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BA (Hons) Creative Writing

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Codes:

College C58

UCAS W801

Course Length:

3 Years Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £9,250

2020/21 International fee: £13,500

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page

 

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

  • UCAS Tariff Points: 96 - 120 (A levels or combination with AS / EPQ / BTEC / Cambridge Technical)
  • A levels: BBB - CCC including English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, Creative Writing or Drama at grade B or C
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass with 12 level 3 credits worth of English units at Merit
  • International Baccalaureate: 28 points with English Higher at 4
  • IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5

Student view

Annabelle
"If you'd have told me before my degree that I'd leave with a first, get an award for best English dissertation and then go on to write for Topps Europe for brands such as Star Wars and Top Gear, I wouldn't have believed you."
Matthew Appleton
BA in Creative Writing

"The Creative Writing degree 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."

Course content

The University of Chichester boasts one of the most experienced Creative Writing teams in the UK. You’ll work with highly qualified and experienced tutors, all of whom are practising and published poets, short story writers, novelists, dramatists and screen and TV writers.

In your first year, you will be introduced to the writing process through modules which help you develop a notebook, tap your own experience and engage with the wider world for material. You will also begin to learn the craft of Poetry, Prose and Life Writing. You will also take two critical English modules to widen your knowledge of the tradition.

In year two, you will deepen your practice of Poetry, Short fiction and Life Writing in detail. You will take modules in Children’s Fiction. There will also be the opportunity to take a module in Writing for TV. Once again, you will take two critical modules designed to complement your work in poetry and short fiction.

By year three, we feel you will know what you want to say and how you want to say it.

You will therefore be able to choose from a range of modules such as: Writing the Novel, Writing the Short Story, Screenwriting, Advanced Poetry, Writing for Children, Writing for the Stage, Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, YA Fiction, Flash Fiction, Digital Writing and Writing Place and Environment. The Work Placement module allows you to develop your skills in a work environment, for example by working with a community group on a writing project.

The University also has a burgeoning writing culture, from regular book launches to conferences and events with creative writers. Some renowned authors to have visited the University in recent years include:

  • Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy
  • Matthew Sweeney
  • Helen Dunmore
  • Jo Shapcott
  • Sarah Hall
  • Bernardine Evaristo
  • Vicki Feaver

Where this can take you

Our graduates from this subject area are highly valued by employers for their problem solving and exceptional communication skills.

The key to an English or Creative Writing degree is communication, and at Chichester we focus on your abilities in written and spoken expression through:

  • group work and group presentations
  • opportunities to develop your self- managed research projects
  • developing your skills in critical analysis

Jobs directly related to your degree:

  • Publishing - editorial assistants help senior editorial staff in the administration of the commissioning, planning and production of books, journals and magazines. This role is a recognised starting point for editorial and publishing careers.
  • Writer - involved in the creation and/or development of all types of creative writing, including prose, poetry and material for the theatre, screen and radio and reviews.
  • Primary school teacher - teaches primary-aged children and develops schemes of work and lesson plans in line with curriculum objectives.
  • Secondary school teacher - teaches one or more national curriculum subjects to pupils aged 11-16, or up to 19 in schools with sixth forms.
  • English as a foreign language teacher - teaches English, either in the UK or overseas, to students whose first or main language is not English.
  • Lexicographer - writes, compiles and edits dictionaries. Monitors and records uses of language and uses databases to interrogate a wide range of evidence. Considers both the meaning and usages of words and compiles definitions in a structured manner.

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

  • Newspaper journalist - researches and writes stories for publication in local, regional and national press
  • Advertising account executive - works in advertising or multi-service agencies, acting as a link between the clients and the agency. Has overall responsibility for the smooth running of a campaign, coordinating the activities of the advertising and administrative teams.
  • Advertising copywriter - usually works in a creative partnership with an art director to conceive, develop and produce effective advertisements.
  • Arts administrator - plans and organises events run by a wide range of arts and cultural organisations.
  • Academic librarian, information officer, records manager - responsible for the acquisition, organisation and dissemination of information and materials within the library system or information unit.
  • Charity officer - has responsibility for aspects of marketing, public relations, organising events and finance within charitable organisations.
  • Marketing executive - develops marketing campaigns that promote a product, service or idea. The role includes planning, advertising, public relations, organising events, product development, distribution, sponsorship and research.
  • Programme researcher, broadcasting/film/video - provides support to the producer and production team. Contributes ideas for programmes, sources contacts and contributors and collects, verifies and prepares information for film, television and radio productions.
  • Public relations officer - uses all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage the reputation of companies and organisations.
  • Runner, broadcasting/film/video - fetches, carries and does any small jobs needed for the production department of a film, video or television company. This is an entry-level role.

Many of our students publish and win prizes. In recent years students have gone on to publish novels, poetry collections, win prizes in major competitions such as the Bridport Prize and have poems and stories in magazines such as The Paris Review and Staple.

Students have also had work broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Graduates from this subject area are highly valued by employers for their problem solving and exceptional communication skills.

As well as or in addition to writing, careers paths include:

  • Teaching (after taking a PGCE)
  • Teaching English as a foreign language
  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Arts event management
  • University administration
  • Heritage and tourism
  • Working with charities
  • Graphic design

Postgraduate Pathways

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

  • MA Creative Writing
  • MA English Literature
  • PGCE
  • Postgraduate Research (PhD)

Work placements

You will also have the opportunity to take our Writing Placement Module. This allows you to gain experience in, for example, a workplace such as a local newspaper or as a writer-in-residence. You will then use the skills you have learnt on your course in order to reflect critically on the world of work.

Indicative modules

Year One

Source and Exploration

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’

Creating Characters

This module introduces students to the basis of creating credible characters. The module will prompt students to make artistic decisions about the history of their characters, about the setting and time of their characters’ lives, about motivation and point of view.

The Writer’s Notebook

This module is an introduction to the essential practice of keeping a writer’s notebook, as a storehouse of ideas, images, research and drafts. By examining a selection of case studies of notebook entries, drafts and published creative writing, students will learn about the journey from rough idea to finished piece.

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.

Introduction to Writing Short Fiction

This module will build on skills and techniques acquired in the first semester: concrete imagery; writerly research; notebook gatherings; reflections on developing creative work. 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.

Creative Non-Fiction: Starting From the Self

This module is an introduction to the versatile genre of creative non-fiction, in which writers employ skills transported from fiction to lend dramatic complexity to factual narratives. Using autobiographical material as a base, and developing narrative skills acquired in 'Creating Characters', and research skills acquired in 'Explorations and Discoveries', students will generate dramatic scenes on a variety of topics and themes.

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.

Decadence and Desire: Late Nineteenth Century Literature

This module will familiarise students with a series of key texts from the late Victorian period, covering the 1880s through to the turn of the century. It will focus on some of the major conflicts and controversies associated with this time of significant change and will consider the different ways in which a range of writers responded to these concerns.

 

Year Two

Creative Writing: Poetry, Form and Freedom

Building on An Introduction to Writing Poetry, this 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.

Fiction for Children

This module introduces students to writing fiction for children.  The module continues to develop key writing skills learned in Level 4 Creative Writing modules, but will also extend and deepen those skills as students pay particular attention to such things as suitable and age-specific subject matter, appropriate language, a more active narration, faster pacing and the demands of greater immediacy.

Creative Writing: Non-Fiction: Writing Place

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

Genre: Poetry

The module aims to develop student skills in understanding rhythm, rhyme, free verse, diction, particular verbal effects, timbre, tone, voice, poignancy, and to inculcate skills in close critical analysis. 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 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.

Creative Writing Non Fiction: Writing Lives

Focusing on biography and autobiography, this module will build students’ skills in the genre of creative non-fiction. Developing narrative and research skills acquired in previous prose modules, students will write an account of a transformative event in a person’s life. Journalistic skills will be developed with reference to the New Journalism and other approaches offered as possibilities on the module. The concept of the ‘personal essay thesis’ will continue to be explored (following on from ‘Writing Place’).

Genre: Prose Fiction

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

 

Year Three

Writing for the Screen

This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to craft a short cinematic screenplay. The module introduces the building blocks of screenwriting, focusing on: visual storytelling, plot (using Treatments and Step Outlines), scene-building, research skills, characterisation, setting, sound, struggle, action, movement, and lay-out.

