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BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

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Institution C58

UCAS W800

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

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.

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

(Module information to come)

Literature Now: Studies in Writing Today

(Module information to come)

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. Students will learn the value of the ‘concrete’ as opposed to the ‘abstract’ and generalised, and discover how the ordinary can be rendered extraordinary, in the spirit of Robert Frost’s words, ‘a fresh look and a fresh listen’. Students will visit and explore some selected local places to practice the gathering of ‘on location’ observations. They will also examine, explore and then research, in a writerly way, several other kinds of sources, such as museum objects and works of art, in order to develop their observational skills further and to discover the creative possibilities that these sources may suggest to them. Students will then transform some of their findings and explorations into pieces of imaginative writing.

Creating Characters

Students will be introduced to notions of change and stasis when writing about characters. They will explore ways of finding a voice for a character, through engaging with creative writing exercises designed to access interior and exterior lives. The module does not require fully plotted stories or plays; the short characterisations will be based on moments of change. Students will be required to read short stories and extracts from novels and plays in order to analyse how published authors use suggestive means to convey character. The key method of learning will be a variety of creative writing exercises, some oblique and playful, which will be designed to release and inspire interesting material. This module will induct students into the initial skills of workshopping, a learning method which will be developed throughout the degree.

Subverting the Subject, Ideas in Literature from Lacan to Butler

(Module information to come)

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. The aim is to inculcate a practice or habit of recording and research in the notebook. In studying the practice of published writers, students will gain insight into the benefits of regular notebook practice. Early exposure to the practices of gathering material, recording, researching and redrafting and to the different methods available to the new writer will create resources for future creative writing modules, as well as a wider future practice as a writer. The module is both analytical and creative and will be assessed accordingly, through a focussed case study of a published writer’s journey from a notebook extract to final draft, and a portfolio selection of the students’ own notebook extracts with a short commentary.

Interrogating Interpretation, Ideas in Literature from Marx to Barthes

(Module information to come)

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. Building on skills learnt in the first semester in using the concrete, in developing artistic research, notebook gatherings and reflections on making creative work, students will now encounter a variety of forms and voices in a variety of contemporary, experimental and traditional poetry. The focus will be on writing itself, finding and recognising source material and imaginative territories, and experimenting with voices, tones, imagery and sound. This module forms the basis of a poetry ‘strand’ which will be developed through Level 5 and may continue in Level 6, if the student chooses.

Introduction to Writing Short Fiction

This module forms an introduction to writing short fiction for Level 4 (Year 1) students. It will build on skills and techniques acquired in the first semester: concrete imagery; writerly research; notebook gatherings; reflections on developing creative work. Now 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. The focus, however, will be on writing itself, finding and recognising source material and imaginative territories, and experimenting with voices, characters, dramatic structures, imagery, and genre. This module forms the basis of a fiction ‘strand’ which can be developed through Levels 5 and 6.

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. The ethics of life writing will be a prime focus throughout: workshops will provide students with the opportunity to provide not only constructive feedback on work-in-progress, but sensitive responses to the life experiences of their peers. With ‘Explorations and Discoveries’ this module forms the basis of a creative non-fiction ‘strand’ which will be developed through Level 5 and Level 6.

Contemporary Fiction: War, Women, and the World: Elizabeth Bowen to Alison 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. As in earlier literary history modules, students will consider literary texts in relation to key contextual and historical information, looking at the new forms developed by contemporary writers in order to write about a period of social change, conflicts and controversies. Students will also continue to hone their skills of close textual analysis, as well as developing discursive essay skills.

Year Two

Writing Poetry

(Module information to come)

Writing the Short Story

(Module information to come)

Writing for the Stage

(Module information to come)

Writing for TV

(Module information to come)

Creative Non-Fiction: Writing Place

This module will lead students in an exploration of the significance of place in literature. They will consider the varied ways in which a sense of place can be evoked on the page, as well as the powerful effects of a strong evocation of place within a text. The module will build on the work of the module ‘Creative Writing Non-Fiction: Starting from the Self’. It will extend the skills of reportage, clarity, concision and effective use of imagery introduced at Level 4. 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. The concept of the ‘personal essay thesis’ will continue to be explored (following on from ‘Writing Place’). As such, students will be encouraged to articulate 'the big idea' or 'the question at stake in their work. In doing so, students will be encouraged to connect their creative non-fiction to relevant debates in contemporary culture, and to engage with the issues arising from these debates. The ethics of life writing will remain a prime focus. Potential personal and professional consequences of publishing life writing will be explored, and workshops will provide students with the opportunity to provide sensitive responses to the life-experiences of their peers. With ‘Writing Place’, this module continues the degree’s creative non-fiction ‘strand’, and is a prerequisite for ‘Print Journalism’ and/or ‘Digital Writing’ in Year 3.

Children’s Writing

This module introduces students to writing fiction for children. Students will explore the contemporary child’s world, key issues and debates that surround fiction for children. During the module students will examine and evaluate a range of primary material in order to consider a number of key critical issues and debates surrounding children’s fiction, such as how writers recommend particular ideologies to their readers, and how these can be seen to directly relate to historical dimensions and concepts of the child. Such examination and debate will challenge students to consider their own historical/cultural position and value systems, and that will strengthen and inform their own writing of contemporary short fiction for the age range 8-12. 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. Students will write a longer work of fiction than at Level 4, producing a short story of 2000 words. Students will also produce a critical commentary that outlines the creative process that shaped the work selected for submission. It should also demonstrate an active awareness of the genre of fiction for children - its challenges and opportunities – through close critical discussion on one of the story examples studied during the module. This module is a bridge between Level 4 Creative Writing modules and Level 6, in which students may take the optional Special Subject: Young Adult fiction.

Genre Study: Poetry

(Module information to come)

Genre Study: Prose

(Module information to come)

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

Placements will run for a minimum of 4 hours a week and for a minimum of 6 weeks but students may extend that placement voluntarily if they choose (provided that it can be accommodated within the teaching timetable).

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

(Module information to come)

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

(Module information to come)

Renaissance to Restoration

(Module information to come)

Modernism, Magazines and Media

(Module information to come)

Gothic Sensations: From Walpole to Wilkie Collins

(Module information to come) 

Reading Poetry: 1500 to the Present

(Module information to come)

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. The course studies how our sense of having roots in the world, especially national roots, engages with the global routes that make our experience. Charting a path through texts from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century, the course does not aim to ‘represent’ the totality of world literature, instead we study a selection of texts that engage with crucial issues, from the violent imposition of imperial power to the ecological challenge of global climate change.

Romantics, Rebels, Reactionaries: William Blake to Mary Shelley

(Module information to come)

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. Ranging from classic canonical texts to contemporary genre-fiction this course will provide students with an in-depth literary history of the period studied (that builds on previous modules), clear connections between the texts under discussion and a renewed attempt to place theoretical readings in context. Using key psychogeographic works by Benjamin, de Certeau, Debord, Sinclair and others the early part of the module will situate students in the theoretical context for the study of the works developed from the geographic space – in this case Venice. The module will then go on to discuss key works created and inspired by Venice over the past four hundred years (roughly) and, by doing so, each work will build upon the other creating a firm vision of the cityscape that has both transformed writers and has been transformed by literary and visual art over time.

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

(Module information to come)

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. However, the definition does tend to imply a focus on elite and middlebrow works rather than the more amorphous range of sources often discussed with reference to 'popular culture'. Thus, issues relating to sport, social life, leisure, eating, drinking or other popular social customs are not explored in the module. Nevertheless, the problematic questions of 'what is culture?'; or 'is culture elitist or subject to mass appeal?' will inevitably form an important sub-text to the module as a whole. In the light of this definition of culture, a representative sample of cultural production as conducted in Britain after 1945 will be explored in a broadly chronological fashion from the 1940s to the 1990s. Dominant movements will be selected for detailed analysis. These will include 'The Angry Young Men'; the '1960s'; 'British New Wave Cinema'; 'Culture and the Cold War'; 'Thatcherism and Responses to Thatcherism'. As is often the case, the terms that are used to describe these artistic-cultural movements are themselves associated with particular sub-periods of the post-war decades. These snapshots of time/cultural production form the main content of the course. They represent a sample of some of the major forms of literary-cultural activity witnessed in Britain since 1945.

Year Three

Writing Place and Environment   

(Module information to come)                  

Work Placement 

(Module information to come)

Advanced Poetry       

(Module information to come)                                   

Short Story     

(Module information to come)                                               

Digital Writing

On this module, students will harness the skills developed in non-fiction modules at Levels 4 and 5 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. Students will develop their creative skills, and augment them with the technical skills that are necessary to deliver a written project in a specific interest-area. The content of the project should be appropriate to the chosen delivery ‘platform’. Students will be required to submit a critical essay, exploring specific cultural and political issues that confront digital writers, e.g. ethical concerns; questions of power and authority; privacy; the uncanny; ‘digital dualism’; behavioural matters (including plagiarism and ‘flaming’); writing as a nonlocal activity; writing as an inter-objective experience, etc. Students will be encouraged to explore experimental possibilities, and to extend the range of their work by engaging with groups both within and beyond the University. The module will cover a trinity of skills: academic, technological, and professional. Throughout, students will be encouraged to examine their chosen field critically, and to engage with examples of the best professional practice. They will weigh their results against those of similar models in their chosen field.

Flash Fiction

This module builds upon the knowledge students will have of both short fiction and poetry. It begins with the historical development of ‘flash fiction’ across the globe, but ultimately puts the emphasis on the contemporary literary scene, where ‘flash fiction’ is now embedding itself as a respected form. A wide variety of short forms will be covered, ranging from the ‘smoke-long’ tradition that originated in China to the contemporary narratives now popular in the West. Along the way, students will analyse prose that crosses the line into poetry, and poetry that heads in the opposite direction by putting the emphasis on narrative. Throughout, there will be discussion of where ‘flash fiction’ belongs on the poetry-prose continuum. ‘Documentary poems’ such as Carolyn Forche’s ‘The Colonel’ will be used to stimulate critical thinking about the relationship between poetry and prose – and about how the form can be manipulated to create ‘prose-poetry’ hybrids. Students will be encouraged to evaluate their own relationship with the form, and to formulate insights into the cultural and sociological factors that are responsible for its resurgence in recent years. By composing their own portfolio of short-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. There will also be a Guest Lecture by a ‘flash fiction’ practitioner.                                                  

YA Fiction

(Module information to come)

Writing the Novel

(Module information to come)

Fantasy Writing

This Level 6 module aims to build upon modules on short fiction in Years 1 and 2, allowing students wishing to specialise in Beyond Realist fictional genres to develop their skills in narrative, imagery, characterisation and theme in a longer narrative form. Beyond Realist genres make particular demands of the writer: the work of ‘world building’ must not suffocate plot development or emotional complexity; and nor should established conventions determine the limits of the writer’s creative choices. Questions of literary experimentation therefore come to the fore, as students make decisions about their own unique approach to science fiction, fantasy and the modern gothic, or hybrids of these and other related genres. Given prescribed reading in all three set genres, and independent research tasks relating to their own chosen specialism, students will be asked to work on the first chapter of a novel; a concise synopsis of the remainder; and a comprehensive appendix of research notes. Students will be encouraged to adopt a set of working methods and habits that assist life-long learning so that the novel may be completed after University. To this end, students will be asked to write a critical paper that demonstrates productive and creative engagement with a novel in their chosen mode that has expanded the imaginative range of their creative practice. Here, students will be asked to make critical insights that demonstrate understanding of relevant and appropriate literary traditions within their chosen field. Together, the two modes of assessment are intended to deepen the reflective and creative techniques fostered in the two previous years of the course.

Writing for the Screen

(Module information to come)

Contemporary British Fiction

(Module information to come)

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. Then the course explores the ways in which various psychoanalytic thinkers have transformed the notion of unconscious desire and used it to grasp literary and cultural forms. At the heart of our experience is, psychoanalysis argued, a fundamental fantasy that engages and shapes our experience of the world and our ‘selves’. These fundamental fantasies are shaped by literature and culture.

Fantasy Literature

(Module information to come) 

Literature for Children

This module introduces students to writing fiction for children. Students will explore the contemporary child’s world, key issues and debates that surround fiction for children. During the module students will examine and evaluate a range of primary material in order to consider a number of key critical issues and debates surrounding children’s fiction, such as how writers recommend particular ideologies to their readers, and how these can be seen to directly relate to historical dimensions and concepts of the child. Such examination and debate will challenge students to consider their own historical/cultural position and value systems, and that will strengthen and inform their own writing of contemporary short fiction for the age range 8-12. 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. Students will write a longer work of fiction than at Level 4, producing a short story of 2000 words. Students will also produce a critical commentary that outlines the creative process that shaped the work selected for submission. It should also demonstrate an active awareness of the genre of fiction for children - its challenges and opportunities – through close critical discussion on one of the story examples studied during the module. This module is a bridge between Level 4 Creative Writing modules and Level 6, in which students may take the optional Special Subject: Young Adult fiction.

Victorian Women’s Writing

(Module information to come)

Women’s Writing of the Romantic Era

(Module information to come)

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. Then the course explores the ways in which various psychoanalytic thinkers have transformed the notion of unconscious desire and used it to grasp literary and cultural forms. At the heart of our experience is, psychoanalysis argued, a fundamental fantasy that engages and shapes our experience of the world and our ‘selves’. These fundamental fantasies are shaped by literature and culture.

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. Ranging from classic modernist texts to contemporary fiction this course will provide students with an in-depth literary history of the period, clear connections between the texts studied (chronologically) and a renewed attempt to place theoretical readings in context. It will ask if contemporary literature, and our reading of fiction, has moved beyond the postmodern into a proliferation of reading types that are no longer strictly tied to former modes of critical understanding.

By using Barthes’ work as a starting point the module will examine the counterpoints to theoretical modes of reading – notably the essay ‘Against Theory’ by Knapp and Michaels - and the debate that followed, along with the work of Sean Burke and others. The module will then go on to discuss the (partial) theoretical turn to ethics in the mid-1980s and, using three key essays, ask if an ethical discourse or a post-structuralist discourse is most useful for investigating novels that challenge us both politically and personally. Students will be encouraged to develop their own critically-informed reading of key Twentieth-Century texts.

 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. It also asks where, beyond Disney adaptations, we can turn to for modern fairy tales through a consideration of the use of fairy tale tropes in the work of J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.

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

(Module information to come)

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. Students will encounter examples of the direct influence of science on literature, and of literature on science, but will also be asked to consider both disciplines as parts of the same zeitgeist, cultural matrix or historical context, each responding to shared cultural ideas and concerns. Students will be required to read and analyse literary texts from a range of genres, as well as popular science texts in the form of books, newspaper reports and magazine articles. The module will enable students to develop their close reading skills further by applying them to a range of different texts, and will encourage them to think about the place of their own discipline in relation to others.

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. The experience of combat troops in the First World War as reproduced in texts written by those directly involved in the conflict materially impacted upon the English language and the literary imagination and continues to have an often under-acknowledged centrality in political and cultural thought. This module will examine the literary products of this period, the methods by which the authors reproduced, described and fictionalised their experiences. It will analyse the use of different genres and will assess the development of a poetics of conflict specific to the First World War. The second half of the module will consider the use of First World War tropes in literature produced in the latter half of the 20th century, compare the application of those narrative devices, and critically assess the later use of those devices. In so doing, it will interrogate the on-going relationship between the First World War and contemporary literary culture and society.

From Graphic Novels to Manga and Back again: New visual writing

(Module information to come)

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

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Additional Costs

Student 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.