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Screenwriting and creative writing students

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Screenwriting

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Institution C58

UCAS WP88

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 Offers (individual offers may vary):

  • UCAS Tariff points: 104 - 112 (A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC / Cambridge Technical)
  • A Levels: BBC - BCC including an English or Creative Writing A Level at grade C or above
  • BTEC/Cambridge Technical: DMM - MMM​
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with at least 15 credits worth of level 3 units at Merit
  • International Baccalaureate: 28 points
  • IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5

Course content

The BA Hons Creative Writing and Screenwriting programme allies intellectual enquiry to skills which facilitate employability and an awareness of the demands of graduate professional careers.

This awareness is achieved through students’ independent study (notably the reading of literature, criticism, watching and analysing screen texts) as well as through participation in formal learning processes in lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

Educational objectives range from the assimilation of existing information and knowledge to the production of original creative work- and these are supported throughout the course of a degree by a strong sense of communication with other students in class and with tutors.

There is a strong sense of critical method, analysis, written and oral community, and an appreciation of creativity.

These are skills demanded by graduate employers in the diverse workplaces to which Creative Writing and Screenwriting graduates are attracted and in which they are so highly valued.

Students on the programme will also develop sophisticated project research skills and approaches vital for providing accuracy and authenticity to their writing projects.

The development of industry related creative projects and the professional expectations that come with them are at the heart of the Screenwriting modules as we mirror the industrial practices currently being employed.

The range of assessed work  for Screenwriting modules includes outlines, step outlines, scene by scene breakdowns, treatments, short film screenplays, TV drama ‘Bibles” and scripted episodes, reader’s reports/coverage documents, character biographies, monologues, pitching documents and long form screenplays will enable students to have a full grasp on the wide range of requirements found when scripting drama and comedy work.

For Creative Writing modules, students will engage with a range of genres including poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, drama, radio drama, novel writing and writing for children.

Students will be taken through modules which build skills in areas such as the form in poetry, characterisation, plot, dramatic conventions and structuring a novel.

Students will engage with a range of broad skillsets that will assist in their career development across numerous industries.

Communication skills, pitching, critical analysis, group/team working, presentation activities, ideas generation and creative expression are all fundamental tools students will develop throughout the programme.

Opportunities to study the history, theory and cultural relevance of Creative Writing and Screenwriting gives students the chance to investigate a range of interests throughout their degree beyond applied practice.

The provision runs field trips to international film festivals, galleries, theatres, professional film shoots and industry conventions on a regular basis.

It allies intellectual enquiry to skills which facilitate employability and an awareness of the demands of graduate professional careers.

This awareness is achieved through students’ independent study (notably the reading of literature and criticism) as well as through participation in formal learning processes in lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. 

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.

Tech Park Exterior

The department of Creative and Digital Technologies occupies the new Tech Park on the Bognor Regis Campus, which is where you will be taught. This exciting investment gives students access to professional industry standard facilities and hands on practical learning. 

The Tech Park facilites include:

A 300sqm film production studio and sound stage:

Film Studio

9 post production edit suites with‘soho’ standard dubbing:

Editing suite

An 80sqm green screen studio for motion capture and chroma work:

Green Screen

Professional recording studios with Mac and PC suites:

Recording Studio

The Tech Park is situated on our Bognor Regis campus, with our award-winning ‘Learning Resource Centre’ (LRC) at the heart of the campus, which hosts a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study.

LRC Exterior

Also situated in the LRC is the ‘Support and Information Zone’ (SIZ), Costa Coffee and over 80 open access workstations. An equipment loan centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long-term loans. 

Where this can take you

Our Creative Writing and Screenwriting programme can open the door to careers in

  • Television
  • Film
  • Theatre
  • Games
  • Publishing
  • Writing
  • Animation
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Screenwriting
  • Teaching

Postgraduate Pathways

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

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and Masters. ​

  • PGCE Primary
  • Postgraduate Research (PhD) 

Work placements

Students will have the option to undertake a Placement module in their second year.

Lecturers will introduce students to issues affecting employment, and individual tutorials and group meetings will offer the chance to discuss progress and support learning.

Indicative modules

Year One

Foundations of Story

The aims of this module are to introduce students to some of the processes used in creating original screen-works through character design and ideas development. The module will also explore some of the key concepts of story and screenwriting theory, and focuses on the relationships between story, character, structure & plot. It aims to develop transferable skills in creativity and critical analysis.

New TV

This course assesses the recent changes in television culture and engages with key theoretical debates in the field of critical media research. Students will develop their understanding of television genres, audiences and transmedia interactions. Key themes are examined in critical, theoretical and analytical depth. It aims to develop transferable skills in writing, debating and presenting.

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.

Screenplay Structure

This module aims to expand upon the work produced in Foundations of Story by exploring the importance of structure during the screenwriting process. Students will be guided through the multitude of choices when considering how to identify, control and utilise structure during the planning and execution of various forms of screenworks

History/Theory Screenplay

This module will introduce students to the history and theory of screenwriting and give students the knowledge that will strengthen their grounding for further study of screenwriting as a craft, and give them the vital awareness of how screenwriting works in the real world. The module will explore the beginnings of screenwriting as a blueprint for film, and its evolution as a craft over the years through to the present day and beyond. The module aims to develop a critical awareness of screenwriting as both creative endeavour and functional blueprint, and gain knowledge of how screenwriting has evolved, thus giving students a wholesome awareness of the industry into which they will study further in later modules.

An 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.

An Introduction to Writing the Short Story

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.

 

Year Two

Writing TV Drama (30c)

The module aims to introduce students to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series or serial. Throughout the module students will contribute to the creation of a Drama TV “Bible”, a package of materials that is used to inform writers, producers and directors of a show’s particular production criteria. The module will give students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas and scripts for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Writing the Short Film

This module aims to develop creative skills in audio visual storytelling through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles and structures involved in the writing of a short (6-7 minute) narrative film. It will concentrate mainly on conventional, rather than avant-garde, approaches. It aims to develop transferable skills in pitching.

Poetry: Form and Freedom

Building on An Introduction to Writing Poetry (Level 4), this Level 5 module will enable students to develop a variety of sophisticated traditional poetic forms and to develop experimental free verse poems within a reflective contemporary poetic practice. At Level 5, students will now explore a greater variety of traditional forms, such as the villanelle, sestina, sonnet, ballad, ghazal among other traditional forms, where the stylistic effects of repetition, formal rhyming, rhythm and metre will be explored. The module will lay equal stress on free verse or ‘open forms’. Students will be encouraged to experiment with a variety of self-designed open forms where an awareness of line arrangements, white space, inventive shapes, sound effects, internal rhymes and echoes, and use of assonance, consonance and dissonance will be further explored. Students will be taught to hone their poetry in order to explore connections between form and meaning. Students will encounter many strategies gleaned from their reading of contemporary poetry. Students who take this module may like to take Advanced Poetry at Level 6.

Genre: Poetry

Writing TV Drama (30c)

The module aims to introduce students to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series or serial. Throughout the module students will contribute to the creation of a Drama TV “Bible”, a package of materials that is used to inform writers, producers and directors of a show’s particular production criteria. The module will give students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas and scripts for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Writing the Feature Film

The module aims to introduce students to the process of research and development when creating a Feature Film concept for cinema release. Throughout the module students will explore the opportunities available to UK based writers when developing feature films ideas. The constraints and issues faced by screenwriters in this highly competitive market, and the need to be imaginative, original and distinctive in their work will also be a constant theme. The module will give students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of development and how to generate cinematic treatments for commercial exploitation. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Writing for Games

This module examines the role of the screenwriter in the development of narrative based computer games. Students will explore the role the screenwriter plays in developing characters, dialogue and worldbuilding. Students will also be introduced to the debates around narrative vs Ludology and the tensions created between story and play.

Prose Fiction: The Dynamics of Change

This module will explore the dynamic of change in the contemporary short story. Student writers will examine model short stories and how they invariably dramatise a significant change in character, and/or situation. In doing so, students will analyse the devices writers use to shape narrative, and to create tension and conflict.

Students will build on the skills learned in Level 4 modules (Source and Exploration, Creating Characters, Introduction to Writing Short Fiction) relating to the ‘building blocks’ of effective writing. Previously, students will have discovered how writers build the material world of a story through setting, character and research. At Level 5, students will continue to develop these skills at a more sophisticated level through exploration of the dynamic of change. They will also analyse how writers shape the world of a story through devices, including dramatisation, exposition, dialogue, patterns of imagery, metaphor, and suggestion. This will deepen students’ knowledge of the short story form and will inspire them to produce creative work that demonstrates their ability to handle a range of technical and imaginative elements involved in writing short fiction.

Students will also write an essay on one of the model short stories. In this essay, they will analyse one of the writing devices explored over the course of the module, assessing its workings in relation to the story’s central theme/s.

Genre: Prose

 

Year 3       

Personal Study (Dissertation) (45c)

This dissertation level project allows students to build on the practical skills and subject knowledge developed at Level Five. It gives students the opportunity to work as autonomous writers, deepening and enhancing knowledge and understanding of their chosen subject. Crucially, students are expected to work professionally to produce a script with high standards of content, presentation, and development. It aims to develop transferable skills in identifying commercial opportunities for creative practitioners.

Plus 5 from:

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.

Advanced Poetry

Journalism

This module develops a critical understanding of the contemporary global, national and local work of journalists in different areas, from hard news journalism to niche interest writing and online presentation. The module considers different forms of writing style, such as reviewing or feature-writing, across a range of different media technologies. It provides a basic guide to the narrative structure of writing for news stories, magazines and on-line contexts, including blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels. Further issues explored are the shifting status of journalism as a form of employment, and a consideration of the legal and ethical issues of being a professional journalist.

Writing the Here and Now: The Contemporary Short Story

This module will enable students to explore, as active writers and readers, the strategies, innovations and preoccupations of contemporary writers of the short story. Student-writers will analyse the craft, technique and rigour of 3 to 4 highly regarded short story collections that date from the last fifteen years and will use these texts as ‘springboards’ to their own development as story writers. The reading list will be reviewed each year to ensure students are engaging with the work of cutting-edge and/or award-winning short story writers of our time.

Building on the short story modules of Levels 4 and 5, students will continue to examine the techniques and develop the skills relating to, for example, narrative tension, story structure, point of view, characterisation, dialogue, the use of research and the shaping of imagery/metaphor. They will continue to develop their knowledge of the short story as a form of diverse fictional modes e.g., social realism, the fantastic, modern Gothic, the experimental, etc. In addition, at this advanced level, they will engage with more complex ideas regarding, for example, the relationship of the modern short story form to marginality, subversion and desire. They will investigate a sophisticated range of short story structures, the power of strong story openings, the effect of the ‘epiphanic’ conclusion, the delivery of narrative revelation, the intensification of language in short story form, the crafting of a single sentence or paragraph, etc. They will consider the inspiration and subject material of writers who are artistically engaged with society, culture and the world in the 21st century.

In these ways, the module will enable students to broaden their range as writers and to deepen their artistic interests and ambition. It will challenge them to become autonomous writers and will encourage them to extend their research,their powers of observation, as well as their drafting and editing skills.

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.

Writing the Novel

Young Adult Fiction

Writing Radio Drama

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

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 Stage

Writing for the Screen

Dissertation

 

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

  • Screenplays
  • Monologues
  • Notebooks
  • Critical Analysis
  • Presentation
  • Treatments
  • Reflective Essays
  • Essays
  • Critical Portfolios
  • Creative Portfolios
  • TV Show Bibles

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

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.