English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) – 2017 entry

The academic staff are so helpful and accommodating. They make time for us and I have never felt like I can’t approach a lecturer or my tutor. They’re really cool.

What you'll study

Whether you are an aspiring writer who wishes to produce better work by becoming more fully acquainted with the literary canon, or a literature enthusiast who wants to get under the skin of writing as a craft, this is the degree combination for you.

As well as building writing confidence and expertise (including in prose, poetry and writing for the stage and screen), the Creative Writing modules enable you to reflect on how your own creative practice could help you to engage with ideas you are studying in your other classes.

Creative Writing combines lectures, seminars and workshops in which you produce and discuss your own creative work, and there is also the opportunity to complete a Professional Training placement to really enhance your career prospects.

Programme overview

You will begin your English Literature degree by acquiring knowledge of a wide range of literature and the methods we use to understand writing and other forms of cultural representation.

As you move through the programme, you are able to choose from options that allow increased specialisation, from Gothic fiction to contemporary and comparative literatures.

The Creative Writing pathway is designed to complement and enhance your experience of studying English Literature by encouraging you to apply the critical and theoretical tools you have developed in your English Literature modules in order to improve as a creative writer.

The Creative Writing modules also enable you to reflect upon the ways in which your own creative practice might help you to engage with the texts that you are studying in your other classes.

Creative Writing combines lectures on key themes and topics, seminar discussions in which we reflect upon these issues, and workshop sessions in which we produce and discuss our own creative work.

The interdisciplinary focus of our degrees allows you to study special topics in areas such as film, creative writing, media and culture where we have particular staff expertise.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 1 provides you with knowledge of the history of English literature covering key authors and texts from the Middle Ages to the present. You will have the chance to explore a range of literary genres alongside a module on Shakespeare.

The Creative Writing modules offer a grounding in the formal techniques of poetry, prose, film and scriptwriting. Other modules provide you with a strong grounding in different creative, critical and theoretical approaches to English literature.

Compulsory English Literature Modules:

Compulsory Creative Writing modules:

Optional modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In Year 2 you will take Creative Writing modules designed to deepen your understanding of the cultural, historical and theoretical contexts of your own writing, to enhance your practical skills in drafting, editing and revising, and to broaden your knowledge of the range of technical options available to creative writers.

You will also take compulsory English Literature modules based on the history of English literature and on issues of race, national identity, gender and sexuality in contemporary writing.

In addition, you are able to choose from a range of optional modules that allow you to develop your own interests and enhance your understanding of literary periods and genres.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Professional Training placement (optional)

Unusually for an English Literature degree programme, we offer the opportunity to undertake a Professional Training placement.

Subject to availability, a placement will help to enhance your employability by giving you experience in degree-related professions such as publishing, marketing, the media industries, teaching, creative writing or arts administration.

A Professional Training placement will give you the opportunity to develop valuable transferable skills in analysis, reflection, communication and organisation.

Placements are arranged jointly by the University and the student, and although students do not always receive a salary, they are often paid a small bursary by their employer.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, you will continue to develop your skills in writing and methodology, although these will become more practice­ or research­led in order to offer full support for your creative writing project or dissertation.

You will take compulsory Creative Writing modules that explore the relationship between creative writing and critical analysis. In addition, you are offered further opportunities for specialisation through a range of options that are based upon the research interests and expertise of members of staff.

These build upon the knowledge of history, genre and contemporary culture gained in Years 1 and 2. They also offer you the opportunity to investigate specific themes such as gender, race and politics.

Compulsory Creative Writing modules:

Optional modules:


Teaching on our English Literature with Creative Writing programmes is both stimulating and encouraging. You experience a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

In Year 1, in addition to lectures, you will work closely with tutors and your fellow students in smaller seminar groups. The creative writing workshops introduce you to peer feedback, editing, and brainstorming techniques.

During Years 2 and 3, you will become increasingly independent, participating in seminars in Year 2 and contributing to student­-led sessions in Year 3.

All learning is fully supported by the University’s virtual learning environment, and you will acquire a range of computing skills through the programme.

You are also encouraged to supplement classroom work with participation in activities outside the University, such as theatre visits and trips to regional festivals such as the renowned Guildford Book Festival.


The English Literature programmes are modular in structure, with assessment taking place at the end of each semester. This enables you to track your own progress throughout the degree.

Although there are modules which must be passed to allow you to move on to the next year of study, the marks gained in Year 1 will not count towards your final degree result.

You will be assessed through a range of methods, including essays, portfolios, seminar presentations, projects and examinations. Creative Writing modules are assessed by writing portfolios supported by critical commentaries.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 8 per cent medium group teaching
  • 6 per cent large group teaching
  • 86 per cent studying and revising in your own time


As an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Surrey, you will be introduced to an exciting and challenging environment that combines conventional teaching with a wide range of opportunities for you to engage with a vibrant research culture and arts activities.

Regular visiting guest speakers and research seminars will inject a specialised interest into the programme and encourage students to consider areas for further study.

English at Surrey enjoys connections with contemporary poets through the poets-­in-­residence scheme, the annual Morag Morris poetry lecture, the Surrey Poetry Festival and the New Writers Festival.

These allow Creative Writing students to meet and connect withpoets, writers, agents and publishers.

The University of Surrey also has close ties with the charity English PEN, which campaigns to protect freedom of speech and human rights for writers around the world. English PEN regularly hosts talks by prominent writers and other events at the University.

Guildford itself provides considerable access to arts activities, including the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which puts on new and canonical plays, the Guildford Book Festival, and a host of galleries, libraries and archives that will stimulate and support your independent studies.

The University is only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres.

You will have the opportunity to see plays at the National Theatre, the Barbican and the Globe Theatre. You will be able to watch new films in the major West End cinemas and classic movies at the National Film Theatre.

This wide choice of activities will complement your studies in English Literature at Surrey, and you will be encouraged to draw inspiration from them in your work for your degree.

Global opportunities

You have the opportunity to spend one semester or the full academic year on study or work placement abroad. Depending on your preference, you could decide to study in one of our partner Erasmus universities:

  • Heidelberg University
  • Freiburg University
  • Aarhus University
  • Lyon University

We also have exchanges with:

  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Seoul National University
  • Cincinnati University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of North Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Monash University
  • La Trobe University
  • University of Wollongong
  • University of Sydney
  • Swinburne University of Technology

If you are more interested in a professional experience, you could have the chance to work with a partner organisation in a foreign country. If you chose to study or work at one of the European partners you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

The advantages of participating in such exchange are numerous. Of course, it is an exciting experience in which all the students have a lot of fun, but it is also a chance for you to enhance your academic and professional profile.

Career opportunities

A degree in English Literature with Creative Writing equips you with a wide range of transferable skills that will prepare you for many rewarding careers.

Typical job prospects include journalism, marketing, communications, publishing, the media industries, education, creative writing and arts administration.

Should you wish to pursue further study, our programmes will provide you with essential knowledge and skills, as well as offering informed support and guidance to assist you in your studies.

Graduate prospects

Our English Literature degrees provide you with a range of valuable skills to prepare you for a variety of careers. English graduates are perhaps best qualified for such professions as journalism, marketing, publishing, teaching, writing and arts administration.

They are also attractive to employers in management, business, communications and the media.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit - QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 Credits at Merit.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent-74 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35-34 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB-Scottish Advanced Highers ABB/Scottish Highers AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AB

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above and GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). 

English, English Literature or English Language and Literature A-level is required. 

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 3 years G668 View KIS data set
BA (Hons) 4 years 392F View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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