BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

Develop your critical and creative voice

Develop your critical and creative voice

W800
3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus
  • Learn to write novels, poetry, screenplays, non-fiction and more
  • Study literature from the Renaissance to the present day
  • Learn from published writers and expert researchers
  • Smaller class sizes for better learning
Student sat outside reading a book

Top 25

for student satisfaction with teaching

1. Guardian University Guide 2020 (for English and Creative Writing)

15th

UK University for student satisfaction

2. Complete University Guide 2020

5th

best UK higher education institution for lecturers & courses

3. Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2020

Overview

Develop your skills as a writer and your ability to critically engage with literary texts

Our BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English course allows you to learn, and then specialise in, a wide-range of creative writing disciplines and critical approaches to literature.

As you develop your creative voice and find your style, you’ll develop your ability to critically engage with a broad range of literature and critical theory from the Renaissance through to the present day.

You’ll learn from our team of practicing and published poets, short story writers, novelists, dramatists and screenwriters, all of whom have extensive experience of the industry.

You’ll also work with experienced English Literature academics who use the latest research and pedagogical techniques in their teaching to ensure you have access to the latest creative developments and critical debates in fiction, poetry, and dramatic work.

On this course you will:

  • Study the craft of writing in many genres, including short fiction, poetry, novels, screenplays, digital writing and creative non-fiction.
  • Gain a critical insight into literature from a variety of contexts and time periods.
  • Learn from our expert team of published writers and leading academics.
  • Engage with contemporary issues in your writing such as climate change, race and sexuality.
  • Build your degree around your interests.
  • Meet and talk with agents and editors at our annual publishing panel.

The Course

Define your degree path by your creative and critical interests

Our BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing course allows you to build your degree around your own interests.

We offer a wide range of modules that cover different aspects of creative writing and literary study. You can construct your degree to make it reflect you as much as possible and allow your creative and critical voices to thrive.

Year One

In your first year, you will learn to tap into your own experience and engage with the wider world for creative material. You will also begin to explore the fundamental critical works of Marx, Barthes, and Butler.

Year Two

In your second year, you will explore poetry, short fiction, life writing, flash fiction, and writing for children. In your literary studies you will have the opportunity to explore prose and poetry and developing genres, explore literary history from the Renaissance to the Romantics, and engage with contesting texts from the twentieth century.

Year Three

The creative modules in your final year allow you to explore your discipline and genre of choice. You will also explore more specific genres such as YA fiction, flash fiction, digital writing, fantasy, and science fiction. You will explore the novel, short stories and poetry.

Alongside this, you will have the opportunity to study psychoanalysis, fantasy literature and fairy tales, both twentieth and twenty-first century literature, and the representations of both culture and death.

This list is indicative and subject to change. You will be able to select either a dissertation in Creative Writing or in English literature.

Select a year

Creating Characters

This module introduces you to the basics of creating credible characters. The module will prompt you to make artistic decisions about the history of your characters, the setting and time of your characters’ lives, character motivation, and perspective.

The Writer’s Notebook

This module introduces you to keeping a writer’s notebook and how to use this as a storehouse of ideas, images, research and drafts. You will also learn about the journey from rough idea to finished piece as you examine a selection of case studies of notebook entries, drafts, and published work.

Literature Now: Reading and Writing the Present Moment

This module introduces you to the contemporary cultural landscape by exploring recent literary texts and transformations of the literary (film, graphic novels, digital texts, gamification, etc.). Tracing multiple forms of ‘writing’ and ‘reading’, you will gain the capacity to engage creatively with the present and to develop your own critical responses.

Introduction to Writing Poetry

This module introduces you to the practice of writing poetry. You will focus 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 throughout your first semester, such as: concrete imagery; writerly research; notebook gatherings; and reflections on developing creative work. You 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.

Investigating Interpretation: Ideas in literature from Marx to Barthes

The course traces the origin of ideas in literature through three key thinkers: Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. These thinkers will introduce you to the notion that our language is crucial to the way the world is constituted.

Subverting the Subject: Ideas in Literature from Barthes to Butler

This module explores the ideas of a key set of thinkers who have sought to subvert traditional conceptions of ‘the subject’. Using literary fiction as a foundation, you will consider all the ways in which the concept of the subject might be determined by outside forces, rather than solely through the individual.

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. You 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.

Creative Writing: Poetry, Form and Freedom

This module will enable you to develop a variety of sophisticated traditional poetic forms and to develop experimental free verse poems within a reflective contemporary poetic practice.

Poetry: 1300 to the Present

The module aims to develop your understanding of rhythm, rhyme, free verse, diction, particular verbal effects, timbre, tone, and voice. It will encourage awareness of the centrality of genre to a wide range of poetic practice from the Renaissance to the present day.

Renaissance to Restoration

This module explores the evolution of poetry and prose throughout the Renaissance era and into the Restoration period of the 17th century, as result of major political and religious turbulence. You will consider the works of Spencer, Marlowe and Shakespeare who begin to explore gender and history in their work, before moving onto the satirical poetry of Donne, Marvell, Milton, and Rochester.

Fiction for Children

This module introduces you to writing fiction for children. The module will extend and deepen your key writing skills as you learn to 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.

Creative Writing Non-Fiction: Writing Place

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

Agents of Change: Women’s Writing in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

This module explores the challenges made by women’s writing, both critical and creative, to established authority over the past two centuries.

Writing for the Screen

This module introduces you to the craft of writing a short cinematic screenplay. The module focuses on the building blocks of screenwriting, with a focus on: visual storytelling, plot (using Treatments and Step Outlines), scene-building, research skills, characterisation, setting, sound, struggle, movement, and lay-out. You will experience the collaborative nature of screenwriting, and and explore the role of the screenwriter within the broader institutional framework of the industry.

Prose Fiction: The Dynamics of Change

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

Experiments in Fiction: Magic, Detection, Sci-Fi and Beyond

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of, and ability to recognise, a range of genres in prose fiction. You will gain an understanding of genre as a means of classification and understand that the way a text employs genre shapes its meaning.

Romantics, Rebels, Reactionaries

The module will also assess how far second-generation Romantic poets developed the key Romantic theme of reform, as you consider the influence of the French Revolution on the work of British writers during the 18th century. You will study the work of renowned and revered Romantic poets including Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Wollstonecraft, alongside the work of Mary Shelley and Jane Austin.

Creative Writing Non-Fiction: Writing Lives

Focusing on biography and autobiography, this module will build your skills in the genre of creative non-fiction. Developing the narrative and research skills acquired in previous prose modules, you will work towards producing an account of a transformative event in a person’s life.

Fairy Tales: Early Modern to Postmodern

Gain 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 work of more contemporary authors such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. It also asks where we can turn to for modern fairy tales, through a focus on the use of fairy tale tropes in the work of J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.

Dissertation in Creative Writing

The dissertation represents the culmination of your development as a writer. The Dissertation in Creative Writing may take the form of a fiction project, a poetry project, a play or screenwriting project, a creative non-fiction project or, subject to a supervisor’s agreement, an imaginative writing project that is hybrid in form and/or content.

Dissertation in English Literature

The Dissertation enables you to build on your research and writing skills developed during the first two years of the degree. It gives you the opportunity to work independently on a research project of your own choosing (with supervision), to pursue specialist interests and to strengthen and enhance your knowledge of a chosen subject.

Unconscious Desires: Psychoanalysis and Culture from Freud to Žižek

This module explores the notion of unconscious desire and the expression of these desires in literature and culture. You will trace the emergence of the ideas of psychoanalysis in the work of Freud and how various psychoanalytic thinkers have transformed the notion of unconscious desire and used it to grasp literary and cultural forms.

Gothic, Romanticism and Women’s Writing: From Mary Wollstonecraft to Jane Austin

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the exciting range of women’s prose writing in the late 18th century, as you consider the relationship between such writing and the political debates of the period. You will discover how this writing, while often underrated, was of importance to Romantic aesthetics, often primarily understood and defined in terms of poetry written by men.

Writing the Novel

On this module, you will write the first chapter of a contemporary novel, deepening skills gained on short fiction modules in Years 1 and 2. Having acquired skills in narrative, imagery, characterisation, and theme, you will now be encouraged to develop these skills in greater depth while engaging with the demands and challenges of a longer form.

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

This module offers you the opportunity to develop your creative skills within genres that focus on worlds that lie beyond the tradition realm of 'realism'. These forms of 'Beyond Realist' texts have a distinguished pedigree stretching back to humanity’s earliest myths, epic narratives, folklore and fairy tales. You will explore how to write within genres such as Science Fiction, Fantasy and contemporary Gothic as you learn their specific complexities and intricacies.

Fairy Tales: Early Modern to Postmodern

Gain 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 work of more contemporary authors such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. It also asks where we can turn to for modern fairy tales, through a focus on the use of fairy tale tropes in the work of J.K Rowling and Philip Pullman.

Unforgettable Corpses: Literature, Cultural Memory and the First World War

This module will examine literary products of the First World War, the methods by which the authors reproduced, described and fictionalised their experiences. The second half of the module will also 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.

Digital Writing: Writing for the Community of Strangers

On this module, you 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.

The Cultural History of Death

This module explores how literary representations of the historical and social treatment of the dead presents a vivid insight into the cultural behaviour, ideology and social order of different cultural and historical contexts. You will explore the beliefs and attitudes towards the dead within literature from the Middles Ages through to more contemporary examples and debates.

British Cultural Wars

This module explores conflict within British culture from the start of the 19th century to the turn of the new millennium. You will consider the reaction to obscene publications and other literary controversies and moral panics of Victorian Britain, through to the as the liberal reforms in the 1960s and the self-censorship and the baleful influence of Hollywood on British cinema.

Writing Flash Fiction

‘Flash Fiction’ is an exciting new way of telling stories. By composing their own portfolio of very short fiction, you 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.

Writing, Environment and Ecocriticism

This module will offer you the opportunity to explore the ways in which contemporary writers and critics engage with images, issues and concepts of the environment in novels, poetry and non-fiction. You will choose whether you wish to engage with the themes of the module as a critic or a creative writer.

Contemporary Short Fiction: Writing the Here and Now

This module will enable you to explore, as active writers and readers, the strategies, innovations and preoccupations of contemporary writers of the short story. You will read and analyse the craft, technique and rigour of three to four highly-regarded short story collections from the last fifteen years.

European Literary Legacies: Writing the City

This module will deal with connections between the reader, author and cityscape. Using Venice as an example, as well as key psychogeographic works by Benjamin, de Certeau, Debord, Sinclair and others, you will examine key works created and inspired by Venice over the past four hundred years. By doing so, you will consider how cityscapes are created and affect conceptualisations of settings outside the boundaries of their original texts.

Experience

Find facilities and research centres that support your learning

Shar Daws

Shar

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English
"Several years on I still experience benefits from studying at the University of Chichester. The course taught me so much more than just the subject matter. I gained research skills, my communication skills improved and I became better at organising my time. It also taught me that constructive criticism in workshops (and life in general) was something to embrace – as any writer will tell you. Listening to criticism can be scary. However, through workshop sessions, I learned how to both give and take constructive criticism and just how vital it is to crafting your art."
Matthew

Matthew

Creative Writing Graduate
"The course, above all else, inspired me and gave me the courage to write. The curriculum gives a wide range of books to read, genres to experiment and forms to try. The lecturers are passionate writers too, so knowing all around you people are writing and developing their craft, it is impossible not to feel encouraged and motivated. Even after graduating I am pursuing my writing with confidence and passion, knowing it has improved and matured during my time at Chichester."

Teaching and Assessment

Learn from published writers and English Literature experts

Teaching

Much of our teaching takes place in small groups. Within these classes, you will typically discuss good writing practice and workshop your own writing.

Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment. It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.

Assessment

Creative writing modules are predominately assessed through portfolios of work.  Your English Literature modules will be assessed through essays, exams and presentations. The Writing Placement module will be assessed through a reflective report.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress at all stages of the course.

Guest Speakers

Gain unique insight into the creative writing industry

The University boasts a blossoming writing culture and community, with regular book launches and conferences.

We also run special events with renowned creative writers. As a Creative Writing and English Literature student, you can use these as opportunities to learn more from those with critical insight into the industry.

Some renowned authors to have visited the University in recent years include:

  • Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy
  • Matthew Sweeney
  • Helen Dunmore
  • Jo Shapcott
  • Sarah Hall
  • Bernardine Evaristo
  • Vicki Feaver
  • Sarah Hall
  • Kate Mosse
  • Alison MacLeod
  • John McCullough.

Work Placements

Gain vital experience within the workplace

The Work Placement module allows you to develop your skills in a work environment and gain vital experience to put you ahead in your future career.

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.

Careers

Open up your future career options

Our Creative Writing and English graduates are highly valued by employers for their problem solving and exceptional communication skills and often continue into a variety of diverse careers.

The key to a Creative Writing and English Literature degree is communication, and at Chichester we focus on your abilities in written and spoken expression.

Career paths include:

  • Novelist
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing

Creative writing success

The last few years have shown a fabulous flowering of our Creative Writing students’ work. Many students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level have continued on to become published writers.

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.

Former Chichester Creative Writing student Bethan Roberts has recently had her novel My Policeman adapted for the silver screen in a film staring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin, whilst others have also had work broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Postgraduate pathways

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

  • MA Creative Writing
  • MA English Literature
  • PGCEs
  • Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)

Course Costs

Course fees 2022/23

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£14,500

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

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

UCAS
96 - 120
tariff points.
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.
IB
28 points
with English Higher at 4.
IELTS
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

When does this course start?

This course starts in September 2022.

 

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