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Creative Writing and Film Cultures BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time WP38 2019

Why choose this course?

Creative writing and film cultures is a new BA combined programme which builds on Kingston University's strong reputation at the forefront of creative writing and film education. It offers an integrated course of study covering both the histories and contexts of the moving image, and critical, practical, and theoretical approaches to creative writing, in an interdisciplinary context.

The degree explores creative writing and film as part of a dynamic matrix of cultural influences, in relation to politics, the visual arts and popular culture. It considers the ways in which creative writing and film can both shape and be shaped by their surrounding political contexts, and it engages with a range of theoretical ideas, from authorship and reception, to identity and ideology.

The degree fosters creativity and problem-solving skills and integrates professional practice into its modules through a variety of forms of assessment. It trains you in the writing and critical skills that are highly desirable to employers, and supports you throughout to gain confidence as independent learners.

You will be encouraged to develop a range of skills to articulate your ideas in written, oral and visual form across a variety of formats, allowing you to develop yourself for a career as a writer and more broadly in the creative industries.

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.

What you will study

In year one you will begin to develop practical skills in creative writing through analysis of published writing and consideration of language and style. You will also be introduced to key issues and approaches for the study of film within the wider context of visual culture, and you will acquire habits of writing, self-reflection and revision necessary to the successful professional writer.

In year two, you will develop a more sophisticated and focused understanding of your subject areas and the synergies between them. You will study four modules across the year, experiencing a variety of learning and assessment methods. You will have the opportunity to progress your creative writing skills by exploring the relationship between theory and practice across arrange of modes and genres. You will also learn from industry specialists in a range of fields such as film journalism, scriptwriting, festival management and archiving, and will feed this learning into your own portfolio of written and creative work.

Year three is a ‘capstone year' during which you will complete a major self-designed creative writing dissertation project. You will use the practical, critical and analytical skills developed across years one and two, to research a topic of your own choice. Other modules will help you to manage your research and introduce you to further ideas and ways of working that may influence your career choices. Research is key throughout the third year, in both the modules delivered and in the increasing focus on your extensive, independent study.

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 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 takes students from the pre-history of film, and its 19th  century origins in photography, science and optical toys, through to the post-digital, multi-platform era of the 21st. Encompassing both Hollywood and key cinema movements from around the world, the module will explore the development of cinema in relation to its surrounding culture. It looks at how technological and economic changes shaped film throughout its history, and how it evolved into its current form.

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  • This module asks where the real meaning of popular stories lies - with the original author, or with the audience's interpretation. It begins by exploring theories of authorship in literature, and traces the development of these ideas through the film studies of the 1950s and 1960s to concepts of the ‘showrunner' in contemporary television. It then surveys the ways in which screen audiences have been studied, from World War Two propaganda to present-day work on fan videos and fan edits, mash-ups and tributes.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • On this module, you 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. You will be asked to experiment with these elements in your own writing, and to participate in improving each other's work by offering thoughtful, constructive feedback. Along with developing your own personal sense of voice and style, you 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 is a dissertation-style module, taught through a combination of small-group sessions and individual tutorials, in which you will have the opportunity to work on a sustained creative writing project of your choosing. You 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, you will receive constructive feedback and guidance on how to plan, structure, write, revise, and edit your projects, and gain advice in developing the skills and habits necessary to working independently. In addition, you will learn how to plan strategies for the possible dissemination and promotion of your 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 your projects, you will acquire the entrepreneurial skills and abilities necessary for success in self-employment and in other professions.

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  • Students will have the opportunity to work with a series of guest professionals from the film cultures industry, including festival programmers, reviewers, scriptwriters and journalists, to develop their own portfolio and shape their future career aspirations.

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  • What artistic innovation has emerged from the diverse cultures of 'world cinema'? The module explores the dynamic between local and global, and the need to balance cultural specificity with a more cosmopolitan appeal. It examines the changing relationship between world and national cinemas, the influence of Hollywood and American culture, and new trends from other media and visual art forms that might resist this dominance.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • 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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  • 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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  • The module explores the relationship between politics and the image, from a range of critical approaches including post-colonialism, post-modernism, and post-humanism. We look at a range of films that run counter to dominant discourses in relation to race, gender, sexuality and the body, including mainstream and European cinema, science fiction and neo-noir.

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  • This module is research-led and changes year on year in response to changes in the industry and the research environment. Students will be able to create a range of responses to the module in their assignments, including the production of media artefacts accompanied by critical commentary.

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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).

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

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