BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English Literature – Bath Spa University

Creative Writing and English Literature

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English Literature
School/s
Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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: WQ93 or SE57
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
profile photo

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.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • The Writer’s Workshop 1
  • Explorations in Prose Fiction
  • The Writer’s Workshop 2
  • Reading to Write Poetry
  • Introduction to Scriptwriting
  • Publishing and Editing for Writers

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Short Stories
  • Form and Listening in Poetry
  • Genre Fiction
  • Lifewriting
  • Sudden Prose
  • Scripting for Screen
  • Writing Graphic Novels and Comics
  • Professional Portfolio
  • Writing for Theatre
  • Performance Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Writing For Young People: Reading as Writers
  • The Independent Magazine
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Extended Prose Fiction 1
  • Poetry as Synthesis 1
  • Advanced Script Project 1
  • Advanced Nonfiction Project 1
  • Planning and Writing a Novel for Young People 1
  • Creative Enterprise Project 1
  • Teaching Writing
  • Extended Prose Fiction 2
  • Poetry as Synthesis 2
  • Advanced Script Project 2
  • Advanced Nonfiction Project 2
  • Planning and Writing a Novel for Young People 2
  • Creative Enterprise Project 2
  • Teaching Practice
  • Live Literature
  • Professional Practice
  • Publishing Industry Project

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

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

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 not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

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.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred in a relevant subject.
  • 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.

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

Three year course
With placement year

Our English Literature degree turns your passion into a practical skill-set.

  • Combine professional skills and opportunities with your passion for literature in our innovative English degree course.
  • Develop practical and professional skills. Apply both to challenges, issues and debates of the present day.
  • Explore the next stage in your career. Our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers.

Literature is diverse. Every text we pick up gives us a different perspective on the world. At Bath Spa, we have another take on the subject – one that we think makes us one of the best universities for English Literature.

Our innovative English Literature degree has been designed to enable you to acquire specialised subject knowledge while developing practical and professional skills that you can apply to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.

English Literature at Bath Spa University introduces you to an incredible range of literary worlds. From classic texts to new and unfamiliar writing, you'll be asked to think differently about what ‘literature’ can be and to explore original ways of reading and analysing it. We’ll ask you to place your reading in wider contexts, and to draw on other disciplines to deepen your understanding and sharpen your insights.

You'll be taught by experts in a wide range of periods, literary genres and approaches to the study of words and writing. Our staff share a commitment to excellent teaching and to offering you the best possible experience during your time with us.

Professional skills

Historical background, philosophical concepts and political debate will all contribute to your ability to read widely and well, and to approach your English Literature degree with confidence.

This approach will help you develop the vital skills of analysis, communication and collaboration that employers look for in English Literature graduates – skills that will open up a diverse range of possible careers. To maximise your potential, we’ll also support you in learning to manage projects, work with your peers and our external partners, evaluate options and respond to a brief.

What can you do with an English Literature degree?

Publishing, PR, teaching and journalism are popular paths, and our English graduates have gone on to work with leading employers including New Scientist, Oxford University Press, Marie Curie, Bristol Museums and Barclays Bank.

What you'll learn

Overview

We combine the academic study of literature with skill-based modules to create a practical, applied English Literature degree. You’ll learn how to analyse a wide range of literary texts, but you'll also learn practical skills such as:

  • How to pitch an idea for a literary festival
  • How to compile digital teaching resources for schools
  • How to produce an online edition of a historical text.

You’ll apply your knowledge and your skills in practical, professional ways, in preparation for the next stage in your career.

Course structure

Year one
Introductions and foundations: develop your skills in reading and analysing selected texts. A broad curriculum allows you to ask questions, challenge your own assumptions and interrogate evidence, data and opinions.

Year two
Practical, applied, relevant: in your second year, you’ll study your chosen topics while gaining professional skills. You'll apply your knowledge and understanding to a defined problem or idea.

Year three
Achievement, consolidation, creativity: your final project in the third year brings all this together. You’ll identify and develop your own proposal and put it into practice. This might be an extended piece of academic writing, an exhibition, a community project, or a digital resource.

How will I be assessed?

Most modules use essays with other forms of coursework such as journals, portfolios and short critical pieces, projects and dissertations, or special assignments such as seminar presentations, collaborative magazines, and web-based essays. Some modules include seen and unseen exams. Second and final year grades contribute towards your final degree award.

How will I be taught?

English modules are taught via seminars, lectures, individual tutorials, and IT workshops.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Parallel Texts
  • Romance and Revolution
  • Worlds of Ideas
  • Narratives of Belonging
  • Protest and Persuasion
  • Thinking Together: Humanities in the 21st Century

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Voices in Conversation
  • Reading Communities
  • Bodies
  • The Book
  • The Literature of Laughter
  • Who Do You Think You Are? Writing the Self, Written Lives
  • The Marvellous - Writing Beyond Realism
  • Transgressions
  • Digital Humanities
  • Working Together
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • English Project
  • Cosmopolitanisms - Writing Beyond Borders
  • Literature and Psychology
  • Nation and Race in the Early Modern Atlantic World
  • Novel Forms
  • Outsiders - Women and Writing
  • Shock of the New
  • Writing and Environmental Crisis
  • Writing Now - Prizes, Popularity and Politics

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Fieldwork

We're keen to bring literature to life, and the course features optional modules that include potential fieldwork opportunites in London, Oxford, Berlin, Krakow and Auschwitz, among others. Our students have also won places on summer schools in Beijing and Monterrey.

Careers

We believe strongly in employability, and have made it a core part of our curriculum. You’ll have access to our renowned digital facilities, as well as to our Bath Spa Careers team who'll help you forge a fulfilling future.

Many of our graduates pursue careers in publishing or teaching. Organisations including NewScientist, Trinity College Library, DigitalBox and Cengage Learning EMEA have employed our graduates. Graduate professions include:

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Publishing Outreach Executive
  • Content Writer
  • Campaigns Officer

Some graduates choose to progress onto postgraduate study.

Competitions and awards

There are annual prizes for the best overall performance in both core modules in years one and two, and a very special prize for the best final year English Project.

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.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The English Literature programme is based at Newton Park campus, Bath Spa University, UK.

You'll have access to excellent facilities such as:

Resources

We have a wide range of high-quality online resources to complement the books and journals you have access to in our Library, as well as digital publishing facilities, historical and modern printing presses, and industry-standard broadcast media facilities.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

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 students who share our passion for literature in all its forms. You should be inquisitive and willing to challenge yourself and to question shared assumptions. You'll want to collaborate with others in exploring the ideas and worlds opened up to us by the written word.

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 English or a related subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred in a relevant subject.
  • 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).

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.

Get ahead

We recommend that you read as much literature as possible! It’s a good idea to read books from various historical periods and literary genres – and think about the differences you notice between them. You’ll find Studying English Literature (Continuum Press, 2010) by Ashley Chantler to be a good guide.

Course leader: Dr Richard Stamp
Email: r.stamp@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk