Creative Writing and Education Studies

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 Top UK writing course, taught by award-winning practitioners.

  • More specialist strands than any other course in the UK
  • Focus on graduate employability, building industry connections
  • Large and diverse student body – close to 500 students from across the world

"The Creative Writing programme at Bath Spa University is the flagship example of its type."
- External Examiner’s Report (2015)

Why study Creative Writing?

This course is challenging, exciting, and versatile. Here, 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.

Said one recent graduate: "Bath Spa gave me the opportunity to stretch myself academically and creatively, and - above all - it was so encouraging to have my creative writing taken seriously by highly respected tutors."

Course structure

Our comprehensive programme includes prose, poetry, scriptwriting for the stage and screen, feature journalism, writing for new media, life writing: in fact, whatever you want to write, you’ll find an opportunity at Bath Spa University. We also work with drama and film students to produce films and podcasts, and encourage you to get involved in a wide range of writing-related areas such as readings, performances and magazines.

Modules

  • Year One
    Writer’s Workshop One (general workshop), Poetry, Fiction, Scriptwriting.

  • Year Two
    Specialist core modules (choose one of five) plus a wide range of specialist modules from journalism and new media, writing for young people, traditional “page” poetry, performance poetry, to genre fiction, short stories, nonfiction and more!

  • Year Three
    Creative Enterprise module, dissertation-equivalent modules in poetry, novel writing, nonfiction, and writing for young people. Independent project module, collaborative film module.

Course assessment

Assessment is based on 100% coursework (no exams). Most modules will require you to submit a portfolio of creative writing along with a reflective essay in which you describe what you have learned in class, what you have learned from the set texts and working on your own writing.

Study abroad

Erasmus and exchange opportunities to some of the world’s leading colleges and universities – for instance Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Bennington College, USA.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Creative Writing has no work experience or placements embedded within the course, but students often find subject-related placements – for instance, with the Bath Literature Festival, or with production companies such as the BBC. The course team will help you on an individual basis as opportunities present themselves.

For instance, in 2012, one student was able to secure a film production assistant’s position working on the Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon on location in Southeast Asia. The course team was able to help him gain credit for this work through the Creative Enterprise and Independent Project modules. In 2014, another student was able to secure a paid placement at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. His third year of study was tailored so that he could take advantage of that opportunity and graduate with the rest of his class. Yet another student secured a placement at the Old Vic Theatre where she also researched a project for her second-year independent project module.

Competitions/awards

Creative Writing awards almost twenty separate prizes to students each year – for the best short story, best poetry, best group project, best script, along with externally sponsored awards such as the Picador Prize for Fiction – given annually to the most promising work of fiction by an undergraduate – and the Les Arnold Prize for top student in the second year, honouring the memory of poet Les Arnold, who started the writing programme in 1992.

Projects

Students are given numerous opportunities to focus on project work – from the first year core module (Writers Workshop One) to the second year core module and into several project modules in the third year.

Teaching methods

Creative Writing at Bath Spa University 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

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

  • A Level - Grades BCC accepted with a minimum of Grade B in English or related subject. Applicants without A Level English will be considered but will be required to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma grades Distinction. Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted from applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in creative writing. You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points are required from applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in creative writing. You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • 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). You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.

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.

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.

 List of current alumni careers

  • Novelist
  • Children’s Author
  • Playwright
  • Poet
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Bookstore Owner
  • University Lecturer
  • Editor (Random House)

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.”

A dynamic course for those interested in all aspects of education.

  • Flexible routes through the course – focus teaching, international education or youth and community work.
  • Wide range of opportunities to gain expertise and experience including placements.
  • Our Institute for Education is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

“This experience really helped me consider what I wanted to do – I knew I wanted to help educate children, but I hadn't considered many of the aspects that have been presented to me in the past two years.”
– Megan Hinton, Education Studies student

Why study Education Studies?

We prepare you to work with learners of all ages within the education sector and beyond. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations, charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.

We believe that education is about change and we hope that you are coming into it to be an active participant. We also want you to be a thoughtful and informed citizen who knows about the world and the society in which you live.

Course structure

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the diversity of learners and the complexities of the learning process;
  • debates about the curriculum and its content;
  • the development of schooling, teaching and education policy in the UK and internationally;
  • the wider economic, political and socio-cultural contexts of education
  • research methods used in education; and
  • the impact of inequalities in gender, race, class and disability.

In addition to this you’ll gain skills that will make you attractive to employers. You’ll learn to present your ideas confidently in a variety of forms, use ICT for various professional purposes and work collaboratively.

Modules

  • Year 1
    We’ll teach you the basic principles of education. You’ll gain an understanding of how we most effectively think and learn.
    In addition you can tailor your studies to your interests in areas such as primary teaching; early childhood studies, childhood narratives; philosophy for children and international education.

  • Year 2
    The focus on year two is on a placement in an educational setting. You’ll complete assignments around your experiences. This leads towards a piece of research in an area negotiated by you.
    Current optional modules include: understanding classrooms; learning through drama; literacy learning; and supporting learners with additional needs.

  • Year 3
    You’ll write a dissertation, balancing independent work with one-to-one support. We’ll give you flexibility in what you do and how you go about it. You can choose to go into an educational setting and carry out research or undertake library-based study.
    Optional modules include: teaching and professionalism; learning and mathematics; supporting a dyslexic learner; and creativity, ICT and learning.

  • Integrated MA
    If you’re interested in this course, and like the idea of combining undergraduate and postgraduate study, we offer an integrated MA option. You’ll follow the structure of the Education Studies course in your first two years, before advancing to master’s level study in your final years.

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed through coursework. There are no exams.

Assessments could include essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We’ll provide you with regular feedback on how well you are doing and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world, by taking advantage of our Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes.

Some of our students complete educational placements as part of our international education modules. In your first year, you’ll have the opportunity to study in Spain; in year two you can study in Zambia; and in your final year you can travel to Nepal. Alternatively you can arrange your own international placement.

Teaching methods

Teaching is through a mix of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. Seminars are usually more informal than lectures – they are opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates. In year one your minimum timetabled time will be 12 hours per week.

You’ll be taught by experienced and respected university staff. In years two and three they’ll introduce you to their specialisms and research interests, through a range of optional modules. You’ll also benefit from visiting speakers – these include headteachers, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

You can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from cameras to laptops.

Teaching quality excellence

22/24 in a Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) assessment.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS.

Course enquiries

Please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Entry requirements

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

  • A Level - Grades BCC-CCC accepted.
  • BTEC- Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points with evidence of an interest in Education.
  • 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) accepted in addition to evidence of an interest in Education.

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.

Career opportunities

Education Studies will provide the basis for you to work with learners of all ages in different settings and contexts. You may choose to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including local community , youth clubs, businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations and charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.

As well as going on to study for the PGCE our graduates have been recruited by Nottingham Trent International College, Explore Learning, the NHS and many schools and Local Authorities working in Educational roles such as tutors, trainers and Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

You’ll also be able to apply for PGCE courses in teacher training – but if you know at this stage that you want to be a teacher you should consider our primary or secondary teaching pathway.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Placements occur in each year of the programme. In year two there is a compulsory placement for all students of Education Studies in an educational setting or school.

Optional modules provide further placement opportunities for you to work with young people both locally and internationally. The Institute for Education Partnership Office will arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you are located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport.

Previous students have also worked with charities, youth centres, and third-sector organisations as well as schools and early years settings.

What students say...

Student Profile: Kia Prescott, International Education

“The course has made me question all of my opinions I held before. Studying International Education has given me a better knowledge of geography, countries, cultures, global issues, politics and world history, all of which has given me a wider base and has helped in all my modules. This year there is a study trip to Zambia for students on the international module, and it will be the perfect opportunity to gain first-hand experience of education abroad.

Although the majority on the course want to be teachers it is understood that there are some who don’t, and this is catered for. I have a great interest in other countries and cultures, and I have not completely decided if I want to teach abroad yet – but Bath Spa are enabling me to keep my options open.”