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Fees and Funding

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

Overview

BA (Hons) Creative Writing (Screen) is about writing for and about screen-based entertainment. The course covers a wide variety of creative writing centred on screen media. This includes scriptwriting for film, television and the web.

In addition, crucially, it also covers film and television criticism, as well as thinking and writing academically about media, within the discipline known as 'screenwriting studies'.

By Level 6, you will have discovered your own area of interest and will complete a dissertation/major project in their specific form. In all areas of specialisation, the emphasis is on gaining understanding and producing work that leads to employability in the UK media industry and related fields. 

What makes this course different

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Placement

Optional placement year available

Golden trophy

1st

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

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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.

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.

DOWNLOAD COURSE SPECIFICATIONS

This course is subject to validation. You can still apply for this course while it is being approved.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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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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    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.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth: Professional Life 2

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

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply several of the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 4 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    This module will help students develop: an understanding of job market forces and influences; required skills to enable them to make successful applications for a job in the architecture sector; effective representation in interviews; opportunities to gain work experience in an architectural practice (as a placement) to learn more about how to apply their knowledge and learning in practice.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will use a design project chosen and set by the academic staff. This may be a competition or a live project. In so doing, they will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences they have learnt elsewhere

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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.

  • Optional Modules
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    Optional placement

    This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 

    The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Life 3 (Mental Wealth)

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

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein they will advance the areas identified at level 5 for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, students will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop their reflective skills, self-awareness, ‘life style’ and ‘self-care’ approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    Students will have the opportunity to select an in-house microbusiness / life briefs and commissions to join in the role of ‘Manager’. In this position they will oversee the successful operation of the enterprise, coach and mentor students new to the programme and lead those working in ‘producer’ roles. Working collaboratively with peers and academic staff, they will ensure the effective delivery of a live project by managing people and physical resources. In doing so they will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences learnt elsewhere in their studies (and from external activities ) required in the workplace.

    Students will have the opportunity to enter external facing industry / live briefs such as D&AD New Blood Awards, AOP Student Awards, Sony student competition, Lensculture, Life Framer etc. in order to leverage their raise and improve their employment prospects.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

UEL's BA (Hons) Creative Writing (Screen) is focused on writing both for and about film, television and web-based creative projects. As a screenwriter, you will learn to create works for all screen-based media. As a critic, you will learn to analyse and write about screen media, both for popular and academic audiences.

You will find that each of the skills you develop will help to inform the others. Your expertise as a screenwriter will aid you in understanding film, television and web programmes as a popular critic. Your understanding of academic approaches to screenwriting criticism will help you to frame debates that influence popular culture. And all your critical output will make you a better screenwriter.

When you have completed this degree, you will be able to write creative scripts across all screen-based media. You will also have gained skills to review and critique film, television and web output, both in the popular press and as an academic critic in the growing field of screenwriting studies.

When not attending timetabled lectures you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve reading, working on individual and group projects, and undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and Moodle.

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

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of staff 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.

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. 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


Your individualised timetable is normally available to students 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.

Our creative writing classes tend to have intimate cohorts where each student gets the personal attention they need. Although numbers vary by academic year, we value the closeness that arises in our year groups.

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.

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Roberta Garrett

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and PhD supervisor.

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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.

So many professional scriptwriters also write about the screen, either as popular critics or from an academic perspective. It has always surprised me that scriptwriting courses don’t explore writing about screen as well as for it. That’s why we’ve created Creative Writing (Screen) here at UEL. Our breadth of study not only enhances your career options, the knowledge you’ll gain will enhance your scripts, as well.

Dr Terry Bailey

Course Leader, Creative Writing (Screen) BA (Hons)

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.