BA (Hons) English Language 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 or writing.

Through the BA English Language and Creative Writing you’ll gain a better understanding about the English Language, as well as the process of writing so that you can find your voice, whether as a poet, playwright or novelist.

We offer a stimulating and supportive environment in which you can explore your ideas, hone your craft and understand how to use language effectively. 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.

In your first year, alongside core English Language modules, you’ll also explore the diversity of use of the English language including regional variants, pidgin and creole English, language and ethnicity, and slang and street English. The core Creative Writing module, Becoming a Writer, will introduce you to genres and forms and examine the universalities of dialogue, plot and language. A second core module, Writing for the Screen, introduces you to the key principles of scriptwriting, while the optional module Identity and Contemporary Writing introduces you to some of the most exciting new writing as a model for your own work.

Core modules in English Language in your second year focus on English grammar and the sounds of English. You can explore theories of how and why language developed and also study language-related real-life problems such as plagiarism and crime investigation in forensic linguistics. For Creative Writing you can explore the practicalities of getting published or working in literary publishing in a creative writing module taught by a former editor of Granta, the renowned magazine of new writing.

In your final year you can follow modules in different topics in English Language, including child language and communication, clinical linguistics, gender and language, and formulaic language, informed by our academics’ own research specialisms. For Creative Writing, 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 understanding of English language, to underpin a career in writing or publishing
  • 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
  • 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
  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • A guaranteed post-graduation interview with the School of Education

What will I study?

Our English Language students benefit from being part of a supportive, research-active academic community. From tutorials and group work to eye-opening psycholinguistic experiments, we use a range of engaging, student-centred teaching methods to help you work confidently and creatively.

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 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?

Employability is central to everything we do. Over the years many of our graduates have gone into teaching or speech and language therapy, as well as translation, publishing, journalism, marketing, law and business. This particular course enables you to take steps to becoming a published author.

The analytical and intellectual transferable skills you’ve gained, including a critical approach to language use and communication, are valued by employers from a wide range of industries.

For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with the School of Education.