BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing

About the course

Do you have a story to tell, or have you always wanted to be a writer? Perhaps you want to learn how to be a critical reader or gain a greater understanding of the craft of writing.

Studying English Literature and Creative Writing with us will help you find your voice, whether as a poet, playwright, novelist or scholar of literature.

This joint course combines the study of literature with the practice of creative writing. Studying literature will give you a greater understanding of how literary texts work, while this improved critical insight will help you put principles into practice in your own creative writing.

We offer a stimulating and supportive place in which to explore your ideas, hone your craft and understand literary texts. Our creative writing modules are taught by lecturers who are themselves award-winning practitioners and who bridge the gap between creative and academic approaches to literature. They include our poetry lecturer Wayne Holloway-Smith, winner of the Poetry Society’s Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and Seamus Heaney Prize nominee.

Over the three years you can choose specialist creative writing modules in poetry, creative non-fiction, drama, short story writing and prose fiction. Those specialisms are reflected in our English Literature modules, which range from children’s and young adult literature to film adaptations and work written in English from all over the world.

By the time you graduate, you will have a polished piece of work which has the potential for publication. Recent successes for our students include short stories published in Bandit and AnotherLenz magazines and poetry published in Rising and international magazine Poetry London.

In your first year, an underpinning core module, Becoming a Writer, will introduce you to genres and forms and examine the universalities of dialogue, plot and language. A second core module, Identity and Contemporary Writing, introduces you to some of the most exciting new writing as a model for your own work, while an optional module enables you to specialise in writing for the screen.

The practicalities of getting published or working in literary publishing are explored in a creative writing module in your second year taught by a former editor of Granta, the renowned magazine of new writing. For your final year your particular creative interest can be channelled into a long piece of writing, which can be poetry, prose or drama.

Why choose this course?

We give you: 

  • An exciting and creative environment where you are taught by published writers
  • The opportunity to hone your craft through supportive feedback from tutors and peers
  • Modules which enhance your critical insight and enable you to put principle into practice
  • A platform for publishing your work and a springboard for your future life as a published author
  • An inspiring programme of visiting writers, workshops, readings and masterclasses

What will I study?

Creative Writing is a practice-based discipline, with the opportunity to experiment by working in different forms. You’ll be taught in small groups in workshop spaces and will receive feedback from your tutors and your peers as you share your ideas, learn to edit and refine your work and develop your presentation and performance skills.

Our two resident poetry research fellows, Mark Waldron and Rachel Long, offer masterclasses, workshops and give regular readings, adding to the vibrant and creative environment in which you’ll be working.

What job can I get?

This course enables you to take steps to becoming a published author. We offer a module on working in literary publishing, while you will gain transferable, intellectual and personal skills such as critical and analytical thinking, creativity and subject knowledge which can be applied to a range of industries. Past English students have gone on to careers in teaching, publishing and the media, journalism and marketing. Many of our graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.