Creative and Professional Writing

BA single honours or in combination with another subject Creative and Professional Writing

If someone loves words and thinks they could make a living from them, this course could be just what they are after. While we are keen to help people develop their own creativity and distinctive ‘voice’, there is also a strong emphasis on commercial writing − for newspapers and magazines, and scripting for TV and radio, for example. And a key part of this programme is marketing − so students learn how to sell their own work and make themselves as employable as possible.

Sessions are largely workshop-based, with presentations and discussions stemming directly from students’ own work. Writing in a variety of styles, voices, and genres, they hone their craft while developing their own distinctive style and technique. All this time, they are inspired by a rich heritage of literary talent both from around the world and on their doorstep: professional writers with a national and international reputation who live and work in our community will be teaching on the course, and students will also study some of the most inspiring literature published in English over the last five hundred years. We want students to be able to make a good living out of this exciting world, so we help them prepare for it. They cover marketing and editing their work and develop some further commercial skills in TV and screen-writing. They also get to grips with the sharp end of the profession, as they edit our own University newspaper and learn all about the marketing and publicity that they will need to get noticed.

Students on this programme are also eligible to apply to study for a year in North America as part of their degree.

Single Honours

In the first year you lay down the foundations for good writing through six core modules: Poetry, Fiction, Drama, Non-fiction and two non genre modules, The Craft of Writing and Contemporary English Usage.

In Years 2 and 3 you will spend time developing your creative and commercial skills in writing in a wide variety of different genres and professional fields. These include, in Year 2, writing for newspapers, magazines and the web, writing for the stage (playwriting), writing for radio, and in Year 3, screen writing (film and TV), writing for children and life writing (biography).

Other modules focus on writing in a variety of styles and genres, for example, a module on Kent Connections (Year 2) explores the literary heritage of Canterbury and the surrounding area, while other modules − Persuasive Writing (Year 2), Crossing Genre Boundaries (Year 2) and Words and Images (Year 3) − give you opportunities to explore and practise writing in different styles for different audiences.

Finally, in Year 3, you will have the chance to develop your creative writing skills in a subject area of your choice in the form of an 8,000 word submission. There are also modules in Editing and Copywriting, and Marketing and Selling Your Work, which will help equip you for the professional life of a writer.

Combined Honours

The combined honours programme allows students to combine their interest in Creative Writing with a complementary subject (which might include for instance: English, Media, Language and Communication or Drama). Students following this pathway will join the single honours students in Year 1 for Fiction, Craft of Writing and Drama. In Years 2 and 3 they will choose modules up to 80 credits, studying alongside the single honours students.

The programme aims to develop a range of skills that will prepare students for employment as writers in a variety of professions, including broadcasting (TV, radio), journalism, advertising, publishing and marketing. The emphasis of the programme content is as much on writing as a professional activity as it is on writing as a creative endeavour, and many of the modules, such as Writing for Newspapers, Magazines and the Web, Screenwriting, and Writing for Radio, are orientated towards particular professional applications of writing. This emphasis on writing as a profession is given most prominence in Year 3, in modules such as Editing and Copywriting, and Marketing Your Work, which prepare students for the more technical and business-orientated aspects of being a professional writer.

Above all, the programme seeks to develop skills in a wide range of writing styles and professional genres from fiction to non-fiction, from prose to poetry, from journalism to advertising, from print to the web, and from writing for children to writing for adults − so that by the end of the programme, students should have a good sense of where their strengths and interests as writers lie, and of the kind of areas in which they may wish to work.

Single Honours

Year 1

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Drama
  • Non-fiction
  • The Craft of Writing
  • Contemporary English Usage

Year 2

  • Writing for newspapers
  • Magazines and the web
  • Writing for the stage (playwriting)
  • Writing for radio
  • Kent Connections
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Crossing Genre Boundaries

Year 3

  • Screen writing (film and TV)
  • Writing for children
  • Life writing (biography)
  • Words and Images
  • Editing and Copywriting
  • Marketing and Selling Your Work

As a guide only, the 2014/15 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

 UK/EUOverseas
Full-time

£9000

£9,710

Part-time

£4500

N/A

Exceptions may apply. For more information, or if you are uncertain about your fee status please contact fees@canterbury.ac.uk.

View information about student loans, grants and bursaries.

Students engage in the various processes of creation, development, and critique of works; seminars, lectures, workshops and masterclasses provide the opportunity for work to be analysed and practice developed. The programme aims to equip students with the practical, creative and intellectual skills required to engage with creative and professional writing in an informed and effective way. These skills are developed through an integration of theory and practice in all modules. Students complete both creative and reflective/analytical assignments and the programme allows them to engage with the most recent and innovative writing practices as well as past traditions.

By means of a portfolio of coursework, divided between critical and creative work.

We encourage students to spend time abroad because we understand the importance of personal and academic growth during your university career. As part of this programme you can apply to our internal competition to study at one of our exchange partners in the USA or Canada as part of your degree. Find out more by visiting our study in North America web page.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • W800 Creative and Professional Writing
  • WW85 with Drama
  • WQ85 with English Language and Communication
  • WQ86 with English Literature
  • W8R1 with French
  • WP87 with Media and Communications

Length

  • 3 years full-time

Entry requirements

  • In addition to the usual UCAS application, including the Personal Statement, applicants for Creative and Professional Writing will be invited to submit one page of A4 creative work, which can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction or drama. More entry requirement details.

Location

School

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