BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Screenwriting

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Screenwriting

Develop your creative voice for both the page and screen

Develop your creative voice for both the page and screen

WP88
3 years full-time
Bishop Otter and Bognor Regis campuses
  • Learn to write novels, poetry, screenplays, non-fiction as well as for the screen
  • Collaborate with Digital Film Production students to see your screenplays come to life
  • Learn from practicing and published writers
  • Smaller class sizes for better learning
Student working in a classroom

Top 30

UK higher education institution

1. Guardian University Guide League Tables 2022

5th

for courses and lecturers

2. WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020

5 star

rating for inclusiveness, teaching and facilities

3. QS Stars University Rating

Overview

Develop your skills as a writer for both the page and the screen

This degree gives you skills in creative writing alongside an in-depth understanding of writing for the screen.

You will have the opportunity to learn, and then specialise in, a wide-range of creative writing disciplines including: fiction, novels, screenplays and creative non-fiction.

In addition, you will study the various forms and processes of screenwriting. from initial outlines through to fully realised film and TV scripts.

You will learn from our team of practising and published poets, novelists, and screenwriters, who will help develop your skills and support your learning.

On this course you will:

  • Study the craft of writing short fiction, poetry, novels, and creative non-fiction.
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of the various disciplines and processes of writing for the screen
  • Learn from our expert team of published writers and leading academics.
  • Collaborate with Digital Film Production students to see your screenplays come to life.
  • Meet and talk with agents and editors at our annual publishing panel.

The Course

Deepen your creative writing practice and develop your screenwriting interests

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 examine the foundations of screenplay writing.

Year Two

In your second year, you will explore poetry, short fiction, life writing, flash fiction, and writing for children. In addition, you will develop your screenwriting knowledge and skills for various screen mediums, including film, TV and interactive entertainment.

Year Three

Your studies will culminate in your dissertation project undertaken in your final year. You may choose to complete this project in either creative writing or in screenwriting.

Alongside this, you will deepen your practice of creative writing and screenwriting through modules that allow you to begin to branch out and develop your specific interests.

This list is indicative and subject to change. You will be able to select either a dissertation in creative writing or in screenwriting.

Select a year

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.

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.

Creative Non-Fiction: Starting from the Self

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.

Source and Exploration

The module will train your observation skills. You will learn to apply the world around you to inform you creative processes. You will also learn the value of the ‘concrete’ as opposed to the ‘abstract’ and discover how the ordinary can become extraordinary.

New TV

This module assesses the recent changes in television culture and engages with key theoretical debates in the field of critical media research. You will develop your understanding of television genres, audiences and transmedia interactions, with examples examined in critical, theoretical and analytical depth.

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.

Screenwriting Structure

This module explore the importance of structure during the screenwriting process. You will consider the multitude of choices when considering how to identify, control and utilise structure when writing screenplays.

History & Theory of the Screenplay

This module will introduce you to the history and theory of screenwriting. You 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. In addition, you will develop a critical awareness of screenwriting as both creative endeavour and functional blueprint, and gain knowledge of how screenwriting has evolved, giving you a strong insight into the industry.

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.

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.

Writing The Feature Film

The module aims to introduce you to the process of research and development when creating a Feature Film concept for cinema release. You 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.

Writing For Games

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

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.

Comedy

This module provides students with a lively mix of content that explores the historical and critical elements of comedy while also providing a learning environment where students can integrate some of the basic skills of creating a short performance with a particular emphasis on stand-up comedy.

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 Screenwriting

This dissertation level project allows you to build on the practical skills and subject knowledge developed throughout the course. It gives you the opportunity to work as autonomous writers, deepening and enhancing knowledge and understanding of your chosen subject. Crucially, you are expected to work professionally to produce a script with high standards of content, presentation, and development.

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.

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.

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.

Campaign Writing

This module provides you with a strong understanding of non-commercial campaign writing and give you the chance to study alternative career paths post-graduation. Exploring event and online content, the module will look at how to convey a client’s intent through narrative awareness. The module aims to inform and instruct you on the opportunities for screenwriters in business, looking at recruitment campaigns, social awareness campaigns and company in-house communications.

Experience

Find facilities and research centres that support your learning

Teaching and Assessment

Learn from practising screenwriters and published writers

Teaching

Our team of experienced tutors and experts use the latest research to underlie their teaching. This ensures that you have access to the latest techniques and practices in both creative writing and screenwriting.

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

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

Creative writing modules are predominately assessed through portfolios of work.

Your screenwriting modules will be assessed in a number of innovative and professional-relevant ways, including:

  • Script Drafting and redrafting
  • Presentations
  • Reflective essays
  • Essays on relevant practices or film studies.
  • Work shopping in groups.

Work Placements

Develop your skills within a work environment

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 of choice.

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.

Guest Speakers

Gain unique insight into the creative writing industry

Guest writers

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

We also run special events with renowned creative writers. 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.

Screenwriting industry insight

Each year we welcome film professionals to the University to hold talks for our students as part of the ‘The Depart. Of Creative & Digital Technologies Presents…’ series.

We have had a wide range of people from different fields including directors, film producers, actors and screenwriters, most recently:

  • Simon Nelson – Development Executive, BBC Writersroom.
  • John Yorke – Managing Director of Company Pictures, the production company behind hit-shows such as Skins, Shameless, and Wolf Wall. Yorke is also the author of the best-selling book ‘Into the Woods: How stories are told and why we tell them’.

Careers

Open up your future career options

Our Creative Writing and Screenwriting graduates are highly-valued by employers for their strong problem solving and communication skills and often continue into a wide range of careers.

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.

Screenwriting careers

This course is also designed to provide you with the skills and determination needed to succeed within the screenwriting industry.

The skills you will develop during the course will also open up career opportunities outside of screenwriting within a variety of sectors, including:

  • Television
  • Film
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Teaching

Open your career options

Our students go on to an incredibly varied range of careers after university. The skills learnt on our degrees equip students for all sorts of roles in society.

Career paths include:

  • Novelist
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Communications and PR
  • Local and national government
  • Copywriting
  • Human resources
  • Youth work

Postgraduate pathways

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

University of Chichester alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate fees.

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
104-112
tariff points.
A Levels
BBC - BCC
BTEC/Cambridge Technical
DMM - MMM
Access to HE Diploma
Pass
IB
28 points
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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