The BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing invites you to engage with contemporary subjects in literary studies such as micro-memoir in autobiography, Gothic horror in young adult fiction, and the apocalyptic imagination in twenty-first century writing. You will have the opportunity to create a portfolio of published work, including poems, short stories, scripts, flash fiction, and novellas, and to enter exclusive writing competitions, such as the Student New Angle Prize. Classes are delivered by published, award-winning authors, active researchers and HEA-accredited lecturers.
Photo by Katie Hayward
Supported by an expert teaching team, you will develop your writing talents, follow your interests, and share your love of literature. Throughout the degree you will also have a chance to develop professional skills by collaborating with regional arts organisations, publishers, theatre companies and community groups, such as the New Wolsey Theatre, the Ipswich Institute, the East Anglian Daily Times, and the Red Rose Chain. Our graduates have found employment as editors, copywriters, teachers, writers and poets, or have pursued postgraduate studies and an academic career.
There is no better place to study English literature than Suffolk. Our coastal villages and towns attract writers and artists from all over the world, while the county and East Anglia feature prominently in the imagination and landscapes of classic novels. This sense of a literary and artistic community comes to life at the University. Through engaging critical discussions, creative writing workshops, and professional development activities, we will put you at the heart of a community that values independent thinking, academic rigour and creative excellence.
Course partnerships with regional arts organisations, publishers, theatre companies and community groups to offer you exciting opportunities during your studies, including exclusive writing competitions such as the Student New Angle Prize. Read some of this year's blog entries on our Life at Suffolk blog page.
For postgraduate opportunities in English, explore our MA Creative and Critical Writing.
Full-time students typically take six modules a year during the first two years of their studies for increased subject diversity. In the final year, students complete a literature or creative writing dissertation in an area of their choosing, along with four other selected modules.
Part-time students may negotiate their programme of study with their tutors to suit their own individual needs and requirements.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.
'After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the things we need most in the world' - Philip Pullman
This module forms the foundations of the course's creative writing strand. Paying particular reference to narrative strategies and the craft of writing, students will hone their skills as both critical readers and creative writers. Through close reading and creative writing exercises, students will begin to develop the idea of ‘reading as a writer’ and ‘writing as a reader.’ The module promotes experiment and creativity within the notion of a community of artists.
'There is nothing outside the text’ - Jacques Derrida
This module enables students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills of analysis and criticism on which to base the rest of their undergraduate work in English. Students will explore various methodologies in the study of literary texts and consider the purpose of literary criticism and its relationship with culture, philosophy and politics.
‘It's so easy for propaganda to work, and dissent to be mocked' - Harold Pinter
This module introduces students to the study of Western drama, covering both its historical and literary development from the classical era through the Renaissance and up to the twenty-first century. Students will explore a wide selection of dramatic works in English and in translation, focusing on plays that have often prompted hostile speculation from audiences and critics.
‘Writing is a way to work yourself into a subject and make it your own’ - William Zinsser
This module enables students to develop skills that are central to the study of English including critical reading, writing, analysing, researching, and presenting. The skills practised on the module will support student work in all other modules of the course and prepare them for professional practice modules where they will be invited to transfer subject-related skills to the workplace.
'In this gorgeous mess of our own gravity’ - Jo Shapcott
What is poetry? Why is poetry important to our contemporary reality? This module introduces students to the multiplicity and relevance of poetry today. It is designed to help students engage with poetry in a creative and active manner by considering the practice of reading poetry as a continuously transforming experience.
‘Welcome to the desert of the real’ - Slavoj Žižek
Students examine a range of theoretical approaches to texts, including Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminism, postcolonial theory and postmodernism. They are encouraged to engage with theory as an intellectual activity that develops multiple perspectives on a variety of topics such as language, reality, subjectivity, gender, race, and sexuality.
‘An adaptation may come second, but that doesn’t make it secondary' - Linda Hutcheon
This module introduces students to the literary field of adaptation studies, exploring the afterlives of a range of ‘source’ texts through a critical and creative assessment of processes of textual transformation. Through an analysis of texts where characters’ afterlives also feature in the narrative, students will investigate shifts in media, genre, audience, ideological positions and modes of production and consumption.
'That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones' - Raymond Carver
This module allows students to gain an historical overview of the form; to read critical and theoretical works; to practise techniques of close literary analysis, considering the aesthetic and constructed qualities of texts. Creative activities are used as a way of seeing the process of writing from a new perspective.
'Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown' - Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II
This module enables students to undertake a thematic study of Shakespeare’s dramatic work based on the detailed study of four plays, each from a different genre. The plays will be studied both as responses to the political, social and religious changes of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and as works of continuing relevance through a close examination of recent and varied performance contexts.
'That in yourself which you knew not before' - Lady Mary Wroth
The critical and theoretical investigation of a selection of writings by female and male poets offers students the opportunity to consider the discourses that intersect in the poems and reflect on the role of power, ideology, gender and sexuality in their composition and circulation.
'Do I dare Disturb the universe?' - T. S. Eliot
This module introduces students to literary modernism through the study of poems, short stories and novels from the period between 1900-1930. Students explore the radical experiments of modernist writing and critically evaluate how these texts break with conventional representations of reality. They also create short films and text for an online resource about modernism.
'A good book isn't written, it's rewritten’ - Phyllis A. Whitney
In this module students study different approaches to planning, structuring and writing a novel. It includes the development of professional elements of writing, such as how to write a synopsis. The module is taught by a novelist. Students will also have the opportunity to benefit from visits from other writers and/or professional literary agents. Students will be encouraged to produce intellectually rigorous work of high literary and imaginative quality, enhanced by a professional standard of presentation.
‘Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something’ - Judith Butler
This module introduces students to an advanced study of critical theory with a particular focus on contemporary theories and debates, such as post-humanism, ecocriticism, digital humanities, disability studies, globalization, and animal studies. The module aims to explore the ongoing relevance of critical theory in explaining the causes of pressing social problems in twenty-first century society.
'Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose' - Zora Neale Hurston
This module provides an opportunity for students to design and carry out an extensive piece of independent research examining an area of scholarship that they wish to pursue. This might have a literary, professional, or cultural history focus, and should draw on the appropriate methodological approaches. The work may also involve other disciplinary areas such as history, education, biography, psychology, philosophical or political thought, but the study must be placed within the broader scope of English studies.
'A word after a word after a word is power' - Margaret Atwood
This module is the culmination of the students’ progressive, specialist learning pathway in creative writing through their degree. Students will produce an original creative writing portfolio. This can be a novel extract, a novella or a portfolio of stories or flash fiction. Students will also produce a critical essay, reflecting on their use of sources, their writing practice, influences, revisions and editing choices.
'Autobiography begins with the sense of being alone. It is an orphan form' - John Berger
Autobiography considers authorial perspective and reliability, and how the first person narrator is both ‘author’ and ‘character’. Students study the ambiguous relationship between autobiography and fiction, looking at authority, memory and self-censorship. The ethics of writing about others as part of the autobiographical process is also considered.
'There is no god and we are his prophets' - Cormac McCarthy
The module enables students to evaluate the complex and thought-provoking forms of contemporary texts which transgress genre boundaries and solicit a speculative exploration of contemporary issues, such as transcultural identities, queer sexualities, dystopian spaces, and technological and post-humanist approaches to reality.
'The Gate ... I opened it. I'm the monster' - Eleven, Stranger Things
This module introduces students to the role of horror in young adult fiction, inviting analyses of works from literature, cinema and television that are categorised as dark fantasy, dystopian fiction, sci-fi horror and paranormal romance. Through close reading and independent research, students will examine issues relating to gender, power, identity and sexuality against the self-reflexive nature of horror and its highly subversive potential.
'Before I write down one word, I have to have the character in my mind ... I must penetrate into the last wrinkle of his soul' - Henrik Ibsen
Scriptwriting invites students to write their own short scripts for stage, film or television. The module focuses on a variety of dramatic texts and performances and encourages students to undertake wider critical reading in relation to a particular play script or screenplay. Students also attend screenings, stage performances, and talks from visiting practitioners.
'Any positive emotion that you're infusing into a workplace needs to be grounded in reality. If it's not realistic, sincere, meaningful, and individualised, it won't do much good' - Tom Rath
Students undertake student-centred learning based on a placement, which will build on their knowledge from language and creative writing modules, along with subject specific writing and IT skills. Moreover, students gain knowledge about professional writing from seminars with professional writers.
'The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery' - Mark Van Doren
This module blends formal instruction with practical experience. Seminars take place on alternate weeks and cover topics such as Pedagogy and Learning Theories, Differentiation and Special Needs, and Reflective Practice. In the second semester, students undertake placements in educational settings, such as primary, secondary and adult education, including EAL and ESOL learning.
The BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing offers two professional practice modules: Education Research and Practice and Professional Writing Research and Practice. Students may undertake these modules in their final year of study to enhance employability skills and build effective relationships with writing practitioners, local schools, businesses and arts organisations.
The modules offer talks and seminars led by industry experts and provide opportunities for professional recognition, such as the New Wolsey Theatre Scriptwriting Award and the Suffolk Book League Award.
Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in writing and journalism, editing, arts management, teaching and consulting. Some have started their own businesses in areas like copy editing, public relations and freelance writing while others have gone on to postgraduate study.
Fees and finance
- Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
- Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
- International Tuition fee: £12,150 p.a.
At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for.
112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
Applicants are expected to hold A-Level English at grade C or above.
All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.
If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.
If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.
Facilities and Resources
This course is taught at the beautiful Waterfront Campus in Ipswich, a unique location offering spectacular views and a vibrant space for study and socialising.
Teaching and learning takes place in the Waterfront Building, the Arts Building and the new Atrium Building, providing access to the campus’ best facilities including purpose-built seminar rooms and state-of-the-art screening theatres.
Photo by Katie Hayward
Suffolk celebrates the literary arts every year with events such as the Halesworth Arts Festival, the FlipSide Festival, the award-winning Latitude Festival and the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.
Ipswich has a thriving theatre scene including the New Wolsey, Regent, East Anglia’s largest theatre, and Red Rose Chain, an award-winning, community-driven theatre company working in partnership with TV presenter Jimmy Doherty to stage outdoor summer productions of Shakespeare’s plays for over 10,000 spectators. Sir Trevor Nunn, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, schooled in Ipswich and is patron of the New Wolsey Theatre, a vibrant performance space at the heart of the region’s cultural life.
The county is also home to a number of prestigious publishing houses including Full Circle Editions, set up by Bloomsbury co-founder and Harry Potter discoverer-in-chief, Liz Calder.