Studying for a Joint Honours degree in Creative Writing and English Literature gives you the opportunity to combine your own development as a writer with academic study of literary texts in English. The two courses offer complementary yet contrasting approaches to thinking about writing and the dynamic, multi-faceted contexts of its production - from those of Shakespeare or Zora Neale Hurston, for example, to those of your world, today.
Creative Writing aims to nurture your confidence as a writer and to support your development as a critical and skilful analyst of your own and others’ writing. Throughout, you will be immersed in intellectual issues informing the discipline and practices of writing and learn to place your own writing within contexts of published work. You will develop expertise in commercial practice (writing for magazines, reviewing, scriptwriting, editing) and understanding of publishing and marketing processes alongside working towards your own, creative development.
You will work with published writers, professional publishers and editors with a variety of specialisms including poetry, travel writing, writing for the screen, writing fiction, writing for performance, writing for children, feature writing, blogging and copy writing. Your development and achievements will be assessed by means of a wide variety of writing ‘tasks.’ In your third year, you will undertake a major writing project of your choice, mentored by members of the course team, alongside participating in a range of activity designed to support you to prepare for progression once you have graduated.
English Literature provides opportunities to explore literatures from the 16th to 21st centuries, embracing both mainstream, ‘canonical’ and less familiar, ‘marginal’ texts. It invites you to share with your lecturers cutting-edge thinking in spheres as diverse as Shakespeare in performance, children’s literature, contemporary American writing and ecocriticism (the understanding of literary texts through exploration of the interconnections between human culture and organic and animal worlds).
From the outset, you will develop skills of close and creative reading, as well as a critical awareness of the relationship between texts and their contexts. Increasingly as the course progresses, you will explore literature from a range of theoretical perspectives current throughout the humanities. This, in turn, will support you to specialise in the areas of literature that interest you most. There are also opportunities to explore relationships between literature and other kinds of expression, for example painting and illustration.
Studying these subjects in combination will be an exciting prospect if you like both academic study and creative, practical work - and if reading, writing and ‘contemporary’ cultural forms are what excite your curiosity (with ‘contemporary’ embracing not just the culture of your today but of diverse others, from readers and writers in 17th century England to those of early 20th century America).