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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 2022
  • 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 talented and committed writers, this course will introduce you to the intricacies of writing including plot, characterisation and narrative study.

The degree enables you to develop your own craft and writing talent and focuses on key aspects of creative writing practice, alongside the study of literature.

This course will allow you to develop and build on your writerly skills, while offering you an opportunity to work with a range of published writers and academics. You’ll find yourself at the heart of an active writing community. You’ll learn all of the skills required to master the craft of writing, alongside other skills essential to the modern writer, such as editing, drafting, pitching and performing your work. You’ll also learn how to give and receive criticism alongside supportive colleagues who are keen to challenge you.

You’ll be encouraged to follow your writerly instincts and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You’ll experiment with writing in a variety of genres. A wide range of optional modules places the emphasis on student choice, enabling you to follow your instincts and interests. Our focus on employability will ensure you have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in your future career, and where better to begin than in a UNESCO City of Literature.

  • Creative Writing at NTU ranks 14th in the Times Good University Guide 2022
  • Develop a portfolio of work and a writers journal.
  • Undertake a work placement within the arts and creative industries.
  • Study Creative Writing in a UNESCO City of Literature.

Celebrate Literature

You'll study English in a City and University that celebrates Literature: NTU is a lead partner of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, and has established a variety of extracurricular opportunities and a host of partners in the creative industries.

In 2015, Nottingham was designated a UNESCO City of Literature – one of only 20 in the world – thanks to our long and diverse literary history. From D H Lawrence to Alan Sillitoe and Lord Byron to J M Barrie, many wonderful wordsmiths have called Nottingham home.

What you’ll study

You will experiment with writing in a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult fiction, and writing for radio, stage and screen. You’ll learn how to give and receive criticism in a tough but supportive environment. You'll study editing and develop your knowledge of publication or performance processes. The emphasis is on seeing writing as a creative process and learning that drafting, revising, editing and reading are important aspects of becoming a writer.

During your first year, you’ll study four core modules which will offer an introduction to the course and allow you to focus on developing your own writing and reading skills. 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 year on international exchange at one of our partner universities. In your final year, with one-to-one supervision, you’ll undertake a dissertation on a topic of your choice, as well as optional modules focused on employability skills for the future.

Core Modules:

Beginning Writing 

This module will introduce you to the core elements of writing fiction, poetry, scripts and creative non-fiction. These will include narrative structure, characterisation, dialogue, editing, and the revision of text. You’ll also look at a range of different genres and styles of writing.

Reimagining the Literary Canon

This module invites you to understand and to question the ‘English Literary Canon’: that is, the texts that have tended to be defined as the ‘most significant’ works of English Literature, and that traditionally underpin its teaching. You will consider the enduring significance of ‘great’ works to our present-day realities, and will develop your own views regarding the question of literary ‘greatness’.

Writing and Editing

The module will introduce you to the fundamentals of editing fiction, non-fiction, poetry and scripts. Classes will take a variety of approaches to editing, from large to small-scale edits, peer review, focused feedback, written feedback, collaboration, and blind reading of work.

The Book Group: Reading Texts in Small Groups / Curating Nottingham: Introduction to Professional Writing 

The ethos of the Book Group is that of concentrated intellectual conversation about literature. While the focus is on detailed textual analysis, conversations are likely to range into issues of context, genre, form, language and theme. The Curating Nottingham element provides the opportunity to develop "real-life” writing assignments with a Nottingham focus.

Core Modules:

Publishing: Concept to dissemination

The module will introduce you to the concepts of gaining ownership of a publishing project. You’ll learn about publishing throughout the ages, and about the means of producing literary publications. This can encompass a variety of modes and forms.

Publishing in Practice: From Journal to Conference

This module aims to enable students to work collaboratively to produce a professional output, either a conference for a public audience, or a published journal. Students will work in groups, and each student will undertake a professional role as well as producing an output. This will enable students to develop professional skills relevant to their intended career, and to articulate employability skills including the effective contribution to successful team projects.

Optional modules typically available include:

Advanced Poetry

The module will introduce you to advanced poetry writing. By engaging with the work of six post-war poets, you will study the work of a carefully selected range of poetry and poetic styles. An introductory close reading of an individual poet will be followed by a writing workshop. You will continue to develop strategies in relation to researching and drafting your creative work.

Digital Storytelling

This module aims to provide you with opportunities to explore how digital technologies can be used within your creative practice and be potentially used as part of a digital portfolio to show future employers. You will become confident in devising and presenting your own material online through hypertext, audio and visual means. Through weekly practical workshops, you will learn the techniques of multi-layered online publication to produce a ‘digital story’.

Creating an Anthology: Developing Editorial Vision

In the first unit, a programme of lectures and seminar/workshops, will build on your close-reading and critical skills. In the second unit, you will be taught further theoretical concerns specific to the editing and scholarly presentation of texts. You will be guided in applying the skills and knowledge already learnt as you work in groups constructing a critical anthology of your own, and you will be invited to reflect on the processes involved as you work towards the final versions of the anthologies you have chosen to compile.

Black Writing in Britain

Examine a range of literary texts by black writers written in or about Britain from the 1950s until the present day.

Writing Works

This module will encourage you to study and partake in the practice of writing with a focus on the breadth of genre. You'll also rework samples of writing in specialist areas.

Voices and Visions

You'll be introduced to new writing specialisms with a particular focus on visual and vocal communication. Throughout this module you'll practice independent learning strategies and draft original creative work to enhance collaboration, research, editing and reviewing skills. You'll be taught how to combine information, think laterally and develop resonant visual and sonic narratives.

Core Module:

Dissertation 

This module facilitates the process of working independently, with peers and with a supervisor, to construct and finish – to a high standard – an original piece of creative writing. This may be a screenplay, a play script, a short story or collection of short stories, a collection of poetry, the start of a novel, a game, or a piece of graphic fiction.

Optional modules

English and Creative Industries Project

Working with an employer on a defined project or output, you’ll utilise the skills and knowledge gained over the course of your studies within a work setting. Under supervision, you will plan, manage and deliver a work-based project. (NB: This module may be taken alongside the dissertation)

Other optional modules typically available include:

The Freelancer

This module gives you the chance to develop your professional portfolio. You will be supported by a tutor and the industry team as you audit your skills, update your CV, develop contacts through networking and carry out an assignment set by an Industry client. You will develop your professional skills in a working environment by completing 12-hours of freelance activity which you will reflect on in your portfolio.

Performance and Collaboration

The module will introduce you to the art of collaboration. You will improve your communication skills while collaborating on stories, plays or projects, create and edit work for performance and research live literature events. You will be expected to produce and deliver material in a variety of ways, which may include site specific installations, working to commission, spoken word, screenplays and multimedia presentations.

Postcolonial Texts: Narratives of Liberation

This module will focus on a range of postcolonial texts and consider the relationship between acts of representation and the politics of anti-colonialism and post-colonialism. This module will help you to develop the ability to work across a range of theoretical and literary texts in original ways.

Travel Writing: Texts, Contexts, Theory

Gain an overview of travel writing and consider the relationship of travel writing to society and to other forms of literature. There will be an in-depth study of selected regions, authors and themes. There are many issues that you may want to explore, such as construction of self and place in travel writing and traveller's representations of other cultures.

Modernism and Modernity

Throughout this module you'll explore some of the central features of the many transnational movements of modernism through a selection of literary texts. You'll examine how the experimental qualities of modernist culture were conditioned by responses to changes in social and technological modernity. An innovative feature of the module is the focus upon the modernist little magazine (which will be studied in digital form, therefore introducing some of the ideas of Digital Humanities to students).

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."

How you’re taught

Classes are mostly workshop-based and you’ll produce new writing on a regular basis, which contributes to your portfolio of assessed work. You’ll keep an ongoing writer’s journal containing work in progress, notes and reflections on your creative process. 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.

Who will teach me?

As well as being internationally recognised for our research, the English team is friendly and approachable. The course is informed by the latest thinking and you'll learn from people with a real passion for their subject. 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.

Find out more about our Creative Writing community on the NTU Creative Writing Hub site.

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.

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 perspective 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 (78%) and placements (2%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%) and independent study (80%).

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

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

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.

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (87.5%) and practical (12.5%)
  • 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

Books and library resources

In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books including those on your reading list. The library also stocks periodicals that focus on Literary and Linguistics forums. The Clifton Campus 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 Clifton 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 from the School of Arts and Humanities run societies for like-minded students to join including the Languages and Linguistics society and Debating society. Find out more about student societies at the Students' Union website.

In addition to subject specific resources, we have a dedicated teaching and learning building which is home to lecture theatres and innovative teaching spaces. The Clifton Pavilion sits at the heart of the campus and provides a contemporary study and social space, where you can relax, grab a coffee, and work on projects independently or in groups.

Entry requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points

  • A Level grades BBB  or
  • 120 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent including A-level English grade C); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM.
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

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.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Personal statements

For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You will need the equivalent to:

  • 120 UCAS tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent including A-level English grade C); or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DMM.
  • 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.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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