Creative Writing BA (Hons)
BA Hons Creative Writing
If you’re an aspiring writer, there’s no better place to hone your craft than the home of literary greats, Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
On this BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree course, you’ll learn to write across various mediums. From stories to scripts and plays to poetry, you’ll develop your writing voice and improve your technique under the guidance of professional novelists, poets and playwrights.
The course develops your talent and prepares you for a career in writing. You’ll learn the skills to succeed in many creative and professional industries, from print and online media to film and television, as well as public relations, advertising and teaching.
What you'll experience
On this degree course, you'll:
- Get to grips with techniques that writers have used for centuries and study contemporary skills to inspire and entertain your audience through the power of written word
- Learn from published authors, scriptwriters and media specialists who'll help you bring your ideas to life in creative workshops
- Share your work with fellow writers who are buzzing with fresh ideas
- Learn to write across a variety of mediums and genres such including magazine articles, television dramas, stage plays, autobiography, travel writing, fan fiction and publicity campaigns
- Have the chance to publish your work in our annual anthology and course blog
- Glean tips and tricks from visiting professional writers like Andy McNab, Francesca Beard and Suzi Feay
- Get the opportunity to shadow theatre professionals and have your work performed on stage thanks to our links with Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal and other local theatres
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.
We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and add to your portfolio.
After your second year, you can spend a year putting your writing skills into practice on an optional placement. This gives you valuable workplace skills and builds your CV.
Previous students have worked in:
- Red Apple Creative's audio book production team
- Debenhams' editorial team
- Dolby's field marketing team
Interested in running your own business on your placement year instead? You can start up and run your own company for a year as an alternative to a work-based placement. You'll work with fellow students to build and launch a successful venture.
However you spend the year, we’ll give you plenty of support and mentoring to make sure you’re getting the most out of your placement.
Careers and opportunities
You’ll graduate from this Creative Writing degree course with the knowledge, skills and market awareness to succeed wherever your writing takes you, in whatever industry you choose.
With the ability to take on roles in a variety of professional and creative sectors, previous graduates have gone on to become copywriters, journalists, theatre managers and editorial assistants in areas such as:
- creative writing (prose, poetry, script)
- advertising and marketing
- arts and events management
- local and community broadcasting
You could also go on to postgraduate study or research.
You'll get help and support from our Careers and Employability service in finding your first role and for 5 years after you graduate.
Tuition fees (2018 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £13,200 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
You may need to buy items such as DVDs and MiniDV tapes to use on practical units, which cost approximately £20– £30.
You’ll need to cover the material costs for individual project work, which usually costs £50–£100.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- True Stories
- Telling Tales
- Tips, Tricks and Techniques
- Professional Writing
- Media Writing: Critical Reviews and Features
- Writing for the Film Industries
There are no optional units in this year.
Core units in this year include:
- Creative Writing and Critical Thinking
- Print Media
- The Short Story
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Approaches to Popular Culture
- Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults
- Media Writing for the Press
- Media Writing for the Screen and Radio
- Professional Experience
- Researching Genre in Film and Television
- Student Enterprise
- The Magazine
- The Media and Propaganda
- The Script
- Transmedia Narratives and Strategies
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- British TV Drama and Society
- Comedy Culture and Form
- Creative Writing Dissertation
- Cultures of Consumption
- Fact and Fiction
- Film and Media Dissertation
- Media Fan Cultures
- Media Writing Project
- News, War and Peace
- Representing Science in the Media
- Researching Animation
- The Literary Journalist
- Travel Writing
- TV Talk Shows
- Writing Project (With Publishing)
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.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching methods on this course include:
- one-to-one tutorials
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There's no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
- Year 1 students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 74% studying independently
- Year 2 students: 23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 77% studying independently
- Year 3 students: 9% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities and 91% studying independently
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- short stories
- a novel in progress
- a screenplay
- a collection of poems
- a magazine pitch
- public relations campaign
- a research portfolio
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
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:
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.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
Want to start this course in 2019?
To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – WW80
- our institution code – P80
Not quite ready to apply?
Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.