As one of the most successful creative writing programmes of its kind in the UK, you are encouraged to see all types of writing in relation to wider literary, cultural and professional contexts. Whether you are crafting novels, poems or scripts our widely published academics help you to demonstrate a high level of technical skill, an aptitude for self-expression, and a commitment to hard work and personal development.
The course arms you with some fantastic transferable skills, such as confident and compelling storytelling, critical thinking and articulate expression. These abilities are valued in a variety of employment contexts including arts and entertainment as well as business and commerce.
What you need to know
Course start date
- 3 years full-time
- 6 years part-time
From £9,250 pa
- Study the craft of writing through a multi-genre approach
- Move progressively through a structured series of writing assignments and exercises, enhanced by a workshop environment
- Immerse yourself in an independent creative project in your final year
- Attend the University of Winchester Writers' Festival – an opportunity to meet authors, publishers and agents
The course seeks to move you progressively through a structured series of writing assignments and exercises, working on all genres of writing in the first year, and then allowing you to specialise in Years 2 and 3. Your work develops in a workshop environment bolstered by positive critical encouragement and direction throughout. Additional guidance is given on audience (for example, editor, agent or publisher) where appropriate.
In Year 2, the focus becomes more specific with a choice of modules that concentrate on elements of different genres such as writing for children, media writing, poetry, song and play, film and TV script.
In Year 3, the modules look increasingly at the relationships between writing and the world beyond the University, exploring publishing, producing, community audiences, writing and teaching. There is also an opportunity to work on an extended creative project in your chosen genre with one-to-one supervision from an expert in this field.
We offer the chance to conduct a work placement in Year 2.
Our BA (Hons) Creative Writing course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA). For more information see our .
Learning and teaching
Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.
You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.
In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team and the wide range of services available to you within the University.
Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.
Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 300 hours
Independent learning: 900 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
Independent learning: 864 hours
Placement learning: 60
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
Independent learning: 924 hours
*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.
Key areas of the student experience include:
Opportunities to have work published in the student writing magazine.
Students have the chance to attend the Winchester Writers Festival so they can meet authors, publishers and agents who attend
Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.
All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during . Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes.
Further details on assessment types used can be found by attending an or contacting our teaching staff.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose.
The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:
Year 1 (Level 4)*:
0% written exams
0% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
0% written exams
1% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
0% written exams
0% practical exams
*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.
Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions
This module is designed as an introduction for students exploring their creativity through developing their own fictional writing and studying exemplary works in the short form. It will enable students to improve their own creative and critical skills, and to learn how to express observations, experiences and perceptions in the form of prose fiction, whilst at the same time developing evaluative skills. It will focus on key tents of fictional writing through analysis of texts and by associated practical exercises. We will discuss such key topics as point of view, characterisation, dialogue, plot, setting and other aspects of the fiction writer’s craft in relation to students’ own work and the work of published authors. The key skills of researching, drafting, revising and editing will be stressed throughout.
This module builds on the work of Prose Fiction 1A, broadening the students’ experience of composing their own fictional writing through the close study of more and more varied, formally and stylistically bolder exemplary works in the short form. Their creative and critical skills will be further sharpened, through analysis of texts and associated practical exercises. We will expand the sense of possibilities available to writers in such key areas of choice as point of view, characterisation, dialogue, plot, setting. The key skills of researching, drafting, revising and editing will be stressed throughout.
In this module students will be introduced to the conventions, forms and techniques of scriptwriting. Students will develop their narrative skills, with particular focus on how film stories are told through scenes and images and transitions suggested to the director by the writer, i.e. by indications of mise-en-scene and montage. Students will develop their skills in the communication of film script narrative though ‘pitch presentations,’ and will practise the writing of outlines and of film script on the page according to the film industry standard. The module will concentrate on fiction film (as opposed to documentary) and will utilise seminars, workshops, and screenings.
This module is designed to enable students to work with non-fictional writings, and to learn how to express experiences and perceptions within some of the key strands of this written form (e.g. the memoir, the themed personal essay, the interview-based portrait of a person or research-based portrait of a place etc.) The module is also intended to develop students’ creative and critical skills in tandem, understanding how to read and interpret writing as well as how to produce it. As such, students will be introduced to a varied range of approaches to non-fictional styles. Most work will be done in workshop groups, graduating to the production of independent pieces of non-fiction.
This module is designed to enable students to express their own creativity through various poetic strategies, introducing students to a varied range of poetry. Although historical forms and traditions will also be a source of reference there is to be a particular focus on twentieth- and twenty-first century developments, whilst engaging directly with some of the key issues in the production of poetry – including its oral, aural and visual performative aspects. Practical work will be done in workshop groups, graduating to the production of independent poems in different forms.
This module is designed as an introduction for students into the various techniques and strategies of rhetorical writing. It will begin by looking at examples of rhetorical writing from past and present, with an intention to examine and analyse how they work and what they are trying to achieve. Students will then explore how best to develop specific pieces of writing that are intended to persuade, cajole, and seduce the reader for particular reasons and in order to achieve specific effects. The intention all the while is for their writing to be professional, polished, and always suitable to the subject matter.
In this module students will look at the global digital publishing world and at social media – at the opportunities and challenges, advantages and disadvantages, which such media present to writers. We will look closely at how online platforms allow writers to publish work, establishing a presence and appealing to different audiences, in a variety of short forms – albeit via writing that must be succinct and precise, edited and refined to required spaces and word-counts. Areas of focus might include the microblogging site Twitter and more expansive blogging platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr, Wix etc. We will look also at where the websites of newspapers and magazines showcase short-form writing such as the capsule review, list, or personal testimony etc. Students will then develop a range of short pieces of their own writing, derived from the same basic idea, each one targeted at a particular platform or outlet for dissemination to a defined, particular readership of said medium.
- Creativity: Process, Practice and Critical Reflection - 15 Credits
This module is an introduction to studies which will be advanced by Prose Fiction 2B, in which students develop their own short fictional writing while studying exemplary works in the short form, which will be examined across a number of interrelated axes:
- Time: fostering an awareness of accomplishment in the modern English short story, from the mid-19th century, through modernism, postmodernism and postcolonialism, up to the best writing today
- Place: the breadth of places globally where work in English has been produced, and the distinctiveness of voices represented therein; as well as the diverse range of life-experience to which a writer can bring their imagination
- Form: e.g. narrative conventions of beginning, middle and end, and how those elements might be presented (cf. Godard) ‘not necessarily in that order.’ Similarly, experiments in point of view: e.g. narrators who are reliably unreliable or purposely inarticulate, and prose style from the ‘high style’ to the fragmented and discordant.
This module builds on Prose Fiction 2A in its focus upon students developing their own short fictional writing while studying exemplary works in the short form, which will be examined across a number of interrelated axes:
- Time: further evidencing how the best writing of today has a clear context in and inheritance from writing of the past
- Place: further expanding the student’s sense of where outstanding work in English has been produced globally, and what kinds of diverse life-experience can be the grist of fiction
- Form: further developing the student’s appreciation of how fictional forms and voices can be experimented with.
Building on Creative Non-Fiction, this module will show students why creative non-fiction is a major growth area in contemporary publishing, one that provides writers with lots of potential opportunities to work professionally. A range of exemplary texts will be studied, in familiar forms such as memoir, and additionally in forms such as biography and travel writing. Unconventional and innovative styles of narration will be considered, alongside more standard linear narratives. Students will delve deeper into research methods, how to use sources both private and public, as well as into the challenges and problems of such excavations. Students will then develop their own writing skills in creating and shaping relatable narratives from real-life origins, appreciating also the occasionally blurred lines between fictional and factual modes. Through practical workshops they will develop and refine a piece of creative non-fiction prior to eventual submission.
- Scriptwriting for Mainstream Television - 15 credits
- Poetry: Making it New - 15 credits
- Gothic, Horror and Ghost Stories - 15 credits
- Middle-Grade & Young Adult (YA) Fiction - 15 credits
- Composing Song Lyrics - 15 credits
- Playwriting 1 - 15 credits
- Interactive & Experimental Fictions - 15 credits
- Writing & the Environment - 15 credits
- Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology - 15 credits
- Professional Placement - 15 credits
- Copywriting - 15 credits
- Media Writing - 15 credits
- Volunteering for Creative & Professional Writing - 15 credits
The Extended Creative Project consists of:
- a piece of creative/professional writing of 8500 words (with word count exceptions such as those in a poetry collection to be agreed by supervising tutor)
- a supporting rationale/contextualisation of 1500 words
- a supporting bibliography
Study and writing is primarily student-directed, with supervision supplied by tutors teaching/researching in the area of creative writing.
This module builds upon Level 5 Prose Fiction 2A/AB by way of a similar focus upon students developing their own short fictional writing in prose, and by close study of exemplary longer works in the novel/novella forms. It will broaden students’ familiarity with some of the boldest stylistic choices and treatments of theme available to writers and will encourage them to experiment with and develop their own fictional voice. The perennial key craft elements of point of view, characterisation, dialogue, plot, setting etc will be highlighted; likewise the key skills of researching, drafting, revising and editing. Attention will be paid to wider debates about issues such as ethics and diversity, and we will also consider nuanced issues of genre definition. Students will additionally be encouraged to think about how writers and publishers market their work, and current professional publication practices.
- Playwriting 2 - 15 credits
- Creative Vigilance: Fictions & Metafictions - 15 credits
- Creative Non-fiction for Children - 15 credits
- Writing Comics & Graphic Novels - 15 credits
- Writing for Games - 15 credits
- Creative Visions - 15 credits
- Writing Historical Fiction - 15 credits
- Adapting Crime Fictions - 15 credits
- Science Fictions & Fantasies - 15 credits
- Poetry: Writing for Publication - 15 credits
- Script to Screen - 15 credits
- Write Yourself Well: Creative Writing as Therapy - 15 credits
- The Critical Path to Print Publication - 15 credits
- Digital Authorship - 15 credits
- Creative Teaching for Creative Writing - 15 credits
- Business Storytelling - 15 credits
- Writing for Radio - 15 credits
2024 Course Tuition Fees
|UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland
|Optional Sandwich Year*
|Total with Sandwich Year
Additional tuition fee information
If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.
Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.
UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.
International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.
* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.
**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.
As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.
There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:
In students second year of study, there may be a field trip depending on module choices. Indicative cost is £20.
Disclosure and Barring Service
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.
Copies of core texts are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however often students wish to purchase some books for their own use. It is possible for students to buy second-hand copies. Indicative cost is £160 per academic year.
Printing and Binding
The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.
SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS
We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.
Graduates become professional writers or follow careers in publishing, advertising, marketing, teaching or other professions that require advanced communication skills. Recent graduates have successfully set themselves up as freelance writers.
Many of our graduates choose to go on to further study, both at Masters and Doctoral level. Recent graduates have also successfully set themselves up as freelance writers, or else gone into a variety of areas of employment including public service, charitable and community work, administration, teaching, publishing, banking, law, PR, marketing, copywriting, estate agency, sales authorship, recruitment, optometry.
The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023, HESA.
Pre-approved for a Masters
If you study a Bachelor Honours degree with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.OUR CAREERS SERVICE
How to Apply for this course
We want your application process to be as simple as possible. Find out everything you need to know about the application process, how to apply, your offer and how to secure your place.
Programme Leader: Vanessa Harbour
Dr Vanessa Harbour is a Senior Lecturer on both Creative Writing and Creative and Professional Writing Degrees. She got her creative practice PhD at the University of Winchester in 2011 where she explored the representation of sex, drugs and alcohol in young adult fiction and completed a young adult novel. Her middle grade novel, Flight, was published in 2018. It was longlisted for the Branford Boase and shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award.
View our Related Courses in English, Creative Writing and Journalism
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Information for International Students
Our International students come from all over the world and we understand that something’s are a little different when applying and then arriving at the University. We have therefore provided a list of some of the countries we work in with specific information included on Entry Requirements, Funding Opportunities, Visas and other useful information.