English and Creative Writing BA (Hons)
BA Hons English and Creative Writing
Do you see yourself as the next JK Rowling? Have you always dreamed about writing your own novel or publishing your own work?
On this BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree course, you’ll fuel your writing with inspiration drawn from the study of great literature. You’ll develop your voice and hone your craft under the guidance of published authors, poets and playwrights.
This course provides you with the skills and market awareness to succeed in disciplines such as writing, editing, publishing and teaching.
85% graduates in work or further study DLHE, 2017
What you'll experience
On this English and Creative Writing degree course you’ll:
- Develop your ability to write as a critic and creator, and become an expert in the history of literature, its modern trends and how the written word is evolving
- Learn techniques for producing short stories, poetry and plays and learn to dissect, critique and perform your writing
- Tailor your studies, choosing module options that match your interests and career ambitions
- Publish your work in our annual anthology and course blog
- Learn from visiting professional novelists, poets and playwrights, such as Andy McNab, Francesca Beard and Suzi Feay
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, build links in the industry and enhance your writing portfolio.
Placement yearAfter 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. You’ll have access to Creative Careers; a team within the faculty helping students to find placement opportunities within the creative industries. They’ll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search, including help with applications and interviews, and support throughout your placement, should you need it.
We have plenty of links with potential employers. Previous students have taken a placement year with big name organisations, such as:
- Red Apple Creative, working as an audiobook production assistant
- Debenhams, working as an editorial assistant
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.
Careers and opportunities
When you complete this course, you'll have the necessary knowledge, skills and market awareness to enter a variety of creative careers. You could also go on to postgraduate study or research.
What can you do with an English and Creative Writing degree?
Previous graduates have gone on to work in areas such as:
- creative writing (prose, poetry, script)
- advertising and marketing
- arts and events management
- local and community broadcasting
What jobs can you do with an English and Creative Writing degree?
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- publishing assistant
- information abstractor
- projects administrator
You'll get help and support from our Careers and Employability service in finding your first role and for 5 years after you graduate.
What you'll study on this BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.
Core modules for this year currently include:
- Telling Tales
- Body Politics
- The Short Story: Murder, Madness and Experimentation
- Tips, Tricks, Techniques
- True Stories
Core modules for this year include:
- Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim
Optional modules for this year currently include:
- Bloody Shakespeare: Shakespeare's History Plays
- Creative Writing and Critical Thinking
- Creative Writing for Comedy
- Crime Writing
- Dystopian and Apocalyptic Environments: Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination
- Finding Form: Fiction
- Finding Form: Non-fiction
- Finding Form: Writing for Performance
- Literary Heritage
- Mortals and Immortals: Man, God and the Devil in Early Modern Literature
- Neo-Historical Fiction
- Press and Public Relations
- Professional Experience
- Puritans to Postmodernists: American Literature
- Research in Practice
- Script Writing
- Space, Place and Being
- Student Enterprise
- Women's Writing in the Americas
Optional modules for this year currently include:
- Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
- Creative Writing Dissertation
- Creative Writing for Film
- Dangerous Desires: Renaissance Revenge Drama
- Dissertation/Major Project (English Literature)
- Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity
- Fact and Fiction
- Fan Fiction
- Holocaust Literatures
- Magical Realism
- Time, Temporality, Contemporary Fiction
- US Masculinities
- 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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
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
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- one-to-one tutorials
There's an emphasis on giving you the freedom and choice to develop the skills you need to succeed wherever your career takes you.
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- May to June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- short stories
- a novel in progress
- a screenplay
- a collection of poems
- a video production
- 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 modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
- Year 1 students: 8% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 8% by written exams and 92% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 100% by coursework
BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent, including 32 points from A level English.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
- Applicants may be required to submit a portfolio of written work.
Tuition fees (2020 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £14,300 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 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
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.
How to apply
To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – QW38
- our institution code – P80
If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.