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In the UK for English and creative writing in Times Good University Guide 2022

Creative Writing BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): W800
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time, four to seven years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Designed for committed writers, this practice-based and industry-focused course will introduce you to the intricacies of writing including plot, characterisation and narrative study.

In this Creative Writing degree you will develop your skills as a writer, through work-like projects involving writing, editing, publishing and pitching, supported by the study of English literature.

Working alongside a range of accomplished, widely published professionals, you will develop your writing abilities while studying at the heart of an active writing community. You’ll also learn how to give and receive critical input alongside supportive peers and tutors who will challenge, support and encourage you to follow your writerly instincts and to experiment with writing in a variety of genres. A wide range of optional modules places an emphasis on student choice, enabling you to follow your interests.

Our focus on employability will ensure you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in your future career. Where better to begin your creative journey than in a UNESCO City of Literature and at a university that puts the student experience firmly at its heart?

  • Develop your creative and professional writing across a wide range of genres, working with active, expert writer-tutors.
  • Undertake hands-on roles in creative project management and development, preparing you for work in and beyond the writing and arts industries, developing creative solutions to global problems.
  • Develop confidence in your communication, collaboration, and presentation skills.
  • Undertake study abroad with one of our international partners across the world.

Designed for talented and committed writers, this course will introduce you to the intricacies of writing including plot, characterisation and narrative study.

In this practice-based and industry-focused Creative Writing degree you will develop your skills as a writer, through work-like projects involving writing, editing, publishing and pitching, supported by the study of English literature.

Working alongside a range of accomplished, widely published professionals, you will develop your writing abilities while studying at the heart of an active writing community. You’ll also learn how to give and receive critical input alongside supportive peers and tutors who will challenge, support and encourage to follow your writerly instincts and to experiment with writing in a variety of genres. A wide range of optional modules places an emphasis on student choice enabling you to follow your interests.

Our focus on employability will ensure you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in your future career. Where better to begin your creative journey than in a UNESCO City of Literature and at a university that, for three decades, has put the student experience firmly at its heart?

What you’ll study

With guidance from experts and as part of a strong writing community, you will experiment with writing in a wide variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult fiction, writing for stage and screen, and writing for a digital audience. You'll study editing and develop your knowledge of publication or performance processes, gaining hands-on industry experience. Ultimately, you’ll focus on your chosen specialisations, and further develop your craft and industry skills, equipping yourself fully for life beyond the course.

During your first year, you’ll study four core modules which allow you to focus on developing your own writing and reading skills, while introducing you practically and actively to a range of exciting genres and possibilities. In your second year, you’ll begin to pursue your individual interests through a range of optional modules. There’s also an opportunity to spend the second half of the second year on international exchange at one of our partner universities. In your final year, with one-to-one supervision, you’ll undertake a dissertation or major project on a topic of your choice, as well as undertaking optional modules focused on refining your writerly and employability skills.

Core modules

Beginning Writing: The Writing World

Learn about the core elements of writing fiction, poetry, plays, screenplays, and creative non-fiction. Hone your skills in areas such as narrative structure, characterisation, dialogue, editing and revision, as well as looking at a range of different genres and styles of writing.

Writing, Editing and Publishing in a Sustainable World

Develop your skills in drafting and editing writing in a range of genres on this module. Be introduced to the fundamentals of editing fiction, non-fiction, poetry and scripts, and learn to assess your own accuracy and style in relation to that of other practitioners, both fellow students and published writers.

Writing from Life: Health Wellbeing and the Wider World

Study creative nonfiction and writing from life. Consider the contexts in which this work is produced, and develop your own approach to writing from life.

The Short Story and its Contexts

Enter the exciting world of short stories, their history and present. Write and edit your own short stories, learning about concision, narrative structure and other aspects of good writing practice. Find out about the market for short fiction.

Writing in a UNESCO City of Literature

Build a better world with words. Engage with the work undertaken by Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, as well as with the wider network of UNESCO Creative Cities, connecting with partner organisations in the creative and cultural industries.

Literary Pasts, Presents and Futures

Study key authors and literary genres from Middle English and the Early Modern period through to the present day. Consider how texts ‘speak’ to one another across the ages, building a critical understanding of literary heritage as well as the nature of literary ‘tradition’, the formation of the literary canon, intertextuality, textual innovation and reader positionality.

Core modules

Magazine Publishing: Concept to Dissemination

Learn about publishing throughout the ages, and the means of producing literary publications. You Develop your own collaboratively produced literary/cultural magazine, considering everything from the market to layout. Professionally produce and commission content.

Advanced fiction and its Contexts

Further develop your skills at reading, interpreting and writing fiction. Consider fiction in various genres, from across the English-speaking world. Write and edit your own fiction and critical analysis.

Digital Storytelling

This module will enable you to become confident in presenting your writing online through hypertext, audio and visual means, and provides opportunities to explore how digital technologies can be used within your creative practice.

Optional modules

Pathway 1: Extended work-like experience

Get the experience you need for after you graduate, and really understand how the things you study translate into the world of work with a 16 to 18 week work placement. Your highly experienced Employability Team will help you find a placement to suit your career goals from our huge network of companies, charities, institutions, and beyond.

Pathway 2: An international exchange

Travel the world, meet new friends, and have experiences you will remember for the rest of your life.

Our flexible curriculum has been designed to allow some amazing opportunities for you. Your second year of study is divided into two semesters, giving you the opportunity to take part in an international exchange. You could study with one of international exchange partners in Australia, Europe, USA, Canada, Thailand and many, many more.

Our dedicated team will support you in finding and arranging a suitable exchange. And don't worry about the cost, they will help you apply for any grants or loans you may need, as no one should miss out on the chance to broaden their horizons.

Pathway 3: Taught pathway choosing three optional modules from:

Working with Scripts

Develop your scriptwriting skills, whether writing for screen, stage, or radio/podcast. Learn about the working environment in which scripts are commissioned, written and produced, and  develop hands-on skills and experience.

Writing Works: Experiments with Genre

Develop independent learning strategies in relation to researching and drafting. Learn how to apply your editing and creative skills to commercial work, developing contacts and making use of links to local media.

Contemporary Working-Class Writing

Learn about characteristics of ‘working-class writing and how the working class in Britain been represented in literature since 1950. Consider working class writing in a variety of forms including novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction to develop an informed understanding of the intersections between social class and gender, sexuality, ethnicity and place.

English Rebel Literatures

Explore the rebellious spirit within literary creativity, including within Nottingham’s own literary heritage as a UNESCO City of Literature. Examine how literature engages contemporary issues and seeks to refashion how we see the world.

Writing for Short Film

Develop short film scripts and explore the principles and processes of short-form screenwriting alongside the role that short film plays in helping to develop a writer’s career. Explore practical elements of writing craft including ideas generation and exploration, researching, story-lining, writing, re-writing and pitching. Professionally produce and commission content.

Poetry and its Contexts

This module will introduce you to advanced poetry writing. By engaging with the work of five post-war poets, from across the English-speaking world, you will study poetry with a broad range of concerns and in a broad range of styles.

Core modules

Creative Writing Major Project

This module provides an exciting opportunity to develop your own long-form creative project, which may be a play/screenplay, piece of fiction, collection of poems, or something else entirely, with expert supervision from a specialist in your chosen genre.

The Freelancer

This module gives you the chance to enhance your employability by providing an opportunity to develop your own personal and professional portfolio. You will work to develop your professional skills in a working environment by completing 12-hours of freelance activity which you will reflect on in your portfolio.

Optional modules - choose three from:

Poetry and the Planet

Study poetry about in relation to, ecological concerns, globalisation, and global cultures. Produce your own portfolio of poems in response to these.

Writing for Magazines: Regional, National and International Contexts

How do freelance writers carve out a niche in literary magazines? How are relationships built and maintained? This module will introduce you to writing for a wide range of local, national and international magazines, both creatively and critically. You will study the differences, where they exist, between print and digital publication and write a range of articles in different styles.

Collaboration and Performance

Collaboration can be vital to working as a writer, and in many other fields of employment. It can also teach you many valuable skills. On this optional module you will examine collaborative writing projects, and then work in small teams, in a writers’ room environment, to develop your own project for a public performance.

Creative Writing in the Community

Develop your theoretical and practical understanding of applying creative writing and workshopping in community settings. This module prepares you for public speaking and developing and running projects, within and beyond creative writing.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Victoria Zoe Callus

"The most important skills I have gained from studying Creative Writing are through workshopping – listening to criticism but also learning when to stick to my original ideas."

Student Work

How you’re taught

  • Creative Writing at NTU ranks 14th in the country in the Times Good University Guide 2022.
  • 73% of NTU’s research in English Language and Literature was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent - REF2021.

Classes are mostly workshop-based. You’ll produce new writing regularly and refine it in a supportive, dynamic environment. Carrying out extensive preparatory reading, you’ll take part in practical writing exercises, as well as discussion and reflection on your own and other students’ work, and will work on collective writing, editing and publishing projects while receiving expert hands-on guidance.

Who will teach me?

As well as being internationally recognised for our writing across multiple genres, and our research, the Creative Writing team is extremely friendly and approachable. The course is informed by the latest thinking and you'll learn from people with a real passion for their subject, and expert knowledge: award-winning poets and novelists published by top quality presses, BAFTA-nominated screenwriters, experienced project coordinators, etc, all with considerable teaching experience. We'll help you find your feet when you first arrive, and stretch you as you become more confident. We look forward to expanding your interests and helping you to realise your ambitions.

The main internet portal for our creative writers – students and staff – is the Nottingham Creative Writing Hub. Find out more about our Creative Writing community on the NTU Creative Writing Hub site. This also provides opportunities for students to read and perform with internationally-renowned writers, to publish blog posts, etc.

Work experience

We work closely with agents, publishers, producers and other key industry professionals in the arts and creative industries, to provide work placement opportunities that will introduce you to the idea of writing as a profession. Our English and Creative Industries Project provides an opportunity to produce a portfolio of critical and reflective writing in a small group, led by a project supervisor. Working with an employer, you’ll be able to put into practice the skills and knowledge gained over the course of the degree within a professional setting. Our staff are all active creative writers with considerable current industry links, and will regularly inform you about further opportunities and how to approach them.

More student opportunities

International exchange

You’ll also have the option to take part in an international exchange at a partner university. Or you could source work placements abroad. These options will enable you to gain impressive international experience, and broaden your perspectives and career ambitions.

You’ll experience other cultures, travel the globe and open your eyes to a world of opportunities. Our exchange partnership with a number of international universities enables you to live and study in another country in your second year.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Learning a new language can enhance your communication skills, enrich your experience when travelling abroad and boost your career prospects. Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (24%) and independent study (76%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%) and independent study (80%).

All Arts and Humanities students will complete a minimum of 240 hours of work like experience over the three years of the course.

Further information

Visit the 'Creative Writing Hub at NTU' site to see examples of current student's writing, find out about upcoming events and discover more about our award-winning staff.

Staff Profiles

Rory Waterman

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Waterman is a poet, editor, press and academic critic, and Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at NTU, where he leads the MA Creative Writing. His specialisms are

William Ivory

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

William Ivory is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, specialising in screenwriting, and joined NTU in 2022. He teaches dissertation students on both the BA Creative Writing and MA Creative…

Eve Makis

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Eve Makis is a writer and lecturer on our MA in Creative Writing. She has published four novels and one non-fiction writing guide titled 'The Accidental Memoir'.

Andrew Taylor

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Dr Taylor is a published poet, critic and an editor. He is a member of NTU’s Centre for Travel Writing Studies and a member of the NTU Critical Poetics Group

David Belbin

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

David Belbin

Anthony Cropper

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Anthony Cropper is a lecturer in Creative Writing at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. He has published two novels, a collection of short stories and a non-fiction writing guide.

Sarah Jackson

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Sarah Jackson

James Walker

Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

James Walker

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Careers and employability

Your career development

Good writing and creativity are workplace skills that are highly valued by employers.  During your studies, you’ll develop valuable transferable skills that include time management, the ability to think analytically, and confidence in presenting your work. Creative writing graduates have embarked on careers in writing, journalism, publishing, teaching, the civil service, marketing and advertising.

Campus and facilities

Here are some of the free services, student discount and benefits you'll get studying at NTU

We've carefully considered what benefits and services you need for your studies, so when you join NTU you'll get free printing and materials credits, access to our free WiFi, a copy of Microsoft Office, and even borrow a laptop if yours is out of commission.

For life outside your lectures, you'll enjoy access to over 60 sports clubs and 130 student societies, discounted travel and bike hire, free language learning, award-winning student support and an entertainment programme which is second to none.

See all the benefits and free services you will enjoy as an NTU student.

Books and library resources

In our library you’ll have access to an extensive and diverse range of books including those on your reading list.

The library's online resources and NTU Online Workspace (NOW) also provides digital access to the core resources for your modules and a wide range of specialist collections, texts, and databases

Nottingham Trent University has its own Blackwell’s Bookshop which stocks relevant academic texts plus a wide range of bestselling novels.

IT Resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the campus, with PCs providing access to: Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services (with a free printing allowance for each student). Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Societies

Current students run societies in a range of Humanities and Arts subjects including History, Medieval, Film, Filmmaking, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, and the Book society.

There are also a number of media channels which our students get involved in such as the NTU radio station FlyLive, our student magazine Platform, and TV station TrentTV.

Find out more about student societies at the Student Union website.

Entry requirements

  • 112 - 120 UCAS tariff points from four A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.
  • To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

    Contextual offers

    A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.


    Other qualifications and experience

    We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

    Getting in touch

    If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form

You will need the equivalent to:

  • 120 UCAS tariff points from four A-levels or equivalent qualifications
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before. This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can.

For the full-time route just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide.

If you're applying for the part-time route please apply online using the NTU Applicant Portal.

Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Need help with your application?

For admissions related enquiries please contact us:

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Email or Ask us a question

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.