(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Literature and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 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
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
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.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
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 Student 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 Student 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.
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.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Eleanor Perry
Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) University of Kent
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.
To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum focused on the study of creative writing and literature in comparative and theoretical contexts.
To enable students to exercise their own choices in creative composition across a range of genres.
To acquaint students with a range of theoretical and comparative frameworks.
To enable students to think critically about their own reading and 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 to the present day, including the understanding of a variety of modes (poetry, fiction, drama)
A2: A range of key approaches to creative writing from Anglo-American to mythic to Oulipo.
A3: Major literary and theoretical figures in the field and major literary tendencies or movements
A4: The relationship between literature and culture and an awareness of the writer's role in creating cultural change
A5: Key methods of literary analysis and research and of modes of research for creative writing
A6: The basic functions of audience and marketplace as constraints on writing
A7: Specialised study in the final year in the form of a capstone project
1-7 are acquired through lectures, classes, workshops and continually assessed coursework.
Classes focus on textual examples and give emphasis to student discussion and/or presentation, preparing argumentative and creative skills for formal assessment.
Workshops focus on writing exercises, oral presentations, and peer review. In addition, students extend and enhance knowledge and understanding of writing they acquire from classes by independent research.
Formal assessment of student skills, knowledge and understanding (1-7) takes place through coursework essays, notebooks, presentations, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and poetics statements.
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: Think independently and creatively
Intellectual and cognitive skills are initiated through lectures, classes and workshops in years 0, 1 and 2, as well as one-to-one tutorials where appropriate.
The seminar- based work of year 3, like that of Years 1 and 2, 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.
Final year 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 is by coursework essays, notebooks, presentations, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and poetics statements.
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, and an ability to challenge these conventions
C6: An effective style or range of styles to convey a range of responses as readers of literary texts
C7: A range of methods to research writing projects
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 is by coursework essays, writing assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and capstone project.
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication
D2: Use appropriate IT to research and present materials
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: The role of publishing and broadcasting in a modern society, including challenges in reporting on international issues
D6: Receptivity to feedback
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.
Key skills are assessed through coursework and through the participation mark.