• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2016
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    2 evenings a week

    October to June

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

Do you feel you have a story in you but you don't know how to get it out? Do you play out dramas in your head? Are you a secret YouTube filmmaker or part-time rapper, or do you just love making up stories for your kids? If you are fascinated by the craft of writing, you can study a range of genres, including fiction, poetry, drama, creative non-fiction and screenwriting, receiving tuition and guidance from practising published writers. You will develop a portfolio of creative work and interact with industry professionals to broaden your understanding of the fields of publishing, performance and broadcasting.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

You will taught by successful, published authors and practitioners, including:

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

Application deadlines and interviews

We recommend you apply as early as possible.

Interviews normally take place April to June and September.

Online application

Creative Writing (BA): 4-year, part-time (Part-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
  • Our School of Arts is in the top 5 Schools in the country and our Department of English is a top-rated research department in the areas of both English literature and creative writing.
  • This programme is one of the few single honours BA Creative Writing programmes in the UK and the only one available in central London.
  • The programme offers face-to-face teaching to part-time, evening study students by practising, published writers.
  • You will have the unique opportunity to develop your skills as a writer while deepening your understanding of the demands and expectations of writing as a career.
  • Birkbeck's BA Creative Writing has an expansive, multi-genre approach to the study of writing (fiction, poetry, drama, screenwriting and life-writing) with students retaining the option to complete literature modules from the BA English.
  • You will be taught in small, interactive workshop groups.
  • You will be eligible to submit work to the annual Birkbeck Creative Writing journal, The Mechanics' Institute Review.
  • Read an account of how our students created the most recent issue of The Mechanics' Institute Review.
  • You will be taught by published writers - active practitioners in their respective fields - and by guest lecturers (established authors) and publishing industry professionals.
  • We offer a range of world-class research resources.

Course structure

You must complete modules worth a total of 360 credits. Typically, this will take the form of 90 credits per year.

In addition to compulsory modules, you also take an optional half-module in each year in Years 1-3.

In Year 1, you take 4 compulsory modules (90 credits at Level 4).

In Year 2, you take 3 compulsory modules and 1 option module (30 credits at Level 5).

In Year 3, you take 2 compulsory modules, 1 elective module (30 credits at Level 5) from the School of Arts, and 1 Creative Writing option module (30 credits at Level 6).

In Year 4, you take 3 compulsory modules, including an extended writing project, an independent reading portfolio and the publishing project, plus 1 option module (30 credits at Level 6) from Creative Writing or School of Arts provision (not previously taken), with permission from the appropriate Programme Director.

To find out more, read our programme handbook.

Year 1 core modules

Year 2 core modules

Year 2 option modules

Year 3 compulsory modules

Year 3 option modules

Year 4 core modules

Year 4 option modules

Entry requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

All applicants must supply a short creative writing sample (no more than 1000 words). Subject to this being deemed of a sufficient standard, you will be called to interview to show evidence of your writing experience and commitment to the duration and intensity of study.

Alternative entry routes

Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in the subject area, although we may waive these formal entry requirements and make our own assessment based on the creative writing sample.

Students who have completed the Certificate of Higher Education in Creative Writing (120 credit points), achieving an average mark of 60% or higher, will be exempted from the first year of the BA Creative Writing, subject to acceptance. Those who have not achieved this standard will still be considered for entry into the first year.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


Part-time home/EU students: £ 6750 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront. Find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue careers in creative writing, journalism, education or media production. This degree may also be useful in becoming an author, journalist, higher education lecturer or screenwriter.

Find out more about these professions.

Birkbeck creative writing graduates include:

      Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

      We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

        Teaching and assessment


        Teaching is varied and interactive and takes the form of lecturer-led sessions on elements of craft, workshopping of students' creative work, class and home exercises, student readings, and individual and group work.


        Assessment is 100% coursework. It includes short creative projects, essays, presentations, a writer’s notebook, web publishing and an extended creative work in a specific genre. A creative dissertation is also a compulsory requirement of the programme in the final year.

        Our research

        Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

        Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

        In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

        Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art.

        Further study opportunities

        We offer an MA Creative Writing.

        Not ready to do a degree?

        We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

        If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

        Key Information Set