English Literature and Creative Writing (BA)

Entry year

2017 2018

The BA English Literature and Creative Writing programme allows you to study all periods of literature in English, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century, together with training in Creative Writing.

The BA English Literature and Creative Writing programme allows you to study all periods of literature in English, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twenty-first century, together with training in Creative Writing.

The focus throughout the degree is on becoming a careful, attentive, and informed reader and writer, sensitive to the nuances of language and style and able to produce polished and sophisticated creative work, as well as to articulate your responses to texts in writing which is precise, stylish, and effective. 

You will be encouraged to stretch yourself intellectually and imaginatively by exploring literature as both a practitioner and a critic.

Our approach will help you develop an understanding of the creative process, as well as enhancing your knowledge of genre, literary history, and the varied and dynamic academic field which is ‘English Literature’.

The Creative Writing element of the programme provides you with the opportunity to progress from introductory modules on reading and writing creatively to specialised work within specific forms and genres such as fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and scriptwriting, culminating in the production of an extended collection of creative work.

This programme is suitable for those who wish to become professional writers as well as those who are inspired and intrigued by literature, and who wish to learn more about its theory and practice.

Distinctive features

  • Emphasis on combining the critical study of literary texts with the practice of writing creatively.
  • The ability to tailor module options towards your own creative interests.
  • Opportunities to take advantage of the creative aspects of our Engagement Platforms - Cardiff BookTalk, Cardiff Poetry Experiment, Fiction Fiesta.
  • MA guest reader performances that are an established part of the creative-critical environment in the School.
  • The opportunity to participate in a lively and thriving literary community and learn from a wide array of practitioners of contemporary literature.

Key facts

UCAS CodeQW11
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerAAB, including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. General Studies is not accepted.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding English Literature or English Language and Literature, or Creative Writing for English Literature degrees.    
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points, including 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

This is a full-time undergraduate degree that takes three years to complete. You will study modules worth a total of 360 credits split evenly over the three years.

You must pass each academic year before proceeding to the next stage of your studies.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2017.

Year one

Year one is a foundation year, designed to equip you with the skills and practice for advanced study and to give you an overview that will enable you to make informed choices from the modules available in years two and three while laying down the foundations of your engagement with Creative Writing.

You will take three core modules and three optional modules. These will provide you with a solid base for the next two years of your degree by offering the opportunity to develop your critical and creative skills through reading, analysing and producing imaginative work across a wide array of different genres.  

Year two

In year two you select from a range of period-, genre- or theme-based modules in which you will build on the foundation year, reading a selection of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.

You also continue your studies of Creative Writing within a variety of forms and genres, including fiction, poetry and scriptwriting. 

Year three

In your final year you will choose from a range of more specialised modules, allowing you to pursue interests developed in the previous two years. You will engage with current issues in research and scholarship, enabling you further to develop analytical and presentation skills that employers will value, as well as equipping you for postgraduate study.

You also undertake a portfolio dissertation in Creative Writing that complements your work in the English Literature modules and allows you to produce an extended piece of writing in a specialist genre. The dissertation also allows you to develop research and project management skills.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, with all modules including seminar or small-group teaching. In Creative Writing the small-group teaching takes the form of workshops based on peer review of student writing.

Teaching stresses the importance of the way texts interact with their contexts, and each module is designed to encourage you to focus on a number of specific texts and to prepare carefully a considered answer to specific topics dealt with in the module, while the workshops in Creative Writing ask you to engage with the critical creative process through evaluative discussion of peer writing.

Learning activities will vary from module to module as appropriate, but may include such activities as: interactive lectures, seminar discussions of prepared texts/topics, student individual or group presentations, small-group work within seminars, peer review in workshops, translation classes, formative writing exercises, journal entries, and film viewings.

You are expected to do the reading and other relevant preparation to enable you to participate fully in these activities. You are encouraged to explore the resources of the library as appropriate. For the workshops, peer work is previously circulated and you are expected to bring prepared comments as part of the exchange of ideas informing the sessions.

How will I be supported?

You will be assigned a personal tutor and will meet him/her for regular academic progress meetings (one per semester). There is a form to fill in before each Academic Progress meeting which is designed to help you reflect on the written feedback and the reasons for the marks you have received from the previous round of assessment. You will discuss this feedback and your reflections on it with your personal tutor.

In addition, all staff have weekly office hours during teaching weeks and you may make appointments to see your personal tutor or module leaders on a one-to-one basis about any issues. Staff may also be contacted by email.

Key information for each module will be available on our Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, together with appropriate additional learning resources, such as lecture notes and slides.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

Written feedback is provided on both formative and summative assessment and you are encouraged to discuss your ideas with module tutors in seminars and, where appropriate, on a one-to-one basis in office hours.

Your achievement and progress are also discussed in regular progress meetings with personal tutors.

 

How will I be assessed?

All English Literature modules offer you the opportunity to undertake unassessed formative work appropriate to the module. Most modules are assessed by essay and/or examination, but some include other forms of assessment such as journal entries, a portfolio, or presentations.

Creative Writing modules are assessed by short portfolios of creative work that include a critical commentary. The assessment strategy is structured to lead you from formative thinking throughout the module towards the production of an informed critical/creative response.

Your final year project consists of a substantial, independently-researched and original portfolio of creative work, produced under the guidance of a member of staff, in the field of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, or screenwriting. The portfolio includes a critical commentary on the work produced.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge and understanding

  • Awareness of different literary periods, movements and genres and of the variety of English literature.
  • Understanding of the importance of historical and cultural contexts.
  • Ability to sustain a critical argument that is responsive to the workings of language and literary styles.
  • Awareness of the bibliographic conventions of the discipline and their role in communicating information.
  • Knowledge of the critical issues and/or debates surrounding or raised by texts.
  • Understanding of the shaping effects of historical and cultural circumstances on the production and meaning of texts.
  • Knowledge of appropriate critical vocabulary and terminology.
  • An awareness of editorial approaches and processes.
  • Understanding, through reading and your own practice, of the key elements of different forms of writing.
  • Ability to produce original literary work in a variety of forms and genres.
  • An awareness of tone, register, structure, genre and audience in your own writing.

Intellectual skills

  • Ability to handle complex ideas with clarity.
  • Ability to analyse and interpret material drawn from a diversity of literary periods.
  • Ability to apply high level critical skills of close analysis to literary texts.
  • Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.
  • Ability to use the views of others in the development and enhancement of practice; formulate considered practical responses to the critical judgements of others, while developing a generous yet rigorous critical scrutiny in peer review and workshop activities.

Professional Practical Skills

  • Advanced communication skills (written and oral).
  • Ability to give an efficient critical evaluation of documents in various styles.
  • Ability to give oral and written feedback on others’ work.
  • Ability to access, use and evaluate electronic data.
  • Ability to interact effectively with others, in team or group work situations.

Transferable skills

  • Ability to handle complex ideas with clarity.
  • Ability to select and organise material purposefully and cogently.
  • Plan, organize, and deliver work to a deadline.
  • Initiate and take responsibility for independent projects.
  • Respond creatively and imaginatively to research tasks.

 

 

Our graduates commonly go on to pursue careers in freelance writing, academia, teaching, publishing, arts management and administration, public relations and journalism.

Many employers welcome graduates with high-level literacy skills. Together with such skills, our students develop the kind of insights into the creative process that are valued by business, from design to sales.

Imaginative writing transfers readily into advertising and tourism as well as advertising companies. As a graduate of our School you will have a portfolio of creative writing to demonstrate to potential employers.

Our graduates find employment in HR, the book trade, professional areas such as librarianship but also local government and other areas of public life concerned with communication.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£15,080None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

We have an established portfolio of internships with Wales-based literary/cultural magazines for which students can apply. 

You may also apply for exchanges with the range of University partners through the University’s Global Opportunities Centre.

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