Art and Creative Writing

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How to Apply

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Be dynamic and combine two arts subjects for a broad experience of creative practice.

  • Study and combine two areas of creative practice

  • Taught by staff who are practising artists and researchers

  • Excellent workshops and technical support

Why study Art?

Art is studied as a subject within the Creative Arts course, so you’ll select another subject to study alongside it. The way subjects interact varies, so the shape of the course depends on the subject you combine with Art. For example, if you decide to combine Art and Creative Writing the subject may function differently than if you study Art and Dance.

You’ll choose one of the following subjects to study alongside Art:

Course structure

You can study and practice in a wide range of disciplines from painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, video, performance and drawing. As the course progresses you’ll find the emphasis is placed on you; you’ll pursue your own areas of interest, with support from specialist academic and technical staff.

Your first year concentrates on developing your practical skills and thinking. Through practical projects and lectures on art theory and history you’ll gain new knowledge and hands-on experience.

In years two and three we’ll encourage you to develop your individual areas of practice and contextual research through weekly group seminars, critiques, lectures and individual tutorials.

Modules

Year 1

Attend practical project led workshops and historical and contextual studies lectures, complemented by optional modules in print and photography.

Year 2

Undertake self directed studio practice in your chosen area.

Year 3

Complete self directed studio practice, working towards your degree show exhibition.

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed by practical portfolio submissions or exhibitions of coursework, supported by research/context folders. At various stages of the course you’ll be required to give presentations, curate exhibitions and work collaboratively.

As part of your historical and contextual studies programme, you’ll be required to demonstrate your understanding and research through short written tasks and group presentations.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Norway, Germany, Japan, Australia and the USA

Field trips

You’ll have opportunities to participate in regular field trips across all the Creative Arts course modules. As a department we run at least four London study trips per year. We also organise international study visits to places like Berlin, Paris, New York and Venice (please note that you’ll have to pay for some study visits).

Work placements, industry links and internship

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the wider Creative Arts professional practice programme. Past Art students have worked with artists such as Gavin Turk and Martin Creed.

List of current alumni careers

Graduate careers include:
self employment as practising artists and makers;
curatorship;
gallery administration;
teaching;
art administration; and
community based art work.
90% of students go on to work and/or study in the Art subject area.

Competitions/awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in competitions such as the Porthleven Prize and the Gane Trust Travel Grant among many others. Our students have been nominated for, and won, awards such as the Threadneedle Prize, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize and the Royal West of England student drawing prize.

Each year we offer three prizes to our second and third year students:

  • The ‘Beyond the Studio’ Student Prize for Entrepreneurship in Art
  • The Outstanding Art Student Prize
  • The Excellence in the Creative Arts and Contemporary Arts Practice Development Prize

Facilities and resources

The subject is taught in workshops and studios at Dartmouth Avenue and Sion Hill.

Workshops you’re able to work in are: paint prep, woodwork, metalwork, sculpture, casting, plastics, etching, screenprint, photography, 3D print, digital print and bookbinding.

We run free evening life drawing sessions at Dartmouth Avenue in winter and spring terms.

Teaching methods

You’ll be taught by staff who are practising artists and researchers through technical demonstrations, individual tutorials, group critiques, lectures and seminars. Teaching takes place in workshops (year 1) and individual studio spaces (years 2 and 3).

You’ll benefit from a programme of visiting speakers who’ll talk about their own practice and their experience working as contemporary ceramicists, curators, designers, makers and publishers within the creative industries.

Application method

Full-time applications are through UCAS.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Your portfolio is an important part of the application process, it gives us an insight into who you are as a practicing artist. You’ll need to show us a range of finished pieces of work. We also ask that you include a wide variety of supporting work in your portfolio (preparatory work, sketchbooks and research). We advise that you do not simply pick your favourite pieces but consult tutors, friends and family to ensure the work you include showcases your talent. If the work is too large to bring – photograph it.

Research contemporary artists, visit exhibitions and be prepared to discuss them.

Use a sketchbook to draw, collect found or photographed images and make notes – look carefully at things, reflect on things you encounter.

Course enquiries

For more information please contact Martin Thomas on m.thomas2@bathspa.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

We’re looking for creative and committed individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You should be able to take risks and have an open mind. We value the ability to think critically and reflectively just as much as we value the ability to create.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - A Level grades BCC including Grade B in Art & Design or related subjects preferred. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit. Merit (MMM) in a related subject in addition to other qualifications or evidence of experience in Art.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points will be required in addition to evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply. Access courses accepted in addition to evidence of further experience in Art & Design.
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) - Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) Merit Grade is preferred in combination with the qualifications listed above. Applicants will be considered without this.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Applicants will be invited to interview at our Sion Hill Campus and will be required to bring high quality portfolio. More details will be supplied to applicants who meet the entry criteria for the course.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Career opportunities

Typical career opportunities include gallery administration, media, community-based art work, art administration, teaching or self-employment in the creative industries.

Creative Writing at Bath Spa is celebrating twenty-three years of excellence in 2015. Here you will join a thriving community of world-class writers and experiment with a wide variety of forms, and, with time, focus on the kind of writing you have come to enjoy most – poetry, fiction, nonfiction, scriptwriting, journalism – even copywriting and writing for new media.

Why study Creative Writing?

As part of one of the largest and most successful writing departments in the UK and indeed the world, this course is challenging, exciting, and versatile. At Bath Spa University you can expect a professional level of tuition – and we expect a professional level of commitment and achievement from you in return.

