English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) – 2018 entry

Why choose this course

Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for English and Creative Writing, ranked top ten in  the Guardian University Guide 2018 (for English Literature and Creative Writing) and both the Complete University Guide 2018 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 (for Creative Writing).

Our School of Literature and Languages has an excellent reputation for challenging, innovative, forward-thinking teaching and research in literature and creative writing, and was ranked number one in the English Studies category of the 2016 National Student Survey. If you’re an aspiring writer and a literature enthusiast, this is the degree combination for you.

What you will study

You will begin your degree by acquiring knowledge of a wide range of literature and the methods we use to understand writing and other forms of cultural representation. You will also be able to tailor your degree with a number of specialist optional modules that focus on specific periods and themes from the medieval to the contemporary and from children’s literature to American fiction.  

The Creative Writing pathway will complement and enhance your experience of studying English Literature by encouraging you to apply the critical and theoretical tools you have developed to improve your creative writing ability. Unusually for a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing, we also offer the opportunity to undertake a Professional Training placement, giving you experience in degree-related professions such as publishing, marketing, the media industries, teaching, creative writing or arts administration.

Course facts

Qualification Course length Professional Training UCAS KIS code
BA (Hons) 36 months G668 View KIS data set
BA (Hons) 48 months 392F View KIS data set

Professional Training placements

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

English Literature with Creative Writing placements

Professional Training placements offer a unique experience to students in terms of gaining access to the world of work as an integral part of their studies: meeting employers, developing job search skills and acquiring the employability skills that employers look for. To find out more visit our Careers and Professional Training pages.

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.

Applying for placements

Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

Our English literature courses provide you with a range of valuable skills to prepare you for a variety of careers. English literature graduates are ideally qualified for such professions as journalism, marketing, management, communications, publishing, the media industries, teaching, writing and arts administration.

Some examples of careers our graduates have gone on to include:

  • Graduate Trainee, Dale Carnegie Training
  • Editorial Assistant, The Handbook
  • Junior Account Executive, Livewire Public Relations
  • Teacher of English, Teach First
  • Editor and Marketing Executive, Warner Group Publications
  • Editorial Assistant, Hachette UK
  • Copywriter, Tesco MPC.

If you’d like 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.

Study and work abroad

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.

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

  • Bamberg University
  • Freiburg University
  • Aarhus University
  • Lyon III 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
  • And more.

If you’re 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 may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.

There’s lots of advantages to taking part in exchange programmes. It’s an exciting experience, as well as a chance for you to enhance your academic and professional profile.

Culture and Arts at Surrey

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

We also enjoy connections with contemporary writers through our poets-in-residence scheme, the annual Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the Surrey Poetry Festival and the Surrey New Writers Festival. The School of Literature and Languages regularly hosts talks by major writers and critics, as well as literary agents, publishers and other speakers of interest. Our current Distinguished-Writer-in-Residence is the prize-winning novelist Monica Ali. Both our Poet-in-Residence and our Distinguished-Writer-in-Residence offer regular writing workshops and, in the case of our Distinguished-Writer-in-Residence, one on one writing surgery sessions. The Guildford Book Festival runs every year in October, with events including talks, readings and writing workshops.

Guildford is home to a wide variety of arts venues, including the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, which puts on new and canonical plays, and a host of galleries, libraries and archives that will stimulate and support your independent studies. We’re also only 35 minutes by train from London, one of the world’s most important cultural centres. Outside of your studies and in your own time, you’ll have the opportunity to see plays at the National Theatre, the Barbican and the Globe Theatre, and to watch new films in the major West End cinemas and classic films at the National Film Theatre.

This wide choice of activities will complement your studies at Surrey, and you’ll be encouraged to draw inspiration from them in your studies.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.


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.


Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.


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.

There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.


This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Programme leader

VLITOS PM Dr (Lit & Langs)

Personal tutor

All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:

  • Academic progress
  • Pastoral/welfare issues
  • Personal/professional development and employability.


Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

What qualifications do you need?


Overall: ABB.

Required subjects: English Language or English Literature.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent).

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: DDD.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent).

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 32. 

Required subjects: English HL5/SL6.

GCSE or equivalent: Maths HL4/SL4 or Maths Studies HL4/SL4.

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 78%.

Required subjects: English with at least 7.5.

GCSE or equivalent: Maths 6.

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Scottish Highers

Overall: AABBB.

Required subjects: English Language or English Literature.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language - Scottish National 5 - C Maths - Scottish National 5 - C.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: Pass overall with ABB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element. 

Required subjects: A-level English Literature or English Language.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Select your country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Qualification Course length Professional Training UK/EU fees Overseas fees Professional Training fees
BA (Hons) 36 months £9,250 £15,800 Not applicable
BA (Hons) 48 months £9,250 £15,800 £1,800

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

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.

How to apply

Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.

Admissions information

Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

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