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Sept 2020

Start date

W800

UCAS code

3 Years

Attendance

96-112

UCAS points
View all requirements

96-112

UCAS points
View all requirements

Jonathan Gibbs
Jonathan Gibbs

Programme Director - Creative and Professional Writing

jonathan.gibbs@stmarys.ac.uk
020 8240 4380

Apply now

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.

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

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. 

Key facts

  • 91% teaching satisfaction among English and creative writing students at St Mary's (Guardian Uni League Tables 2019)
  • Acclaimed journalists and novelists on staff
  • Innovative teaching techniques
  • No modules are assessed through exams
  • Transferable skills that apply to any industry
  • Opportunities to study abroad
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus

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:

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 refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

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.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

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.

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.

Facilities

View all facilities

Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £12,250

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £11,750

* 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 2019 or 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

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.

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline