Creative Writing

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Creative Writing
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA W800

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject

IB: 30 points, including a Higher Level essay-based subject grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Dr James Michael Miller

Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing

Kingston University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 27 January 2020 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  LT705-4-SP  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15 
02  LT111-4-FY  Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama  Compulsory  30 
03  LT191-4-AU  The Writer's Toolkit  Compulsory  15 
04  LT182-4-AU  Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism  Compulsory  15 
05  LT146-4-AU  Writing for the Radio  Compulsory  15 
06  LT143-4-SP  Poetry: A Very Short Introduction  Compulsory  15 
07    Spring term option from list  Optional  15 

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  LT204-5-AU  Criticism: Practice and Theory  Compulsory  15 
02  LT209-5-FY  Writing Structures  Compulsory  30 
03  LT245-5-FY  Creative Non-Fiction  Compulsory  30 
04  LT219-5-SP  Writing the Short Story  Compulsory  15 
05    2nd year Literature or outside option(s) from list  Optional  30 

Year 3 - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    Final year Creative Writing option(s) from list  Optional  30 
02    Final year Creative Writing option(s) from list  Optional  30 
03    LT832-6-FY or LT831-6-FY or LT835-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30 
04    Final year Literature option(s) from list  Optional  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum focused on the study of Creative Writing in the context of the study of literature.

To enable students to exercise their own choices in creative composition across a range of genres.

To enable students to:

Understand the methodology necessary for undertaking a close analysis of a text passage or film extract.

Acquire the critical terminology to identify and name the literary devices at work in a text.

Work in a small group to prepare a presentation that demonstrates the skills involved in the close reading of an unseen text.

Appreciate the relationship between the written and the spoken language.

To acquaint students with a range of theoretical and comparative frameworks.

To enable students to think critically about their own creative writing.

To provide the knowledge and skills (creative development, critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written and spoken communication and presentation) to stand students in good stead for more specialised creative and academic study, as well as enhancing their graduate careers.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: A range of literature, from the early modern period to present-day, including knowledge of a variety of genres (poetry, fiction, and drama) and national literatures

A2: A range of approaches to creative writing as practiced across a range of genres

A3: Some major figures in the field, and the major literary tendencies or movements covered by the degree scheme

A4: The relationship between literature and culture and an awareness of the writer's role in creating cultural change

A5: The key approaches to creative work

A6: The basic methods of critical analysis and research

A7: The basic functions of audience and marketplace as constraints on writing

A8: Specialised study in the final year in areas students have identified as being of particular interest

Learning methods

1-8 are acquired through lectures, classes, workshops and continuously assessed coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from tutors and peers).

Classes focus on textual examples, and give emphasis to student discussion and/ or presentation, preparing their argumentative skills for formal assessment.

Workshops focus on writing exercises, oral presentation and peer review.

In Year 3 options will focus on specific approaches to writing including genre specialisms, enabling students to pursue more individual interests.

In addition, students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding of writing they acquire from classes by independent research(6).

Assessment methods

Formal assessment of students' skills, knowledge and understanding (1-8) takes place through coursework essays, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and unseen written examinations.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Show an ability to engage in the practice of creative composition and critical writing

B2: Show an ability to reflect critically on their own work and that of others

B3: Read complex texts and comment cogently on them

B4: Reason critically and argue coherently

B5: Make and account for connections between texts and their contexts

Learning methods

Intellectual and cognitive skills are initiated through lectures, classes and workshops in Year I and II, as well as one-to-one tutorials where appropriate.

The seminar- based work of Year III, like that of Years I and II, encourages critical discussion arising from the analysis and interpretation of set texts and student writing with an emphasis on being able to reason cogently, argue coherently and present one's own viewpoint persuasively.

Year III students are guided towards the acquisition of a reflective understanding of their own writing, and the critical positions they and others employ.

This is done through in situ feedback (formally and informally, as appropriate) in oral and written presentations, group based critical discussions and the analysis and interpretation of texts and student writing.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by coursework essays, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and unseen written examinations.

C: Practical skills

C1: A vocabulary and a critical and analytical terminology for the analysis of writing

C2: An ability to write in a variety of styles and genres

C3: A capacity for working independently and under guidance

C4: Critical analysis of their own work to develop creative writing skills through a number of drafts

C5: The use of accepted conventions of presenting manuscripts, references and bibliographies

C6: The utilisation in creative writing of a knowledge of literary and generic conventions

C7: An effective style or range of styles to convey a range of responses as readers of literary texts

Learning methods

Practical writing skills are developed through practice in workshops, group activities and the development of writing skills through peer review and reflective practice and research.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by coursework essays, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and unseen written examinations.

Students can apply to be assessed on an Independent Creative Writing Project in the third year in lieu of a taught module.

There is a presentation element to the project which constitutes of 20% of the final mark.

This could include a portfolio of creative work.

D: Key skills

D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication

D2: Use appropriate IT to research and present materia

D3: Basic numeracy as part of the employability aspects of the degree

D4: Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding, organising and creatively processing information.

D5: Ability to "read" an argument in seminar discussion; ability to engage in "workshopping"; ability to engage in collaborative writing and editing activities ability to respond effectively; ability to work in a variety of group contexts.

D6: Receptivity to feedback in class and in the form of written comments on coursework and oral communications.

Learning methods

The six relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree, and are supported in their development by seminar work, feedback on essays, and key skills packages.

Assessment methods

Key skills are assessed through coursework and dissertations and through the participation mark (D5).


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: