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English and Creative Writing BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time WQV3 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

We were ranked at number 34 (out of 106) in the UK for English and creative writing in the Guardian University League Tables 2018.

This combined English and Creative Writing BA(Hons) offers you the chance to explore related topics and debates in the fields of creative writing, English literature, and English language.

You'll examine critical, practical, and theoretical concerns at the forefront of reading and writing literature in a unique interdisciplinary context. You'll develop skills in oral and written communication and establish a strong foundation in the study of literature and language.

Throughout the course, you'll enjoy many extra-curricular activities and opportunities through research group events and lectures, Kingston Language Scheme and the Writers' Centre, Kingston.

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

The English and Creative Writing BA(Hons) is an exciting, intellectually rigorous and stimulating course that will provide you with opportunities to both study and create writing across a variety of genres and media, embracing poetry, prose fiction and non-fiction, professional writing, and writing for performance on stage, radio and screen.

There is a strong emphasis on developing skills in critical reading, writing and analysis, as well as developing your interdisciplinary skills through the academic and teaching experts from creative writing, English literature and English language and linguistics.

You'll also develop a broad range of transferable skills which will provide an excellent basis for your work in the competitive world. You'll enhance your communication and analytical skills, from problem solving to critical evaluation, time management to organisational abilities.

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.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module introduces you to the literature of London, from the rise of Renaissance theatre culture to its fictional futures, and from explorations of its urban heart to its sprawling suburbs. You will investigate how numerous writers have depicted everyday life in the metropolis, as well as social upheaval, crime and injustice. You will consider the emergence of distinct literary cultures in the capital, the ways London's position at the centre of a global empire has shaped its literature, and how writers have in turn represented the experiences of particular groups, for example, social elites, immigrants, women, and children.

    The module will also introduce you to some of the most fundamental categories of literature. The module will be organised into three strands: one on drama, one on poetry, and one on prose (fiction and non-fiction). In each strand you will identify the distinctive characteristics of particular forms and genres of literature, and of modes of writing that developed at particular historical moments. Through close study of a range of literary texts we will consider, for instance, what distinguishes tragedy, comedy and realism in drama, how poets have engaged with the sonnet form or the epic, what defines the memoir, and how to explain the differences in narrative style between realist and modernist fiction.

    Our weekly interactive lectures will be complemented by study trips to locations across London, which may include a visit to the Globe Theatre, the London Museum or a walking lecture following the route taken by Mrs Dalloway in Virginia Woolf's novel of the same name. 

     
  • 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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  • This module is a core requirement for students of English Language and Communication. It introduces students to language as a tool for human communication drawing on linguistics and its related disciplines. The main features of the module are (a) its focus on the analysis of language use and meaning in context and (b) its concern with key issues in intercultural communication.

    Students will study language as communication in its social and cultural contexts and gain an insight into the formation of meaning and social relationships. The module will initiate students to the key concepts and frameworks for describing and analysing discourse, (i.e. language above the sentence), with specific reference to meaning in context, talk in interaction, narrative practices and discourse strategies in intercultural encounters.  

    By the end of this module, students should have gained an insight into the nature of human communication and feel competent at discussing instances of everyday and institutional communication, demonstrating familiarity with the key frameworks in the study of communication in linguistics.  This module will also encourage the development of students' interactional and intercultural competencies.  

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This module, a core module for full-field and half-field English Literature students, is all about developing your own interests and research expertise. Every year, members of staff will offer a range of texts and you will select you own special subject from amongst these, working independently but with close supervision to produce your own set of resources and an extended original essay. In recent years, available texts have included The Lord of the Rings, Never Let Me Go, Great Expectations, and Hamlet. Encouraging independent learning and research, the module develops a range of transferable critical and communication skills that are central to the degree and useful in occupations and professional tasks beyond the university, while also allowing you to develop you own critical voice.

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  • 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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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • In this core module, students will engage critically with the complex relationship between language and society from a range of sociolinguistic perspectives and they will be encouraged to develop their research skills in preparation for the requirements of Level 6.

      In the first teaching block, lectures and seminar discussions Will focus on sociolinguistics at the macro level to look at language diversity, language endangerment multilingualism and language contact, in addition to the global spread of ideas, identities and discourse through language.

      We will also touch upon major debates regarding gender and power in both media and scholarly discourses and use this theme to show how academic theories evolve through research.

      . Weekly sessions will involve investigating case studies from different countries to showcase  how language research can be applied to the study of policy, politics, education  and media. A further focus  will be on interactional sociolingusitics through the study of the relations between language and gender in mixed and single-sex talk in both private and public spheres

      In the second teaching block, sessions introduce students to key sociolinguistic research and findings that shed light  on  how and why different speakers systematically vary their language use in relation to a range of social factors, such as class, social status, age, ethnicity, gender. Sessions then move on to explore how and why individual speakers alternate between styles and languages on different occasions, drawing on sociolinguistic models of style and code-switching/code-mixing. In the course of this module, students will be encouraged to explore variation at all levels of language: from phonetics to syntax and pragmatics and will be introduced to key research methods in the field of sociolinguistics as a way of learning to evaluate qualitative and quantitative approaches to the study of language and society. Finally, students will conduct their own sociolinguistic projects, collecting spoken data or analysing existing recordings,taking into account issues of ethics and permission. 

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    • This is an optional module for students taking English Language and Communication in Level 5, and will appeal to students who are interested in developing their understanding of how language is perceived and processed. This module focuses on first and second language acquisition and the relationship between language and cognition (debate might include questions concerning the relationship between language and thought, modularity of mind, Universal Grammar, etc.). Students are encouraged to comprehend and explain the nature and relationship between first and second language acquisition/learning as well as first and second language learning processes, e.g. the critical period hypothesis and bilingualism or the differences between child and adult learners. The major strands of the module cover the underlying language systems and language processing; the course considers how children or adults acquire the various components of their native language, e.g. phonology, morphology, syntax and socio-pragmatic knowledge. Students examine psychological and linguistic theories of linguistic and cognitive development and review some empirical evidence of the nature and effects of input. Students are expected to engage with the nature of researching language acquisition and the challenges this poses for researchers. Other languages apart from English will be used to highlight how language is represented in the mind of bilinguals. Students are encouraged to analyse and critique major theories and models in the light of their own learning experiences. The module is also aimed at giving students solid foundation of applied linguistics in which areas from psychology, cognition, computing and biology also enrich their understanding. The topics will cover linguistic, psychological as well as pedagogical perspectives.

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    • This module explores the linguistic study of style and meaning in a range of contexts, such as spoken and written mediums, including natural conversation, literary and media texts. It brings together work from the fields of stylistics and pragmatics to consider how we use and understand language in use. The topics presented in this module focus on contextual meaning and its effects, exploring aspects of language and creativity, as well as key theories and frameworks in stylistics and pragmatics to understand how style and meaning are created and interpreted. The module builds on the foundational knowledge acquired at Level 4 and prepares students for work at Level 6 by introducing concepts and ideas that can be explored in Special Studies or as a final-year English Language and Communication Dissertation project.

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    • What does literature do? How does it shape individual and cultural identities? In what ways does it produce affects, construct otherness and celebrate difference? Studying a range of influential approaches to literature, this module will examine key ideas concerning the creation and interpretation of texts, from the role of language, history and cultural difference to the effects of sexuality, the unconscious, empire and technology. By applying these insights to one important genre of fiction - to works like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Beetle, Rebecca and World War Z - the module will extend practical analytical skills while introducing exciting new ways of thinking about texts.

       
    • This module is an optional period module at Level 5. The year-long module provides an introduction to the literary culture of England during the years 1380-1650. This module considers medieval and early modern English texts in relation to influential works from the continent (mostly from Italy, the ‘birthplace of the Renaissance'), and by situating canonical literature in relation to non-canonical writings of the medieval and early modern periods. You will begin by examining poetry and drama written in the late-Medieval period, including some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The rest of Teaching Block One will focus on medieval drama - from mystery plays to morality plays - highlighting continuity and change with later, Renaissance drama. It will also study English literature and culture in the fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries in relation to continental influences. Because Shakespeare's Richard II is a Renaissance play whose action takes place in the medieval period, this play provides a pivotal middle point between Teaching Blocks One and Two, which resumes in the mid-sixteenth century and continues with plays, poetry, prose and cultural documents framed on one side by the Edwardian Reformation and on the other by the English Civil War.

       
    • This module is an optional period module at Level 5. We will study key texts from the nineteenth to early twentieth centuries that register the ways in which Britain is transformed by the Industrial Revolution, and which give expression to fears about technology, social mobility and urban culture. We will consider literature of the period that questions and resists established theories of gendered identity, and which challenges the literary representation of sexuality, defying censorship in the process. We will be introduced to writers who engage with contemporary debates about science, religion, the empire, and racial and national identity. And we will encounter a range of consciously modern texts which dislocate and make new the reader's experience by technical innovation and experiment. In recent years, writers studied have included Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf.

       
    • This module is an optional period module at Level 5. It will begin by exploring literature published from the 1930s through to the present day, and will examine the strategies writers have used in response to a changing Britain and wider world. We will consider how twentieth and twenty-first-century texts adapt realist, modernist and postmodern techniques to engage with issues such as the rise of mass culture, the threat of totalitarianism, the establishment of the Welfare State, post-war immigration, and sexual liberation. To enhance your perspective on these issues, you will be introduced to non-fiction material by other contemporary writers, such as J.B. Priestley, Erich Fromm, Iris Murdoch, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Richard Hoggart, and George Lamming, as well as more recent critical and theoretical material. The module also examines the development and continuing popularity of realist drama in the twentieth century. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which realist drama is used as a tool of social and political examination in the various contexts of pre-revolutionary Russia, Dublin in the aftermath of the First World War, and the establishment of the welfare state in Britain after 1945. Secondly, we will examine the developments in non-realist forms of drama and the experiments which gave rise to what is, somewhat controversially, called the ‘Theatre of the Absurd'. The module culminates with the study of a selection of texts chosen to illustrate the great variety of genres and styles in contemporary British literature and to exemplify literature written by different nationalities and social groups. Underpinned by relevant theoretical perspectives, questions will be raised about the relation between literature and contemporary events, with relation to issues pertinent to literature, such as social mobility, hybridity, democracy and technology. In recent years, authors studied have included Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Sylvia Plath, Harold Pinter, Alan Hollinghurst, and Zadie Smith.

       
    • This module is an optional period module at Level 5 and explores the major authors and literary themes of the ‘long' eighteenth century. Students will be required to think about literary production in relation to historical and cultural change and to explore the inter-connections of satire and sensibility, town and country, and polite and popular literature through its focus on major developments in the period such as the following: satire and society, the ‘rise of the novel' debate, sensibility and the literature of feeling, and the growing participation of women in the literary marketplace. Key to this year-long study of eighteenth-century literature is the crucial context it provides for understanding the evolution of Romanticism towards the end of the century. The module aims to situate the poetry of the major Romantic poets between 1780-1830 in an historical context and explore the philosophical and theoretical concepts that underpin their work. It also seeks to scrutinise the formation of literary categories such as ‘Romanticism' and encourage a critical scepticism about the usefulness or otherwise of such terms.

       
    • 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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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • The dissertation is a core module for all full-field literature students. Under guidance from an allocated specialist member of staff, and supported by interactive workshops, you will produce a sustained piece of research, either in the form of a traditional 10,000 word dissertation or alternatively in the form of creative project and accompanying 3000 word rationale. The module culminates in a student conference, which you will work with your peers to organise, and which your contribution to will also be assessed. An initial dissertation proposal must be submitted in September before the module begins. At the end of the module you will have produced a critically engaged and fully developed piece of independent research.

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  • This module covers a broad range of topics to engage students in different genres of communication to develop both spoken and written skills necessary for employability. The topics, drawn from sociolinguistics, stylistics and discourse analysis, include analysing interaction in the professional setting, copy-editing, writing to a specific brief and presenting a professional brief. Through interactive lectures, guest talks, personal tutorials, and a workplace option where students have the opportunity to experience working practices, students are encouraged to develop skills and reflect on their own practices as a way of gaining an  understanding of communication matters in real life and work contexts. The module's focus on professional interactional and writing skills as well as its links to Kingston's KU Talent activities and events guides students in planning their careers and developing their employability skills.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • This module looks at narrative story telling in both fictional and real life stories. We explore concepts within narratology to explore the theory of narrative, as a way to understand the nature, form and function of narratives. We will look at the common or universal characteristics of narrative storytelling as well as differences and find out how it is that we are able to comprehend, memorise and produce stories. We will look at narrative structure, characterisation, narration and disnarration, narrative beginnings, the narrator as witness, children's narratives and fairytales, and narratives in the media (e.g. newspapers, blogs) such as those following major world events.

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    • This module explores ideas from a wide range of disciplines and introduces students to some of the key concepts in the study of meaning. It begins by considering work in the philosophy of language on what it means to ‘mean' something and moves on to the distinction between the context-dependent meaning inherent in language-in-use – the domain of pragmatics – and context-independent meaning – the domain of linguistic semantics.   Students will consider how different linguistic elements interact with the discourse context to contribute to the communicative act, and we will also consider the role played by extra-linguistic aspects of communication such as facial expression, gesture and body language.

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    • This module will explore discourse aspects of social media in our globalising world, drawing on theories and methodologies developed in linguistics, sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis and linguistic anthropology. Students will have the opportunity to research language and communication in a range of social media, including social networking sites, such as Facebook, media sharing sites like YouTube and Flickr, wikis, and other sites of (micro)blogging, such as Twitter.

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    • In this module we will explore the real time processing of language, focusing on the underlying skills which enable the comprehension and production of speech. A psycholinguistic perspective of language will be adopted, exploring the links between the brain, behaviour and cognition and the experimental research techniques used in this field. We will begin by asking how we recognise words, before moving on to sentences and the organisation of conversation. In order to fully understand the processing of language we will look at what happens when it breaks down; representative disorders may include dyslexia, autism, aphasia and dementia.

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    • Salman Rushdie, Mary Wollstonecraft, Geoffrey Chaucer, Audre Lorde, Charlotte Bronte, Chinua Achebe, Mary Shelley, John Milton, Lawrence Sterne, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison...the list is endless. At every point in literary history there are writers who break the mould and challenge the status quo. Whether it is through writing epics that endure through centuries, addressing the injustices of the time or challenging the very notion of what a novel, poem or a play can do, writers can be radical in a number of exciting ways. This module looks at works by radical writers in depth, studying one famous text in detail by a range of writers from different time periods and taught by lecturers who are experts in these writers. We will look at the context of each text as well as the way the text is written, determining why these radical writers have been so successful and looking at the effects their texts have had on the world around them. We will look at the idea of the literary ‘canon', made up of writers who have been radical in some way, and consider the way that this idea can be challenged, reinvigorated or refreshed.

       
    • Despite its categorisation, children's literature is frequently read by adult readers, often celebrated for its attention to storytelling, rich creativity, and the development of imagined worlds. This module introduces you to children's literature as a subject for adult study. It investigates the origins of the genre in the eighteenth century, its flourishing in the nineteenth century and its varied fortunes thereafter. You will read and critically explore a number of major texts in their contexts. You will consider authors and subject-matter, changing ideas about childhood, the pressures of commercialisation, educational theories, cities and gardens, sex and gender, race, class and empire, as well as wonder, magic and adventure, considering what it is about children's literature that means it retains its appeal long after childhood has ended.

      The module will be organised chronologically and thematically in four strands. Texts will be selected to illuminate a range of topics, styles and approaches, from the didactic to the fantastical, the starkly realistic to the satirical.  Assessment is by an extended essay allowing you to show knowledge of a range of texts, and by two close reading exercises.

       
    • This module allows students to study two authors in depth across a sustained period of time. In each year, the module will be taught in two blocks, each focused on the works of a single author who falls under the research specialism of one or more members of staff. Each block may involve the study of several texts or the extended, in-depth study of a longer work of literature. Information as to the current year's content will be released prior to the selection of student options, but will change each year to reflect staff research interests. Possible authors for study might include (but are not limited to) novelists such as Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Joyce, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, or Don DeLillo, poets such as John Milton, Samuel Coleridge, Sylvia Plath, or Ted Hughes, or dramatists such as Christopher Marlowe, Oscar Wilde, Harold Pinter, or Caryl Churchill. Alternatively, the module may in some years also focus on a memoir or short story writer, travel writer, or notable literary theorist or philosopher. The module is assessed by a critical or creative project and two essays. 

       
    • Throughout its history, the American nation has centred its identity upon notions of protest, resistance and dissent: a questioning of authority that has come to define American ideas of democratic freedom and individuality. This module explores how writers of poetry and prose from the 19th century to the present have asserted the American consciousness through literatures of counter-cultural resistance, challenging political ideologies, and questioning established modes of thinking. We will explore movements such as Transcendentalism, the Beats, Black Arts, and the New York School and their production of a counter-cultural aesthetic. Alongside this, we will consider individual writers who have responded to dominant discourses surrounding race, gender, nationalism, capitalism, and war - writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Chesnutt, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Leslie Marmon Silko, George Saunders and Thomas Pynchon. How, we ask, have these writers and movements both responded to and shaped the idea of American identity through a politics that is both radical and anti-authoritarian? The module is assessed by a combination of two short essays, discussion posts and a long critical essay.

       
    • This module examines the rich and dynamic presence of British black and Asian writing from the mid-17th century to the present. Exploring the ways in which black and Asian writing has contributed to definitions of Britishness for more than 300 years, it examines how black writers have produced formally innovative and conceptually challenging responses to questions of race, class, gender and identity, while simultaneously making significant creative contributions to the fields of drama, prose, poetry, and life-writing. In the first half of the module, students will study a range of early British texts from the mid-17th century to the 19th century from writers such as Equiano and Mary Seacole, alongside contemporary works which have reflected on the black cultural presence in Britain during this period, while the second half of the module turns to 20th century and contemporary texts by writers such as Zadie Smith. Andrea Levy, Monica Ali, Hanif Kureishi, Meera Syal, Gautam Malkani, Leila Aboulela, Jackie Kay and John Agard, contextualised by appropriate critical and cultural theories from thinkers such as Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall. The module is assessed by a flexible assessment strategy which allows students to respond to the module through a combination of critical essay, performance and/or creative writing, and discussion posts documenting engagement and critical response.

       
    • What does it mean to be human? What does it means to post-human? Who are our postmodern monsters? And what is the relationship between these differently defined subjects and the environments - built, natural, virtual - in which they exist? In this module we examine literature that has asked these questions, investigating how narratives of modernity have interrogated assumptions about the relationship between living subjects and the physical world, and indeed the way in which both those subjects and that world are conceived. Framed by ecocritical and spatial theory, we will consider how narrative explores the way in which the physical world has been treated in the current age - the age described as the Anthropocene  - and how it has played a role in re-shaping our understanding of that world, and the changing idea of what constitutes the human. Alongside this, we will consider how literature illuminates the ways in which spaces and places are themselves implicated in these definitions, with particular consequences for questions of race, gender, class, and sexuality. The module will include field trips to relevant sites such as urban developments and local wildlife centres, and will be assessed by a combination of essay and critical reflection.

       
    • This optional Level 6 module allows students to pursue Shakespeare studies at an advanced level and is founded upon a detailed and extensive study of the writer and his works.  Consideration will be given to a range of critical approaches to Shakespeare as well as the long history and dynamic status of Shakespeare in performance and adaptation, for example in relation to questions of gender, identity and globalisation.  Students will be encouraged to reflect upon the role of Shakespeare in culture now as well as relevant contemporary contexts such as the nature of early modern theatre going alongside crucial political and religious conditions. Teaching on the module will be closely aligned with the rich resources available at the Rose Theatre and in particular will afford students the opportunity to participate in the stimulating series of talks and events organised as part of the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar (KiSS).

       
    • This module traces how literature from the 19th century to the present has concerned itself with questions of gender identity and sexuality, often offering a radical voice for those - including both women and LGBTQ+ voices - excluded from dominant and mainstream discourses. Rooted in feminist and queer theory, we will explore how feminist writing has critiqued patriarchy, how literature has challenged normative gender roles, how it has engaged with powerful questions regarding the body and the politics of desire, and how it has represented the debates within different facets of the feminist and queer community. We will also consider how writers have employed literary form and genre - for example the use of experimental writing, dramatic or poetic form, or the romance genre - and to what extent debates surrounding these forms and genre contribute to a gendered politics of cultural production. Explicitly intersectional in its approach, we will frame our discussions with an interrogation of how the politics of gender and sexuality is shaped by its relationship with questions of class, race, disability, and religion. Examples of authors studied might include Jeanette Winterson, Fleur Adock Carol Ann Duffy, Tony Kushner, Clare Macintyre, Leila Aboulela, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Virginia Woolf.

      The module is assessed by a flexible assessment strategy consisting of discussion board posts and a student designed portfolio of responses which may include essay, creative writing (fiction or non-fiction), artwork, media production and performance.

       
    • 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 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 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 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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    • 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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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.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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Kingston Writing School

As a student on this course you will be part of the Kingston Writing School, a vibrant community of outstanding writers, journalists and publishers.

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