BA (Hons) Creative Writing with foundation year

Are you passionate about the creative use of words How they can inform, persuade, provoke or terrify? Our BA (Hons) Creative Writing with foundation year degree, taught by a dedicated team of professional writers, aims to help you develop your writing and harness your creativity so you can turn your ideas, abilities and ambitions into achievements.

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

4 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

UCAS points:

48

UCAS code:

W810

Start date:

21/09/2020

Course Details

Our BA (Hons) Creative Writing with foundation year degree explores ‘how to put the best possible words in the best possible order’. Your imagination is boundless and we’ll help you to focus and control your ideas to give them shape, energy and structure. Our dedicated team of professional writers and lecturers will guide you on a journey through the worlds of prose, poetry and drama, and contemporary creative practice.

Beginning with a foundation year designed to nurture your development of core analytical and key study skills for the creative disciplines, we’ll support you in exploring the rich, expressive potential of the English language and your development of the crafts of writing. Together we’ll examine, from a writer’s point of view, a wide range of creative work in various forms. Small group teaching and one-to-one support are central to our approach, allowing our expert team to offer personalised guidance that’s tailored specifically for you.

You’ll have opportunities to refine and develop your skills at every stage, from initial concept, through planning, background research and first drafts, to editing, re-writing and self-critique. Throughout the course, you’ll gain confidence, skills and knowledge, preparing you for a successful career in a multitude of industries.

Highlights
  • The Guardian University Guide 2020 ranks the University of Bolton as second in the UK for the study of English and Creative Writing.
  • Also, our Creative Writing courses are top in the North West and second in the UK for student satisfaction according to The Complete University Guide 2020.
  • Our dedicated lecturers are active professional writers and researchers whose work continues to be published, or produced on stage, screen or radio. They bring this wealth of expertise and practical knowledge to their teaching.
  • We have excellent industry contacts and strong links with external creative organisations such as publishers, production companies, theatres, libraries, art galleries, schools, funding bodies and arts development agencies that allow us to offer work experience placements in a wide variety of settings.
  • In particular, our partnership with the nationally acclaimed Octagon Theatre, Bolton means you have opportunities for privileged access to rehearsals, dress rehearsals, professional actors and directors, and discounted tickets for productions.
  • In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the Octagon Student Prize. Awarded annually for outstanding achievement in writing drama, the winning piece is given a professional presentation with practitioners.
  • We’ll encourage you to submit your work to our ISSN recognised literary magazine ‘The Bolton Review’, and to our annual poetry competition.
  • The annual New Writing Showcase offers you a chance to perform your work at the Bolton Octagon Studio or similar venue.
  • As a Creative Writing student, you'll be eligible to enter work for the Carcanet Poetry Prize and for the And Other Stories Fiction Prize.
Key Features
  • All our lecturers are professional writers and researchers who’ve produced and continue to publish poetry, prose, plays and papers with national and international periodicals and imprints.
  • Experimentation is encouraged and you’ll be introduced to many different types of writing, from creative to critical, to help you develop your voice and gain awareness of the enormous variety of careers that creative writing skills support.
  • We offer a friendly and supportive intellectual community. You’ll be encouraged to get to know your peers from other subjects such as English, Theatre, and Media, Writing and Production, with whom you’ll be participating in a variety of external creative events and/or collaborative projects.
  • There’ll be guest lectures from professionals from all aspects of the writing industry: producers, scriptwriters, poets, novelists, agents, publishers, promoters, and directors. Names you may recognise such as Sally Wainwright, Patrick Ness and Jenn Ashworth have given presentations in recent years.
  • ‘Live Literature’ is our well-established, vibrant series of readings from published poets, fiction writers and playwrights, held in conjunction with Bolton Library and Museum Services.
  • We’ll work to help you develop a range of skills alongside your writing that are highly valued by employers, such as creative thinking, problem solving, communication, team working, time management, research and critical analysis, IT, cultural awareness and lifelong learning.
Professional recognition
The University of Bolton is linked via creative partnerships with Bolton’s own Octagon Theatre and Carcanet, a leading and prize-winning poetry publisher based in Manchester. The university is currently fostering links with South Yorkshire’s leading literary development organisation, The Poetry Business. Writers and lecturers who teach on the course have established links with a variety of media and organisations, including The Guardian, The Poetry Society, NAWE, The British Council and Arts Council England.

  • 48 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include English Language; for instance, A-level English Language.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language.
  • We’re happy to consider your application if you do not have the standard qualifications, but have a strong portfolio of creative written work and/or relevant previous experience that demonstrates your capacity to succeed in this degree.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


Creative Writing graduates demonstrate a range of subject-specific skills such as how to plan, research and develop ideas in writing, and the principles of writing for different audiences. Transferable skills include effective written and oral communication, creative thinking and creativity, planning and researching, presentation and proofreading, and effective social and digital media use.

Skills and experience gained outside of the curriculum are also fundamental, helping to showcase your interests and passion for writing. Many students write for and/or edit university newspapers or magazines, enter competitions or join a student writing group or society. Evidencing such activities will improve your chances of securing that graduate role, and help establish your reputation as a writer.

What can I do with this qualification?

There is a demand for good writers in every sector, and skills in this area will enable you to access many opportunities. In media, you could consider journalism, editing, researching or publishing. Copywriters also prepare advertising copy for use by publications or broadcast media to promote the sale of goods and services.

Business opportunities exist for writers in finance, professional services, administration, government, education and retail. Creative writers can write fiction or non-fiction, historical biographies or children's stories, poetry, lyrics or plays.

Technical writers develop scientific or technical materials, such as medical reports, equipment manuals, catalogues, operating and maintenance instructions, or project proposals. There are also opportunities to become self-employed and write on a freelance basis.

Some of our graduates have become professional authors. Our graduates have also moved into careers in script editing, arts administration, venue management, film and theatre, drama production, publishing, teaching, digital media content, local government and advertising.

Alternative career options

Graduates can use the qualification as a stepping stone into a range of careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. They include:

  • Writer of/for prose, poetry, stage, screen, radio
  • Publishing
  • Script editing
  • Libraries
  • Education and training
  • Arts administration
  • Social media and search engine optimisation
  • Content marketing
  • Public relations
  • Proofreading/copyediting

Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/242024/25
2020£9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250-£37,000
International Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/242024/25
2020£9,250£12,450£12,450£12,450-£46,600

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


We take a blended approach to teaching and learning that involves face-to-face sessions and online learning. You can expect a mix of seminars, lectures and tutorials, workshops, guest lectures, visits, live readings by authors and poets, self-directed study, IT sessions, library and guided study. The university’s e-learning portal Moodle supports online learning and we encourage you to use the internet for research.

Lectures introduce you to the core course content, while seminars allow you to explore subjects in greater detail, gain insights into professional practice and learn about the craft of writing for different audiences. Tutorials offer you one-to-one support, detailed feedback from tutors, and space for discussion. You’ll also undertake considerable guided, independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities and, most importantly, your own creative writing and redrafting.

Guest lectures by speakers from a variety of creative disciplines and relevant employment areas will offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and understanding further.

Formal assessment determines your final marks and allows you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes for the course. You’ll need to present coursework, for instance, creative pieces that you have written or critical commentaries on your own or other’s work.

We also use other means to help you learn, provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these don’t count towards your final module mark. In particular, you’ll receive feedback on first drafts. These will help to identify any areas which would benefit from extra attention on your part, or where you need extra support from your tutor. In your final year, you’ll benefit from direct feedback from both your tutors and classmates through the workshop method.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • The Text
  • Creativity
  • Representations
  • Ways of Reading
  • Literary Influences
  • Languages of Writing
  • Scholarship
  • Off the Page
  • Writing Poetry and Fiction
  • Stories and Narrative
  • Writing Drama
  • Writing for Short Form Media
  • Critical Dialogues
  • Writing Drama: The Turn of the Story
  • Writing Fiction: The Character of the Writing
  • Future Directions
  • Writing Poetry: The Shape of the Voice
  • Writing for Publication
  • The Writers' Room: Drama
  • The Writers' Room: Fiction
  • The Writers' Room: Poetry
  • The Writer's World
  • The Professional Author
  • Creative Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 91%, Practical exams 9%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Level threeCoursework 97%, Practical exams 3%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 73%, Placement/study abroad 3%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 24%
Level threeGuided independent study 81%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 19%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Jill Marsden
Programme Leader

J.Marsden@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903238

Ben Wilkinson
Lecturer

B.Wilkinson@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903245

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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