Bachelor of Arts (BA)
3 years full-time
27 September 2021
Department of Study
Warwick Writing Programme
Location of Study
University of Warwick
Studying English Literature and Creative Writing (BA) at Warwick will transform your understanding of literature, of yourself, and of the world. It will also fully prepare you to thrive in any profession that values intellectual rigour, creativity, and the ability to communicate a message that matters.
Creative work can happen anywhere, but you can learn the craft of writing and enjoy working with other young writers in a place of energy and new ideas in our new School of Creative Arts, Visual Cultures and Performance. If you intend to pursue a career as an author, or to work in the creative industries or teaching, this practical course will teach you about the creative writing process and help you become a better reader, with a deeper understanding of literary theories and texts. You will be taught by practising and award-winning writers, bridging the gap between academic and creative approaches to literature. Our course is number one for creative writing in the UK (Times/Sunday Times University Guide 2021) and number three in the Complete University Guide 2021.
You will undertake real-world writing tasks and will regularly meet, engage with and learn from industry professionals, including publishers, editors, literary agents, poets and authors. Our graduates leave with advanced communicative, imaginative and critical abilities, plus practical and vocational literary writing skills including composition, interpretation and evaluation. In addition, you will develop argument, analysis and debating skills, and a capacity for independent thought. Many of our graduates have become professional writers, poets, dramatists, filmmakers, and performers.
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 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.
How will I learn?
Practising writers deliver teaching through workshops and seminars. Also, writers and publishers visit and work with you in our Writers' Room, the first purpose-built space for writers in a UK university. 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.
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.
Guided learning of typically eight contact hours per week. Seminars are usually 1.5 hours each.
Targeted teaching with class sizes of 10 - 15 students (on average).
How will I be assessed?
Assessment is a combination of creative projects, portfolios, essays, 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.
As a student on our English degrees, you will have the opportunity to spend your third year at one of our partner institutions in Europe, China or the USA. You will then return to Warwick to complete your fourth and final year of your degree.
You will be able to apply to transfer to the four-year course when you are in your second year at Warwick, subject to availability of places from the University's International Office.
General entry requirements
- AAA/A*AB to include grade A in English Literature/English Language and Literature (combined)
- 38 to include 6 at Higher Level in English Literature or combined English Language and Literature
- We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside A level English Literature/English Language and Literature (combined).
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only).
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Modes of Writing
This is a core module for first-year undergraduates reading for the degree QW38 English Literature and Creative Writing. The module is 100% fully assessed. The module complements The Written World and prepares you for the more specialist writing modules in years two and three such as Composition and Creative Writing, The Practice of Poetry, The Practice of Fiction and The Personal Writing Project. The module also complements other academic optional modules in which writing, imitation, rhetoric or translation may be practised or studied.
Medieval to Renaissance English Literature
Taking you from the mythical court of King Arthur to the real world of ambition, intrigue, and danger in the courts of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, this module introduces you to early literature written in a range of genres (romance, epic, fabliau) and poetic forms. You will study texts like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Thomas More’s Utopia, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets to explore some of the period’s highest ideals—‘trawthe’ or integrity—as well as some of humanity’s darkest impulses: greed, deception, revenge, and desire.
Epic into Novel
Tracking the transition from the epics of the ancient world to the novels of modernity, this module introduces you to some of the most influential and formative works of world literature. You will study central texts of the classical world, such as Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid; ancient Indian epic The Mahābhārata; Milton’s Paradise Lost; as well as novels like Henry Fielding’s bawdy comedy Tom Jones and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o’s novel of decolonising Kenya, A Grain of Wheat. Reading across history and cultures, between languages and genres, you will develop the skills to analyse narrative, character, and style.
The Written World
This module will introduce students on the BA in English Literature and Creative Writing to ideas and theories from literary studies, linguistics, critical theory, translation studies and cultural studies that will underpin more specialised scholarly and creative study in the second and third years.
Composition and Creative Writing
You will develop your fiction writing through practice of the processes involved, from inception, through drafting and revision, to considerations of audience. You will gain insights into the narrative form, including traditional and experimental methods and the routes of literary production.
Personal Writing Project
The Personal Writing Project is especially useful for students who seriously intend a career as a professional writer or are considering a post-graduate degree in creative writing. It is a fully assessed piece of independent, guided work to produce a substantial and original portfolio of short fiction, or an excerpt from a longer work of fiction, or poetry, or new writing for stage/screen. The module enables creative writers to work closely with a practitioner in a specific genre for two terms, allowing the student to specialise at a crucial time of their development as a writer. For poets it should be viewed as preparation for submission for an Eric Gregory Award and/or the basis of your first collection.
Examples of optional modules/options for current students:
- The Practice of Poetry
- The Practice of Fiction
- Advanced Screenwriting
- Poetry in English Since 1945
- US Writing and Culture 1780-1920
- Romantic and Victorian Poetry
- The Seventeenth Century
- Game Theory: Interactive and Video Game Narratives
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including:
- Bloomsbury Publishing
- British Council
- Cambridge University Press
- Channel 4
- Civil Service
- The Forward Poetry Foundation
- Pan Macmillan
- The Poetry Society
- Penguin/Random House
- Royal Opera House
- The Society of Authors
- The Sunday Times
- Teach First
They have pursued roles such as:
- Journalists, newspaper, and periodical editors
- Creative directors
- Arts officers, producers, and directors
- Authors, writers, dramatists, poets, and translators
- Musicians and composers
- Marketing associate professionals
- Academics and researchers
- Higher Education administrators
Helping you find the right career
Our School has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Examples of workshops and events include:
- Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
- Careers in Publishing and Journalism
- Careers in the Public Sector
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
"As I reach the end of my degree, I have a vast portfolio of work, the beginnings of a novel, an amazing network of friends who write amazing things, and the support and advice of the Writing Programme’s tutors. The degree has provided the tools to improve, promote, and continue with my writing. As a writer (which, thanks to my tutors, I now feel comfortable calling myself). I’d recommend it to anyone who sees a future for themselves in their writing".
English Literature and Creative Writing Graduate
This information is applicable for 2021 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.