Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>English and Creative Writing - BA (Hons) Degree

English and Creative Writing - BA (Hons) degree

"Every writer is first a reader, and what we read matters" - Sarah Ahmed

Reading is a radical act which has the power to transform our thoughts, ideas and behaviours. Writing presses further, empowering us to investigate, experiment and articulate what really matters. Doing both can benefit the world. 

Our BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree will help you find and develop your voice as both a writer and a critic. The great authors you study will inspire and influence your writing. Meanwhile, developing your own creative work will lead to new insights into technique which, in turn, will sharpen your analysis of literary texts. In seminars you will be invited to consider the ways in which literature and writing is alive, engaging with contemporary issues like gender inequality, decolonisation, climate change and more. 

It’s not just about close reading and writing craft at Cardiff Met - you’ll also learn vital professional skills. During your degree, you’ll have the chance to compete in our poetry SLAM competitions; read your work at open mic nights; meet published writers and creative practitioners; volunteer at local literary events and festivals; submit your work to our student-led anthology; and much more. 

A passion for literature and creative writing can lead to exciting careers in publishing, editing, teaching, law, public relations, civil service, arts management and countless other fields. Through your modules, projects and extracurricular activities, you’ll leave with a portfolio of work that demonstrates your finely-honed skills and abilities. Like so many of our graduates, you will leave Cardiff Met ready for a career in the creative industries and beyond.   

Course information on this page relates to 2022 entry.

Course Content

Please note: This programme will undergo a major modification for 22 entry. As such, course content shown below may change to ensure the programme remains current. Any applicants will be informed of any changes once confirmed.

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


READ
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.

WRITE
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. 

CONNECT
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, song writing, slam poetry and more. 


YEAR 2: Imagination and Experimentation

READ
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. 

WRITE
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.

CONNECT
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


READ
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.

WRITE
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. 

CONNECT

You will have the option of taking a year-long Dissertation module OR completing two, taught CONNECT modules: 

Option 1:

  • 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. 


OPTION 2: 

  • 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. 



Learning & Teaching

Course delivery

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.

Extra-curricular

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. 

Teaching staff

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


Assessment

We’re committed to innovative assessment practices that match identified learning outcomes for your module and degree. This means assessment, wherever possible, is linked to enhancing not only your subject knowledge but skills vital in developing your employment opportunities. 

Examples of assessment include research portfolios, group work, creative writing portfolios, critical and reflective practice, reviews, poster presentations annotated bibliographies and so on.  

Throughout the degree, you will regularly be provided with written and verbal feedback on your creative writing and work closely with tutors to develop work suitable for publication.

Employability & Careers

Graduates from the BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree will be well placed to join literary, media and publishing companies; work in the arts and cultural sectors; and become freelance writers. During the course, you will have the opportunity to explore the varied role of the freelance writer from publication and commission through to working in distinct community settings (such as in therapeutic and educational contexts). 

Our degree has a strong contemporary focus and provides highly valued employability skills. These skills form the foundation for careers in:

  • Writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry or script)
  • Publishing
  • Editing
  • Media production
  • Teaching
  • Lecturing
  • Advertising
  • PR
  • Copywriting
  • Video game production
  • Web content generation
  • Law
  • Therapeutic writing 

Cardiff has one of the largest media and creative-industry sectors outside London, including BBC Wales, ITV Wales, S4C, BBC Radio Wales and Media Wales (walesonline.co.uk, the Western Mail and Echo). You will be well situated to draw upon a range of opportunities to combine theory with 'applied practice' and be supported and encouraged to develop a portfolio of highly valued skills and practices, putting you in a strong position when it comes to moving towards a career.

Many of the skills you will obtain as part of this degree are also useful in industries beyond those listed above. We ensure that our curriculum develops you as a graduate so that you demonstrate the following skills and attributes: 

  • Problem solving & analytical abilities
  • Inter-personal and networking skills
  • Global citizen (with knowledge of diversity & sustainability)
  • Flexibility & Adaptability (life long learning)
  • Effective Communication skills
  • Creative & Innovative
  • Digital Literacy
  • Reflective practice

You will also have the opportunity to advance to postgraduate study at either MA or PhD level, including


Entry Requirements & How to Apply

 
Applicants should have 104 points from at least two A levels (or equivalent).

Typical offers may include:

  • 104 points from at least 2 A levels to include grades C; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as the third subject
  • RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma/Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma MMM

  • 104 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4

  • 104 points from at least two Scottish Advanced Highers to include grades D. Scottish Highers are also considered, either on their own or in combination with Advanced Highers.

  • 102 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma     

 

If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search for entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here

Candidates who do not possess normal minimum entry qualification are interviewed and considered individually on the basis of their prior learning or working background. For applicants who are only undertaking 2 A levels or equivalent, this will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff. 

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website. 

Selection Procedure:
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and where relevant an interview. 

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at www.ucas.com. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.

Part-time applications should be made direct to the University at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/selfservice.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL. 

Mature students
A mature applicant is anyone over the ago of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found here.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email askadmissions@cardiffmet.ac.uk

For course specific enquiries, please contact Dr Christina Thatcher:
Email: CThatcher@cardiffmet.ac.uk


Key Course Information

UCAS Code: XEC2

Place of Study: 
Cyncoed Campus

School:
Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Course Length:
Three years full-time. 
Six years part-time.

MEET THE TEAM
Staff Profile
Meet the Team: Nick Taylor-Collins

"At Cardiff Met you will learn about a range of topics, from lesbian modernism, to Romantic European networks, to hyper-contemporary literature.

These ideas that we teach are also topics that we have researched and even published books about. As such, we are writers as much as we are readers, meaning that what we teach tallies well with our colleagues in Creative Writing."

Dr Nick Taylor-Collins, Senior lecturer in English.

Staff Profile
Meet the Team: Christina Thatcher

"I am an American poet, fiction and nonfiction writer with research interests in contemporary poetry, creative writing pedagogy and the role of creative writing in therapeutic and community contexts.

My experiences as a published writer, researcher and community facilitator position me well to support the diverse interests of our Creative Writing students. I assist students in developing their research methods and their creative work. I also provide them with opportunities to facilitate in the community at my local writers’ group, Roath Writers, and give them the tools they need to begin leading workshops in schools and community venues."

Dr Christina Thatcher, Programme Director and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing.

STUDENT & GRADUATE EXPERIENCE
Blog
How English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Met transformed my career

Learn how graduate Jodie has gone from script editor to award winning film writer.
Read more.

Blog
My top 5 highlights of studying English and Creative Writing

Read Millie's favourite study highlights and how placements helped her to decide that publishing was the right career path.
Read more

Blog
My study experiences and progressing from BA to MA Creative Writing at Cardiff Met

Athena talks about having her work published in the Cardiff Met anthology and continuing on to MA study.
Read more

Blog
My Creative Writing Highlight: Competing in Cardiff Met's UniSlam team

Lukas tells us about his passion for poetry and having the opportunity to be part of the first Cardiff Met UniSlam team and reaching the final.
Read more.

Blog
Developing my writing confidence with English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Met

Anna blogs about her study experiences throughout the degree and staying on to study the MA Creative Writing.
Read more

Blog
Building my poetry skills and becoming UniSlam21 Champions

Sam talks about performance poetry and how it feels being part of the winning Cardiff Met UniSlam team 2021.
Read more

More About the Course
International Writing Day

Our Creative Writing lecturers celebrate International Writing Day and tell us about their favourite inspirational books.

Cardiff Met Reading Series

Follow our Cardiff Met Reading Series on YouTube, with helpful tips from guest speakers every month.



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