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BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

Creative Writing and English is an exciting and inspiring blend of closely-linked disciplines.

You will work with published writers and critics to learn about writing, literature and culture. 

You will join a lively culture that includes regular readings by visiting writers, lectures by high profile academics, book launches, an annual publishing panel where you can meet and talk to agents and editors, as well as a chance to get your book published in our biennial Chichester Cinnamon Press competition.

We also host and run The Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy as well as Thresholds, the International Short Story Forum.

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College C58


Course Length:

3 Years Full Time

Entry requirements 2018

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

A levels (or combination with AS / E.P. / BTEC): 96 to 120 UCAS Tariff Points, including English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, Creative Writing or Drama at grade B or C.

Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 12 level 3 credits worth of English units at Merit

International Baccalaureate: 28 points with English Higher at 4.

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Postgraduate Pathways

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester.

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and Masters. 

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Student view

Abigail Alder
There was so many things I loved about the University of Chichester, but mainly the person I became and about how happy the place made me. It was a second home for me.

Course content

The University of Chichester boasts one of the most experienced Creative Writing teams in the UK. You’ll work with highly qualified and experienced tutors, all of whom are practising and published poets, short story writers, novelists, dramatists and screen and TV writers. Your English courses will be taught be experienced tutors, a number of whom are world leaders in their own fields. Research underlies our teaching so that you will have access to up-to-date debates in literature, drama and language studies

In your first year, you will take a combination of creative and critical modules. You will be introduced to the writing process through modules which help you develop a notebook, tap your own experience and engage with the wider world for material. You will also begin to learn the craft of Poetry and Prose. You will also take a number of critical modules which will include Literary History (C19th and C20th) and either Drama, Literary Theory or Language.

In year 2, you will deepen your practice of creative writing and have a choice of Poetry, Short Fiction, Life Writing, Writing for Children, Writing for Radio or Dramatic Writing. On the critical side, you will take modules in Literary History (the Renaissance to the Romantics) and Genre Poetry and Prose Fiction.

By year three, we feel you will know what you want to specialise in. Creative writing modules include Writing the Novel, Writing the Short Story, Screenwriting, Advanced Poetry, Writing for Children, Writing for the Stage, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, YA Fiction, Flash Fiction, Digital Writing and Writing Place and Environment. While publishing is a consistent element throughout the degree, in year three there is a designated module in Publishing, Production and Performance. Critical modules include Shakespeare, Psychoanalysis and Culture, Fantasy Literature, Fairy Tales, Professional Writing, Language and Mind, Renaissance Drama, Twentieth and Twenty First Century Literature and The Ethics of Reading. We also run a Work Placement module.

The University has a burgeoning writing culture, from regular book launches to conferences and events with creative writers. Some renowned authors to have visited the University in recent years include:

o   Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

o   Matthew Sweeney

o   Helen Dunmore

o   Jo Shapcott

o   Sarah Hall

o   Bernardine Evaristo

o   Vicki Feaver

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

Many of our students publish and win prizes. In recent years students have gone on to publish novels, poetry collections, win prizes in major competitions such as the Bridport Prize and have poems and stories in magazines such as The Paris Review and Staple.

Students have also had work broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Graduates from this subject area are highly valued by employers for their problem solving and exceptional communication skills.

As well as or in addition to writing, careers paths include:

  • Teaching (after taking a PGCE)
  • Teaching English as a foreign language
  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Arts event management
  • University administration
  • Heritage and tourism
  • Accountancy
  • Working with charities
  • Writing
  • Graphic design

Jobs directly related to your degree:

  • Publishing - editorial assistants help senior editorial staff in the administration of the commissioning, planning and production of books, journals and magazines. This role is a recognised starting point for editorial and publishing careers.
  • Writer - involved in the creation and/or development of all types of creative writing, including prose, poetry and material for the theatre, screen and radio and reviews.
  • Primary school teacher - teaches primary-aged children and develops schemes of work and lesson plans in line with curriculum objectives.
  • Secondary school teacher - teaches one or more national curriculum subjects to pupils aged 11-16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.
  • English as a foreign language teacher - teaches English, either in the UK or overseas, to students whose first or main language is not English.
  • Lexicographer - writes, compiles and edits dictionaries. Monitors and records uses of language and uses databases to interrogate a wide range of evidence. Considers both the meaning and usages of words and compiles definitions in a structured manner.

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

  • Newspaper journalist - researches and writes stories for publication in local, regional and national press
  • Advertising account executive - works in advertising or multi-service agencies, acting as a link between the clients and the agency. Has overall responsibility for the smooth running of a campaign, coordinating the activities of the advertising and administrative teams.
  • Advertising copywriter - usually works in a creative partnership with an art director to conceive, develop and produce effective advertisements.
  • Arts administrator - plans and organises events run by a wide range of arts and cultural organisations.
  • Academic librarian, information officer, records manager - responsible for the acquisition, organisation and dissemination of information and materials within the library system or information unit.
  • Charity officer - has responsibility for aspects of marketing, public relations, organising events and finance within charitable organisations.
  • Marketing executive - develops marketing campaigns that promote a product, service or idea. The role includes planning, advertising, public relations, organising events, product development, distribution, sponsorship and research.
  • Programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video - provides support to the producer and production team. Contributes ideas for programmes, sources contacts and contributors and collects, verifies and prepares information for film, television and radio productions.
  • Public relations officer - uses all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of companies and organisations.
  • Runner, broadcasting/film/video - fetches, carries and does any small jobs needed for the production department of a film, video or television company. This is an entry-level role.

Work placements

We run a series of competitive, paid internships for graduates. We’ve had internships at Penguin, Myriad Editions, Chawton House Library, a research centre for 18th century women’s writing, and the international journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice.

You will also have the opportunity to take our Workplace Module. This allows you to gain experience in, for example, a workplace such as a local newspaper or as a writer-in-residence. You will then use the skills you have learnt on your course in order to reflect critically on the world of work.

Indicative modules

Year 1

  • Source and Exploration
  • Creating Characters
  • Writing the Notebook
  • Introduction to Writing Poetry
  • Introduction to Writing Short Fiction
  • Creative Non-Fiction: Starting From The Self
  • Literary History: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
  • Drama: Page to Stage
  • Strategies for Reading
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Language Form and Function
  • Language: Variety and Change

Year 2

  • Writing Poetry
  • Writing the Short Story
  • Writing for the Stage
  • Writing for tv
  • Creative Non-Fiction: Writing Place
  • Creative Non-Fiction: Life Writing
  • Children’s Writing
  • Genre Study: Poetry
  • Genre Study: Prose
  • Drama: Mystery to Tragedy
  • Reading Women's Writing
  • Postcolonial Readings
  • Literary History: Renaissance to the Restoration
  • Literary History: Restoration to the Romantics
  • Language and Authority
  • Language into Literature

Year 3

  • Writing Place and Environment                     
  • Work Placement module
  • Writing Radio Drama
  • Advanced Poetry                                           
  • Short Story                                                    
  • Digital Writing
  • Flash Fiction                                                  
  • YA fiction
  • Writing the Novel
  • Fantasy writing
  • Writing for the Stage
  • Writing for the Screen
  • Contemporary British Fiction
  • Psychoanalysis and Culture
  • Fantasy Literature
  • Literature for Children
  • Victorian Women’s Writing
  • Women’s Writing of the Romantic Era
  • Shakespeare: Text and Theory
  • Renaissance Drama: Text and Context

Teaching and assessment


You will be taught in a variety of ways. Our aim is to give you the tools you need to become an autonomous writer and critic. We do this by helping you find out what it is you want to say and by giving you a thorough grounding in a variety of genres and literary periods. Much of our teaching is in small groups. In creative writing modules, you will discuss models of good writing as well as workshopping your own work. In critical modules, you will attend lectures and then work in small seminar groups. Tutors are also available to see students individually.

All creative writing courses are assessed through portfolios of work. The critical courses you take alongside your creative courses will be assessed in a variety of ways including essays, exams and presentations. The Writing Placement module will be assessed through a reflective report.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, offering cumulative assessment of your progress. Your academic advisor and lecturers are available for advice throughout your degree.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Student Success

Amber Lee Dodd

Amber completed the MA in Creative Writing in 2015. Amber’s plays have been performed at Chichester Festival Theatre, the New Theatre Royal and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her stories have been published around the world and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. We Are Giants, her first book for children, was published in 2016 and won the 2017 Calderdale Book of the Year Award. Jaqueline Wilson described We are Giants as ‘a total page-turner, very moving and touching.’ Amber is currently working on her second children's novel.

Amber is represented by Janklow and Nesbitt. Her website can be found at

Bethan Roberts

Bethan Roberts has published four novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4. Her first novel The Pools (2007) won a Jerwood/Arvon Young Writers’ Award. Her second novel The Good Plain Cook (2008) was serialised on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime and was chosen as one of Time Out’s books of the year. My Policeman, the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover, followed in 2012, and was chosen as that year’s City Read for Brighton. Her most recent novel, Mother Island, was the recipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. She also writes short fiction, for which she has won the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Prize and the RA Pin Drop Award. Chatto & Windus will publish her new novel, which tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother, in 2019. 

Bethan is represented by The David Higham Agency and her website can be found at

Gabrielle Kimm

Gabrielle Kimm gained her MA from Chichester in 2007. Since then she has published three novels with Sphere: The Last Duchess, The Courtesan’s Lover and The Girl With The Painted Face. The Last Duchess was described as ‘a stunning debut, rich in historical detail’ by the Irish Times. Her work has been published in nine countries. Gabrielle met her agent, Judith Murray, at one of the English and Creative Writing Department annual Agents and Editors’ panels.

Gabrielle’s website can be found at

Graham Minett

Completing the course in 2008, Graham gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’. Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing. The Hidden Legacy was published as an eBook in November 2015 and the paperback version was published in August 2016. The second book in the deal, entitled Lie in Wait, was published as an eBook in August 2016 and the paperback version was published in March 2017. His new novel, Anything For Her, appeared as an eBook in November 2017 and then in paperback in March 2018.

Graham’s website can be found at

Isabel Ashdown

Isabel completed her MA in Creative Writing with us in 2010. While on the MA, she worked on her first novel, Glasshopper, which was published by Myriad Editions in 2009. Glasshopper went on to be named among the best books of 2009 by both the Observer and The Evening Standard. Since then she has published four more novels. The latest, Little Sister, is a psychological thriller published by Trapeze, an imprint of Orion publishing. Isabel is represented by Kate Shaw of The Viney Agency.

Isabel’s website can be found at