BA (Hons) Journalism and Creative Writing

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Meet a wide range of authors, journalists and media practitioners
  • Build your own portfolio using a variety of platforms
  • Be taught by award-winning poets, writers and journalists

A career in writing enables you to explore the world through your work – discovering people and places, exploring unfolding events, influencing debate, and shaping your own creative voice. On this course, you’ll write for blogs, websites, print, video, audio and multimedia contexts, developing the skills to research your subject and really engage your readers. 

Together, these subjects give you exciting opportunities to develop your voice as a writer and discover ways to publish your work. In journalism, you’ll learn about ethics, target audiences and the journey from interview to finished article. You’ll produce work on a variety of platforms from blogs to print and report on international stories and ones guided by your interests. 

In creative writing, you’ll learn important skills for devising, editing, revising and submitting your work. You’ll analyse texts, explore the effects of the author’s choices and create short stories, drama, poetry and creative nonfiction of your own. You’ll also have opportunities to work with schools or museums, attend guest lectures, study abroad or take a year’s work placement. 

All our lecturers are active researchers, so you’ll share the excitement of doing original work in a supportive and highly rated academic community.  

You’ll have the opportunity to meet a wide range of authors, journalists and media practitioners through our speaker series. Our Media Matters guest lectures are given by a range of media speakers from top journalists to our recent graduates. You'll have the opportunity to network with inspirational and well-known screen writers, biographers, poets, novelists, nonfiction authors and playwrights at our Creative Conversation events.  

What's the course about?

In your first year, you’ll explore the basics of journalism, learning about how to tell factual stories in written form, through blogs and podcasting and video. You’ll also reflect on how journalists should and do behave and their relationship with government.  In Creative Writing you’ll start learning how to become a writer and how to write for films, as well as gaining a deeper insight into genre.

In your second year, you’ll start to broadcast, brainstorm ideas for a magazine concept, learn about how journalism changed the world and gain insights into the fast-paced world of news, while in Creative Writing, you’ll learn about the art of telling non-fiction stories, in a wide range of genres from memoir to food to travel, and how to write for the stage.

Work placement/study abroad option*: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or complete a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about, but it will also give your CV a boost. If you would rather go straight to your final year, that’s fine too. You can decide in your second year with us, so there is still plenty of time to think about this.  

In your final year, you’ll get a wide range of options. In journalism you will report on international stories, create your own website, have work experience, freelance or create your own media business.  You will also practice writing for a variety of audiences. In Creative Writing, you’ll get the chance to specialise in either poetry, prose or script writing and look at popular fiction genres and writing TV drama.

For a full list of modules, see the section under ‘What will I study?’        

Guest speakers and networking (Media Matters and Creative Conversations).   

Each year the School of Humanities hosts a range of industry professionals, giving talks on their experience in the media and publishing industry. These lectures are recorded by our final-year students and available on our Taster Hub. Some of our previous speakers have included:  

  • Andrea Thompson, Editor in Chief of Marie Claire

    Richard Keith, Journalist for Edge Magazine and Publisher, PCGamer

    Georgina Lawton of online ezine Gal-Dem for women and non-binary people of colour

    Damian Barr, writer, literary editor and TV host

    Steve Swann, investigative journalist, BBC

    Inua Ellams, poet

    Nell Leyshon, novelist and playwright

    Tom Edge, screenwriter

Applying for this course is easy. Simply add us to your UCAS account by using the institution and course code mentioned in ‘Key information’. There is no interview for this course. We’re just interested to hear why you want to study this subject at degree level. 

Your main campus is de Havilland 

You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, sport, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant or bar (in the newly built Enterprise Hub) on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.   

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.      

'I was able to learn about news, interview and feature writing, as well as the legal and ethical side to journalism. It's a very practical course, for example, we were tasked with pitching stories to the press and had to produce our own magazine in a group - although this involved a lot of research, we were able to be very creative by using InDesign. Overall, I gained vital skills that I use everyday in my work.'

Rebecca McAleese

BA (Hons) Journalism & Creative Writing graduate

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Kate Stephenson

Meet Kate Stephenson who has excelled in the publishing industry since graduating. She currently works as the Education Editor at National Geographic Kids magazine.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleEducation Editor
Year of graduation2013
Course of studyBA (Hons) English Language and Communication with Journalism and Media Cultures
Kate Stephenson

University experience

Kate always knew that she wanted to work in the media and her unique degree gave her the flexibility to understand the logistics behind magazines as well as develop her writing and communication skills. The variety of topics and modules covered in her course enabled her to understand a lot about her dream career and enable her to develop valuable skills for working in the industry.

While studying, Kate took every opportunity offered to her. Her lecturers gave her opportunities to network with their colleagues for the industry enabling Kate to secure work experience and explore different career opportunities upon graduation.

She also worked as part of the Students’ Union student media, called Triden Media, writing regularly for their newspaper and magazine. Kate says, ‘Take advantage of every opportunity while it’s on offer and dive in as much as possible.’

The future

In the future, Kate hopes to further develop and grow the project she is working on at National Geographic and their educational content. One of her recent projects was launching their Primary School resource service by writing the curriculum.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Eleanor Pilcher

Meet Eleanor Pilcher who since graduating in 2016 has taken the publishing industry by storm. Eleanor currently works as a Marketing Manager at Avon, HarperCollins Publisher.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleMarketing Manager
Year of graduation2016
Course of studyBA (Hons) History and Creative Writing
Ellie Pilcher

University experience and employability

Eleanor is a keen writer with great creative ambitions. During her degree she undertook a six-month internship at a literary agency in her final academic year. In 2016, shortly after her studies, Eleanor landed a placement at Penguin before getting a job in publishing recruitment. After developing her skills within the industry and amassing and impressive amount of knowledge and experience, Eleanor began her current role at HarperCollins Publishers.

Eleanor's degree encompassed a broad spectrum of critical, analytical and evaluative skills and helped shape her as a writer. Throughout her studies she had been writing a novel, which she submitted to literary agencies after being encouraged by her tutor to do so. It was Eleanor's passion for writing that uncovered her interest in working for a literary agency. Due to the fantastic lecturers on her course and the invaluable industry networks available to students, Eleanor managed to secure impressive opportunities in her chosen industry that have informed her career.

Sher recognises the impact the University has had on getting her to where she is today. 'For me the advice and feedback I received on both my History essays and Creative Writing finals was incredibly useful to my academic and professional development. I learnt to take criticism and to harness it and also write more because of it.'

Ambitions for the future

Eleanor has established herself in her chosen industry yet still has ambition to continue pursuing new goals. On her hopes for the future, she says: 'I hope to run a marketing department within a publishing company, possibly the one I'm at now. I hope to publish a novel and continue my freelance writing and public speaking on the side.'