English with Creative Writing BA


Fact file - 2018 entry

English with Creative Writing | BA Hons
UCAS code
3 years full-time (available part-time)
A level offer
Required subjects
A in English literature or language (or combined) at A level; plus a GCSE at 7 (A) or above, in English
IB score
36-34; 6 in English at Higher Level
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


The English strand of the course is varied and wide-ranging, including literature, language and drama, while the creative writing strand of the course is designed to develop your writing skills, and your insight into the process of writing.
Read full overview

For this degree, you will devote two thirds of your time to the area of English and one third to creative writing. The two strands of the course are strongly connected: your developing knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of English will inform your creative writing practice, and vice versa. The English strand of the course is varied and wide-ranging, including literature, language and drama. The first year parallels the core modules for the other English single honours programmes; in the second and final years you will have increasing flexibility to choose your preferred areas of specialisation. The creative writing strand of the course is designed to develop your writing skills, and your insight into the process of writing.

During the course, you will have contact with a variety of creative writing professionals and practitioners, including a recently-appointed writer in residence, so that you can benefit from their professional skills, knowledge and experience.

You will also have the opportunity for hands-on editing and collating experience in the development of the literary journal for creative writing, The Letters Page. 

Year one

You will study core modules which introduce you to prose, poetry and drama from the medieval period to the modern day, and to aspects of English language from the beginnings of English to contemporary and applied aspects of linguistics. This will give you a solid grounding in each of the different areas which make up 'Nottingham English'.

The first year module, Creative Writing Practice, acts as a foundation, introducing you to the process of writing poetry and fiction by engaging in a variety of forms of reading and writing practice. The focus in poetry includes emphasis on imagery, line and metre, and poetic form; the fiction content includes looking at character, narrative and point of view.

You will be encouraged from the outset to experiment with a range of techniques and strategies, to create new work and to develop the capacity to reflect on this work in a disciplined and rigorous fashion - an essential skill in creative writing.

Year two

You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of options which will either enable you to continue study in all the areas of English encountered in year one, or to begin to specialise according to your particular interests in literature, language or drama and performance.

Creative writing will be taught within two specialist modules: Creative Writing: Craft and Creative Writing: Pages and Stages. These will expand on the work done in year one, including such elements as finding/shaping/ reworking material; adaptation; research and the archive; location and setting; characterisation and representation; registers of language, rhythm and speech; mood and atmosphere; and dramatic dialogue and dramatic action. You will build up a portfolio of work over these two years through a variety of assignments.

Final year

You will choose three options from a very wide selection of specialist modules: at this stage, you may wish to concentrate entirely on one area of literature, language or drama, or continue to study any combination of these - the choice is yours.

You will also take the module, Advanced Writing Practice, in which you will be able to focus on the areas of writing which are of most interest to you.

You then have the choice of taking the module Creativity and Language or Digital Story: Craft and Technique.

Your final module will be a dissertation in creative writing, which will allow you to concentrate on an extended piece of creative work in your chosen medium - either fiction, poetry or drama – with the help of regular supervisory sessions with your creative writing tutor.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAA-AAB, including A in English literature or language (or combined) at A level; plus four GCSEs at 7 (A) or above, including English

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications 

We recognize that applicants follow a variety of pathways into higher education, and accordingly we might accept applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate). These can include:

  • Access to HE Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

Students with queries about the applicability of their qualification are encouraged to contact us.

For more information please see the alternative qualifications page.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


Typical year one modules


Creative Writing Practice

The first-year module, Creative Writing Practice, acts as a foundation, focusing on the process of writing fiction, drama and poetry, through various forms of reading, writing and performance practice. You will be encouraged to experiment with techniques and strategies, such as character, dialogue and imagery, to create new work. You will also develop the capacity to reflect on this work in a disciplined and rigorous fashion – an essential skill in creative writing. Creative Writing Practice puts special emphasis on the real-life processes of published writers, including research, collaboration, publication and performance, and how it feels to be interviewed about your writing.

Language and Context

This module considers the main forms and functions of English vocabulary, grammar and discourse and explores how they are used in real social and cultural contexts. You’ll look at how language is used for different purposes and how people use language to reveal and conceal social realities as well other topics surrounding language and context. For this module you’ll have a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week.

Beginnings of English

You’ll be introduced to the language, literature and culture of medieval England and study Old and Middle English texts. In this module you’ll familiarise yourself with the knowledge needed for reading and understanding medieval texts. In addition you will be introduced to the basics of grammar and spelling conventions. For this module you’ll have two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour seminar per week. 

Studying Literature

This module will introduce some of the core skills necessary for literary studies through focus on specific poetry and prose texts. You will address topics including: close reading, constructing an argument and handling critical material. For this module you’ll have a combination of lectures and seminars.

Drama, Theatre, Performance

This module, taught through a combination of practical workshops, seminars, and lectures, considers key concepts in the study of dramatic texts, theatre history and performance. The module frames these concepts, taking into consideration questions about who performs, where, to whom, why and how, through explorations of key moments in the Western theatrical tradition.

Academic Community

It will provide you with an introduction to key issues and skills for those transitioning to studying English at Nottingham. This module emphasises points of intersection between the diverse disciplines of English and will help to develop a toolkit of study, research and communication skills which can be transferred to other modules. You’ll be taught in small groups with a combination of lectures and tutorials. 


Typical year two modules


Poetry Form and Conventions

This module expands on the work done in the first year by undertaking a sustained analysis of technique and craft related to writing poetry, including poetic line, stanza, rhyme and related techniques, and imagery, along with a number of traditional forms such as the sonnet or haiku. You will be introduced to a wide and diverse range of writers and techniques as well as exploring the publishing industry as it relates to poetry. You will develop your own creative work as well as your critical and reflective skills.

Fiction, Forms and Conventions

This module expands on the work done in the first year by undertaking a sustained analysis of technique and craft related to fiction writing, including narrative voice, point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, and setting. You will be introduced to a wide and diverse range of writers and techniques as well as exploring the publishing industry as it relates to fiction. You will develop your own creative work as well as your critical and reflective skills.


English Options

You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of options which will either enable you to continue study in all the areas of English encountered in year one, or to begin to specialise according to your particular interests in literature, language or drama and performance.

Literature 1500 to the present

Each of the modules offered will provide a comprehensive introduction to the changes in the genres of prose, poetry and drama across the period studied, placing the works encountered in the context of key aesthetic, social and political/historical contexts.

English Language and Applied Linguistics

Building on the study of English language undertaken in year one, your second year language modules provide the exciting opportunity for you to explore aspects of language use in the mind, in society and in literature.

Medieval languages and literatures

You can choose to pursue one or more of the medieval areas introduced in year one, or you can opt to study a new but related area. In all cases you will develop your understanding of language change and variety, registers, styles, modes and genres, as they appear in medieval texts, and become more expert in reading with reference to wider medieval cultures.

Drama and Performance

Year two modules provide the opportunity to develop approaches from the first year by studying 20th and 21st-century theatre; by exploring key critical approaches to drama in theory and practice, and by focusing on a key period in the development of our nation’s theatre.


For a sample of typical modules from each area please see our single honours BA English listing.


Typical year three modules


Advanced Writing Practice

This module will further develop your skills as a writer through helpful workshops that will be presided over by a tutor. You will engage critically with selected readings and work through both prose and poetry. In addition you will also study various literary tools including narration, character voice, dialogue, plot and setting. These workshops will last two hours a week and by the end of the module you will have more confidence to write on your own.

Creative Writing Dissertation

The dissertation is an independent project involving both creative and critical work. The creative component consists of an original work of either fiction, poetry, or drama, or a combination of two of these genres, to be agreed with your dissertation supervisor. The critical component addresses the main issues involved in the process of developing and revising your creative work. This is a 20 credit module. You have the option of taking a 40 credit version if you wish.


You will then choose either Digital Story: Craft and Technique, Writing for Performance, or the 40 credit version of the Creative Writing Dissertation.

Digital Story: Craft and Technique

This module will enable you to become confident in devising and presenting your own material through hypertext, audio and visual means.  Weekly workshops, taught in computer suites, will enable you to learn through practice the techniques of multi-layered online publication and work as you produce a 'digital story'.

Writing for Performance

This module aims to develop students' understanding of writing for performance and through this improve their analysis and understanding of theatre and performance texts. Students choose one of two available routes: a Language route or a Creative Writing route. Areas covered will include setting; story and plot; beats/units of action; objectives; character and dialogue, from either the perspective of the creative writer or the audience. Students will read and see performance pieces, and this will contribute to the understanding of forms and the relationship between language, text, performance and production. This will be accompanied by the analysis and evaluation of dramatic writing and the employment of appropriate analytical approaches and terms, be it via the sharing of students' own work within the workshop group (Creative Writing route) or via linguistic workshop activities (Language route).


English Options

The final year is when all the different strands of your teaching and learning experience as an undergraduate culminate in the opportunity to demonstrate and apply all the different kinds of skills you have acquired in researching a topic, extended analysis of specialist themes and areas, and in independent study. 

You will have the opportunity to study a range of authors, genres, linguistic approaches, and textual forms and contexts, in both national and international contexts, thinking about English in the broadest possible terms. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in areas for which you have developed genuine aptitude and passion during your undergraduate career.

A typical list of options available can be found on our single honours BA English listing.


The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.



A degree in English from the University of Nottingham fosters many vital skills in communication and professional practice. Researching and presenting your work involves a high degree of creativity, and you will also learn how to be careful and precise in carrying out analysis of a range of subjects.

You will learn to plan your work, and develop the qualities of self-discipline, self-motivation and initiative that are essential to any form of graduate employment. We will help you develop your ability to research and process a large amount of information quickly, and to present the results of your research in an articulate and effective way.

In addition to these skills, you will also have the opportunity to develop your employability profile further through innovative, bespoke placement and volunteering opportunities which create a bridge between your academic interests and the professional world of work. There are opportunities to accredit your extracurricular activities through the University’s Nottingham Advantage Award and in your final year, you may also have chance to complete a project-based dissertation.

For more information, please visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/careers

Graduate career destinations

Graduates in English, as with many arts graduates, find themselves faced with many choices when it comes to selecting a career. No matter what your initial choice may be, you will find that the skills and knowledge that you have developed during your degree will have equipped you for the demanding and often highly changeable nature of the 21st-century workplace. Careers of our recent graduates have included:

Careers of our recent graduates have included:

  • accountancy, banking and finance
  • acting, television, film editing and related creative industries
  • business, consultancy and management
  • civil service and local government administration
  • events/exhibition management
  • human resource management
  • insurance
  • journalism - periodicals and broadcasting
  • law
  • librarianship, museum and archive and collection work
  • marketing, advertising and public relations 
  • management in the charitable sector
  • politics
  • primary and secondary school teaching
  • public relations
  • publishing and editorial work
  • social work
  • teaching English as a foreign language
  • tourism and heritage
  • writing  - as authors, poets, playwrights
  • university administration
  • university lecturing

Some students may decide that another year (or more) of study may give them an edge when it comes to seeking out a career and may, for example, choose to undertake postgraduate study or teacher training.

Many of our graduates remain in touch with us; we invite some of them to return to give talks and provide advice at our School-organised Undergraduate Careers Days, while others act as mentors to current students.

Careers support and advice

We have a Careers and Employability Service on campus, with dedicated  School of English support. The service works with students individually and in groups to deliver an extensive range of services such as:

  • careers advice
  • CV reviews
  • drop-in sessions
  • graduate job fairs
  • help finding the latest vacancies listings.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 94% of first-degree graduates in the School of English who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £19,809 with the highest being £30,000.* 

*Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2014/15.


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

Time in lectures, seminars and similar

The figure given for teaching in lectures, seminars and similar activities is an overall average calculated across the three years of the degree. We guarantee a minimum of 12 hours a week contact time in year 1 (26%), 10 hours in year 2 (17%) and 8 hours in year 3 (13%), with the increasing proportion of independent study time reflecting the enhanced research management and project development skills which our students gain during the course of their study with us.


This course includes one or more pieces of formative assessment.

How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


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