Creative Writing BA (Hons)

Prepare yourself for a career in writing across mediums under the guidance of professional novelists, poets, and playwrights on this Creative Writing degree course.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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Charles Dickens was born here, Sherlock Holmes was created here, H.G. Wells travelled here in his ‘time machine’, and many tourists wander our timeless shores inked with seaside tales. If there could be an ideal birthplace for your creative writing career, let it be Portsmouth.

Every lecture, seminar, and event on our Creative Writing degree course will inspire you to develop your writing voice, from stories and poetry to plays and screenplays. Learn about the theory behind the art of writing and discover the history of storytelling and narrative, guided by a team of industry and research experts spanning writing, media and performance. You can also broaden your writing experience by studying abroad and going on an optional professional placement.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the versatile writing skills to take you to any career destination within creative and communication fields.

Course highlights

  • Take part in Portsmouth’s annual Comic Con for the latest developments in creative writing and literature, popular culture, fan communities, and technology – course lecturers and students are panelists
  • Build your writing portfolio by contributing to our course blog The Eldon Review, local news zine Star & Crescent, and our Student Union newspaper The Galleon
  • Collaborate with staff on innovative research projects to enhance your own practice, such as Ink:Well, Lifewriting for Well-Being, and Pens of the Earth
  • Get insight into the current writing scene by attending guest lectures from industry professionals – past ones include Andy McNab, Francesca Beard, and Suzi Feay
  • Gain valuable professional experience by taking an optional placement
  • Spend a year or a semester studying abroad to discover another culture and way of learning
  • Learn a new language with our extra-curricular Institute-Wide Language Programme to improve your lingual abilities and earn credits


of graduates in work or further study

(HESA graduate outcomes survey 2020/21)

Take a literary history tour of Portsmouth with us

From Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes to Neil Gaiman, Portsmouth is steeped in lively literature. Join two of our students for a tour around our literary city.

Chibuzor and Holly: Welcome to Portsmouth.

Chibuzor: Our island city has a really rich history of literature and culture.

Holly: Come and join us for a tour.

Chibuzor: One of our most famous literary residents is Charles Dickens, who was born here on Old Commercial Road. It is now home to the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum.

Holly: Portsmouth is also the birthplace of another famous figure. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his first Sherlock Holmes story while practising as a doctor here in Southsea. Now you can walk in his footsteps while doing a spot of shopping on Elm Grove.

Chibuzor: Thinking of shopping, our popular Gunwharf Quays features in Graham Hurley's DI Faraday crime novel, The Take. Graham Hurley is a friend of the English Literature programme. If you study with us here at the University of Portsmouth, you may get a chance to work with him in class.

Holly: There is literally an ocean at the end of this lane. It was renamed in honour of the famous novel by Neil Gaiman, who lived just outside of Portsmouth and spent many holidays here with relatives in the city.

Chibuzor: As an island city, Portsmouth has had a huge influence on authors both from home and abroad. Jane Austen often visited here to see her brothers, who were stationed here with the Royal Navy. She was inspired to include Portsmouth in her novel, Mansfield Park.

Holly: Stephanie Norgate's poem, Ferries at Southsea, was inspired by the view of ferries here on Clarence Parade Pier. Her poem is strongly rooted in the local area, but also tackles global issues of immigration.

Chibuzor: Portsmouth’s naval history means we can't shy away from the topics of race and slavery. The first slave narrator, Ukawsawa Gronniosaw, visited our city, while John Jea, another former slave, was a prominent preacher near the docks. Their memoirs movingly reveal the city's black history.

Holly: As we move into modern day, we have authors and poets tackling issues both big and small. Poet laureate Simon Armitage studied at the University of Portsmouth. Local poet Denise Bennett has written on Portsmouth Jewish history, and Fatima Bhutto featured Portsmouth in her contemporary novel on Islamic culture. As well as its fabulous literary history, Portsmouth also has a really vibrant, creative writing community, and you can be a part of it if you decide to study here.

