BA Creative Writing

BA Creative Writing students comparing notes

The BA in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts, provides exciting and diverse opportunities for writing across a broad variety of forms and genres. As well as being able to study this as a Single Honours Scheme (W801) you can study it alongside a range of other subjects within the Institute. The following Joint Honours combinations are currently available:

  • English and Creative Writing Degree (BA, 3 year)
  • Creative Writing with Art History Degree (BA, 3 year)
  • Creative Writing and Cymraeg Degree (BA, 3 year)
  • Creative Writing and Drama and Theatre Studies Degree (BA, 3 year)
  • Creative Writing and Film and Television Studies Degree (BA, 3 year) 
  • Creative Writing with Fine Art Degree (BA, 3 year)
  • Creative Writing and German Degree (BA, 4 year)
  • Creative Writing and Scenography and Theatre Design Degree (BA, 3 year)
  • Creative Writing and Spanish Degree (BA, 4 year)

Under the expert guidance of a team of award-winning writers you will develop creative skills that will enable you to work confidently and effectively in a whole host of styles that are valued and widely sought by employers. In addition, your chosen joint honours scheme will provide an additional set of knowledge and skills which will further enhance your employability and interests. You will find Creative Writing and your chosen combination both demanding and rewarding. Our aim is to stimulate, encourage and challenge your creativity, ensuring that by the end of your degree you will have not only a portfolio of exceptional creative material but also the skills and attributes to flourish in any workplace that demands dexterity with the written word.

Top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of Creative writing (NSS 2016)

Department of English and Creative Writing: 96% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

92% of undergraduates from the Department of English and Creative Writing who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)


Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing degree offers a broad curriculum that spans traditional boundaries of genre, form and purpose. You will have opportunities for experimentation with language, media, style and presentation. Immersed in a supportive and vibrant writing community, you will benefit from a whole host of opportunities to work with industry specialists in publishing, performing and developing your work. At Aberystwyth you will become part of a flourishing creative scene with a long and successful history as the spring for aspiring new talent. Working in the heart of Wales you will have the benefits of all this on your doorstep – an environment that students from further afield can only experience on the occasional “writer’s retreat”. And of course, given our magnificent setting and vibrant culture, we offer you extensive opportunities to engage with the culture and language of Wales; you can learn through the medium of Welsh and English and an appreciation of the potential for experimentation with language is part of the central ethos of this degree.

Naturally, Creative Writing at Aberystwyth promotes the value of creativity in the workplace as a skill and a mindset with immeasurable application. As well as developing your creative work in a broad range of modes - fiction, poetry, advertising, writing for stage, screen and radio - our experienced team of practitioners will guide you in developing and recognizing life-long skills that will be the cornerstone of your future successes as a writer and beyond.

As you study, you will develop not only your own creative practice, but also learn to understand the processes relating to writing for a range of literary and vocational purposes. You will explore the connections between creative and critical thinking, and develop a deep understanding of the relationship between professional practice and imaginative thought. On completing this course you will be able to write with confidence, tailoring your work to a broad range of audiences. You will have an acute awareness of issues such as tone, structure, genre and function and you will translate these into your own writing and textual production.

Aberystwyth University is the perfect location for the study of Creative Writing. Our students benefit from our unique collaborative relationship with Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Based on campus, the Arts Centre is committed to providing you with an excellent resource as a performance space, acting as an advocate for emerging talent and as a partner in creating opportunities for work-based learning. The expertise and support available from the Arts Centre and its staff will be woven integrally into your learning opportunities. Not only will you have this on your doorstep but you will also have access to an excellent university library and you will live and study within a five-minute walk of the National Library of Wales (one of the UK’s five copyright libraries) – so between our resources and our location there is never a shortage of inspiration. 

Our students’ achievements speak for themselves. Recent graduates and current students have signed to some of the UK’s major literary agents, published with some of the world’s most prestigious publishing houses, including Faber and Faber and Penguin, and have been shortlisted for national and international writing awards. In fact as a Creative Writing student at Aberystwyth you will struggle not to get your work out into the public domain.

The university has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 97% of research assessed was found to be of international standing or higher.

Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (20 Credits) Creative Writing Students must take the following module:

Semester 1

Introduction To Fiction WR10320

Year 1 Options You may select your remaining modules from the list of all modules within the Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts. Please refer to module information for each department.

Year 2 Core (40 Credits) Single Honours Creative Writing students must take the following 2 modules:

Semester 1

Learning From The Novelists WR20220

Semester 2

Writing Short Stories WR30320

Year 2 Options Single Honours Creative Writing students must choose at least 20 credits from modules with the prefix TC/FM/TP and at least 20 credits from modules with the prefix EN/WR from the following list:

Semester 1

Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues EN20120

Contemporary Queer Fiction EN31620

Forms Of Children's Narrative Prose EN37820

Television Genre FM20620

Film Genre FM20920

Writing For Film And Television FM21620

Advertising FM21920

Sgiliau Sgriptio TC21300

Shakespeare In Contemporary Performance TP23220

Performance Writing TP32720

Semester 2

Ysgrifennu Creadigol CY34120

Literature Since 1945 EN22920

News: Industry And Analysis FM22120

Digital Culture FM25520

Sgiliau Sgriptio TC21320

Writing Selves WR30620

Both Semesters

Ysgrifennu Creadigol CY34100

Year 3 Options Single Honours Creative Writing students must choose the following module:

Semester 1

The Writing Project WR30000

Semester 2

The Writing Project WR30040

Year 3 Options Single Honours Creative Writing students may take their remaining credits from the following modules or other Level 3 modules offered by Departments within the Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts:

Semester 1

Scriptwriting 1 FM37020

Playwriting TP34600

Textual Interventions WR30120

Writing And Place WR32120

Semester 2

Scriptwriting 2 FM37120

Playwriting TP34640

Writing Science Fiction And Fantasy WR32220


Career Prospects 

Your BA in Creative Writing will prepare you for a broad range of diverse employment options. You will be a strong candidate for opportunities in any area where the written word is valued. Traditionally our students have gone on to professional futures in publishing, editing, journalism, marketing and communications, teaching, and of course as successful writers in the fields of fiction, poetry, screen-writing, radio and the theatre. What employers value about our graduates is their independence as “self-starters”, their ability to run with a project and see it through to completion with a healthy dose of creative thinking along the way. At the heart of your degree is a direct engagement with career planning and employability. We will equip you with skills that are valued and coveted in the work place and enable you to demonstrate and maximise your achievements. As a graduate of Aberystwyth University you will enter the world of work fully aware of the skills you have developed and with the ability and confidence necessary to utilise and fit those skills to whatever environment you desire. There is a strong relationship between Aberystwyth University and Aberystwyth Arts Centre. As a student, the expertise and support from the Arts Centre and its staff will be woven integrally into your learning opportunities, permitting staff and students to come together with the shared aim of engaging, working and learning in a thriving and dynamic creative culture. Not only will the Arts Centre be invaluable to you as a venue for showcasing your work and engaging with the creative output of others, it will also provide you with unique opportunities for the acquisition and development of lifelong skills, valuable to employers in the creative industries and beyond.

Transferable Skills 

Studying for a degree in Creative Writing will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. As an Aberystwyth graduate you will: 

• Have the ability to express ideas and communicate information effectively in a broad range of contexts; 

• Offer outstanding skills in creating, forming and manipulating the written word; 

• Be an effective problem solver; 

• Demonstrate excellent creative thinking, informed by critical rigour; 

• Have a proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team; 

• Exhibit excellent time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines; 

• Possess self-motivation and self-reliance and have the ability to develop appropriate and effective strategy; 

• Have valuable research skills that are trans-disciplinary and adaptable to any research context. 

Year in Employment Scheme (YES) 

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement. GO Wales GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and learning will take place through a range of traditional and non-traditional settings with particular emphasis on practical workshops and discursive seminars. Where appropriate the formal lecture will be utilized to convey specific knowledge-centred material, although the lecture will not be the cornerstone of delivery as is a common feature of undergraduate study. Emphasis will be placed on smaller group settings with small-group tutorials employed for specific teaching contexts. Alongside a structured and demanding timetable of practical and conceptual learning you will also be expected to carry out a significant level of self-directed research, writing and creative activity – all essential in terms of developing and refining your own writing.

Many of our courses can be followed through the medium of Welsh. If you are bilingual or a Welsh learner you can develop your language skills by studying a proportion of your degree in Welsh and submitting assignments in whichever language you choose. No matter what you decide, we will support you in working and learning through your language of choice.

Assessment will be continuous with the majority of your work taking the form of portfolio submissions. We place a significant emphasis on the “critical commentary” which accompanies and complements each creative portfolio – the commentary gives you the opportunity to explain and develop your critical thinking in concert with your creative ideas. There will also be opportunities for assessment via the traditional essay when addressing theoretical subjects. Traditional examinations will be limited (depending upon what you choose to study) but dynamic forms of assessment such as performances, productions or readings of your work will be supported by oral examination.

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Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
30 points overall with 6 points in English Literature at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
65% overall with 70% in specified subject

Key Information Set

Key Facts

UCAS Code: W801

Typical A-level offer
BBB-ABB with B in English Literature, or English Language, or a combined English Literature and Language course

Further details on entry requirements

Course Length: 3 Years