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

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Four years part-time

Attendance

Two evenings a week, October to June

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 full-time evening study over three years.

    Highlights

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Course structure

    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.

    Module groups

    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

      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, 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.

      Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

      If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

      Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

    • Fees

      Fees

      Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
      Part-time international students: £10025 pa

      Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

    • Teaching and assessment

      Teaching

      At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

      Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

      Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

      In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

      Methods of teaching on this course

      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:

      Timetables

      Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

      Indicative class size

      Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

      Academic support

      Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

      • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
      • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
      • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

      Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

      Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

      Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

      Assessment

      Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

      Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

      Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

      Methods of assessment on this course

      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.

      Feedback

      As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

      Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

      Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

      Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

    • Careers and employability

      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.

      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.

      Birkbeck creative writing graduates include:

          Graduate Destinations

          Go on to work and/or study:

          Go on to work and/or study
          Now working: 80%
          Doing further study: 10%
          Studying and working: 5%
          Unemployed: 0%
          Other: 5%

          Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

        • How to apply

          How to apply

          You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.

          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.