ENG 125 & 126 - Creative Writing: Drama

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Drama Defined

Definition:  A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action.


  • Structure -- This deals with how to setup the beginning, middle and end of a play and is even more crucial in drama than any other genre of writing.
  • Characters -- People will act out the story on stage. Characters should be well-developed and not appear as stereotypes.
  • Dialogue -- This is crucial in plays because everything happens through the spoken word.
  • Theme -- Plays often deal with universal themes which encourage discussion of ideas. 
  • Production -- Costumes, props and lighting are some of the necessary items for putting on a play.

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Thank you for considering an application.

Here's what you need in order to apply:

  • Royal Holloway's institution code: R72

Make a note of the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for:

  • Drama and Creative Writing BA - WW48
  • Click on the link below to apply via the UCAS website:

Key information

Duration: 3 years full time

UCAS code: WW48

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

Drama and Creative Writing (BA)

By combining the study of Creative Writing with Drama, you'll gain a deeper understanding of how theatre performance and creative writing interact - whether you specialise as a playwright, or choose to take the poetry or fiction options in creative writing.

Choosing to study Drama at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world. You'll create performances, analyse texts, and bring a range of critical ideas to bear on both. On this course the text and the body, thinking and doing, work together. There's no barrier between theory and practice: theory helps you understand and make the most of practice, while practice sheds light on theory.  By moving between the two, you'll find your place as an informed theatre-maker, and by studying a variety of practices, by yourself and with others, you'll get knowledge of the industry as a whole, and learn how your interests could fit into the bigger picture.

We are top-rated for teaching and research, with a campus community recognised for its creativity. Our staff cover a huge range of theatre and performance studies, but we're particularly strong in contemporary British theatre, international and intercultural performance, theatre history, dance and physical theatre, and contemporary performance practices.

Studying Creative Writing at one of the UK's most dynamic English departments will challenge you to develop your own critical faculties. Learning to write creatively, you'll develop your own writing practice.

Course units are taught by nationally and internationally known scholars, authors, playwrights and poets who are specialists in their fields who write ground-breaking books, talk or write in the national media and appear at literary festivals around the world.

  • Complementary disciplines for the aspiring playwright.
  • Explore creative skills including dance or puppetry.
  • Assessment through performance and coursework.
  • Specialise in different literary forms: poetry, playwriting or fiction.
  • Build a portfolio, creating, critiquing and shaping your own artistic work.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Course structure

Core modules.

You will take the following modules in Drama:

  • Theatre and Performance Making 1
  • Theatre and Text 1

You will take the following modules in Creative Writing:

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of literary and cultural writing forms through reading, discussion and practice. You will look at poetry, drama and prose fiction alongside stand-up comedy, adaptation, translation, songwriting, and other forms of creative expression and articulation. You will learn how to offer clear, constructive, sensitive critical appraisals, and how to accept and appropriately value criticism of your own work.

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range historical perspectives on the function, forms, and value of creative writing. You will look at the genesis of particular genres, such as the short story, the novel and the manifesto, and consider relationships between historical genres and the contemporary writer. You will interrogate your own assumptions about creative writing and critically examine the relationship between creative writing and society.

 You will take two from the following modules in Creative Writing:

  • Playwriting

You will choose one of the following modules. Each of these modules consists of a year-long independent project, working closely with a staff supervisor from the appropriate field.

  • Playwriting 2

 You will take the following module in Creative Writing:

This module concentrates on a particular mode of writing, genre, theme, issue or idea. You will be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer.

Creative Writing Special Focus courses are open to both creative writing and non-creative writing students.

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • All modules are core

Optional modules in Drama may include:

In this module you will develop an understanding of non-traditional approaches to performance making that constitute the broader term ‘devised’ practice. You will look at methods of engaging with contemporary life, focussing on a number of key areas of devised practice, including their contexts, forms, and modes of documentation. You will consider the generative roles played by autobiography, the body, political activism and everyday life and use theoretical and practical research to develop your own performance pieces.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the methods of theatre directing. You will look at the role of the director from preparing a play text to staging a successful production, considering the collaborations between actors, designers, playwrights and producers. You will exmaine a variety of approaches to classic texts and new writing, and hone your skills by directing your peers in short scenes from a play of your choice.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the difference between stage acting and acting for camera. You will learn techniques for 'translating' your stage acting skills to mediated performance. You will collaborate through the year with directing students in the Department of Media Arts on an internal monologue film, a silent film, and a short scene, and these can later be used as part of an audition reel.

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of theatre forms that integrate dance and drama. You will look at the variety of ways that practitioners have chosen to bring text and movement into creative dialogue, using scores, play texts, choreography and movement processes. You will examine the values and principles that drive such experimentation and reflect on the historical, political and cultural contexts within which these practitioners worked. You will consider the work of practitioners such as Pina Bausch, DV8, Frantic Assembly, Complicite, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp, and develop a small group performance devised in response to selected texts and styles of movement/dance.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of spatial design in a performance context. You will look at how designers respond to and make space for theatre to happen, and through the study of visual composition and visual langauge, will explore the role of spatial design in a performance context. You will consider the the work of a variety of practitioners and will test out your design ideas in a series of practical and performance workshops focusing on textual analysis, space and place, object, performer and the spectator.

In this module you will develop an understanding of how theatre practitioners have frequently sought to represent social reality in order to critique it. You will look at the naturalist stage of the late nineteenth century through to contemporary verbatim performance, and explore the methods and implications of theatre’s 'reality-effects'. You will consider why so many theatre companies and practitioners in the twenty-first century have turned to documentary, tribunal, verbatim and other forms of reality-based performance, and examine a range of contemporary plays and performance texts from around the world, building an awareness of the politics, possibilities and limitations of 'staging the real'.

In this module you will look at the work of debbie tucker green, one of the most exciting black playwrights of the early twenty first century, who's critical acclaim has recognised her original experimental linguistic virtuosity. You will explore the the performance possibilities of her playtexts, considering writing form alongside the topical social and political human rights issues she portrays, such as genocide, urban teenage violence, sex tourism and mental health. You will consider tucker green’s impact as a black British woman playwright by situating her plays in relation to trends in plays by other contemporary black British women playwrights, and examine her work within the context of 21st Century black British new writing.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the wide-ranging discussions of ecology and environmentalism in Shakespeare's plays. You will look at the relations between humans and the natural world, and consider contemporary environmental debates and theatre practices. Guest speakers, such as David Haygarth, Head of Energy and Sustainability at Royal Holloway, will address scientific and commercial topics such as the UN 15 sustainable development goals, and the Caryl Churchill Theatre’s green credentials. You will explore a range of plays by Shakespeare which stage the natural world, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, King Lear, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. You will also examine how environmentalism can impact both theatre and Shakespeare in performance.

In this module you will develop an understanding of children's theatre and the current success of theatre for young audiences. You will look at the innovative performance styles of theatre companies such as Oily Cart and Theatre-rites, and consider how their work has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary theatre. You will examine the Unicorn theatre, the first purpose-built theatre for children in London; playwrights such as Charles Way, Philip Ridley, Neil Duffield, Mark Ravenhill and David Greig; and the work of theatremakers such as Mark Storor and Sue Buckmaster, who bring a blend of visual art, puppetry and live art to performances for children. You will critically analyse how performance installations can excite children’s imaginations, focusing on the visual, tactile and aural elements of theatre and performance.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the diverse art forms that investigate memory in dynamic conversation and the nature of art, history, and humanity. You will look at the disruption to the purpose, value, and nature of art in the aftermath of the cataclysmic events of the Holocaust, and move through the twentieth century to consider different cultures of memory, memorialisation, trauma, and witnessing. You will examine a wide range of cultural textual and performative genres, including first-hand testimony, plays, films, graphic novels, museums, and public monuments.

In this module you will develop an embodied understanding of culture. You will look at different cultural contexts for dance production, considering the context of where, when and how you dance. You will examine the cultural production and consumption of dance, exploring theories grounded in cultural studies and their implications on dance and dancing bodies, such as Marxism, post-modernism, feminism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, gender and sexuality, and psychoanalysis. You will focus on popular dance, global popular culture, and dance on screen, and investigate the relationship between dance practices and the social, political and economic context in which they emerge. You will be encouraged to devise performances which creatively engage with cultural studies.

  • Theatre and Ideas: Ideas of Gender and Sexuality
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Tragedy
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Adaptation
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of the Musical
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Acting
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Money
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Casting
  • Love, Gender and Sexuality
  • Race Relations in Theatre, Film and Television
  • Shakespeare
  • Naturalist Theatre in Context
  • Creative Learning and Theatre
  • Physical Theatre
  • Shakespeare on Camera
  • The Actor's Voice
  • Actor Training in a Globalised World
  • Group Project
  • Final Year Project - Special Study
  • Final Year Project - Dissertation
  • Taught Dissertation

Teaching & assessment

Each year, you'll take two modules in each subject. Drama explores a whole range of dramatic and theatrical forms, conventions, periods, traditions and activities. You'll learn how to get intellectual ideas across in presentations and through performance. You'll also learn to work well in teams. In your first year, a foundation course, you'll get a grounding in contemporary theatremaking and critical theories. In your second and final years, you'll study alongside single honours students, taking half of your modules in Drama.

In your first year of Creative Writing, you'll take two introductory modules, before going on in your second year to specialise in two literary forms. In your final year, you'll wrap up by taking one of those forms to honours level.

The course has a flexible structure: students take twelve course units, four per year. Some are compulsory, and others you can choose. In your second and third years, you'll make up the marks that count for your final degree award. You'll also take a study skills course during your first year, to equip you with writing skills to make your degree count. This course won't count towards your final degree, but you'll need to take it to pass on to second year.

You'll be assessed through examinations, essays, seminar presentations, practical assignments and creative portfolios. In Drama modules, you'll often be assessed as part of a group.

Entry requirements

A levels: aaa-aab.

Required subjects:

  • A in an essay-based Arts and Humanities subject at A-Level
  • At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including Maths and English.

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university, you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our  contextual offers.

We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:

  • AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
  • AAA – Distinction
  • BBB – Merit
  • CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
  • DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)

Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start of your course.

The scores we require

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 69 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE IV.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here .

Undergraduate preparation programme

For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.

Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.

There are plenty of performance opportunities to get stuck into while you're here, and they'll stand you in good stead when you graduate. You'll be familiar and confident in performance situations (skills which are vital for leading meetings and make you viable for visible leadership roles). You'll come off as credible and composed. You'll also walk away with considerable experience of technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills, valued by most employers. Aside from these performance skills, you'll also get skills in research and project management from the academic side of the course. 

Our industry links mean you'll be able to pursue work experience with theatres and creative arts agencies. Recent graduates in the Department of Drama & Theatre have gone into careers in acting, writing, broadcasting (including at the BBC), literary agency, arts management, sound design, marketing/PR, teaching and community theatre work, as well as postgraduate study in different fields. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies. Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,800

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs with studying this course greater than £50 per item. It is a requirement to purchase a pair of safety boots in the first year, for which a range of cost options are available. Ticket costs for mandatory theatre trips are capped at £10.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about  funding options , including  loans , scholarships and bursaries . UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should  check their eligibility  for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

**The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. The fee for the academic year 2024/25 is £9,250 and is provided here as a guide. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2025/26 has not yet been set, but will be advertised here once confirmed.

**This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25, and is included as a guide only. The fee for EU and international students starting a degree in 2025/26 has not yet been set, but will be advertised here once confirmed.

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree. The upper limit of any such annual rise has not yet been set for courses starting in 2025/26 but will be advertised here once confirmed.  For further information see  fees and funding  and the  terms and conditions .

***These estimated costs relate to studying this specific degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. General costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

Drama, Theatre and Dance Undergraduate Admissions

Admissions office: +44 (0)1784 414944

creative writing in english drama

Source: QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023 (Drama, Theatre and Dance)

Source: Complete University Guide, 2024 (Drama, Theatre and Dance)

Source: Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

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  • Literary Terms

When & How to Write Drama

  • Definition & Examples
  • When & How to Write Drama

How to Write Drama

  • Start with characters . The best dramas are usually character- driven. They have a cast of main characters (usually fewer than 10), plus a handful of supporting characters. These characters should all be very distinct from one another, and the main characters should be authentic and life-like. This way, the audience can relate to them and cares what happens to them.
  • Introduce conflict. All stories revolve around conflict, and this is especially true in drama. The conflict could be anything – the simplest example is political conflict or war, but you might also have competing love interests, clashes in personality, or simply a struggle against misfortune.
  • Don’t forget about comic relief. Unless you’re writing a tragedy (see section 6), there should be at least some amount of humor in your drama. Otherwise, the negative emotions will get overwhelming and the experience will be too unpleasant for the reader. Give a few funny lines to your characters, or add an amusing situation somewhere to cut the tension – just make sure that this comic relief arises naturally from the story and it doesn’t feel like you’re cramming it in.

When to Use Drama

Drama is great for a creative writing project. It offers opportunities to work on character development, story structure, and a whole other set of writing skills. Every once in a while, you may also find a place for drama in formal essays , but you have to be careful.

For example, history essays are often more enjoyable to read if you craft them with a “dramatic” eye – focusing on a small set of main characters, contrasting these characters and their various desires, and fully describing the conflict at the center of the story. These techniques, in combination with good research and persuasive logic, can turn a good essay into a great one. However, you do have to be careful – too much drama in a formal essay can start to seem distracting, and you don’t want to give the impression that you’re more committed to the entertainment value than to the research and analysis.

List of Terms

  • Alliteration
  • Amplification
  • Anachronism
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Antonomasia
  • APA Citation
  • Aposiopesis
  • Autobiography
  • Bildungsroman
  • Characterization
  • Circumlocution
  • Cliffhanger
  • Comic Relief
  • Connotation
  • Deus ex machina
  • Deuteragonist
  • Doppelganger
  • Double Entendre
  • Dramatic irony
  • Equivocation
  • Extended Metaphor
  • Figures of Speech
  • Flash-forward
  • Foreshadowing
  • Intertextuality
  • Juxtaposition
  • Literary Device
  • Malapropism
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Parallelism
  • Pathetic Fallacy
  • Personification
  • Point of View
  • Polysyndeton
  • Protagonist
  • Red Herring
  • Rhetorical Device
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Science Fiction
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
  • Synesthesia
  • Turning Point
  • Understatement
  • Urban Legend
  • Verisimilitude
  • Essay Guide
  • Cite This Website


BA (Hons) English Multidiscipline - Drama and Creative Writing route

students in lecture theatre

Our Drama and Creative Writing route offers you the opportunity to study dramatic writing and contemporary theatre with lecturers who are also theatrical practitioners, like playwright Stephen Hornby and translation specialist Szilvi-Naray Davey.

BA (Hons) English Multidiscipline at the University of Salford offers an environment in which your talent will be nurtured and valued. The degree is designed so that you can pick the route that is right for you, tailored to your interests. The Drama and Creative Writing route is for you if you not only want to read and write about drama, but also want to write your own dramatic texts and perform.   

Drama and Creative Writing at Salford is passionately engaged with contemporary practices, like post-dramatic and immersive theatre. If you want to practice dramatic crafts or work in industries related to theatre and arts, this Drama and Creative Writing route is for you.

The course also offers career-focused options such as community artistic projects, a work placement opportunity, the chance to study abroad, and masterclasses from professional writers and actors. Past examples of visiting professionals include Maxine Peake, Mike Leigh, and Russell T. Davies.

Apply through UCAS for BA (Hons) English Multidiscipline: course code Q307, institution code S03. 

Click for more information on  how to apply . 

Use the dropdown boxes below to explore the kind of modules that may be available to you on the course if you choose to follow the Drama and Creative Writing route. Some will be core, and then you'll have the flexibility to pick and choose others to tailor your learning to your specific interests.

Critical Skills in the Twenty-First Century

In this module, you will be introduced to the skills required for life in contemporary society. The module covers skills such as the following: argumentation, critical thinking, and clarity in written expression. Critical skills are practiced through the filter of “big ideas,” ranging from artificial intelligence to ecocriticism.

The Writer's Practice

Start your writing life by exploring the creative process in a range of mediums: poetry, prose fiction, playwriting and memoir. You will be challenged to define your territory as a writer and inspired by new creative processes. In your first year at Salford, you experiment with all your talents and discover your own writing practice. 

Acting Methods 1 and 2

Acting Methods 1 (20 credits)

This is a primarily practical module which focuses on creative approaches central to characterisation within naturalistic drama. You will apply Stanislavski-based approaches to performing published texts. This module will introduce textual analysis, which will develop your ability to understand and interpret theatre texts and to think critically about your own theatre practice.

Acting Methods 2 (20 credits)

This module will extend your learning of acting and characterisation into non-naturalistic forms. You will learn to appropriately apply expressive and presentation techniques to a range of theatre texts, beginning with the work of Artaud and Brecht and then exploring contemporary playwrights who bear their influence.

Theatre Adaptation: Writers and Devisers

In this module, you will study a range of performances which have been adapted to stage from other forms e.g. myths, short stories, music, poetry or novels and you will create your own. We’ll help you develop your knowledge of adaptation methodologies including cultural and temporal transposition, appropriation and deconstruction. You will use this knowledge along with close analysis of the original texts to help you write, devise and perform your own adaptation.

Professional Writing for the Culture Industries

This module introduces you to various forms of professional writing and current debates in theatre and the arts industry today. You will review shows, write articles or blogs on current trends in theatre, and discuss the issues that interest you most in a series of panel discussions.

You will choose 40 credits from these Creative Writing modules:

You will then choose 40 credits from these modules:

English Language 

English Literature

Creative Writing

Making Contemporary Performance

In this core module you will explore the development of contemporary performance forms such as live art, multimedia/digital performance; immersive theatre; postdramatic texts, pervasive gaming; one-to-one performance; and autobiographical performance. You will examine the work of current practitioners and will focus on how relations of text, space, audience, and performer are being reconfigured and redefined in the 21st century. You will then choose an area of practice to explore through the creation of a text or performance piece.

Final Portfolio

This is a double creative writing module that runs throughout your final year. Here you can undertake a self-directed project in the genre(s) of your choosing, while giving and receiving feedback in a supportive workshop environment. By the end of the module you should have 6,000 words (or equivalent) of highly polished creative work.

You will choose one module from the following Drama options:

English Language

What's the drama and creative writing scene like in Greater Manchester?

We're proud that Greater Manchester's creative writing sector is etched on the world map. Greater Manchester has produced iconic writers such as Thomas De Quincey, Howard Jacobson, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Burgess, Jeanette Winterson and Lemn Sissay.

Greater Manchester is also a thriving hub of theatre and performance, from large scale globally touring productions to fringe theatre and experimental work, with lots of opportunities to experience and share work. 

Do you have any social channels I can follow you on?

The English department have a Instagram , Twitter and Facebook account you can follow so you can see the great things our staff get up to. 

How can I best prepare for my studies at the University of Salford?

If you're taking one of our degrees with Creative Writing in the title, our tutor David Savill (a famous published novelist) recommends that you keep working on your writing, so you have a readymade store of work to draw on in your first year workshops.

If you're taking a degree with drama in the title, Szilvi Naray-Davey (actress, translator and programme leader for Drama) recommends that you try your best to take in as many plays as you can, whether in person or online.

If you're taking a degree with Literature in the title, you should focus on the writing that makes you happy - there is space for a personal, focused project in the final year dissertation.

If you're taking a degree with Language in the title, listen for the language all around you - whether that's children in your family learning their first words or different accents you encounter. Start noticing language in the world and note down anything you find interesting so your expert tutors can explain it.

What career pathways have Salford graduates followed?

You may be asking 'what can you do with an English degree?' Our students go into so many wonderful careers: writing, public relations, teaching, journalism, academia. The exciting thing about English is that it gives you the skills for the jobs of the future. Your communication skills will set you up to be a flexible, independent thinker who can deal with the changing nature of work in the twenty-first century. We also offer an internship at a publishing house as well as other opportunities.

You can find more details of these opportunities  here .

How are students supported as they progress from college level study to university level?

We offer a free writing course to all of our students called Wordscope, which focuses on helping you to develop your writing skills, easing the transition from college to university. By participating in this course, you can learn to tackle common writing problems such as punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraphing.

For more information, you can take a look at the  Wordscope  webpage.

When can we expect our timetables?

Personalised timetables are sent to students when they register in September. We try our best to keep your timetable sensible and avoid you being in every day of the week. There are no lectures on a Wednesday afternoon then so that students can participate in clubs, societies and extracurricular activities.

You will have nine in-class hours a week, which will be a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops - alongside drop-in office hours and personal tutor meetings.

Go back to the course page for more information on the degree:  BA (Hons) English Multidiscipline

Or, if you're ready to apply, click here and don't forget your UCAS information: 

How to apply

UCAS code Q307

Institution code S03


We're always here to help support you and answer any queries you may have about an English degree. Get in touch with our friendly team by emailing  [email protected] , or phoning +44 (0)161 295 4545. no longer supports Internet Explorer.

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Ironic dialogues: Developing students’ creative writing in drama

Profile image of Sonia Zyngier

2020, New ways in teaching with creative writing

Irony is present in numerous forms of creative writing, drama included. It can be verbal, when the listener or reader perceives there is something odd with the word(s) and tries another interpretation. In this case, the character may make remarks the audience can interpret in different ways. In drama, as in real life, irony can also depend on a situation (see Montgomery, Durant, Fabb, Furniss & Mills, 1992). As a dramatist, Shakespeare relies on different kinds of irony for a variety of purposes, but especially to increase tension, add to playfulness, or create grotesque situations (Blake, 1983). The teaching suggestion detailed in this activity introduces students to an example of dramatic irony in Hamlet before they practice their writing skills in creating an ironic dialogue.

Related Papers

The history of irony is intertwined with the history of theatre and performance. It has also often been suggested that the nature of irony and the nature of theatre are especially well fitted to one another. This paper asks whether these affiliations between theatre and the diverse phenomena that have been called ‘irony’ are primarily an accident of historical contingency—or are there shared cognitive underpinnings that might help to illuminate and confirm this intuitively evident affinity? A very common approach to irony in psychology, linguistics and computer science is to treat it as a sort of operation on an underlying sentiment or proposition, often with the goal of exploring how and when sarcasm can be ‘decoded’ to reveal its underlying intended meaning. But irony, broadly considered, is better described as a way of construing an expressed proposition or an observed scene. The viewpoint theory of irony (Tobin & Israel, 2012) suggests that when people construe a situation or remark as ironic, they are taking a particular complex ‘view of a viewpoint’ that creates the special feeling of ironic distance. This way of looking at irony clarifies important features of the cognitive foundations of situational and dramatic ironies as well as verbal irony, and the theatrical qualities they all share.

creative writing in english drama

SHS Web of Conferences

Nalya Ovshieva

The concept of structural irony is traditionally associated with an implication of alternate or reversed meaning that pervades a work. A major technique for sustaining structural irony is the use of a naïve protagonist or unreliable narrator who continually interprets events and intentions in ways that the author signals are mistaken [1, 45].This paper sets out to investigate structural irony as the organizational principle in English literary discourse. After a survey of different views of structural irony, an attempt is made to verify that the pragmalinguistic techniques, viz. the play on double meaning, echoic mentioning of the word or phrase, the use of emphatic structures in free indirect speech, and repetition of patterns of behavior, are employed in constructing structural irony. The results of the analysis conducted on the material of short stories and novels of English-speaking authors will be presented in order to demonstrate that structural irony can be constructed by com...

Khalil Abdulhameed

Dr. Raed Obayes

Stanca Mada


timo airaksinen

Socratic irony can be understood independently of the immortal heroics of Plato’s Socrates. We need a systematic account and criticism of it both as a debate-winning strategy of argumentation and teaching method. The Speaker introduces an issue pretending to be at a lower intellectual level than her co-debaters, or Participants. An Audience looks over and evaluates the results. How is it possible that the Speaker like Socrates is, consistently, in the winning position? The situation is ironic because the Participants fight from a losing position but realize it too late. Socratic irony compares with divine irony: divine irony is a subtype of Socratic irony since you lose when you challenge gods. Socratic irony is also, prima facie, a subtype of dramatic irony when the Audience knows more than the Participants on the stage.We must distinguish between the ideal and realistic elements of Socratic Irony. The very idea of Socratic irony looks idealized, or it is an ideal case, which expla...

Christian Burgers

Wel done, mate!" If somebody has actually performed well, this utterance can be interpreted literally. If the utterance is a comment on a complete disaster, however, it is an example of verbal irony. An ironic utterance is often misunderstood, which can lead to communication problems between sender and addressee. In this PhD dissertation, Christian Burgers investigates the use and effects of verbal irony in written discourse. He firstly found that - in contrast to what irony theorists presuppose - it is difficult to identity a typical ironic utterance. In most written genres, irony is used in different ways. In addition, Burgers found that it is possible to use textual features of an ironic utterance to predict its complexity and appreciation: language users can use these features to simplify their ironic utterances - or not.

R B Rutherford

Shlomy Mualem

This essay explores Socratic irony as reflected in the famous passages of Alcibiades' speech in Plato's Symposium, focusing on the relationship between ironic utterance and the philosophic guidance process. Reviewing the diverse meanings of the term eironeia in Greek comedy and philosophy, it examines the way in which Plato employs irony in fashioning Socrates' figure and depicting the ideal of philosophic guidance as the "art of midwifery." It then analyzes Kierkegaard's most positive perception of Socratic irony as a necessary methodical element in the Socratic maieutic process of "deceiving into the truth." Contrasting Kierkegaard with Alcibiades' scathing critique, it reads the latter in a combined dramatic-philosophical perspective, as presenting irony as an anti-philosophic phenomenon, leading to cognitive puzzlement and Dionysian irrationality. Alcibiades' negative stance will be manifested via analyzing his use of four literary rhetorical devices: comparing Socrates with the Silenoi, drawing an analogy between ironic speech and Marysas' satyric flute playing, symbolizing philosophy as snake venom, and presenting the scene of Socrates' seduction as dramatic irony. The discussion shows, then, that there are two distinct manifestations of Socratic irony drawn from Plato's writings, destructive and constructive, derived from the character of his philosophic pupils. (FORTHCOMING, April 2023, Topicos 67)



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creative writing in english drama

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  • School of English and Drama
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  • Degree Programmes we Offer

English with Creative Writing

Qw11 ba (hons) 3 years, entry requirements, fees and funding, graduate employment.

Studying English with Creative Writing at QMUL will inspire your intellectual curiosity and spark your creativity. It aims to give you a sound knowledge base in literature along with all of the tools you need to become a writer.

Within the English part of the course, you will gain a deeper understanding of literary history and theory, exploring Subjects from medieval literature and Shakespeare to modernism, post-colonial and contemporary writing.

The creative writing section of the course is designed to develop your practical writing skills, and to give you an insight into the process of writing. You will have the opportunity to grow and flourish as a writer, whether in prose fiction, poetry, drama, film or creative non-fiction.

This combination will give you the skills necessary for a wide range of careers particularly within the creative industries.

There are also opportunities to spend a semester abroad at a partner university in Europe, Australia, Canada or the USA.

Register your interest

Why study English with Creative Writing at QMUL?

You will study English with Creative Writing in a School that has an international reputation for excellence. We were ranked fifth in the UK in the last national Research Excellence Framework (REF) - this means you will be taught by leading researchers in the field, and graduate with a degree that is recognised by employers and others for its academic quality.

Our academics are not just influential researchers; they are also dedicated teachers and we are proud of our high-quality teaching: In the 2015 National Student Survey, 96% of students praised our teaching, especially for making the subject intellectually stimulating, and for our enthusiastic teaching.

Although we are a big department, allowing you to personalise your degree and study the topics that most interest you, we are also a friendly department. You will have plenty of staff contact, and we will work with you to aid your academic, personal, and professional development. A compulsory final year module asks you to reflect on your development at QMUL, and academics will be on hand to offer support and proactive advice on securing employment and networking opportunities.

While teaching takes place at our scenic Mile End campus, our Queen Mary English degrees make full use of the literary and cultural resources London offers. Studying in London - and in the East End - also gives you the unique opportunity of experiencing the spaces that the writers you study inhabited, as you walk through the London of Chaucer, Dickens, Woolf, and Monica Ali.

Study abroad

You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary).

While there are no extra tuition fees associated with these placements abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation.

Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL .

  • Introduction to Creative Writing (30 credits)
  • Narrative (15 credits)
  • Poetry (15 credits)
  • Reading, Theory and Interpretation (30 credits)
  • Shakespeare (30 credits)
  • English in Practice (non credit)

From 2017 we are introducing the  QMUL Model  to all our degrees. In your first year, you’ll meet the requirements of the QMUL Model through the compulsory module Reading, Theory and Interpretation: approaches to the study of English Literature. In your second and final year, you’ll be able to choose modules from the School of English and Drama, and elsewhere at Queen Mary. These modules will provide you with opportunities to develop skills related to networking, interdisciplinarity, global perspectives, and entrepreneurship. For further information on this initiative please visit QMUL Model .

  • Creative Writing Prose: the Short Story (15 credits)
  • Creative Writing Poetry (15 credits)
  • English option (15 credits)
  • English List module (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (English or Creative Writing) (30 credits)
  • Creative Writing option (15 credits)

General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.

2018 Entry requirements

General admissions entry requirements, english language proficiency.

All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes .

Vocational and Other Qualifications

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team ( [email protected] ) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Combined Qualifications

If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team ( [email protected] ) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Advanced Entry

Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team ( [email protected] ) before making an application for individual advice.

If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.

We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.

Non-UK students

European and international applicants.

Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.

Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team ( [email protected] ) is happy to advise you further.

Further Information

For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511 Email: [email protected]

See our information and guidance on how to apply .

Learning and teaching

Tuition fees for home and eu students.

2018/19 Academic Year Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2018/19 Academic Year Full-time £15,400

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees .

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676 email: [email protected]

Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships .

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction .

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in Wales , Scotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service , which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website , or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Our English graduates go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, heritage and charity.

The national 2014 destination survey confirmed that 92% of graduates from the School were in employment or study six months after graduation, with 71% of this group already working or studying at graduate level. Queen Mary undergraduates have an average earning power of £23,000 six months after graduation.

The broad range of skills gained through undergraduate courses in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as:

  • Junior Producer - ITN
  • Actor - Self employed
  • Script Reader - Writers Avenue
  • Editorial Assistant - Dazed & Confused Magazine
  • Associate Producer - Idle Motion
  • PR Assistant - Proud Gallery
  • Research Assistant - Tatler
  • Programme Compiler - Channel 4
  • Market Researcher - Maritz
  • Global Mobility Project Assistant - Diageo
  • Marketing Coordinator - News Quest Ltd

Throughout the course, you will have access to an annual Queen Mary Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare you for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent events include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, Careers in Law for non-law students and Start Up Stand up for those aspiring to start their own social enterprise or business.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities, including a chance to volunteer for QMedia (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union).

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the Queen Mary Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.

This is a new programme, so we don’t have any profiles of recent graduates. But amongst the alumni of the English Department who have gone on to careers in creative writing are J.G. Ballard, Malcolm Bradbury, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Conn Iggulden, Eleanor Updale, Kate Williams, and Sarah Waters.

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University of Reading

Subjects A-B

  • Agriculture
  • Ancient History
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Building and Surveying
  • Business and Management

Subjects C-E

  • Classics and Classical Studies
  • Climate Science
  • Computer Science
  • Construction Management
  • Consumer Behaviour and Marketing
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminology
  • Engineering
  • English Language and Applied Linguistics
  • English Literature
  • Environment

Subjects F-G

  • Film & Television
  • Foundation programmes
  • Graphic Communication and Design

Subjects H-M

  • International Development
  • International Foundation Programme (IFP)
  • International Relations
  • Languages and Cultures
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Sciences
  • Meteorology and Climate
  • Microbiology
  • Museum Studies

Subjects N-T

  • Pharmacology
  • Physician Associate Studies
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Real Estate and Planning
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Surveying and Construction
  • Theatre & Performance

Subjects U-Z

  • Wildlife Conservation

Subjects A-C

  • Business (Post-Experience)
  • Business and Management (Pre-Experience)
  • Classics and Ancient History
  • Construction Management and Engineering
  • Consumer Behaviour
  • Creative Enterprise

Subjects D-G

  • Data Science
  • Energy and Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Film, Theatre and Television
  • Food and Nutritional Sciences
  • Geography and Environmental Science
  • Graphic Design

Subjects H-P

  • Information Management and Digital Business
  • Information Technology
  • International Development and Applied Economics
  • Physician Associate
  • Project Management
  • Public Policy

Subjects Q-Z

  • Social Policy
  • Strategic Studies
  • Teacher training
  • Typography and Graphic Communication
  • War and Peace Studies
  • Architectural Engineering
  • Bioveterinary Sciences

We are in the process of finalising our postgraduate taught courses for 2025/26 entry. In the meantime, you can view our 2024/25 courses.

BA Creative Writing and Theatre

  • UCAS code WW84
  • A level offer BBB
  • Year of entry 2025/26 See 2024/25 entry
  • Course duration Full Time:  3 Years

Develop and hone your writing skills, and explore the complex interplay between live performance and audience, with our BA Creative Writing and Theatre course.

Taught jointly by the Department of English Literature and the Department of Film, Theatre and Television , on this course you will:

  • explore your creative writing in small peer groups
  • examine theatre in its various contexts: as popular entertainment, theoretical discipline and art form
  • have the opportunity to develop your practical theatre skills.

Creative writing and theatre complement each other perfectly. Exploring a breadth of dramatic work and analysing creative choices will support the development of your own creative writing. Optional practical work will enhance your ability to create compelling characters and narratives.

Creative writing

Creative writing allows you to explore your creativity from all angles: creating characters, shaping poems, drawing on your imagination. 

We offer a specially curated group of English literature modules that are designed to complement your creative writing. You’ll gain knowledge of a variety of literary, dramatic and film texts, from a range of different periods. This course aims to foster your independent thinking, using the close reading and analytical skills that are fundamental to both English literature and theatre.

We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment. Workshops are central to our creative writing community, helping you to form relationships with your peers and feel more confident about your work.

Your learning environment

Modules are taught by practising, published authors who have strong links with professional writing communities. We regularly invite authors to read from their work and participate in teaching.

We’ll help you develop your creative writing skills in a variety of settings:

  • lectures concentrate on specific, practical issues such as how to construct a character or tackle a specific literary form
  • seminars involve small group discussions, led by one of the teaching team, with short practical writing exercises
  • workshops allow you to explore and develop your writing in small peer groups.

94% of students in the Department of English Literature said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023).

Creative community

The Department of English Literature fosters a creative writing community that is friendly, cohesive and committed. As well as learning from lecturers, you’ll learn from each other by sharing your work in progress. Outside the classroom, you can share your ideas with the University’s creative writing group, Scribblers, which is run by and for students from across the University.

You will also have the opportunity to publish your own work – and gain experience in editing and publishing – by participating in our annual Creative Writing Anthology.

On your theatre modules, you will analyse and discuss the plays that you love with the opportunity to learn practical skills for your future career.

During your studies at Reading you will:

  • discover how directors, designers, writers and other theatre artists respond to and shape our rapidly changing world
  • explore the histories and techniques of devising, producing, designing and directing
  • learn how theatre works as an expression of real-world issues.

Through our partnerships and connections with the contemporary creative world, you will gain a rich and critically informed knowledge of the techniques that are shaping creative practice today.

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in group-based practical work, which will help you develop your creativity, storytelling and practical skills.

A key benefit of studying at Reading is our close proximity to London – undoubtedly the UK’s premier hub for all things film and theatre. You will have numerous opportunities to visit theatres and see performances as part of your degree.

Theatre facilities

Combine the study of ground-breaking theory with practical application, using our purpose-built £11m Minghella Studios facilities that feature:

  • three theatre spaces
  • a multi-camera film and TV studio
  • a digital cinema
  • dedicated recording studio and mixing suite.

Placements with BA Creative Writing and Theatre

Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take a placement module on languages and literature in heritage, in education, in theatre, and in the media. 

Study abroad

In your second year, you can spend a semester studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, or countries across Europe. To find out more, visit our Study Abroad site .

Entry requirements A Level BBB

Select Reading as your firm choice on UCAS and we'll guarantee you a place even if you don't quite meet your offer. For details, see our firm choice scheme . 

 Our typical offers are expressed in terms of A level, BTEC and International Baccalaureate requirements. However, we also accept many other qualifications.

Typical offer

BBB including a grade B in English Literature or a related subject. Related subjects include: English Language, English Language and Literature, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Creative Writing.

International Baccalaureate

30 points overall including 5 in English at higher level.

Extended Project Qualification

In recognition of the excellent preparation that the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) provides to students for University study, we can now include achievement in the EPQ as part of a formal offer.

BTEC Extended Diploma

DDM (Modules taken must be comparable to subject specific requirement)

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with no component below 6.0

For information on other English language qualifications, please visit our international student pages .

Alternative entry requirements for International and EU students

For country specific entry requirements  look at entry requirements by country .

Pre-sessional English language programme

If you need to improve your English language score you can take a pre-sessional English course prior to entry onto your degree.

  • Find out the English language requirements for our courses and our pre-sessional English programme

Compulsory modules

Introduction to creative writing.

Develop your skills in creative writing across a range of genres. You will develop an understanding of how to compose, criticise, revise, and polish your work through workshop discussions and the completion of a critical essay.  

Poetry in English

From the Renaissance to the present, uncover the history of poetry as you explore key genres related to love, politics, pastoral, elegy, satire, the sonnet, the ode, and the dramatic monologue. You’ll study poems drawn from the wider English-speaking world including Ireland, the Caribbean and North America, encountering the diversity of voices found in gender and sexuality.  

Analysing Theatre and Performance

Critically interpret theatre texts and performances, enhancing your understanding of the conventions of production, the organisation of meaning in performance, and deviations from mainstream conventions. Engage with performances from the late nineteenth century to the contemporary, focusing on their historical, cultural, stylistic and performative contexts.

Radical Forms in Theatre and Performance 

Discover the history, traditions, practices, and theoretical and analytical perspectives of radical theatre making and experimental performance practice. You’ll learn to appreciate the cultural, political, and aesthetic significance of radical experimentation in theatre and performances, and express critical understanding of creative practice and risk-taking.

Optional modules

Introduction to drama.

Discover the genre of drama as you explore a historical range of texts from the early modern periods. You’ll focus on four plays as you explore comedy, tragedy, form, structure, and the elements of change and continuity found within the genre.  

Become acquainted with English literature’s material dimension and how writers, both past and present, have depicted the library as a symbol. As you study, you'll interpret poems, novels and plays, and investigate books and other archival documents as physical objects.  

Comedy on Stage and Screen

Gain insights into how comedy intersects with film, theatre and television through a series of case studies. You’ll learn how humour highlights critical issues such as identity politics (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability), taboo, embarrassment, cult, cancel or outrage culture, and explore relevant production, industrial and socio-cultural contexts.

Modern American Culture and Counterculture

Discover American countercultures in work, from 1950s Beat poetry to fiction responding to the Black Lives Matter movement. You’ll study the perspectives of African-American, Native American and white American creatives in a variety of genres: poetry, short stories, YA fiction, science fiction, drama, songs, films, war reportage and the graphic novel.  

Thinking Translation: History and Theory

Learn about the current thinking on translation by exploring some specific case studies. The historical approach to translation will allow you to develop a critical awareness of the role played by: genres, readership, institutional influences, market constraints, gender attitudes and discourses, purpose. In seminars, you will explore the challenges facing translators when dealing with literary, scientific, philosophical and political texts

What is Comparative Literature? 

Learn about the major critical and theoretical issues in the study of Comparative Literature, as well as the important methodologies for studying literature in a comparative context. Approach a cluster of texts from different cultural and historical traditions, you'll be be encouraged to reflect on the practices and consequences of reading transnationally.

Optional Language Modules 

Learn one of 10 languages offered by the University at a level appropriate for you. 

These are the modules that we currently offer for 2024/25 entry. They may be subject to change as we regularly review our module offerings to ensure they’re informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

Please note that the University cannot guarantee that all optional modules will be available to all students who may wish to take them.

You can also  register your details  with us to receive information about your course of interest and study and life at the University of Reading.

Identity, Performance and Culture

Understand the construction, representation and performance of diverse modes of identity in theatre and in culture. You’ll develop skills of close textual and performance analysis, and learn how local, national and global contexts have influenced playwrights, theatre makers and theatre cultures.

Creative Writing: Creative Non-fiction

Study memoirs, essays, blog posts, long-form journalism, biography and auto-fiction as you explore the exciting and ever-evolving contemporary genre. As you study these texts, you’ll write your own piece of creative non-fiction and support others with creative feedback.  

Myth, Legend and Romance: Medieval Storytelling

Explore storytelling in medieval England as you take in the fantastical tales of ancient heroes, drama that blends comedy and religious devotion, and magic and supernatural beings. You’ll consider the stark contrast of narrative structure, character development and language use by medieval writers in contrast to our own.   

Creative Writing: The Short Story

Explore the process of the creative cycle, from reading literature to writing it. You’ll engage critically with a range of short stories as you encounter key debates about the form and write your own short fiction in response. 

Victorian Literature

Victorian literature consists of a period where authors began to consider people’s place in the world with God, the workings of the mind, and the role of class and gender in the construction of identity. You’ll engage with these ideas as you consider some of the greatest works of the period – from Dickens and Hardy to Tennyson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.   

Contemporary Fiction

Study a selection of fiction from the 1980s to the present day, exploring the formal, thematic and cultural diversity of Anglophone fiction produced in this period. You’ll consider these texts within a number of social, political and historical contexts, such as multiculturalism, feminism and globalisation.  

Placement and Employment Skills

This module provides you with an opportunity for reflective learning and intensive research through an industry role of your choice. You’ll reflect critically on your career development and acquire transferable skills for future employment.

Writing in the Public Sphere

Study literature designed to prompt social and political change as you examine speeches, pamphlets, tracts and political posters from the early modern period to the present. Consider how such literature shapes debates on race, class, religion, nationality and women’s rights across Britain and Ireland.  


Develop skills to critically analyse and produce non-fiction films and television through close analysis of texts and engagement with various industrial and technological contexts. You’ll engage with critical debates and conceptual issues and put ideas into practice. You’ll understand documentary-makers’ creative decision-making and their connection to ideological concerns.

Reworking Shakespeare in Performance

Understand Shakespeare as a powerful signifier of culture, explore adaptations of Shakespeare and learn how these relate to broader cultural and political contexts. You’ll learn about the practices and preoccupations that currently affect interpretation of Shakespeare and gain the ability to make connections between social and cultural concerns and their presentation on stage. 

Directing and Dramaturgy

Explore a culturally diverse range of directing and dramaturgical approaches to creating performance. You’ll be equipped with a toolbox of critically informed and aesthetically exciting strategies, an understanding of the significance of research-informed performance practices, and gain confidence in leading theatre-making processes. 

Television and Contemporary Culture

Engage with issues of genre, globalisation, industry, and representation. You’ll examine the construction of critical and contextual frameworks that underpin television studies. Explore television’s international flows, build a picture of national industrial practices, and analyse digital media practices and platforms. You’ll develop a critical understanding of conventions and histories of selected genres and explore the implied impact of ideologies of representation.

Film Forms and Cultures

Discover the rich variety of film forms and explore critical and conceptual issues of form, including theoretical perspectives, questions of form, and form’s meaning and politics.

Creative Writing: Poetry

Engage critically with a range of poems and key debates around form. You’ll write your own poetry in response, experimenting with the possibilities within the genre as you and your peers share constructive feedback.   

Modernism in Poetry and Fiction

Examine the concepts of modernity, modernism, and the history of early twentieth-century poetry and fiction. You’ll explore experimentation and innovation in poetic and narrative form, and their relation to wider social upheaval and cultural movements in the period. 

Enlightenment Revolution and Romanticism

Study the political revolutions that shook British society to its core during Age of Enlightenment (c.1680-1790): England’s bloodless ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688; the colonial revolution of American independence; and the French Revolution of 1789.

The Business of Books

You’ll cover the history and development of modern trade publishing and have focused sessions on some of its key players, including publishers and literary agents. Through a combination of theoretical, methodological, and hands-on teaching sessions and workshops, you’ll study the role and function of books in historical and institutional contexts including libraries, bookshops, publishing houses, and board rooms. 

Early Modern Literature 

Discover the rich and fascinating literary culture of the early modern or Renaissance period. You'll explore the ways that English literature was shaped by, and helped to re-shape, English culture in the years between the Reformation and the Civil Wars.

Critical Thinking 

Approach familiar ideas and issues from unfamiliar angles that prompt you to re-examine the unspoken grounds on which common-sense ways of thinking are based. You’ll take part in exciting and rewarding discussions on issues of language, power, and identity, ideology, gender, and race.

Writing America: Perspectives on the Nation

Examine the construction of American national identity in American literature from a range of different perspectives. You’ll study a diversity of American voices and central themes including myths of the frontier, Manifest Destiny, personal and political liberty, and the construction of race, gender and sexuality.

Creative Writing Dissertation

Develop a sustained piece of independent writing such as a short story, a play, a screen play or a collection of verse. You’ll work closely with a peer community of creative writers to self-organise and conduct workshops as you develop your advanced research and writing skills.  

Theatre Dissertation

Apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in the previous modules to a major piece of independent work around an area you are interested in. Independently initiate and develop the project under the guidance of a supervisor.

Creative Research Project

Apply your previously gained knowledge and skills to a significant research-based project that includes a creative element and critical research and reflection. You’ll develop the project independently under supervision.

Creative Writing Masterclass: Poetry

Develop and design a short collection of poems with a view to submit to print or an online magazine. Engage with weekly workshops as you elaborate your style and voice, alongside focusing on emerging voices and subject matter.  

Lyric Voices, 1340-1650

Explore lyric poetry from the Middle Ages and the renaissance. You’ll look at the presentation of themes such as love and longing, grief, and the fear of death, and compare the ways in which authors make use of literary conventions to present such themes.   

British Black and Asian Voices: 1948 to the Present

Examine a range of British texts (poetry, drama, novels, short stories, films) by writers of Black and Asian descent. You’ll read theoretical and historical material as you examine issues of cultural capital, national identity, and minority communities.    

Performance and Design

Critically explore theatre and performance design by engaging with historical and contemporary scenographic practices. You’ll learn about the role of designers in shaping and reimagining theatre and performance. You’ll advance the ways you read, see and encounter the visual, aural, spatial, material and technological elements of design. Get involved in critical reading and discussions on a diverse range of international designers, methods and performance environments. You’ll gain exposure to professional contexts through visits to archives, talks or masterclasses from visiting designers and/or scholars. 

Literature and Mental Health

Discover how literature engaged with mental health in the first half of the twentieth century, a crucial turning point in psychology. You’ll consider the de-stigmatisation of mental health in the wake of World War I, the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology that emerged from it, and how literature engages with trauma, anxiety and obsession.   

Creative Writing Masterclass: Prose

Deepen your understanding of narrative techniques and sharpen your ability to write prose. You’ll use a range of short stories, narrative non-fiction and novel extracts as a springboard, advancing your knowledge on matters such as structure, characterisation, dialogue and quality.  

Writing Women: Nineteenth-Century Poetry

Explore writing primarily by (but also about) women in the nineteenth century, including Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh. Ask how women found a voice in a predominantly patriarchal society, what subjects were deemed suitable for female poets, and how such poets overcame the limitations of expectation.

Adaptations across Stage and Screen

Develop your knowledge and artistic practice in film, television and theatre through exploration of the processes of adaptation and engagement with critical, cultural and political considerations. You’ll have the opportunity to explore a range of practices, such as page to stage/screen, citation of iconic characters, fanfiction and digital reworkings, docudramas and documentary theatre, intercultural retellings and translations, contemporary retelling of historical narratives, and reworkings of productions in the same media.

Placing Jane Austen

Examine the movements of Austen's characters through rooms and houses, the patterns of their dances in assembly halls, the paths of their journeys through town and country. Investigate how these movements sometimes represent changes of heart or class, of mind or fortune and how they are always significant for the carefully drawn lines of her narratives.

Musical Theatre

Explore the theories, themes, politics, and practices of contemporary musical theatre. You’ll focus on the research and development (R&D) of musical theatre, its dramaturgy, political context, modes of production, representation, and reception. 

Film Festivals and Programming

Gain advanced knowledge of modes of programming arthouse, alternative, and experimental venues, as well as organising festivals. Through seminars, workshops and group projects, you’ll explore how festivals (such as Cannes, Venice and Berlin) work as effective filters for wider distribution, and how festivals and programming are key to understanding the kinds of world cinema we watch.

Children's Literature

Explore issues surrounding children’s literature and its criticism. Questions and analyse critical assumptions and formulations around authorship, memory, observation, readership, and identity.

The Bloody Stage: Revenge and Death in Renaissance Drama

Explore the representation of revenge and death in revenge tragedies performed on the Renaissance stage. Analyse the staging of death scenes and whether there are differences in the ways that men and women die on stage. 

Modern and Contemporary British Poetry

Study key trends in poetry's engagement with changing circumstances in England, Wales, and Scotland in the twentieth century and beyond. Consider issues including the aftermaths of modernism, gender and poetry, British poetry and post-war retrenchment, the 'poetry wars' of the 1970s and the perpetuation of 'Movement' ideals down to the present.

Advanced Scriptwriting

Create original scripts and develop your critical understanding of key storytelling issues such as narrative, character, dialogue, and place. Your scriptwriting practice will include both individual and collaborative forms of writing and rewriting, and you'll engage with discourses around scriptwriting emerging from both theatre pedagogy and screenwriting studies, including projects for decolonising stage and screen writing traditions.

Screen Bodies

Discover how diverse bodies move on screen, and how those bodies engage the spectator’s body. You’ll explore how the screen representation of the body is shaped by culturally situated ideas about body and society, and power and desire – including creative traditions, influences, technologies, and innovations. As you examine how the screen body generates meaning, you’ll study access to representation, visibility, marginalisation, and consent.

From Romance to Fantasy

Explore the role played by fantastical or wondrous elements in English literature from the middle ages to the present day. Focus on a range of key narrative structures (such as the quest), persistent motifs such as magical objects, and influential modes, such as the gothic. 

Decadence and Degeneration: Literature of the 1890s

Engage with iconic texts in English literature, including Stoker's Dracula, Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde, and Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, while exploring what's meant by these terms 'decadence' and 'degeneration', calling, amongst many other things, on portrayals of 1890s' foppishness, Darwinian models of evolution, the emergent New Woman phenomenon, the Wilde trial, and the portrayal of prostitution.

Optional Language Modules

New UK/Republic of Ireland students: £9,250

New international students: £25,250

*UK/Republic of Ireland fee changes

UK/Republic of Ireland undergraduate tuition fees are regulated by the UK government. These fees are subject to parliamentary approval and any decision on raising the tuition fees cap for new UK students would require the formal approval of both Houses of Parliament before it becomes law.

EU student fees

With effect from 1 August 2021, new EU students will pay international tuition fees. For exceptions, please read the UK government's guidance for EU students .

Additional costs

Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.

Financial support for your studies

You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. In addition to university-wide scholarships, the department offers the Bulmershe Bursary that supports eligible students with £1,000 towards the costs of university life. It is open to all full-time UK or EU undergraduate students studying degrees offered by Film, Television, and Theatre including our joint honours programmes. Students can apply in the first term of each year. Students from the UK may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover costs. See our fees and funding information  for more information on what's available.

As a creative writing graduate, you will enter the job market with well-developed communication, research and writing skills, together with a high level of cultural literacy and critical sophistication. According to the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/21, 95% of our leavers are in work or further study within 15 months of graduation*.

Our flexible degrees are designed to develop the skills valued by both creative and commercial industries, providing you with a diverse range of career opportunities following graduation.

To prepare you for the future, an emphasis on professional skills is built into all of our courses. You will graduate with a breadth of knowledge as well as many transferable skills for work in a wider range of sectors.

Many of our alumni work in the creative industries, in roles such as:

  • theatre director
  • arts management

Graduates also go on to work in:

  • commercial marketing and media 
  • advertising 
  • journalism 

*Based on our analysis of HESA data © HESA 2023, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020/21; includes first degree English Literature responders.

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Elements of Creative Writing

creative writing in english drama

J.D. Schraffenberger, University of Northern Iowa

Rachel Morgan, University of Northern Iowa

Grant Tracey, University of Northern Iowa

Copyright Year: 2023

ISBN 13: 9780915996179

Publisher: University of Northern Iowa

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of use.


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Robert Moreira, Lecturer III, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on 3/21/24

Unlike Starkey's CREATIVE WRITING: FOUR GENRES IN BRIEF, this textbook does not include a section on drama. read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

Unlike Starkey's CREATIVE WRITING: FOUR GENRES IN BRIEF, this textbook does not include a section on drama.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

As far as I can tell, content is accurate, error free and unbiased.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

The book is relevant and up-to-date.

Clarity rating: 5

The text is clear and easy to understand.

Consistency rating: 5

I would agree that the text is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Modularity rating: 5

Text is modular, yes, but I would like to see the addition of a section on dramatic writing.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

Topics are presented in logical, clear fashion.

Interface rating: 5

Navigation is good.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

No grammatical issues that I could see.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

I'd like to see more diverse creative writing examples.

As I stated above, textbook is good except that it does not include a section on dramatic writing.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: One Great Way to Write a Short Story
  • Chapter Two: Plotting
  • Chapter Three: Counterpointed Plotting
  • Chapter Four: Show and Tell
  • Chapter Five: Characterization and Method Writing
  • Chapter Six: Character and Dialouge
  • Chapter Seven: Setting, Stillness, and Voice
  • Chapter Eight: Point of View
  • Chapter Nine: Learning the Unwritten Rules
  • Chapter One: A Poetry State of Mind
  • Chapter Two: The Architecture of a Poem
  • Chapter Three: Sound
  • Chapter Four: Inspiration and Risk
  • Chapter Five: Endings and Beginnings
  • Chapter Six: Figurative Language
  • Chapter Seven: Forms, Forms, Forms
  • Chapter Eight: Go to the Image
  • Chapter Nine: The Difficult Simplicity of Short Poems and Killing Darlings

Creative Nonfiction

  • Chapter One: Creative Nonfiction and the Essay
  • Chapter Two: Truth and Memory, Truth in Memory
  • Chapter Three: Research and History
  • Chapter Four: Writing Environments
  • Chapter Five: Notes on Style
  • Chapter Seven: Imagery and the Senses
  • Chapter Eight: Writing the Body
  • Chapter Nine: Forms

Back Matter

  • Contributors
  • North American Review Staff

Ancillary Material

  • University of Northern Iowa

About the Book

This free and open access textbook introduces new writers to some basic elements of the craft of creative writing in the genres of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The authors—Rachel Morgan, Jeremy Schraffenberger, and Grant Tracey—are editors of the North American Review, the oldest and one of the most well-regarded literary magazines in the United States. They’ve selected nearly all of the readings and examples (more than 60) from writing that has appeared in NAR pages over the years. Because they had a hand in publishing these pieces originally, their perspective as editors permeates this book. As such, they hope that even seasoned writers might gain insight into the aesthetics of the magazine as they analyze and discuss some reasons this work is so remarkable—and therefore teachable. This project was supported by NAR staff and funded via the UNI Textbook Equity Mini-Grant Program.

About the Contributors

J.D. Schraffenberger  is a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of two books of poems,  Saint Joe's Passion  and  The Waxen Poor , and co-author with Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt of  The Necessary Poetics of Atheism . His other work has appeared in  Best of Brevity ,  Best Creative Nonfiction ,  Notre Dame Review ,  Poetry East ,  Prairie Schooner , and elsewhere.

Rachel Morgan   is an instructor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author of the chapbook  Honey & Blood , Blood & Honey . Her work is included in the anthology  Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in American  and has appeared in the  Journal of American Medical Association ,  Boulevard ,  Prairie Schooner , and elsewhere.

Grant Tracey   author of three novels in the Hayden Fuller Mysteries ; the chapbook  Winsome  featuring cab driver Eddie Sands; and the story collection  Final Stanzas , is fiction editor of the  North American Review  and an English professor at the University of Northern Iowa, where he teaches film, modern drama, and creative writing. Nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize, he has published nearly fifty short stories and three previous collections. He has acted in over forty community theater productions and has published critical work on Samuel Fuller and James Cagney. He lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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Creative Writing

Open book with fountain pen on top

Minor Program ERMIN1497 Creative Writing

The Department of English and Drama’s Minor in Creative Writing is designed to allow students to focus on either the literary or dramatic arts, or to integrate their work in both these areas of creative expression. In lectures and tutorials in two courses at the 200 level, they will learn about the artistic traditions that frame their own writing; and experiment with producing and sharing written work in a variety of genres, using a range of formal techniques. These introductory courses serve as a foundation for 300-level workshops, in which students develop a more specialised focus, e.g. playwriting, prose fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, editing, or writing for interactive new media. Finally, all students in the Minor can apply for admittance to the department's selective, 400-level capstone Creative Writing Workshop, in which over the course of a year they will be encourage to develop their portfolio of creative work towards publication. When students graduate with a Minor in Creative Writing they will have learned to use language creatively to develop observations, insights, and complex ideas. They will be able to write imaginatively, compellingly, clearly, and effectively, and to produce creative work in a range of literary and dramatic modes, genres, and forms. Courses in the Minor emphasize the way that how writers learn their craft from other writers, and the ways in which new modes of written expression emerge in the context of artistic tradition and historical circumstances. The Minor will also introduce students to the processes involved in editing and publishing creative work in print and other media.

Program Requirements:  In order to complete the Minor in Creative Writing successfully, students will require a total of 4.0 credits, from the following courses:

  • 0.5 credits in  ENG289H5  Creative Writing
  • 0.5 credits in  ENG291H5  Reading for Creative Writing
  • 1.0 credit in either  ENG489Y5  Creative Writing Workshop; or in two of the following courses:  ENG373H5  Creative Writing: Poetry;  ENG374H5  Creative Writing: Prose;  ENG375H5  Editing Literary Texts;  ENG376H5  Creative Writing: Nonfiction;  ENG377H5  Special Topic in Creative Writing;  ENG378H5  Special Topic in Writing for Performance;  DRE362H5  Playwriting
  • 1.0 credit in  ENG201Y5  Reading Poetry; or 0.5 credits from the following courses:  ENG101H5  How to Read Critically;  ENG280H5  Critical Approaches to Literature;  DRE360H5  Developmental Dramaturgy; and 0.5 credits from the following courses: ENG/  DRE121H5  Traditions of Theatre and Drama;  ENG202H5  British Literature in the World I;  ENG203H5  British Literature in the World II.
  • 1.0 credit in other ENG or DRE courses. We strongly encourage students to take courses whose descriptions indicate that instructors set/allow assessed creative assignments. These are specially indicated on the departmental website each year.

No more than 1.5 credits can be double counted towards two programs of study in English, Drama, or Creative Writing.

NOTE: Students without pre- and co-requisites or written permission of the instructor can be de-registered from courses at any time. Pre- and co-requisites will be strictly enforced.

University undergraduate students studying in the Monica Partridge Building Digital Hub. Friday November 5th 2021.Khaqan Khan (red jumper); Megan Mahoney (blue top); Cole Pearce and Sara Bintey Kabir (yellow top).

English with Creative Writing BA

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK


Please note that we are currently updating our undergraduate prospectus pages for 2025 entry, so the information below is subject to change. We expect to have our pages fully updated by the end of April 2024.

Course information

  • Qualification : Bachelor of Arts with Honours Bachelor of Arts with Honours
  • Start date : September 2025 September 2025

Entry requirements : 36 AAA

6 in English at Higher Level

6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications. This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English. Check our  English language policies and equivalencies for further details.

For presessional English or one-year foundation courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations.

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a  Presessional English for Academic Purposes (PEAP) course.  Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

Check our  country-specific information  for guidance on qualifications from your country

A in English literature or language (or combined) at A level; plus a GCSE at level 4 (grade C) or above in English

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our  contextual admissions policy  for more information.

Alternative qualifications

We recognise that applicants have a wealth of different experiences and follow a variety of pathways into higher education.

Consequently we treat all applicants with alternative qualifications (besides A-levels and the International Baccalaureate) on an individual basis, and we gladly accept students with a whole range of less conventional qualifications including:

Access to HE Diploma

  • Advanced Diploma
  • BTEC Extended Diploma

This list is not exhaustive. The entry requirements for alternative qualifications can be quite specific; for example you may need to take certain modules and achieve a specified grade in those modules. Please contact us to discuss the transferability of your qualification. Please see the  alternative qualifications page  for more information.

RQF BTEC Nationals

RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma - unfortunately we are unable to accept this qualification on its own due to the subject specific requirements at A Level.

Mixed qualifications accepted if taking A Level English alongside.

BTEC National Extended Diploma D*DD + A in A Level English

D*D in BTEC Diploma + A in A Level English.

D in BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ Extended Certificate + AA including A Level English

Pass Access to HE Diploma Humanities Pathway with 45 credits at level 3 of which 36 credits must be at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit

15 level 3 credits must be from English modules and 9 of these English credits must be at Distinction.

Contextual offer

In order to recognise the potential of talented students from all backgrounds we make contextual offers for this course to students who have international fee status. These offers could be one or two grades lower than the advertised standard entry requirements.  Please see this page for further information .

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have already achieved your EPQ at Grade A you will automatically be offered one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject.

If you are still studying for your EPQ you will receive the standard course offer, with a condition of one grade lower in a non-mandatory A level subject if you achieve an A grade in your EPQ.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the  mature students webpage.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK.  Student route visas  can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses.  The Standard Visitor visa  route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s  Visa and Immigration team  if you need advice about your visa options.

Contextual offers

We recognise the potential of talented students from all backgrounds. We make contextual offers to students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement at school or college. These offers are usually one grade lower than the advertised entry requirements. To qualify for a contextual offer, you must have Home/UK fee status and meet specific criteria –  check if you’re eligible .

Foundation progression options

If you have faced educational barriers and are predicted BCC at A Level, you may be eligible for our Foundation Year . You may progress to a range of direct entry degrees in the arts and humanities. 

  • UCAS Code : Q3W8 Q3W8

Duration : 3 years full-time 3 years full-time

Study abroad

On this course, you can apply to study abroad at one of our partner institutions or at University of Nottingham China or University of Nottingham Malaysia. 

If you are successful in applying to study abroad, you will get the opportunity to broaden your horizons and enhance your CV by experiencing another culture. Teaching is typically in English, but there may be opportunities to study in another language if you are sufficiently fluent.  

You can choose to study similar modules to your counterparts in the UK or expand your knowledge by taking other options.  

The school you are joining may also have additional study abroad options available. Please visit the school website for more information.  

Please note:  In order to study abroad you will need to achieve the relevant academic requirements as set by the university and meet the selection criteria of both the university and the partner institution. The partner institution is under no obligation to accept you even if you do meet the relevant criteria.

Optional placement year

If your course does not have a compulsory placement, integrated year in industry or compulsory year abroad where there is already an opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of that experience, you may be able to apply to undertake an optional placement year. While it is the student’s responsibility to find and secure a placement, our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout this process. Contact [email protected] to find out more. 

The school/faculty you are joining may also have additional placement opportunities. Please visit the  school/faculty website  for more information.  

Please note:  In order to undertake an optional placement year, you will need to achieve the relevant academic requirements as set by the university and meet any requirements specified by the placement host. There is no guarantee that you will be able to undertake an optional placement as part of your course.

Key information

Please be aware  that study abroad, compulsory year abroad, optional placements/internships and integrated year in industry opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities or placement/industry hosts, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.  

Please note: In order to study abroad you will need to achieve the relevant academic requirements as set by the university and meet the selection criteria of both the university and the partner institution. The partner institution is under no obligation to accept you even if you do meet the relevant criteria.

The school/faculty you are joining may also have additional placement opportunities. Please visit the school/faculty website for more information.  

Please note: In order to undertake an optional placement year, you will need to achieve the relevant academic requirements as set by the university and meet any requirements specified by the placement host. There is no guarantee that you will be able to undertake an optional placement as part of your course.

Please be aware that study abroad, compulsory year abroad, optional placements/internships and integrated year in industry opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities or placement/industry hosts, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.  

Fees : £23,000 per year £9,250 per year

* For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable),  see our fees page .

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using  guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)  .

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the  equipment advice.

Essential course materials are supplied.

You'll be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to buy your own copies of core texts. A limited number of modules have compulsory texts which you are required to buy. We recommend that you budget £100 per year for books, but this figure will vary according to which modules you take. The Blackwell's bookshop on campus offers a year-round price match against any of the main retailers (e.g. Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith). They also offer second-hand books, as students from previous years sell their copies back to the bookshop.

Volunteering and placements

For volunteering and placements e.g. work experience and teaching in schools, you will need to pay for transport and refreshments.

Optional field trips

Field trips allow you to engage with source materials on a personal level and to develop different perspectives. They are optional and costs to you vary according to the trip; some require you to arrange your own travel, refreshments and entry fees, while some are some are wholly subsidised.

Scholarships and bursaries

Faculty of Arts Alumni Scholarships

Our Alumni Scholarships provide support with essential living costs to eligible students. Find out more about  eligibility and how to apply.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

Our Alumni Scholarships provide support with essential living costs to eligible students. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages .

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

Course overview

Would you love to see your name in print? Are you curious about the creative industries? Or maybe there’s a poem or novel in you that's waiting to come out?

If you want to develop your creative work alongside studying a broad range of English literature, language and drama, this course is for you.

You’ll write both fiction and poetry, exploring different forms and genres along the way, including environmental and political poetics, creative non-fiction, flash fiction and short stories. The work in English studies will strengthen your creative writing. Then, in your second and third years, there’s flexibility to specialise in the areas you enjoy most, including digital storytelling.

You’ll spend two thirds of your time on English studies, and one third on creative writing. This includes learning about the process of writing and publishing from expert staff who are published poets and authors themselves.

We are proud to be ranked top 20 for English in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024).

Find out more

Watch the videos about our key areas of study.

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Indicative modules

Academic Community

Beginnings of English

Creative Writing Practice

Drama, Theatre, Performance

Studying Language

Studying Literature

Poetry: Forms and Conventions

Fiction: Forms and Conventions

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Page

From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries: Literature 1700-1830

Modern and Contemporary Literature

Literature and Popular Culture

Texts Across Time

Victorian and Fin de Siècle Literature: 1830-1910

The Psychology of Bilingualism and Language Learning

Language in Society

Language Development

Literary Linguistics

Chaucer and his Contemporaries

Old English: Reflection and Lament

Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North

Names and Identities

Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Stage

From Stanislavski to Contemporary Performance

Twentieth-Century Plays

Advanced Writing Practice: Poetry

Advanced Writing Practice: Fiction

Creative Writing Dissertation

Contemporary British Fiction

Single-Author Study

The Gothic Tradition

Modern Irish Literature and Drama

One and Unequal: World Literatures in English

Reformation and Revolution: Early Modern literature and drama 1588-1688

Making Something Happen: Poetry and Politics

The Self and the World: Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century

Language and Feminism

Discourse and Power: Health and Business Communication

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Advanced Stylistics

English Place-Names

Old English Heroic Poetry

Songs and Sonnets: Lyric poetry from Medieval Manuscript to Shakespeare and Donne

Dreaming the Middle Ages: Visionary Poetry in Scotland and England

The Viking Mind

Changing Stages: Theatre Industry and Theatre Art

Digital Story: Craft and Technique

Language and the Mind

About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Wednesday 28 February 2024.

Language study as part of this degree

You may be able to choose to study a language as part of this degree.  

Learning another language can open career opportunities around the globe and enriches your CV. It could also help you in your studies by being able to access learning materials in other languages. 

If you are planning to travel or work abroad it will help you to broaden your cultural understanding.

Our Language Centre offers many languages, and you may start as a beginner or at a more advanced level. 

Find out more about learning a language as part of your degree

This module introduces the key issues and skills in English, for transitioning to university-level study. It explores areas of overlap between the different areas of English at Nottingham.

You will be taught in small groups by your personal tutor, and encouraged to explore – both critically and reflectively – what it means to be a student of English.

We support you to develop study, research and communication skills, which will be useful across all your modules. This includes building effective skills for reflective writing and oral presentation.

This module is worth 20 credits.

What was the earliest literature in English like? Where does English come from? What does ‘English’ really mean, anyway?

On this module, we’ll explore a range of English and Scandinavian literature from the medieval period. You'll also meet themes and characters who are at once familiar and strange: heroes and heroines, monster-slayers, saints, exiles, tricksters, lovers, a bear, and more.

From Tolkien to Marvel, the medieval past has been an inspiration for fantasy fiction and modern myth. As well as introducing you to stories and poetry which is exciting, inspiring and sometimes plain weird, we’ll also be looking at some of the challenges of the modern world.

Thinking about the past, means thinking about how it is used in the present day. The idea of a 'beginning' of English language and literature often gets incorporated into modern beliefs about national, ethnic and racial identity. On this module, we’ll begin the necessary work of challenging these ideas and building a better understanding of the medieval past and why it still matters.

Taking a creative approach to language is a big part of what all writers do. In this module, we introduce the process of writing poetry and fiction.

You'll gain a broad perspective on creative writing, exploring essential techniques and examining the contexts in which writers create their work.

We will cover:

  • techniques in poetry (imagery, stanza and poetic form), and fiction (character, narrative and point of view)
  • ways of developing your creativity
  • creative and analytical responses to texts, by a wide range of contemporary and classic writers

You are taught by published poets and novelists, who'll share their insights and work closely with you to support your development. We also invite guest lecturers, so you can benefit from a professional perspective on the realities of writing and publication.

Who makes theatre? Where does performance happen, and who is in the audience? How is society represented on stage?

These questions are at the heart of this module, and we will explore the extraordinary variety of drama in the Western dramatic tradition. You will examine dramatic texts in relation to their historical context, spanning:

  • ancient Greek tragedy
  • medieval English drama
  • Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • the Restoration stage
  • 19th century naturalism
  • political theatre of Brecht
  • drama and performance, for example the West End hit  Emilia  by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (2018), a celebration of women’s voices and history, inspired by the life of the trailblazing 17th century poet and feminist  Emilia  Bassano

Alongside texts, you'll also consider the extra-textual features of drama, including the performance styles of actors, the significance of performance space and place, and the composition of various audiences.

You will study selected plays in workshops, seminars and lectures, where we will explore adaptation and interpretation of the texts through different media resources. You can also take part in practical theatre-making, exploring extracts from the selected play-texts in short, student-directed scenes in response to key questions about performance.

On this module you will learn about the nature of language, and how to analyse it for a broad range of purposes. It aims to prepare you for conducting your own language research across your degree.

The accompanying weekly workshops will explore levels of language analysis and description – from the sounds and structure of language, through to meaning and discourse. These can be applied to all areas of English study, and will prepare you for your future modules.

In your lectures, you will see how our staff put these skills of analysis and description to use in their own research. This covers the study of language in relation to the mind, literature, culture, society, and more. Your seminars then give you a chance to think about and discuss these topics further.

This module introduces the core skills for literary studies, including skills in reading, writing, researching and presentation. Topics covered include:

  • close reading
  • constructing an argument
  • handling critical material
  • introducing you to key critical questions about literary form, production and reception

You will put these new skills into practice through reading specific literary texts. These are focused on poetry and prose selected from the full range of the modern literary period (1500 to the present).

Across the year, you will learn about different interpretive approaches and concepts, and will examine literary-historical movements and transitions.

This module expands on the work done in the first year by undertaking a sustained analysis of technique and craft related to writing poetry, including poetic line, stanza, rhyme and related techniques, and imagery, along with a number of traditional forms such as the sonnet or haiku. You will be introduced to a wide and diverse range of writers and techniques as well as exploring the publishing industry as it relates to poetry. You will develop your own creative work as well as your critical and reflective skills.

This module expands on the work done in the first year by undertaking a sustained analysis of technique and craft related to fiction writing, including narrative voice, point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, and setting. You will be introduced to a wide and diverse range of writers and techniques as well as exploring the publishing industry as it relates to fiction. You will develop your own creative work as well as your critical and reflective skills.

This module focuses on material written between 1580 and 1630 to provide you with an introduction to methods of reading early modern texts. Shakespeare’s poetry will be among the core texts; other canonical writers will include Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney and John Donne. You’ll explore the practice of historicised readings of early modern texts and you’ll consider the related challenges and limitations. You’ll have one hour of lectures and two hours of seminars each week.

