3 years full-time (minor subject)
|Course type:||Combined honours|
A minimum of 280 UCAS points including grades CC or above at A2 level, BTEC National Diploma with an overall grade of Distinction Merit Merit, or an Access Diploma with a minimum of 39 credits with Merit or Distinction. If you have a relevant HND or foundation degree qualification you may progress onto the final year of the degree. You will also need five GCSEs at grade C or above, including GCSE English Language, or a recognised equivalent. For alternative qualifications please see our entry requirements page.
Contact for admissions enquiriesAdmissions
Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2386)
Contact for course content enquiriesDenise Hayes (Senior Lecturer in English)
Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2240)
Why Study Creative Writing?
This minor course enables you to develop and express your own creativity through a range of fictional and non-fictional forms. It nurtures your own versatility as a writer in a supportive environment. The writing skills you develop will prove invaluable in relation to your Major subject, and the interactive nature of the various workshops will also foster your ability to work creatively with others on projects.
What does the course cover?
First year modules introduce a range of narrative and poetic techniques and some relevant aspects of language structure. You will also work in a small team to produce a screenplay, storyboard and short video focussing on a specific film or television genre (eg horror, the soap opera, the thriller). In year two, you will explore non-fictional narrative forms such as autobiography, travel and nature writing and journalism, and you will extend your literary repertoire in a 'themed' module (possible themes include 'The Uncanny', 'Memories', 'Hauntings'). In Year 3, there is a focus on literary sub-genres within prose, poetry and play-script. In the Portfolio module, you will complete an extended writing project in an area of your own choice.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will take a variety of forms including group presentations, individual creative writing portfolios, and reflective writing journals. You will be given ample opportunity in your assignments to specialise in areas of your own choice, and continuous feedback will be provided in workshop sessions and in individual tutorials with teaching staff.
What makes this course noteworthy?
Teaching staff are experienced and enthusiastic and have contributed to national debates on the teaching and assessment of writing. Special features may include a creative field-trip and, where possible, visits by published writers. The inclusion of non-fictional writing enables interesting connections to be made with other Major subjects (e.g. reflective autobiography maybe of interest to Psychology students). Innovative teaching and learning strategies include the team-based film work in year one, and the use in several modules of Moodle (Newman's virtual learning environment) creative writing workshops.
What careers could I consider after this degree?
This course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to help you to find an audience for your work through traditional routes such as publishers and agents, as well as through routes such as the internet and community writing groups. The acquisition of skills in writing and in reflective analysis should also prepare you well for a career in teaching, as well as for other graduate careers where creative intelligence is valued, such as the media, advertising, business, and information technology.
Courses at Newman are constantly evolving to reflect changes in the field of study. Therefore, modules listed here are indicative and may be subject to change for each academic year. Some modules are mandatory and some are optional. Not all modules will be available on all routes through the programme you choose, and modules studied will depend on whether you choose minor, joint, major or single honours routes.
Creative Writing: Explorations in Poetry and Prose Techniques
This module introduces students to the craft of writing prose fiction and poetry. The module will also encourage students to examine the various stages of the writing process, focussing for example on the use of writing journals, the nature and function of the writing workshop, and the importance of the reflective redrafting and editing of creative texts.
This module will introduce students to the basic vocabulary of film language and develop their critical skills in reading visual texts. They will examine the evolution of a readable language of film narrative from the early narrative fragments of primitive cinema to the emergence of the Classical narrative style of the Hollywood studio era in the 1930s and 1940s. There will be a particular focus on the ways in which space and time are organised within the Hollywood continuity system through the technical elements of mise-en-scene, framing, editing and sound. There will also be a consideration of how spectator point of view can be controlled and directed in film in different ways than in prose fiction. Students will be encouraged to be articulate about their experience of the workings of film narratives and to begin to see textual analysis as part of a wider consideration of cultural history. They will apply their knowledge and understanding of the language of film, including terms to describe the technical aspects taught, in their own adaptation of a chosen prose source into a film script.
Creative Writing: Explorations on a Theme
The creative work that is carried out within this module will take the form of poetry, prose and drama based on a particular theme (possible themes might include:’ The Uncanny’, ‘Dreams and Nightmares’; ‘Memories’, and ‘Other Lives: Other Worlds’). Most of the module will be run as a creative writing field trip, and the location selected may well guide the choice of theme explored. Students will be provided with specially designed resource packs containing appropriate secondary sources, selected literary texts and extracts, and writing frames and suggested activities. These resource packs, and activities undertaken in tutor-led seminar sessions are designed to provide students with starting points for individual and group writing (poetry, prose and drama). Students will be given the opportunity to share their writing with their peers in a performance session (during the field trip) and later in the production of group magazines. Much of the work will be self-directed, with students working in small creative teams, but support will be offered in specially focused seminars (e.g. exploring various literary magazines and anthologies; examining the nature of writing in performance). Students will also produce a portfolio that includes a selection of their own writing.
Creative Writing: Non-Fictional Prose Genres
The first half of the module will focus on the forms and functions of life-writing. Through the reading of extracts from a range of published texts, students will consider the ways in which self-narratives have been used to give voice to personal experiences. Students will be given the opportunity to draw on their own life-stories in order to produce their own autobiographical texts. In the second half of the module they will have the opportunity to study and experiment with other forms of non-fictional prose including nature writing, travel writing, and journalism (features articles). Students will be encouraged to specialise within these areas in order to produce work for their writing folder. As in earlier modules, a strong emphasis will be placed on working with peers within the workshop context in order to further develop powers of critical reflection. Students will be encouraged to broaden their experience of the wider writing community.
Creative Writing: Literary Sub-Genres
This module will concentrate on writing indifferent literary sub-genres. Examples of possible types of writing include:
in prose: gothic and horror fiction, science fiction, the thriller and novels for children;
in drama: radio plays, scripts developed from improvisation, screenplays and dramatic adaptations of prose texts;
and in poetry: the sonnet, the villanelle and the ballad.
Tutor-led or visiting writer-led seminars will provide some relevant background information about the genre being investigated. These introductions will be followed by a more detailed exploration of specific sub-genres. Most seminars will engage students in the analysis of published work and in related writing activities. As the module progresses, students will select one or more sub-genres to focus on in their writing files. This individual work will be supported by tutorials and by the workshop structure. The module is designed to further develop students’ ability to engage productively and with increased independence in the various stages of the writing process.
Creative Writing: Writing Portfolio
In the early part of the module students will, with some tutorial guidance, decide on a focus for their own writing portfolio; this may, for example, relate to the genres selected for development (e.g. autobiography; lyrical poetry; post-modern fiction; the thriller; journalism; radio plays) or to the themes to be explored through writing. These early tutorials will help students to appraise their own progress in previous work and to set some targets for development. As the module progresses, tutors and visiting writers will lead sessions focussing on specific aspects of writing that have been identified as relevant to students’ interests and needs. These sessions will involve reflective readings of work by published writers as well as analyses of students’ work in progress. Student-led workshops, focussing on creative drafts, will allow students the opportunity to offer each other constructive criticism both informally and in the form of peer appraisal notes. Students will be encouraged to carry out background research into the opportunities and openings for writers offered by external agencies and organisations; this research will be supported by seminars focussing on topics such as writing on the web, how to prepare manuscripts for submission, and writing in the community.
History with Creative Writing V1W8 BA/HWCW
Psychology with Creative Writing C8W8 BA/PWCW
Sports Studies with Creative Writing C6W8 BA/SSWCW
Theology with Creative Writing V6W8 BA/ThWCW
Working with Children, Young People & Families with Creative Writing L5W8 BA/WCYPFCW
"I chose Newman because I wanted to study close to home, and because it’s much smaller and friendlier than a traditional university. When I started my creative writing course I didn’t know what to expect, not having studied the topic formally before, but I found the lectures to be inspiring and hands on, especially when led by such enthusiastic tutors! After university I hope to use the skills I’ve learnt here in my future career in writing, possibly in journalism. Doing this course has definitely helped shape me as a writer and stand me in good stead for the future."
Creative Writing student