facebook BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing – Bath Spa University

Creative Writing and Publishing

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course HH34 or HH35 (with professional placement year)

Key facts

BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing
College of Liberal Arts
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: HH34 or HH35
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Bring stories to life for print and digital with a Creative Writing and Publishing degree.

  • 100% of our Publishing graduates were in work/further study six months after graduating (DLHE).
  • A pioneering creative writing and publishing course for creative-digital practice and industry collaboration.
  • Work with expert novelists, publishers, non-fiction writers, editors, and poets on your original ideas.

Publishing is one of the UK’s largest creative industries. The Creative Writing and Publishing course highlights the collaborative creative process between authors and publishers, and the important contribution they make to our culture.

This flexible course can be tailored to your unique personal interests and career ambitions. In Publishing, you'll learn how to engage intellectually with research, ideas and stories. You'll apply creativity and critical judgement in conceptualising, shaping and disseminating commercially-viable, engaging content for different audiences.

These qualities, combined with wide-ranging interests and an imaginative approach to cultural creation, are typical of our Creative Writing curriculum and will help you to develop into an entrepreneurial, creative maker and producer.

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"The Publishing course was the ideal complement to Creative Writing. Over three fantastic years I was taught key industry skills and the business side of the industry. I left with a fantastic portfolio that wowed employers!"

Tom Williams, BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing graduate, now Policy Advisor at Department for Transport.

What you'll learn


You'll learn to bring stories and ideas to life in a meaningful way in the form of text, image and video for a particular audience and platform.

We'll encourage you to explore a wide range of writing - from YA novels to performance poetry, non-fiction memoir and nature writing, to cover blurbs and online articles. You’ll gain feedback on your work from fellow students and lecturers in a supportive environment. You’ll also learn how to edit the work of others. The course has a world-leading specialism in Children’s and Young Adult writing and publishing - a vibrant and commercially successful area of the industry.

Publishing provision at Bath Spa University is characterised by creative studio-based collaborative working and high-quality making across hand-made, print, digital, and live, facilitated by our state-of-the-art Publishing Lab facilities and technical support.

Imaginative content development is informed by industry research, cultural context, design history, legal, and ethical considerations. You'll experiment and take risks, work collaboratively, project manage, pitch, and become effective, creative makers across print and digital, books, magazines, websites, and social media.

You’ll graduate with a stunning digital portfolio demonstrating expertise and experience in core publishing skills and your chosen area of specialism, from historical fiction to magazine editing, social media content, or literary events.

Course structure

Year one
In your first year, you'll experiment with different writing forms and learn the core skills of editing and copywriting, design, and layout, while also exploring other subjects and experimenting across media, gaining confidence in your making ability.

Year two
In your second year, you'll start to work collaboratively and discover your own interests - deciding whether to focus on either the novel, poetry or non-fiction - to hone your writing skills.

You'll also become familiar with the processes of marketing and learn about the importance of audience. You'll learn to experiment with design and book forms through research, ideas development, and making.

Year three
In your third year, you'll work on high-quality industry projects and live briefs, which will help you develop your specialism and showcase your skills in a professional digital portfolio. You'll also receive specialist Publishing industry careers coaching.

During this time, you can develop your novel, poetry or non-fiction writing to a professional level. You'll also collaborate on a major enterprise challenge to work on an original idea, inspired by user experience and new technology.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed by coursework, including portfolios, feature articles, essays, reflective commentaries, and industry research reports. In some modules, you’ll share your work through short, informal presentations. This wide range of briefs prepares you for the variety of writing expected in the creative industries.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through industry talks, creative workshops and studio practice, skills labs, challenge days, and lectures.

You’ll benefit from the innovative learning environment of the UK's first creative-digital studio-based BA Publishing course in our state-of-the-art Publishing Lab.

We work on screen and beyond, creating sketchbooks and prototypes, networking, and finding opportunities.

Professional placement year


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.


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.

"The Publishing course gave me all the real-life experience and forward-thinking skills I needed for the workplace. Support from staff and fellow students allowed me to explore my creativity and fully develop my ideas."

Joele Forrester, BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing graduate, now Senior Editorial Assistant, Food & Drink Guides Ltd.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Publishing is taught at our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:


As a Publishing student, you'll benefit from:

  • Industry-standard Publishing Lab with a full range of software
  • Hand, digital and print making resources and digital cameras
  • Support from specialist publishing technical demonstrators. 


Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in locations around the world. The University offers an extra-curricular three-year Global Citizenship Programme which runs alongside the degree for all three years of the undergraduate degree. The programme includes a scholarship to fund international study (for UK and EU students only).

Further study abroad opportunities are available from our International Office and the Erasmus programme.

We also have our own extensive network of international partners.

Field trips

We run a selection of subsidised field trips to, for example, book fairs (e.g. London), festivals (e.g. Bath), and bookshops for talks and research.

Work placements, industry links and internships

All students have the opportunity to work on live briefs and industry collaborations with, for example, Bath Literature Festival, BBDO Worldwide, HarperCollins, and the University of Parma Art Museum, CSAC.

Our staff have senior-level and continuing publishing industry experience, putting us in an excellent position to curate high-quality work experience, provide specialist careers coaching, and help students with national networking and work experience opportunities.

Our students manage and contribute to Milk Magazine, the University’s alternative magazine.

Through our cutting-edge Social Media Experiment initiative, we have produced multimedia creative content for international and local clients such as Bath Digital Festival and X Media Lab. 

The Future Publishers initiative aims to encourage new publishing talent and increase diversity in the industry. Since 2011, Publishing staff and students have delivered inspiring magazine and book-making workshops for children and young people in schools and at live events, such as the recent Forest of Imagination


We have an excellent rate of graduate employability. Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in a range of exciting roles including: Production Assistant, Digital Editor, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Events Organiser, and Project Manager. 

Graduates have also gone into teaching and been employed by companies such as:

  • Future Publishing
  • Taylor & Francis
  • BBC
  • Penguin Random House.

Publishing prizes

Students compete for numerous awards and prizes on this course, from the best project in the first year, to poetry, prose, and a new prize in digital writing innovation for students on our Interactive Storytelling module, sponsored by Hachette.

We award five prizes to students in their final year for the following subjects: 

  • Digital publishing
  • Creative Digital Content
  • Children's Publishing
  • Editorial
  • Magazines.


Tuition fees

Our undergraduate fees for 2019/20 entry are not yet available. See current undergraduate tuition fees for UK and EU students and international students for reference. For some courses, material fees and additional costs for trips may apply.

We'll update this page as soon as we have more detailed information.

Student funding

We can help you manage your finances and check that you're getting all the funding you're entitled to.

We have a number of funding options for UK and EU students and international students, and we also offer support if you're having financial problems. Email: studentsupport@bathspa.ac.uk for more guidance.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for students with creative flair – enthusiastic team players who are full of ideas and want to learn how to make them happen. Great attention to detail is important, as we place emphasis on creating industry standard professional work.

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 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 their 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.

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.

If you’d like to talk to a member of the course team or arrange a visit please email: k.reeve@bathspa.ac.uk.

Get ahead

Good writers and publishers start their careers as voracious readers. Visit bookshops. Read! Look at your favourite books and articles you’ve enjoyed and ask yourself: what makes this stand out from the rest? This will help inform your own creative work.

Read Merchants of Culture by John B Thompson to discover more about the industry and the experience of writers.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Katharine Reeve
Email: k.reeve@bathspa.ac.uk

Image credit: Immediate Media based in Bristol and London: print and digital magazine brands.

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