BA Creative Writing and English

Our literary legacy is inspirational, and the city's current writing scene is buzzing.

Key information

Study mode


Course length

3 years

Typical offer

120 points

A Level grades: BBB

UCAS code


Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Hull has a long association with creative writing. The city was the home of poets Andrew Marvell and Philip Larkin, while the University counts Douglas Dunn and Roger McGough among its alumni.

This course allows you to focus on honing your craft through a mixture of practical workshops and seminar discussions. You'll develop your confidence in writing by developing core skills in characterisation, storytelling and creating a sense of place.

You'll also create and refine longer pieces of writing, experimenting in different genres and forms – including fantasy and science fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, short stories and poetry. As practitioners and published authors, our tutors bring their expertise and creativity into each session.

Our programmes provide a first-class grounding in literature from the medieval era to the 21st century, by way of English and American authors of poetry, short fiction, drama and novels. Our writing modules enable you to develop high-quality creative work including short stories, genre fiction, non-fiction, novels, poetry and scripts.

There's a lot to get involved in outside of the lecture theatre at Hull. You can get involved in extra-curricular activities including our active, student-led English Society and HU Writes.

Creativity lives and breathes at the University of Hull. Always has done, always will. It’s central to what universities do. But at Hull, we’re building something that goes far beyond our four walls. 

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session

Creative Writing and English


Six reasons to study Creative Writing and English at Hull

  1. Study under published fiction writers, poets and scriptwriters
  2. Creative Writing is ranked 2nd for student experience ‡
  3. Hull is ranked in the top 15 for Creative Writing in the UK#
  4. Top 15 for English student satisfaction#
  5. 100% graduate employability rating
  6. 2nd in the UK for the teaching on my course and learning resources**

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120 credits.

First year modules

  • Compulsory Modules

    The Writer’s Toolkit

    ‘The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms’ – Muriel Rukeyser. This module will help you to nourish the writer within you, and introduce you to the key concepts that will allow your imagination to flourish through writing exercises, workshops and advice from published writers.

    Exploring English

    In this introductory module you will focus on the key skills needed to help you transition from your pre-university studies to the work that you will do at university. You'll learn how to collaborate with your peers in practical skills workshops and start building up an academic support network. Your tutors will monitor your individual progress by means of an e-portfolio.

    Poetry, Past and Present

    Discover English-language poetry from across the globe – poetry that crosses continents and cultural perspectives and gives voice to the complexities of gender and sexuality. Learn about the key poetic concepts of metre and rhyme and about different verse forms, including sonnets, songs, and ballads.

    Facts into Art

    Discover how to convert real life into good storytelling. Extend your creative writing skills by generating ideas from daily life, and crafting them into well-conceived, skilled pieces.

    Poetry, Performance, Play

    Do you love the sound of words, the rhythm of poetry and the power of the human voice? Then this module is for you. Join us to learn how to craft your words into shape as you play with form and perform your own monologues, sonnets, haiku and more, letting your words travel out through the dark.

    Drama, Conflict and Identity

    Study landmark plays which highlight enduring issues of identity and human conflict. You will develop the critical skills, technical vocabulary, and knowledge of staging practices needed to analyse plays as text and performance, while discovering that drama is a malleable form where direction, performance and changing audiences can open up very different interpretations.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory Modules

    Crime and Transgression

    Societies, cultures and communities often construct themselves around what they define as ‘criminal’ or ‘transgressive’. Question how societies and cultures enforce discipline upon ‘transgressive’ individuals and groups: what is a ‘crime’ and who effectively gets punished? Explore how societies respond to those who transgress against heteronormative relationships or those whose gender identities put them beyond their societies’ very narrow definitions.

    Writing the Environment

    This module showcases the power of language, literature, and the creative word to shape and shift attitudes towards our planet and its future survival. It will encourage you to explore eco-writing and environmentalist discourse responding to three of today’s urgent environmental challenges: pollution, the climate crisis, and sustainability.

  • Core

    The Storyteller’s Art

    Write your own tales of transformation and adventure, drawing on the world’s greatest stories studied in this module.

  • Optional Modules


    Learn about story, plot, characterisation, dialogue, structure and adaptation. Develop your skills in giving and receiving feedback on creative work. Learn how to work effectively in a group, sharing work, encouraging other writers and being encouraged by others to be the best scriptwriter you can be.

    All the World’s a Stage: Shakespeare and Early Modern Theatre

    Rather than studying Shakespeare in isolation, this module places him among the many inventive and influential playwrights of the time. You will be introduced to ground-breaking plays in key genres (tragedies and comedies) and sub-genres (such as revenge drama and city comedy) which flourished in the purpose-built commercial playhouses. This module explores the drama’s extraordinary legacy: a rich trove of plays of exceptional emotional reach, eloquence, invention, and imaginative daring. Provocative, moving and evocative—these plays form part of a golden age of English theatre.

    Travel, Cultural Encounters and Conflict

    Take the notion of travel in its broadest sense to explore the experience of individuals and groups who come into contact with each other. Starting in the eighteenth century with an exploration of Turkish painting alongside French and British Orientalist art, you will consider representations of countries such as Ireland in the Famine years, accounts of the Rwandan genocide, and Afghanistan at the turn of the twenty-first century.

    Dystopian Fiction

    Study exciting dystopian fiction from the past and right up to the present day. As well as reading and responding to a range of texts, you will have creative opportunities to build and explore new worlds, implementing your own survival strategies. The assessments include academic and creative options, giving you a range of opportunities to excel.

    Writing Poetry Now

    Do you want to take your poetry further? If you are ready to become a more skilled practitioner, able to present your work to an audience, and willing to go deeper into your study of contemporary poetry, then join us. Learn how exciting contemporary poetry is, and feel more confident in your own contributions to the poetry world.

    The Short Story

    Do you love reading, writing or listening to short stories? Immerse yourself in classic and contemporary stories, learn about how writers deliver their magic, using limited word counts to make every word sing. Go on to craft your own stories, drawing on the limitations of the form to turn it into a strength.

    Secrets, Scandals and Rebellions

    Explore the nature of secrecy, scandals and rebellions in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, and how aspects of these controversies are still live issues reflected in real-world scenarios. Consider a literary text of your own choice in the style of investigative journalism, and then collaborate with other students on a project linking a fictitious scandal of the past with something you identify as a continuing controversy today.

    Love, Desire, Death

    Trace the development of representations of love, desire and death in English poetry and drama over the course of almost three hundred and fifty years. Following on from ‘All the World’s a Stage’ in trimester one, this module will encourage you to deepen your engagement with familiar writers like Shakespeare and Marlowe, but will also introduce you to important Medieval writers and key Renaissance poets through the specific lens of their treatment of love, desire and death.

    Making It New

    Explore experimentation, radicalism and innovation in literature. Many writers of the 20th century rebelled against previous ways of writing, thinking these methods were no longer relevant to a rapidly changing world. You will have the chance to study a range of exciting, ground-breaking texts from the early 1900s to the 1990s.

Final year modules

  • Compulsory Modules

    Creative Writing Portfolio: Preparation

    Everyone has a story to tell – through Creative Writing Portfolio: Preparation, you will research, plan and begin development of a creative project that is uniquely yours. Continue your development with masterclass seminars and writing workshops that will provide you with the skills needed to take your creative project from conception to completion.

    Creative Writing Portfolio

    You will intrigue us with your fascinating characters, move us as they tackle dilemmas, arcing across landscapes set in believable worlds. You will entice us with your lyricism and imagery, and draw us in with your control of language. As your stories and poems of the unexpected buzz across the page, you will make us want to read on.

