BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing
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.
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 English 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.
At USW we want you be a well-rounded graduate with lots to offer. So throughout your studies you’ll gain transferable skills that will help you succeed in any workplace – the ability to analyse information from different sources, construct reasoned arguments and communicate them effectively.
You can choose a work placement as an important part of your course. Designed to enhance your employability, this is a great way to make your CV stand out. There’s a wide range of things you could do. Students have worked at the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, Wales Arts Review, Literature Wales, Seren Press, Buzz Magazine, The Big Issue, Able Radio, schools and libraries. Some students have worked on scripts in community film projects, for example, and even with the National Theatre.
Dr David Towsey
Dr David Towsey is a novelist and short-story writer, who specialises in genre fiction. He is particularly interested in crossover texts that complicate genre boundaries. His Walkin' Trilogy of novels blends numerous tropes from zombie horror, post-apocalyptic science fiction, and the western. He also co-writes fantasy-crime under the pseudonym D.K. Fields, whose Tales of Fenest trilogy considers the impact of storytelling in the democratic process. Find more about Dr Towsey's work on his blog and the English Research website.
Dr Ayo Amuda's primary research interest is on language use in society, particularly, communication in multilingual communities. He is the author of several articles on the subject, including Socio-Historiography of Names in an Oral Culture (2012).
Dr Mike Chick's research interests include second language teacher education as well as the organisation of ESOL provision for vulnerable sections of society. He has recently completed a research project investigating the barriers to employment faced by participants on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Dr Nic Dunlop is a specialist in postcolonial writing, genre and contemporary literature. He has published widely and is currently completing a monograph on representations of education and postcolonialism in science fiction.
Professor Alice Entwistle specialises in poetry, usually contemporary, and often (though not always) by women. Much of her work examines the connections between text, form and place(s); she is also interested in creative-critical writing and cross-disciplinary collaborative practice in the arts and humanities.
Barrie Llewelyn teaches fiction, poetry and non-fiction with a special interest in writing for the media and the essay form. She is also interested in the often fluid line between fiction and non-fiction. Recent research interests have taken Barrie’s focus to the link between creativity and well-being. The Speak to Me project partners resettled refugees with local English speakers in a series of creative writing workshops.
Professor Kevin Mills teaches Nineteenth-Century Literature, English Renaissance Literature, and Myth and Narrative. He also leads the MPhil in Writing. His research interests include theory, literature and the Bible, and Victorian literature, as well as the relationship between critical and creative writing.
Dr David Towsey is a novelist and short-story writer, who specialises in genre fiction. He is particularly interested in crossover texts that complicate genre boundaries. His Walkin' Trilogy of novels blends numerous tropes from zombie horror, post-apocalyptic science fiction, and the western. He also co-writes fantasy-crime under the pseudonym D.K. Fields, whose Tales of Fenest trilogy considers the impact of storytelling in the democratic process.
Professor Diana Wallace works mainly on women’s writing. Her research interests include historical fiction, the Gothic, Modernism, and Welsh writing in English. She is co-editor of The International Journal of Welsh Writing in English and co-editor of UWP’s series Gender in Studies in Wales.
Dr Rhian Webb lectures in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Her primary research examines native English speakers’ knowledge about grammar, which informs her teaching. In 2020, she established a research collaboration with Cardiff based Peartree Languages, which develops strategies to teach and deliver online English lessons to international learners.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.
Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
Typical A-Level Offer
BCC - CDD to usually include English (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points). Applicants without A Level English will be considered on an individual basis.
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to usually include English (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points). Applicants without A Level English will be considered on an individual basis.
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points). Applicants without A Level English will be considered on an individual basis.
Typical IB Offer
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points.
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
August 2022 - July 2023 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £13700
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
Graduates of our English and creative writing degree ave an enviable record of establishing careers in editing, publishing, teaching, writing, advertising, public relations, the civil service, local government, arts administration and broadcasting. Many students also progress to postgraduate study at the University. If you take modules in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) you’ll also gain the USW Graduate TESOL Certificate. You’ll be highly knowledgeable about how language works and have the skills to teach others how to communicate in English. Millions of people around the world are learning English, so there is a huge demand for qualified English language teachers – great news for people with a TESOL qualification.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW English student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.