Browser does not support script.

Undergraduate Course

Creative Writing and Media BA (Hons)

Develop both your creative and your analytical abilities. This degree gives you a diverse set of skills to take forward into your career.

Student writing in a  notebook

Explore how different types of media interact with each other and influence the society and culture around them. This understanding will help to inform your writing, as you unleash your creativity by experimenting with form and genre.

  • Available in Clearing

100% of Creative Writing students felt that their course provided them with opportunities to explore ideas and concepts in depth. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – WP83
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Course overview

The best writers engage with the wider world of literature and media culture. Our teaching in Creative Writing emphasises the importance of understanding where your own writing fits within this wider context. You will study texts covering many genres, styles and forms, while on your Media modules you will engage with an even wider variety of texts and cultural productions.

On your Media modules you will explore the history and impact of media and popular culture, but there are also opportunities for creativity. For example, you can work with a graphic designer on a marketing-based module, developing an idea for an app and coming up with a rebranding project. You will learn to analyse media texts in detail, while also considering bigger questions about the evolving media landscape, such as:

  • Who holds power in the media
  • How the media responds to political and social issues
  • How digital culture affects societies and individuals
  • How we can ‘de-Westernise’ Media Studies.

When you join us you will become part of the York Centre for Writing. We have strong links with the wider literary and media communities, and you can enhance your learning through regular visits from academic experts, industry professionals and innovators.

In both subjects, there are plenty of events, performances and publications which you can get involved with throughout the year. You can also get involved in the writing, publication and production of our Media magazine, Neutral and our student writing anthology, Beyond the Walls.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters.

How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time.

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

This is a joint honours degree which means that you must study at least 1 module from each subject every semester. You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore some of the theories and concepts relating to the analytical interpretation of the media. We will introduce you to major issues that relate media to social and cultural contexts and to key You will also have the opportunity to assess and evaluate approaches to critical and analytical investigation.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Good writers are good readers first and foremost. This module will introduce you to theories, debates and practices in narrative, enhancing your understanding of narrative as it functions both within literature and culture generally. You will examine some of the codes and conventions that govern the production, structure, reception and interpretation of narrative, exploring films, novels, poetry and plays, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Hitchcock’s Vertigo. By engaging with these varied narrative forms you will consider the relationship between narrative and culture and think critically about the historical development of those forms.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will introduce you to the variety of professional contexts you could work in as a creative writer. You will start to develop the professional skills needed to work as a writer, working to deadlines and writing to briefs. You will engage with many different forms of writing – from memoirs to scripts, graphic novels to blogs. As part of this module you will have the chance to meet a variety of inspiring visiting writers, who can share their expertise with you.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will help you to build the skills you need to succeed in higher education, and specifically for researching and analysing media. This includes skills in:

  • Researching
  • Referencing
  • Critical thinking
  • Academic writing
  • Presenting
  • Group work. 

We will make sure you are ready to take on the challenges of degree level study.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will investigate the relationship between media and power. This includes discussing the role of new media technologies in facilitating self expression and agency through creations like mash ups and fan fiction. You will also explore how these technologies impact the power and dominance of more traditional forms of media. We also discuss the positive and negative aspects of social media, from its role as a platform for activism to concerns about surveillance and privacy.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module introduces you to core skills in creative writing, including creating setting, poetic form, working with dialogue and characterisation. You will also develop skills in workshopping and collaborating on creative work, familiarising yourself with the workshop environment that will be central to your learning on this course. You will have the opportunity to experiment with a range of forms and ideas in group writing activities and will become more confident in sharing your work with others.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will emphasise the role of research in the production of creative work. We will introduce you to a range of research techniques to help stimulate creative projects, and to help contextualise your writing. You will use different types of research materials to generate your own work, as well as studying texts that have been produced using different research methods. You will have the opportunity to take part in creative projects based on archival work.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the concept of ideology by analysing the viewing behaviour and beliefs of media audiences. You will study media communication models and their histories, engaging with research surrounding audiences. Through this you will explore the nature of contemporary mass communication and consider how ideology and meaning impact the communication process.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will introduce you to 2 key concepts that will recur throughout your academic study: the idea of literary value and the concept of the canon. This will provide a context for you to reflect on what you study at university and why. We will question how assumptions about what is and isn't great literature can influence our reading and writing choices, potentially restricting us from exploring beyond the classics.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will think critically about how media informs, intersects and engages with concepts of identity. You will engage with contemporary discussion and debate surrounding identity, which will include considerations of:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Age.

You will use these varied perspectives to evaluate the theoretical, historical and socio-political influences and implications that contemporary mediated identities may communicate.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is your introduction to media ecology, which encourages you to understand media as anything in which meaning or communication takes place. You will explore the deep history of media and allied technologies (for example writing, printing and painting) to examine how media can determine the possibilities of communication, creative activity and understanding. You will examine how traditional, new and emergent technologies influence our relationship with information and culture. You will also think about how these factors affect social organisation, aesthetic practice and political structure.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 3 optional modules in semester 1
  • 3 optional modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

You must choose at least 1 module from each subject every semester. Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is 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
  • Plot
  • Narration
  • Dialogue
  • Point of view.

By the end of the module, you will have written your own fiction portfolio.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module will give you the opportunity to explore a range of nonfiction texts including:

  • Journalism
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Fictocriticism
  • Manifestos
  • Blogs and online journals
  • Documentary, travel and life writing.

You will develop your understanding of voice, structure and audience in relation to these forms and consider the blurred lines between fact and fiction in nonfiction writing. By viewing, reading and watching a range of nonfictional texts we will ask you to make the links between creative and critical writing, and to produce your own nonfictional texts.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will engage in debates about the production, reception and contexts of controversial media and cultural productions. This includes discussions of taste and the reception of texts in traditional, new and emergent media. We will introduce you to the terminology of aesthetic discussion and dispute, including terms like propaganda, artistic license, canonical status and censorship. You will also explore the concept of moral panic and its role in understanding media messages, power and democracy in contemporary societies.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will engage in debates about the production, reception and contexts of media and cultural products that have caused controversy. This includes debates about taste and the reception of text in different traditional, new and emergent media. We will introduce you to the terminology of aesthetic discussion and dispute, defining and discussing terms such as:

  • Propaganda
  • Artistic licence
  • Canonical status
  • Acceptability
  • Pornography
  • Censorship.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module considers the various forms and uses of music within the fields of cultural production, focusing on the evolutions of these processes and movements as indicators of cultural change. You will explore the possibilities for social, political and cultural exploration offered by the study of music, considering its use within the context of counter-cultural production, innovation, reception, distribution, protest and socio-cultural moments. You will discuss concepts and theories surrounding authorship, activism, mode of production, meaning and representation.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will explore the different ways books and films tell stories, and what happens to literature and literary characters when they are translated onto the screen. We will introduce you to the theory, methods and conventions behind the process of adaptation. In addition to examining specific examples of film adaptation, you can choose to experiment creatively on an adaptation project of your own, using what you have learnt.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will develop your research skills in preparation for the more extensive independent research project you will complete in your final year. You will focus on selected science fiction primary texts as well as related theoretical, philosophical, inter-textual and historical secondary material. You will also develop important academic skills through research. Our focus on science fiction includes major discussions within the genre, including:

  • Race
  • The environment
  • The relationship between human and machine
  • What it is to be human.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Through this module you will become familiar with important critical debates surrounding visual culture. You will come to appreciate the vital relationship between word and image, from traditional illustration all the way through to contemporary internet culture. This will allow you to investigate how visual strategies can be used to communicate complex ideas.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is an opportunity to engage with the more vocational elements of working with media and explore your entrepreneurial potential. You will work in groups to produce a creative portfolio and will eventually pitch your idea to a panel. This could be, for example, a magazine, a film festival, or an exhibition. You must take into account:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Business cases
  • Product development
  • Effective communication of ideas.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This work related module will develop your understanding of the relationship between creative writing practices and employability in the creative industries. It is an opportunity for you to explore the methods and means of literary publishing, production and performance, developing transferable and employable skills through project work. You will combine a broad exploration of industry aims and ethics with first hand experience of specific editorial, commercial, and practical processes.

Credits: 20

Optional module

From the sonnet to the prose poem, on this module you will learn about the formal qualities of poetry and discover how to produce dazzling imagery and perfect rhythm; manipulating 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 work by the end of the module.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module addresses the essential elements of scriptwriting. This includes writing convincing dialogue, creating interesting characters and constructing coherent stories. We will also introduce you to the cultural, theoretical and industrial contexts of scriptwriting. You will develop your expressive and technical skills in writing scripts for 1 or more of the following disciplines:

  • radio
  • television
  • stage and film.

You will then create your own original script.

Credits: 20

Optional module

An understanding of globalisation is essential for engaging with the processes of cultural, political and social change in the modern world. On this module we will introduce you to the major theoretical debates and ideas surrounding the contested idea of globalisation. You will also examine the role media plays in reflecting and reacting to the processes of globalisation, and its influence on emergent, resistant and dominant cultures.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is an introduction to the theory and practice of convergence technology, transmedia activity and network theory. You will discuss the continuing development and evolution of communication technologies and how they shape our everyday lives. You will consider these developments in relation to social, political and cultural factors and speculate on how these may affect the production and consumption of meaning and content through media.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • A Dissertation module across semesters 1 and 2. This can be focused on either Creative Writing or Media
  • 2 optional modules (1 from each subject) in semester 1
  • 2 optional modules (1 from each subject) in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This is your opportunity to demonstrate your abilities as an independent learner through an extended piece of research. You will produce an extended critical and analytical examination of your chosen topic, engaging with the existing literature surrounding it and offering your own original take on the subject. You will apply many of the analytical and research skills you have developed over the course of your degree. If you choose a Creative Writing dissertation your creative work will be accompanied by a Contextual Reflection which will demonstrate your analytical and research skills. A dedicated academic tutor will support you through throughout the research process.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module we will encourage you to consider the historical, theoretical, cultural and political dimensions of genre, as well as exploring the conventions which are attributed to specific genres. You will also be given the opportunity to critically explore differentiations between high and low culture and investigate genres such as tragedy, satire and gothic, romance, horror, and noir. The module will help you to develop an awareness of literary and generic concepts between and across different forms. Through this you will develop skills in original composition, drafting and editing.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module is an opportunity to explore and participate in contemporary literature. You will start to develop the relationship between your creative practice and the theory, philosophy, and politics that uniform and inspire contemporary work. You will engage with writing that challenges the traditional boundaries of literature and is fresh, exciting and innovative. You will also consider a broad range of materials and techniques that will help you to develop your own innovative creative practices.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

We will introduce you to a range of very contemporary publishing and literary cultures, with a view to helping you position your own work in the contemporary literary landscape. You will be encouraged to think critically about literary culture, and develop a sense of how your own work might contribute to or challenge contemporary modes of writing. The module also has a practical focus and will help you to develop a professional portfolio you can use as a springboard into your career.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will engage in debates concerning American mass culture and its relationship to social formation, cultural movements and modes of expression. We will examine contemporary popular culture as site of ideological, political and cultural discourse, considering how it uses and subverts America’s ideas and imagery. Through this we will assess how popular forms react to social and cultural changes. These forms include:

  • Animation
  • Comic books
  • Movies
  • Television
  • Websites
  • Music.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore concepts and issues surrounding globalisation, localisation, regionalism and national identity, particularly in relation to city cultures. You will consider the representations, symbolic and social structures, development, uses and experiences of the modern city. This will involve the experiential exploration of contemporary cities, as well investigating technological advances and futuristic narratives of the city. You will also have the opportunity to take part in an international field trip as part of this module. previous locations have included Istanbul, Madrid and Amsterdam.

Credits: 20

Optional module

This module requires you to engage with a wide range of media representations of gender and sexualities. In doing so you will critically assess how certain forms, formats and practices of media transgress, reinforce or challenge assumptions and prejudices relating to gender and sexuality. This will build upon previous discussions about identity and representation from other modules, encouraging you to cultivate nuanced responses towards contemporary debates. We will also encourage you to reflect upon the evolution of critical perspectives on gender and sexualities.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will have opportunities to share your work in progress in regular workshops. This will help you get comfortable with responding to feedback and reworking your writing. You will also take part in:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Masterclasses
  • Engagement with media practitioners and those working in the creative industry.

You will typically study 3 modules each semester. Each module will normally have 3 hours of contact time each week, so you will have a minimum of 9 hours of teaching each week of teaching.

Alongside your timetabled contact time, you will need to study independently. This means spending time reading around the topics we cover and preparing for your taught sessions. This will ensure that you get the most out of your degree, as well as building valuable time management skills.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

There are no exams on this course as we believe there are better ways to assess creative skills. Your creative writing will mainly be assessed through coursework, which will often take the form of a portfolio of original writing accompanied by a reflective commentary. Other assessment opportunities will help you develop new skills and prepare for your career. This may include:

  • Project work
  • Organising events and publications
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Interactive digital portfolios (using platforms such as Word Press)
  • Creative visual pieces.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Creative Writing and Media

A degree in Creative Writing and Media can help you become a professional writer, but the skills you learn on this course will also be relevant to a wide range of professions. As you explore your creativity you will also build transferrable skills in analysis, communication, team working, using digital technologies and presentation.

This degree could be the first step toward your career in:

  • Writing
  • Copy writing and editing
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Publishing
  • Arts administration
  • Writing or producing for TV and film
  • Researching for TV and film
  • Marketing, PR and communications
  • Advertising
  • Culture and heritage.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Postgraduate courses at York St John University

Creative Writing MA

Publishing MA

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

This course is available with a foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Liberal Arts Foundation year

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

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 depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While 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 pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

Course highlights

More to explore

Join us in 2021

Two female students smiling in York

What makes us different

Get in touch

Cookie Settings