Creative Writing and Publishing

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Publishing
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: WP84
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 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

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

Study Publishing as a joint subject and learn to shape stories, information and ideas for print and digital.

  • Access to cutting-edge Adobe digital publishing platform.
  • Industry and employability-focused course.
  • Graduates employed by BBC, Taylor & Francis and Penguin Random House.

Publishing is one of the UK’s largest creative industries and this is an international industry which shapes and presents content across a wide range of subjects. Publishers find an audience for a variety of publication types from books and magazines to innovative apps and websites. We’ll equip you with a wide range of the latest digital making skills, alongside learning core publishing skills, such as copywriting and editing, design and layout, and marketing.

Through collaborative project development, you will acquire essential creative workplace skills in working with others, carving out your own role, and achieving high-quality results. You’ll graduate with industry experience and a stunning digital portfolio of your work.

The 'Future Publishers' initiative aims to encourage new publishing talent and increase diversity in the industry. Since 2011, Publishing staff and students have delivered inspiring magazine and book-making workshops for children and young people in schools and at live events e.g. Forest of Imagination.

“Adding Publishing to my degree has given me a huge range of opportunities and an advantage over others when applying for jobs. I have really enjoyed every moment of the course.”

Frances Bircher, BA (Hons) History and Publishing graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll graduate with essential publishing skills, from writing persuasive, concise copy and text editing, to communicating brand identity and audience research. We’ll teach you how to layout content and manipulate images using industry-standard software, with opportunities to develop your skills in image use, video; photography; app creation; and HTML.

Additional modules offer the chance to specialise and deepen your knowledge and skill base, and to work on larger personal projects linked to your career aims.

Course structure

Year one
We’ll introduce you to core publishing principles, with a focus on copywriting and editing. You’ll become familiar with layout, production and publishing software. There will be weekly deadlines, so you’ll get used to turning around work quickly and in a well-presented form. Alongside this you’ll start to build an in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry.

Year two
You’ll gain greater insight into particular areas of publishing, such as marketing, editorial and design. Optional modules allow you to delve deeper into areas such as illustrated books, fiction editing, and the use of publishing skills for social enterprise and charity work.

Year three
Tutors will guide you to focus your skills and knowledge around your personal creative and career interests. You’ll be encouraged to develop your individual approach as a creator, curator or project manager; your final portfolio will reflect this, showcasing your work for prospective employers. Optional modules cover magazines, book commissioning, digital literary studies, cookery publishing, and children’s books.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed by coursework, including portfolios, essays, feature articles, reflective commentaries and reports. In some modules you’ll share your work through short, informal presentations.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through creative workshops, skills labs, seminars and lectures. You will learn to be adept at project management and product development following a research and development process. We work on-screen and beyond: creating sketchbooks; making physical prototypes; getting out and meeting people; finding opportunities.

Throughout the course, you’ll work to briefs set by your tutors or industry collaborators, as well as working on your own projects. We expect you to work with flair and enthusiasm, taking your ideas and developing them into industry standard work.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Students can choose to study abroad; this is a great opportunity to develop knowledge of other book markets as publishing is an international industry.

Field trips

From visiting bookbinders and letterpress companies to climbing Britain’s tallest spire and visiting bookshops for talks and research, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in field trips across the Publishing modules.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Students have the opportunity to work on live projects and collaborations. We have worked with international and local clients such as TEDxBristol, X Media Lab, the National Trust, Forest of Imagination arts events, and Bath Film Festival.

With our support, many students carry out work experience and freelance work. The Publishing lecturers have had a great amount of experience in the industry, putting us in an excellent position to help students and graduates with networking opportunities.

We support applications for the Parragon Books paid internships and work with industry contacts to develop internship and work experience opportunities for students.

Careers

Publishing graduates have gained a range of professions including Production Assistant; Digital Editor; Digital Marketing Coordinator; Events Organiser; and Project Manager. Graduates have been employed by publishing companies including:

  • Future
  • Parragon Books
  • Taylor & Francis
  • BBC
  • Penguin Random House

Publishing prizes

Each year we award six prizes to students in their final year. These are the:

  • Digital Publishing Prize
  • Public Ambassador Prize
  • Food Writing Prize
  • Illustrated Publishing Prize
  • Book Innovation Prize

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Publishing is taught on our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:

Resources

As a Publishing student, you'll benefit from:

  • experienced Publishing technical demonstrators to support you;
  • the latest specialist software as well as various print and handmade publishing equipment including digital cameras, iPads, booklet makers;
  • free equipment hire with SISO, Bath Spa’s loan system.

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 part time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
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

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 students with creative flair – enthusiastic team players who are full of ideas and want to learn how to make them happen. Great attention to detail is important as we place emphasis on creating industry standard professional work.

Typical offers

The standard offers based on A Levels for Publishing combinations are:

  • Business and Management - CCC
  • Creative Computing - CDD
  • Creative Writing - BCC (B In English Literature or Language)
  • English Literature - BCC (B In English Literature or Language)
  • Film and Screen Studies - CCC
  • History - CCC
  • History of Art and Design - BCC (B in Art and Design related subject and ideally C in History)
  • Media Communications - CCC

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

  • A Level
  • BTEC
  • International Baccalaureate
  • 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). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply.

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.

Get ahead

Explore industry magazine, The Bookseller, online.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Katharine Reeve
Email: k.reeve@bathspa.ac.uk