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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

Prepare to enter a world without limits, where the power of words and the potential of your imagination combine. 

There has never been a more exciting time to be a writer. The internet has changed the world, increasing the scope for writers and their work. Our course recognises and embraces these opportunities. At UEL, we're building a community of writers and artists with something to say about themselves, and about the world. 

Our unique programme invites you to experiment and dare to challenge traditional ways of looking at 'genre' in writing. We encourage you to explore multi-media approaches to your work and to experiment with poetry, prose, drama and different media. 

We'll help you find your own path as a writer. You'll be introduced to various types of writing across a range of disciplines, paving your way for employment in many different areas where your skills will be highly valued.

If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BA, you can study this course as an 'extended', four-year programme . You'll begin by taking a foundation year which prepares you for a successful transition to the BA degree. This means it will take you four years to complete the course full-time, and eight years to complete the course part-time.

What makes this course different

Golden trophy

1st

Our Creative Writing course was ranked 1st in the country for student satisfaction by The Complete University Guide 2018.

Person using post it notes

Writing centre

In The Writing Centre, the hub of UEL's writing events and activities, you can write for our acclaimed student-run literary e-zone, The Gallion, and see your work published.

Team meeting

Career prospects

You can follow our graduates who have made their names in a variety of fields. One is now writing storylines for Coronation Street. Another has become a noted playwright.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

One of the key concepts in creative writing is 'show, don't tell'. That applies to both our teaching philosophy as well as our approach to writing.  So at UEL we will show you how to become the writer you want to be.

How? By providing you during your three-year course with a programme that offers stimulating readings, group discussions, lectures and creative assignments. You’ll learn all about fiction writing, poetry, screenwriting and creative non-fiction in a dynamic progression.

"It's about getting your feet wet in year one, experimenting in year two and, in your final year, working to professional standards," says lecturer and internationally published author Tessa McWatt.

The core modules examine different contexts of writing and analyse literary forms and structures. You'll learn how to write effectively in a host of different genres.

It’s a course that allows for specialisation, too. Optional workshops include hybrid genres and screenwriting. In your final year, for your dissertation, you can develop an extended piece of creative writing which particularly interests you.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Academic Development

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to embarking on their university degree and successfully completing it and progressing on to a range of potential future career areas.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate the reflective skills, openness and self-awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement, and confidently receive and give constructive feedback.

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    Creative Writing Portfolio

    The module will introduce students to key ideas in creative writing. You will produce a portfolio of different types of creative writing and reflect on these accordingly. You will read a variety of creative texts and texts about writing craft. The emphasis will be on producing lots of drafts to get used to regularly writing and reading.

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    Narrative and Creativity

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills and knowledge necessary to create oral, visual and written narratives for all kinds of media production. This module aims to give students the theoretical understanding of narrative and creativity. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to consider how these theories shape their chosen subject. Students will be assessed on their ability to present their understanding of narrative theories and give supporting examples of how these apply to various forms of media.

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    Group Film Project

    Students will develop fundamental digital media production skills required to make a film. Over this course of this module, students will work in groups to research and produce a short fiction or non-fiction film for online distribution. Students will also have the opportunity to reflect (critically evaluate) on their own practice in relation to the main topics covered during the module; including professional practice.

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    Professional Development: Mental Wealth

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experience required for employment and employability and how employability and industry connections are implemented in the curriculum.

    You will begin to recognise the areas for your own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate their reflective skills through collaboration with other undergraduate students and analysing effective approaches to industry briefs and creative problem solving.

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    Forms & Genres

    This module introduces students to the most fundamental elements of a writer’s toolkit: narrative forms and genre. It explores archetypal conventions of various story types, structural templates and characters over a range of media. These include a variety of prose, dramatic fiction, film and television. It introduces students to genre theory and the conventions of various genres.

     

    Students will produce a varied portfolio of work that applies the concepts and techniques introduced in the module. They will begin to develop critical skills through analyses of a variety of readings, as well as editorial input into the work of other students. They will also increase their own self-reflexivity through a written analysis of their voice and creative process.

