Year of entry2018
Start dateOctober 2018
Three years full-time
Three evenings a week
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Have you got a story to tell but you don't know how to unlock it? Do you want to know more about the craft of writing? Do you want to learn how to read both as a critic and as a writer?
If so, this exciting new joint honours degree is ideal. In the heart of literary London, in a building that was once home to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, you will study with leading academics and celebrated published authors across the fields of fiction, poetry and drama.
You will also develop your knowledge and understanding of a wide range of literary writing in English, from earliest times to the present day. This degree culminates in the opportunity to develop both extended creative and critical pieces under the guidance of award-winning writers.
We also offer a.
- 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.
- Our School of Arts is in the top five in the country and our Department of English is a top-rated research department in the areas of both English literature and creative writing.
- Birkbeck's BA Creative Writing and English has an expansive, multi-genre approach to the study of writing (fiction, poetry, drama, screenwriting and life-writing), while also uniquely offering the opportunity to study English literature and literary criticism in depth.
- Birkbeck is located in the heart of literary London - in Bloomsbury, WC1 - and writers and academics maintain strong links with publishers and broadcasters.
- 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.
In Year 1, you take two compulsory modules that will introduce you to the basic elements of craft in the writing of prose fiction, drama and poetry. You also take two compulsory English literature modules that will introduce you to some of the major genres and periods of English literature, while developing your skills in understanding and applying a range of critical theories and methods.
In Year 2, you take a compulsory creative writing module that will develop your writing skills in longer-form fiction. You also take a compulsory English literature module that will develop your ability to critically evaluate longer fiction.
All other modules are optional, chosen from a wide range offered across our BA English and our BA Creative Writing programmes. You can also choose option modules on related programmes in the School of Arts, such as our.
In your final year, you undertake a written project in English literature (a long essay) or an extended writing project in a genre of creative writing.
To find out more, read our programme handbook.
- Critical Foundations
- Doing English
- Introduction to Drama
- Introduction to Fiction
- Introduction to Poetry
- Writing London
Creative writing option modules
- Creative Non-Fiction
- Fiction Workshop: The Contemporary Novel
- Poetry Workshop 1
- Poetry Workshop 2: The Open Page
- Scriptwriting Workshop 1: The Essentials of Stage and Screen (The 30 Minute Script)
- Scriptwriting Workshop 2: Writing for the Contemporary Stage
- Scriptwriting Workshop 3: The Radio Drama
- Scriptwriting Workshop 4: The Television Drama (The 60 Minute Script)
English literature 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.
UCAS tariff points
The UCAS tariff system has changed for courses starting in September 2017 and is now calculated using a new number system. This means applicants applying for courses from October 2016 will see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new tariff.
The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.
Based on your qualifications and experience, you may need to submit 1000 words of creative writing and attend an interview, while some applicants may also be invited to complete a written literature task.
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 6.5, with not less than 6.0 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.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
Fees (2017/8)Full-time home/EU students: £ 9250 pa
Full-time overseas students: £ 13000 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
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 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.
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 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.
Methods of assessment on this course
Creative writing modules are assessed by 100% coursework. This includes short creative projects, essays, presentations, a writer’s notebook, web publishing, and an extended creative work in a specific genre. An extended writing project forms part of the programme in the final year.
English literature modules are assessed by essays, examinations and a range of other exercises, including a project in your final year.
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
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.
Birkbeck creative writing graduates include:
- Niki Aguirre
- Sarah Alexander
- Laura Allsop
- Iphgenia Baal
- Phoebe Blatton
- Nicole Burstein
- Tray Butler
- Melissa De Villiers
- Liz Fremantle
- A. J. Grainger
- Julia Gray
- Emma Henderson
- Sally Hinchcliffe
- Anna Hope
- Heidi James
- Olya Knezevic
- Nik Korpon
- Matthew Loukes
- Nii Parkes
- Helen Pike
- Karin Salvalaggio
- David Savill
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.
Go on to work and/or study:
Data from 15 students.
90% of those surveyed responded
Source: Destinations of leavers from HE record
- Go on to work and/or study
- Now working: 35%
- Doing further study: 30%
- Studying and working: 5%
- Unemployed: 15%
- Other: 15%
Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.
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
If you are applying for a three-year, full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.
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
15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.
Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.
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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Birkbeck student wins prestigious Institute of Business Ethics’ Competition
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Professor Bill Bowring awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences
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Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love
Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square
Alma-Tadema: Antiquity at Home and on Screen
Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square
Get Started - October 2017 (Central Campus)
Room 416, Birkbeck, University Of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
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Podcast: The Beirut Triology
Jocelyne Saab talks about her Beirut Trilogy, lauded at the 2017 Essay Film Festival.
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Professor Frank Trentmann looks at what's being done to reduce our high-consumption lifestyles.