By combining the study of Creative Writing with Drama, you'll gain a deeper understanding of how theatre performance and creative writing interact - whether you specialise as a playwright, or choose to take the poetry or fiction options in creative writing.
Choosing to study Drama at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world. You'll create performances, analyse texts, and bring a range of critical ideas to bear on both. On this course the text and the body, thinking and doing, work together. There's no barrier between theory and practice: theory helps you understand and make the most of practice, while practice sheds light on theory. By moving between the two, you'll find your place as an informed theatre-maker, and by studying a variety of practices, by yourself and with others, you'll get knowledge of the industry as a whole, and learn how your interests could fit into the bigger picture.
We are top-rated for teaching and research, with a campus community recognised for its creativity. Our staff cover a huge range of theatre and performance studies, but we're particularly strong in contemporary British theatre, international and intercultural performance, theatre history, dance and physical theatre, and contemporary performance practices.
Studying Creative Writing at one of the UK's most dynamic English departments will challenge you to develop your own critical faculties. Learning to write creatively, you'll develop your own writing practice.
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.
- Complementary disciplines for the aspiring playwright.
- Explore creative skills including dance or puppetry.
- Assessment through performance and coursework.
- Specialise in different literary forms: poetry, playwriting or fiction.
- Build a portfolio, creating, critiquing and shaping your own artistic work.
Core ModulesYear 1
Introduction to Creative Writing
In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of literary and cultural writing forms through reading, discussion and practice. You will look at poetry, drama and prose fiction alongside stand-up comedy, adaptation, translation, songwriting, and other forms of creative expression and articulation. You will learn how to offer clear, constructive, sensitive critical appraisals, and how to accept and appropriately value criticism of your own work.
Why Write? The History and Theory of Creative Writing
In this module you will develop an understanding of a range historical perspectives on the function, forms, and value of creative writing. You will look at the genesis of particular genres, such as the short story, the novel and the manifesto, and consider relationships between historical genres and the contemporary writer. You will interrogate your own assumptions about creative writing and critically examine the relationship between creative writing and society.
- Theatre and Performance Making 1
- Theatre and Text
Creative Writing Special Focus
This module 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 be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer.
- Playwriting 2
- Fiction 2
- Poetry 2
Optional ModulesYear 1
- All modules are core
- Theatre and Performance Making: Devising
- Theatre and Performance Making: Theatre Directing
- Theatre and Performance Making: Acting for Camera
- Theatre and Performance Making: Dance and Theatre
- Theatre and Performance Making: Scenography
- Theatre and Text: Staging the Real
- Theatre and Text: Decoding debbie tucker green
- Shakespeare, Ecology and Performance
- Theatre and Culture: Theatre for Young Audiences
- Theatre and Culture: Cultures of Memory
- Theatre and Culture: Dancing Bodies, Global Culture
- Theatre and Ideas: Ideas of Gender and Sexuality
- Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Tragedy
- Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Adaptation
- Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of the Musical
- Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Acting
- Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Money
- Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Casting
- Love, Gender and Sexuality
- Race Relations in Theatre, Film and Television
- Naturalist Theatre in Context
- Creative Learning and Theatre
- Physical Theatre
- Stage to Screen: Adaptation and Performance of Plays on Film
- The Actor's Voice
- Actor Training in a Globalised World
- Group Project
- Final Year Project - Special Study
- Final Year Project - Dissertation
- Taught Dissertation
Teaching & assessment
Each year, you'll take two modules in each subject. Drama explores a whole range of dramatic and theatrical forms, conventions, periods, traditions and activities. You'll learn how to get intellectual ideas across in presentations and through performance. You'll also learn to work well in teams. In your first year, a foundation course, you'll get a grounding in contemporary theatremaking and critical theories. In your second and final years, you'll study alongside single honours students, taking half of your modules in Drama.
In your first year of Creative Writing, you'll take two introductory modules, before going on in your second year to specialise in two literary forms. In your final year, you'll wrap up by taking one of those forms to honours level.
The course has a flexible structure: students take twelve course units, four per year. Some are compulsory, and others you can choose. In your second and third years, you'll make up the marks that count for your final degree award. You'll also take a study skills course during your first year, to equip you with writing skills to make your degree count. This course won't count towards your final degree, but you'll need to take it to pass on to second year.
You'll be assessed through examinations, essays, seminar presentations, practical assignments and creative portfolios. In Drama modules, you'll often be assessed as part of a group.
A Levels: AAB-ABB
Required: A Level Grade A in English Literature or English Language & Literature and at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C or 9-4 including Maths and English
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.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 7.0 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 69 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE IV.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here. 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.
Your future career
There are plenty of performance opportunities to get stuck into while you're here, and they'll stand you in good stead when you graduate. You'll be familiar and confident in performance situations (skills which are vital for leading meetings and make you viable for visible leadership roles). You'll come off as credible and composed. You'll also walk away with considerable experience of technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills, valued by most employers. Aside from these performance skills, you'll also get skills in research and project management from the academic side of the course.
Our industry links mean you'll be able to pursue work experience with theatres and creative arts agencies. Recent graduates in the Department of Drama & Theatre have gone into careers in acting, writing, broadcasting (including at the BBC), literary agency, arts management, sound design, marketing/PR, teaching and community theatre work, as well as postgraduate study in different fields. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies. Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £16900
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs with studying this course greater than £50 per item. It is a requirement to purchase a pair of safety boots in the first year, for which a range of cost options are available. Ticket costs for mandatory theatre trips are capped at £10.
*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 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.