and vocal forces. Drawing on the models of a diverse range of classical composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, we will focus on techniques for writing inventive melodies and rhythms, and employing wide-ranging approaches to harmony. The module aims to give you a foundation in composition and increase your confidence in preparation for further study.

20 credits
Performance

In this module you will develop the musical and intellectual abilities appropriate to solo performance. The theoretical background is considered, focusing on the aural and analytical skills essential to performance at an advanced level. An awareness of style and interpretation, as well as effective preparation and communication are built into teaching. You will receive one to one tuition in addition to attending whole class performance lectures.

20 credits
Folk Music Participation

This module is based upon participation in and preparation for folk sessions hosted by the Department of Music. Through intensive preparation of challenging repertoire, as well as the skills to enable improvised participation, you will develop your understanding of the demands and pleasures of session practice, and your knowledge of the repertoires concerned (British folk traditions), and be encouraged to reflect upon the roles and responsibilities of individual participants within the group. You will also be required to attend a professional ensemble concert or concerts within the university concert series, or an equivalent online event.

10 credits
Composing Electronic Music

The lectures on this module introduce you to various forms of electronic music composition. Through creative practice, key principles of composition with technology are introduced and a number of broad genres are set in a historical and analytical context. A diverse range of software tools are used, further enhancing your digital skills. You will learn how to process and develop a range of recorded and synthetic sound material, before considering some of the various ways in which those materials may be used to compose electronic pieces. After making a number of short etudes throughout the first half of the module, you select one area in which to complete your own original work.

10 credits
Popular Music Studies

This module provides an introduction to the academic study of popular music. You will explore the various definitions of 'popular music' in relation to their socio-cultural context, and investigate some of the major issues and debates of popular music studies.

Lecture materials and in-class tasks will engage with approaches to the analysis of popular music and media, issues of representation, and the relationship between popular musicians and their audiences. Assessments involve critical engagement with the themes of the module in relation to a popular music artist or piece of your choosing.

10 credits
Music Psychology

In this module you will engage with some of the most provocative questions about musical thought and behaviour: What are the characteristics of the musical mind? Why do we feel emotions when listening to or performing music? How does music and music therapy influence our health and wellbeing? Can music make you smarter? The module is designed such that no prior formal musical or psychological training is necessary.

You will develop knowledge of the scientific methods used to study music from a psychological perspective, and how findings can inform applications in education, healthcare, and the creative industries.

10 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You will learn through a mix of lectures and smaller group seminars. We keep seminar groups small because we believe that's the best way to stimulate discussion and debate.

On the music side of your degree, our teaching ranges from academic to hands-on. You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, interactive classes and tutorials, and you'll be expected to carry out independent study, assignments and instrument practice. Instrumental lessons are available in your first year and throughout the rest of your degree if you choose to take assessed performance modules.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

You'll be taught by world-leading experts in both departments. School of English staff are researchers, critics, and writers, as well as passionate, dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students are inspired.

In the Department of Music, our staff research directly informs the content of our degrees and we bring our expertise and ideas into all our teaching, so you’ll benefit from being introduced to the latest discoveries at the forefront of musical research.

Assessment

In addition to writing essays and more traditional exams, our English modules use a range of innovative assessments that can include designing websites, writing blog posts, delivering presentations and working with publishing software.

On the music side of the degree, a few of our modules include formal exams but the majority of your assessment is through coursework (for example essays, journals, compositions, recordings, group projects) and assessed performances.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB
including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity)

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB
including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity)

A Levels + additional qualifications | BBB, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockshool) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity) + B in a relevant EPQ ABB, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockshool) + Grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity) + B in a relevant EPQ

International Baccalaureate | 33, including 5 in Higher Level Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) 32 inc 5 in Higher Level Music (or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool) + grade 5 Theory (ABRSM/Trinity)

BTEC | DDD in Music DDM in Music

Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher | AAABB + B in Music or Grade 8 practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity) ABBBB + B in Music or Grade 8 practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity)

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AB, including Music (or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity)) B + BB, including Music or Grade 8 Practical (ABRSM/Trinity/Rockschool or equivalent) + Grade 5 theory (ABRSM/Trinity)

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at level 3 including Distinctions in 30 credits, + Merits in 15 credits 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at level 3 including Distinctions in 24 credits, + Merits in 21 credits

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • General Studies is accepted

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

School of English

We're a research-intensive school with an international perspective on English studies. Students can specialise in their chosen subject, whilst taking modules from other programmes, forging interdisciplinary connections. We are famous for our pioneering work with communities, locally and internationally. We encourage our students to get involved and to apply their academic learning, working in partnership with external organisations both within the city of Sheffield and beyond.

Our staff are researchers, critics, and writers. They're also passionate, dedicated teachers who work tirelessly to ensure their students are inspired.

We keep seminar groups small because we believe that's the best way to stimulate discussion and debate. Our modules use a range of innovative assessments and can include designing websites, writing blog posts, and working with publishing software, in addition to writing essays and delivering presentations.

We're committed to providing our students with the pastoral support they need in order to thrive on their degree. All students are assigned a personal tutor with whom they have regular meetings. You are welcome to see any of the academic staff in their regular student consultations if there's anything you want to ask.

For music, you'll study in our Jessop Building, Soundhouse, and Performance facilities which are specalily designed for cutting-edge research and teaching. Based at the heart of the campus, you'll have access to multi-purpose ensemble and practice rooms, technology labs and recording studios. The University also has a suit of performance venues which provide a platform for bands, solo recitals and public events.

School of English

Department of Music

Day in the life: Music at Sheffield

Our departmental ethos combines high achievement with a sense of community and a shared passion for music. Our internationally recognised research informs our high-quality teaching and our student experience is second to none.

Sheffield is celebrated as one of the UK's leading music cities, with dozens of major venues from the City Hall and Crucible to the Leadmill and the Foundry, covering all music genres. This brings with it a host of opportunities for our students to get involved in professional music-making of the highest quality.

Department of Music students study at the heart of the campus in our Jessop Building, Soundhouse and performance facilities which are specially designed for cutting-edge research and teaching.

Facilities

Specially designed for music study, our £8.5m facilities provide the ideal environment for our diverse and cutting-edge teaching and research.

The University of Sheffield are proud to be an All-Steinway School, which places us among a select group of international education institutions. This accreditation means that you'll have access to pianos of the highest quality.

The Jessop Building houses study and rehearsal rooms, with dedicated specialist spaces including our historical instruments collection, ethnomusicology space and collection, music psychology lab and music technology lab.

The Soundhouse is our purpose-built facility for instrumental lessons, practice, small-scale rehearsals and sound recording, and houses the internationally-renowned University of Sheffield Sound Studios for recording and electroacoustic composition.

The University of Sheffield is also home to a suite of performance venues, including the beautiful 380-seater Firth Hall, set in the stunning Edwardian Grade II listed Firth Court and home to the University’s multi-genre Concert Series.

Department of Music

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


School of English

1st for research environment

Research Excellence Framework 2014


Department of Music

Top 10 music department for research excellence in the UK

Research Excellence Framework 2014

2nd in the Russell Group for teaching on our course

National Student Survey 2020

93% of our students are in work or further study 6 months after graduation

UK UG, 2015-2017 Higher Education Survey

An All-Steinway School

The University of Sheffield is proud to be an All-Steinway School


Graduate careers

School of English

The academic aptitude and personal skills that you develop on your degree will make you highly prized by employers, whatever your chosen career path after university:

  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Independent working
  • Time management and organisation
  • Planning and researching written work
  • Articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories
  • Leading and participating in discussions
  • Negotiation and teamwork
  • Effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively
  • Critical reasoning and analysis

Our graduates are confident and articulate. They have highly developed communication skills, equipping them for a wide range of careers in journalism, the charity sector, marketing and communications, theatre and television production, PR, copywriting, publishing, teaching, web development, accountancy, and speech and language therapy, among other fields.

Many of our students go on to postgraduate study, research, and an academic career.

Department of Music

The musical excellence and academic aptitude you develop on your course will make you highly valued by employers, whatever your chosen career path after university. You'll also develop valuable transferable skills such as time management, critical thinking and interpersonal communication.

There are lots of opportunities to get work experience. Hands-on projects are integrated into several academic modules and every year our Concerts team provides internships while the Careers Service can help you find placements. You can lead a music project or workshop in a local school through our student-led volunteering organisation Music in the City. All of these experiences will help you build a compelling CV.

Our graduates work with prestigious orchestras and music institutions within the UK and globally, in roles ranging from performing and conducting to administration and education. Sheffield music graduates have also forged successful careers in other fields, from audio programming to marketing and management.

Graduate job roles include: artist management, audio programming, composition, concerts coordination, instrument repair, marketing and communications, music research, music promotion, music therapy, orchestral management, professional performance, publishing, sound engineering, teaching.

Placement/study abroad

Work experience

There are lots of opportunities to get work experience. Hands-on projects are integrated into several academic modules and every year our University Concerts team provides internships. Alternatively, you can lead a music project or workshop in a local school through our student-led volunteering organisation Music in the City. All of these experiences will help you build a compelling CV.

You can also study our courses with the Degree with Employment Experience option. This allows you to apply for a placement year during your degree where you'll gain valuable experience and improve your employability.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study abroad, for a semester or a year, as part of a three or four-year degree programme. We have exchange agreements with universities in the USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore and throughout Europe.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Additional funding

The Department of Music offers a number of scholarships. These can include scholarships in partnership with local music organisations, giving you a chance to gain advanced work experience within the music sector while studying. Alternatively, we can offer bursaries donated by alumni to help support you with your studies. Both single honours BMus students and dual honours students with music are eligible to apply.

For a full list of scholarships and prizes available, please visit our fees and funding page.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022