Student writing notes


Creative and Professional Writing (with Foundation Year)

Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Arts and Cultural Industries
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Harriet Castor
Key fact:
Develop multi-platform writing skills and learn from well-respected writing professionals about how to build a successful career in the cultural industries.

Page last updated 12 June 2017


Why BA(Hons) Creative and Professional Writing?

This wide reaching and highly practical course provides an excellent grounding in a variety of writing disciplines, setting you on the road to a career in the creative industry of your choice. In addition to studying fiction, stage and screenplays, narrative non-fiction, poetry and copywriting, you will also get the opportunity to develop and hone your own writing skills.

This broad spectrum approach represents a unique opportunity, offering you the chance to discover the writing you want to focus on, while introducing you to styles and disciplines you might not have considered. You'll also work on creative briefs and learn how to use the latest platforms to appeal to your audience.

Why study our course?

This course will enable you to develop the technical skills, critical awareness and creative daring essential for success as a writer. Learning from well-respected professional writers, you will gain a thorough understanding of the creative process, apply your writing skills to meet the needs of different media and audiences through a variety of approaches, and become an independent and self-motivated manager of your own projects.

The key skills of ideation, narration and editing will equip you to write for any platform, and you will have the opportunity to specialise in a preferred genre. The extensive knowledge gained of professional standards and expectations will provide excellent preparation for working in the creative industry of your choice.

Real-world experience

You will develop a varied professional writing portfolio - some of this while working on industry-standard briefs - and gain practical skills in editing, blogging and content creation. You will also learn essential entrepreneurial and project management skills, and there will be opportunities to engage with Bristol's innovative local media and cultural organisations.

Where it can take you

On graduation, you can go on to work in a variety of rewarding professions. Opportunities are available in the arts, creative media, editorial, communication and marketing industries. You will also be equipped for a career in publishing, copywriting, digital content creation, festival and cultural event management, and teaching.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



In the Foundation year (Year zero), the content is designed to develop your academic skills. It also raises awareness of the relevance the disciplines which span the arts, creative and cultural industries will play in your future, professional lives.

The four modules will have three hours of teaching each week (12 hours of scheduled class time in total). A unique feature of the offer is the focus on Bristol as a centre of arts and culture you will be testing concepts, theories and ideas within the city as a living brief.

Foundation year (Year zero)

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Academic Skills for Arts and Humanities
  • Thought, Ideas and Myths: past, present and future
  • Bristol, Arts and Culture
  • Extended Project.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from other Arts, Creative Industries and Education courses, and so you may transfer to another course in one of these areas at the end of a successful Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

In your first year, modules are designed to provide a solid foundation for your creative practice, to strengthen your technical expertise as a writer and to give you an overview of the professional landscape.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Creative Practice and Writing Mechanics
  • Essential Scriptwriting Skills and Techniques
  • Narrative Non-fiction and Copywriting
  • Writing Fiction: Contemporary Practice in Context.

Year two

As you progress into your second year, you will hone your writing skills by exploring and engaging with a variety of structures and contexts. You will develop a critical awareness of your work in the context of other writing, and undertake a major creative project.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Ideation, Platforms and Commercial Writing
  • The Novelist's Workshop - Genre, Form and Editorial Techniques
  • Professional Portfolio Development 1
  • Writing for Stage, Screen, Radio and Digital Media.

Final year

In your final year, you will work on a second major creative project, which will give you the opportunity to focus on the style of writing you most enjoy. Employability is a central focus of this course and you will gain a thorough understanding of the expectations of industry professionals.

You will study the following compulsory module:

  • Professional Portfolio Development 2.

In addition, you will study three optional modules from the list below OR two if a Study Year Abroad (SYA) or Placement Year has been completed:

  • A Career in Fiction - Publishing, Self-publishing and Promotion
  • Copywriting - The Professional Nexus
  • The Working Scriptwriter - Commissions, Briefs and Audiences.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

You will be taught and assessed by leading academics and practising professionals from across the cultural industries.  

Learning takes place through a range of methods including practical workshops, discussion-based seminars, lectures and one-to-one tutorials. Independent study is also a key part of the course and you will complete weekly exercises outside of class time. An Academic Personal Tutor (APT) is available to provide individual advice and support throughout your course.

For more details see our glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

Workshops, seminars, lectures, project work and tutoring account for an average of 12 hours of contact time per week. However, you will be expected to spend at least as much time again in essential independent study.


We use various methods of assessment, helping you develop a range of critical, creative and practical skills. Assessment types may include creative writing, portfolios, projects, digital content production, essays, case studies, examinations, oral presentations and self-evaluations.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

Our Frenchay campus provides extensive study facilities including free Wi-Fi in all our teaching rooms.

Be inspired by films, books, plays and texts in quiet study areas, group spaces or viewing rooms in the Bolland Library. The library houses over half a million books, as well as DVDs, journals and online resources.

Develop skills in blogging, editing and desktop publishing using industry standard software including Wordpress and Adobe.

Access lecture slides, core readings and assignment guidance on UWE Bristol's Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Writing Projects

You will have the opportunity to undertake extended creative writing projects in Years 2 and 3. These projects will enable you to explore ideas that inspire you, strengthen an awareness of your individual style and build your confidence as a writer. Feedback from tutors will help you to develop and assess your writing from a professional standpoint.

In undertaking these extended projects you will learn vital entrepreneurial and project management skills for a freelance career in the creative and cultural industries. We promote volunteering opportunities and internships with local cultural organisations, and are currently involved in a number of exciting partnerships with organisations including ArnolfiniPoetry CanSpike IslandBristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, and The Bristol Festival of Ideas.

Get involved

Bristol is a major creative hub for the arts and our staff have strong relationships with local organisations and events organisers including the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, Watershed cultural cinema and digital creativity centre, and Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives.

We will encourage you to take advantage of these relationships and seize the opportunity to showcase your entrepreneurialism and creativity though the development of your own writing portfolio. We will also help you establish relationships with students who are studying subjects that synergise with this course, for example in Graphic Design and Marketing.

Build your portfolio

You will have the opportunity to develop your news sense and enhance your portfolio through working with UWE Bristol student media including the Hub Radio and Western Eye newspaper and magazine. Cellar Door magazine, published by our students, will give you the opportunity to showcase your creative writing, and you can also bring creative screenplays to life at our Centre for Performing Arts.

Socialise and learn

You will have the opportunity to supplement your studies with trips to cultural events and visits from highly experienced industry professionals. In addition, we will encourage you to set up your own social and creative enterprises, such as blogs, zines and writing groups.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will have an impressive blend of subject and trade-specific writing expertise, and a range of highly transferable skills, enabling you to establish a career in a number of rewarding professions. Opportunities in the cultural and creative industries include the arts, creative media, copywriting, blogging and marketing. You will also be equipped for a career in publishing, editing, digital content creation, festival and cultural event management, and teaching.

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through optional work placements, volunteering and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real-world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563

Full Time Course with Placement Year

FeesAmount (£)
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12500
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1563
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year10937

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year80

Supplementary fee information

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 64
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Arts, Humanities, Marketing, Business, Creative Writing, Social Sciences.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Creative and Professional Writing course.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

We recognise the individual nature of each application and the standard offer should be viewed as a guide. We will consider applications on the basis of evidence of personal, professional and educational experience which indicates an applicant's ability to meet the demands of the degree.

UWE Bristol's International College
If you do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please apply through UCAS.


Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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