The birthplace of Charles Dickens and home to famous literary figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells, Portsmouth is the perfect choice for a Creative Writing student. With a seaside backdrop, the buzz of a city and the excitement of university life all around, you'll write sonnets and film scripts, fairy tales and one-act plays, travel articles and Sci-Fi stories.
Creative Writing blends academic and practical study in a range of classes taught by professional novelists, poets, playwrights and essayists.
Combining this with English will allow you to write as critic and creator, becoming an expert in the history and theory of literature, and its modern trends and prize-winners, while testing out their traditional and experimental forms in original stories, poems and plays of your own. From Shakespeare to sexuality, Romanticism to race, your writing will have new perspective and power.
From the starting point of autobiography - 'True Stories' - you go on to explore the beginnings of tale-telling itself, learning the techniques of myth and epic poetry and using the ancient tricks to create your own new work in 'Telling Tales'. Picking up 'Tips, Tricks and Techniques’ from those local authors you might invent a time-machine, uncover a crime or spend time with jungle creatures; just on the page, of course.
A thriving modern Writer's Hub brings visiting speakers like Andy McNab to the city; and gives you the chance to be published in local e-zines and anthologies or speak at open-mic events nearby.
On this course you can:
Do you see yourself as a budding Andrew Lloyd Webber or the next J. K. Rowling? Have you always dreamed about writing your own novel, or perhaps you picture yourself doing the publishing of great novels? On completion of the course, you will have the necessary knowledge, skills and market awareness to enter a range of exciting careers.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
In the future I want to become a writer and finally publish my novel. This degree will help me to refine my writing skills as well as my self-discipline and motivation. I feel that this degree will be the stepping stone to accomplishing my dreams.
Emily Priest, Creative Writing student, 2016
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
Your first year explores the beginnings of storytelling itself; you’ll learn the techniques of myth and epic poetry and use ancient tricks to create your own new work. This is the start of your training in the skills and techniques you’ll be using throughout your course.
Core units in this year include:
This year allows you to start to specialise in the areas that interest you most. Choose to focus on specific writing forms such as prose, scripts or poetry and also spotlight on certain topics.
Core units in this year include:
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
The final year allows you to put into practice your creative work as you become a specialist writer in prose, poetry or philosophical modes. Depending on your interests, you also have the choice between a dissertation, a writing project or undertaking a special exercise that boosts your professional writing skills.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)
Between the second and third years of study you will have the option to undertake a work placement year. There are two exciting options for the placement year:
We offer a range of salaried professional placements as part of your degree. You can gain invaluable work experience to help you prepare for your graduate employment. The University can provide you with advice on how to secure a work placement that matches both the needs of your degree and your future career plans, as well as giving you useful links and contacts.
Interested in running your own business instead? We also offer students the chance to start-up and run their own company for a year as an alternative to the traditional work-based placement. Students who choose this option often start-up their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support throughout the year.
To find out more visit our Employability and Enterprise page.
The greatest feature of our course is that it allows for your intellectual freedom and choice. By attending workshops, seminars, lectures and one-to-one tutorials, you’ll develop a range of skills that will be tailored to your planned career path.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
Assessment takes many forms on the course enabling you to demonstrate the variety of your skills and talents. Here’s how we assess your work:
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
Dr Alison Habens
This seaside city was home to Dickens and Conan-Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells and in their famous footsteps this course provides the opportunity to write sonnets and fairy tales, plays and travel articles, sci-fi stories and philosophical essays. Taught by published writers with PhDs, you'll write everything from blogs to film scripts, micro-fiction to dissertations on this exciting course.
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A suite of rooms with a comfy seating area, desks where you can work, a printer, Mac workstations and access to the wireless network so you can log in using your own laptop. There are also several study rooms where you can rehearse or work on group projects.
Our acclaimed anthology is an exciting literary project allowing our creative students to feature their work and showcase their innovative writing abilities. You’ll be given the opportunity to contribute to our annual creative writing anthology and year after year, it is filled to the brim with your imaginative and inspiring poetry and stories.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
There may be costs for items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes for use on practical units of approximately £20 - £30. Material costs for individual project work may cost between £50 - £100.
Once you’ve completed this degree, you will possess all the skills to succeed in an array of creative and professional industries. It could be film and television, print and online media or public relations and advertising, all welcome the creative graduate who possesses the relevant professional skills for their industry.
Alternatively, you can pursue postgraduate study and continue research into a specialised area of your choosing.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
Here at the CCI’s Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
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To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.
After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.
Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.