Home Courses English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English

Develop your critical and creative voice

Develop your critical and creative voice

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)
  • 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


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The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

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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 practising 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 as well as studying a range of genres that include the graphic novel, fantasy, sci-fi, eco-criticism and more.

Year Two

In your second year, you will explore poetry, short fiction, life writing, screenwriting, fiction for children, fairy tales, and reading and writing myth. 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

In your third year, you will design your own dissertation project on a topic of your choice. You will be able to select either a dissertation in creative writing or in English literature.

You will also select from numerous specialisms, in which tutors draw on their latest research and expertise. The creative modules in your final year allow you to explore your discipline and genre of choice, such as the novel, short stories and poetry. You will also explore more specific genres such as YA fiction, flash fiction, digital writing, fantasy, and science fiction.

Alongside this, in your literary studies, 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.

Select a year

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

This module considers the historical period since the Second World War, focusing in particular on the social, cultural and personal changes in relation to fiction. 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.

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.

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
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Creative Non-Fiction: Writing Lives

This module introduces you 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, you will generate dramatic scenes on a variety of topics and themes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Prose Fiction: the Dynamic 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.

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 on to the satirical poetry of Donne, Marvell, Milton, and Rochester.

Romantics, Rebels and 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 Austen.

Work Placement

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.

World Literature: Roots and Routes From Conrad to Afrofuturism

This module explores the role of literature in making the modern world. Using texts from around the world, you will consider a new sense of the globe, colonial relations, and the new post-colonial world.

You will consider our sense of having roots in the world, especially national roots.

Charting a path through texts from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century, the module does not aim to ‘represent’ the totality of world literature. Instead, you will study a selection of texts that engage with crucial issues. Within these, you encounter a variety of themes: from the violent imposition of imperial power, to the ecological challenge of global climate change.

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
  • layout.

You will experience the collaborative nature of screenwriting, and explore the role of the screenwriter within the broader institutional framework of the industry.

Reenchanting ‘the West’: Learning from Myth and Sacred Texts

This hybrid English and creative writing module presents wisdom and wonder tales from around the globe, and explores their influence on contemporary literature, including as inspiration for your own poetry and/or fiction.

You will have a choice of English or creative writing submissions.

British Culture 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 liberal reforms in the 1960s and the self-censorship and the baleful influence of Hollywood on British cinema.

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.

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
  • websites
  • online journalism
  • Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook
  • texts
  • podcasts
  • comments forums
  • campaigns
  • hypertext

and the non-linear; e-books; apps; fan fiction; reviews, etc.

English Literature Dissertation

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.

Creative Writing Dissertation

The Dissertation in Creative Writing gives students the opportunity to work independently on an imaginative writing project of their own choosing. This may take the form of a fiction project, a poetry project, a play or screenwriting project, or a creative non-fiction project. It will include a related essay in which the student-writer investigates a particular artistic, aesthetic or cultural issue of relevance to you as a contemporary writer OR the work of a particular writer who will be influential as you develop your own body of work for the Dissertation project.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.


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Shar Daws


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."


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


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.


Creative writing modules are predominately assessed through portfolios of work.  Your English Literature modules will be assessed through essays 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.

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


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 and 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 starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin, whilst others have also had work broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Postgraduate pathways

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

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

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

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

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

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

96 - 120
tariff points.
A Levels
including English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, Creative Writing or Drama at grade B or C.
Access to HE Diploma
with 12 level 3 credits worth of English units at Merit.
28 points
with English Higher at 4.
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.


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