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Clearing 2017 via Kingston University
Clearing 2017 via Kingston University

Creative Writing BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time See course combinations for joint honours UCAS codes Clearing 2017
4 years full time including foundation year See course combinations for joint honours UCAS codes Clearing 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University Clearing 2017

Why choose this course?

Is there a story that only you can tell? This joint honours course explores different types of writing and encourages you to find your individual voice as a writer. You will learn about the process of writing in numerous styles, from poetry to plays and short stories to novels.

Our teaching team of practising and published writers includes award-winning authors like Paul Bailey (twice Man Booker Prize nominated and winner of the EM Forster Award), Hanif Kureishi (Whitbread First Novel Award and PEN/Pinter Prize), Winsome Pinnock (George Devine Award and Unity Theatre Trust Award) and Diran Adebayo (Betty Trask Award).

Our academics promote an atmosphere in which experimentation and innovation flourish, and genre writing such as crime, romance and children's writing is also valued and nurtured.

We are ranked fourth in London and in the top third in the UK for English and Creative Writing in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Our joint honours course rates from 95%-100% for overall satisfaction. Find out more on the Unistats website, where you can compare results with other creative writing courses to see how we stand out.

Foundation year - Humanities & Arts

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the humanities or arts. At Kingston these include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama and English Literature.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a humanities or arts degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

What you will study

Year 1 provides a broad foundation to the basic genres, forms and practices of creative writing. You will read prose, poetry and dramatic writing, from contemporary to classic, and understand how they developed into their contemporary forms and where you might take them in the future.

You will develop fundamental skills for creative writing, understand the qualities of good writing, and establish habits of self-reflective practice and writing methods that work best for you. You will study the work and commentary of other writers, practise writing in a variety of literary and professional forms, and develop skills in writing, review, criticism and co-operative discussion.

In Year 2, you'll develop skills in poetry, prose and scriptwriting. You'll also focus on editing and develop your knowledge of publication or performance processes. You will continue to study existing works and write pieces for the media you are studying: radio, stage and screen, poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction. This might include portfolios of complete short stories, novel extracts, one-act plays, selections of poems and digital games, as well as critical reflections and essays.

Option modules in Year 3 offer opportunities for specialist writing such as crime, romance and science-fiction genres, experimental writing, children's stories, life writing, biography, innovative poetry and writing for stage or screen. In addition, you will have the chance to produce a substantial piece of developed writing.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Foundation year

  • This module aims to prepare you for undergraduate study and to give you the skills and knowledge related to the study of humanities, arts and social science subjects. The main areas covered will include research skills (like using a library and electronic resources), planning, note taking, building a bibliography, and avoiding plagiarism. You will also develop your communication skills, especially focusing on essay and report writing, delivering presentations and being an active participant in debates and discussions. The module will encourage you to develop the independent learning, critical analysis, and reflective skills crucial to succeeding in a degree.

     
  • Radical Imaginations focuses on creative writing, drama and English literature and aims to highlight how powerful you can be with your creativity. You'll look at text and performance, combining classroom learning with field trips to theatre productions in London.

    The module will help you understand how different texts relate to contemporary experiences: how have classic literary texts been translated into film, opera and ballet and with what effects? How do television drama shows such as Sherlock create dramatic interventions into established narratives, and for what purposes? How have contemporary playwrights like Caryl Churchill, Sarah Daniel, Debbie Tucker Green and Sarah Kane challenged perceptions through controversial and experimental works? Through these sorts of questions, you'll experience imagination at its most radical and relevant.

     
  • Being Human: History and the History of Ideas draws from history and philosophy. It considers how ideas shape our thinking about society, politics, and the arts. You'll reflect on how history has been studied, explore ideas like counterfactual histories, the use and misuse of history in different political contexts and ask questions on how history relates to memory. You'll also examine the ways in which ideas have their own history eg the idea of freedom, and its political history through philosophers, political thinkers, abolitionists, feminists, anti colonial militants, revolutionaries, and civil rights campaigners . In each of these areas you'll reflect on how our ideas are shaped by the social, political and cultural contexts in which we think.