  • Optional Modules

    Writing the Novel

    Learn to read like a writer and write like a reader as we encourage you to develop the story that is smouldering inside you. This module reveals many of the secrets of how to plan, write, edit and rewrite long-form prose. Upon completion, you will have the skills, technique, drive and determination to begin writing a novel – your novel.

    Crime Scenes

    Engaging with a key genre within popular culture, you will analyse contemporary society via a number of prismatic themes, or re-framings of the ‘crime scene’: crime and its (social) environment; the status of the murdered body; the mind of the psychopath; crime fiction’s early engagement with LGBTQ+ issues, and with racial discrimination and oppression.

    Unruly Subjects: Voices from the Margins

    Study writing which was regarded with suspicion by the authorities and incorporates marginal figures, such as prostitutes, the poor, same-sex lovers and female adventurers. Our subject is unruliness: how it was defined, represented, attacked and, on occasion, celebrated in writing from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.

    Voyage Out: Navigating the Language and Literature of the Sea

    This module introduces you to sea narratives from the eighteenth century to the present day. You will engage with a range of fictional and non-fictional representations of seafaring and maritime adventure, and diverse perspectives on the individual’s negotiation of the threshold between land and sea.

    Writing Britain Now

    Read and respond to texts written during the 21st century, novels, short stories and plays that focus on topical issues such as Brexit, immigration, racial inequality, climate change, and terrorism. You will also have an opportunity to reflect on the different perspectives diverse contemporary writers bring to the concerns of our time.

    Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror: Writing the Wondrous and the Weird

    A module for those for whom magic is real, technology is limitless and there are monsters hiding around every corner – Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror: Writing the Wondrous and the Weird will take you on a journey through your imagined world and encourage you to explore, to play and to craft high-quality genre fiction.

    Writing the City

    You will explore the changing nature of cities, and apply knowledge gained through studying a variety of material to help create new narratives of the city.

    Intercultural Shakespeares

    Examine four Shakespearean texts that dramatise or examine an intercultural encounter, and consider how these plays have been appropriated by and adapted in other cultures and by those intent on challenging dominant cultural norms. The module will be of interest to students who want to gain more understanding of Shakespeare’s plays, particularly in relation to debates regarding race, colonialism, gender and sexuality, and cultural appropriation.

    Gothic Imagination

    Explore the Gothic as a literary genre and cultural mode from its origins to its contemporary international manifestations. Gothic responds to the dominant culture of its time and represents an important mode of articulation for socially, politically, sexually marginalized groups. It responds to and negotiates racial, religious, gender and political issues and demonstrates an ongoing capacity to register the tensions that lie behind the surface of culture and identity.

    Written on the Body

    Feminist and gender criticism and theory are going through major developments in contemporary culture. At the same time, new and traditional gender identities, sexual orientation and intersectional, blended identities are raised and analysed in literary texts. This module will allow you to take account of the newest developments in its critical engagement with feminism and gender in relation to a range of contemporary texts.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Ellie Williams English

Why I chose English at Hull

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Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades BBB

  • BTEC grades DDM

  • Points required 120

Work out your estimated points

Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma overall with a minimum of 118 UCAS tariff points

Worried you don’t quite meet our entry requirements?

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it’s not just about the grades – we’ll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

If you have any questions, our admissions team will be happy to help.

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Creative Writing and English students enjoy 24/7 access to our Brynmor Jones Library which boasts more than a million books.

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2023 entry. The fees for 2024 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,978 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Professional writing

You'll build a varied portfolio of work and develop desirable skills in analysis, research and communication.

Our graduates have found employment with a wide range of public and private sector companies and organisations including: East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, and the Ministry of Justice.

The ability to showcase a creative mind through creative writing is also highly valuable to employers as it is a rare skill in today's employment market.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our Open Day

Book a place

This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

† Percentage of students from this subject area in work or further study within 15 months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2018/19, published by HESA July 2021.

# Complete University Guide League Table 2023

‡ The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

** National Student Survey (NSS) 2022, HEIs only