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English Literature and Creative Writing

English and creative writing at Warwick

Why study English Literature and Creative Writing at Warwick?

Creativity can arise anywhere. But there’s something inspirational about being in an environment infused with spontaneity and energy. These are attributes that can only aid your creative writing. They are attributes that have long been associated with Warwick’s English Literature and Creative Writing degree.

This degree first allows you to gain an understanding of English Literature from its mythological origins to the here and now. It then enables you to find your own voice as a writer. And, due to the varied and innovative ways that assessment is provided, the course gives students the opportunity to develop an impressive portfolio of work before they graduate.

There’s an acclaimed list of writers associated with the course too, which includes the likes of A.L. Kennedy, David Vann, Sarah Moss, David Morley, and Maureen Freely.

How will my degree be structured?

In your first year you will gain the foundation you need to become a better reader and writer. In Modes of Writing we explore writing in its different forms, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and writing for performance and new media. Through studying Medieval to Renaissance English Literature you will appreciate the context of contemporary beliefs and social developments. Epic into Novel shows you the building blocks of literary tradition in Europe and beyond. This module will give you an understanding of some of the great texts of classical and modern times. Last, our new module The Written World will introduce you to the outlines of literary theory where we focus on texts that are important as an emerging writer.

As a second year you will progress to Composition and Creative Writing in which you explore and deepen your practice of fiction and nonfiction. You will take a module from before 1900, as well as any module from the English department or another University department.

In your final year you will progress to the Personal Writing Project, your opportunity to work one-to-one with a tutor of your choice on an extensive piece of writing in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, screenwriting or a genre of your choice. In addition you will select global literature module(s) as well as any module from English Literature, Creative Writing or another University department.

Modules you might take at Warwick

How will I be taught?

Most core modules in your first year are taught by means of one lecture and one seminar per week in terms one and two. In your second and third years, optional modules are normally taught by means of one seminar per week. Practising writers deliver teaching through workshops and work placements. Also, writers and publishers visit and work with you in our Writers' Room, the first purpose-built space for writers in a UK university.

Working together we will improve your own writing, and your confidence as performers through writing workshops and live performances. You will be encouraged to attend and participate at spoken word events in the local area, including Leamington Spa’s ‘Shoot From the Lip’, Birmingham’s ‘Hit the Ode’ and ‘Bang Said the Gun' in London.

Contact hours
Guided learning of typically eight contact hours per week. Seminars are usually 1.5 hours each.

Class size
Targeted teaching with class sizes of 10 - 15 students (on average).

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is a combination of traditional essays and written examinations together with creative projects, portfolios and performance. For example, in our Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of his Time module, student creative work recently included film and radio adaptations, musical compositions, painting, sculpture and photography inspired by Shakespeare's texts.

Entry requirements

We require Advanced or Higher level qualifications in English Literature, normally grade A (predicted or achieved). A level English Language is acceptable in addition to English Literature, but is not normally acceptable as a substitute. Combined A level English Language and Literature is acceptable, providing you can show evidence of wider reading in literature in your Personal Statement.

You must also be able to demonstrate a convincing commitment to creative writing.

We now interview online. Having reviewed your UCAS application, we will write (by email) asking some applicants to submit a portfolio and to answer some questions. The portfolio can include poems, creative non-fiction, short stories, a play or screenplay, or a combination of genres. It should be between eight to ten pages long, entirely original and not include any schoolwork or assessments. The questions are intended to see how you think about texts and about the nature and role of creative writing. The answers need not be long!

The portfolio and answers should be submitted promptly by email – there will be full details in our email. Having read your portfolio and answers, we would then be able to make offers (via UCAS in the usual way) to successful applicants and to invite you to a post offer visit day in February or March so we can –finally – meet each other.

Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to spend a year abroad at one of the University's partner institutions in Europe, America or Asia.

Warwick Writing Programme

By choosing the English Literature and Creative Writing degree you'll also be part of a larger programme of ideas and practice – the Warwick Writing Programme – an internationally-acclaimed programme drawing authors, students and staff from across the world.

Student blogs

Find out what our students say about studying at Warwick. Our student blogs are written by current students, studying and often living on campus.

Meet our alumni

Hear from Warwick graduates Tim and Ben, and see where their English Literature and Creative Writing degree has taken them.