BA (Hons) Creative Writing & Philosophy and Ethics – Bath Spa University

Creative Writing and Philosophy and Ethics

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Philosophy and Ethics
School/s
School of Creative Industries, School of 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: WV85 or SE65
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 English or related subject. Applicants without A-level English may still be considered.

View "typical offers" for more information.

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

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • 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.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.


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.

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
  • Writing for Performance 1
  • Sudden Prose
  • Scripting for Screen
  • Professional Portfolio
  • Writing for Performance 2
  • Performance Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Writing For Young People: Reading as Writers
  • Creative Writing and Digital Media
  • 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
  • Strategy Camp
  • 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
  • Interactive Storytelling
  • Teaching Practice
  • Live Literature
  • Professional Practice
  • Publishing Industry Project
  • Children’s Publishing
  • Writing and Directing for Performance 1
  • Writing and Directing for Performance 2

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

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
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

2022/23 Entry

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

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,500
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

2022/23 Entry

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

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

Three year course

Passionate about ideas? Want to understand and apply different cultural perspectives?

Places still available through Clearing

Call our Admissions team now on +44 (0)1225 875 550

Find your place

  • Combine professional skills and opportunities with subject knowledge in an innovative Philosophy and Ethics degree.
  • Develop practical and professional skills. Apply both to contemporary challenges, issues and debates.
  • Explore the next stage in your career. Our graduates have gone on to work with leading employers.

Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Please see the 2020 Undergraduate Programme Changes page for information about specific changes to this course.

Please note the changes are for the 2020-21 academic year only.

The 'Programme Document' beneath the main image on this course page shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.


Our innovative Philosophy and Ethics 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.

The course explores the assumptions, beliefs and values which shape human behaviour and our responses to it, and addresses the key questions which underpin all academic disciplines and concepts. This means that it is important in its own right, and fundamental to our study of history, literature, the arts and sciences.

Develop practical and professional skills

By working collaboratively across the Humanities, our Philosophers develop expertise in their own subject but also in the skills and approaches that will equip them for the next stage in their careers: learning to work with others, planning and implementing a project, making a pitch to a potential employer, and evaluating and acting on different options.

What you'll learn

Overview

Rather than teaching philosophy primarily as a history of ideas – although we do explore this – we focus on the application of current philosophical thinking in contemporary settings and circumstances. You’ll consider our responses to environmental crises, for example, or questions of identity, belonging, social justice and the interplay between the personal and the political.

We consider Western philosophical and ethical perspectives, and introduce you to the systems of thought of India and China. This mix of content and the inclusiveness of our approach make the Philosophy and Ethics course particularly distinctive, vital and compelling.

Course structure

Year one
Introductions and foundations: develop your skills in philosophical thinking, and follow a broad curriculum which allows you to ask questions, challenge your own assumptions, interrogate evidence, data and opinions.

Year two
Practical, applied, relevant: this year combines the academic study of Philosophy with the acquisition of professional skills and the application of 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 your own area of study, develop your proposal and put it into practice. This might be an extended piece of academic writing, but it might also be an exhibition, community project, or the creation of digital resources.

How will I be assessed?

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

How will I be taught?

Our focus is on ‘doing philosophy’ and developing your confidence and capacity for philosophical analysis and debate. We’ll support you through lectures and seminar work, as well as individual tutorials and support.

Special projects in years two and three and the dissertation in year three provide opportunities for independent work which builds on your own interests, adds new dimensions to your thinking, or relates to plans for future careers and personal development.

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 Philosophy and Ethics course is based at our Newton Park campus, which combines outstanding modern facilities with a beautiful setting.

Resources

The Library provides many core resources, both in print and online. We draw on a wide range of resources, and encourages the use – and creation – of different materials.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
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

2022/23 Entry

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

International students full time

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,500
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

2022/23 Entry

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

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

Our students come from a range of different backgrounds. We look for individuals with an enquiring mind and a willingness to explore new areas of thought and belief.

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
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) 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.

How do I apply?

Find the Philosophy and Ethics combination you're interested in. Click the "apply now" button in the centre of that page.

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

Admissions service: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Alison Hems
Email: a.hems@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk