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The vital presence of creative writing in the English Department is reflected by our many distinguished authors who teach our workshops. We offer courses each term in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, and television writing. Our workshops are small, usually no more than twelve students, and offer writers an opportunity to focus intensively on one genre. 

Apply to Creative Writing Workshops

Workshops are open by application to Harvard College undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and students from other institutions eligible for cross registration. Submission guidelines for workshops can be found under individual course listings; please do not query instructors.  Review all departmental rules and application instructions before applying.  

Fall 2023 Application Deadline: 11:59 pm ET on Saturday, August 26 Spring 2024 Application Deadline: 11:59 pm ET on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Please visit our course listings for all the Spring 2024 workshops.

Our online submission manager (link below) will open for Spring 2024 applications on Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Students who have questions about the creative writing workshop application process should contact Case Q. Kerns at [email protected] .


Featured Faculty

Teju Cole

Teju Cole  is a novelist, critic, and essayist, and is the first Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice. "Among other works, the boundary-crossing author is known for his debut novel “Open City” (2011), whose early admirers included Harvard professor and New Yorker critic James Wood." 

Faculty Bookshelf

Once the shore by paul yoon (2009).

Once the Shore

The Autobiography of My Mother: A Novel by Jamaica Kincaid (1996)

The Autobiography of My Mother

Find Me by Laura van den Berg (2015)

Find Me

See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid (2013)

See Now Then

Creative Writing Workshops

English cacd. the art of criticism.

Instructor: Maggie Doherty Monday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: Barker 018 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

This course will consider critical writing about art—literary, visual, or cinematic—as an art in its own right. We will read and discuss criticism from a wide variety of publications, paying attention to the ways outlet and audience shape critical work. Our focus will be on longform criticism (narrative and/or argumentative) as opposed to short-form, primarily evaluative reviews. The majority of our readings will be from the last several years and will include pieces by Andrea Long Chu, Tausif Noor, Namwali Serpell, and Justin Taylor. Students will write several short writing assignments (500-1000 words) during the first half of the semester and share them with peers. During the second half of the semester, each student will write and workshop a longer piece of criticism about a work of art or an artist of their choosing. Students will be expected to read and provide detailed feedback on the work of their peers. Students will revise their longer pieces based on workshop feedback and submit them for the final assignment of the class.

This course is open to writers of all levels, but writers should have studied or worked creatively in the field of art they plan to engage critically. In other words, if you plan to write art criticism, you should have taken some classes in art history, or you should have a creative practice in the visual arts. Similarly, if you’d like to write film criticism, you should have taken some film studies classes, or you should have a filmmaking background. If you are unsure whether you have the necessary background for this class, please email me. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26) Supplemental Application Information:  Please write a letter of introduction (1-2 pages) giving a sense of who you are, your writing experience, and your current goals for your writing. Please also describe your relationship to the art forms and/or genres you're interested in engaging in the course. You may also list any writers or publications whose criticism you enjoy reading. Please also include a 3-5 writing sample in which you write about art. This sample may be creative (a personal essay, an excerpt from a piece of fiction) or it may be academic. 

English CACW. Advanced Creative Writing Workshop

Instructor: Paul Yoon Monday, 12:00-2:45 pm | Location: Barker 222 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site Advanced fiction workshop for students who have already taken a workshop at Harvard. You will be responsible for participating in discussions on the assigned texts, the workshop, engaging with the work of your colleagues, and revise your work. The end goal will be to produce 2 short stories, or 2 chapters of a novel, to be submitted as your final portfolio. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26) Supplemental Application Information:   * Please note: previous creative writing workshop experience required. * Please submit ONLY a cover letter telling me your previous creative writing workshop experience, either at Harvard or elsewhere; then tell me something you are passionate about and something you want to be better at; and, lastly, tell me why of all classes you want to take this one this semester. Again, please no writing samples.

English CBBR. Intermediate Poetry: Workshop

Instructor:  Josh Bell   Tuesday, 6:00-8:45pm | Location: Barker 018 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

Initially, students can expect to read, discuss, and imitate the strategies of a wide range of poets writing in English; to investigate and reproduce prescribed forms and poetic structures; and to engage in writing exercises meant to expand the conception of what a poem is and can be. As the course progresses, reading assignments will be tailored on an individual basis, and an increasing amount of time will be spent in discussion of student work. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26)

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a portfolio including a letter of interest, ten poems, and a list of classes (taken at Harvard or elsewhere) that seem to have bearing on your enterprise.

English CCEP. Ekphrastic Poetry: Workshop

Instructor: Tracy K. Smith Wednesday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: Lamont 401 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site What can a poem achieve when it contemplates or even emulates a work of art in another medium? In this workshop, we'll read and write poems that engage with other art forms--and we'll test out what a foray into another artistic practice allows us to carry back over into the formal methods and behaviors of poetry. With poems by Keats, Rilke, Auden, Hughes, and Brooks, as well as Kevin Young, Evie Shockley, Ama Codjoe and other contemporary voices. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26) Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a writing sample of 5-10 poems and an application letter explaining your interest in this course.

English CCFC. Poetry Workshop: Form & Content

Instructor: Tracy K. Smith Tuesday, 12:00-2:45pm | Location: Sever 112 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

In this workshop, we’ll look closely at the craft-based choices poets make, and track the effects they have upon what we as readers are made to think and feel. How can implementing similar strategies better prepare us to engage the questions making up our own poetic material? We’ll also talk about content. What can poetry reveal about the ways our interior selves are shaped by public realities like race, class, sexuality, injustice and more? Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26)   

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a writing sample of 5-10 poems and an application letter explaining your interest in this course.

English CCIJ. Intermediate Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Jesse McCarthy Thursday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: Barker 269 Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site This is an intermediate course in the art of writing literary fiction. Previous experience with workshopping writing is encouraged but not required. The emphasis of the course will be learning how to read literature as a writer, with special attention given to the short story, novella, or short novel. We will read these works from the perspective of the writer as craftsperson and of the critic seeking in good faith to understand and describe a new aesthetic experience. We will be concerned foremost with how literary language works, with describing the effects of different kinds of sentences, different uses of genre, tone, and other rhetorical strategies. Together, we will explore our responses to examples of literature from around the world and from all periods, as well as to the writing you will produce and share with the class. As a member of a writing community, you should be prepared to respectfully read and respond to the work of others—both the work of your peers and that of the published writers that we will explore together. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, August 26) Supplemental Application Information:  This course is by application only but there are no prerequisites for this course and previous experience in a writing workshop is not required . In your application please submit a short letter explaining why you are interested in this class. You might tell me a bit about your relationship to literature, your encounter with a specific author, book, or even a scene or character from a story or novel. Please also include a writing sample of 2-5 pages (5 pages max!) of narrative prose fiction.

English CPWR. Poetry: Workshop

Instructor:  Jorie Graham Tuesday, 6:00-8:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

Open by application to both undergraduates and graduates. Class includes the discussion of literary texts as well as work written by students.

For Spring 2024, the class will be remote only. Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit a portfolio including a letter of interest, ten poems, and a list of classes (taken at Harvard or elsewhere) that seem to have bearing on your enterprise. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Saturday, November 4)

English CCFS. Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Teju Cole Tuesday, 6:00-8:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site This reading and writing intensive workshop is for students who want to learn to write literary fiction. The goal of the course would be for each student to produce two polished short stories. Authors on the syllabus will probably include James Joyce, Eudora Welty, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Diane Williams.

Supplemental Application Information:   Please submit a cover letter saying what you hope to get out of the workshop. In the cover letter, mention three works of fiction that matter to you and why. In addition, submit a 400–500 word sample of your fiction; the sample can be self-contained or a section of a longer work. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Saturday, November 4)

English CFF. From Fact to Fiction: Finding & Shaping a Story: Workshop

Instructor: Claire Messud Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

In this course, we will explore the evolution of a story from a factual anecdote or incident to a fictional creation. The aims of the semester are to learn to listen to someone else’s story in interviews, and to endeavor to find, from there, the necessary bones for a fictional narrative. What is most urgent? What is most emotionally affecting? What are the details from an interview that stay with you? And from there: what, from a broader account, is the story you are moved to relate? Once you make that choice, how do you do further research, if necessary? How do you select the point of view, the frame, the characters for your fiction? What are the ethics and responsibilities of these choices? We will read work by writers who have transformed fact into fiction, some of whom will visit the class. Past visitors include Geraldine Brooks, Akhil Sharma, Amity Gaige, Meng Jin and Paul Yoon. No previous fiction-writing experience is required for this class.

Supplemental Application Information:   Admission by application only. Please submit a brief letter explaining why you're interested to take this class, and, if you've a subject in mind, why it's interesting to you. There is no prerequisite for this course: all who are interested are welcome to apply. For your writing sample, submit 2-5 pages of creative work of any genre. If you haven't written creatively before, you might consider writing a brief character sketch or memoir piece.  Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Saturday, November 4)

English CNL. The Novel Lab: Studying Long-Form Narratives in Fiction

Instructor: Paul Yoon Monday 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students. Course Site

What defines a novel? And what does it mean to read one as a writer? How does a painter consider a painting or a photographer a photo? This readings class will study novels through the point of view of a practicing writer. We will read one novel a week, with the goal of exploring the ways in which long-form narratives are constructed, from chapter to chapter, from one movement to another—that is, the architecture of it. Please note: this is not a typical workshop. You will not be sharing you work every week, though later on in the semester we may participate in small group workshops and readings. Consider the class an investigation into all the tools a writer has to create fiction, with the end goal of producing 2 - 3 chapters of the beginning of a novel as your final project.

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit ONLY a letter to me. I want to know what your favorite novel is and why; and then tell me something you are passionate about and something you want to be better at; and, lastly, tell me why of all classes you want to take this one this semester. Please no writing samples. Again, note: This is NOT a typical workshop. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Saturday, November 4)

English CWP. Words & Photographs: Workshop

Instructor: Teju Cole Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site

For almost two centuries now, words have accompanied photographs, sometimes to sublime effect. In this writing-intensive workshop, we will model our work on the various ways writers have responded to photographs: through captions, criticism, fiction, and experiments. Students will learn close-looking, research, and editing, and will be expected to complete a “words and photographs” project using their own photographs or photographs made by others. 

Supplemental Application Information: P lease submit a photograph and up to a page of text responding (or perhaps not responding) to the photograph. In addition, submit a cover letter saying what you hope to get out of the workshop. The cover letter should mention three books in any genre that have been helpful to your writerly development. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Saturday, November 4)

English CAFR. Advanced Fiction Workshop: Writing this Present Life

Instructor: Claire Messud Thursday, 3:00-5:45 pm | Location: TBD Enrollment: Limited to 12 students Course Site Intended for students with prior fiction-writing and workshop experience, this course will concentrate on structure, execution and revision. Exploring various strands of contemporary and recent literary fiction – writers such as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Rachel Cusk, Chimamanda Adichie, Douglas Stuart, Ocean Vuong, etc – we will consider how fiction works in our present moment, with emphasis on a craft perspective. Each student will present to the class a published fiction that has influenced them. The course is primarily focused on the discussion of original student work, with the aim of improving both writerly skills and critical analysis. Revision is an important component of this class: students will workshop two stories and a revision of one of these.

Supplemental Application Information:  Please submit 3-5 pages of prose fiction, along with a substantive letter of introduction. I’d like to know why you’re interested in the course; what experience you’ve had writing, both in previous workshops and independently; what your literary goals and ambitions are. Please tell me about some of your favorite narratives – fiction, non-fiction, film, etc: why they move you, and what you learn from them. Apply via Submittable  (deadline: 11:59pm ET on Saturday, November 4)

Write an Honors Creative Thesis

Students may apply to write a senior thesis or senior project in creative writing, although only English concentrators can be considered. Students submit applications in early March of their junior year, including first-term juniors who are out of phase. The creative writing faculty considers the proposal, along with the student's overall performance in creative writing and other English courses, and notifies students about its decision in early mid-late March. Those applications are due, this coming year, on TBA . 

Students applying for a creative writing thesis or project must have completed at least one course in creative writing at Harvard before they apply. No student is guaranteed acceptance. It is strongly suggested that students acquaint themselves with the requirements and guidelines well before the thesis application is due. The creative writing director must approve any exceptions to the requirements, which must be made in writing by Monday, February 7, 2022. Since the creative writing thesis and project are part of the English honors program, acceptance to write a creative thesis is conditional upon the student continuing to maintain a 3.40 concentration GPA. If a student’s concentration GPA drops below 3.40 after the spring of the junior year, the student may not be permitted to continue in the honors program.

Joint concentrators may apply to write creative theses, but we suggest students discuss the feasibility of the project well before applications are due. Not all departments are open to joint creative theses.

Students who have questions about the creative writing thesis should contact the program’s Director, Sam Marks .

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A Look Into Creative Writing | Oxford Summer Courses

Exploring the magic of creative writing with oxford summer courses.

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Defining Creative Writing

Creative writing , as taught at Oxford Summer Courses, is the process of crafting original and imaginative works of literature, poetry, prose, or scripts. It transcends conventional writing, encouraging individuals to explore language, structure, and narrative. Whether it's a heartfelt poem, a captivating short story, or a thought-provoking novel, creative writing allows us to communicate our unique perspectives and experiences with the world.

The Magic of Imagination

Creative Writing is a catalyst that sparks our creativity and empowers us to breathe life into our ideas on the page. With Oxford Summer Courses, aspiring writers aged 16-24 can embark on an extraordinary journey of creative expression and growth. Immerse yourself in the captivating realms of Oxford and Cambridge as you explore our inspiring creative writing programs. Teleport readers to distant lands, realms of fantasy and creation, introduce them to captivating characters, and craft new worlds through the transformative art of storytelling. Discover more about our creative writing course here . Unleash your imagination and unlock the writer within.

What Are the Different Types of Creative Writing?

Creative Writing comes in many forms, encompassing a range of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of Creative Writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

  • Biographies
  • Fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, etc.
  • Poetry and Spoken word
  • Playwriting/Scriptwriting
  • Personal essays

At Oxford Summer Courses, students have the opportunity to delve into these various types of Creative Writing during the Summer School.

The Benefits of Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses

Engaging in Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses offers numerous benefits beyond self-expression. By joining our dedicated Creative Writing summer school programme, you would:

  • Foster self-discovery and gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and personal experiences.
  • Improve your communication skills, honing your ability to express yourself effectively and engage readers through refined language and storytelling abilities.
  • Enhance empathy by exploring diverse perspectives and stepping into the shoes of different characters, broadening your understanding of the world around you.
  • Gain new skills for further education or work, expanding your repertoire of writing techniques and abilities to enhance your academic or professional pursuits.
  • Nurture your creativity, encouraging you to think outside the box, embrace unconventional ideas, and challenge the status quo, fostering a life-long mindset of innovation and originality.

Embracing the Journey

To embark on a journey of creative writing, embrace curiosity, take risks, and surrender to the flow of imagination. Write regularly, read widely, embrace feedback from tutors and peers at Oxford Summer Courses. Begin to experiment with styles and genres, and stay persistent in your course of action. The path of creative writing requires dedication, practice, and an open mind. Join us as we provide tips to help you start your creative writing journey and unleash your full creative potential under the guidance of industry professionals.

Creative Writing is a remarkable voyage that invites us to unleash our imagination, share our stories, and inspire others. It offers countless personal and professional benefits, nurturing self-expression, empathy, and creativity. So, grab a pen, open your mind, and embark on this enchanting journey of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Let your words paint a vivid tapestry that captivates hearts and minds under the guidance of experienced tutors from Oxford and Cambridge. Join us as we explore the magic of creative writing and discover the transformative power it holds within through the renowned Oxford Summer Courses summer school.

Ready to study Creative Writing? Apply now to Oxford Summer Courses and join a community of motivated learners from around the world. Apply here .

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Discover the enchantment of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Unleash your imagination, explore different genres, and enhance your communication skills. Nurture self-expression, empathy, and creativity while gaining valuable writing techniques.

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English Department

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Creative Writing

English - creative writing emphasis (58-60 credits).

The English creative writing major offers students the opportunity to develop their writing skills in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and drama. Introductory and advanced genre courses form the core of the major, giving students an opportunity to develop their craft and aesthetics through intensive writing, reading and workshops.

  • May include literary/cultural theory, film studies, and rhetorical and literacy theory at the 300 or 400 level, including a writing proficiency course. Literature electives include: ENG 307-311, 313, 314, 332-347, 364, 365, 371 and/or ENG 401, 406-417, 442, 464.
  • Two of the following: ENG 351, 353, 354, THTR 384, FAIR 354v
  • Four of the following: ENG 451, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 459, 460, 466; THTR 485, FAIR 454y
  • Creative writing courses offered by Canadian-American Studies may also be counted with approval of a major advisor

Note: Eras taken as a seminar cannot be repeated as a survey, and eras taken as a survey cannot be repeated as a seminar. Repeated eras will not count toward this major.

Or you can download the plan of study .

Interested in declaring an English Creative Writing Major?

Please see the Remote Advising section's page  for more information.

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  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.

One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.

You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.

For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.

BA (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing

This degree offers a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to English literature and creative writing. You’ll have the opportunity to study and interpret literature from different historical periods and diverse cultural settings – including translations – and to develop your writing skills in several genres including fiction; poetry; life writing; and scriptwriting for film, radio and stage. The emphasis is very much on practice through guided activities to develop a habit for writing which will involve producing several pieces of creative writing in the forms studied.

8 Weeks Left


Join over 17,000 students who’ve registered for courses starting in February.

  • Learn how to analyse a wide range of texts including fiction, poetry and drama
  • Develop and reflect on your own writing and editorial practice in several genres
  • Learn the skills of complex argument and critical commentary, which are highly valued in the workplace
  • Introduces the world of publishing and the requirements of professional presentation 

Find out more about Entry requirements

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with a broad introduction to the arts and humanities before learning how culture affects the creative process of writing.
  • Next, in Stage 2 , you'll focus on your creative writing and English literature studies with two compulsory modules.
  • Finally, in Stage 3 , you’ll complete your degree with an advanced creative writing module and an advanced literature module.  

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

Stage 1 (120 credits).

In Stage 1 you'll encounter a variety of different times and places and engage with some fascinating people, art works, ideas and stories. This broad foundation will help you develop the skills and the confident, open approach you need to tackle more specialist modules at Stages 2 and 3.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

In Stage 2 you’ll be introduced to the creative process, develop your fiction, poetry and life writing skills, and learn about the publishing process. You’ll also choose between looking at whether literature matters by drawing on a range of literary texts and finding out about the ways in which writers of fiction have put together their stories.

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3 you’ll develop your writing ability, learning how to sustain longer, more complex works of fiction, life writing and poetry. You'll also learn how to write dramatic scripts for different media. This final stage gives you a choice between two different periods in English literature to focus on.  

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us . This description was last updated on 8  September 2023 .


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • online tutorials
  • finding external/third party material online such as ebooks and electronic journals 
  • working in a group with other students, sometimes in online forums
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
  • working with specialist reading material such as films and dramatic scripts for different media
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, creative writing, reflective commentaries and in some cases an examination
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance 
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our BA (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing.

The class of honours (first, upper-second, lower-second or third) will depend on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications .


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations  website. 

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing

Compare this course

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all , so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Answer a few quick questions to check whether you're ready for study success

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year .
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week .

Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.

Arts and languages Access module

What you will study.

View full details of Arts and languages Access module

Fees and funding in England

80% of our students pay nothing upfront by financing their studies with a student loan.

Tuition fee

Years of  study.

Part-time study gives you the flexibility to balance other commitments with study.

You’ll study for around 16–18 hours a week.

Full-time study enables you to complete your course over a shorter time.

Because OU study is flexible, you don’t have to stick to just part-time or full-time study. You can choose to study more or less each year to suit you.

3 years 6 years

Current fee per year in England

£6,924* £3,462*

How we worked out the cost

A degree is worth 360 credits. The fee per year is based on studying 60 credits per year for 6 years. A degree is worth 360 credits. The fee per year is based on studying 120 credits per year for 3 years.

Total fee for qualification at current prices

You’ll fund your modules as you study them – you won’t have to pay for your whole qualification up front

That’s 1/4 less than the cost of an equivalent qualification offered at most other universities in England.

*The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules .

What are my funding options?

There are several ways to fund your study, often without paying anything upfront.

Student loan

The most common way for our students to fund their study.

  • A student loan is used by 80% of our students.
  • Open to everyone – it’s not means-tested and there’s no age limit.
  • You don’t pay anything upfront. Student Finance England pay your fees directly to the OU for you.
  • You won’t pay back a penny until you earn over £25,000.
  • The amount you repay is tied to how much you earn. For example, if you earn £27,000 you’ll pay just £15.00 per month.

Other options

Open university student budget account (ousba).

Repay in monthly instalments while you study.

Credit/debit card or bank transfer

Pay before each module starts. You can also combine card or bank transfer payments with other payment methods.

More than 1 in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer.

Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs)

If you’re a serving member of the British Armed Forces (or you’ve recently left), you may be eligible to use ELCs to cover up to 100% of your course fees.

Which funding options could I be eligible for?

To find out what funding options are available you need to tell us:

  • how many credits you want to study
  • if you already hold a degree
  • if your household is in receipt of benefits
  • about your household income
  • if you are employed
  • if you are a member of the British forces overseas

How many credits are you planning to study per year?

Do you already hold a degree, was your previous degree in the same subject you wish to study now, was it achieved in the last 5 years, are you employed, are you a member of british forces posted overseas.

British Forces

  • If you have a BFPO address, you are only eligible for UK course fees if you are a currently serving member of the British armed forces, and you're temporarily and unavoidably working abroad. Other students using BFPO addresses should contact us on +44 (0)300 303 5303 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.

*The fee information provided above is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules .

Other costs to think about

Your course fees cover your tuition, assessment and study materials, but there are still a few additional costs that can come with studying. If your income is less than £25,000 or you receive a qualifying benefit, you could get help with some of these costs after you start studying.

  • You’ll need a computer and the internet to access our learning resources and to participate in online tutorials.

Additional support

You may be eligible for:

  • help with study-related costs like set books and internet access
  • a free introductory Access module to build your confidence and skills
  • funding to study an OU qualification for free from our Carers’ Scholarships Fund if you are, or have recently been, an unpaid carer
  • a Carers’ Bursary towards study-related costs if you provide unpaid care to a friend or family member
  • a Care Experienced Bursary of £250 towards study-related costs if you’ve previously been, or are currently, in care
  • a Care Experienced Scholarship to study an OU qualification for free if you're care experienced and aged 25 and under
  • a Sanctuary Scholarship to study an OU qualification for free if you’ve been displaced from your homeland for political, economic, ethnic, environmental, or human rights pressures
  • a Bursary for Black Students of £500 to help with study costs
  • funding from our Scholarship for Black Students to study an OU qualification for free if you identify as being from a Black background

If you have a disability

  • The Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a government grant to cover study support costs if you have a disability. It’s not means-tested, and there’s no age limit. Visit our Supporting students with disabilities page to find out more.
  • If your disability is a result of being injured in, or due to, military service, you could be eligible for our Disabled Veterans’ Scholarship Fund .

Need more information?

Talk through your funding options with one of our advisors, save money with the open university.

Compare the cost of studying at the OU with other campus-based universities in England.

*Based on maximum chargeable fees for 23/24 academic year.

**The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules .

How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise, you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website with

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage .

See how our module websites work.

Tutor support

Student, Ffion, describes why she chose the OU and how she is using her degree to progress herself further in a career she loves.

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials usually take place online, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms and are sometimes recorded.

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually, a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end-of-module assessment won’t usually have an exam.
  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.
Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded. Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Having a course that was really varied and studying in a style that worked for Nick, was key to him launching his own business and becoming an entrepreneur.

Skills for career development

Studying English literature and creative writing will equip you with an adaptable set of skills that can give entry to a vast range of occupations, leading in a number of career directions. You’ll learn to evaluate and assimilate information in constructing an argument; and acquire skills of creative and critical thinking, analysis, and communication that are much in demand in the workplace. You’ll also sharpen up essential writing and IT skills. These are key skills that are crucial to many different kinds of complex organisations, and are greatly sought after in the world beyond study – whether you’re already working, volunteering, or changing career.

Career relevance

The breadth of study and the range of analysis, combined with training in clear thinking and communication, make this degree course relevant to a wide variety of careers, including:

  • public administration, local government, the civil service, art institutions, and social services
  • advertising, journalism, publishing, creative industries and public relations
  • business, banking and retail
  • human resources
  • charities and campaigning.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now , including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career .

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree:

  • teacher/lecturer
  • tourism officer
  • civil servant
  • local government and NHS management
  • advertising account manager
  • marketing officer
  • public relations manager
  • media researcher
  • charity campaigner
  • retail manager
  • business and HR management
  • information archivist.

Register for this course

  • Feb 2024 - Registration closes 11/01/2024

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Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

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  • Creative Writing

The English Major: Creative Writing Option

Many pink blossomed cherry trees in bloom and many students.

Note!  The requirements below took effect in Summer 2022 .  If you declared your major before then, please see the old requirements .  If you have questions about which version of the major applies to you, please contact HAS .

The Creative Writing Concentration prepares students not only to be more effective communicators and artists, but also creative problem solvers and more nuanced critical thinkers. By situating small, student-oriented writing workshops alongside literary models, Creative Writing classes enhance the broader study of literature and critical theory, helping students gain a greater understanding of the social and cultural forces informing their work. A student completing the program is more able to situate themselves in a larger aesthetic and social context and make more meaningful, informed decisions about their own artistic practice. In addition, through the intense practice of creative writing, students are able to see the world more clearly, in a more nuanced and meaningful manner, and apply these skills to a wide variety of work and life situations.

This page describes the English Major Concentration in Creative Writing. For the major's other option, see English Language, Literature, and Culture ,.

Students enrolled in the Creative Writing Concentration will complete a major consisting of 65 ENGL credits, at least 30 of which must be completed in residence at the University of Washington. A maximum of 20 credits in 200-level courses may count toward the English major, and may be used to fulfill the distribution requirements.

Creative writing students’ coursework is distributed as follows:

  • ENGL 202: Introduction to English Language and Literature
  • A sequence of creative writing workshops: ENGL 283: Beginning Verse Writing, ENGL 284: Beginning Short Story Writing, ENGL 383: The Craft of Verse, and ENGL 384: The Craft of Prose
  • 15 credits in Historical Depth
  • 15 credits in Power and Difference
  • Two 400-level Creative Writing seminars

Please note: Creative writing students do *not* need to complete either ENGL 302 (satisfied by 383 & 384) or the senior capstone (satisfied by two 400-level CW classes), required for the major in Language, Literature, and Culture. All creative writing courses satisfy the Genre, Method, and Language distribution area, so Creative Writing students do not need to complete this area separately.

Applying to Creative Writing:

Applicants to the Creative Writing option must have already declared, or be eligible to declare, the English: Language and Literature major .

Applications for the Creative Writing option are accepted in autumn, winter, and spring quarters only, and should be submitted through this portal :  https://bit.ly/english- creative-writing   by the third Friday of the quarter at 4:00pm . Applications to creative writing are not accepted in summer quarter.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the Creative Writing option, you must

  • have already declared, or be ready to declare, the English major program ;
  • have completed ENGL 202, 283 (beginning verse writing) and ENGL 284 (beginning short story writing) or transfer equivalents.

Application Procedure:

Please submit online ONE complete attachment that includes the items below, by 4:00pm on the third Friday of autumn, winter, or spring quarter (no applications accepted in summer):

1. Undergraduate Creative Writing Option Application (PDF)

RIGHT-click the above link and save it as a PDF to your computer. Fill out the form using Acrobat Reader. Save your changes. Then combine it with the following materials:

Transcripts for all college work completed, both at the UW and elsewhere (these are additional sets of transcripts, separate from the transcripts you will have supplied as part of your application for the major):

  • Unofficial UW Transcript : Even if this is your first quarter after transferring to the UW, you should submit an unofficial UW transcript, available through the MyUW system ;
  • Complete set of Unofficial transcripts from all schools from which you have transfer credit : We need the information contained in the complete transcript from each transfer school; the transfer summary on a UW unofficial transcript is not sufficient. Photocopies of transcripts are acceptable.

2. A Writing Sample of 3-5 poems and 5-10 pages of fiction (preferably a complete story), double spaced:

  • Review writing sample guidelines and be sure to submit literary fiction and poetry
  • Be sure to proofread carefully.

Admission decisions are based primarily on the potential a student exhibits in his or her writing sample - grades and GPAs are usually not at issue. Admission decisions are sent to applicants by e-mail, normally within two weeks of the application deadline.

Completion of the requirements above does not guarantee admission.

Students who are denied admission to the Creative Writing option will continue to be English majors, and may complete the requirements for the literature BA in English. They may apply for the Creative Writing option one additional time, but if they are denied admission then, they must complete the literature major or elect another major in another department.

Creative Writing Workshops:

Distribution areas:.

The majority of English courses are distributed among three overlapping areas: Historical Depth, Power & Difference, and Genre, Method, and Language. All upper-division ENGL courses fulfill at least one of these areas. However, the categories also overlap, allowing students to specialize in a particular area if they so choose. Descriptions of each area, along with the courses fulfilling it, are available below. Creative Writing students are required to complete 15 credits in only two of these areas, Historical Depth and Power & Difference, with the remainder of their coursework focusing on Creative Writing workshops. Courses fulfilling the Genre, Method, and Language area are listed on the Language, Literature, and Culture page. [link]

Historical Depth:

People have been speaking, reading, and writing in English for more than a thousand years, producing literature that is at once timeless and deeply informed by the time in which it was written. Cultural artifacts from the English-speaking world have shaped, and been shaped by, social movements and historical conditions around the globe, as has the language itself. With this in mind, English majors are required to take 15 credits focused on materials produced before 1945, with at least 5 of those credits focused on materials produced before 1700. Distributing coursework in this way helps students to understand the depth, richness, and variability of English literature, language, and culture across time, and dramatizes how the ways we organize history affect the stories we tell about it. These courses open up past worlds that are in some ways totally alien and in others very similar to our own, revealing that what seems real and true to us can radically alter over time. Entering into these past realities offers a new perspective on the present and develops our capacity to imagine alternative futures.

Historical Depth Courses:

  • ENGL 210 Medieval and Early Modern Literature, 400 to 1600
  • ENGL 211 Literature, 1500-1800
  • ENGL 225 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 310 The Bible as Literature
  • ENGL 320 English Literature: The Middle Ages
  • ENGL 321 Chaucer
  • ENGL 322 Medieval & Early Modern Literatures of Encounter (P&D)
  • ENGL 323 Shakespeare to 1603
  • ENGL 324 Shakespeare after 1603
  • ENGL 325 Early Modern English Literature
  • ENGL 326 Milton (GML)
  • ENGL 351: Writing in the Contact Zone: North America 1492 - 1800 (P&D)
  • ENGL 376: Introduction to Middle English Language (HD)
  • ENGL 422 Arthurian Legends (GML)
  • ENGL 212 Literature, 1700-1900
  • ENGL 300: Reading Major Texts (can also count as pre-1700 depending on texts)
  • ENGL 303 History of Literary Criticism and Theory I (GML)
  • ENGL 312 Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern (P&D)
  • ENGL 314: Transatlantic Literature and Culture (P&D)
  • ENGL 315: Literary Modernism (GML)
  • ENGL 327 Narratives of Bondage & Freedom (P&D)
  • ENGL 328 Eighteenth Century Literature & Culture
  • ENGL 329 Rise of the English Novel (GML)
  • ENGL 330 English Literature: The Romantic Age
  • ENGL 331 Globalization & Nationalism in the Age of Empire (P&D)
  • ENGL 332 Nineteenth Century Poetry (GML)
  • ENGL 333 Nineteenth Century Novel (GML)
  • ENGL 335 English Literature: The Victorian Age
  • ENGL 336 English Literature: Early Twentieth Century
  • ENGL 337 The Modern Novel (GML)
  • ENGL 338 Modern Poetry (GML)
  • ENGL 352 Literatures of the United States to 1865 (P&D)
  • ENGL 353 American Literature: Later Nineteenth Century
  • ENGL 354 American Literature: Early Twentieth Century
  • ENGL 373: History of the English Language (GML)
  • ENGL 380: Special Topics in History
  • ENGL 385: Global Modernism (P&D)

Power and Difference:

Literature, language, and culture have been shaped by and in turn shape systems of power. Such systems include capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and hierarchies of race, status, caste, sex, gender, and sexuality. Over time, systems of power elevate some voices and stories and marginalize and silence others. English majors are required to take at least 15 credits focused on how systems of power operate in and through literature, language, and culture. These courses explore the evolving relationship of literature, language, and culture to structures of violence and dispossession and center critical perspectives that have been marginalized or silenced. They embrace alternative ways of learning about the past and present, and the impress of the former on the latter. They highlight the complex, sometimes contradictory ways in which literature and culture mediate systems of power. In so doing, Power and Difference courses foster our imagination of more just and equitable futures.

Power and Difference Courses:

  • ENGL 207: Introduction to Cultural Studies (GML)
  • ENGL 208: Data and Narrative (GML)
  • ENGL 256: Introduction to Queer Cultural Studies (DIV) (GML)
  • ENGL 257: Introduction to Asian American Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 258: Introduction to African American Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 259: Literature and Social Difference (DIV)
  • ENGL 265: Introduction to Environmental Humanities (DIV, GML)
  • ENGL 307: Cultural Studies
  • ENGL 308: Marxism and Literary Theory
  • ENGL 311: Modern Jewish Literature in Translation
  • ENGL 312: Jewish Literature: Biblical to Modern (HD)
  • ENGL 314: Transatlantic Literature and Culture (HD)
  • ENGL 316: Postcolonial Literature and Culture (DIV)
  • ENGL 317: Literature of the Americas (DIV)
  • ENGL 318: Black Literary Genres (DIV, GML)
  • ENGL 319: African Literatures (DIV)
  • ENGL 322 Medieval & Early Modern Literatures of Encounter (HD)
  • ENGL 327 Narratives of Bondage & Freedom (HD)
  • ENGL 331 Globalization & Nationalism in the Age of Empire (HD)
  • ENGL 339: Globalization & Contemporary World Literature (GML)
  • ENGL 340: Irish Literature (P&D)
  • ENGL 349: Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • ENGL 351: Writing in the Contact Zone: North America 1492 - 1800 (HD)
  • ENGL 352: American Literatures to 1865 (HD)
  • ENGL 355: Contemporary American Literature
  • ENGL 357: Jewish American Literature and Culture (DIV)
  • ENGL 358: African American Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 359: Contemporary American Indian Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 361: American Political Culture After 1865 (DIV)
  • ENGL 362: Latino Literary Genres (DIV, GML)
  • ENGL 364: Literature & Medicine
  • ENGL 365: Literature & Environment (GML, DIV)
  • ENGL 366: Literature & Law
  • ENGL 367: Gender Studies in Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 368: Women Writers (DIV)
  • ENGL 372: World Englishes (DIV) (GML)
  • ENGL 379: Special Topics in Power & Difference
  • ENGL 385: Global Modernism (HD)
  • ENGL 386: Asian American Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 466: Queer and LGBT Literature (DIV)
  • ENGL 478: Language and Social Policy (DIV) (GML)
  • ENGL 479: Language Variation and Language Policy in North America (DIV, GML)
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English Literature with Creative Writing BA

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Course overview

Students in library

Develop your creativity and sharpen your critical abilities with this course that will equip you with valuable skills as both a reader and a writer. You’ll produce creative work across various genres, such as fiction, poetry, life writing, and travel accounts. 

You'll also learn how writers of the past and the present have used words and literary forms to express their ideas and engage with their times’ social and cultural issues. 

You’ll encounter historical and modern texts in English from around the globe, which explore themes relevant to how we live today, including race and ethnicity, gender, climate change and nature, social class, disability and wellbeing. 

Learn how to shape language to convey your ideas and experience, work in groups, discuss your writing with other students, and build an individual portfolio of work that will set you on track for a creative or cultural industries career.

The School of English supports a vibrant community of researchers and creative practitioners. It is home to the Leeds Poetry Centre, and we regularly host readings and talks by well-known and emerging contemporary writers. 

The School also produces a literary magazine, Stand, and publishes the best in new creative writing.

The School has hosted many inspiring writers over the years, as staff or students. These include the novelists Storm Jameson and JRR Tolkien, poets Geoffrey Hill and Jon Silkin, and the distinguished African writers Wole Soyinka and Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Our Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage , is also the Poet Laureate.

Specialist facilities

The world-class Brotherton Library has an array of archive, manuscript and early printed material in its Special Collections, including extensive archives of original materials from writers old and new, from the Brontë family to Tony Harrison. 

You’ll also have opportunities to learn traditional printing and typesetting techniques using our period printing presses and learn more about print and publishing history.

Brotherton Library Reading Room

Brotherton Library Laidlaw Library Edward Boyle Library

We regularly host readings and talks by well-known and emerging contemporary writers and you’ll have access to a vibrant community of researchers and creative practitioners. The highly respected literary magazine, Stand, is produced in the School, and publishes the best in new and established creative writing.

Course details

At Level 1, you will take Reading Between the Lines and Writing Matters, introducing you to university-level study, equipping you to read critically and write with rigour and persuasion. You will also take Writing Creatively to introduce you to the techniques of creative practice, and will be presented with a choice of optional modules focusing on poetry, fiction, drama, theatre and further creative approaches. At Level 2, in addition to Developing Creative Writing, you will take two English Literature core modules, Writing Environments and Body Language. These modules explore two urgent contemporary challenges, the climate crisis and personal wellbeing, and will examine how these issues can be understood and expressed through literary texts. You will also select two modules from a choice of several options, ranging historically and geographically from Medieval to Contemporary, and from Postcolonial to American. Level 2 will deepen and enrich subject knowledge and intellectual skills, preparing you for more independent learning at Level 3, where you can select from a range of specialist research modules. A final year Creative Writing Project further enhances active research skills, enabling you to define, plan and produce work on a literary subject of your choosing. After your second year of study, you may apply for transfer to an International Degree at one of a wide range of universities with which the University of Leeds has established links. You may also spend a year in industry on a work placement as an optional third year of your course.

The course information shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions .

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information please read BA English Literature with Creative Writing in the course catalogue .

Year 1 compulsory modules

Writing Creatively (20 credits) - In this module you will develop your creative writing skills by focusing on a range of elements of the writer’s craft. You will learn to read texts like a writer and, through examining a range of exemplary published texts, you will study elements of the writer’s craft which may include voice, metaphor and characterisation. You will develop your critical skills through workshopping your written pieces with your peers and your tutor. Within the supportive environment of the writing workshop, you will learn to give and receive constructive criticism and, guided by this feedback, you will hone your redrafting and editing skills. By the end of the module, you will begin to see how your work fits within contemporary writing practice.

Writing Matters (20 credits) - Writing and communication skills are vital to most professional careers, but they are especially valuable in the field of English studies. This module explores debates around a canonical literary text, examining theoretical approaches and rhetorical strategies used to write about literature. Students will hone their own writing skills by engaging ethically with the text and the ideas of others, developing structured arguments, expressing ideas clearly and concisely, working with feedback, and practising writing as a process. As a result, students will cultivate a deeper understanding of how writing works, learn how to share insights with greater efficacy and sophistication, and practice how to transfer this knowledge to future workplace contexts.

Reading Between the Lines (20 credits) - This module equips students with a critical vocabulary for sophisticated literary study, introducing the creative, argumentative and exciting discipline of ‘English Studies’. Through close analysis of specific texts across a range of periods and forms, students will encounter some of the varied theories that have shaped and continue to underpin the discipline. Students will find out how an English degree might change the way we read and see the world, while developing their academic skills through guided critical reading, collaboration with peers in group presentations and seminar discussions, and a variety of assignments designed to introduce them to the different formats of assessment required throughout the degree.

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Key Concepts of English Language Study: One (20 credits) Key Concepts of English Language Study: Two (20 credits) Drama: Text and Performance (20 credits) Reading Theatre, Performing Text (20 credits) Performing Text, Making Theatre (20 credits) Modern Fictions in English: Conflict, Liminality, Translation (20 credits) Poetry: Reading and Interpretation (20 credits) Race, Writing and Decolonization (20 credits) Creative Writing Workshop (20 credits) Writing Science-fiction, Fantasy & Horror (20 credits)

Year 2 compulsory modules

Developing Creative Writing (40 credits) - This module continues to provide you with the regular points of tutorial and teaching support, the learning community, and the ongoing guidance that will help you develop further the new creative writing projects that you produce in an academic environment. Regular small groups with published writers again allow you space and a professional atmosphere in which to consider your own practice of creative writing.

Writing Environments: Literature, Nature, Culture (20 credits) - This module examines what it means to live as human beings on a more-than-human planet. We’ll investigate how literary texts from different times and places have understood the relationship between nature and culture. We’ll address human impacts on the environment in relation to historical phenomena such as colonialism. And we’ll explore the insights that literature can offer at a time of concern about climate change and other environmental issues.

Body Language: Literature and Embodiment (20 credits) - This module explores the relationship between embodiment, language and representation across a range of literary forms, genres, and periods, addressing questions such as: what does it mean to be ‘human’? Can technology change who we are? How do we navigate the relationship between the body and the mind? It examines how critical theorists and creative writers and life writers have treated and imagined this relationship between material bodies and literary representation, in order to better understand both the possibilities and limitations of literary expression.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Style and Authorship (20 credits) Contemporary Literature (20 credits) Renaissance Literature (20 credits) Medieval and Tudor Literature (20 credits) Modern Literature (20 credits) Postcolonial Literature (20 credits) The World Before Us: Literature 1660-1830 (20 credits) Other Voices: Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Literature (20 credits) Script Writing (20 credits) Travel and Journalistic Writing (20 credits) Power of Language (20 credits) Theatre, Society and Self (20 credits)

Year 3 compulsory modules

Creative Writing Project (40 credits) - This module encourages independent, self-directed learning, providing a culmination to the research strand emphasised in other modules. It fosters a wide variety of responses to the challenges it offers students, since any final year project might take one of a number of forms. Most importantly, it promotes academic creativity and the exploration of individual intellectual interests.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages .

Learning and teaching

We use various teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from our tutors' expertise. Group seminars are at the heart of this degree.

You'll also encounter:

  • One-to-one tutorials and supervisions
  • Online learning through Minerva, our Virtual Learning Environment. 

Independent study is a vital element of this course since it enables you to develop your research and critical skills and form your ideas. Our expert academics will teach you on this course, from lecturers to professors. You’ll have access to the unique and internationally important holdings of the Brotherton Library’s Special Collections, to take inspiration from and see first-hand how some of the top writers of this and previous ages went about crafting their writing.

You may also experience teaching led by published writers or professionals from the cultural industries, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus. 

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

In your Creative Writing modules, you’ll produce a creative portfolio in various genres, such as life writing, fiction, poetry, short fiction, and travel accounts. 

Some modules will also include wikis, podcasts, research exercises or oral presentations.

Your final year project comprises a long independent creative piece and a critical reflection. English modules are assessed using various methods, including exams, essays and shorter written assignments. 

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA including English (Language, Literature or Language and Literature).

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be AAB at A Level including A in English and grade A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to he diploma.

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. The Access course must follow a Humanities pathway and/or include English modules. An interview and a piece of written work may be required.

We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2 including D3 in English.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 17 at Higher Level including 6 in English at Higher Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate): H2, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 including H2 in English.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AA in Advanced Highers including English and AABBB in Highers or A in Advanced Highers English and AAABB in Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 85% with 8.5 in English.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions .

Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABB including A in English (Literature or Language and Literature) at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year

If you would like to study arts, humanities, and cultures at university, but don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, you might be eligible to apply for the Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course .


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications .

Improve your English If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course , to help improve your English language level.

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25 Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25 Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans .

Read more about paying fees and charges .

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page .

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our  Undergraduate funding overview .

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website .

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students . We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of English

School of English Undergraduate Admissions

Email: [email protected] Telephone:

Career opportunities

A degree in English with Creative Writing equips you with a range of valuable skills and attributes. Your skills and experience as a flexible and imaginative writer will open up a range of pathways within the creative industries. 

Our graduates have gone on to find success in areas such as the creative industries, marketing, education, journalism, law, publishing, media, business charity work, civil service, management consultancy and leadership. 

Many have also progressed to postgraduate study. 

On this course, you’ll develop your abilities as an excellent communicator who can present well-reasoned arguments and conclusions. 

Learning in groups with others and reading about human problems and social situations will develop your interpersonal skills and understanding of ethical and cultural complexities. 

You’ll have strong creative and verbal skills, and be able to conduct research, interpret complex information, think critically and express yourself clearly. Employers are always looking out for people with these critical skills.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website .

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support .

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad.

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website .

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website .

Related courses

English and comparative literature ba, english and film studies ba, english language and literature ba, english literature ba, english literature and theatre studies ba, rankings and awards, qs world university rankings 2022.

32nd in the world for English Language and Literature

Complete University Guide 2023

9th in the UK for English

Student profile: Elliot Johnston-Coates

Receiving constructive feedback from my peers and tutors has really helped my confidence to grow and inspired me to pursue a career in the creative industry. Elliot Johnston-Coates, Undergraduate

Related content

Course terms and conditions.

Find further information in the course terms and conditions

English with Creative Writing

BA (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

english creative writing

Course Video

Curricular information is subject to change.

If your interest in literature extends to an ambition to write creatively, this degree programme will support that ambition through classes, workshops, and seminars dedicated to the development of your creative talent. In the final year, you will work on – and complete to high standard – a substantial writing project. To help you reach this standard, you will be advised and directed by one of the supervisors on the Creative Writing or English team.

You will study the work of a wide range of writers, focusing on how they create their works. You will learn about form and genre. You will explore a range of narrating voices by reading texts selected to illustrate this range. In a similar way, you will learn how characters are constructed, how to handle dialogue, how to manage time and sequencing and many other elements of the craft of writing, which will be generally helpful and occasionally inspiring in your own writing. You will be introduced to contemporary developments in literature by considering the work of a number of Irish writers, who will address the class and provide valuable insight into the writing process.

Modules include:

  • Creative Writing 1 & 2
  • How to Read Poetry
  • Reading World Literature
  • Literature & Crisis
  • Contemporary Irish Writing
  • Literary Genre

As well as a range of English with Creative Writing modules students will benefit from an additional subject stream. Options include:

  • Drama Studies
  • Film Studies
  • German Beginners
  • German Non-Beginners
  • Greek & Roman Civilisation
  • Irish Studies
  • Spanish Beginners
  • Spanish Non-Beginners

Second Year

  • Intermediate Creative Writing 1 & 2
  • Critical Theory
  • Medieval Literature
  • Irish Literature in English
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Romanticism
  • Victorian to Modern Literature
  • Modern American Literature
  • UCD Special Collections: Archival Resarch Methods

You will choose from a range of options that will enable you to broaden your horizons and enrich your academic experience:

  • Apply for a competitive internship in an area that interests you and/or relates to your area of study.
  • Study abroad for a trimester/year to develop your language skills and immerse yourself in a new culture.
  • Deepen your knowledge by studying in-depth Creative Writing modules including: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Creative Non-Fiction Workshop, Literary Editorship, Writing the Environment.

Students will also choose from a wide range of specialist English modules such as Making Shakespeare, Gender & Sexuality in the 18th Century, Jane Austen & her Peers, Yeats, Reading Ulysses, Reading Beckett, The Theatre of Martin McDonagh.

Fourth Year

In addition to a 10,000-word Creative Writing or English Literature dissertation, students will choose from a wide range of advanced English modules, including: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Detecting Fictions, Contemporary Irish Writing, Memory & the Irish Stage, Contemporary Irish Women’s Poetry, Modern American Poetry & Poetics. Students will also partake in advanced Creative Writing Workshops.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

Students can study in various EU and non-EU destinations through the Erasmus and Study Abroad programmes, in partnership arrangements between UCD and universities across the world.

Writer, editor, literary agents and critics, content creator, copywriters, broadcaster/journalist, public relations, business, law, politics, teaching, management consultancy, humanities research and many others.

UCD English, Drama and Film offer a wide range of postgraduate courses, including the MA and MFA in Creative Writing.

See www.ucd.ie/englishdramafilm/study/  for more details.

  • Level 5/6 QQI-FET
  • Open Learning Entry Route
  • Mature Entry Route
  • DARE Entry Route
  • HEAR Entry Route
  • University Access

Testimonial Image

“I chose English with Creative Writing because I loved English as a subject in my Leaving Certificate. After reading what the course allowed me to do, it felt like the right choice. You have amazing creative freedom in every class. I was able to improve my writing year on year as well as focus on the areas of writing that I specifically enjoy. I have met amazing people, and the schedule gives me time to work on my own projects and enjoy college life. If you enjoy writing, this course can help you take that to a professional level. There is a lot of opportunity if you look for it: beyond classes, there is many societies and writing-based events that are worth going to. Right now, I am writing a poetry collection as my final project. How can you complain about that?”

Rory Galvin, Student

UCD School of English, Drama & Film Newman, Belfield, Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716 8323 Email: [email protected]

CAO Code: DN530

Cao point range 2023: 444-625, length of course: 4 years, typical class size: 64, leaving cert subject entry requirements: o6/h7 in english, irish, a third language and three other recognised subjects., other school leaving requirements: see www.ucd.ie/admissions, upcoming events.

UCD Arts & Humanities Open Evening – 23rd November

Other Courses of Interest

Useful information, privacy overview.

Creative Writing

Stanford’s Creative Writing Program--one of the best-known in the country--cultivates the power of individual expression within a vibrant community of writers. Many of our English majors pursue a concentration in creative writing, and the minor in Creative Writing is among the most popular minors on campus. These majors and minors participate in workshop-based courses or independent tutorials with Stegner Fellows, Stanford’s distinguished writers-in-residence.

English Major with a Creative Writing Emphasis

The English major with a Creative Writing emphasis is a fourteen-course major. These fourteen courses comprise eight English courses and six Creative Writing courses.

English majors with a Creative Writing emphasis should note the following:

All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Courses taken abroad or at other institutions may not be counted towards the workshop requirements.

Any 190 series course (190F, 190G, etc.), 191 series course (191T, etc.), or 192 series course (192V, etc.) counts toward the 190, 191, or 192 requirement.

PWR 1 is a prerequisite for all creative writing courses.

Minor in Creative Writing

The Minor in Creative Writing offers a structured environment in which students interested in writing fiction or poetry develop their skills while receiving an introduction to literary forms. Students may choose a concentration in fiction, poetry.

In order to graduate with a minor in Creative Writing, students must complete the following three courses plus three courses in either the prose or poetry tracks. Courses counted towards the requirements for the minor may not be applied to student's major requirements. 30 units are required. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Prose Track

Suggested order of requirements:

English 90. Fiction Writing or English 91. Creative Nonfiction

English 146S Secret Lives of the Short Story

One 5-unit English literature elective course

English 190. Intermediate Fiction Writing or English 191. Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing

English 92. Reading and Writing Poetry

Another English 190, 191, 290. Advanced Fiction, 291. Advanced Nonfiction, or 198L. Levinthal Tutorial

Poetry Track

English 92.Reading and Writing Poetry

English 160. Poetry and Poetics

English 192. Intermediate Poetry Writing

Another English 192, or 292.Advanced Poetry or 198L.Levinthal Tutorial

Creative Writing minors should note the following:

To declare a Creative Writing minor, visit the Student page in Axess. To expedite your declaration, make sure to list all 6 courses you have taken or plan to take for your minor.

Any 190 series course (190F, 190G, etc.), 191series course (191T, etc.), or 192 series course (192V, etc.) counts toward the 190, 191, or 192 requirement.

For more information, visit the Stanford Creative Writing Program.


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