September 2023

Applied Writing BA (Hons)

Honours Degree, Undergraduate, September 2023

Key Details

  • W890 Course Code
  • 3 Years
  • 96 Typical UCAS Tariff

Are you a creative individual with something to say?

Applied Writing provides opportunities for students to direct their own writing to practical, professional and social situations. Students will approach writing in a very broad sense, including not only traditional print forms, but also digital and visual communication. They will develop a writing toolkit that will be highly valuable in a wide range of professional contexts, including media and journalism, education and teaching, working within the third/ charity sector, creative industries, social media communications, business, and of course professional writing.

The programme has a strong emphasis on helping students to develop their own unique style and voice. They will have the opportunity to write about the causes they care about, applying their creative skills to important social issues. Students will undertake project-based modules that will allow them to develop and showcase their employment skills as they identify and examine issues that affect our world. These projects, usually undertaken in collaboration with regional clients, will allow students to cultivate a network of connections for the future, whilst also developing the creative solutions required for meaningful social change.

Applied Writing is an innovative degree programme which offers an ideal preparation for careers in a range of sectors from the creative industries, business and media, education and social activism. This degree offers cross-disciplinary training in critical thinking combined with real-world skills delivered through the creative and problem-solving approach of the humanities. It can also provide a platform to further postgraduate study and professional training.

The Applied Writing programme at Newman University is at the forefront of innovative practice. The programme has been designed for creatively minded individuals like you, who want to build a toolkit of writing and communication skills and use these skills to create innovative new work which changes lives and inspires communities. There is no expectation that you will arrive with fully formed ideas, but you will have the opportunity to develop your own interests and voice as you move through the programme.

This practice-based writing programme enables you to engage with your own identity, background and lived experience whilst also encountering a range of different voices, both from your peer group and the wider community. The programme begins with the exploration of ‘self’, and this emphasis on identity and the individual voice will run through the whole course, helping you to develop a distinctive writing style that will make you stand out from the crowd. As the course progresses, you will develop a writing toolkit, which you will apply to a range of professional and creative contexts. You will be able to shape your degree and projects around your own career ambitions and the social issues you care about, whether that be the climate crisis, mental health or civil rights movements. We are interested in the issues that are important to you individually and will help you to develop the required skills and writing portfolio to develop your own unique career and life trajectory.


  • Project-based assessments
  • Writing portfolios
  • Written reflections and essays
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Negotiated assessments
  • Professional writing (in creative, professional and technical contexts)
  • Working within the creative and digital industries
  • Working within the third / charity sector
  • Media and journalism
  • Marketing and social media content creation
  • Teaching and education
  • Community arts
  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Postgraduate study

“Applied creativity has never been more important. Artists, writers and performers all have the skills we need to address the challenges of our modern world. This is not a marginal course cause, its fundamental to the way we shape our common future and the values we hold dear. This is why new programmes such as the ‘Applied Writing BA’ at Newman University are essential.”

Dr Paul Sutton, Artistic Director of C&T, an international applied theatre company fusing drama and digital technologies. (

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).


Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!


Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

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Entry Requirements

You must achieve at least 96 UCAS points including a minimum of CC at A level or equivalent (e.g.MM at BTEC Diploma; MPP at BTEC Extended Diploma) towards the total tariff.

Access Students can achieve the requirements with the following combination of Distinction, Merit and/ or Pass grades at level 3 achieved from a completed Access course. 96 UCAS Points: D21-M3-P21; D18-M9-P18; D15-M15-P15; D12-M21-P12; D9-M27-P9; D6-M33-P6; D3-M39-P3; D0-M45-P0.

A level (or equivalent) in a humanities/social science related subject is also required.

For applicants who are unsure that they will achieve the above UCAS tariff, Newman University offers Applied Writing (with Foundation Year) which enables such applicants to access a university degree via a four year route. Upon successful completion of their foundation year, students will progress to Year 1 of a named degree. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, students wishing to follow particular named routes with additional entry requirements, will need to meet these requirements before they make the transition from their foundation year to year 1.

International Students
The University is not licensed by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for the full-time route for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on the Direct Application Link: September 2023 Direct Application Link 

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

If you have any questions regarding entry onto this course please contact our friendly and helpful admissions team via our Admissions Enquiry Form

Course Fees

The full-time course fee for September 2023 is £9,250.

The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Additional Costs

Students may incur costs for any events associated with the course off campus, such as travel and possibly an entrance fee, although free alternative events will be offered.

Cost: Will depend on the event you attend, but students had previously been reimbursed £25 (based on 2019/2020)

Find out more about the other additional costs associated with our undergraduate degrees. 


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

  1. More people compose and write than ever before. Alongside this the distinction between formal written language and ordinary conversation is being significantly eroded. From the impact of the internet on the rules of grammar, to the development of ‘new writing’ in diverse theatre, this module will introduce students to the widest possible definition of writing. Students will hear from a range of performance perspectives on the potential and scope of writing. They will build confidence to explore their own interests and diversify their experience. This core module provides a foundation for the entire degree programme, as students engage in practice-based workshops and mentoring to develop the skills they will need to create new work through writing, improvisation, devising and performing. It will introduce students to new forms of writing such as spoken word, verbatim and testimonial theatre, live art and digital media. It will also encourage students to reflect on their own relationship with writing, challenging some of the assumptions about grammar and logic, embracing the changing nature of language and to understand the importance of the writer-audience relationship.
  2. Students will explore their own identities and what constitutes the self, practically exploring how we can use our own memories and experiences as raw material to write and create new work. They will be introduced to key concepts of critical theory, representation and identity through a range of accessible and engaging popular texts. Students will consider a range of theories which may relate to gender, sexuality, race, disability, nationality and class among other. They will develop skills in cultural analysis, establishing an introductory critical vocabulary that will be developed and refined in subsequent levels of the programme. Students will acquire knowledge of cultural representations of identities and explore the extent to which these discourses are revisited and redressed in the contemporary work. This will reference a range of work including fiction, film, television, music video, gaming and other digital media. The module considers some key elements or ‘tools’ of writing and creating new work, students will be introduced to concepts such as dramaturgy, dramatic structure, action and characterisation. They will frequently reflect on the challenges of exploring and reshaping their own identity in a fraught political environment addressing issues of cultural particularism and sensitivity and how their own voice can affect and impact others.
  3. This module will explore the fundamental relationship between writing and activism. Ranging across time and space students will considers the role of writing and composition on activist groups. This might include ‘texts’ as diverse as the fourteenth-century allegorical poem Piers Plowman which was sung during the peasants revolt, Orwell’s classic critique of the folly of colonialism, ‘Shooting the Elephant’, to the impact of Oranges are not the only fruit and the protests against section 28, to the continuing work of the #letusbreath collective. It will explore the ways in which new writing, in all its forms, has provided the impetus and backdrop to activism and will of the knowledge basis and creative inspiration for student project work across all levels of the programme.
  4. Create and participate in a practice-based socially engaged creative project. This will often be collaborative and in partnership with third sector or community-based organisations. At level 4, the project will be tutor-led (with some support from students at other levels of the programme if appropriate). Students will be introduced to workshop facilitation skills in terms of planning, writing, delivering and evaluation of writing and creative workshops. Students will explore good practice in terms of health and safety, risk assessment, safeguarding, access and inclusion, differentiation, ethical considerations, research, legacy and exit strategies when working with a diversity of participants in a variety of contexts.
  1. An opportunity for students to develop facilitation skills in collaboration with their peers. Students will put into practice new writing skills and methodologies to plan, deliver and reflect on exercises in response to set stimuli and contexts. Students will need to plan collaboratively to learn how to co-facilitate and support one another within a workshop setting.
  2. Students will practically and theoretically engage in their area of interest or specialism taking a community or collaborative approach. They will be offered a range of cultural and theoretical discourses and campaigns in order to explore what constitutes groups identities and explore the interplay between self and community or corporation. They will revisit concepts of critical theory, representation and identity and focus on those theories which most relate to their interests and specialisms. They will enhance their skills in cultural analysis, expanding their critical vocabulary and knowledge of cultural representations of identities in the contemporary work. The module further develops the key elements or ‘tools’ of writing. During this module students will frequently reflect on the challenges of working collaboratively and representing more than one voice.
  3. This module will focus on the development of immersive technologies in creative storytelling practice. Students will explore and use immersive storytelling techniques, processes and technologies within the creative industries including live art, screen media and video games. Building on their knowledge of collaborative practice student will focus specifically on how technology has impacted social innovation.
  4. Create and participate in a practice-based socially engaged creative project. At level 5, the project will be usually led by partner organisations either from industry or the third sector. This may involve a placement or partner-led training. Students will continue to use good practice in terms of health and safety, risk assessment, safeguarding, access and inclusion, differentiation, ethical considerations, research, legacy and exit strategies when working with a diversity of participants in a variety of contexts. Students will also consider the significance of research and ethics when working with vulnerable participants. Students will use case studies of current work, practitioners and existing organisations to inform their thinking about their own future career aspirations. This module will enable the opportunity for peer-to-peer critique.
  1. Students will engage in a series of professional skills-based seminars exploring project proposals and business plans, strategic visioning, fundraising applications and writing budgets, CVs, applications and interviews.
  2. Students will deliver their individual or collaborative project usually in partnership with a cultural or social organisation and they will reflect on their experience.
  3. Students will develop an individual or collaborative professional project proposal and plan and source a host organisation for their project which they will deliver in semester 2. Students will prepare to deliver their individual or collaborative project usually in partnership with a cultural or social organisation. They will deliver their project in semester 2. This is an opportunity for students to make industry links, set up a start-up project /company, develop a project to test and then sell once they have graduated.