BA (Hons)

Creative Writing

English students
  • UCAS code(s): W800
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: Three years full-time, four to seven years part-time


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.

  • New degree for 2019 entry.
  • 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.
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Study Creative Writing in a City of Literature with NTU

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.

  • Year One

    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.

    Questioning the Canon 

    Understand and question the 'English literary canon' through examining the texts which have tended to be defined as the greatest works of English Literature and how these have influenced and shaped the study. The module contains a practical element, which provides you with training to create podcasts and blog posts; two increasingly relevant modes of communicating in the English literary field.

    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.

  • Year Two

    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.

    Literary Cultures I (Journal/Conference)

    This module aims to enable you to work collaboratively to produce a professional output – either a conference for a public audience, or a published journal. You’ll work in groups, and you’ll undertake a professional role as well as producing an output.

    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.

    Writing for Short Film

    This module will explore the relationship between the short film and an audience as well as how stories are influenced by actors, directors and other types of collaboration. You will explore practical elements of writing craft including ideas generation and exploration, researching, story-lining, writing, re-writing and pitching. The module will take you from initial idea through to a second draft of a 10-page fiction script, suitable for low budget production.

    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’.

    The Anthology

    Examine poetry anthologies and develop skills in critical evaluation of poetry, editing and book construction. You'll work in groups to produce your own sample anthology.

    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.

  • Year Three

    Core Module:


    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).

    Nuclear Literature: Culture in the Atomic Age

    Introduces students to the literary and cultural impact of a key technology and the latest debates in the Nuclear Humanities. Engaging students with research being undertaken into this subject at NTU, the module considers the representation of nuclear technology and science in literary texts, as well as the questions raised for literature by the dawning of the nuclear age.

    American Specialisms

    American Specialisms provides an opportunity for students to pursue the advanced study of one or two American literature specialisms, developed from recent and current research being carried out by tutors. You will be encouraged to intervene in current debates in American literature, engaging directly with expert researchers in the field, and consider how the subject is being shaped by contemporary thinking. You will cover a particular topic in American Studies, which will allow you to explore issues such as sustainability, the relationship between the local and global and the effect of modernity.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

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.

Watch our video to find out more.

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.

My Inkspiration

Here at NTU, we're enthusiastic about the English subject and wish to express a similar enthusiasm to our students. It's much more than a job: it really matters to us that you are inspired, passionate, challenged and motivated by your studies. Here, we talk about the authors who have inspired us and instilled in us a passion for the subject that we teach.

Assessment methods

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

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • 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 on how you're taught

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.

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.

Entry requirements

  • 112 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.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying for, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application through UCAS.

Getting in touch

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

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please email our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide. 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!

Getting in touch

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

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS .

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

Good luck with your application!

Getting in touch

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

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Please see our fees page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418