     
  • Communication in Context and Practice introduces you to spoken and written communications and will explore a range of subjects like : journalism, publishing, and linguistics. It explores the dynamic ways in which language reports on, shapes, and transforms our understanding of the world. You'll be introduced to degree-level publishing and journalism, and look at communications across multimedia and multimodal formats. Through this, you'll understand the importance of the audience (or hearer/ reader) for effective communication in different contexts.

     
  • Modern Languages is for students without any previous knowledge of the language they have chosen to study and will equip you with GCSE-level understanding of that language. As well as studying the language (listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary), you'll also learn about culture and build your confidence in use of the language in a range of situations. This module follows the blended approach: it will be delivered face-to-face in interactive classes and also online.

     

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module centres upon practical work designed to develop the skills appropriate to the undergraduate study of creative writing.  These skills will be focused in the following areas: the analysis and use of published writing; language and style; seminar/workshop practice; and habits of writing, self-reflection and revision.  The module will investigate how writers think about their craft and the techniques they use to write most effectively in their various mediums. Weekly lectures will be given by practicing writers who will introduce students to their own published work as well as that of a wide range of other authors. Students will read, analyse and discuss poems, short stories, plays and essays, and will develop a greater awareness of language and style in writing through a variety of exercises.  These workshop exercises will allow students to establish guidelines for constructive participation and encourage co-operation and self-reflection.

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  • This module is designed to familiarise students with a range of rhetorical strategies, aesthetic techniques, redrafting and editing skills, while also providing the opportunity to practise writing and editing in a number of literary and non-literary forms. In "Writing that Works" students are introduced to key techniques for writing effectively and they develop their ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in writing by studying a number of different forms of published texts, both literary and non literary. These abilities are first developed by reading and examining good and bad examples of writing in a variety of forms written for different audiences – from short stories and poems, to newspaper articles, commercial writing, blogs, ads, speeches, emails, informational pamphlets, and business letters.  In addition to the examples offered by tutors, students will be encouraged to source independently further instances of good and bad writing to share with the class in seminars. The next step is for students to practise and obtain tutor and peer feedback on their own writing in these forms and styles.  Transferable skills are embedded in the module through the editing and redrafting practice in which students synthesise the reading, analysis and feedback they have received in order to produce a portfolio of writing that works. The module will make use of the expertise of a number of our Writers in Residence, Distinguished Writers and Creative Writing staff who will present and discuss examples of their own writing that has, and hasn't, worked. 

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This is a dissertation-style module, taught through a combination of small-group sessions and individual tutorials, in which students will have the opportunity to work on a sustained creative writing project of their choosing. They will produce a substantial piece of writing in a chosen form, having undertaken contextual reading in that form and engaged in other research as appropriate, such as location scouting, conducting interviews, or visiting archives and specialist collections. Through group workshops and presentations, as well as one-on-one tutorials, students will receive constructive feedback and guidance on how to plan, structure, write, revise, and edit their projects, and gain advice in developing the skills and habits necessary to working independently. In addition, students will learn how to plan strategies for the possible dissemination and promotion of their projects in the world outside the university, as professional authors would, such as through various methods of publication or performance. By learning to work independently and by planning the dissemination and promotion of their projects, students will acquire the entrepreneurial skills and abilities necessary for success in self-employment and in other professions.

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  • On this module, students will have the opportunity to study fiction and poetry writing in greater depth, learning practical techniques for crafting expressive, imaginative work. Aspects such as voice, point of view, structure, character, imagery, and tone will be explored through the reading and discussion of texts by a variety of contemporary authors, whose work reflects the diverse range of styles and approaches at work today. Students will be asked to experiment with these elements in their own writing, and to participate in improving each other's work by offering thoughtful, constructive feedback. Along with developing their own personal sense of voice and style, students will practise applying skills learned on the module to real-world situations faced by professional authors, such as writing a piece for a commission or for a target audience.

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  • This module is an option for full, major and half field Drama and Creative Writing students at Level 5 and runs throughout the academic year.

    The module introduces students to the craft of writing dramatic scripts for stage, screen and radio. Through a series of practical exercises, writing tasks and feedback students will become familiar with key principles of dramatic writing that apply across the three forms.  A refined sense of how 'conflict' and 'action' build suspense, tension, humour or pathos; of how to create characters that draw the audience's empathy; of the importance of 'subtext' and of how to harness the scenographic dimension through stage directions and settings, all contribute to the craft of a successful dramatic writer. In addition, sessions on radio and screen writing will not only introduce students to the specific conventions of these forms but also, in drawing attention to the spoken word and aural dimension (in radio) and visual story-telling (in screen), students will be sensitised to the power of the scenography as a component of dramatic craft.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • Creative Writing Dissertation Project is a year-long 30-credit module which showcases and synthesises students' practical skills, knowledge gained, and creative talent nurtured and developed throughout their creative writing degree. It documents them in a unique portfolio that can be presented to a range of audiences, potential sponsors and employers. The specific nature and dissemination of the project is influenced by the type of joint-honours degree the students are taking and this is reflected in the proposal initiated and developed by students themselves in discussion with their supervisor. The project also builds on accumulated experience in research and creative writing in an inter- and transdisciplinary context, as it encourages students to make use of lateral thinking in order to draw on knowledge from across their course in conceptualising and producing their creative dissertation. It fuses creativity, initiative and imagination cultivated in a practice-based writing course with skills gained in joint disciplines in a way which resonates with the demands of contemporary creative economies and job markets.

    In its format, the portfolio of work included in the Creative Writing Dissertation Project reflects stages of project development and execution encountered in a range of creative and research industries (proposal/bid, creative practice, dissemination and evaluation). Specific phases are designed to strengthen initiative and enterprise, in a process which benefits from employability-related skills gained in Level 4 and Level 5 modules such as, but not limited to, Writing that Works and Independent Creative Writing.

    Throughout the project, students gain knowledge of the most effective ways of presenting creative work to a wider audience including employers, sponsors, and commissioning bodies. Against the increasing dominance of self-publication, they learn how to operate successfully in the literary market without traditional networks of support. The work on the portfolio emphasises transferable skills and employability, as well as entrepreneurship and self-reliance, whether the students are preparing to enter the job market, work freelance or progress to post-graduate study.

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  • This is a year-long optional module in the Creative Writing field. It provides an opportunity for students to challenge their work in each form (Prose, Poetry, Drama) by reading experimental writing within and across genres and traditional form boundaries, and to produce a portfolio of work that engages with experiments of their own. It will follow a lecture/seminar format, with some small-group workshops and tutorials, as well as an online forum for peer review. It may be of interest to students wishing to engage in experimental writing in a sympathetic environment.

    The main features of the module are the study of experimental literary texts of the 20th and 21st centuries -- such as experimental novels that play with form and genre, visual, concrete, digital or alternative poetry, and innovative drama – and the creative writing practice either in imitation of such experiments, or in the experimental creation of new and hybrid forms and genres. This dual focus on experimentation – a conceptual exploration and the practical testing of literary boundaries -- enables students to produce work that challenges, experiments with, or reflects upon preconceptions of form, genre or language.

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  • This year-long module focuses on the study and creative practice of (auto)biography and memoir, some of the most interesting and thriving literary genres. It is aimed at those students tempted by the idea of writing about their own and others' lives, wishing to read a variety of life stories and examine the many different ways in which a life story can become a book. We will explore exciting examples of autobiographical writing, looking at the highly literary and the popular bestsellers alike. Authors will range from Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein to Tracey Emin and Cheryl Cole, or another of your favourite – or most irritating -- celebrities and his or her ghost writer.  We will sample, and experiment in, some of the many subgenres of life writing, which include childhood narratives, investigations of family secrets, testimony, graphic memoir, illness memoir, stories of trauma and abuse, war memoir, celebrity autobiography, and many others. Conceptual analysis will be reinforced by practical work designed to enable you to understand the issues in relation to your own creative life writing project.

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  • This challenging and interesting special study module aims to provide you with the opportunity to engage with different examples of popular fiction such as crime fiction, romance, the thriller, and science fiction. It will enable you to identify the standard practices of popular genres and understand why they succeed or fail in particular texts. It will encourage you in the critical study of narrative techniques to best learn how to apply them in a work of popular fiction. You will experiment in writing crime, SF, thriller and romance stories before choosing one or two of these genres to take through to your final submission. All this will be put into the context of more general and transferable lessons to be learnt in the art of compelling storytelling.

    For each genre studied you will read two core novels, plus a more general theoretical text on narrative construction. The module is lead by a writer of four published crime/thrillers.

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  • This module will look at experiments and innovations in contemporary poetry, in what has been called the post-modern period (1955-present). We will study aspects of the current trends in poetry and examine selected influential poetry movements, such as the Black Mountain School, the New York School, "language" poetry, Oulipo, and late modernism, with special attention to abstract lyricism and lyric disruption. The notion of experiment will also be looked at closely - visual arts, music, and other collaborative approaches to the delivery of poetic utterance may be investigated. Poets such as Denise Riley, Patience Agbabi, Jorie Graham, and Charles Bernstein will be read closely. You will make podcast readings and/or poetry folios which you can use as part of your writing CV, and which may be featured in the end-of-year Awards and Achievement Show. This module will suit students who would like to experiment with several poetic forms and who wish to engage with current poetry culture in order to further develop their own critical and writing ability. Students will be able to engage in their own creative writing projects and demonstrate an understanding of issues and concepts raised by the works studied in this module within their own writing practice.

    This is a year-long optional module in the Creative Writing field. It allows an advanced, detailed, and extensive study of a specialised genre of creative writing, giving students a sophisticated understanding of its developments, codes and contexts, and allowing them to engage with this genre from the perspectives of both theory and their own writing practice. Conceptual analysis is reinforced by practical work designed to enable students not only to understand the conventions of their chosen genre but also to apply them creatively to their own writing. The module may suit students wishing to devote extensive consideration to a specific genre of writing, and produce a sustained body of work within its conventions. It is taught by members of staff specialising in appropriate genres and delivered in small groups.

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  • This is a year-long optional module in the Creative Writing field. It allows an advanced, detailed, and extensive study of forms of dramatic writing (stage, screen, and radio) giving students a sophisticated understanding of its developments, codes and contexts, and allowing them to engage with this genre from the perspectives of both theory and their own writing practice.  Starting with the study the work of contemporary playwrights such as Martin Crimp, Lucy Kirkwood, Timberlake Wertenbaker and Caryl Churchill, we will examine how such writers who were produced by the main new writing houses (Royal Court Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Royal National Theatre) have responded to significant social events and phenomena through the genre of drama.  Our approach will be both theoretical and practical and we will use the techniques acquired from this study and apply them to an exploration of other dramatic forms such as film, television and radio.  Conceptual analysis is reinforced by practical work designed to enable students not only to understand the conventions of their chosen genre but also to apply them creatively to their own writing. The module may suit students wishing to devote extensive consideration to developing their expertise in writing for the stage, radio, film and television, and produce a sustained body of work within its conventions. This special study will be taught in small groups by members of staff who have extensive experience of writing drama across a range of forms.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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If you are calling from outside the UK, please call:

+44 20 8328 1149

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Clearing hotline

0800 0483 334*

If you are calling from outside the UK, please call:

+44 20 8328 1149

*Calls are free from a landline. Mobile charges may apply – please check with your provider.

Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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