This dynamic English and Creative Writing degree combines intensive study of creative and professional writing with a range of complementary modules that explore English literature, English language, and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
Alongside developing your skills in writing fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and non-fiction, you’ll gain specialist skills in analysis and close reading. The development of these skills means you’ll be ready for the workplace when you graduate. There are also many opportunities to showcase your written work.
What you will study
Year One: English and Creative Writing Degree
In your first year, you’ll study core creative writing modules that will introduce you to the practice of writing fiction, poetry, and for the media. You will study English literature modules, including Thinking with Texts, and can choose from a range of optional English literature and language modules that explore topics as diverse as women’s writing, poetry, the influence of communicative and sociolinguistic contexts, and the past, present and future of the English language. Optional modules in TESOL include lexis and phonology.
- Reading Poetry
- Thinking With Texts
- Writing Media
- The Writer’s Toolkit
Is your hammer-of-fiction a bit wobbly? How about your chisel-of-poetry? Could your screwdrivers-of-imagery and your saw-of-characterisation use a dust off? In Writer’s Toolkit you’ll sharpen all the necessary tools for writing fiction and poetry, plus have a chance to add a few new ones to your own toolkit.
- Reading/Writing Women
If you’ve ever wondered why so few women writers have featured on school and university syllabi or in poetry anthologies this is the module for you. This is a chance to read and discuss some fascinating texts by women writers and to think about the relationship between gender and literature.
- Language and Society
- Language Awareness Grammar (TESOL)
Knowledge about grammar is essential for teaching English to speakers of other languages. This module teaches you the metalanguage of your native tongue.
- Language Awareness – Lexis and Phonology (TESOL)
This module explores the wonders of words and sounds. It enables students to develop an appreciation for the ways in which English works, and to develop expertise in how the sounds we make convey meaning to the listener.
Year Two: English and Creative Writing Degree
In year two, you’ll build on this foundation and start to choose areas of study in creative writing, including writing for children and writing nonfiction such as travel writing and autobiography. There are also options in literature, language, and you can continue to study and practise teaching methods in TESOL modules if you wish.]
- Nineteenth Century Literature
During the nineteenth century the UK altered beyond recognition, transforming itself from a rural to an urban society and from an agricultural to an industrial economy. The period saw the publication of some of the most celebrated novels in the English language: novels by Austen, the Brontës, Gaskell, Dickens and Wilde among others. Great poets of the time included Wordsworth, Barrett-Browning, Tennyson, Browning, and Rossetti.
- Creative Writing Workshop
The “workshop” is the cornerstone of creative writing teaching. But why? What does the workshop do that a seminar or lecture doesn’t? In the Creative Writing Workshop we’ll deconstruct this titan of teaching and explore alternative approaches.
- Writing Non-fiction
- Writing for Audiences
Who reads the readers? In Writing for Audiences we’ll explore the role of the reader in the writing process. We’ll examine how certain audiences are targeted by publishers, advertisers, and even writers themselves. We’ll identify the demands of those audiences, and ask: how can a writer meet them whilst maintaining their own creativity?
Early twentieth-century writers aimed to ‘Make it New’ through challenging experiments with narrative and language. This module looks at how new ideas about identity, sexuality, gender and war were reflected in innovative texts like The Waste Land, Mrs Dalloway and Women in Love as well as poetry and short stories.
- English Renaissance Literature
The first great age of experimentation in English Literature, the period transformed a little-spoken northern-European dialect into a rich, versatile language; by its close, some of the most influential works ever written had been produced in English. The literary innovators of the period brought us the first English versions of: epic, sonnet, lyric, tragedy, comedy, utopia, prose fiction, and even the first attempt to create a dictionary of the language.
- The American Dream
- Language, Power and Ideology
- Introduction to TESOL
- Observation and Peer teaching Practice (TESOL)
- Reflection on Learning in the Workplace
Year Three: English and Creative Writing Degree
In the final year of your creative writing degree, you can focus on creative writing or continue to broaden your study in other areas of literature, language and TESOL.
- Dissertation (English)
- Gothic Literature
Ghosts, demons, vampires or werewolves: each generation reinvents the monstrous figures which haunt its nightmares. This module looks at how writers such as Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Angela Carter have used Gothic conventions to reflect, refract and interrogate contemporaneous anxieties around sexuality, class, gender and identity.
- Story: Fiction and Non-Fiction
- Celtic Literature
- Myth and Narrative
Beginning with The Epic of Gilgamesh – the oldest complete work of literature in existence – ‘Myth and Narrative’ explores a selection of ancient texts in translation: Genesis and Job (biblical texts), The Odyssey and The Mabinogion. It includes, too, an overview of Egyptian and Norse mythologies, consideration of the transition from myth to Romance in the medieval period, and theoretical approaches to the interpretation of mythic forms in the modern age.
- Historical Fictions
Women writing the past – What does our fascination with the Tudors, the Victorians, or the First World War say about us today? This module explores the complex tension between past and present in historical fictions by writers such as Virginia Woolf, Daphne du Maurier, Pat Barker. Philippa Gregory and Sarah Waters.
- Writing for Publication
Competitions. Magazines. E-Zines. Agents. Independent Publishers. The “Big 5” of UK Publishing. They all want writing, and they all want something different. In writing for Publication we’ll develop skills and strategies to meet the demands of the contemporary publishing industry, and give your work the best chance in the market place.
- Communication and the Workplace
- Developing the TESOL Professional
- Teaching Experience (TESOL)
The BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree is also available as a four year course including an integrated foundation year, and is designed for students who do not currently meet admissions criteria for direct entry onto the creative writing degree. You will start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your skills and knowledge before progressing onto the three year degree programme.
There is a thriving research culture at the University, and many staff publications have been recognised as internationally excellent or world leading. You’ll be taught by academics who are world leaders in their fields of study and by prize-winning poets and fiction writers. You’ll learn through a variety of stimulating activities including lectures, seminar discussions, workshops and creative exercises.
The English and Creative Writing team also has long established links with Literature Wales, the national literature and promotion agency for writers in Wales. With their help we have been proud to welcome several major visiting writers, including Simon Armitage, Benjamin Zephaniah, Gillian Clarke, Les Murray, Dannie Abse, Andrew Motion, Wendy Cope, and the first National Poet of Wales, Gwyneth Lewis.
Assessment is through coursework and examination. The range of assessment includes group oral presentations, reading journals, essays and portfolios of original writing accompanied by commentaries that reflect on the writing process.
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