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BA (Hons) Journalism and Creative Writing

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Continual updating of content to reflect sought after skills
Continual updating of content to reflect sought after skills
Build your own portfolio using a variety of platforms
Build your own portfolio using a variety of platforms
Be taught by award-winning poets, fiction and non-fiction writers
Be taught by award-winning poets, fiction and non-fiction writers

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

  • This course will help you to develop professional writing skills.

What's the course about?

A career in writing enables you 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 analyse newspapers and their values, as well as exploring broadcasting and online journalism.

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. We’re also rated TEF Gold, making us one of the best universities for teaching and support.  

From September 2020, subject to validation, we will be offering a new single hons degree in Creative Writing. Find out more information.

Your main campus is de Havilland

You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, 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 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. 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?

The delivery of teaching varies according to the characteristics of each module. Many are taught via weekly lectures and weekly seminars. Workshops are used for modules where the degree of practical skills taught is enhanced by the supervision of experts in their field. Attainment of learning outcomes is also assessed in a range of formats. Sometimes you will have to present the findings of your research to your fellow students in the seminars. You will be expected to contribute to online discussions and to download and read lecture notes from StudyNet, our virtual learning environment.

'Media Matters' Guest Lecture series

Each year the School of Humanities hosts the Media Matters Guest Lecture Series featuring a range of industry professionals, giving talks on their experience in the industry. These lectures are recorded by our final year students and available on our Media Hub. Some of our previous speakers have included:

  • University of Hertfordshire Mass Communications Graduate, Tobi Akingbade, now Acting Showbiz Editor of Metro,
  • University of Hertfordshire, Journalism, Media and Sport graduate Steven Bourner, now Chief Media Officer and Strategic Comms Lead for the Department of Education,
  • Theresa Malone, Visuals and Social Media Editor of The Guardian,
  • Terry Mansfield, Board Member, Hearst Magazines UK
  • Steve Swann, Producer and investigative Journalist, BBC

'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 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.

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.

‘Take advantage of every opportunity while it’s on offer and dive in as much as possible.’

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.

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.'

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.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.