Year of entry2017
Start dateOctober 2017
Four years part-time
Two evenings a week, October to June
Other entry years for this course2018
The BA Creative Writing is a unique and exciting programme of study that gives you the opportunity to explore a range of disciplines, from prose fiction to poetry, scriptwriting to creative non-fiction.
Under the tutelage of practising published writers, you will not only build an understanding of the craft of writing and hone your authorial technique, you will also learn the vital instinct for reading as a writer. Through practical projects and engagement with visiting professionals, you will broaden your understanding of the many aspects of the writing industry. You will also complete an extended creative project in a specific genre in your final year.
The degree provides you with a basis of skills necessary to pursue writing as a profession. It also equips you with expertise transferable to many careers in the arts, education, and the media.
This programme is also available for.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings. 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.
- The programme offers face-to-face evening study. You will be taught by practising, published, award-winning writers with a reputation for excellence in their field, and have the chance to meet and liaise with top-level professionals from the publishing and performance industries.
- 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.
- You will be eligible to submit work to the annual Birkbeck Creative Writing journal, The Mechanics' Institute Review.
- Watch a video about studying this course.
You must complete modules worth a total of 360 credits at Levels 4, 5 and 6. Typically, this takes the form of 90 credits per year. In addition to core and compulsory modules, you also choose option modules and complete an extended piece of writing.
In Year 1, you take five core modules.
In Year 2, you take three core modules and choose one option module.
In Year 3, you take three compulsory modules and choose one option module.
In Year 4, you take three core modules: the publishing project, an independent reading portfolio and an extended writing project. You also choose one option module.
To find out more, read our programme handbook.
Year 1 core modules
- Independent Reading Portfolio: The Short Story
- Introduction to Creative Writing
- Introduction to Drama
- Introduction to Fiction
- Introduction to Poetry
Year 2 core modules
Year 2 option modules
- Poetry Workshop 1
- Scriptwriting Workshop 1: The Essentials of Stage and Screen (The 30 Minute Script)
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 option modules
- Fiction Workshop: The Contemporary Novel
- Poetry Workshop 2: The Open Page
- Scriptwriting Workshop 2: Writing for the Contemporary Stage
- Scriptwriting Workshop 3: The Radio Drama
- Scriptwriting Workshop 4: The Television Drama (The 60 Minute Script)
Year 4 core modules
Year 4 option modules
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
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, whatever their academic background, must submit a sample of 1000 words of creative writing (fiction, poetry, drama, or screenwriting).
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.
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.
Fees and finance
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
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.
You will taught by successful, published authors and practitioners, including:
Assessment is 100% coursework, which may include short creative projects, essays, presentations, a writer's notebook, web publishing and an extended creative work in a specific genre. The compulsory School of Arts elective may include an examination or another form of assessment.
A creative dissertation is also a compulsory requirement of the programme in your final year.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
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.
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.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
Birkbeck creative writing graduates include:
- Sally Hinchcliffe
- Niki Aguirre
- Heidi James
- Matthew Loukes
- Iphgenia Baal
- Nii Parkes
- Emma Henderson
- Liz Fremantle
- Anna Hope
- Karin Salvalaggio
- Olya Knezevic
- Phoebe Blatton
- Melissa De Villiers
- Nik Korpon
- Louise Lee
- Tray Butler
- Helen Pike
- David Savill
- Laura Allsop
- Sarah Alexander
- A. J. Grainger
- Julia Gray
- Nicole Burstein.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.
All applicants, whatever their academic background, must submit a sample of 1000 words' creative writing (fiction, poetry, drama, or screenwriting).
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.
Some applicants may be invited to interview and interviews usually take place April-June and again in September.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Discover more about our comprehensive range of student services, which offer all the support and assistance you need.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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