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Home > Courses > Courses for 2017 > Undergraduate > English and Creative Writing
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English and Creative Writing BA

UCAS code QW38
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
3 years full time
Department English »

 

By combining the study of creative writing with English, you'll become an informed and critical reader as well as a confident and expressive writer - whether specialising as a poet, playwright, or author of fiction.

Studying at one of the UK's most dynamic English departments will challenge you to develop your own critical faculties. Learning to write creatively and critically analyse in tandem, you'll be exposed to a huge variety of literature while you develop your own writing practice. Studying English will allow you to place your writing within a wider cultural context of literature throughout history, considering key texts and acquiring a sound understanding of significant periods, genres, authors and ideas.

Course units are taught by nationally and internationally known scholars, authors, playwrights and poets who are specialists in their fields who write ground-breaking books, talk or write in the national media and appear at literary festivals around the world.  This means the course you take covers the most up-to-date ideas, whether in Creative Writing, Victorian Literature, Shakespearean studies or contemporary literature.

  • Find your voice as a writer and develop writing techniques.
  • Learn how to create, criticise and shape an artistic work: a valuable life skill with uses beyond writing poetry, plays or novels.  From journalism and website creation to advertising and academic publishing – you'll be able to use the skills you pick up in character, voice, ambiguity, style and cultural context.
  • Join the ranks of our creative writers who have gone on to national recognition, taught by high-profile authors and poets including Jo Shapcott, Douglas Cowie and Ben Markovits.
  • You'll have access to 11 Bedford Square, Royal Holloway’s campus in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, a hub for creative work.
  • Gain a solid knowledge of the whole range of English literature from its beginnings to its latest developments, ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Salman Rushdie.

Core modules

Year 1

The core modules in English Literature are:

Critical Foundations - Thinking as a Critic

The aim of this module is to help you make the transition into university level work by introducing you to reading, writing and thinking as a critic. The module focuses on developing the abilities and skills of literary criticism and introducing the concepts, ideas and histories that are central to English as a discipline, including questions about interpretation, periodization, form, genre, canon, value, intention, narrative, voice, framing and identity. 

Re-orienting the Novel

This module introduces you to the origins, developments and innovations of the novel form through a range of contemporary, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels. Organised thematically, the module considers earlier novels in relation to contemporary examples. 

Introduction to Poetry

This module is designed to introduce you to a variety of major poems in English from the Renaissance to the present day. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a wide range of poems from Shakespeare to the present; a familiarity with a variety of poetic forms; an understanding of how poetry functions; and the necessary skills for analysing poetic technique.

Creative Writing: Introduction to Creative Writing

This module is designed to introduce you to the problems and challenges of writing creatively generally and to the specific problems and challenges connected to writing in specific genres: fiction, drama and poetry. In the first term you will look at all three genres as part of a general introduction, while beginning to focus on fiction – and the short story – towards the end of term. The second term is split into two five-week sessions, one on poetry and one on drama. 

Creative Writing: Why Write?

This course introduces you to a range of historical perspectives on the function, forms, and value of creative writing. You will investigate the genesis of particular genres such as the short story, the novel and the manifesto, and will have an opportunity to work to the templates and prescriptions set out by these historical thinkers, as a means both to understand their demands and to investigate the relationships between historical genres and the contemporary writer. The course aims to encourage you to interrogate your own assumptions about creative writing and think critically about the relationship between creative writing and society.

Year 2

All modules are optional

Year 3

Creative Writing: Creative Writing Special Focus

The Creative Writing Special Focus concentrates on a particular mode of writing, genre, theme, issue or idea. Each focus draws on an individual staff area of interest and expertise, with the focus changing each term. You will take one particular focus in the Autumn term and one in the Spring and will be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and to develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer. This will make an important connection between the creative ambitions of the module and writing beyond the University.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

The core modules in English Literature are:

Introduction to Medieval Literature

This module introduces you to the earliest literary writings in English, covering a span of eight hundred years, from 700 to 1500. You will cover an extensive range of genres and texts - from Beowulf to Arthurian romance, and dream vision to religious drama, and think about issues of vital concern and interest to medieval writers and audiences: religion, love, violence, the supernatural, and kingship and society.

Shakespeare

This module facilitates a deeper - as well as a more pleasurable and rewarding - understanding of the range of Shakespeare’s work. You will be encouraged to think about the plays as theatre as well as printed literature, although a main feature of the course will be its close attention to the extraordinary fertility and force of Shakespeare’s dramatic language. While paying close attention to Shakespeare’s very different historical context in the Renaissance, the module will be equally concerned with the question of whether the plays are still relevant to us today.

Optional modules in English Literature include:

Middle English Poetry

 

Medieval Drama

 

Tolkien's Roots - Old English Poetry and Modern Medievalism

 

Medieval Dream and Vision

 

Medieval Epic and Romance

 

The Gawain-Poet

 

Myths of Origin in Old English Literature

 

Old English Riddles

 

Love, Honour, Obey' - Literature, 1525 to 1670

 

Intensive Shakespeare - Comedy, History, Tragedy

 

Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642

 

Theatre and The City, 1590 to 1625

 

Early Modern Bodies

 

Paradise in Early Modern Literature

 

Gender and Writing in the Eighteenth Century

 

Eighteenth Century Bodies

 

The Age of Oppositions - Literature, 1660 to 1780

 

Tristram Shandy and the Experimental Novel

 

Fictions of Sensation

 

Victoria Literature

 

Romanticisms

 

Creative Writing - Structure and Style

 

Writing Migrant Identities

 

Enivornmental Literatures

 

Four National Poets - Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Lochhead and Paula Meehan

 

Literature of The Fin de Siècle

 

British Drama from Shaw to Priestly

 

Dark Reform - Scandal and Satire in American Culture

 

Contemporary Debates in Literary and Critical Theory

 

Modernist Literature

 

Creative Writing: Playwriting

Creative Writing: Fiction

Creative Writing: Poetry

Year 3

Creative Writing: Playwriting 2

Creative Writing: Fiction 2

Creative Writing: Poetry 2

Optional modules in English Literature include:

A Marriage of Minds?

 

Special Author Project - Joseph Conrad

 

Special Author Project - Virginia Woolf

 

Special Author Project - Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales

 

Special Author Project - The Brontes

 

Special Author Project - John Donne

 

Special Author Project - Charles Dickens

 

Special Author Project - Thomas Hardy

 

Special Author Project - J.M. Coetzee

 

Special Author Project - Samuel Beckett

 

Special Author Project - Christopher Marlowe

 

Special Author Project - Oscar Wilde

 

Of Circumference - Reading Emily Dickinson

 

Rewriting Mythologies in 20th Century Literature

 

Character - Literary Persons, Selfhood and Interiority in Early Modern Literature

 

Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture

 

Special Topic - The Girl in the Book

 

The Post-Colonial Novel - the Art of Resistance

 

The Pre-Raphaelite Movement in Art and Literature

 

Byron, Modernity and Europe, 1780 to 1830

 

Sex, Death and Celebrity - Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama

 

African-American Literature

 

Science Fiction

 

The Literature of Chicago

 

Theatre and the City - 1590 to 1730

 

Visual and Verbal in the Long Nineteenth Century

 

The New York Schools - Poetry, Painting and Music in the 1950s

 

The Nineteen Thirties, Fiction and the Road to War

 

Vernacular Writing

 

Tolkien's Roots - Old English Poetry and Modern Medievalism

 

Old English Riddles

 

Witchcraft and Drama, 1576 to 1642

 

Paradise in Early Modern English Literature

 

Middle English Poetry

 

Medieval Epic and Romance

 

Beowulf and The Critics

 

Literature and Philosophy

 

Fictions of Sensation

 

Writing Migrant Identities

 

Advanced Romanticism - The 18teens

 

Children's Literature

 

The Art of Noise

 

A Year in the Life of Victorian Fiction - 1855

 

The Lives of Writing

 

Ethics and Aesthetics in the novels of J.M. Coetzee

 

Reading Beowulf

 

Medieval Drama

 

Old English Literature

 

Advanced Shakespeare - The Problem Plays

 

Early Modern Bodies

 

Medieval Dream and Vision

 

Painting / Writing

 

Gender and Writing in the Eighteenth Century

 

Tristram Shandy and the Experimental Novel

 

Everyday Literature

 

Queer Histories - Contemporary Gay and Lesbian British and Irish Fiction

 

Odysseus' Scar - Time in Modern Literature and Film

 

Pastoral

 

Visual and Verbal in the Long Nineteenth Century

 

The Great American Novella

 

Exploring James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake

 

Tragedy

 

Literatures of Genocide and Atrocity

 

Shakespeare in Stages - Shakespearen Adaptation across Four Centuries

 

Shakespearean Echoes, Off shoots and Responses

 

Special Topic: Ideas in Contemporary Fiction

 

Poetic Practice

 

The Brontës

 

Reading The Waste Land

 

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, and participate in study groups, essay consultations and guided independent study, plus you wil produce a portfolio of creative work. In your first year, you will also work in small groups of just four or five students focusing on study skills such as close reading, essay writing and presentation and self-editing. As you progress through your degree, these tutorials focus on your own personal development, for instance working on your CV. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

You will also take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

Your first year results do not count towards your final degree award, however your second and third year do.

All undergraduate degree courses at Royal Holloway are based on the course unit system. This system provides an effective and flexible approach to study, while ensuring that our degrees have a coherent and developmental structure.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is 
    being taken
Required/preferred subjects

Required subjects:

  • A Level, Grade A English Literature or English Language & Literature
  • At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English

A portfolio of creative writing will be required.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level, including 6 in Higher Level English Literature and 32 points overall, plus portfolio

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, plus grade A in A level English Literature or English Language & Literature, plus portfolio

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, plus grade A in A level English Literature or English Language & Literature, plus portfolio

BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction in a related subject, plus A levels grades A,B including A in English Literature or English Language & Literature, plus portfolio

Welsh Baccalaureate

A non-subject specified A Level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers

AB at Advanced Higher Level inc A in English Literature or English Literature & Language plus Higher Level requirements, plus portfolio

Scottish Highers

AABBB plus Advanced Higher requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H2 in English Literature or English Lit/Lang at Higher Level, plus portfolio

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit and Distinction in all Level 3 English studies units. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if applicants have had a considerable break from education. We will also need a portfolio submission.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below



Please select a qualification

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Taking a degree in English sets you up with great prospects for future employability.  On the course itself we place a strong emphasis on your future employability, meaning the skills that you gain won’t just be applicable to the study of English.

Although many of our students go on to further study in literature and other fields, skills such as research, presentation, teamwork, negotiation and communication will prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities.  Recent graduate have gone on to careers in:

  • Accountancy and banking
  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Media, PR and journalism
  • Teaching
  • Theatre and arts

We currently run a structured work placement scheme, placing students with The Daily Telegraph, the Press Association, BBC Newsnight, publishers, literary agencies and media companies in London.  By taking part in the scheme and you will boost your employability, build your CV, and develop real skills to help you choose and prepare for a career.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £14,000

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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