Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Gain the skills you need to get a job in the booming Creative Industries, while developing your own personal writing ambitions. Become the writer you want to be, and that others need.

  • The programme is taught by means of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials.
  • Opportunities for collaborative projects and developing skills in constructive criticism of creative work.
  • Contribute to our annual anthology of student work.
  • 91% teaching satisfaction among English and creative writing students at St Mary's (Guardian Uni League Tables 2019).

Why study Creative and Professional Writing?

University is a time to develop your own subject-specific knowledge and learning in-depth while also gaining the key skills you need to get ahead in the jobs marketplace.

Creative and Professional Writing gives you the opportunity to grow as a thinker and creator through the medium of the written word in its myriad forms, while honing your writing and critical thinking skills to the highest degree.

Creative writing anthology

We publish an anthology of work submitted by our Creative and Professional Writing students every spring. Read the anthology...

Why St Mary's?

Our goal on the St Mary’s Creative and Professional Writing programme is threefold:

  • to help students develop into the writers they want to be
  • to hone the core writing skills that will give them an entry into jobs marketplace in the creative and many other industries
  • to give them a general introduction to the diverse publishing world and literary scene in the UK and beyond

There's no snobbery in the teaching of creative writing at St Mary’s. We're open to all kinds of writers with a wide array of interests, from science fiction to screenplays and from rap to romance. We recognise that the way we read and write is changing, and we try to reflect new developments, from social media to video game writing. You tell us what you want to write and we will help you to write it as well as you can.

In the Creative and Professional Writing programme we expect you to read and write. A lot. We give students regular writing exercises to guide them towards their assignments, and we encourage wide reading.

Most of the set texts on the course are contemporary – from the last 20 years – so that students learn how people are writing now. Much of what they read is very recent. We want our students to be up to date on what is happening in the creative writing world now.

At St Mary's we are friendly and supportive and get to know our students very well. We operate an open door policy in the department, and are always ready to meet students to discuss their writing and their reading inside and outside the course. There is a lively Professional and Creative Arts Society, and regular informal reading evenings, where students share work with each other.

Our teachers are all practising, published novelists, poets and writers. There are fantasy and horror writing experts, acclaimed book critics and literary novelists, international journalists and TV scriptwriters. 

Foundation year

Creative and Professional Writing is also available as an undergraduate degree with a foundation year.

Creative and Professional Writing subject talk and virtual visit

We've put together a bespoke virtual open day for anyone interested in studying at St Mary's.

Join the event now

Course lead

Dr Russell Schechter headshotDr Russell Schechter
Senior Lecturer
Submit an enquiry

Return to sub navigation

Combine Creative and Professional Writing with another degree

Creative and Professional Writing can be combined with any of the following courses to create a joint honours degree programme:

Return to sub navigation

Entry requirements

96-112 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

80 UCAS points should include at least two B grades at A Level (or equivalent).

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Undergraduate degrees with a foundation year

The undergraduate degree with foundation year programme offers applicants without traditional qualifications or grades an alternative route to studying Creative and Professional Writing.

Return to sub navigation

Course content

Year one

  • Foundations of Writing Core
  • Reading Across Literary Forms Core
  • Voices in Contemporary Fiction Core
  • Writing Short Fiction Core
  • London Theatre Optional
  • Practical Criticism Optional
  • Introduction to Critical Theory Optional
  • Contemporary Fiction Optional
  • Poetry in the Modern World Optional
  • Foundations of Literary Study: Tragedy Optional
  • The Media Industries Optional
  • Film, Style and Form Optional
  • Digital Cultures Optional
  • Media History Optional
  • Harry Potter and… Optional

Year two

  • The Publishing Industry Core
  • Writing Adaptations Optional
  • Writing Genre Fiction Optional
  • Journalism 1: News Writing Optional
  • Writing Lyrics and Poetry Optional
  • Screenwriting 1 Optional
  • Curating London Optional
  • Eighteenth Century London: Writing the Metropolis 1700-1832 Optional
  • Contributing to the Community Optional
  • Narrative and Identity in the 19th Century Novel Optional
  • Gothic Cultures 1760-1900 Optional

Year three

  • Portfolio Core
  • Extended Essay Optional
  • Creative Non-Fiction Optional
  • Writing Children’s Fiction Optional
  • Writing Poetry Optional
  • Journalism 2: Reviews and Features Optional
  • American Literature Optional
  • Literature and the Unconscious Optional
  • The Beatles and the Counterculture Optional
  • Screen and Script: The Codes and Structures of Film and Television Narrative Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Return to sub navigation

Career opportunities

Our students go onto a wide range of graduate level careers and postgraduate study. There are challenging career opportunities in publishing, journalism, advertising, the media, editing and creative writing, teaching. 

The programme is useful for all careers. We teach critical skills as well as those transferrable skills of being able to write well and articulate ideas, as well as gain confidence in advanced communicative skills. It is excellent preparation if you would like to pursue further specialised training at postgraduate level and increasingly valued in a wide variety of professions.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Creative and Professional Writing students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

Return to sub navigation

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

The Creative and Professional Writing programme is taught by means of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Enthusiastic student participation is essential to success in the programme.

Students are encouraged to start creative writing at a very early stage in the course and to regularly share their work with colleagues. There are opportunities for collaborative projects and developing skills in constructive criticism of creative work. Jonathan Gibbs (Programme Director, Creative & Professional Writing) has written an article on the role of the short story in teaching creative writing.

Class sizes range from 15 to 35 students, depending on the module.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 18%
  • Independent study: 82%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

With no exams, the programme - by its very nature - places a premium on practical exercises, coursework and projects, so skills will be assessed by a diverse range of methods. 

Modules are assessed on the basis of creative writing portfolios, course workbooks and presentations. Attendance and active participation in writing workshops is an essential aspect of assessment for some modules. All assessment is coursework based, with no examinations.

In the final year of the programme it's possible for you to be assessed in large part on lengthier-scale projects. These will be produced within the framework of a special study or portfolio, under the close supervision of a specialist tutor.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Return to sub navigation

Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £9,250*
  • International: £12,900

*Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Fees for EU applicants starting courses in 2021/22 academic year

Eligible EU applicants will pay the same tuition fees as UK students to support EU students during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

EU fees for 2022 entry are not yet confirmed.

View fees and funding information for EU students beginning their studies in 2021...

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

There are a number of books which are set texts on the course. If you wanted to buy your own copies, these would come to around £40 per year. You can also buy them second-hand or borrow them from the library.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

Return to sub navigation


View all facilities
Return to sub navigation

Further information

Return to sub navigation

Visit the campus

Creative and Professional Writing subject talk and virtual visit

We've put together a bespoke virtual open day for anyone interested in studying at St Mary's.

Join the event now

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

Return to sub navigation

UCAS Application Timeline