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Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year)

Course overview

(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA W808

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. 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 required. 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

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.

External Examiners

Dr James Michael Miller
Kingston University
Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing

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.


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
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
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 0 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01 IA111-3-FY Major Writers in English Literature Core 30
02 IA195-3-FY Research and Academic Development Skills Core 30
03 IA108-3-FY The United Kingdom from 1939 to the Present Day Core 30
04 IA121-3-FY or IA101-3-FY Core with Options 30

Year 1 - 2020/21

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 - 2021/22

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 - 2022/23

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: