English and Creative Writing BA (Hons)
BA Hons English and Creative Writing
Do you see yourself as a budding Andrew Lloyd Webber or 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.
What you'll experience
On this 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 unit 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.
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 audio book 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
- Introduction to Poetry and Poetics
- Literary Powers: Renaissance to Romanticism
- Critical Thinking
- Telling Tales
- Tips, Tricks, Techniques
- True Stories
There are no optional units in this year.
Core units in this year include:
- Styles And Subversions: Nineteenth Century To The Present Day
- Literary Prizes and Public Acclaim
- The Short Story
- Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Puritans To Postmodernists: American Literature
- Revolutions! Literature And Change, 1700-1830
- Nation and Travel
- Professional Experience
- Student Enterprise
- The Magazine
- The Script
- Victorian Literature and Visual Culture
- Making a Spectacle: The Ruse of English Drama
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Consuming Fictions: Food and Appetite in Victorian Culture
- Creative Writing Dissertation
- Dissertation/Major Project (English Literature)
- Dwelling: Memory, Being, Place and the Modern
- Ecocritical Perspectives: Environment and Literature, 1820-1939
- Enlightenment: Literature, Culture and Modernity
- European Literary Decadence
- Fact and Fiction
- Holocaust Literatures
- Love, War and Friendship in Renaissance Poetry: John Donne to Katherine Philips
- Mortals and Immortals: Man, God and the Devil in Early Modern Literature
- The Literary Journalist
- Time, Temporality, Contemporary Fiction
- Tracing Borders: Women and Writing 1890-1940
- Travel Writing
- 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 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
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 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 1students:23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 77% studying independently
- Year 2 students:20% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 80% 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 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 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 – QW38
- 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.