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Claire Hickenbotham, 1st year BA Creative Writing student


United Kingdom
The lecturers keep us in the loop with writing competitions, magazine submissions and volunteering opportunities, which are not only fun, but they improve confidence and enhance career prospects.

More about Claire

What were the key features that attracted you to your course?

I discovered my love of writing a few years ago. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I retook my English GCSE, followed by an Access to Higher Education Course, so the Creative Writing BA was a natural progression for me. Modules such as Writing and Editing; Reading and Analysing, sounded like the perfect way to enhance my skills and achieve my dream of being a writer.

Is there anything about your course that stood out to you, perhaps that wasn’t offered anywhere else you applied?

As a mature student with caring responsibilities, I assumed my local uni would be my only option. But then I attended NTU’s open day! The staff were friendly and immediately put me at ease. Not only did I fall in love with the course, I also fell in love with Clifton Campus. It had such as relaxed atmosphere. I went home and immediately made NTU my first choice. Even though I have a longer commute, I definitely made the right decision.

What would you describe as the real strengths of your course?

The course provides opportunities to write in many different genres. I have written fiction, poetry, script, memoir, blogs, opinion pieces and reviews. We were encouraged to review places of interest in Nottingham, which was fun because it gave me the chance to explore a new city. Of course, academia wouldn’t be the same without the odd essay thrown in, but this mixture has encouraged me to leave my comfort zone and experiment with different styles. I can already see how much my writing has improved.

What topics / projects have you really felt engaged with?

I expected to feel more engaged with the writing modules, but I’ve really enjoyed the English modules too. The reading list is very varied, including both classic and contemporary texts, which have expanded my mind and helped to make me a better writer.

What has been your greatest achievement as a Nottingham Trent University student?

Achieving a First in most of my assessments. Going from not having an English GCSE, to achieving high grades at degree level, is an accomplishment I am very proud of. I have also volunteered at a writing workshop, and I am hoping to take part in many more events and competitions as I commence my second year.

In a nutshell, why would you recommend your course / NTU to prospective students?

Creative Writing is more than a degree. The lecturers keep us in the loop with writing competitions, magazine submissions and volunteering opportunities, which are not only fun, but they improve confidence and enhance career prospects.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your course or your experiences at NTU? Do you have any advice for students considering coming to NTU?

Age is no barrier – it is never too late to get your degree! Being 39 years old and out of education for a while, I assumed coming to university would be a daunting experience. But it wasn’t. There are so many support systems in place: library staff offer IT and academic support, and student mentors are always on hand for a chat. Campus is relaxed and friendly, plus you can get a great caramel latte in the Pavillion! I’m really enjoying my time here.

English, Linguistics and Creative Writing at NTU

Words are worlds, and they demand exploration. Studying English, linguistics or creative writing requires a deep passion for language, an intellectual curiosity, and the ability to explain yourself with imagination and intelligence.

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