Undergraduate course

Creative Writing and Media (Hons)

Our Creative Writing and Media BA allows you to develop your own creative potential with words while also getting to grips with analysing media. You’ll enhance your practical, transferable skills through improving your writing, communication and research capabilities.

  • Available in Clearing

95% of Graduates from Creative Writing and Media state our staff have made the subject interesting. National Student Survey, 2019

  • UCAS Code – WP83
  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £9,250 per year

    International 2019-20 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

Creative Writing emphasises the importance of engaging with the wider world of literature in order to develop your own writing. You’ll have the opportunity to study brilliant writing from the past, as well as learning from contemporary creative practitioners. Our course is led by a team of exciting, award-winning writers, and we also have a lively programme of visiting writers and guest speakers. As a student here, you’ll be part of the York Centre for Writing, a hub for innovative new creative work with strong links to the wider literary community and to the publishing industry. Through events such as the York Literature Festival, our students benefit from studying and learning directly from internationally-acclaimed writers. Recent Festival and University guest writers have included Margaret Atwood; award-winning poets Simon Armitage and Daljit Nagra; Booker-nominated York novelist Fiona Mozley; innovative graphic novelist and illustrator Graham Rawle; and Bradford noir-writer A.A. Dhand. We also have regular visits from industry professionals and innovators, including agents, publishers and literary activists.

 

The Media course recieved a 100% satisfaction rate in the 2018 National Student Survey. The course combines critical and theoretical aspects with practical design and marketing elements as you progress. Studying Media at York St John University involves considering the way Media has shaped our culture and includes elements of Philosophy, Sociology and Politics. This broad approach allows you to decide on what really interests and choose your own path as to what you want to develop as your expertise. This includes being taught by professional designers as well as lecturers who will guide you in your studies. Of course we include opportunities to visit cultural hubs such as galleries, cinemas and other media centres and also you can also get involved with an international field trip.

We also have our own publication in the form of Neutral magazine, which is a showcase for our students' talents in terms of writing, design and marketing. You can find our magazine at: http://2018.neutralmagazine.com/

Course structure

Level 1

Level 1 provides a foundation and introduces core creative and critical skills.

Modules

Creative Writing modules include:

Introduction to Creative Writing
This module is designed to introduce you to good writing practices and to familiarise you with sharing your work in progress in a workshop environment – which will be a major part of your degree programme. You will be introduced to a variety of strategies and techniques for starting to write.

Forms of Narrative
Good writers are good readers first and foremost. This module aims to introduce you to theories, debates, and practices in narrative, in order to enhance your understanding of narrative as it functions within literature and culture generally. You’ll explore films, novels, poetry, plays, graphic novels, and other experimental forms of narrative. There is a choice of creative or critical assessments.

Writing to Order
This module is intended to introduce you to a range of professional contexts and practices for creative writing. Previous guest speakers have included successful novelists, poets, scriptwriters and researchers, who have shared their professional experiences with students. The module gives you the opportunity to experiment with a range of written forms, as well as sharing your work in progress and learning more about how professional writers work.

 

Media modules include:

Writing the Media
This module encourages you to explore and critically engage with a range of contemporary media debates and communications. The module is both exploratory and practical, using a range of current sources, structured exercises, hand-outs and discussion. Drawing upon this material you will explore media issues in relation to persuasion, tone of voice and dialogue. In doing so, you will analyse the ways in which media texts and images operate and start to question what they can learn from them. Through the investigation of these topics you will consider their own cultural practices and how they construct a sense of identity and give rise to certain meanings.

Critical Perspectives
The module aims to introduce the understanding that differing critical perspectives are possible in the consideration and analysis of any given media text or texts. You will explore the subject of ideology through the viewing practices and belief structures of media audiences. Through the study of media communication models and their history, and through engagement with the extensive body of media audience literature (primarily but certainly not exclusively relating to television audiences), you will explore the nature of contemporary mass communication. 

Media Research
This module introduces you to experiences in higher education. It uses a variety of methods to engage you and to develop their your in research, referencing, critical thinking, academic writing, presentation skills and group work.  Relevant examples of contemporary topics, themes and images will also be used to illustrate the importance of analysing the media. Overall this module provides a range of skills that will be essential to producing successful work as an undergraduate. A key element will be to encourage the idea that studying is fun as well as hard work. 

Media, Culture and Society
This module aims to explore theories and concepts associated with analytical readings of the media. You will examine a variety of ‘texts’ to exemplify essential theoretical perspectives and will introduce key issues and debates relating to Media in social and cultural contexts. In addition, you will be introduced to key methodologies which will be of use throughout their degree and which can be adapted for a wide range of critical enquiry. The module will provide opportunities for you to assess and evaluate key modes of critical and analytical investigation. 

The Medium is the Message – Media Evolution and History
The module will introduce you to the area of study known as ‘media ecology’ which encourages an understanding of a medium as anything in which meaning or communication of any sort talks place. Key thinkers in this field are most importantly Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, and Walter Ong amongst a number of others. The module will provide an introduction to the deep history of media and allied technologies (writing, printing, painting) and will examine how media, in the broadest of senses, determine the possibilities of communication, creative activity and understanding.

Level 2

Level 2 allows you to focus on specific creative forms (e.g. fiction, poetry, script), to develop a critical understanding of form and genre, and helps you to develop key employability skills through project work and professional skills modules.

Modules

Creative Writing modules include:

Writing Fiction
An opportunity to read and produce a range of fictional forms, from flash-fictions to novellas, short stories to novels. You will develop an understanding of characterisation; voice; plotting; narration; dialogue and point of view. By the end of the course, you’ll have written your own fiction portfolio.

Writing Reality: Creative Non-Fiction
You will have the opportunity to explore examples of non-fiction such as journalism, creative non-fiction, fictocriticism, manifestos, political tracts, graffiti, non-fiction graphic novels, blogs, online journals, live-tweeting and new media, travel writing, documentary and life writing. By viewing, reading and watching a range of non-fictional texts, you will develop your own original non-fictional texts.

Writing Poetry
From the sonnet to the prose poem, learn about the formal qualities of poetry, how to produce dazzling imagery and perfect rhythm; manipulate voice and pace. You will study a range of contemporary poets, supplemented by visits and readings from some of them. You will produce your own portfolio of pieces by the end of the course.

Scriptwriting
This module addresses the essential elements of scriptwriting – writing convincing dialogue, creating interesting characters, and constructing coherent stories – within a creative and supportive atmosphere. You will develop your expressive and technical skills in writing scripts for one or more of the following disciplines: radio, television, stage and film, culminating in the creation of your own original script.

Publishing, Production and Performance
The aim of this work-related module is to develop your understanding of the relationship between creative writing practices and employability in the creative industries. You’ll have the opportunity to explore and engage with methods and means of literary publishing, production, and performance. You will also work collaboratively to produce a group publication and performance/reading event, gaining first-hand experience of specific editorial, production, and marketing activities. With an eye to employability, this module’s chief aim is a practical understanding of broader opportunities within the sector.

 

Media Modules include:

Convergence Cultures
This module will introduce students to the theory and practice of convergence technology and with associated areas of transmedia activity and network theory. You will be encouraged to engage with the continuing development and evolution of communication technologies and the ways in which these can shape our everyday lives. The module will invite you to consider these developments in communications technology in relation to social, political and cultural factors and how these may affect the production and consumption of meaning and content. 

Issues of Taste
This module aims to engage students in debates about the production, reception and contexts of media and cultural products which have produced controversy. It aims to analyse the debates about taste and the reception of text in a range of traditional, new and emergent media and to conduct this analysis using terms from aesthetics, from studies in contemporary media, and from the writings and records of those involved in critical debate and rereading. It will include concepts such as:  propaganda, artistic licence, canonical status, acceptability, pornography, ‘harm’, censorship, etc. 

Popular Genres
The purpose of this module is to explore the significance of popular genres within the fields of cultural production and to appreciate the histories and evolutions of popular genres as indicators of cultural change. The module also seeks to understand the possibilities for social, political and cultural exploration or critique offered through the study of popular genres and to encourage an understanding of popular genres within the context of media production and innovation.

 Visual Culture
This module aims to acquaint you with critical debates in visual culture and allow you the opportunity to try out theoretical notions in a creative manner. They will be able to integrate material developed in previous and current modules which will provide a potential focus for the later stages of the programme. You will be able to understand the essential relationships between word and image from illustration to the internet. The module will investigate how visual strategies can be used to communicate complex ideas.

Globalisation
‘Globalisation’ is a fundamentally important term in understanding the processes of cultural, political and social change in the modern world. The role of the media in reacting to these processes through representation and articulation, and also in contributing to these changes, is inescapable. The aims of this module are to introduce you to the key theoretical debates and ideas which surround the contested notion of ‘globalisation’ and to examine the ways in which globalisation has been articulated and understood through media representation. The module will also examine the role of the media in reflecting and reacting to the processes of globalisation and its role in affecting emergent, resistant and dominant cultures. 

Media Enterprise
The module examines some of the different processes required to produce a professional portfolio in the context of practical and vocational activities. The module aims to offer you the opportunity to engage with a more vocational element in the media and cultural context of their degree. You will work in groups to produce a portfolio which requires you to consider, amongst other things, marketing, advertising, business cases, product development and effective communication of ideas.

Level 3

At Level 3 all Creative Writing students have the opportunity undertake an extended Creative Writing Project: a portfolio of work which will develop your independent learning and creative practice skills. There are also modules which provide exciting critical and creative perspectives: Writing Genres and Experimental Writing: Theory and Practice.

Modules

Creative Writing modules include:

Creative Writing Dissertation
In your final year, you will be ready to devise your own, original creative writing project. You’ll write a dissertation (an extended piece of writing), in a form of your own choosing with the support of an individual supervisor. This is the creative and intellectual culmination of your degree, and provides the opportunity to focus on researching and developing a piece of work that particularly excites you. Many students find this to be one of the most rewarding experiences of their degree. 

Experimental Writing: Theory and Practice
This module provides the opportunity to learn from some of the most innovative approaches to creative writing. You’ll study the relationship between creative practice and the theory, philosophy, or politics which often underpins the boldest experimental work. The broad range of material and techniques considered under the label of ‘experimental’ will include text-based work, as well as combinations of different media, and visual and performance art.

Writing Genres
You’ll develop a critical understanding of how genre operates in the literary world, as well as developing your skills of writing within and/or against particular genres. You will also be given the opportunity to critically explore differentiations between “high” and “low” culture. You will develop an understanding of the emergence of genres such as crime, horror, dystopia, noir, and romance, as well as the emergence of new genres and contemporary sub-genres.

Creative Research in Practice
This module brings together the skills developed throughout you Creative Writing degree, giving you the opportunity to devise new creative projects that are underpinned by research. The module simulates the conditions of professional project development and encourages autonomy, project management and decision making, to help prepare you for a writing life beyond your degree.

 

Media modules include:

Futures
The module provides an advanced understanding of the ways in which new and emergent media, communications and other technologies shape our ways of living, acting and understanding the world and our place in it. You will build upon work undertaken in other modules which will enable a richer and more productive understanding into the development of various technologies and our relationship with them as well as recognising the profound global inequalities in the availability and importance of these. By considering the history of communications, media and other technologies you will be better able to appreciate how these affect, contribute to and challenge our notions of human philosophy, ethics, morals and meaning as well as how developments in convergent technology might influence aesthetic activity in its production, consumption and cultural value. 

Media Geographies
The module aims to further explore and develop the concepts and issues of globalisation, localisation, regionalism and national identity in relation to city cultures. The module will draw upon the media and cultural studies area of ‘urban studies’ in order to consider the representations, symbolic and social structures, development, uses and experiences of the modern and contemporary city. You will be encouraged to engage in experiential exploration of contemporary cities and identify their historical traces. Alongside this, you will consider technological advances and futuristic narratives of the city. 

Special Study
This module aims to encourage students registered for a Joint Award to become independent learners through an extended piece of work which should demonstrate the ability to offer a sustained critical and analytical examination of a student’s chosen, relevant topic and a similar engagement with the literature available on their chosen topic. This module offers the student the opportunity to integrate and develop aspects of the taught components of their programme and to provide a context for the selection, application and exploration of relevant analytical techniques 

Special Study
This Level 3, 40 credit weighted module aims to encourage students to become independent learners through an extended piece of work which should demonstrate the ability to offer a sustained critical and analytical examination of a student’s chosen, relevant topic and a similar engagement with the literature available on their chosen topic. This double module offers the student the opportunity to integrate and develop aspects of the taught components of their programme and to provide a context for the selection, application and exploration of relevant analytical techniques.

Teaching & assessment

Delivery

The aim of our Creative Writing teaching is to help you to become a better writer. We do this by helping you to understand how literary texts work, which means reading and analysing texts as well as practising writing your own original creative work. We use a combination of different methods of delivery to help achieve this: you’ll find that you are supported to share your work-in-progress in regular workshop settings, so that you get used to developing and re-working your writing with feedback. You’ll also benefit from lectures, seminars, masterclasses, and other opportunities for group learning. There will be a host of additional events and projects that you can get involved in each year to supplement your learning. 

Creative Writing is a highly interactive discipline: discussions, debates, peer-feedback, and writing activities are a crucial part of the learning process. We do not want students to be passive learners, but instead expect you to be actively engaged and involved with your degree subject.

With regards to Media you are encouraged to participate in the ways which suits you best and challenge yourself to engage with others regarding debates and creative practices. We pride ourselves on a high level of tutorial support and will always be available to arrange to meet and discuss any challenges ideas you wish to explore. You will have support from the teaching team and be assigned an academic support tutor to offer advice and guidance.

Contact hours and self-study time

In your first year, you will typically study three modules each semester. Each module will normally have three hours of contact time each week, so you’ll have a minimum of 9 hours each week in University. This is just the starting point for your learning, as we also expect that you’ll be engaging each week in independent study: you’ll be undertaking reading and writing activities outside the classroom as directed by your module tutor. Creative Writing and Media is an interactive subject, but also requires you to develop the skills of self-directed writing and time-management that are crucial to being a professional writer. There’ll be additional guest events and individual tutorials with your academic tutor to attend throughout the year.

Assessment methods

Your creative writing will mainly be assessed through coursework, and you will often be required to develop a portfolio of original writing accompanied by a critical or reflective commentary. As well as developing creative work and critical analyses, there are other assessment opportunities designed to help you develop new skills and prepare for graduate employment. You will encounter a wide range of assessment opportunities, including project work, organising events and publications, giving presentations, and developing reflective writing.

In Media there are no exams and your work will be considered in a number of ways including essays, portfolios, presentations and creative visual displays. This involves working individually and as a team which is a valuable transferable skill.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Personal Statement

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the subject (and languages in general). This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, through previous study, relevant work experience and wider reading.

VALUED CRITERIA

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Further study e.g. additional languages
  • Discussion of future career plans
  • Demonstrating relevant transferable skills
  • Extra-curricula activities such as relevant conference/lecture attendance (e.g. English Language & Linguistics Colloquium Series
  • Becoming a member of appropriate societies
  • Subscribing to (or reading) relevant journals/magazines
  • Being involved in overseas exchange programmes

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support

COURSE-RELATED COSTS

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

STUDY ABROAD

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.

 

ACCOMMODATION AND LIVING COSTS

View our accommodation webpages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

FINANCIAL HELP AND SUPPORT

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

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