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Creative Writing BA (Hons)

This exciting programme enables you to work in a variety of genres, from penning your own poetry and fiction, to writing for the web, to learning how scripts work. You will be taught by published writers and academics, with a range of professional visiting writers giving workshops and readings throughout the degree programme. This is a sociable and challenging creative course, providing a range of transferable skills.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2018 - 2019: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,500 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2018
Study options
Available with integrated Foundation Year
Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Course overview

Creative Writing is one of the fastest growing disciplines in UK universities and for good reason: it is an opportunity to explore the multi-faceted world of literature while enjoying the creative freedom of one’s own imagination, and improving writing, communication and research skills.

The course emphasises the importance of creative practitioners and is enhanced by regular visits from contemporary writers. Visiting writers have included York-born award-winning novelist Kate Atkinson; poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan; novelist and poet Michèle Roberts; novelist Joe Dunthorne; graphic novelist and illustrator Graham Rawle; and award-winning poets Simon Armitage and Daljit Nagra. York St John University maintains links with the regional literary community through events such as York Literature Festival. Modules are supplemented by visiting industry professionals, agents and publishers.

I hope you decide to come and join us here at York St John University.


Naomi Booth - Subject Director, Creative Writing

Discover some of our student success stories

Beyond the Walls: The Creative Writing blog

Course structure


The Creative Writing BA (both Single and Joint Honours) provides the opportunity for you to develop your creative and critical skills. It recognises the importance of practice-based skills, employability skills and critical skills. Creative Writing is critically informed and underpinned by a solid understanding of literature, training you to be an excellent reader, as well as producer of literature in a range of genres. Literature modules are therefore a key component of the degree, alongside specialist modules that help you to produce original creative work and provide opportunities for work shopping.

Level 1 provides a foundation and introduces core creative and critical skills; Level 2 allows you to focus on specific forms, to develop a critical understanding of form and genre, develops key employability skills, and offers a choice of modules to suit your interests. In Level 3 all Creative Writing students have the opportunity undertake an extended Creative Writing Project: a portfolio of work which develops their 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 include

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 and plays, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to Hitchcock’s Vertigo. There is a choice of creative or critical assessments.

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 for example: 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 be asked to make the links between creative and critical writing, and to produce your own 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, by offering you 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 involved. With an eye to employability, this module’s chief aim is a practical understanding of broader opportunities within the sector.

Experimental Writing: Theory and Practice - This module provides the opportunity to develop the relationship between your creative practice and the theory, philosophy, or politics which often underpin experimental work. The broad range of material and techniques considered under the label of ‘experimental’ will include text-based work, as well as that which combines different media or employ modes of visual and performance art.

Writing Genres - You will be encouraged to consider the historical, theoretical, cultural and political dimensions of genre, alongside developing knowledge of the conventions of specific genres. You will also be given the opportunity to critically explore differentiations between “high” and “low” culture. You will develop your understanding of the emergence of genres such as tragedy, satire and gothic; and the conventions of contemporary genres such as romance, horror, and noir.

Creative Research in Practice - This module brings together the broad set of skills developed throughout a Creative Writing degree, complementing students’ concurrent work on creative dissertation projects, and preparing them for professional engagement with the wider arts industry.

Other modules

There will also be the opportunity to select from modules across the literature and creative writing programme. These may include:

  • Contemporary Writing
  • Gender and Writing
  • Adaptations
  • Imaginary Worlds: Researching Science Fiction
  • Cultures of Childhood
  • Literary Theory
  • American Literature, Space and Place
  • Eighteenth Century Writing
  • Romantic Period Writing
  • Gothic and Horror

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we look for a demonstration of knowledge and commitment to the subject. This can be shown in a variety of ways – for example, through previous study (including English language, theatre, film studies, media, history), wider reading and creative writing. Tell us why you want to study Creative Writing, and how you think you would benefit from the course.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. You might mention any of the following:

  • Your writing experience in a range of different genres and forms.
  • The impact of reading on your writing.
  • Transferrable skills (e.g. research and planning skills, collaboration, having an open mind, being pro-active).
  • Lectures, readings, or performances you’ve attended.
  • Societies you belong to (e.g. writers groups, book clubs).
  • Literary journals and magazines you read.
  • Further study you’ve taken (e.g. in modern languages).
  • Future career plans and ambitions for your writing.

Terms and conditions

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.

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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 2018 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

UK & EU 2018 / 19

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 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.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2018 / 19

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2018 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,500 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

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Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.

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