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    • Thread Starter


    I'm in Year 12 at the moment, and I'm considering studying English Lit or English and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. What's it like there? I'm a little concerned about the safety and crime as it's a big city - this is putting my parents off too - and what living there will be like as well.


    I'm also in Year 12 and I live in Birmingham.

    There is crime, especially towards the outer areas (which can be expected in any major city across the UK), however the safety is also good.

    University of Birmingham is around a 10-minute train ride away from the city centre and the uni has it's own train station; so you won't have to walk much at all.

    Birmingham is a fast-developing city; HS2 will soon arrive and Birmingham New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill stations connect you to anywhere in the country, so travel is also not an issue.

    I'm a first year English and Creative Writing student.

    Creative writing covers two modules - foundation and contemporary.

    Foundation is the "how to write good" part - you study short stories, flash fiction, poetry, scripts, writing styles, that sort of stuff. The assessment is two portfolios, one composed of prose and poetry, and the second composed of a script OR prose, and poetry again. It's definitely the best module for me.

    Contemporary is the study of the industry. Critical reviews, competitions, publishing, that sort of stuff. It's assessed by a book review and a creative response to the book (i.e., 1500 words telling the story of a different character). Honestly, I didn't like it. It felt like it's better suited to a journalism/publishing degree. It does only last one semester, though, so it isn't too painful.


    Everyone worries about the crime in Birmingham. I won't lie and say it isn't warranted, but everything you'll ever need is well away from the bad areas. If you stay out of King's Norton, Druids Heath, Winson Green, Small Heath, you'll have no problem at all. Edgbaston, Selly Oak (where the uni is), Harbourne, Hamstead, Digbeth are all absolutely fine. I'm a barman, so I routinely finish late at night. I can walk from the city centre to my accomodation 20 minutes away on a Saturday with headphones in and I have literally never had any sort of issue - even when I was carrying a T.V.

    If you do your homework, read the Birmingham mail online, and know what parts are good and what parts to avoid, you'll honestly wonder why Brum has the reputation it does.

    If you're coming from a small village or town, you might be a little overwhelmed at first. Armed police walk around New Street Station and the city centre from time to time. The ONLY time you could possibly run into an issue is being drunk on Broad Street. Dealers and that are around on Saturdays, but if you're not buying they won't be interested in you.

    In short, the city has a million people in it. There's gonna be crime. For every story you hear, the other 999,750 people had a normal day.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you! That's really useful stuff, and I like the sound of your course too. I've always wanted to go into writing novels, journalism or publishing.
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