Chibuzor: Our final stop is Milldam building. Originally a mill pond, it was featured in a long forgotten novel by Walter Besant, who was a contemporary of Charles Dickens. The Navy drained the pond and built officer quarters here. Then it changed hands and became home to the English Literature team at the University of Portsmouth.

Holly: Which means Portsmouth is home to the next generation of writers, thinkers and world shapers.

Chibuzor: We hope you join us.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

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BA (Hons) Creative Writing

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

A relevant qualification or experience in English/Creative Writing/Journalism/Media or Film Studies is required. Applicants without a relevant subject or experience will be asked to provide a portfolio to support their application.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our Creative Writing courses portfolio guide.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

How to prepare for this course

Here are two ways you can get ready for all the exciting writing you'll be doing over the next three years.


Reading books

We have some recommended titles you can check out:

  • ‘The Writer’s Journey’ (Christopher Vogler)
  • ‘The Seven Basic Plots’ (Christopher Booker)
  • ‘From the Beast to the Blonde’ (Marina Warner)
  • ‘The Creative Writing Handbook’ (edited by Steve Earnshaw)
  • ‘Save the Cat’ (Blake Snyder)

All of these appear in module reading lists on our Creative Writing courses, so buying them could be worthwhile – or you could wait until you can access them in our University Library or on our Moodle pages after starting this course.



Write every day; don’t throw any of it away.

Writing's the easiest and most important way to prepare for a creative writing course. The more you write, the more you’ll:

  • discover your voice
  • hone your technique
  • become more self-reflective

You don’t have to pen a major publication or a future blockbuster screenplay either. You can start small by keeping a diary, journal, or setting up your own blog, and adding entries to those. 

Facilities and specialist software


Writing and scripting software 

Pen film, TV and stage masterpieces using industry-wide scriptwriting software such as Celtx and Final Draft.

open accass suite

Open Access Suite

Our open-plan space includes PCs and Macs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and other professional software.

Explore Suite

female student in library

University Library

Our University Library is home to not only publications you'll need for your studies but also rare archives and special book collections that will help kindle your writing fire.

Explore Library 

Careers and opportunities

Writing is one of the oldest forms of communication and has evolved and transformed over the ages. It thrives more than ever in our modern world where traditional and digital communication coexist, with its outlets continuing to expand. Spoken communication – such as storytelling, teaching, and poetry – is also on the rise.

After graduating from our Creative Writing degree course, you’ll be poised for numerous roles that rely on the powers of communication and the written word.

You can also continue your studies at postgraduate level and venture into research.

Graduate areas

Areas graduates from our Creative Writing courses have worked in include:

  • creative writing (prose, poetry, script)
  • advertising and marketing
  • arts and events management
  • local and community broadcasting
  • teaching
  • stand-up comedy
  • travel industry

Graduate roles

Roles graduates from our Creative Writing courses have gone onto include:

  • novelist
  • poet
  • playwright
  • teacher
  • copywriter
  • journalist
  • theatre manager
  • editorial assistant

Ongoing careers support

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Placement year (optional)

After your second or third year, you can complete an optional work placement to gain professional experience and enhance your skills. It's also a great incentive for employers once you graduate.

You can work for a company, organisation or agency, or you can go self-employed and start your own business with fellow students or by yourself.

Whatever you decide – or even if you just want some employability advice – our exclusive Creative Careers team can support you every step of the way.

Creative Careers

Our in-faculty Creative Careers team has extensive recruitment experience and knows the creative sector well, making it easier for students to find placements within the creative industries.

They can guide you through every step of the application process, including:

  • Searching for the ideal job through their database of vacancies
  • Giving tips on how to write an interesting CV that will catch employers' attention, no matter the role
  • Organising mock interviews, so you can hone your technique and familiarise yourself with the recruitment environment
  • Writing your startup business proposal – if you're going down the self-employment route

The team will continue to give you support throughout your placement year.


What you can do on a placement year

If you're thinking of doing a placement but not sure what role to take or where to go, we can steer you in a direction that fits your aspirations.

