Why study this course
Spend a semester abroad
Adventure into a new culture; open your mind to new ideas and experiences in life and learning.
Tailored to you
With primarily optional modules you have freedom to choose a personalised degree.
Our 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. We cover all genres, from contemporary and historical fiction to poetry, drama, film and music.
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.
Throughout the programme 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.
You will focus 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 join a friendly and supportive environment with an international reputation for both teaching and research. Our talented Creative Writing team regularly scoop national and international awards, and collectively share experience in theatre, television and film. Our public platforms Cardiff BookTalk and Cardiff Poetry Experiment are popular and hugely engaging.
Applying for 2022 or 2023
We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:
ABB, including an A in English Literature or English Literature and Language or Creative Writing. Please note: General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
36 points, including 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects to include English Literature.
From 2023, the Welsh Baccalaureate will be renamed the Baccalaureate Wales Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate. This qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Other qualifications from inside the UK
The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.
Additional entry requirements
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Tuition fees for 2022 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2022/23 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
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.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
In each year of the Programme, you will take Modules to the value of 60 credits. The programme is offered in part-time mode over six academic years. 360 credits are studied (normally 60 credits per year).
You must pass each academic year before proceeding to the next stage of your studies. The classification of your degree is based on the grades you achieve in the Modules that you take in years three to six.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/2023 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.
Year one and year two are foundation years, 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 three to six while laying down the foundations of your engagement with Creative Writing.
You will take three compulsory 20-credit modules in year one. These will provide you with a solid base for the next five 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.
In year two, you will take three modules amounting to 60 credits, choosing from the range of options available.
In year three you will take two modules in Creative Writing, continuing your studies within a variety of forms and genres, including fiction, poetry and scriptwriting. You will also select from a range of period-, genre- or theme-based modules in English Literature, building on the foundation year, reading a selection of texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
In year four you will take modules amounting to 60 credits, choosing from the range of options available.
In years five and six you will choose from a range of more specialised modules, allowing you to pursue interests developed in the previous four 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.
In either year five or year six you will 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.
In year six you will take modules amounting to 60 credits. This may include the compulsory 40-credit Creative Writing portfolio dissertation, if you did not choose to take it in year five. As in year five, the range of optional modules will allow you to pursue interests developed in the previous five years.
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.
Learning and assessment
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Careers and placements
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 transfer readily into HR, the book trade, professional areas such as librarianship but also local government and other areas of public life concerned with communication.
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.
Data from Discover Uni is not yet available for this course.
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19, published by HESA in June 2021.