BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Drama – Bath Spa University

Creative Writing and Drama

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Drama
School/s
Bath School of Music and Performing Arts, School of Creative Industries
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: WW4Y or SE55
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Join our vibrant writing community, supported by award-winning authors and creative practitioners.

  • Wide choice of fiction, performance poetry and graphic novels to scriptwriting, nature writing and memoir.
  • Industry focused with an emphasis on developing your professional practice and employability.
  • Your projects, your way, with our support. Literary festivals, publications, podcasts - we’ll help you find your voice.

Join us at Bath Spa University where writing is the thing we love to do and the thing we love to talk about. In our workshops, you’ll find friends for life who, like you, want to spend time in a writing world of imagination, creativity and experimentation.

You’ll enjoy working on our unique campus, surrounded by wildlife and a beautiful 18th-century landscape, perfect for creative inspiration. You might experiment with nature writing or discover poems and stories you’re driven to write as a response to climate change and environmental issues.

“As well as strengthening my skills and confidence as a writer, Creative Writing at Bath Spa opened my eyes up to the range of career paths I could pursue that I hadn’t considered before. The tutors and Careers team supported me after graduation, all the way to my first full time creative role.”

Nic Crosara, 2019 graduate, now Design and Production Assistant at SelectScience
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What you'll learn

Overview

Contemporary creative writing is diverse. It’s digital and on the page; social and singular. Our comprehensive programme includes prose fiction, YA, flash fiction, poetry, scriptwriting for live performance and screen, life writing and memoir. In fact, whatever you want to write, you’ll find an opportunity to explore it with us. We have modules on graphic novels and comics alongside modules in live literature, creative enterprise and professional practice to support your career development. You'll have the opportunity to collaborate on creative projects with other students both within and outside Creative Writing. You’ll be able to work on magazines, local literary festivals and podcasts, while collaborating with fellow students through our creative writing, publishing and journalism student-run societies.

Course structure

Year one
The course is carefully designed to enable you to explore and experiment with your writing and understand the foundations of writing craft. In the Writer’s Workshop modules you’ll be introduced to an array of different writing forms and genres and you’ll be experimenting with them each week. You’ll have your first experience of the BSU writing workshop where you’ll learn how to work with other writers, giving and receiving feedback. You’ll have additional modules in poetry, fiction, script writing alongside a module where you’ll learn about the publishing industry and editing. You’ll also attend lectures from visiting writers and members of staff who will talk to you about their writing lives and experiences in the industry.

Year two
In the second year of the course, you have access to a range of modules that will enable you to specialise in a particular form or genre of writing. You’ll take a mixture of core and optional modules from a list that includes, for example, genre fiction, life writing, short stories, form and listening in poetry, and writing for screen. You will also take the project module, Professional Portfolio. This is an opportunity for you to develop your own creative project, designed to help you develop the skills you need as a professional writer. You will be assigned a member of staff to be your project supervisor. They will help guide and advise you as you develop your idea. If a collaborative project suits you, you can take a Publishing module where you work with a small team of fellow students to create your own independent magazine.

Year three
The final year of the programme is designed to consolidate your writing practice and support your progression into a writing-related career. You will take a dissertation-equivalent module in at least one of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scriptwriting or writing for young people. These modules run through the year. Alongside that you have a choice of career-focused modules which include Live Literature and Professional Practice which offer you the opportunity to develop your own industry-facing creative projects. We also offer an extended project module, Creative Enterprise, over two semesters. This module helps you focus on developing a creative project into a commercial opportunity. 

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is based on 100% coursework (no exams). Most modules will require you to submit a portfolio of creative writing along with a reflective or contextual 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.

How will I be taught?

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.

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.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The Creative Writing course is taught at our stunning Newton Park campus, where you’ll be surrounded by wildlife and a beautiful 18 th -century landscape and lake.

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:

Resources

As a Creative Writing student, you'll be able to benefit from:

  • Cameras, audio recording equipment available for students to borrow absolutely free
  • Technical staff to help students use industry standard software
  • Library with print and ebooks, digital resources, literary magazines and journals.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Erasmus and exchange opportunities to some of the world’s leading universities – for instance Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Columbia College, USA. Many of our Creative Writing students have had transformational experiences studying abroad that have shaped their writing and career ambitions.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Creative Writing students often find exciting subject-related placements and we do our best to help students make connections and gain experiences in companies and organisations that interest them. Students often work with the Bath Literature Festival, for instance, or with production companies such as the BBC. The course team will help you on an individual basis as opportunities present themselves.

Past students have benefited from industry-based opportunities and experiences that have been incorporated into their modules, enabling them to secure credit for the time they have spent in industry environments.

Careers

Current graduate careers include:

  • Novelist
  • Science magazine editor
  • Children’s author
  • Playwright
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Social media writer
  • Commercial copywriter for brands or charities
  • Regional editor for an online magazine
  • University lecturer
  • Editor (Random House)
  • Poet.

Many of our students go on to study one of our specialist MA programmes in either Creative Writing, Writing for Young People, Screenwriting, Travel and Nature, or Children’s Publishing.

Creative Writing prizes

Each year Creative Writing awards a range of prizes to its students to celebrate the best writing produced in the final year. The department also awards the Les Arnold Prize for the 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. Student projects are a core part of the Creative Writing curriculum and students are assisted to develop project ideas that support their creative and career ambitions. 

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,720
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Most of our applicants will have an A or a B in English Language and/or English Literature at A Level. That said, we do judge each application on its own merit and many of our most successful graduates have not fit neatly into standard criteria. Please write directly to the course leader or the admissions team to discuss your individual circumstances.

We also welcome applications from students who demonstrate real commitment to their writing. This commitment may be expressed in publications, awards, and/or engagement with the Apprentice of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below. Applicants without a relevant Level 3 qualification in English will be considered but will be required to submit a piece of their own creative writing as part of the selection process.

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC including a Grade C in English or a related subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in any subject. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong interest in Creative Writing in their personal statement and may be asked to provide a piece of their own creative writing.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required with a minimum of Grade 6 in English at Higher Level.
  • 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). Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong interest in Creative Writing in their personal statement and may be asked to provide a piece of their own creative writing.

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.

Course enquiries

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

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Deputy course leader: Lucy Sweetman
Email: l.sweetman@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

Explore your creative identity with our Drama degree.

  • Pursue your passions. Choose to specialise, broaden your skills-base or combine Drama with another subject you love.
  • Experiment, reflect and innovate. Learn by making, producing, performing, directing and collaborating.
  • Graduate with a host of skills valued in a range of industries, from theatre to media to education.

Studying Drama at Bath Spa gives you the performance, critical and creative skills you need to launch yourself into a variety of exciting careers.

You'll explore your creative identity through core and optional modules in areas of practice such as play production, performing, writing and directing, and topics such as Shakespeare, musical theatre, physical theatre, applied theatre and media and performance.

Among many of the options open to you will be acting, directing, education, theatre production, arts administration, or arts therapies; you could also choose to progress to further study, for example in as Directing, Creative Producing, Performing ShakespeareClassical Acting, Creative Writing and Scriptwriting

“The Drama department has been excellent in supporting us and offering advice and support when needed. The course was a springboard into the professional world of Drama.”

Simon Crispin, third year Drama student

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll study plays, practitioners and genres that have been particularly influential in shaping contemporary theatre and performance. We give you the opportunity to explore:

  • Theatre practitioners
  • Playwrights
  • Performance making
  • Writing, directing and performing.

The course also includes a focus on:

  • Plays and musical theatre productions in the University Theatre
  • Theatre in education performances and workshops in local schools
  • New plays written by students
  • New and existing works devised, directed and performed by students.

Course structure

Year one
Build the foundations. You’ll gain skills in working with play texts as part of a theatrical ensemble, performing and directing, theatre production and performance; these will underpin your work in years two and three. 

Year two
Apply your skills. You’ll work with local practitioners, collaborate with local venues and learn from visiting professional companies and artists. You'll also have the opportunity to apply yourself in a variety of performance projects. Our focus is allowing you to create original work, while you explore your particular areas of interest such as physical theatre, applied theatre, musical theatre and theatre production.

Year three
Develop your specialisms. Increasingly, you'll define and manage your own work, and carry out research into an area of drama or performance of your choice. You may explore topics such as performance, staging gender, modern American drama, staging Shakespeare, musical theatre, theatre for social change, media and performance, and devising. There's also the opportunity to collaborate with staff on projects relating to their areas of expertise. 

How will I be assessed?

We use a variety of assessment tasks across the programme, including:

  • Public performance
  • Playwriting
  • In-class performance of devised or published work
  • Oral presentations
  • Performance of backstage/technical roles
  • Critical reflection
  • Working as part of an ensemble
  • Script analysis
  • Devising
  • Individual and group research projects.

How will I be taught?

You'll be taught through a range of activities including lectures, workshops, seminars, skills classes, rehearsals, tutorials, work placements and theatre visits.

Opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internships

You’ll benefit from visits from industry professionals. Previous visitors have covered a range of specialisms including: playwriting, directing, acting, television production, theatre in education, and children’s theatre. We also have partnerships with local venues, local schools and local community groups.

You'll also get the chance to take part in Dramafest – a festival of performance that's devised and run entirely by students. This event typifies our way of teaching, which is to enable you to experience a wealth of roles and approaches so that you can find your passions and choose to specialise in them if you wish. 

Drama students create the material for Dramafest, then perform and produce it. They design and construct the sets. They take on roles in stage management, publicity, and health and safety. In doing this, they gain transferable skills such as project management, collaboration and teamwork, that they can use in a range of careers.

Dramafest will be a chance for you to discover your strengths and define your own roles within a project; an invaluable skill in the workplace. Find out more about opportunities within the Drama department on our interest area page.

Careers

We equip you with creative, collaborative, writing, presentational and communication skills that are useful in many professional and vocational areas.

Some graduates choose to pursue postgraduate study, especially in teaching, or vocational training. Recent graduates have gone on to study Master's degrees at Central School of Speech and Drama, Yale Theatre School and the Royal Academy of Music.

Other graduates launch careers in the creative industries, including working with theatre and media companies. Some of our Drama graduatesare now:

  • Founder of an award-winning theatre company
  • Executive Director of a theatre school
  • Principal of an Academy of Performing Arts
  • Dramatherapist and Tutor.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

“Because of the staff and resources at Bath Spa University, I feel confident that I will reach my potential.”

Ashley McGinty, third year Drama student

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll benefit from use of teaching and rehearsal facilities at the Newton Park campus.

Facilities used by BA Drama include:

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,720
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for dynamic individuals with an interest in exploring a wide range of drama and performance forms. You’ll typically have CCC or above at  A-Level including a C grade, or above, in Drama, Performing Arts or English.

On your application form you should refer to:

  • Your experience, skills and interests
  • Performance work, plays or the books that have influenced your thinking
  • Shows in which you have performed
  • Why you think Drama at Bath Spa is the right course for you.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC including a Grade C in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts preferred.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject, or evidence of experience in Performing Arts.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required in addition to evidence of involvement in drama or performing arts.
  • 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) together with evidence of involvement in drama and performing arts.

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.

Course enquiries

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

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

Suitable applicants will be invited to audition at our Newton Park campus between December and March.

The interview process will focus primarily on your:

  • Group skills
  • Aptitude for taking part in workshop activities
  • Spontaneity and creativity
  • Interest in drama practices.

More information will be sent via email on invitation to audition. We do not charge an audition fee.

Admissions service: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Roy Connolly
Email: r.connolly@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk