BA (Hons) Creative Writing

About the Course

This course is subject to validation. All details including modules are subject to change.

Our Creative Writing course explores and develops your creative writing practice. We offer a stimulating and supportive place in which to explore your ideas, hone your craft and understand a wide variety of 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 writing. They include:

  • Poetry lecturer Dr Wayne Holloway-Smith, winner of the Poetry Society’s Geoffrey Dearmer Prize and Seamus Heaney Prize nominee
  • Fiction and Non Fiction writer, Dr Lorna Gibb, author of five books, winner of the Granta Memoir prize and shortlisted for the Sperber Biography prize in the US
  • Dramatists Simon Vinnicombe and Drew Pautz, with writing credits that include the whole gamut of scriptwriting, from work in current production as feature films to Eastenders to the Old Vic and Royal Court.  They have international reputations with performances, in original and translated versions, in Canada, Europe and the United States.
  • Fiction and Non Fiction writer, Helen Gordon, a former editor of Granta, with two acclaimed books and numerous short publications.

Over the three years you can choose specialist creative writing modules in poetry, creative non-fiction, drama, short story writing and prose fiction. As well as fostering your own creative writing skill, you will study a huge range of different texts, both literary and commercial, to gain understanding of what makes a piece successful as well as have an overview of the industry marketplace.

Recent successes for our students include short stories published in Bandit and AnotherLenz magazines and poetry published in Rising and international magazine Poetry London.

Why choose this course?

Top reasons to study Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire

  • The opportunity to develop and explore your writing skill in an encouraging and supportive environment
  • A brilliant team of lecturers who are all recently published writers in their own field and can use their industry experience, as well as their academic skill and knowledge, to nurture your talent
  • A flexible course of study with a wide range of options to choose from, allowing you to focus on the topics that interest you most
  • Careers development helping you to understand the practicalities of how to get published
  • The chance to study at a University with a  Gold Rating for Teaching
  • A dedicated (and free!) writing academy before the academic year starts to help with the return to learning, if you have been away from education.

Course details

The BA Creative Writing at Hertfordshire is unique because of the wide ranging scope of writing practice you will have the opportunity to explore. Under the guidance of our skilled team of lecturers, all successful working writers as well as experienced academics, you can enjoy gaining new skills, increasing your knowledge and developing your creativity.

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, presents some of the most exciting new writing as a model for your own work, while optional modules enable you to specialise in writing for the screen, develop your critical skills with texts in different genres, or explore twentieth century culture and society.

Other core modules will develop your writing practice in creative non-fiction, short stories, poetry and writing for the stage, while a range of options will allow you to choose between literary analysis, 20th century English literature or writing a historical documentary.

For your final year your particular creative interest can be channelled into a long piece of writing, which can be poetry, prose or drama. This work will be discussed and reviewed in tailored workshops that will allow you to both explore and develop your own voice. The third year also offers a wide range of core and option modules that look at different fiction genres, including fantasy, crime, horror and romance, as well as writing serial drama, late Victorian literature, and exploring the lives of women from a historical perspective.

Careers

You will have the opportunity to gain the professional, intellectual and creative skills necessary to establish yourself as an author or for a career in a related communications field or for postgraduate study. Career development is supported through the Poetry, Prose and Publishing Module in your second year taught by a former editor of Granta, the renowned magazine of new writing, who will teach you the practicalities of getting published or working in literary publishing. Specialist modules in Year 2 and Year 3 also look at the skills required and the opportunities afforded in the areas of commercial fiction, non-fiction and drama.

Work Placement

Our students can choose a work experience module, Literature at Work, which explores English in the classroom and aspects of the literary heritage industry. The module is centred around a six-week work placement where you’ll gain valuable transferable skills. Our students have worked as school classroom assistants, in publishing houses or attractions such as London’s Charles Dickens Museum and Dr Johnson’s House.

Study Abroad

A natural step from studying global literature is to go out into the world and experience it for real. We encourage our Creative Writing students to take a year’s study abroad at one of our many partner institutions across the world. If you’re reading African American literature and choose to study in the American South you’ll see the legacy of slavery or the birthplace of the civil rights movement at first hand. Your year will broaden your horizons and enhance your understanding of the literature of other cultures – it may even inspire your dissertation subject.

Find out more about our Study abroad opportunities.

Contact

For more information on the BA(Hons) Creative Writing please contact Lorna Gibb: l.gibb@herts.ac.uk