BA (Hons) Film Industries and Creative Writing - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

Film Industries and Creative Writing

UCAS codeP38W

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Write your own articles, reviews, stories and screenplays

Course Overview

Why take this course?

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 Film Industries will allow you to experience film as a critic and a creator, with exciting practical opportunities in film making and production skills. See your scripts come to life, inspired by the great traditions of Hollywood spectacle and contemporary cinema, too.

What will I experience?

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:

  • Get your stories out in the open by publishing your work in our yearly anthology
  • Study the glitzy Hollywood film scene as well as international cinema from all corners of the world
  • Develop practical skills in production, using the latest digital video technology and screenwriting by creating your own film script

What opportunities might it lead to?

Do you see yourself writing your own film script in a couple of years or perhaps being behind the camera is more your thing! Wherever your talents lie, this course equips you with the professional practical capabilities and essential transferable skills to fulfil your career ambitions.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • creative writing (prose, poetry and script)
  • film marketing and PR
  • media production
  • publishing
  • film making
  • local and community broadcasting
  • teaching


Laura Perceval, BA (Hons) Film Studies and Creative Writing student 2013

I love everything about my course. I love the workshops that we have in creative writing and the film studies lectures are so varied - we learn about Nickelodeons in the 1900’s and then the next week we are talking about Avatar.

Laura Perceval, BA (Hons) Film Studies and Creative Writing student 2013


English and Journalism

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Getting the chance to develop practical skills alongside learning the theory
  • The high-quality teaching and flexibility of options that enables you to tailor your course to your own interests
  • The passion and knowledge of the lecturers that makes studying so enjoyable

Browse all courses in English and Journalism

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

Your first year provides a thorough grounding in creative writing practices and you’ll begin training in the skills and techniques you’ll be using throughout your course.

Core units you'll study in this year include:

  • Film, Genre and Adaptation
  • Professional Writing
  • Spectacular Hollywood
  • Telling Tales
  • Tips, Tricks and Techniques
  • Writing for the Film Industries (1)

Year two

This year allows you to start to specialise in the areas that interest you most. Choose to focus on specific writing forms such as mags, scripts or poetry and begin to develop practical abilities relevant to the film industry.

Core units you will study in this year include:

  • The Short Story

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Adaptations: Film and Television 
  • Creative Writing and Critical Thinking
  • Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults
  • Critical Hollywood
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise
  • The Magazine
  • The Script
  • UK Film Industry, Past, Present and Future
  • Marketing Movies
  • Researching Genre in Film and Television

Year three

The final year offers you a broad range of options to choose from. Depending on your interests, you can also choose to do a dissertation or a practical video project that boosts your professional production skills.

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Creative Writing Dissertation
  • Fact and Fiction
  • Film Dissertation
  • Film Journalism
  • Media Fan Cultures
  • The Literary Journalist
  • Travel Writing
  • Writing Project (With Publishing)
  • Comedy Culture and Form

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.

Placement year

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 intellectual freedom and choice. By attending workshops, seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutorials and practical performance sessions, 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:

  • Year one students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 74% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 24% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 76% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 9% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 91% studying independently and 0% on work placement


Assessment takes many forms on the course, enabling you to demonstrate a variety of your skills and talents. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • essays
  • presentations
  • video productions
  • film scripts
  • reports
  • a research portfolio
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

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:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year two students: 3% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 97% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework

Tutor's view


Dr Alison Habens
Creative Writing

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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Facilities & Features

The Study Centre

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.


Each year you’ll be given the opportunity to contribute to Borderlines, our acclaimed anthology allowing creative students to feature their work and showcase their writing abilities.

The Studio Theatre

Practise your performance in front of your peers in our studio theatre. Offering flexible seating accommodating an audience of up to 80 people, it acts as a fully workable theatre. We also have a number of rehearsal facilities kitted out with lighting and mirrored dance space, as well as a sound recording booth, a video editing suite and music practice rooms equipped with pianos.

University Library

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.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
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.

General costs:
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.

Other costs to consider

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.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

Your unique blend of skills, including practical industry-related techniques and creative writing ability, as well as subject-specific knowledge is exactly what employers want. So whether you see yourself in film and television, print and online media or public relations and advertising, we'll make sure you gain the relevant professional skills you'll need. Alternatively, you can pursue postgraduate study and continue research into a specialised area of your choosing.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • copywriter
  • journalist
  • production manager
  • sound and vision engineer
  • film/video producer
  • assistant publicist
  • PR and communications officer

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

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.

Career planning

Career planning

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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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

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.

Apply now

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.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

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.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484