facebook 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
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. Typical offers include A-level grades CCC with a minimum of grade C in Drama, Theatre Studies, English or related subjects.  Applicants without A-level English may still be considered.

View "typical offers" for more information.

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.

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'll prepare for the writing/creative industry career of your choice.

Find out more about our Creative Writing department.

“Bath Spa gave me the opportunity to stretch myself academically and creatively. It was so encouraging to have my creative writing taken seriously by highly respected tutors.”

Recent Creative Writing graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

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.

Course structure

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.

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 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. 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.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The Creative Writing course is taught at our stunning Newton Park campus.

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.
  • Full production and post-production facilities, soundstage, screening rooms.
  • Technical staff to help students use hardware and software according to industry standards.

Opportunities

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.

Careers

Current graduate careers include:

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

Creative Writing prizes

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.

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

UK and EU students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

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:

  • A Level - grades CCC accepted with a minimum of grade C 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 Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) 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 score of 26 points required with grade 5 or above in English at Higher Level 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.

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
Course leader: Dr. Paul Meyer
Email: p.meyer@bathspa.ac.uk

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 on the Newton Park campus and also from use of Burdall's Yard, a specialised and atmospheric performance venue in the City Centre that is particularly well suited to less conventional or more intimate cabaret, theatre or comedy performances.

Facilities used by BA Drama include:

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

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 CCC including Grade C in Drama, Theatre studies, English or related subjects accepted.
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 26 points required in addition to evidence of additional qualifications or experience in Acting, Drama or Theatre Studies.
  • 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 additional qualifications or experience in Acting, Drama or Theatre Studies

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.

How do I apply?

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

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: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Roy Connolly
Email: r.connolly@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk