BA

Creative Writing and History

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Key Facts

Code WV81
  • UCAS Tariff

    104 - 120

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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If you are interested in enhancing, broadening, and developing your voice and, if you want to explore, discover and immerse yourself in the words and historical eras that have shaped our world through the medium of literature and media platforms and culture, then a degree in Creative Writing and History at Aberystwyth University is for you. Our cross-disciplinary degree will introduce you to an ever-expanding industry, providing you with a promising and advantageous start after graduation. Learn the craft of writing poetry, fiction, non-fiction, screenplays and more. You will also develop the critical and analytical skills necessary for a career in a broad array of creative industries. Under the expert guidance of a team of award-winning writers you will discover hidden talents and find out what sort of writer you are. On completion of this 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 creative aspect and written word.

Student Satisfaction and Employability Results

Top 10 in the UK for Teaching Quality and Student Experience for the subject of English (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)

93% overall student satisfaction for the Department of English and Creative Writing (NSS 2019)

96% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 2% more than Languages graduates nationally (HESA 2018*)

96% overall student satisfaction for the Department of History and Welsh History. (NSS 2019)

99% of our graduates were in work or further study within 6 months, 6% more than Historical & Philosophical studies graduates nationally (HESA 2018*)

Overview

Why study Creative Writing and History at Aberystwyth University?

The Creative Writing component of this course enables you to discover our comprehensive programme which includes prose, poetry, scriptwriting for stage and screen, journalism, writing for new media. There is an opportunity for you at Aberystwyth University to flourish and develop your creative writing skills.

The History component of this course will provide you with an existing opportunity to explore many eras of History which includes Medieval and Early Modern History, Politics and Modern History, History and Welsh History. We also have a vast range of exciting modules which includes Europe and the World (1000-2000), Medieval and Early Modern Britain and Europe (1000-1800), History as Myth-Making: the ‘myth of the Blitz’, Image Wars in South East Asia: Studying 20th Century Propaganda to name a few.

A highlight for students on this course is the writing retreat  which is organised during the third year. The writing treat enables you to hone in on your writing skills and talents, develop your abilities further and grow as a creative writer with your peers. This is a residential retreat and previous years have visited the well-known Gregynog Hall, roughly an hour and half outside of Aberystwyth. 

The University main teaching campus also known as Penglais Campus is our learning and socialising hub. This course is taught across two departments which include the Department of English and Creative Writing and the Department of History and Welsh History, both of which are located on Penglais campus. Discover the two departments in our Virtual Tour.

Next door the Penglais Campus is the National Library of Wales which is a copyright library that houses every book that has been published in the United Kingdom. A vital resource to this degree.

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.

Department of History and Welsh History lecturers are all qualified to PhD level, and most also have a PGCHE.

Modules

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.

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Creative Practice WR11320 20
History For Life * HY12320 20
Introduction To History * HY12120 20
Writing Short Stories WR10520 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
American Literature 1819-1925 EN11220 20
Ancestral Voices EN10220 20
Contemporary Writing EN10520 20
Critical Practice EN11320 20
Europe And The World, 1000-2000 HY12420 20
Greek And Roman Epic And Drama CL10120 20
Introduction To Poetry WR10420 20
Literature And The Sea WL11420 20
Medieval And Early Modern Britain And Europe, 1000-1800 HY11420 20
People, Power And Identity: Wales 1200-1999 WH11720 20
Re-imagining Nineteenth-century Literature WL10120 20
Reading For Writers WR10020 20
The Beginning Of The English Language EN11520 20
The Modern World, 1789 To The Present HY11820 20
To Boldly Go: Reading Star Trek EN10320 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Core

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Beginning The Novel WR20220 20
Making History * HY20120 20

Options

Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Adventures With Poetry WR22120 20
Between Revolution And Reform: China Since 1800 HY28520 20
Classical Drama And Myth CL20320 20
Contemporary Queer Fiction EN21620 20
Crime And Daily Life In Early Modern England And Wales HY22320 20
Culture, Society And The Victorians HY29320 20
Demons, Degenerates And New Women (fin De Siecle Fictions) EN23420 20
Exploring Nineteenth-century Exhibitions HY24620 20
Exploring Professional Writing WL20120 20
Forms Of Children's Narrative Prose EN27820 20
From Poor Law To Welfare State: Poverty And Welfare In Modern Britain, 1815-1948 HY29220 20
Germany Since 1945 HY29620 20
History As Myth-making: The 'myth Of The Blitz' HY23420 20
Image Wars In Southeast Asia: Studying 20th Century Propaganda HY23720 20
Interpreting The Contemporary Heritage Of The British Isles, 1960-1980 HY20220 20
Kingship And Political Culture In High Medieval England And Norway, 1066-1263 HY22120 20
Knighthood And Chivalry In High Medieval England, 1066-1300 HY20420 20
Literary Geographies EN21020 20
Literary Modernisms EN20920 20
Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues EN20120 20
Literature Since 1945 EN22920 20
Modern Japan: From Samurai To Salary Men HY29820 20
Modern Welsh Society, 1868-1950 WH24420 20
Nineteenth Century Literature EN20720 20
Place And Self EN22120 20
Reading And Writing Fantasy Fiction WL20220 20
Shakespeare, Jonson And Company EN23020 20
Shaping Plots WR21720 20
Telling True Stories: Ways Of Writing Creative Non-fiction WR21120 20
The European Reformation HY26520 20
Transpositions WR21020 20
Wales Under The Tudors * WH23520 20
Writing Selves WR20620 20
Writing Women For The Public Stage, 1670-1780 EN28720 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh

Employability

What career prospects are there for me?

Many of our graduates are successful writers in the fields of:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry
  • Screen-writing
  • Radio
  • Theatre

Some of our graduates have discovered other successful career options:

  • Publishing
  • Editing
  • Journalism
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Teaching

What career enhancing opportunities are there for me as a student?

Aberystwyth Arts Centre 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. Here you may showcase your work, engage and network with others, and develop lifelong skills valuable to employers in the creative industries and beyond.

Our degree will enable you to develop:

  •  the ability to express ideas and communicate information effectively in a broad range of contexts;
  • outstanding skills in creating, forming and manipulating the written word;
  • evidence of your ability to be an effective problem solver;
  • excellent creative thinking, informed by critical rigour;
  •  a proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • excellent time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines;
  • self-motivation and self-reliance and have the ability to develop appropriate and effective strategies;
  • valuable research skills that are trans-disciplinary and adaptable to any research context.

What work experience opportunities exist whilst studying? 

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

This degree is based on our strongly held belief that in order to become a really great writer you need to be a good reader, whilst offering you the flexibility to develop as a writer across a range of creative modes. During your first year you will develop foundational skills in the interpretation and analysis of literary texts, alongside your study of basic writing skills.  Throughout the course you will use your knowledge of literature and textual production in your own creative work, exploring the relationship between creative and critical practice.

 In the first year you will discover:

  • A range of techniques for reading and writing fiction and poetry;
  • Modes of descriptive writing;
  • new historical skills and concepts, and a comprehensive introduction to university-level study skills, through our Year 1 core module; Introduction to History;
  • The importance of plot;
  • The use of dialogue;
  • Some key figures from literary history (from Shakespeare to the Brontës);
  • Lesser known texts, and writers who are new-to-you;
  • A variety of “ways of reading” and some theoretical approaches to textual analysis;
  • “The critical commentary” and research skills for writers.

In the second year you will explore:

  • The theoretical approaches to, and the practice of, literary criticism;
  • Your own writing style, informed by your reading and research;
  • The ways in which the meaning, methods and writing of history have changed over time, through our Year 2 core module Making History; 
  • A number of specialist subjects in which you undertake an in-depth research, using original sources and engaging with cutting edge scholarship;
  • A number of specialist topics chosen by you (these might focus on a specific genre (such as crime fiction), historical period (such as the Victorian era), or theme (such as “transpositions”).

Students following this degree programme have the flexibility to take option modules from the departments of Film, Theatre and Television Studies, and Welsh and Celtic studies, both of which offer a number of creative writing modules in areas such as scriptwriting, writing for radio, writing for television and much more.

In the third year you will master:

  • Theory for writers and the application of theoretical perspectives the production and critical evaluation of your own creative work;
  • Extended writing and independent research in your final year writing project (chosen and defined by you with the support of a published author);
  • Your own specialisms drawn from a diverse range of option modules taught by writers in those fields. Our option modules include topics such as Elizabethan drama, the ghost story, queer fiction, writing for children, science fiction and fantasy, and much more.

In your final year you will have the opportunity to take part in a writing retreat at a country house in mid Wales - an amazing opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff, developing your final year projects and dissertations, in a splendid rural setting.

How will I be taught?

Our course is delivered through a range of traditional and non-traditional settings with particular emphasis on workshops and discursive seminars. Lectures are not the norm but are used when it is essential to convey specific, knowledge-centred, material. One-to-one tutorials will also be a regular feature in your timetable, particularly towards the end of your programme of study.

We assess our students through portfolio submissions, essays and, on some modules, traditional examinations and presentations.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 104 - 120

A Levels BBB-BCC to include B in an English related subject

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-DMM with a specified subject

International Baccalaureate:
30-28 with 5 points in an English related subject at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall with 7 in an English related subject

The University welcomes applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma. Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits, and offers can vary. If you are studying a qualification not listed on this page, please get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further advice. Details about the country-specific qualifications the University accepts can be found on our country-specific pages. For further information, contact ug-admissions@aber.ac.uk

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