Advanced Poetry

Advanced Poetry focuses on sophisticated areas of poetic composition and process, including developing a distinctive voice, conversing with tradition and experimental work, researching the poetic theme and subject, and approaching form in innovative ways.  

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

Making It Strange offers students the opportunity to develop their fictional skills in the rich mode of ‘Beyond Realist literature’ and in a longer narrative form. Beyond Realist texts have a distinguished pedigree stretching back to humanity’s earliest myths, epic narratives, folklore and fairy tales.

Writing Flash Fiction

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

Contemporary Short Fiction: Writing the Here and Now

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 read and analyse the craft, technique and rigour of 3 to 4 highly regarded short story collections that date from the last fifteen years.  They will use these texts as ‘springboards’ to their own fiction and their own development as story writers.

Writing the Contemporary Novel

On this module, students 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, students will now be encouraged to develop these skills in greater depth while engaging with the demands and challenges of a longer form.

Digital Writing

On this module, students 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.

Young Adult Fiction

Students will explore a range of primary material in order to examine the timeless or universal themes that concern teenagers today, such as sexuality, identity, relationships, the overcoming of adversity, personal empowerment, and death. Such examination will highlight a number of key issues and concerns in relation to youth culture and modern society. 

Writing, Environment and Ecocriticism

This module will offer students the opportunity to explore, very actively, the ways in which contemporary writers and critics engage with images, issues and concepts of the environment in novels, poetry and non-fiction.  Students will choose whether they wish to respond to the themes of the module as critics or a creative writers.

Dissertation in Creative Writing

The dissertation represents the culmination of a students’ development as writers on the BA in Creative Writing.  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.

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

International English Studies

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught in a variety of ways. Our aim is to give you the tools you need to become an autonomous writer. We do this by helping you find out what it is you want to say and by giving you a thorough grounding in a variety of genres. Much of our teaching is in small groups, where you will discuss models of good writing as well as workshopping your own writing. Tutors are also available to see students individually.

All creative writing courses are assessed through portfolios of work. The critical courses you take alongside your creative courses will be assessed in a variety of ways including essays, exams and presentations. The Writing Placement module will be assessed through a reflective report.

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, offering cumulative assessment of your progress. Your academic adviser and lecturers are available for advice throughout your degree.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

STUDENT AND GRADUATE SUCCESS

The last few years have shown a fabulous flowering of our Creative Writing students' work. We’re very proud to have been the venue for many debut book launches and would like to thank our graduates for returning to share their experience with Chichester’s current Creative Writing students.

The crucible of talent and inspiration on the BA and MA continues to grow through our unique courses with their methods of literary cross-fertilisation and finely developed critique.

In many ways, our student writers create this atmosphere through their collective dedicated approach to workshopping – a process that we teach with precision. The students’ generosity to one another is valued by everybody on the course.

 

Isabel Ashdown

Isabel completed her MA in Creative Writing with us in 2010. While on the MA, she worked on her first novel, Glasshopper, which was published by Myriad Editions in 2009. Glasshopper went on to be named among the best books of 2009 by both the Observer and The Evening Standard. Since then she has published four more novels. The latest, Little Sister, is a psychological thriller published by Trapeze, an imprint of Orion publishing. Isabel is represented by Kate Shaw of The Viney Agency.

Isabel’s website can be found at isabelashdown.com

 

Zoe Gilbert

Zoe Gilbert's first novel, Folk, was published to wide acclaim by Bloomsbury in February 2018. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, focusing on folk tales in contemporary short stories. Her own stories have been published in anthologies from Comma Press and Cinnamon press, and in journals worldwide including Mechanics’ Institute Review and The Stinging Fly. Her work has won prizes, including the Costa Short Story Award.

She teaches and mentors creative writers at London Lit Lab, and for organisations including the British Library and Arvon Foundation. She says that the Ph.D in Creative Writing has allowed her to delve into research on a range of fascinating topics. “Despite all the writing ‘rules’, you basically begin afresh with each story,” said Zoe. “There is no blueprint for your first draft.  Stories written to a tight plan rarely sing. A principle I apply to a lot of things: be bold, be bold, but not too bold!”

Emma-Jane Hughes

Emma-Jane Hughes was brought up between the sublime of a barge on the River Thames and the ridiculous of an all-girls boarding school. She spent her childhood tucked in the cabins of a variety of small boats, reading, impervious to the scenery. Emma currently lives in Chichester with her husband and children. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, where she is working on her PhD in Contemporary Poetry. 

She first pitched the idea for her debut poetry collection, The Mechanics of Love, to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  "The opportunity to pitch to Cinnamon Press was equal parts daunting and electrifying.  Somehow, above the thundering of my heart, Jan and Adam were able to hear a concise explanation of the inspiration and central ideas behind the poetry collection.”

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing Karen Stevens adds that she was delighted to work with Cinnamon Press, which has been the fastest-growing small press for several years. "Cinnamon’s list fills fast," notes Karen, "publishing slots are rare, and eagerly sought after - so we were thrilled to launch this joint venture, which proved a great experience for all our talented writers who entered."

Donna Kirstein

Donna Kirstein’s debut poetry collection, Borderlands (Cinnamon Press), was published in 2017.  She first pitched the idea for the collection to Cinnamon Press in a special publishing initiative created for our Creative Writing students by the our staff team.  In Donna’s words, "pitching was an incredible opportunity," but, like all the other competitors, she was given only ten minutes to convey the heart of her book to the Press’ director Jan Fortune and Communications Director Adam Craig. 

 "Initially, I was nervous," said  Donna, "but I had convinced myself that all the other excellent writers would be more deserving, and so I walked into the room with less trepidation than I might have otherwise done.  Afterwards I coached myself to not get too excited - when I got the call, I was taken aback and got a little emotional, I hadn’t realised quite how pleased I would feel.  The publishers were very supportive, positive and patient throughout, and Adam’s feedback and edits were really useful. The first time I saw the cover and held the actual book in my hands it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment - now it feels like the hard part really begins, where I need to concentrate on carrying on with new work."

 Donna was born in Poole, England but grew up in land-locked Zimbabwe where she fell in love with words and wide-open horizons.  Currently she lives in Worthing where for the first time in her life she can watch the tides turn along the seashore.  Donna has been writing since childhood and earned an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Chichester.  She is a poet and short story writer.  She spends her days employed as a graphic designer and photographer.  Her stories have appeared in anthologies published by Weaver Press in Zimbabwe.

Laura Pearson

Laura Pearson lives in Leicestershire. Her blog (breastcancerandbaby.com) is about her experiences of being diagnosed with breast cancer during her second pregnancy. Missing Pieces, published by Agora Books on 21 June 2018, is her first novel.

Additional Costs

As a University of Chichester student you will be provided with many things to support you but there may be additional costs which you may encounter whilst studying. The information below will help you understand our provision and what else you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services:

• Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity;

• A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service;

• The general Library services are free for students and our e-resources are available wherever you are. However, you may become liable for fines if you don't return items on time;

• Open access IT spaces, wi-fi across the campuses and in the halls of residence, AV equipment to borrow;

• Access to support from our Careers Service;

• Disability and additional learning support;

• The Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills;

• 24 hours a day security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you may need to consider:

• Accommodation and living costs;

• Text books (but do remember that our library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge);

• General stationery and other supplies such as presentation materials;

• Photocopying and printing (note: a hard copy of each assessment to be submitted is required);

• The library is charged for the Inter Library Loans service - we pass this cost on directly to our customers;

• Travel to, from and between campuses (note that the U7 and Number 50 bus services offer a subsided travel rate); 

• Gym membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the Sport webpages;

• Dance / Theatre passes – these provide discounted entry to a range of performances;

• Field Trips / Educational Visits – these are optional and do not have to be undertaken to complete the programme. Students make a contribution towards the cost (e.g. travel, sometimes accommodation);

• If you require a Diagnostic Assessment for a Specific Learning Difficulty such as Dyslexia, the University may be able to assist you arrange this. You will be required to pay for this assessment, although some financial assistance may be possible from the University Hardship Fund. Further information is available from the Disability and Dyslexia Service. For more information, please click here

• Graduation: It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Graduands must wear academic dress. Academic dress, guest tickets and photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Financial help available from the University

We offer a number of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at Chichester. Our Finance pages provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

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.