Our BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree is founded on an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum which encourages you to make creative and critical connections between and outside your subject areas.
Each year of our undergraduate degree focusses on three core components: READ, WRITE, CONNECT. Every year, you will take two modules from each strand so you have the opportunity to explore English Literature, practice Creative Writing and connect everything you're learning in collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative ways.
READ: This strand forms the backbone of your study. In these English Literature modules, you will be introduced to important, diverse writers from across the globe. In seminars, you will explore the ways in which texts – from canonized literature to cutting-edge prize winners – influence how you understand and interact with the world. A mixture of thematic and chronological modules will ensure you graduate with a good grounding in genre, context and period. In this READ strand, you will challenge your assumptions and be encouraged to raise questions about authority, identity and more.
WRITE: This strand will focus on creativity, imagination and production. In these Creative Writing modules, you will learn what it takes to write compelling short stories, poetry, nonfiction and more. You'll cultivate your individual voice and style through writing, revising and editing. In our supportive workshop environment, you will also share your creative work and hone your editorial skills. You will be encouraged to seek publication and to develop a writing portfolio for prospective employers. In short, the WRITE strand focuses on helping you to become the best writer you can be.
CONNECT: This strand will introduce you to interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches, focussing on the connections which can be made between people and ideas. In these unique modules, you will encounter new perspectives, experiences and spaces designed to help you widen your views as both a reader and writer. To stay current, our interdisciplinary work changes regularly but former students have benefited from visits, discussions and connections with the following departments: animation, ceramics, digital technologies, drama, education, illustration, media, and psychology.
Our modules are taught by research-active scholars and published authors. Several modules will require you to write and bring your own work to creative workshops. As well developing your own writing, you will also develop your skills as critics, editors and contributors to the creative and critical processes of others.
YEAR 1: Craft and Cannon
Reading Literature - From 'Beowulf' to 'The Bluest Eye', this module will introduce you to a wide range of texts from the literary canon and give you a foundation in the study of literature.
Shakespeare and his Contemporaries - This module explores Elizabethan and Jacobean theatrical practice by examining not only Shakespeare's dramas, but also his contemporaries' plays. You will examine the histories, comedies, city comedies, and tragedies before finally turning to modern productions of Shakespeare in the theatre and on the big screen.
Stories Matter: Plot, Character & Beyond - This module will introduce you to the techniques of narrative construction. By focussing on writing short stories, you will have opportunities to explore the techniques of well-established masters of the form as well as contemporary writers experimenting with new ideas.
Sex, Death and Everything in Between: Writing Poetry - This module offers a unique take on poetry and poetics where all the possibilities of the art form are considered. You will study craft, form and poetic movements and will be encouraged to experiment in order to find your own poetic voice and vision.
Critical Approaches - This module will introduce you to literary theory so that you become more alert and responsive to the ways in which texts work. You will also learn about the variety of critical and theoretical approaches there are to literature and have the opportunity to apply these approaches to your own creative work as well as key works in literary history, such as Emily Brontë’s 'Wuthering Heights' (1847).
Say it Out Loud: Writing for Audiences - This module will introduce you to the conceptual, creative, and practical elements of writing for performance as well as the many audiences who might engage with performed work. You will have opportunities to write, perform and play with scriptwriting, comedy writing, slam poetry and more.
YEAR 2: Imagination and Experimentation
Romantic and Victorian Literature - This module invites you to consider poetry, fiction and non-fiction as generic responses to some of the century’s most pressing social questions. Alongside the formal aspects of these texts, you will examine important themes and debates of the period, such as the role of the Imagination, the Nation, urbanisation and industrialisation, evolution and madness, class, gender and sexuality.
Make it New Modernist Literature and Culture - This module is an exploration of revolutionary writing and culture from the first half of the twentieth century. You will explore a range of Modernist texts, including canonical as well as lesser-known texts, in order to understand the revolutionary changes taking place in literature at this time.
Urban and Contemporary - This module encourages you to delve into the modern evolution of the novel, short story and poetry, looking at new books and radical techniques almost as soon as they are penned. This unique module will expose you to the cutting edge of modern writing while also giving you the freedom to experiment and truly hone your own literary voice.
Ghosts in the Machine: Writing Immersive and Chaotic Selves - This module will provide you with the practical skills necessary to construct digital self-narratives. You will learn to combine traditional storytelling skills with a digital and interactive environment in order to explore ideas of multimedia, non-linearity and the chaotic complexities of writing the self.
Imaginary World and Possible Futures - This module explores literature that creates and studies new worlds. With a focus on the future and ‘the fantastical’, you will read a range of texts from the Fantasy, Science Fiction, Utopian/Dystopian fiction genre and even try writing some of your own.
The Professional Critic and Creative: Work Placement - This module will provide you with the opportunity to experience professional environments and expectations. Based on your career interests, you will be invited to pursue an external placement, a personal publishing goal or an approved project in archiving, copywriting, reviewing and more.
YEAR 3: Employability and Professional Practice
Hypercontemporary Literature and the Book Prize - From the Nobel Prize to the Costa Awards, this module will explore the qualities inherent in brand-new, hyper-contemporary literature and prize-shortlisted writing. You will analyse the importance of contemporary book-prize culture to the success of a written text, both in popular and critical estimations.
Narratives of Place and Belonging - This module will consider the relationship between identity and place in a range of literary and cultural sources from nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century literature. Using a variety of texts, you will interrogate the politics of space and the impact this has upon identities and belonging.
Fact or Artful Enterprise - This module will explore the blurred line between fiction and nonfiction. It provides a literary overview and analysis of writing in the auto/biographical modes encompassing memoir, life-writing, diary-writing, biography, autobiography, creative nonfiction and fiction inspired by life.
Publishing and Digital Humanities - This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills your need to enter the creative and professional industries. You will build practical skills in the creation and publication of digital technologies; explore tools in practical, hands-on workshops and online tutorials; and work together to publish the annual 'Met' anthology.
You will have the option of taking a year-long Dissertation module OR completing two, taught CONNECT modules:
Dissertation - This year-long dissertation module will offer you the opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent project within the contexts of Creative Writing or English Literature.
The Major Project: Exploring Big Issues - This module uses literature and creative work to explore contemporary issues like gender inequality, decolonisation, climate change and more. Although the topic and big issues change, this taught module will provide you with the opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent project within the contexts of English Literature or Creative Writing.
Writing for Wellbeing - This unique module will consider how writing can be used for improving wellbeing in your own and others’ lives. You will explore a variety of conceptual, theoretical, ethical and creative frameworks used for writing for wellbeing.
We utilise a range of teaching environments to best fit your learning needs. Delivery may include workshops, seminars, research seminars, lectures, tutorials, away days, field trips and visits. Wherever possible, the emphasis is placed upon small group work and individual learning needs.
During the degree, you will actively practice various writing techniques and hone your literary style and creative abilities. Every year, you will produce a portfolio of new work, learn how to write for specific audiences, justify your creative decisions and explore your writing process.
During your degree, you will be invited to attend literary festivals, theatre trips, films and other cultural events held in Cardiff. The department also regularly invites external speakers to give presentations and readings.
All BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing students are invited to join the
Creative Society which runs our Open Mic nights, supports the annual UniSlam competition and holds creative writing workshops across the university.
Technology and facilities
Our degree is enhanced by the use of the university's virtual learning system. You will also have access to the
Creative Writing Club Teams page where you can find calls for submissions, writing competitions, reading recommendations, internship opportunities and more.
The Cardiff Met library also has a range of excellent physical and digital resources for readers and writers. Our lecturers regularly order prize-winning novels and poetry collections into the library so you can stay up-to-date with your reading.
Our READ strand is taught by a research active team including
Dr Carmen Casaliggi,
Dr Elizabeth English, and
Dr Nick Taylor-Collins who have research interests in Romanticism, Modernist and Contemporary Literature, with specialisms in Irish literature, women's writing, and the work of John Ruskin.
Our WRITE strand is taught by published writers and practicing researchers including
Dr Kate North,
Dr Christina Thatcher and Dr Lucy Windridge. Our teaching team has industry experience and publications in the relevant fields and study core subjects including: fiction (novel, short story and genre writing); poetry (on and off the page); digital writing and creative nonfiction.
Our CONNECT strand is taught by members of both these teams with support from published writers, scholars and creative practitioners from inside and outside the university.
Cardiff Met Reading Series
Follow our monthly
Cardiff Met Reading Series on YouTube to hear from guest writers reading their work and giving useful advice to our students.
Watch the latest episodes.