English Literature and Creative Writing

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

If you love living in a world of imagination and creativity, sign up for the English Literature and Creative Writing degree course here in Aberystwyth University where the beautiful landscape is sure to inspire you. Come and join our close-knit community of students and staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing and enjoy working with other young writers in a place full of energy and new ideas.

On this innovative course, you will have the opportunity to develop both your creative and critical writing skills. Taught by distinguished, practising writers, you will find this degree both challenging and rewarding. By studying various genres and styles, writing forms and techniques, you will develop a range of competencies and capabilities, skills and attributes that are widely sought by employers, placing you in a strong position for gaining work when you graduate.

Course Overview

Why study English Literature and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth?

  • You will be taught by staff who are distinguished practising writers and published authors across a broad spectrum of literary fields.
  • You will be encouraged to develop your creative and critical writing skills.
  • You will be encouraged to expand your range and capabilities as a writer to enable you to work confidently in a variety of forms and genres.
  • We offer you opportunities to engage with a wide variety of approaches to literature and cultural history, combining critical thinking with scholarship.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore literary theory - philosophical and conceptual ideas that inform, challenge and problematize the ways we read.
  • 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.
  • We have one of the biggest libraries in the world, the National Library of Wales, on our doorstep. This copyright institution receives a copy of every book published in the UK.
  • The department is home to New Welsh Review, Wales’ foremost literary magazine - this could be an exciting opportunity for you to get involved.
  • You will be immersed in a supportive and vibrant community of creative and critical thinkers, literary experts, and published authors from every field.
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.

Modules September start - 2024

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.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Beginning Creative Writing Part 1 WR11020 20
Critical Practice EN11320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Academic Writing: Planning, Process and Product IC17720 20
American Literature 1819-1925 EN11220 20
Ancestral Voices EN10220 20
Beginning Creative Writing Part 2 WR11120 20
Contemporary Writing EN10520 20
Greek and Roman Epic and Drama CL10120 20
Introduction to Poetry WL10420 20
Language Awareness for TESOL IC13420 20
Literature And The Sea WL11420 20
Re-imagining Nineteenth-Century Literature WL10120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Career Prospects

A degree in English Literature and Creative Writing offers a “golden standard” for any employment setting where communication and the written word are valued. All of our modules deliver key skills that enable you to build a comprehensive CV that evidences your diverse range of competencies.

Our graduates have been successful across the widest possible range of career destinations including:

  • broadcasting
  • journalism
  • advertising
  • publishing
  • education
  • the Civil Service
  • business
  • finance
  • New Media.

Your degree in English Literature and Creative Writing will equip you with:

  • the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
  • effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
  • the facility to deal with abstract concepts
  • the ability to work independently
  • time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
  • research skills.

What work experience opportunities exist while 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. You will develop advanced skills in the interpretation and analysis of literary texts, you will encounter texts from a range of historical periods and genres. 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 your first year you will discover:

  • a range of techniques for reading and writing fiction and poetry
  • modes of descriptive writing
  • 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
  • poetry, prose, drama, American literature, adaptations, Classical literature, contemporary writing, medieval texts and much more.

In your 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
  • a range of selected core texts from the medieval period through to the twenty-first century
  • 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”).

In your final 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, covering 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 also 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 degree is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, and one-to-one tutorials. We also encourage self-directed learning designed to stimulate your academic interest in reading and writing and to nurture your personal and intellectual development.

You will be assessed through portfolios of your creative work, critical commentaries, essays, exams and oral presentations. You will also be required to complete additional, non-assessed, assignments and to work with others on particular tasks.

Further information:

As you study, you will develop a range of skills which will benefit you in further study or any graduate workplace. You will learn to: employ multiple critical techniques when approaching texts; develop a reflective practice in reading and writing; articulate a detailed critical analysis of your subject; and respond to any task with creativity, flair and style.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or pastoral issues. Your personal tutor will also be responsible for delivering tutorials that will help you in the development of key skills.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Testimonials

Pouring through the literature provided on the English side of the course constantly expands your knowledge, enabling you to really exist in the world of the Romantics, or feminists of the 1900s. Yet, the Creative side of the course allows you to enhance and mould your imagination to be the very best it can be. Melding the two together leaves you with a great knowledge of existing literature, allowing you to better understand how to create your own. With the guidance of the tutors on the course, I feel I have learnt so much and am continually learning more about how to write and construct prose. It's given me the best chances of one day publishing my own novel. Camilla Woodrow-Hill

It expands your imagination, challenges your abilities, and teaches you different styles and techniques that you might never have thought to try if you hadn't been on this course. I have learnt so much, and am so proud of my achievements - being able to see ticks and positive remarks scribbled next to my creations gives me even more inspiration for the future of my writing. Hannah Buck

English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University offer students the chance to learn from classic and contemporary Greats, and then develop your own writer's craft during Creative Writing Workshops. The choice was so varied: from Medieval and Renaissance to Women on the Stage and War Fiction modules. I loved studying English and Creative Writing because I got to learn and write about things that interested me. The lecturers were always willing to help, listen and talk about any problems that I had which made my degree very enjoyable. Nicola Anne Henderson

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 104

A Levels BBB-BCC

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

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
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 would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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