Check out our Creative Careers team's blog to find out where fellow film, media and communication students have interned during their studies.

Read our blog post

Placement experiences

Placement students on our Creative Writing courses have worked in a variety of roles in commerce, publishing, entertainment, and education. Others have chosen to work for themselves.

Among these experiences are:

  • Digital content creator at the head office of a major retailer
  • Trainee editorial assistants at The London Magazine and Star & Crescent
  • Writing and publishing novellas and poetry collections as a freelancer
  • Content writer for a Brixton music promotion company
  • Teachers in schools


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.

What you'll study

Core modules

You’ll dive into real-world tasks such as blogging, pitching ideas, and proofreading to use what you’ve learned in actual job settings. By creating high-quality creative nonfiction and journalism that meets industry standards, you'll improve your grammar, structure, editing, and styling skills.

This module will help you gain hands-on experience in arts, media, and publishing roles. This experience will help you build expertise and gain confidence to share your talents with the world.

You’ll explore ancient storytelling methods still used today, from epic poetry to folk ballads. Next, you’ll put classic plots and archetypes to modern use, twisting tales or upending tropes in original poems and short fiction. By annotating drafts and thinking deeply about your work, you’ll find your unique style and connect to the roots of human creativity.

Become part of a global community reinventing the classics.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Research, plan, and write an essay suitable to the degree context in approach, style, presentation and level of engagement with primary and secondary sources.

  • Interpret a short work of prose using critically informed close-reading skills.

  • Identify and compare a range of narrative forms such as 'first person narrative', 'third person narrative' and 'unreliable narrator'.

Delve into the critical thinking and academic theory behind successful writing through engaging lectures, case studies, and presentations. Pick up skills and strategies from renowned writers, examining how creativity and technique fuse to create vivid narratives. Put this knowledge into practice by writing your own unique piece, using the methods of the authors you admire to shape your own voice.

This module offers the core inspiration and practical guidance to elevate your writing to university. You’ll discover both the magic and methodology of creativity—the key ingredients for a fulfilling writing career.

You’ll tap into your memories and senses to explore identity across poetry, prose, and hybrid forms. Study memoirs, both factual and fictional, and create your own while keeping a journal of your progress.

Through in-class peer reviews, you’ll give and receive feedback to develop insight and technique. By semester’s end, you’ll submit portfolios showcasing your best autobiographical writing.

This module will guide you in skilfully incorporating personal stories into your writing, teaching you to express authenticity with creative finesse. By the end, you’ll understand deeply how to transform personal experiences into fascinating literature and have original work that shows your ability to capture and convey truth through creative expression.

The course will cover traditional storytelling techniques through different writing projects. As you progress, you will learn how to create proposals and scripts that meet the industry standards. This will enable you to become a better storyteller.

Additionally, you will learn how to deliver your ideas in an impressive and captivating manner. This will help you manage your time more effectively. By exploring the creative methods used in major films and TV shows, you will gain a profound understanding of the storytelling process.

Upon completing this module, you will be well-equipped to begin your career as a writer in the film and TV industry.

Core modules

You will get the opportunity to study classic and modern stories from different genres, including crime and flash fiction, which will help you learn about literary styles. Moreover, you will practice writing for different age groups, such as adults, young adults, and children, and adapt your writing style accordingly.

Throughout the module, you will turn your ideas into complete stories and develop a portfolio of your work. You will also get the chance to improve your creative process through discussions and self-assessment. In addition, you will experience the publishing world by pitching a story to a magazine.

By the end of the module, you will have discovered your unique storytelling voice and created captivating short fiction.

You will learn literary techniques used in excellent nonfiction through studying examples. Additionally, you will gain valuable insights from the industry to create engaging articles for modern readers.

You'll build a portfolio by completing assignments that take you from pitching ideas to publication. This will help you showcase your abilities to potential employers. You will also learn research methods and editing skills to produce high-quality work.

Ethics and representation are important when it comes to quality writing. Therefore, we'll engage in discussions about these topics to help you understand their impact.

This module equips you with the tools and experience to excel as a nonfiction writer.

This philosophy-driven module invites you to examine key texts, collaborating with experts to dissect celebrated literature. Equipped with fresh analytical methods and understanding, you’ll apply what you learn directly in practical workshops. Through a mix of lectures, detailed reading, timed essays, and presentations, you’ll integrate philosophical concepts, using age-old wisdom to improve your writing craft.

Immerse yourself in the intellectual heritage of literature and become a more profound and reflective writer.

Optional modules

You’ll write sharp reviews and features, and make editorial decisions for different audiences across various media.

By looking at writing styles and revenue metrics, you’ll learn how to create content that really connects with people.

You’ll also explore research methods, helping you to put together a persuasive media research proposal.

This experience will boost your creativity and analytical skills. By the end, you’ll be ready for jobs where you can use storytelling to unlock new opportunities.

You'll leverage data sources and freedom of information powers to uncover injustices. You'll examine legal and ethical constraints in journalism, building tenacious journalistic skills as you learn to seek truths in the public interest despite obstacles.

You'll evaluate story angles and plan how to maximise their impact, and gain digital-first abilities to hold the powerful to account.

Analysing diverse screen languages and conventions, you'll enhance your creativity, and comparing story structures and narrative needs of global production will broaden your perspective. You'll learn to understand target audiences and emerging platforms, to prepare you for working a the global marketplace.

With script drafting and redrafting practice, you'll gain industry-applicable writing talents. Through acclaimed script analysis, you'll appreciate what makes great screenwriting.

Through a study exchange overseas, you will manage tasks and projects relevant to your course, working independently or collaboratively as part of a team.

The experience enables you to showcase your talents on a global stage while reflecting on your personal growth. With enhanced employability prospects, you return home with a new perspective to inform your practice.

Engage with theories and research suited to the subject. Analyse seminal comic book texts, considering the interplay of production elements and audience reception.

Join a team of creative students and do a project together. Try new things and see how they can help you.

You’ll also grasp how to use your skills with others. Sometimes you’ll be a leader, sometimes a helper. Talk about your ideas and learn from them. You’ll make something to show what you learned and share it with others.

This module helps you gain new skills and understand other fields. You’ll be a smart and creative person, ready to solve real-world problems.

Tailor language, form, and technique to immerse readers in imagined worlds, compelling characters, and thrilling plots. Reflect critically on bringing ideas from conception to completion. Analyse themes and trends shaking up the field, like genre-blends and subversion. Hone skills in constructive feedback to elevate your own work and that of peers.

You'll study traditional and experimental forms, before creating your own scripts. You'll take part in workshops that provide space for bold exploration and unlock your creative potential as a playwright.

Analysing influential works across theatre, spoken word and more. you'll implement professional strategies for developing compelling narratives and dialogue.

This will culminate in a staged reading of a script of your choice - proof of your flair for connecting with audiences through the written word.

You’ll look at the history, roles, and ethics of PR, and see how it differs from marketing and journalism. Through workshops and practical tasks, you'll gain real-world experience creating press releases, campaigns, and promotional materials for actual clients. Whether working alone or in groups, you’ll develop valuable skills in talking to people, managing projects, and making different media content.

This module will give you all the tools you need to succeed in the busy world of PR.

You’ll choose learning tasks that add up to 60 hours, like internships, volunteering, research, or remote study that match your career plans. Workshops will help you make meaningful goals and think about what you’ve accomplished. Through this, you’ll grow the knowledge, skills, and qualities you need to thrive in the workplace.

By looking at your growth through active participation and reading, you’ll become a perceptive, eager job-seeker who stands out.

You will learn how to source stories and write to industry standards for print, digital and broadcast in a newsroom setting.

Throughout the module, you will become familiar with the culture and issues of your chosen field, and will produce interviews, reviews, and features to strict deadlines. You will also build a portfolio, grow your contacts, and pitch your work to real outlets.

This specialist experience will be invaluable to your future career prospects, and will give you a competitive edge in the industry.

As a team, you will embark on a journey of entrepreneurship, starting with ideation and ending with the launch of your product or service. You will analyse complex factors influencing a successful launch, conduct thorough research to assess feasibility and gain valuable insights into marketing, manufacturing, and sales strategies.

Working together on pitch presentations, you will discover your strengths as an entrepreneur or team member. This module provides transferable skills essential to thrive in creative industries, whether you plan to launch your own company or seek employment with top organisations. You will develop the mindset and abilities to spot opportunities and act on them, which will benefit your career.

You’ll look at how some media stories use more than one platform, like books, films, games, and more. Discover how transmedia has changed over time and how to make your own stories more immersive and interactive. You’ll work with others to create and present your own transmedia project.

This module will help you become a skilled transmedia storyteller, ready for the industry. You’ll also improve your teamwork and research skills by collaborating with others. Most of all, your creativity will bloom as you immerse yourself in the future of interactive storytelling.

Core modules

In this module, you’ll expand on what you’ve been passionate about during your studies, whether that’s a specific genre, theme, author, or theory. You might produce a novella, poetry collection, play or other original work, paired with a researched essay placing it in context. Your ambitious thesis will demonstrate academic rigour, proper referencing, and advanced creative writing skills. 

Select your topic with care, as this specialisation could be a highlight on your CV after graduation. 

With your initiative and our expert support, you’ll produce distinctive research and writing that exhibit your knowledge.

Optional modules

You'll analyse core texts and structure, and develop your professional critique skills. You'll learn to confidently apply your judgement and challenge opinions, as you utilise feedback to polish your pitches, outlines and scripts.

In this module, you’ll survey different media—from TV to print—and break down how they portray lifestyle, identity, and consumer habits. Studying these will help you understand the cultural importance of trends in shopping, home decor, and body image. Examine concepts like taste, social class, status, and alienation tied to consumerism, and link them to present-day problems. Choose examples to study in-depth, uncovering the messages behind consumer habits on your own. 

By the end of the module, you will have a solid understanding of the complexities of consumer culture and stronger analytical skills.

This understanding will deepen your insights into media, marketing, and human behaviour, preparing you for careers in fields like advertising and journalism.

More information for this module will be available soon.

You’ll consider how the news presents important events such as wars, disasters, and emergencies, and reflect on the impact of reporting. Dig into how news is made and think deeply about the forces that shape reporting on human rights. By studying real examples and doing your own research, you’ll learn to apply complex ideas to your analyses.

You’ll come to see the important role journalism has in society and learn how to cover world issues responsibly. Be a part of important talks on how the media deals with human rights — discussions that could lead to real change.

You’ll study different animation styles and visual codes and learn how to analyse them. You’ll understand the animation industry, its authors, and national traditions. These will help you see how to use solid facts to support your opinions in academic writing. By looking closely at the art form and its broader themes, you’ll create an in-depth portfolio that shows your critical views.

Finish this module with the skills you need to analyse animations on your own.

You’ll create a unique magazine for a specific niche and study the media environment. This will help you gain a competitive edge in everything—from branding to circulation.

Working as part of an editorial team, you’ll take on real industry roles, crafting engaging issues that perfectly blend concept, content, and visual excellence.

This practical experience is a solid base for coming up with ideas and producing magazines that truly stand out in the market.

Explore popular texts that have sparked dedicated fan bases. You’ll learn theories to grasp why audiences get so engaged. Study the roots of subcultures united by favourite movies, TV shows, and merchandise. Look at research on how fans interact, create communities, and set themselves apart. You’ll also get hands-on experience by joining fan groups online to study and support ideas about our strong connections with media.

With a mix of critical analysis, real-world examples, and practical research, you’ll uncover the social dynamics of fandom.

This module will deepen your understanding of why people become fans and how these communities operate, enriching your knowledge through both study and direct experience.

Use theory and history to see how literature, film, TV, new media, and journalism present technology, scientists, and science’s place in our world. You’ll learn to tell real science from fiction by evaluating their cultural settings. This will help you see how media shapes our understanding of science.

By looking at many examples and carefully thinking about them, you’ll discover how important it is to communicate science creatively.

You'll examine how comedy interacts with culture, society and industry, comparing scholarly perspectives and blending primary and secondary research, to articulate your ideas in writing.

Preparing you to apply insights to your own work, this module offers invaluable tools to think deeply about the art of comedy.

Use what you’ve learnt from various genres during your studies to refine an original manuscript — be it fiction, poetry, drama, or nonfiction. Combine literary influences, analytical insights, and writing techniques to refine your work for professional publication.

You’ll also document your creative journey from the initial idea to the finished product, reflecting critically on the impact of your literary choices. Receive guidance on the business side of writing as you prepare for your career launch after graduation.

With this module, you’ll be prepared to share your unique voice with the world.

During this module, you'll spend 6 months working on your own business venture, then 3 months gaining industry experience. This opportunity allows you to apply what you've learned in a practical setting while exploring different career options. You'll also have the chance to develop professional relationships and expand your network.

Assess your personal strengths and weaknesses to set goals for the future. Throughout the module, you'll demonstrate increasing independence while still valuing the support of others. Gain a broader understanding of the world through real-world experiences and insights. Additionally, you'll earn valuable credits for your CV and enhance your skill set.

By the end of this module, you'll graduate with the practical experience that employers are seeking.

This experience lets you learn firsthand how to set up and run a small business. You’ll absorb professional practices and business situations that matter to your entrepreneurial goals. Make important connections while working independently within set rules. Think deeply about your strengths, weaknesses, criteria for success, and future plans.

This opportunity is useful for your career. It lets you use what you’ve learnt in your degree in the real world and helps you understand your capabilities.

After finishing this placement and the related assessments, you’ll get more credits for your sandwich degree. This practical experience is a valuable step in developing an entrepreneurial way of thinking.

You’ll spend 24–48 weeks at a chosen company, learning from professionals and helping out with actual projects. Gain confidence, knowledge, and skills by taking on more responsibility with gradually less help. As you progress, you’ll make professional connections and think about how you’re doing. Take in what you learn about how industries and businesses work.

This placement is an ideal chance to grow in your career. By using what you’ve learnt in a workplace, you’ll understand more about your own strengths, what you need to work on, and your plans after you graduate.

After this placement and the related assessments, you’ll get extra credits for your sandwich degree. This practical experience is a valuable part of your education.

Undertake specialised assignments to demonstrate your abilities. Reflect on how global creative culture has expanded your perspective. Identify new transferable skills to empower your continued educational and professional journey.

Examining international contexts, you'll critically assess activities relevant to your field, gaining fresh insights into communication theory and practice worldwide.

In an overseas environment, you'll complete assignments independently, sharpening skills transferable to future studies and careers. Upon returning, thoughtful reflection will reveal your personal growth, as you process new worldviews and cross-cultural competencies.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Exchanges and study abroad

In your second or third year, you can choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia, Australia or North America. All classes are delivered in English and you'll still be able to get both your tuition fee and maintenance loans. You may also qualify for a government travel grant.

Find out more about studying abroad


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-to-one tutorials

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff that will teach you on this course.

Alison Ruth Habens Portrait
Dr Alison Habens

Academic Lead (Communication)

School of Film, Media, and Communication

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Thomas Gerald Charlesworth Sykes Portrait
Dr Tom Sykes

Associate Professor in Creative Writing and Global Journalism

School of Film, Media, and Communication

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Calum Alexander Kerr Portrait
Dr Calum Kerr

Senior Lecturer

School of Film, Media, and Communication

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
User profile default icon
Dr Steven O'Brien

Senior Lecturer

School of Film, Media, and Communication

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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
  • reports
  • a research portfolio
  • examinations
  • dissertation/project

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.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Creative Writing degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials and presentations for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty 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
  • referencing
  • 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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

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 In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.

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 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – WW80
  • our institution code – P80

 Apply now through UCAS


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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.