BA English and Creative Writing

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
Q3W8
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2019/20:
£9,250 (Home/EU)
£17,640 (Overseas)
More detail.

Studying English Literature and Creative Writing in combination, allows you to develop your skills as a writer, whilst setting your own work and aspirations in the context of the wider literary world.

Our BA programme introduces you to a broad range of types and periods of literature, with a huge variety of different areas to pursue, from medieval literature to twenty-first-century digital literary culture. These include unparalleled resources for the study of Shakespeare, through our world-leading Shakespeare Institute and five-year (2015 – 2020) collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

You will be given a foundation in all main genres of creative writing: poetry, prose, drama and media writing. Alongside this, you will explore the professional aspects of contemporary writing and editing and will be supported in finding your own ‘voice’. You will be taught by award winning writers and benefit from regular guest talks by visiting writers.

Creative Writing at Birmingham is ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2020. We are also ranked Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019 for English Language and Literature.

The programme has built my confidence in genres and formats I never would have attempted otherwise. My knowledge and abilities are much more rounded now. The excellent contacts you make being taught by published writers has left me feeling positive about my opportunities after graduation.

Emily

Why Study this Course?

  • Excellent reputation - We are ranked 3rd for Creative Writing in the Complete University Guide 2020. We are also ranked in the Top 35 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019 for English Language and Literature.
  • Outstanding student experience - Our students gave the course an overall satisfaction rating of 97% in the National Student Survey 2018.
  • Shakespeare Institute and RSC collaboration - We have a unique provision for the study of Shakespeare: the Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, is a world leading centre for international Shakespeare scholarship. You will also benefit from our exciting five year collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which has seen the reinstatement of the iconic studio theatre The Other Place. To learn more about the city of Birmingham and the surrounding area, visit our Discover Birmingham page. 
  • Your lecturers and tutors for Creative Writing will be practising writers - Elsa Braekkan Payne, an expert in the short story who also has particular interests in editing; Luke Kennard, a poet and novelist whose criticism appears in Poetry London and the Times Literary SupplementRichard House, fiction and screenwriter, recently long listed for the Man Booker Prize; Dan Vyleta, author of four award winning novels and the best-selling novelist Ruth Gilligan. You will also be able to enjoy regular guest lectures and readings from visiting writers. Past guests have included poet Simon Armitage and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. 
  • Extra-curricular activity - the University’s very active creative writing society, Writers' Bloc, produces a regular journal and is very involved with the performance poetry scene, as well as hosting socials, open mic nights and writing workshops. In your second year, you will have the opportunity to partake in our very popular residential study trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, which includes lectures, creative workshops, theatre trips, cultural activities, academic and creative inspiration and the opportunity to socialise with staff and fellow students.

Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Prose 
  • Poetry
  • Reading English
  • English in the World
  • Creative Writing Foundation
  • Contemporary Creative Writing

Detailed descriptions of year 1 compulsory modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Histories of Literature 
  • Themes in Literature or Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean 
  • Drama and Media Writing 
  • Editing: Theory and Practice
  • Poetry Writing
  • Prose Writing  

Detailed descriptions of year 2 compulsory modules

Year abroad

You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year. Find out more.

Final year

Compulsory modules

  • Creative Writing Project 
  • Creative Writing and English Literature Special Subjects

Detailed descriptions of final year compulsory modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

  • Home / EU: £9,250
  • Overseas: £17,640

Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as home/EU for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as overseas for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level English Literature grade B (English Language and Literature A level also accepted).
General Studies:
Not accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,6,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall, to include Literature or Literature and Language at HL 5.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus a B at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus a B at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level, including the required subject/s mentioned above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

Woolf is fascinating as a pioneer of feminist literary criticism in the 20th century. She was hugely preoccupied throughout her writing with the relationship of women and fiction and the role of women in history and the history of literature.

Dr Deborah Longworth

 

University of Birmingham students are part of an academic elite and learn from world-leading experts. We will challenge you to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

You will have a diverse learning experience, including:

  • lectures
  • small group tutorials
  • independent study
  • and peer group learning, such as delivering presentations with your classmates

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) - the AWAS team will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level. You will receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, tutorials and email correspondence.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Contact hours

Throughout your English and Creative Writing degree you can expect around 10 contact hours per week which will be made up of lectures and seminars. In your final year your contact time will also include supervision meetings with a lecturer who will support you through your Creative Writing Project. You will also attend Creative Writing Bootcamp days at various points during your degree.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

For a detailed breakdown of the contact hours associated with each module available on this programme, please visit:  https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/registry/policy/programmemodule/handbook/index.aspx 

 

Studying for BA English and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham is an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a diverse cultural, textual and linguistic discipline, at the same time as developing your own writing 'voice' and 'genre'.

You may go on to a career as a novelist, screenwriter, poet or journalist, but of course the skill of writing also qualifies you for a wide range of other careers. Whatever path you choose, you will also find the practical skills that you have acquired on your degree course extremely useful such as oral presentation, professional documentation, group work and the uses of information technology. 90% of our graduates enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

Our graduates have started careers with employers including the BBC, Headline Publishing Group, Mirror Group Newspapers and Oxford University Press, in roles such as account executive, editorial assistant, marketing assistant and sales and events coordinator. Many of our graduates pursue postgraduate study to specialise in an academic area or prepare for careers such as law and teaching.

Developing your career

Employers target University of Birmingham students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

  • Careers events - we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
  • Global Challenge - you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
  • Work experience bursary - we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
  • Cultural Internships - our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham.

There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and network of contacts.

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - our College of Arts and Law Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of our academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.
  • Personal Skills Award - our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.
  • Guild of Students - there is a vast number of student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students, which cover a wide variety of interests.