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BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

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Institution C58

UCAS W800

Bishop Otter campus (Chichester)

3 Years Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £9,250

2020/21 International fee: £13,500

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

 

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

  • UCAS Tariff points: 96 - 120 (A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC / Cambridge Technical)
  • A levels: BBB - CCC 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
  • IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5

 

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

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and Masters. 

Student view

Abigail Alder
There were 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.
Julia Shorrock
BA in Creative Writing and English

"As a mature student, I found doing a BA in Creative Writing and English liberating. Every module was informative and enhanced my writing skills. Lecturers are knowledgeable, engaging and above all supportive. As a student representative, I witnessed the university’s commitment to improving students’ experience by responding to student feedback. The University of Chichester is a welcoming community where I established long-lasting friendships. Through classroom discussions and workshops, I developed self-confidence both as a writer and as a member of this community."

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 Literary Theory.

In year two, you will deepen your practice of creative writing and have a choice of Poetry, Short Fiction, Life Writing, Writing for Children 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 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 Psychoanalysis and Culture, Fantasy Literature, Fairy Tales, Professional Writing, 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

Read our English and Creative Writing brochure for more information.

Our facilities

You can take advantage of our range of facilities including:

  • Specific subject librarians are there to offer advice and assistance for your study area, they can provide specialised reading lists and bibliographies if you are having difficulty finding the right materials
  • Additional academic support available such as referencing, essay planning, presentation skills, research and information gathering, plus general dissertation skills
  • Access to over 500,000 e-books, 4,500 e-journals and 100,000 streamed media clips
  • Library and IT services located on campus with Wi-Fi, open access workstations, individual study rooms and group working spaces

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.

Postgraduate Pathways

You can also continue your studies with one of our postgraduate courses. Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester.

  • MA Creative Writing
  • MA English Literature
  • PGCE
  • Postgraduate Research (PhD)

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 One

Introduction to English at University: Study Skills

Literature Now: Studies in Writing Today

Source and Exploration

This module introduces students to some fundamental skills of creative writing through engagement with a variety of sources in the locality. The module will focus on the training of the eye and ear in keen observation, the collection of detail and the recording of the full experience through the employment of the senses. 

Creating Characters

This module introduces students to the basis of creating credible characters. The module will prompt students to make artistic decisions about the history of their characters, about the setting and time of their characters’ lives, about motivation and point of view.

Subverting the Subject, Ideas in Literature from Lacan to Butler

Writing the Notebook

This module is an introduction to the essential practice of keeping a writer’s notebook, as a storehouse of ideas, images, research and drafts. By examining a selection of case studies of notebook entries, drafts and published creative writing, students will learn about the journey from rough idea to finished piece. 

Interrogating Interpretation, Ideas in Literature from Marx to Barthes

Introduction to Writing Poetry

This module introduces students to the practice of writing poetry and focuses on working in a variety of forms and voices, which explore imaginative territories and poetic processes.

Introduction to Writing Short Fiction

This module will build on skills and techniques acquired in the first semester: concrete imagery; writerly research; notebook gatherings; reflections on developing creative work. Students will encounter a variety of forms and voices in a range of examples from traditional and contemporary sources in both British and international short fiction.

Creative Non-Fiction: Starting from The Self

This module is an introduction to the versatile genre of creative non-fiction, in which writers employ skills transported from fiction to lend dramatic complexity to factual narratives. Using autobiographical material as a base, and developing narrative skills acquired in 'Creating Characters', and research skills acquired in 'Explorations and Discoveries', students will generate dramatic scenes on a variety of topics and themes.

Contemporary Fiction: War, Women, and the World: Bowen to MacLeod

This module considers the historical period since the second world war, focusing in particular on the social, cultural and personal changes in relation to fiction.

 

Year Two

Writing for the Screen

This module introduces students to the craft of writing a short cinematic screenplay. The module introduces the building blocks of screenwriting, focusing on: visual storytelling, plot (using Treatments and Step Outlines), scene-building, research skills, characterisation, setting, sound, struggle, movement, and lay-out. Students experience the collaborative nature of screenwriting, and should ultimately be able to locate the screenwriter within a broader institutional framework. 

Writing Poetry

Writing the Short Story

Creative Non-Fiction: Writing Place

Students will examine and experiment as writers in three genres: travel writing, ‘the new nature writing’, and psychogeography. Over the course of the module, they will undertake three ‘assignments’, one in each genre. In so doing, they will develop a nuanced understanding of non-fiction as a literary form.  These ‘assignments’ will also extend students’ professional skills of research, drafting and presentation.

Creative Non-Fiction: Life Writing

Focusing on biography and autobiography, this module will build students’ skills in the genre of creative non-fiction. Developing narrative and research skills acquired in previous prose modules, students will write an account of a transformative event in a person’s life. Journalistic skills will be developed with reference to the New Journalism and other approaches offered as possibilities on the module. 

Fiction for Children

This module introduces students to writing fiction for children.  The module continues to develop key writing skills learned in Level 4 Creative Writing modules, but will also extend and deepen those skills as students pay particular attention to such things as suitable and age-specific subject matter, appropriate language, a more active narration, faster pacing and the demands of greater immediacy.

Genre Study: Poetry

Genre Study: Prose

Workplace Module

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to connect their academic work in English with their own practical work experience. The module is designed to enable students to be reflective, critical and, if they wish, creative in response to their experience of work. Outline Syllabus & Teaching & Learning Methods. 

Experiments in the Novel: Satire, Sex and Sensibility from Haywood to Bronte

Agents of Change: Women’s Writing in 20th & 21st Centuries

Renaissance to Restoration

Modernism, Magazines and Media

Gothic Sensations: From Walpole to Wilkie Collins

Reading Poetry: 1500 to the Present

World Literatures: Roots & Routes, from Conrad to Afrofuturism

Literature belongs to our world, but also creates rewrites our world and creates new worlds. This course explores how literature has been part of making the modern world, accompanying the new sense of the globe, colonial relations, and the new post-colonial world. In particular, this course looks at how the world is made in an uneven way and at responses to this world by so-called ‘peripheral’ modes of writing. 

Romantics, Rebels, Reactionaries: William Blake to Mary Shelley

European Literary Legacy: Writing the City

This module will deal with anxieties regarding the relationship between reader, author and cityscape. Not only will it provide a survey of a variety of canonical and non-canonical works drawn from and inspired by a specific location it will provide students with a new set of theoretical constructs drawn from psychogeographic writers and texts.

Novel Novels: Experiments in Fiction from George Eliot to Zadie Smith

Cool Britannia: British Cultural History

For the purposes of this module the word 'culture' is understood through the common, restricted and classical definition that is widely used by non-Marxist scholars across Western Europe. That is to say, culture is taken to mean literary, filmic, or other artistic forms or schools of practice. This definition does not preclude a political analysis of cultural life, it simply removes the reductionism of seeing all culture as being 'ideological' or crudely power related. 

 

Year Three

Writing Place and Environment                 

Advanced Poetry                                   

Contemporary Short Fiction: Writing the Here and Now                                              

Digital Writing

On this module, students will harness the skills developed in non-fiction modules in year one and year two to engage with new possibilities in digital writing, including: blogs; games; web-sites; online journalism; Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook; texts; podcasts; comments forums; campaigns; hypertext and the non-linear; e-books; apps; fan fiction; reviews, etc.

Flash Fiction

‘Flash Fiction’ is an exciting new way of telling stories. By composing their own portfolio of very short fiction, students will be challenged to see the form from the inside, and to focus upon the creative challenges that are unique to ‘flash fiction’. These challenges will be brought into additional focus by workshops that require critical reflection upon the evolving work.                                      

Young Adult Fiction

Writing the Contemporary Novel

Contemporary British Fiction

Psychoanalysis and Culture

This course explores the notion of unconscious desire and the expression of these desires in literature and culture. It traces the emergence of the ideas of unconscious desire in the work of Freud and how Freud links this idea to the literary and the cultural. 

Making It Strange: Writing the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Modern Gothic Novel

Writing, Environment and Ecocriticism

Victorian Women’s Writing

Women’s Writing of the Romantic Era

Research Dissertation

The dissertation will be taught by an assigned supervisor, based on the relation of their research to the chosen subject of the dissertation. The student will attend tutorials with their supervisor to plan and prepare the dissertation. They will then proceed with independent research in their chosen field until completion of the dissertation.

The Unconscious and Desire, from Freud to Zizek

This course explores the notion of unconscious desire and the expression of these desires in literature and culture. It traces the emergence of the ideas of unconscious desire in the work of Freud and how Freud links this idea to the literary and the cultural. 

Ethics of Reading: D H Lawrence to Michel Houellebecq

This module will deal with anxieties regarding the relationship between reader and author. Not only will it explore a number of controversial novels, several of which have been banned, restricted or burnt, but will also question the relationship of ethics to literature. 

Fantasy and Fairy Tales

This module is designed to enable students to develop an informed historical and critical perspective on a powerful literary and cultural tradition beginning with the fairy tales written in early modern Italy, continuing through Perrault, D’Aulnoy, Grimm, Andersen to the radical remakings of artists such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood.

Gothic Romanticism & Women’s Writing: From Wollstonecraft to Jane Austen

Scientific Revolutions: Literature and Science from H. G. Wells to Ian McEwan

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the burgeoning field of literature and science and to encourage them to think outside of traditional disciplinary boundaries. The module will explore a number of major scientific developments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, considering both these developments in and of themselves and the texts which explained, engaged with and responded to them. 

Unforgettable Corpses: First World War Writing British Culture Wars Employability Module

The First World War and its immediate aftermath produced the modern world: politically and socially, the First World War was absolutely crucial. It was also a period which produced a distinct literature and which formulated a unique literary culture, one which remains important for contemporary literary culture.

From Graphic Novels to Manga and Back again: New Visual Writing

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

International English Studies

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, presentations and exams. 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

Graduate Success

The last few years have shown a fabulous flowering of our Creative Writing students' work. We’re very proud to have been the venue for many debut book launches and would like to thank our graduates for returning to share their experience with Chichester’s current Creative Writing students.

The crucible of talent and inspiration on the BA and MA continues to grow through our unique courses with their methods of literary cross-fertilisation and finely developed critique.

In many ways, our student writers create this atmosphere through their collective dedicated approach to workshopping – a process that we teach with precision. The students’ generosity to one another is valued by everybody on the course.

Penelope Bush 

Alice in Time, Penelope Bush’s first novel, began life as part of her dissertation for the Creative Writing MA at the University of Chichester. It was picked up by Piccadilly Press in 2009 and Penelope was offered a three book deal. Alice in Time went to auction in America, sold in eleven countries, has been translated into eight languages and was selected for the Manchester Book Award.                               

Her second book, Diary of a Lottery Winner’s Daughter, has sold in eight countries, was nominated for the Redbridge Children’s Book Award and shortlisted for the Worcestershire Teen Book Award.  Penelope’s third book, Me, Myself, Milly, sold in eight countries and topped the Amazon bestselling children’s book list at number 4.

Melanie Whipman 

Melanie Whipman is an Associate Lecturer and holds a  PhD, MA in Creative Writing and B.A. from the University of Chichester.  She is also Commissioning Editor for The Story Player. Her work has been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Llama Sutra, her debut short story collection, was published last year by Ink Tears Press.  

“I love the challenge and the discipline of crafting a short story. It’s all about compression and lack of waste. But it’s a constant balance. While you’re fighting to put down the best words and the best images, you’re also aware of the need to create space for the reader - to leave things ‘unsaid’. It’s as much about what is happening off the page as on the page.”  www.melaniewhipman.com

Maggie Sawkins 

Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth where she delivers creative writing projects in community and healthcare settings. Her poetry collections include Charcot's Pet (Flarestack), The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens Press) and Zones of Avoidance (Cinnamon Press).  She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetrywww.zonesofavoidance.wordpress.com

Josephine Corcoran 

Josephine Corcoran graduated from the University of Chichester (English with Media Studies) in 1996 before studying for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. Her work as a playwright and short story writer has been published, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and performed on stage.  In 2014, the small press tall-lighthouse published her pamphlet 'The Misplaced House', and What Are You After?, published by Nine Arches Press in June 2018, is her first full collection of poetry. Josephine says that she mentions the University of Chichester in all of her publications because the teaching she received there was instrumental in starting her writing career. 

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 isabelashdown.com

Emma-Jane Hughes

Emma-Jane Hughes was brought up between the sublime of a barge on the River Thames and the ridiculous of an all-girls boarding school. She spent her childhood tucked in the cabins of a variety of small boats, reading, impervious to the scenery. Emma currently lives in Chichester with her husband and children. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, where she is working on her PhD in Contemporary Poetry. 

She first pitched the idea for her debut poetry collection, The Mechanics of Love, to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  "The opportunity to pitch to Cinnamon Press was equal parts daunting and electrifying.  Somehow, above the thundering of my heart, Jan and Adam were able to hear a concise explanation of the inspiration and central ideas behind the poetry collection.”

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing Karen Stevens adds that she was delighted to work with Cinnamon Press, which has been the fastest-growing small press for several years. "Cinnamon’s list fills fast," notes Karen, "publishing slots are rare, and eagerly sought after - so we were thrilled to launch this joint venture, which proved a great experience for all our talented writers who entered."

Donna Kirstein

Donna Kirstein’s debut poetry collection, Borderlands (Cinnamon Press), was published in 2017.  She first pitched the idea for the collection to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  In Donna’s words, "pitching was an incredible opportunity," but, like all the other competitors, she was given only ten minutes to convey the heart of her book to the Press’ director Jan Fortune and Communications Director Adam Craig. 

 "Initially, I was nervous," said  Donna, "but I had convinced myself that all the other excellent writers would be more deserving, and so I walked into the room with less trepidation than I might have otherwise done.  Afterwards I coached myself to not get too excited - when I got the call, I was taken aback and got a little emotional, I hadn’t realised quite how pleased I would feel.  The publishers were very supportive, positive and patient throughout, and Adam’s feedback and edits were really useful. The first time I saw the cover and held the actual book in my hands it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment - now it feels like the hard part really begins, where I need to concentrate on carrying on with new work."

 Donna was born in Poole, England but grew up in land-locked Zimbabwe where she fell in love with words and wide-open horizons.  Currently she lives in Worthing where for the first time in her life she can watch the tides turn along the seashore.  Donna has been writing since childhood and earned an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Chichester.  She is a poet and short story writer.  She spends her days employed as a graphic designer and photographer.  Her stories have appeared in anthologies published by Weaver Press in Zimbabwe.

 

Zoe Gilbert

Zoe Gilbert's first novel, Folk, was published to wide acclaim by Bloomsbury in February 2018. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, focusing on folk tales in contemporary short stories. Her own stories have been published in anthologies from Comma Press and Cinnamon press, and in journals worldwide including Mechanics’ Institute Review and The Stinging Fly. Her work has won prizes, including the Costa Short Story Award.

She teaches and mentors creative writers at London Lit Lab, and for organisations including the British Library and Arvon Foundation. She says that the Ph.D in Creative Writing has allowed her to delve into research on a range of fascinating topics. “Despite all the writing ‘rules’, you basically begin afresh with each story,” said Zoe. “There is no blueprint for your first draft.  Stories written to a tight plan rarely sing. A principle I apply to a lot of things: be bold, be bold, but not too bold!”

Laura Pearson

Laura Pearson lives in Leicestershire. Her blog (breastcancerandbaby.com) is about her experiences of being diagnosed with breast cancer during her second pregnancy. Missing Pieces, published by Agora Books on 21 June 2018, is her first novel.

Study Abroad

The Department of Humanities provides students with an outstanding range of degrees where you are encouraged to study abroad for one or two semesters.

We have partnered up with some of the best universities in the world including our friends in Italy, the oldest University, University of Bologna-Ravenna. The full list of partners today are:

  • University of Aix-Marseille (France)
  • Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
  • University of Wuerzburg (Germany)
  • University of Bologna (Italy)
  • Cadiz University (Spain)
  • University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu and Kuopio (Finland)
  • Karadeniz University (Turkey)
  • St Norberts College (Wisconsin, USA)
  • Mercer University (Georgia, USA)
  • Columbus State University (Georgia, USA)
  • University of Northern Iowa (Iowa, USA)
  • Queens College (New York, USA)
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges (New York, USA)
  • Louisiana State University (Louisiana, USA)
  • Thompson Rivers University (Canada)
  • Rikkyo University (Japan)

While our students work and study with our partners we welcome their students to our classes as well as supporting academic exchanges for global researchers to connect to our home students.