Creative Writing and Study of Religions

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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.”

Explore different religious traditions across continents, through time.

  • Global and local – study the major religious traditions and newer religious communities
  • Contemporary – explore religious traditions in the contemporary world
  • Applied – learn through experience; use your learning to address current issues

“The teaching staff and tutors at Bath Spa University are absolutely brilliant. They are extremely helpful, offering help whenever they can and making the lectures and seminars not only interesting, but also fun and entertaining.”
–Alicia Penny, English Literature and Study of Religions student

Why study Study of Religions?

This Study of Religions course is about understanding; you’ll explore and analyse religious traditions and beliefs including the major faiths and more recent as well as contemporary religious movements. We welcome students who belong to a religious tradition and those who don’t.

The course is distinctive in giving you the opportunity to engage with practitioners across traditions, through visits to and placements with religious communities, mosques, temples and churches.

You must study another subject with the Study of Religions; it’s offered as a Major, Joint or Minor component of a Combined Honours award. You can choose from a wide range of disciplines including Geography, History and Creative Writing.

If you would like to take this course with Philosophy and Ethics, you should apply for Religions, Philosophy and Ethics.

Course structure

You’ll study a diverse range of religious traditions. Our teaching focuses on both the major religious traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, and on less well known or more recent movements and communities.

You’ll develop an open and exploratory approach, gaining first hand experience and embarking on community placements. You can find more about our placements with religious communities, the British Humanist Association or the Salvation Army on our Living Religion website.

Modules

  • Year one
    You’ll explore the meaning of religion and spirituality, examine a variety of methods for studying religions, and apply these to a number of contemporary traditions. An optional module in global religion and philosophy considers major traditions and movements and key thinking in and about those traditions
  • Year two
    The focus in Year Two is on the philosophies, religious and non-religious world views in the Indian and Chinese traditions. Optional modules include the in-depth study of the major world religions, and the exploration of environmental politics through religious and philosophical ideas
  • Year three
    You’ll consider religion in the contemporary world. This includes a fieldwork placement with – for example – a Buddhist monastery, a Christian convent, the Hare Krishnas or the Salvation Army. We offer a range of optional modules which develop or introduce different themes and debates, from a range of perspectives. You can study Buddhism; religion, culture and society in Japan; or issues around religion, identity and gender.

Course assessment

Assessment is mainly through coursework such as essays, reports, projects, presentations, and online discussion.

Study abroad

Our students make good use of the opportunities to study abroad through Erasmus and other programmes, usually in the second year, with one of our many partner universities. You’ll be able to find out more about this during your first year, including meeting up with students who have already benefited from the experience.

If you opt to join one of the study abroad programmes, you might find yourself in Denmark, Spain, Australia or North America. We have developing partnerships with universities in China and the Far East.

Field trips

Fieldwork and visits are an integral part of the course. We visit religious communities, mosques, temples, gurdwaras and churches.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We have excellent links with third sector organisations, working with environmental and educational charities, as well as others. These links support your study, as we’ll explore how religious, philosophical and ethical perspectives can be applied to current issues.

Teaching methods

We offer lectures, seminars and workshops, and support you throughout your degree through individuals tutorials. Visits, fieldwork and encounters with people from different religious backgrounds and traditions of belief form an important part of our teaching.

Teaching quality excellence

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

  • A Level - Grades BCC - CCC preferred in a related subject
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required
  • 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).

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.

Application method

Full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

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 preferred in a related subject
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required
  • 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).

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

List of current alumni careers

Our graduates have careers in:

  • the police service;
  • health administration;
  • education;
  • social work; and
  • journalism.

The ability to combine this course with another subject, makes this it ideal for individuals considering a career in teaching. Many graduates go on to train as teachers – the course is widely respected as a foundation for a career in education.

What students say...

Student Profile: Alex Hyde, Year 3 Study of Religions

I chose my course because I have always been interested in the world and in people.  I am fascinated by the thoughts, needs, beliefs and knowledge of others who have been brought up outside of Christianity.

I really like the structure of the course because the first year enables you to study in breadth and then in the second year focus more deeply on some of the religions studied in the first year. I was enthralled by the prospect of going on a placement for a week in a religious community as part of the course in second year.  I am soon to find out whether I will be going to live with The Community of the Many Names of God or the Hare Krishnas.

The Department has a friendly ethos, with lecturers who are genuinely willing their students to do well and continually supporting them along the way. It is with thanks to this course that my understanding of people in the world is ever expanding and even when the pressure is on with assignments due, I continue to brim with enthusiasm for the knowledge I gain.