     

    The foundational skills introduced in Forms & Genre will be used and developed throughout the Creative and Professional Writing degree.

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    Technique 1: Creative Writing

    In this module, you will establish and develop specialised skills for Creative Writing. It will introduce you to a range of writing and reading strategies and techniques by examining critical/ theoretical approaches and imaginative texts. You will also participate in workshops exploring and developing writing practices.

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    Professional life: Mental Wealth - Agency 1

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance is increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide students hoping to work in the creative industries with the opportunity to learn and apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful progression into in a range of potential future career areas.

    Students will learn about conventions and expectations in the creative industries, focussing on areas specific to their programme of study. They will also advance their own personal professional development through taught and workshop activities, and explore possible strategies to further develop their reflective skills and self-awareness.

    Students will have opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness to join in the role of 'Apprentice'. In this position they will focus on the importance of research in the creative industries. Students will practice key methods including digital and other research and qualitative methods used in industry today, including trends, news coverage and customer reviews. Students will also learn the conventions of research and analysis in order to develop a pitch or proposal in response to a client brief.

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    Documentary 1: Documentary and Representation (Creative Writing)

    The module equips students with an understanding of how to engage with a wide range of themes through documentary forms. The module provides a context for documentary practice and problematises categories of representation, notions of 'truth' and 'realism' and facilitates civic engagement and involvement with the East London community.

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    Technique 2: Poetry Forms & Structures

    This module will introduce students to a range of poetic writing, including both traditional and non-traditional forms and poetry as it relates to mixed media, mixed genre; it will also explore the use of language outside of the restrictions of conventional forms. Students will be provided with a supportive and creative context in which to explore, experiment with and develop their language skills, style and voice.

  • Core Modules
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    Introduction to scriptwriting

    This module introduces students to the script in a variety of forms. It explores the script’s function as a technical document, written by and for professionals. It discusses the various elements that scripts for different media require.

     

    Students will produce a portfolio of work in which they will apply the concepts and techniques introduced in the module to various scriptwriting styles. They will hone their critical skills through analyses of a variety of readings, as well as editorial input into the work of other students. They will also increase their own self-reflexivity through a written analysis of their voice and creative process.

     

    The skills introduced in this module will be developed in the Script Development module in the second term.

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    Professional life: Mental Wealth - Agency 2

    Best learning experiences follow a 'learning by doing' approach followed by reflection and assimilation. Building upon the competencies and skills identified at level 4, this module supports effective professional development through practical experience.

    You will work on live project briefs to produce media content which is informed by appropriate research in the field of study.

    Professional understandings and skills sets will be furthered through practical work enabling you to strengthen key graduate skills such as teamwork, organisation skills, digital skills, effective communication, and professionalism.

    Through reflective practice, you will evaluate your ongoing progress as a learner and as a practising professional.

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    Script Development

    This module builds on the knowledge gathered in Introduction to Scriptwriting. It takes the student through the script development process, from initial idea to final product. It looks in detail at structures and templates for a variety of media, and ways of creating characters capable of driving the plot. It examines technical forms and formats, as well as the scripting and rewriting process.

     

    Students will produce successive drafts of a script, employing the scriptwriting concepts and techniques introduced in the module. They will hone their critical skills through analyses of a variety of readings, as well as editorial input into the work of other students. They will also increase their own self-reflexivity through a written analysis of their voice and creative process.

  • Core Modules
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    Book Publishing 1: Content

    Book Publishing 1 examines theory and practice in several modes of creative writing, at an advanced level. These include poetry, screenwriting, fiction, creative non-fiction and playwriting. Through refinement of skills and advancement of practice, students will specialise in particular forms, and will be expected to demonstrate professional standards in their writing. Students will prepare work for publication, which will form the material for use in Book Publishing 2.

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    Transmedia and digital futures

    In this module, students will examine various theories both on transmedia storytelling as well as on complex narratives that underpin these types of intercompositional narratives, analysing the impact of convergence culture on the way in which we produce and consume media.

     

    The module encourages students to employ experimental and imaginative approaches to concept, process and final realisation of their projects – skills essential to the creation of digital artworks and to the creative industries in general. It also provides you with a greater awareness of the creative context in which to locate their work. Students will produce a transmedia narrative working across multiple platforms and formats, including but not limited to video, sound, music, animation, and photography.

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    Book Publishing 2

    Book Publishing 2 takes students through the process of publishing their own work, produced in Term 1, and assisting others in the publication of theirs. Students will work in editorial teams to go through an extensive process of editing their work and that of others; revising their work to editorial input; developing publishing skills such as design and typesetting; and working as part of a team. Every student will end up with a hard copy of their own published work.

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    Final Major Project: Realisation

    Building on the work of FT6021, you will realise your ideas through creative production of original and innovative negotiated concept and outcomes that are relevant to your career aspirations and specialism.

    You will have the opportunity to produce a final major project that will primarily rely upon negotiated guidance in order to promote and develop your transition into working life.

    You will have the opportunity to identify, develop, reflect upon and finalise projects that will create and build a signature for your exit portfolio.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You'll be taught by a range of staff, many of whom are practitioners in the area they teach. Many of the assessments focus on practical skills that ensure that the practice-led teaching is relevant to industry and practice. Our staff are  well placed to take advantage of a range of professional networks and industry contact. Each module is designed with practical components  and a reflective component, with the intention that students develop an ability to comment on and justify their creative process.

When not attending timetabled lectures or workshops, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve skills development through online study, reading books and articles, working on individual and group projects and preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, specialist facilities, such as edit suites, the library, the full Microsoft Office software, including MS Teams, and Moodle: our Virtual Learning Environment.

Academic support

Our academic support team provides help in a range of areas - including learning and disability support.

Personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of the academic course team who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at UEL and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer. 

Workload

Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials or a combination. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours
  • Year 2: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours
  • Year 3: scheduled teaching  - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours

Timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

For most modules, class sizes will be up to 20 students. For some modules, which may be shared with another course, it may be up to 50.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

We use different forms of teaching and assessment on this course, including formal lectures, small group workshops, research exercises, individual portfolios and extended pieces of written work. In some modules, you have the opportunity to produce and present your work in groups.

You also have the opportunity to engage in digital production and presentation of textual material in MediaLab. In your final year, you'll carry out a dissertation project that will allow you to develop an extended piece of creative writing based on your own area of interest and research.

We assess modules at the end of the semester. We use a range of different modes of assessment, including portfolios, short and extended creative writing assignments, essays and presentations.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: 50% coursework, 20% practical, 30% exams
  • Year 2: 50% coursework, 20% practical, 30% exams
  • Year 3: 50% coursework, 20% practical, 30% exams

You'll always receive written or audio feedback, outlining your strengths and how you can improve. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Helena Blakemore

Helena Blakemore is a Senior Lecturer on BA Creative & Professional Writing and is also Quality Leader for the School of Arts & Creative Industries.

Read more

Roberta Garrett

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and PhD supervisor.

Read more

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

The course allows you the space to really explore your writer's voice. There is encouragement to push yourself creatively, while also exploring critical theory to understand fully where your writing fits within the literary canon. It gives you a deeper understanding of who you are as a writer and how you can achieve the work you wish to create.

Naida Redgrave

BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

We're proud of the success stories which keep blossoming from our course. We even have a couple of graduates now going toe-to-toe in the battle of the soaps!

Danielle Jawando, who studied here for both her BA and MA, has recently been writing for major TV soap operas, while talented young playwright Jonny O'Neill had his first EastEnders episode screened in September 2014.

Jawando attributes much of her success to the support she received from her tutors here. "I developed the confidence to try new things and most importantly, to send my work out," she recalls.

As a result, she was shortlisted to write for Emmerdale and had a short story published while still studying at UEL. O'Neill, meanwhile, has seen his debut play, The Royal Duchess Superstore, open on the professional stage in London.

Our course can open all sorts of other workplace doors, too, because it hones and enhances so many transferable skills suitable for different professions. 

Employers want applicants with the sort of communication and writing skills you'll learn here. Our students have gone on to work in areas such as screenwriting, copywriting, teaching and journalism.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.