Academic Profile: Creative Writing | English and creative writing

What you will learn
Creative writing is learning to write creatively and analyze critically at the same time. You will study the techniques used by renowned writers to improve your abilities, while developing your own voice as a writer. Courses may be taught by published authors. Studying the subject provides students with a safe and supportive environment in which to grow and flourish as writers – whether in prose, poetry or creative non-fiction.

How are you going to learn
Teaching is a mixture of lectures and seminars. Working in small groups helps you hone skills such as self-editing, so you can critique your own work, and careful reading, so you can get the most out of the texts you will study. Most courses will also help you produce your own portfolio of creative work. At Royal Holloway, for example, you’ll be taught by a mix of experts, authors, playwrights and poets. In terms of assessments, most places are 100% coursework, but some institutions do essay assessments. You will submit portfolios covering a range of genres, such as poetry, prose and plays. At London Metropolitan University, students work in conjunction with the theatre, art and photography departments to create a book.

Some courses are taught by well-known writers, so it’s worth looking at what’s on offer. Also consider contact hours. Students often receive around 10 hours of weekly contact time. For every hour spent in class, you will be required to complete four to six additional hours of independent study.

Entry requirements
At least an A level in an essay-based arts and humanities subject is expected.

What job can I get?
Creative writing can go a long way, thanks to the combination of analytical and creative skills. You can then work in publishing, media, the public sector, education, business or the creative arts. Graduates will also be well placed for a career in advertising or marketing.