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Creative Writing and Music

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - Creative Arts programme combination

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Creative Arts: Creative Writing and Music
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: WW93
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A level grades BCC with a minimum of Grade B in English and Music Grade B or related subject. Applicants without A Level English may still be considered.

View typical offers for more information.

Top UK writing course, taught by award-winning practitioners.

  • More specialist strands than any other course in the UK.
  • Focus on graduate employability, building industry connections.
  • Large and diverse student body – close to 500 students from across the world.

This course is challenging, exciting, and versatile. Here, you can expect a professional level of tuition – and we expect a professional level of commitment and achievement from you in return.

Employability is central to the writing programme. Both individually and in groups you will prepare for the writing / creative-industry career of your choice.

Find out more about our Creative Writing department

“Bath Spa gave me the opportunity to stretch myself academically and creatively, and - above all - it was so encouraging to have my creative writing taken seriously by highly respected tutors.”

Recent Creative Writing graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

Our comprehensive programme includes prose, poetry, scriptwriting for the stage and screen, feature journalism, writing for new media, life writing: in fact, whatever you want to write, you’ll find an opportunity at Bath Spa University. We also work with drama and film students to produce films and podcasts, and encourage you to get involved in a wide range of writing-related areas such as readings, performances and magazines.

Course structure

Year one
Writer’s Workshop One (general workshop), Poetry, Fiction, Scriptwriting.

Year two
Specialist core modules (choose one of five) plus a wide range of specialist modules from journalism and new media, writing for young people, traditional “page” poetry, performance poetry, to genre fiction, short stories, nonfiction and more!

Year three
Creative Enterprise module, dissertation-equivalent modules in poetry, novel writing, nonfiction, and writing for young people. Independent project module, collaborative film module.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is based on 100% coursework (no exams). Most modules will require you to submit a portfolio of creative writing along with a reflective essay in which you describe what you have learned in class, what you have learned from the set texts and working on your own writing.

How will I be taught?

Creative Writing at Bath Spa University is taught through a mixture of workshops, lectures, presentations and tutorials. Workshops offer you the opportunity to read and discuss each other's work in a supportive, informal and informative atmosphere. Lectures are used to introduce techniques and themes in detail. Tutorials provide you with the opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor on a one-to-one basis. Advanced students may also get the chance to work with industry mentors on project work.

We believe that for you to achieve your maximum potential you have to take yourself and your writing seriously, and that the best way to do this is to develop a professional approach. Therefore, wherever appropriate, our modules run to industry standards and adopt industry practices.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Erasmus and exchange opportunities to some of the world’s leading colleges and universities – for instance Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Bennington College, USA.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Creative Writing has no work experience or placements embedded within the course, but students often find subject-related placements – for instance, with the Bath Literature Festival, or with production companies such as the BBC. The course team will help you on an individual basis as opportunities present themselves.

For instance, in 2012, one student was able to secure a film production assistant’s position working on the Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon on location in Southeast Asia. The course team was able to help him gain credit for this work through the Creative Enterprise and Independent Project modules. In 2014, another student was able to secure a paid placement at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. His third year of study was tailored so that he could take advantage of that opportunity and graduate with the rest of his class. Yet another student secured a placement at the Old Vic Theatre where she also researched a project for her second-year independent project module.

Careers

Current graduate careers include:

  • Novelist
  • Children’s Author
  • Playwright
  • Poet
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • Bookstore Owner
  • University Lecturer
  • Editor (Random House)

Creative Writing prizes

Creative Writing awards almost twenty separate prizes to students each year – for the best short story, best poetry, best group project, best script, along with externally sponsored awards such as the Picador Prize for Fiction – given annually to the most promising work of fiction by an undergraduate – and the Les Arnold Prize for top student in the second year, honouring the memory of poet Les Arnold, who started the writing programme in 1992.

Projects

Students are given numerous opportunities to focus on project work – from the first year core module (Writers Workshop One) to the second year core module and into several project modules in the third year.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The Creative Writing course is taught at our stunning Newton Park campus.

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:

Resources

As a Creative Writing student, you'll be able to benefit from:

  • Cameras, audio recording equipment available for students to borrow absolutely free.
  • Full production and post-production facilities, soundstage, screening rooms.
  • Technical staff to help students use hardware and software according to industry standards.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Most of our applicants will have an A or a B in English Language and / or English Literature at A Level. That said, we do judge each application on its own merit and many of our most successful graduates have not fit neatly into standard criteria. Please write directly to the course leader or the admissions team to discuss yor individual circumstances.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC accepted with a minimum of Grade B in English or related subject. Applicants without A Level English will be considered but will be required to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • BTEC-  Extended Diploma grades Distinction. Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted from applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in creative writing. You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points are required from applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in creative writing. You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). You may be invited to submit a piece of your own creative writing as part of the selection process.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Dr. Paul Meyer
Email: p.meyer@bathspa.ac.uk

Do and make in this practical course, concentrating on performance and composition.

  • Great performance opportunities, from jazz to opera, on this ‘conservatoire in a university’ course.
  • Varied and busy programme in classical, jazz, musical theatre, opera and world music.
  • 97% overall student satisfaction, National Student Survey 2015.

This is a practical and creative Music course. You’ll benefit from: dynamic staff, with national and international reputations; great facilities; and opportunities to participate in a wide range of ensembles. You’ll study performance as well as composition, with opportunities to give regular performances in Bath and beyond.

You’ll compose work in a wide variety of styles and have the opportunity to work with film, new media and dance. Work is performed either by our ensembles and soloists or by the numerous visiting professional groups.

“Every year the music department stages Opera and Music Theatre productions to a very high standard, which is something that really interests me. There are a large number of ensembles to take part in, and also the support and facilities to start your own if you wanted to.”

Joe Gatley, Music graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

Through the course you’ll study practical areas (such as classical or jazz performance on an instrument or voice and composition) and academic content (such as musicology relating to styles and genres from medieval through to pop, jazz and contemporary world music).

You can also study areas such as empirical music psychology, community music, opera and musical theatre, and issues within the music industry.

You’ll play to your strengths, with the opportunity to specialise in areas including music psychology, community music skills, world music and field studies, opera and musical theatre.

We currently have over 30 ensembles open to all students, including: numerous choirs; symphony and chamber orchestra; wind band and jazz big band; jazz small groups; our own Javanese Gamelan; brass, wind and string ensembles; folk; and experimental music groups.

Course structure

Year one
You’ll study performance, including weekly one-to-one instrumental/vocal lessons, composition in a wide range of styles and genres, music technology in our industry standard labs, world music lectures and practical workshops, musicology lectures and seminars, research and study skills.

Year two
You’ll develop skills in teaching and in the area of music management and promotion through the Professional Musician module. This offers you the opportunity to undertake a placement in an organisation of your choice.

In addition to the Professional Musician module (which is core) there are a number of optional modules. You continue to develop your musical skills, and increasingly you will specialise in areas of particular strength and interest – for example in performance, composition or musicology in classical or jazz styles.

Year three
You’ll have the freedom for creative output in specialisms such as performance or composition together with the choice of a wide range of supporting modules, from the Opera Project to Music Psychology and Music in Action (which is a community music module).

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through coursework, including compositions and essays; spoken presentations; and through practical assessments such as recitals, technicals and rehearsals.

How will I be taught?

The course is taught through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, seminars, individual tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons. Teaching sessions are highly interactive, whether face-to-face or online (for example, through wikis or discussion boards).

You’ll be taught by, and work alongside, a creative community of experts. Full-time staff are all practicing performers, composers and musicologists. You’ll also be taught by visiting staff, many with international reputations.

Opportunities

Study abroad

There are opportunities through the Erasmus scheme to study abroad for a term or longer in year 2 – we have links with university music departments and schools in Europe, particularly Germany, and the USA.

Performances

We give regular performances throughout the year in Bath as well as beyond. Each year we fully stage opera and musical theatre productions, ranging from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Puccini's Il Trittico, to Philip Glass's Satyagraha and Sondheim's Into the Woods and Company to Seussical.

Field trips

In year 2 and 3, particularly the modules ‘Music in its Cultural Contexts’ and ‘Music in Action’, students have the opportunity to engage with music projects in the community.

Work placements, industry links and internships

During the course you’ll explore the constantly changing needs of the employment market, and you’ll undertake a placement in Year 2. Recent placements have included the Bath International Music Festival, Bath Philharmonia, the BBC Proms, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, Royal Opera, BBC Music Magazine, Dorling Kindersley and Real World.

You’ll benefit from masterclass sessions from industry experts. Recent visitors include: Peter Donohoe, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Jason Rebello, Joanna MacGregor, Graham Fitkin, Iain Ballamy and Rosa Mannion.

Student prizes

We offer three student prizes to students in Year 3:

  • Performance Prize
  • Composition Prize for the best Year 3 composition portfolio
  • Ensemble Prize for outstanding contributions to ensembles in Year 3

Careers

Graduates from BA Music at Bath Spa University have careers in:

  • Performing
  • Teaching
  • Music in the community
  • Composing for concert, screen, stage and education
  • Music and arts management
  • Music promotion and publishing

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Based at the Michael Tippett Centre, we have excellent facilities including:

  • A purpose-built concert hall with superb acoustics;
  • 17 practice rooms, three with electronically variable acoustic;
  • A wide range of medieval, renaissance and baroque instruments, and a large collection of percussion and orchestral instruments;
  • A Javanese Gamelan;
  • A high spec music technology laboratory;
  • Five recording studios;
  • Two band rehearsal rooms;
  • Large well-stocked Music Library and a wide range of online musical resources.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for creativity, whether as a performer or composer. You’ll have an energy and passion for music in all its styles and genres and in its uses in industry, education, therapy and everyday life.

Applicants must have, or be working towards Grade 8 Music Practical in first instrument study and expect to achieve a minimum of Grade 5 Music Theory before joining our undergraduate programme.

Eligible applicants will be auditioned at our Newton Park campus between December and March where you'll be invited by email to:

  • Perform two contrasting items of repertoire at Grade 7/8 level.
  • Sight read a short piece or song at approximately Grade 6 standard.
  • Bring examples of original compositions or theory work.
  • Bring an example of a written essay in music.
  • More details will be provided on invitation.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC including Music Grade B or related subject.
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma in Music or related subject accepted at grade Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 27 points required in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.
  • Access to HE courses -  Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher)  accepted in addition to evidence of Music ability and/or other graded Music qualifications.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

We interview all prospective students at interview days from December onwards. You’ll meet staff and see our facilities, as well as having the chance to discuss the course with students and staff.

Applicants must have, or be working towards Grade 8 Music Practical in first instrument study and expect to achieve a minimum of Grade 5 Music Theory before joining our undergraduate programme.

 

Eligible applicants will be auditioned at our Newton Park campus between December and March where you'll be invited by email to:

 

  • Perform two contrasting items of repertoire at ABRSM Grade 7/8 standard or equivalent.
  • Sight read a short piece or song at approximately Grade 6 standard.
  • Bring examples of original compositions or theory work.
  • Bring an example of a written essay in music.
  • More details will be provided on invitation.

We do not charge an audition fee.

For international students or students unable to come to Bath we also accept an online portfolio in the form of video/PDF examples of your performance and work.

 

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Roger Heaton

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk