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Undergraduate study
English and Creative Writing (with Foundation Year)

English and Creative Writing (with Foundation Year) BA (Hons)

The BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing degree course is an excellent foundation for a career in writing, editing or publishing. As a writer, you develop a strong feeling for language and the linguistic tools available to you. You extend your boundaries and stretch yourself to refine your writing technique.



Course routes:


Course overview

Alongside studying topics such as romantic and Victorian literature, modernism, postmodernism and postcolonial writing, you have the opportunity to practise your creativity in a number of forms, contexts and genres. You gain a solid understanding of creative-critical approaches, and develop personal and professional skills which are greatly valued by employers.

  • We are ranked 5th for Student Satisfaction for Creative Writing in the Complete University Guide 2023. (55 institutions were
  • We are ranked 14th for Student Satisfaction for English in the Complete University Guide 2023. (100 institutions were ranked.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

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Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Academic Study Skills Toolkit

This module will assist you in developing the personal and academic skills that you will need for undergraduate study. It focusses on developing skills such as information retrieval, evaluation, critical thinking, note taking, presentation skills and group work.

Contemporary Issues in Social Sciences

This module will introduce you to the historical and contemporary development of social science disciplines and will provide examples of theoretical challenges and the ways in which research is applied in society. You will gain an understanding of the critical differences between disciplines and how interdisciplinary research is fostered through collaboration. You will also be introduced to academic standards, ethical guidelines and research protocols, personal development planning and to a range of study and transferable skills relevant to your degree course and beyond.

Fake News: Propaganda and Polemics, Past and Present

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your skills in thinking critically about the information and analysis presented in an array of media in today’s digital world, drawing on the methodologies of a range of disciplines within the social sciences, humanities and law. You will explore examples of the debates over fake news in both the past and present, and look at how fake news can be used to both support and undermine the status quo, enabling you in the process to become more savvy and engaged citizens.

Historical and Popular Crime, Justice, Law and Psychology

This module introduces you to the history of crime and justice, using media representations and crime fiction as a way of exploring crime over time, including aspects such as changes in society, law and education in this context.


This module allows students to identify an area of interest related to their undergraduate degree and to explore this through a small scale research project where students will be required to produce an analysis of an area of focus.

Teesside: History, Literature, Culture, and Society

This module provides you with an opportunity to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the Teesside region. You will learn about Teesside’s history, culture and society through the examination of various topics which will give you a deeper understanding of the region, both past and present.


Year 1 core modules

Creative Writing Lab: Writing and Audience

Why do you write? Who are your readers? What do you need to consider in terms of voice, register, form when writing to and for different audiences for different reasons? You look at a range of different professional writing including online articles, reviews, ‘how to’ guides, interpretative texts used in exhibitions and live text using AR technologies. You use the workshop space to experiment with different forms and approaches to professional writing, working towards developing and editing a final portfolio for submission.

Creative Writing Lab: Writing for Social Change

Contemporary writing is fraught with issues around power and voice. Who gets published or read? Whose voices are seldom heard? You investigate key writers, both historical and contemporary, who have played or continue to play a role in social change. You research the representation of writers and writing online and you write your own manifesto, together with an accompanying reflective piece.

Critical Practice

You are introduced to the practice of textual analysis. You learn the tools and strategies you need to explore the way that literary and visual texts establish meanings, and how they are structured to achieve particular effects. You develop your skills in reading as a writer and your creative-critical practice. You cover a variety of strategies for detailed analysis of the ways literary and visual texts establish meanings and how they are structured to achieve particular effects. You consider literary and symbolic form from its largest, generic components to its smallest, linguistic ones. You learn how to evaluate formal features of texts. You consider how critical judgements are made concerning specific texts – whether they are deemed to be good, bad, better or worse and on what grounds. You consider concepts such as beauty, unity, consistency, persuasiveness, coherence, engagement, ambiguity, complexity and emotive or affective impact. You also consider how textual forms interact with one another and how the appreciation of textual forms changes historically. Finally, you develop study skills in the practice of academic writing and research.

Practising Poetry

Key techniques of writing poetry, establishing and developing skills in writing, editing and providing feedback to peers are introduced in this module. You engaged in a workshop focused on your writing, providing feedback and editing; and a seminar to focus on an aspect of poetry writing which will include reading, analysis, and writing exercises. Themes and topics include emotional journeys and movement, rhythm, voice, creating character, the synthesis of observation, imagination, and memory, form, and creating a sense of place.

The poems brought to workshops are likely to form the basis of your assessment portfolios. You will be encouraged to write steadily throughout the semester, and will also be expected to complete some reading before the seminars; these will be poems related to the theme of the seminar, or additional critical reading to introduce or supplement the theme or topic.

Romantics to Realism

You are introduced to two major literary movements: romanticism and realism. You explore the dynamic relationship between texts and their historical and cultural contexts and important critical issues and terms. You explore key examples of romantic poetry and fiction, before moving on to consider the rise to prominence of realist fiction and autobiography as major literary genres of the Victorian period.

Victorian Horizons: Writing 1837–1901

You gain an insight to a diverse range of texts published during the Victorian period, and explore key debates in the study of era, including the themes of class, sexuality, colonialism and evolution/degeneration. Distinctively, while you are introduced to canonical literature published ‘at home,’ the module opens up new horizons, exploring European and American writing as well as the work of critically neglected (female) writers.


Year 2 core modules

Challenging Boundaries: Postmodern and Postcolonial Writing

This module examines literature and culture from the second half of the 20th century to the present, focusing on two (often interconnected) frameworks – postmodernism and postcolonialism. Both of these major strains within 20th- and 21st-century culture involve challenging boundaries, whether geographical, conceptual, generic, linguistic or based on gender, sexuality, race or class. This module introduces you to an exciting range of fiction, drama and film from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, Britain and the USA. You explore the ways in which these texts respond to, extend and challenge the experimental legacy of modernism, contest and complicate colonial structures of power and their contemporary legacies, and how they intervene in our understanding of the world we live in today.

Make it New: The Age of Modernism

You explore one of the most innovative artistic movements of the twentieth century – modernism. You examine the diverse ways in which writers of the early 20th century sought to ‘make it new’ (Ezra Pound, 1934) by experimenting with new modes of literary expression. You explore the relationship between literature and other forms of cultural expression (such as visual art, music, and film) and examine the dynamic relationship between modernism and modernity. You explore the ways artists and writers responded to historical and cultural change.

Representation and Cultural Identity: Student Conference

This module explores the proposition that our sense of who we are and how we perceive others is tied to the way identities are constructed through forms of cultural representation. And many people have argued that the way our perception is constructed tends to privilege some groups over others. You investigate these ideas in relation to a contemporary text of your choosing and present your research as a paper delivered at a student conference.


and three optional modules

Creative Writing Lab: Experimental Writing

What do we mean by experimental writing? Could it be argued that all writing is experimental? Is experimentation a key part of creativity? How can we make our writing more experimental? You read and discuss a range of different experimental writing. You explore and experiment in your own writing, in response to a series of prompts and exercises. You also discuss the theory of creativity.

Creative Writing Lab: Writing and Wellbeing

Writing and wellbeing is a new and exciting area of creative writing, but what does it mean? What is the relationship between writing and wellbeing? And how can writing be used to improve wellbeing? You discuss the theory behind writing and wellbeing, and consider both qualitative and quantitative research. You plan your own project in your chosen context. You also reflect on your own experience of writing for wellbeing, by following a sequence of writing prompts and exercises, and keeping a writing journal. This module is useful if you want to work in the area of writing and wellbeing, for example with community groups or within health and social care.

Employability and Work-Related Learning

You develop your graduate skills in preparation for employment in a professional context. You have the opportunity to gain academic credit based on your participation in work experience, a short period of professional activity or work-related learning relevant to the discipline or area of professional interest. You develop an understanding of graduate employment pathways, opportunities, reflective practice and experiential learning. The core focus of the module will be helping you prepare for a graduate career, developing an understanding of professional working contexts and enabling you to identify and evidence your own graduate skills.


Focus on Fiction

You are introduced to the basics of writing fiction including point of view, characterisation, dialogue, voice, narrative choices and story structure. You will read and discuss some examples, explore the techniques employed, and experiment with a series of exercises designed to lead you through the stages of constructing a complete story or novel chapter.

Speculative Writing: Histories, Anxieties, and Fantasies

You examine examples of ‘speculative’ writing from the 17th century to the present day. You also consider how literature responded to (and sometimes anticipated) the possibilities brought about by new technologies and geographical discovery, articulated fears about such issues as revolution, capitalism or genetic ‘fitness’ and imagined visionary possibilities for the future of society. You will develop an understanding of the historical contexts which prompted such ‘speculative’ treatment in literature and creative writing and explore developments in style and genre.

Words Matter: A Celebration of English and Creative Writing

Why does studying literature and creative writing matter? How does English studies serve the wider public good and how might English and/or creative writing graduates contribute to society? Why has poetry, for centuries so often seemed in need of defence? Is literature useless? How do we measure the value of the humanities? You examine key arguments in favour of English studies and creative writing as humanities disciplines and reflect on your career aims and aspirations. You consider the many career opportunities available to English and creative writing graduates – as educators, publishers, facilitators, communicators, and creatives – and work on a group project designed to promote books and/or reading and/or creative writing. You write an essay in defence/celebration of (or a manifesto for) English/creative writing/the humanities and produce an individual reflective report on the group project, linking the project to your personal development planning.


Final-year core modules

Creative Writing Lab: Group Facilitation

What happens in a writing group? What does it mean to facilitate a writing group? What are the skills needed by the leader of a group? What happens in a group? What is group theory? You analyse what happens in a writing group from the point of view of a group member. You also have the chance to lead a group session of your own, and reflect on your experience. You explore different kinds of groups. You develop your confidence and skills to plan and deliver effective writing workshops and courses in a range of settings including schools, community groups, health and social care.

Doing Research

You gain the skills and knowledge required to successfully devise, develop and execute an extended independent research project in an area of critical and/or creative practice. You develop advanced research skills in an area of English studies and creative writing which will include reflective practice, critical research, creative practice-based research, self-management and research project management. The skills gained in this module will serve as a foundation for your English studies dissertation or creative writing project.


and either

Creative Writing Project

You undertake a major piece of creative writing of up to 10,000 words. It represents the culmination of your creative writing studies as an undergraduate, and is based around a ‘statement of intent’ as part of a negotiated learning contract with your supervisor. You explore a specific type of writing in depth, and reflect on the process involved in its production. You address topics and issues faced by independent writers in order to develop your own transferable skills in this area. You are supported by an appropriate supervisor, with access to relevant materials and a VLE discussion board with peer writers.



English Studies Dissertation

You are required to complete an extended independent research project, in consultation with an individual supervisor. You demonstrate high level skills in research, analysis, communication and project management through the submission of a dissertation on an independently conceived topic. The accompanying Graduate Professional Profile will serve as an exit profile whereby you identify, articulate and evaluate a range of transferable skills essential to future careers.


and two optional modules

Deception and Detection from the 19th Century to the Present

While tales of crime and its concealment, exposure and punishment can be traced back to the ancient world, the peculiarly modern genre of the detective story is a widely acknowledged product of the nineteenth century. You examine stories of deception and detection from the Victorian age until the present day and consider the legacy and influence of classic detective fiction (and related genres such as the thriller) as manifested in film and television crime drama. You also explore the issues of trust and distrust in the context of modernity and highlight the ways in which tales of wrongdoing, transgression, discovery and judgement foreground questions of gender, class, and race, alongside other significant political and socio-economic concerns.

Ethnicity, Race, and Religion in Literature and Culture

You consolidate and extend your knowledge and understanding of issues of representation and cultural identity in relation to questions of ethnicity, race and religion. You also examine the ways in which literary and cultural texts have been shaped by the experiences of – and have in turn shaped perceptions and challenged stereotypes surrounding – specific groups.

For example, from the 19th century to the present, African American authors have responded to the experience of slavery, segregation and racism and their writing has played a key role in movements for radical social change. Meanwhile, in the wake of the controversy surrounding Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, and especially following the terror attacks of 9/11 and 7/7, Britain’s Muslim minority has been increasingly at the centre of tensions, controversies and urgent debate concerning multiculturalism.

Genres, Movements, Histories

You examine literary genres and movements and their historical, social and political contexts. You focus on a specific genre or movement from the 19th century to the present (for example, aestheticism and decadence, the feminist movement, contemporary historical fiction) and consider the circumstances within which the texts under discussion were produced and received. You will be equipped to discuss the diverse formal, technical and stylistic properties of the texts whilst also exploring a range of critical and theoretical perspectives and using a sophisticated critical vocabulary.

Writing Popular Culture

Should all writing be timeless? Does popular culture have a place in writing? What kind of cultural references should we be using in our writing? Is writing meant to last? You consider writers’ approaches to popular culture. You explore ideas of class, ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, popularity, elitism, and representation in poetry, essays, and fiction, and consider historical and modern debates on the place of popular culture in literature. You produce a portfolio of creative work which responds to topics and concerns raised during the module, and a critical commentary analysing your creative choices.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

At Teesside University you learn in a range of settings from large group lectures to discussion-based seminars, independent research, small group work, one-to-one meetings and workshops. Reading groups and peer support play an important part in your learning too. You’ll work with lecturers who are experts in teaching and learning as well as being scholars, researchers and writers. You’ll also have the opportunity to support others through the PASS (peer-assisted study sessions) scheme.

How you are assessed

With no formal examinations, you are assessed through creative-critical projects, essays, portfolios, reports, presentations, blogs and a major final-year project (dissertation or writing project), all of which develop advanced skills in creative, academic and professional writing, as well as high-level presentation and communication skills.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 32-64 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent).

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Graduates are well prepared to work as editors and writers in publishing houses or freelance writers for the creative industries. Other potential career paths include journalism, media and communication, retail management, arts administration, civil service, education, performing arts and the law.

For those interested in extending their studies, we offer four MA degrees: in English, creative writing, creative writing (online) and creative writing and wellbeing (online).


Information for international applicants


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Other course routes


Entry to 2023/24 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: Q3W9 BA/ECWFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 32-64 tariff points from at least 2 A levels (or equivalent)

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

  • On video

    Jacob Ditchburn, Prior Pursglove College

    Teesside University, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing graduate Jacob, now works for Prior Pursglove College.

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Mia Braine

    Mia BraineBA (Hons) English and Creative Writing

    Mia has gained a first-class degree and is looking forward to her future.

    Meet Mia

    Lottie Coley

    Lottie ColeyBA (Hons) English Studies with Creative writing

    Lottie is a Valedictory speaker for her graduating year

    Meet Lottie


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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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