Student writing notes

BA(Hons)

Creative and Professional Writing (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2020/21
Course code:
W81F
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
64
Department:
Arts and Cultural Industries
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Delivery:
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Foundation Year: Dr Britta Martens
Year one to three: Harriet Castor-Jeffery
Key fact:
Develop writing skills across multiple genres and platforms and learn how to build a successful career in the cultural industries.

Page last updated 8 October 2019

Introduction

Why study creative and professional writing?

Studying creative and professional writing gives you the necessary breadth and depth of expertise to succeed in the creative industries, the fastest growing sector in the UK.

Currently, one in 11 of all UK jobs is creative and the creative industries are outgrowing the rest of the UK economy. The UK publishing industry in particular is experiencing record success, and emerging platforms from Netflix to podcasts are capturing new audiences.

As an entrepreneurial writer, you'll need many strings to your bow. Studying creative and professional writing will help you develop this broad range of skills, from scriptwriting to fiction, from narrative non-fiction to copywriting.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Creative and Professional Writing is industry-facing and connected, giving you opportunities to work with publishers and agents, as well as the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership, Watershed, Poetry Can, Spike Island, the Arnolfini and Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives.

Our staff will help you develop the technical skills, critical awareness and creative daring you'll need to succeed as a writer across a range of genres. This practice-oriented programme will provide a nurturing environment that helps you develop a sustainable and independent creative practice. 

You'll learn to use your writing to react to what's going on in the world, create compelling narratives and explore how writing can be used in different contexts.

Become adept at conducting research, and work on live briefs to put your learning into practice. 

Gain professional experience writing for UWE Bristol student media, including Hub Radio and Cellar Door magazine.

Develop a portfolio geared towards the type of writing you want to focus on, while building the breadth of skills essential for a flexible writing career.

Where can it take me?

With opportunities for networking with Bristol's creative sector, you'll be able to choose from a variety of roles in writing, the arts, publishing, creative media, marketing, advertising and communications.

You could become a novelist, write content for charities, work as a freelance writer, or go into an area such as brand management.

Your writing skills will be sought after in many other fields too, with good communication being important in just about every business.

"UWE Bristol has clearly one of the most forward-thinking Creative Writing courses in the country, with an eye on employability… [and] also on the demands that are made of the 21st century writer if they are to thrive in the commercial climate." Matt Thorne, External Examiner

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year zero (foundation year)

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
  • The Power of Words.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from other Arts, Creative Industries and Journalism courses.

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

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

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

Year two

You will study:

  • The Novelist's Workshop - Genre, Form and Editorial Techniques
  • Writing for Stage, Screen, Radio and Digital Media
  • Writer as Cultural Commentator
  • Poetry and Public Engagement
  • Commercial Writing
  • Ideation and Narrative Nonfiction.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.

You'll complete a placement learning module: Professional Development on Placement.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Professional Portfolio Development.

Plus, three optional modules from (two if you have completed a placement year):

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

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

Learn through practical workshops, discussion-based seminars, lectures and one-to-one tutorials. Independent study is a key part of the course and you'll complete weekly exercises outside of class time. You'll be taught and assessed by leading academics and industry professionals.

Hone your writing skills by exploring and engaging with a range of forms and audiences, from young adult graphic novels to memoirs. Gain a deeper sense of your craft, developing a critical awareness of your work in the context of other writers.

Build a compelling set of professional skills, with access to practice-led teaching and opportunities to work with experienced professionals in your field.

You'll be encouraged to pursue individual passions and projects, building your confidence as a writer with supportive and professional feedback from your tutors.

Employability is a central focus of this course. Your studies will be enhanced by cultural events and talks from significant industry professionals. This access to industry will give you the knowledge necessary to forge a career path in wider contexts or as a freelance writer. Learn to promote yourself, navigate the publishing, marketing and design sectors and explore varied opportunities for your writing.

Research is built into all the modules. You'll build your own research skills, and work with academics and partners helping to shape new thinking in the field.

You'll also be supported to set up your own social and creative enterprises, such as journals and writing groups. An Academic Personal Tutor (APT) will be available to provide individual support throughout.

Get help with pitching and networking. Work on live briefs with our external partners.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study
024%76%0%
124%76%0%
221%79%0%
321%79%0%

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Study time

Workshops, seminars, lectures, project work and tutoring account for an average of 12 hours of contact time each week.

You'll be expected to spend at least 12 hours in studying independently study outside of class.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through your creative and reflective writing and process work, independent projects, examinations and oral presentations.

You'll graduate with a portfolio of work to show prospective employers.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment
00%60%40%
117%83%0%
20%90%10%
30%77%23%

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Features

Placements

Gaining work experience is valuable for those entering the creative industries. Experience helps hone your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought-after graduate.

If you choose the five year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two. Your placement will be at least 26 weeks long and relevant to your course.

Our award-winning careers and employability service will guide and support you to find the right placement.

Study facilities

You'll study at Frenchay Campus, which houses a library with a large collection of books, DVDs, journals and other resources. Be inspired by films, books, plays and texts in quiet study areas, group spaces or viewing rooms.

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

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

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Writing Projects

You will have the opportunity to undertake extended creative writing projects in Year two and Year three. 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

Develop your news sense and enhance your portfolio working with UWE Bristol student media, including the Hub Radio and Hub Voice student 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 Music.

Socialise and learn

Supplement your studies with trips to cultural events and visits from highly experienced industry professionals. We'll also encourage you to set up your own social and creative enterprises, such as blogs, zines and writing groups.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Prepare for an exciting future in the cultural and creative industries. Tailoring what and how you study, you can shape the course towards your chosen career path.

You'll graduate with an impressive blend of subject and trade-specific writing expertise, and a range of highly transferable skills. You could establish a career in a number of professions including the arts, creative media and marketing.

You'll also be equipped for a career in publishing, editing, digital content creation, festival and cultural event management, and teaching.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and help find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our Employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Fees

There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the five year course and then transfer to the four year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 64
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
  • Relevant subjects: Arts, Humanities, Marketing, Business, Creative Writing, Social Sciences.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: No specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
  • All applicants will also require:

  • GCSE subjects: Grade C/4 in English Literature or Language, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.

Entry requirements

If you exceed the entry requirements you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Creative and Professional Writing.

International applicants

If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through ourInternational College, which upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year one of the degree.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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