Employability is central to the writing programme. Both individually and in groups you will prepare for the writing / creative-industry career of your choice.

To learn more, please write directly to the Subject Leader of Creative Writing Dr Paul Meyer at p.meyer@bathspa.ac.uk. 

Alternatively, please click on the tabs above.

Course structure

Our Creative Writing course has three main components:

  • Your own development as a writer
  • Your awareness of other writing and how your work relates to it
  • Your critical awareness of the markets for creative writing and how you can get your work published or produced

Throughout the course you will be expected to:

  • Write and rewrite your work to become a sensitive and efficient editor of your own work
  • Read extensively, learning how writers do things, so that you can do them yourself
  • Find out how books get published, how films get made, so that your own work is informed and enriched by an awareness of past and current practice

As you move through the programme you push yourself and your work as far as you can, engaging with the world outside the University. Final-year students have (among many other things) promoted a European Fussball championship; run poetry readings; edited and produced student publications and worked on live projects for the Bath Literature Festival.

Modules

Sample modules:

Writers’ Workshop I and II; Poetry; Short Stories; Planning and Making a Film; Feature Journalism; Writing for Theatre; Writing for Young People; Life writing; Fiction Project; Writing for New Media; Digital Publishing.

Course assessment

Assessment is by coursework only. At all three levels, great importance is attached to the process of drafting, redrafting and improving work, in response to workshop discussion and public performance.

As a student you will join a community of practicing writers across the University including Professor Tim Liardet (poet), Ms Lucy English (poet and novelist; Reader in Creative Writing), Dr Steve May (scriptwriter and novelist, Dean of the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries), Professor Gerard Woodward (poet and novelist), Dr Carrie Etter (poet and critic), Ms Julia Green (writer for young people), Ms Celia Brayfield (novelist and journalist), Dr Mimi Thebo (novelist), Ms Katharine Reeve (editor, author and Subject Leader: Publishing), Dr Paul Meyer (novelist and advertising creative director; Subject Leader of Creative Writing) and Mr Steve Voake (writer for young people).

Students will also benefit from the experience of ten Professors of Creative Writing: Naomi Alderman, David Almond, Aminatta Forna, Maggie Gee, Tessa Hadley, Philip Hensher, Kate Pullinger and Fay Weldon.

We also host a lively programme of visiting agents, publishers, writers and representatives of the broadcasting industries which are open to and often organised by undergraduate students.

Creative Writing at Bath Spa University will help you develop a number of skills valued highly by employers such as clear communication, language skills, sensitivity to different audiences, the ability to organise your own time and ideas, and project management.

Resources:

The state-of-the-art equipment in our Artswork Broadcast and Publishing labs is at your disposal to help you make your dreams a reality. For those with a technical bent there is also the opportunity to work in our Artswork Media facility at the Paintworks development in Bristol.

 

Teaching methods

Creative Writing is taught through a mixture of workshops, lectures, presentations and tutorials. Workshops offer you the opportunity to read and discuss each other's work in a supportive, informal and informative atmosphere. Lectures are used to introduce techniques and themes in detail. Tutorials provide you with the opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor on a one-to-one basis. Advanced students may also get the chance to work with industry mentors on project work.

We believe that for you to achieve your maximum potential you have to take yourself and your writing seriously, and that the best way to do this is to develop a professional approach. Therefore, wherever appropriate, our modules run to industry standards and adopt industry practices.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Please write to Dr Paul Meyer, Subject Leader of Creative Writing, at p.meyer@bathspa.ac.uk, or the Admissions team listed above.

Entry requirements

280–320 UCAS Tariff points. including A- level English Literature, English Language, Theatre Studies or a related subject at grade B.

Candidates are sometimes asked to send samples of creative writing.

 

Career opportunities

Our graduates are communicators. They can talk, they can listen, and they can persuade. They are confident. They can manage projects through from initial idea to successful completion. They can work alone or as part of a team. That’s why recent graduates have found jobs with the BBC, Random House, and other media giants; they’ve gone into  journalism, teaching, social work, marketing: just about any career that requires a good Humanities degree.

External examiner:

“This is where the modules at Bath Spa are exceptional. The programme and module design is geared to the many facets of the industry. From journalism modules to enterprise projects, and modules involving scriptwriting and film making – all of which address industry standards and encourage external networking – the programme seems fully equipped to point students towards employment. Indeed, I saw evidence that student career choices found expression and sometimes advancement in project and course work. The quality and outcomes of the student work emphatically demonstrates that the programme is working well in this respect.” 

Since 2011, employers such as BMW/Mini, Wiltshire Police, Random House, Hot Press Magazine and Clarks have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including English Language Teacher, Music Journalism Intern, Retail Communications Coordinator Associate and Scriptwriter.

 

What students say...

Ivan Matsumoto (2012):

“Bath Spa recognizes the importance of work placements and will do their best to provide support and guidance. Now I feel even more confident that I have the education and relevant work experience to back up my degree.”

Victoria Knowles (2012):

“The lecturers were really encouraging, and regularly informed me of new writing competitions and other opportunities to get my work published.”

Ieva Lakute (2012):

"The class workshops helped me assess my own writing from a more professional angle. I learnt how to give and accept criticism, both positive and negative. The lecturers were really encouraging, and regularly informed me of new writing competitions and other opportunities to get my work published."

Rosie Mercer (2010):

“Since graduating I’ve set up my own review site. I now review books, television and audiobooks.”