Undergraduate

Creative Writing and English

A student sits reading a book on the seventh floor of the Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull.
The exterior of the seven-storey Brynmor Jones Library lit up at night.
A group of students smile and laugh outside a red-brick, ivy-clad University building.
An English student looks up at a statue of the poet Philip Larkin in Hull Paragon Interchange train station.
A student sits reading on a bench in the library plaza, surrounded by plants, trees and dappled sun.

Look around

Study the breadth of English and American poetry, short fiction, drama and novels. From medieval and Renaissance to #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.
The 7-storey Brynmor Jones Library is home to 1 million+ books. Our Rare Books room includes a variety of titles published between 1473 and 2002.
Join our student-led English Society and HUWrites. Share your unique voice at open mics. And publish your work in our in-house literary magazines.
Renowned poets and writers Philip Larkin, Andrew Marvell, Stevie Smith, Tom Paulin, J.R.R. Tolkien and Winifred Holtby all have ties to Hull.
This degree doesn’t just pave the way for a literary career. The ability to showcase a creative mind through writing is a rare and valuable skill.
Retreat to the sanctuary of the Reading Room where you can catch up on the newest poetry, prose and criticism in our library of literary journals.
A student sits reading a book on the seventh floor of the Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull.
The exterior of the seven-storey Brynmor Jones Library lit up at night.
A group of students smile and laugh outside a red-brick, ivy-clad University building.
An English student looks up at a statue of the poet Philip Larkin in Hull Paragon Interchange train station.
A student sits reading on a bench in the library plaza, surrounded by plants, trees and dappled sun.
Brynmor Jones Library Reading Room

Code

Duration

Mode

Hull’s been called the country’s “most poetic city”. Renowned poets and writers from Andrew Marvell to Philip Larkin, Stevie Smith to Tom Paulin, J.R.R. Tolkien to Winifred Holtby, all have ties to the University and city.

We’ll teach you how to harness the power of words to bring about positive change. You’ll work on real-world projects, and study global literature from medieval to contemporary.

Our current writing scene is buzzing. Join our thriving English Society and engage with world-leading authors. And share your unique voice at regular open mics and in student-run magazines.

  • 1 million+ books

    and journals available at the Brynmor Jones Library

  • 5th in the UK

    for Student Experience 1

  • Published writers

    and scholars teach on this course

  • 3rd in the UK

    for Student Satisfaction with Creative Writing 2

  • 90+ years

    of teaching English, since 1928

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Course overview
Module options

About this course

You’ll hone your writing craft through practical workshops and seminar discussions. Developing core skills in characterisation, storytelling and creating a sense of place. And you'll experiment with different genres and forms. From fantasy and science fiction, to scriptwriting and short stories, to poetry and non-fiction.

You’ll also gain a solid grounding in English and American literature. From the medieval and Renaissance eras through to #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. You’ll cover a wide range of poetry, short fiction, drama and novels. And you’ll debate urgent issues including the environment and social justice.

There's a lot to get involved in outside of the lecture theatre, too. You can join our active, student-led English Society and HUWrites. HUWrites provides a platform for performance with showcases and student-led podcasts. You’ll also get the chance to design, edit and publish with our in-house magazines, Document 1 and Hull Scribbler.

Scheduled study hours and how you’re assessed

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.

How you'll be assessed depends on the course you study, and the modules you choose. You may be assessed through a mix of examinations, coursework, presentations and group projects.

Choose your modules

Each year, you’ll study modules worth a certain number of credits, and you need 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits – so you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more. In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120. Some modules are compulsory, some are optional, so you can build a course that’s right for you.

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits
6 Modules

The Storyteller’s Art

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

Core20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

Scriptwriting

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits
11 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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

Writing the City

Do you want to write dystopian fiction? Or imagine how to make our cities happier, more democratic places to live? Then Writing The City is the module for you, with its opportunities for debate, writing, workshopping and editing your view of the city.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits
12 Modules

Playlist

Dr Ed Hurst

Course Overview 1 min

Maya Tyrrell

Student story 1 min

Rising Tide of the Humber

Research Highlight 3 mins

Life on campus

University Life 2 mins

Entry requirements

What do I need?

When it comes to applying to university, you'll need a certain number of UCAS points. Different qualifications and grades are worth a different amount of points. For this course, you'll need…

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.

Have questions? Our admissions team will be happy to help.

What do I need?

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.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull.

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.

Fees & funding

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

Take a look at our facilities

Brynmor Jones Library

Our 7-storey library is home to 1 million+ books, extensive digital resources drawn from libraries and archives across the world, and stunning panoramic views of the city from the 7th floor.

Reading Room

You’ll find the Reading Room on the first floor of our library. It offers a comfortable space and a quiet environment to study – away from the hustle and bustle of the campus.

Rare Books

Our collection includes a variety of titles published between 1473 and 2002. Texts are in 18 languages. Places of publication range from Amsterdam to Zwickau, covering 26 countries on 5 continents.

Study Rooms

You'll find over 1,000 work spaces in our library. From boardroom-style meeting venues with big-screen PCs, to informal group-study areas and interactive whiteboards.

See more in our virtual tour

Look around

Look around

Look around

Look around

Brynmor Jones Library Observation Deck
Brynmor Jones Library Reading Room
Brynmor Jones Library Rare Books Room
Brynmor Jones Library Group Study Room
A student in a recording studio recording the voiceover for a University of Hull TV advert.

Future prospects

Hull counts poets Douglas Dunn and Roger McGough among its alumni. But an English and Creative Writing degree doesn’t just pave the way for a literary career. It trains you to analyse, research and communicate at a very high level. The ability to showcase a creative mind through writing is a rare skill and highly valuable to employers.

Our graduates develop skills that are prized in many professions, and acquire the adaptability to flourish in various arenas. They’ve gone on to work for a wide range of public and private sector companies and organisations, like East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, the Ministry of Justice, and more.

University of Hull Open Day

Your next steps

Like what you’ve seen? Then it’s time to apply.

The standard way to apply for this course is through UCAS. This will give you the chance to showcase your skill, qualities and passion for the subject, as well as providing your academic qualifications.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our next Open Day, and see all that Hull has to offer for yourself. Talk to our lecturers about your subject, find out what university is really like from our current students, and take a tour of our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.

  1. (English) The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.
  2. (Creative Writing) The Complete University Guide 2024.
  3. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

 

All modules presented on this course page are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

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