We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > Courses > Undergraduate > English and Creative Writing
More in this section English

English and Creative Writing BA

Please note that information shown below may be subject to change.

UCAS code
Year of entry
View 2018 entry »
Course length
3 years full time
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

Introduction to Creative Writing
Why Write? The History and Theory of Creative Writing
Re-Orienting the Novel
Thinking as a Critic
Introducing English Poetry

Year 2

All modules are optional

Year 3

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

Year 3

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.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 16% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 84% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 17% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 83% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 16% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 84% in guided independent study.


Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 30% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 70% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Practical exams account for 3% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 97% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Coursework accounts for 100% of the total assessment for this year of study.

Typical offers

Typical offers

AAB-ABB including English grade A
How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.
  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
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 or 9-4 including Maths and English
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

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

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Not accepted

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

BTEC National Extended Certificate

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

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

Scottish Advanced Highers

AAB-ABB including A in English Literature or English Literature & Language

Scottish Highers

AAABB including A in English Literature or English Literature & Language

Irish Leaving Certificate

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

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit. All level 3 English studies units must be passed with Distinction. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is only acceptable if applicants have had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

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*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year**: £16,500

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 about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates has not yet been confirmed for students starting a degree in the academic year 2019/20.

**Fees for international students starting a degree at Royal Holloway in the academic year 2019/20 have not yet been set, and those for 2018/19 are shown for reference purposes only. Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and 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.

Back to course search results


Related degrees


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback