BA English Literature with Creative Writing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Creative Writing

Course unit fact file
Unit code ENGL11742
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The first half of the course will be dedicated to fiction, while the second half will focus on poetry. We will read and analyse a selection of short stories and poems, which will also inspire a variety of in-class writing assignments. Throughout the semester, students will write and workshop their own fiction and poetry, and respond to the work of their peers.



' Introduce students to some of the most important basic techniques of fiction and poetry writing.
- Familiarize students with the creative writing workshop, and, in particular, help them develop a useful critical language with which to engage with their own work and the work of others
- Develop students' ability to edit and revise their own work in light of feedback from students and tutors.
- Develop students' ability to offer useful feedback to other writers and to encourage students to join in productive group-work in a workshop context.
- Encourage students to read and learn from selected examples of contemporary fiction and poetry.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

•   Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of some of the basic techniques of fiction and poetry writing.

•   Show knowledge and understanding of selected examples of contemporary writing.

•   Write poems and stories that demonstrate a basic understanding of the craft of fiction and poetry writing.

•   Revise their own work in light of feedback from tutors and fellow students.

  • Offer helpful, informed and relevant feedback to other students

Intellectual skills

Demonstrate a level of critical and analytical thinking and skills in written expression.

Practical skills

•   Engage in group work.

•   Organize their time effectively.

Produce writing which is clear, grammatical and well-presented.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students taking this unit will be able to analyse and evaluate arguments and texts. Above all, committed students will emerge from this course unit with an advanced capacity to think critically, i.e. knowledgeably, rigorously, confidently and independently.
Group/team working
Students taking this unit will be able to work courteously and constructively as part of a larger group.
On this unit students are encouraged to respond imaginatively and independently to the questions and ideas raised by texts and other media.
Students on this unit must take responsibility for their learning and are encouraged not only to participate in group discussions but to do so actively and even to lead those discussions.
Project management
Students taking this unit will be able to work towards deadlines and to manage their time effectively.
Oral communication
Students taking this unit will be able to show fluency, clarity and persuasiveness in spoken communication.
Students on this unit will be required to digest, summarise and present large amounts of information. They are encouraged to enrich their responses and arguments with a wide range of further reading.
Written communication
Students on this unit will develop their ability to write in a way that is lucid, precise and compelling.

Assessment methods

Fiction Portfolio (short story plus commentary)  50%
Poetry Portfolio (3 poems plus commentary)  50%


Feedback methods

Written and face-to-face (upon arrangement)

Recommended reading

Supplementary reading:

Lorin Stein and Sadie Stein, eds Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story (London, Heinemann 2012)

Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney eds. Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (London: Faber, 1996)

Malcolm Bradbury, Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (London: Penguin 1987)

William Sieghart ed, Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2001-2011 (London: Forward Publishing 2011)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gareth Gavin Unit coordinator
Frances Leviston Unit coordinator

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