BA Creative Writing and English Language

Welcome to the course page for the BA Creative Writing and English Language. You can find details on our first-year modules below.

All creative writers may also wish to check out the following list of links to get you started on becoming a successful working writer: Some Useful Leads

First Year Modules 2017-18

Words, Meaning and Text

In this module we begin by looking at how the English language works and ensuring you feel confident about using relevant terminology before going on to examine how words change over time, how the language borrows words from other languages, how words are related to each other, and how sentences work to create a coherent text. Assessment: 50% coursework; 50% Examination.

Useful preliminary reading:
H. Jackson & E. Zé Amvela (2007) Words, Meaning and Vocabulary. Continuum.

Beginnings in Writing

This module comprises two distinct but mutually supporting strands, introducing students to core elements of creative writing whilst situating their practice in the heart of the city. Strand 1, ‘Ways of Writing’, encourages students to experiment in a range of diverse written styles and forms, including poetry, prose, life-writing and journalism. Strand 2, ‘Writing the City’, offers students the opportunity to engage with the city as ‘raw materials’ for their work, encouraging a deep understanding of the critical importance of ‘place’ in writing.

Useful preliminary reading:
Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides. Fourth Estate.
John Singleton, Mary Luckhurst and Mary Singleton (eds.), The Creative Writing Handbook. Palgrave Macmillan.

Reflective Writing 1

This module asks students to become analytical about their writing, both from the point of view of process and output. By critiquing their own work, and considering the writing practice of others, it aims to develop students’ ability to formulate answers to questions such as ‘Why do I write?’, ‘What is the value of storytelling?’, ’What are the stories I am best able to tell?’ It is supported by a year-long lecture and workshop series, delivered by members of the department alongside visiting poets, playwrights and novelists.

 Useful preliminary reading:
Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way. Tarcher/Putnam.
Joan Didion, ‘Why I Write’ (1976), in The Writer On Her Work, ed. Janet Sternburg. W.W. Norton.

Language and Text (option)

On this optional module we explore connections between language study and literary interpretation through the detailed analysis of authorial choice of lexis, phonology and meaning, regular metres and lineation, narrative point of view, the use of deixis, modality and attitude and the pragmatic analysis of dramatic dialogue. Assessment: 100% Coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
M. Toolan (1998) Language in Literature: An Introduction to Stylistics. Arnold.

Language Myths (option)

This introductory module critically examines a number of popular fallacies about language and specific languages through a careful examination of facts and data. Assessment: 100% Coursework.

Useful preliminary reading:
L. Bauer and P. Trudgill (1998) Language Myths. Penguin.