This module introduces different kinds of literature, written between 1700-1830. This was a dramatic time in literary history, resulting in the Romantic period. It involved many areas of great contemporary relevance, such as class, poverty, sexuality, and slavery.

We will examine:

  • utopian literature (through Gulliver’s Travels)
  • the developing novel (such as Moll Flanders and Pride and Prejudice)
  • how irony works
  • what is self-expression
  • how the emergent genre of autobiography can be either manipulated, or used as part of a larger cause

As part of this module, you will explore novels, poems, and prose works that bring to life the intellectual, social and cultural contexts of the period.

This module charts the dramatic transformations and innovations of literature in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Moving between genres, the module unfolds chronologically from modernism, through the inter-war years, and into postmodernism and the contemporary scene.

We explore some of the huge artistic shifts of this long and turbulent period. You will examine how modern and contemporary literature connects to the cultural revolutions, intellectual debates, political and social upheavals, and ethical complexities of its times.

This module investigates the relationship between literature and popular culture. You will explore works from across a range of genres and mediums, including:

  • prose fiction
  • graphic novels

As well as exploring topics such as aesthetics and adaptation, material will be situated within cultural, political and historical contexts allowing for the distinction between the literary and the popular.

This module will consider key issues in the study of English language and world literature, locate language and literature in time and place, and extend your knowledge of the intellectual, political, historical, and cultural developments in language and literature.

Explore a wide variety of Victorian and fin-de-siècle literature, with examples taken from fiction, critical writing and poetry.

You will examine works by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, HG Wells and Joseph Conrad.

We will focus on understanding changes in literary forms and genres over this period, and how these relate to broader developments in Victorian social, economic and political culture.

The module is organised around the following interrelated themes:

  • Empire and race
  • Class and crime
  • Identity and social mobility
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Literature and consumerism

Are you interested in languages and the multilingual world? Have you ever wondered how our brains process learning a second language? Would you like to teach English overseas one day? If so, this module could be for you.

Drawing on current theories of second language acquisition, we will consider:

  • How globalisation has increased bilingualism in the world
  • How languages are learnt
  • How students differ from each other in their mastery of languages
  • How the psychology of the classroom environment impacts the effectiveness of learning
  • How to motivate students and create good learner groups

You will spend three hours per week on this module, split equally between a lecture and follow-up seminar.

When we study language, we learn about how society works. Why do some people have more noticeable accents than others? Why are some people taken seriously when they talk, while others aren’t? How do those with power use language to manipulate us into thinking a certain way?

On this module, these are the sorts of questions you’ll be thinking about. We focus on how people use language, how language varies between different speakers, and how language is used to represent different social groups. We consider:

  • The way that language is used by people online to create communities
  • How the mainstream media uses language to represent particular groups, such as immigrants or gay people
  • The ways that language is used in particular contexts, such as the workplace
  • How advertisers use language to persuade us that we need their products
  • The relationship between language, gender and sexuality
  • How language can be used to signal a person’s race or ethnicity

You’ll learn how to conduct a sociolinguistic study which explores topics such as these. You will also spend time each week analysing original language data.

The module is worth 20 credits.

You’ll explore how English is learnt from making sounds as an infant through to adulthood. Topics relating to early speech development include: the biological foundations of language development, the stages of language acquisition and the influence of environment on development. Further topics which take into account later stages of development include humour and joke telling abilities, story-telling and conversational skills and bilingualism.

All literature is written in language, so understanding how language and the mind work will make us better readers and critics of literary works.

This module brings together the literary and linguistic parts of your degree. It gives you the power to explore any text from any period by any author. You will study how:

  • Literature can feel rich, or pacy, or suspenseful, or beautiful
  • Texts can make you laugh, cry, feel afraid, excited, or nostalgic
  • Fictional people like characters can be imagined
  • We can get inside the thoughts, feelings, and hear the speech of characters, narrators and authors
  • Imagined worlds are built, and how their atmosphere is brought to life
  • You as a reader are manipulated or connect actively with literary worlds and people

Chaucer dominates our conception of late Middle English literature, but he was one among several exceptional writers of his time.

This module focuses on 40 years of writing, to consider whether Chaucer’s concerns with identity and authority, comedy and tragedy, and wit and wisdom are uniquely his, or shared with other writers.

We will cover a wide range, including:

  • dream vision (both mystic and secular)
  • love poetry

You will read works by the so-called Ricardians: Chaucer, Gower, the Gawain-poet, and Langland, but also the mystic writings of Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe and some poetry by Thomas Hoccleve.

By the end of the module, you will have gained confidence in reading and discussing Middle English texts, and be aware of key issues around form, language, and authority and influence.

This module explores the tradition that the poetry and prose of Old English often focuses on warfare and heroic action. You will study and analyse poems from the Exeter Book 'elegies' and also passages from Beowulf to explore this rich and rewarding genre. You'll have a two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar each week for this module.

Odin, Thor and Loki: almost everyone has heard about them, but where do their stories come from?

In this module, we will learn about the origins of their myths from various sources: images on stone and wood in the Viking Age, as well as the written texts of the Middle Ages.

We will learn about giants, dwarves, valkyries and rumour-spreading squirrels, as well as the cosmology and religion which are embedded in Old Norse mythology. We will talk about heroes and villains, from dragon-slayers to queens who kill to avenge their brothers.

The stories of Old Norse mythology have influenced writers throughout history. from Tolkien to the Marvel Universe, they are still part of our culture. This module will take you back to the beginnings and show that there are so many more marvellous myths to explore.

The module is with 20 credits.

What can given names, surnames and nicknames tell us about people in the past? What determines the choice of a name for a child? Where does our hereditary surname system come from? How have place, class and gender impacted upon naming through time? This module will help you answer all these questions and more. Interactive lectures and seminars, and a project based on primary material tailored to each participant, will introduce you to the many and varied, fascinating and extraordinary types of personal name and their origins.

This module offers an in-depth exploration of the historical and theatrical contexts of early modern drama. This module invites students to explore the stagecraft of innovative and provocative works by Shakespeare and key contemporaries, such as Middleton, Johnson, and Ford (amongst others). Students will explore how practical performance elements such as staging, props, costume and music shape meaning. You’ll have one hour-long lecture and one two-hour long seminar each week, with occasional screenings.

Develop your understanding of some of the most influential performance theories and practice, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. 

Building on the ‘Drama, Theatre, Performance’ module, you will deepen your understanding of Stanislavski and Brecht in practice, as well as exploring the work of other influential theorists and practitioners. 

Possible material includes: 

  • Konstantin Stanislavski
  • Vsevolod Meyerhold
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Antonin Artaud
  • Jacques Lecoq
  • Ensemble physical theatre makers such as DV8, Gecko & Frantic Assembly 

For this module, you’ll have a mix of lectures and practical workshops, totalling three hours a week.

Workshops offer the opportunity for practical drama. You will explore theory in practice, through work with excerpts from canonical theatrical scripts and other performance scripts.

Theatre makers in the long 20th century have been dealing with a series of pressing artistic and social issues, many of which still concern us today.

These issues include:

  • What makes a play worth watching?
  • Why do audiences enjoy watching bad things happening?
  • How are minority groups represented on the stage?
  • How might the stage advance the cause of gender or sexual equality?
  • What role does social class or nationality play in the workings of theatrical culture?
  • How can we talk accurately about an art form like performed theatre, that is so fleeting and transitory?

In order to answer such questions, this module gives an overview of key plays and performances from the 1890s to the present. You will study these key texts in their original political, social, and cultural contexts. You will also:

  • consider their reception and afterlife
  • focus on the textual and performance effects created
  • place the texts alongside the work of relevant theorists and practitioners

This module builds on the creative writing modules taught in years 1 and 2. It is delivered through a three hour workshop in which the critique of student writing is a central element. You will get to read key writers within specific forms and conventions as well as relevant secondary texts. Topics covered will include literary influence, writing process, and collaboration, as well as a more detailed re-examination of some of the techniques and conventions covered in previous modules. By the end of the module you will have been given opportunity to develop and extend your skills and expertise through workshop exercises and the constructive feedback received during the workshop.

This module builds on the creative writing modules taught in years 1 and 2. It is delivered through a three hour workshop in which the critique of student writing is a central element. You will get to read key writers within specific forms and genres as well as relevant secondary texts. Topics covered will include narrative voice and technique, point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, and setting. By the end of the module you will have been given opportunity to develop and extend your skills and expertise through workshop exercises and the constructive feedback received during the workshop.

The dissertation is an independent project involving both creative and critical work. The creative component consists of an original work of either fiction, poetry, or drama, or a combination of two of these genres, to be agreed with your dissertation supervisor. The critical component addresses the main issues involved in the process of developing and revising your creative work.

Explore the novel from the late twentieth century onwards, in Britain and beyond.

We will concentrate on the formal operations and innovations of selected novelists, considering how the contemporary socio-historical context influences these questions of form. Topics considered include:

  • an interrogation of the ‘post-consensus novel’
  • an exploration of postcolonial texts which represent the transatlantic slave trade
  • the cultural politics of late twentieth-century and twenty-first century Scottish literature

Contemporary fiction is focused on writing emerging from Britain and closely-related contexts in the post-war period. This module offers strands structured around a number of political, social and cultural frameworks in Britain. These include:

  • formal analysis and literary innovations in Britain
  • temporalities and the representation of time
  • issues of gender, race and class
  • histories of colonialism and slavery
  • national traditions and politics of state
  • the country and the city
  • postmodernism

This module particularly explores the network of relationships between context, content and form, supported by related literary and cultural theory and philosophy.

This stranded module provides students with a detailed introduction to the major works of a single author (e.g. James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence). Students will select one author to study from a range on offer. They will then have the opportunity to consider in detail important thematic and stylistic aspects of their chosen author’s work, taking account of the chronological development of his/her writing practice (if relevant), and his/her relationship to key historical and literary contexts.

This module focuses on the connections between literary texts, politics, and relevant historical/cultural contexts in gothic texts. You may cover:

Examples include  The Haunting of Hill House  (both Shirley Jackson’s novel and the Netflix adaptation),  The Gilda Stories  by Jewelle Gomez, and  Saga of the Swamp Thing  by Moore, Bissette and Totleben, and  The Visions of the Daughters of Albion  by William Blake.

You will explore various critical and theoretical approaches to literature, film, comics, adaptation, and popular culture. The module also seeks to decolonise Gothic Studies, including work by creators from a wide range of backgrounds who identify with a diverse range of subject positions.

Examine 20th century Irish literature and drama.

Taking the Irish Literary Revival as a starting-point, you will consider authors in their Irish and European context. Such authors include:

  • Lady Gregory
  • James Joyce
  • Seán O'Casey
  • Seamus Heaney
  • Brian Friel
  • Marina Carr

We focus on reading texts in relation to their social, historical, and political contexts.

This includes tracking significant literary and cultural responses to Irish experiences of colonial occupation, nationalist uprising and civil war, partition and independence, socio-economic modernisation, and the protracted period of violent conflict in Northern Ireland.

This module examines the late twentieth and early twenty-first century globe through its correlates in fiction. The primary materials for the module will be post-war Anglophone works drawn from a wide geographical range across the world. After introducing the history of the idea of world literature, these works will be situated within a series of theoretical ‘worlds’: world literary systems; post-colonial criticism; cosmopolitanism; world ecologies; resource culture; literary translation theory. The module will also attend to critiques of 'world literature’ as a concept.

Literature and Drama across the early modern period contributed to, and was often caught up in, dramatic changes in social, political, and religious culture which changed the way that people experienced their lives and the world around them. This module gives students the opportunity to read a wide range of texts in a multitude of genres (from drama, to prose fiction, pamphlets and poetry) in their immediate contexts, both cultural and intellectual. This module will situate the poetry, prose and drama between 1580 and 1700 against the backdrops of civil war and political revolution, scientific experimentation, and colonial expansion; in doing so, it will ask how the seventeenth century forms our current understandings of the world. Students will be encouraged to read widely, to develop a specific and sophisticated understanding of historical period, and to see connections and changes in literary and dramatic culture in a period which stretches from the Spanish Armada of 1588 to the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.

This module introduces key modern and contemporary poets.

You will build a detailed understanding of how various poetic forms manifest themselves in particular historical moments. Unifying the module is an attention to poets’ responses to the political and ideological upheavals of the 20th century.

The module will include such (primarily) British and Irish poets as:

  • W. H. Auden
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Wislawa Szymborska
  • Tony Harrison
  • Derek Mahon
  • Adrienne Rich
  • Geoffrey Hill
  • Jo Shapcott
  • Patience Agbabi
  • Alice Oswald

Some of the forms examined will include: the elegy, the pastoral (and anti-pastoral), the ode, the sonnet (and sonnet sequence), the ekphrastic poem, the version or retelling, the villanelle, the parable and the sestina.

To develop a more complete perspective on each poet’s engagement with 20-century formal and political problems, we also examine these figures’ writings in other modes. This includes critical essays, manifestos, speeches, and primary archival materials such as letters and manuscript drafts.

Grounding each week will be readings on poetry and the category of the ‘political’ from an international group of critics, including such thinkers as Theodor Adorno, Charles Bernstein, Claudia Rankine, Peter McDonald, Angela Leighton, Christopher Ricks and Marjorie Perloff.

The years from 1660 to 1830 are enormously important, especially in terms of the representation of the self in literature: Milton promoted the idea of the poet inspired by God; Pope and Swift mocked the possibility of anyone truly knowing their self; Wordsworth used poetry to explore his own life; and Byron and Austen provided ironic commentaries on the self-obsessions of their peers. This period also saw the rise of the novel (a form that relies upon telling the story of lives), a flourishing trade in biography, and the emergence of new genre, autobiography. This module will look at some of the most significant works of the period with particular reference to the relationship between writers and their worlds. Topics might include: the emergence, importance and limitations of life-writing; self- fashioning; the construction – and deconstruction - of the ‘Romantic’ author’; transmission and revision; translation and imitation; ideas of the self and gender; intertextuality, adaptation, and rewriting; creating and destroying the past; and writing revolution. Texts studied will range across poems, novels and prose.

This module provides comprehensive knowledge of feminist theory, as applied to a series of language and linguistic contexts.

You will explore a range of analytical approaches to language, including conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics. You will also respond to, and critically engage with, contemporary real-world problems associated with gender and sexuality, through the consideration of discourse-based texts.

Topics covered include:

  • gender and sexual identity construction in a range of interactive contexts
  • sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and heteronormative representations in texts
  • feminist theory from the 1970s to the present, with particular focus on contemporary approaches to gender theory

This module explores the vital role that discourse plays in various communicative domains in healthcare and workplace settings. Students will explore these domains through a variety of contemporary frameworks for examining discourse and communication, including critical discourse analysis, multi-modal discourse analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics.The module offers the opportunity to analyse and reflect on the discourses of healthcare and the workplace, as two crucially important domains of social and professional life. To this end, professional and healthcare discourses will be investigated through a range of genres and communicative modes, including face-to face communication advertising, media discourse and digital interactions. The module offers a rich resource for discourse-based studies of language in professional and social life and enables students to examine the strategic uses of communicative strategies in specific social settings.

The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the process of English Language Teaching (ELT) and of the theoretical underpinnings of this practice. In this module students will learn the principles behind the learning and teaching of key aspects and skills of English, including:

  • intercultural communicative skills

Students will also learn how to apply these theoretical principles to the development of teaching materials. This module will therefore be of interest to students who want to pursue a teaching career, and in particular to those interested in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

This module offers an advanced study of the language of literary texts and how it impacts reading and interpretation. It bridges the gap between the literary and linguistics aspects of our BA degrees. It also equips you with skills that will be useful in the teaching of English, or for a career in publishing.

You will study:

  • literary style and technique
  • the style of poetry and narrative
  • the representation of characters' voices and consciousness
  • the style of difficult texts, such as surrealism
  • the history of literary style

You will learn to explain how style contributes to meaning and interpretation, and why texts affect you in different ways.

The module uses the study of place-names to show the various languages – British, Latin, French, Norse and English – that have been spoken in England over the last 2000 years.

You will learn how place-name evidence can be used as a source for the history of English, including:

  • its interaction with the other languages
  • its regional and dialectal patterns
  • its changing vocabulary

We also consider the interdisciplinary contribution that place-names offer to historians and geographers.

For this module's assessment, you can choose a geographical area of particular interest.

This module gives an opportunity to those who already have a basic knowledge of Old English language and literature to explore some of the astonishing range of texts from the earliest stages of English literature. The texts studied are heroic and Christian. Themes include Germanic myth and legend, heroic endeavour, Christian passion. A study of the epic poem Beowulf — its characters, its themes, its ‘meaning’ — is essential to the module. Texts are read in Old English (with plenty of help given).

Through the exploration of lyric poetry, this module examines cultural and literary change from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. It will consider the rise of ‘named poet’, the interaction of print and manuscript culture, the representation of love, and the use of the female voice. It will develop further students’ confidence in handling formal poetic terminology and reading poetry from this period. It will also enable students to think pragmatically about the transmission of lyric in modern editions, and about how best to represent the form.

The genre of dream-vision inspired work by all the major poets of the Middle Ages, including William Langland, the Pearl-Poet, and Geoffrey Chaucer. The course will aim to give you a detailed knowledge of a number of canonical texts in this genre, as well as ranging widely into the alliterative revival, and chronologically into the work of John Skelton in the early sixteenth century. The course will depend upon close, detailed reading of medieval literary texts, as well as focusing on the variety and urgency of issues with which dream poetry is concerned: literary, intellectual, social, religious and political.

Our images of Vikings come largely from the Icelandic sagas. These present a Viking Age of daring exploits, global exploration and bloody feuds, as carried out by valiant warriors and feisty women. But how accurate are the sagas when it comes to understanding what really happened in the Viking Age? Can they provide an insight into the Viking mind?

This module explores Norse and Viking cultural history, using an interdisciplinary approach grounded in the study of texts. 

  • The Viking Age and Viking society
  • Exploration and diaspora
  • Gender, marriage and family
  • Religion and belief
  • The supernatural

Your one-hour lectures will provide the evidence base for discussion in the two-hour, student-led seminars. The seminars also include some language work.

Assessment for this module is by a one-hour exam of comment and analysis, and a 3000-word project on a topic of your choice in consultation with a tutor.

Peter Pan, Les Misérables, Hamilton...  just a few of the iconic productions that started life in London’s West End, or on Broadway in New York. But why and how did they become so successful?

The 20th and 21st centuries have seen major changes in the way theatre is financed, produced and presented, both on stage and on screen. This module explores the fascinating world of theatre production, covering:

  • the development of long-running, commercial productions
  • the role of the theatre producer in making theatre
  • subsidised theatre
  • touring and national theatre companies
  • reviewing cultures
  • relationship between the theatre and film industries
  • the advent of the mega-musical

Examining the mainstream and the fringes, we apply case studies including Shakespeare in production, new plays, revivals, and international hits like the ones listed above, illustrating how theatre responds to changing contexts and audiences.

This module will enable you to become confident in devising and publishing your own material through digital media, including hypertext, audio and video. Through weekly workshops, you will explore the art of digital storytelling, including the use of multimedia and linear/non-linear narratives. You will engage with published digital stories and poems; guest writers working in digital literature will give you insight into their practice and offer guidance on how to craft your own work. The assessment consists of the submission of one digital story. 

Speaking, listening, reading, and writing are a complex set of behaviours that are a fundamental part of our daily lives. And yet they remain difficult to fully explain.

When you hear ‘FIRE’, you immediately look for an exit and start moving. Yet all that a speaker has done is produce a string of sounds. Your mind distinguishes these from the murmuring of other voices, feet clomping on the floor, and any background music. Your mind matches the sounds f-i-r-e with a word, retrieves the meaning, and relates them to the current circumstances and responds accordingly.

How does the mind do this? And what makes our minds so special that we  can  do this? On this module, we begin to address these questions.

You will consider:

  • Is there a language gene?
  • What makes human language different from animal communication?
  • What is the relationship between thought and language?
  • Does everyone talk to themselves? What purpose does our inner voice serve?
  • How do we learn language? And does cognition underpin our ability to learn language?
  • What do language deficits tell us about language and the brain?
  • How do we understand and produce speech, words, and sentences?
  • What is the best way to teach children to read?
  • How is sign language similar to/different from spoken language?

How you will learn

When you begin studying at university, you will probably find that you cover material much more quickly than you did while studying for your A levels. The key to success is preparing well for classes and then taking the ideas you encounter further in your own time. Lectures – provide an overview of what you are studying, using a variety of audio and visual materials to support your learning. Seminars and workshops – give you the chance to explore and interact with the material presented in lectures in a friendly and informal environment. You will be taught in a smaller group of students, with discussion focusing on a text or topic you've previously prepared. Workshops are more practical, perhaps through exploring dramatic texts, working with digital materials, or developing presentations. Tutorials – individual and small-group tutorials let you explore your work with your module tutor, perhaps discussing plans for an essay or presentation, or following up on an area of a module which has interested you. eLearning – our virtual-learning system, Moodle, offers 24-hour access to teaching materials and resources.

Peer mentoring

All new undergraduate students can opt into our peer mentoring scheme. Your peer mentor will help you settle into life at Nottingham, provide advice on the transition to university-level study and help you access support if needed.

Teaching quality

Over 95% of our class of 2020 graduated with a 1st or 2:1 degree classification. Source: UoN student outcomes data, Annual Monitoring (QDS) Analyses 2020. Tutor's contributions to high quality teaching and learning are recognised through our annual Lord Dearing Awards. View the full list of recipients .

Teaching methods

  • Workshops  

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods.

  • Dissertation
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Presentation
  • Reflective review
  • Written exam

Contact time and study hours

You’ll have at least the following hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops, tutorials and supervisions.

  • Year one: minimum of 12 hours
  • Year two: minimum of 10 hours
  • Final year: minimum of 8 hours

Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding.

We reduce your contact hours as you work your way through the course. As you progress, we expect you to assume greater responsibility for your studies and work more independently.

Your tutors will all be qualified academics. The largest first year lectures are typically attended by up to 300 students, whereas the corresponding seminars are of 16 students. In years two and three, lectures may include up to 170 students, and seminar groups may range from 12 to 24.

As well as scheduled teaching, you’ll carry out extensive self-study such as:

  • reading books and journal articles
  • doing preparation work for seminars
  • researching your assignments in the library
  • collaborating with fellow students

As a guide, 20 credits (a typical module) is approximately 200 hours of work (combined teaching and self-study).

Careers overview

As an English with Creative Writing graduate, you will have gained the following key transferable skills:

  • Strong communication, both oral and written
  • presenting ideas and information, including collaboratively
  • text analysis
  • planning and researching written work
  • creative writing
  • writing for different audiences

Read our student and alumni profiles for more about the range of skills you will gain, as well as the careers which our graduates go into.

You can also learn more about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Service.

Job prospects

Average starting salary and career progression.

78.8% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual starting salary for these graduates was £23,974.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017 to 2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Careers advice

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Your Campus - University Park

University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

University undergraduate student Cole Pearce studying in Nightingale Hall accommodation's library, University Park. November 5th 2021.

One of the skills that’s definitely useful in my job, is knowing how to communicate with different stakeholders. If I’m talking to an editor about a book, I’m going to have a different conversation with them than I would have with the author. The communication skills which I gained from my course are really invaluable.

Olivia French

English with Creative Writing graduate and Marketing and Communications Manager at HarperCollins Publishers

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Using Local Drama in Writing and Speaking: EFL Learners’ Creative Expression

Creating encouragement among students to speak up and to write is not easy. It is seen on their responses of joining speaking and writing class; most students suppose that speaking and writing English are difficult especially to utter and organize their ideas freely. Problems of speaking include inhibition, nothing to say, low participation, mother-tongue use; writing problems include they lack ideas, organizing of ideas, rhetoric or pattern of thought, cohesion and coherence. However to cope with these problems, this study offers the variation performance in delivering ideas or activities through writing a script and conducting a drama. The steps of learning writing are (1) Creative Expression (responding to the ideas that learners produce; (2) Composing Process: planning-writing-reviewing framework using dramatic structure: orientation, complication, sequence of events, resolution and coda; (3) Genre and context of writing (Building Knowledge of Field (BKoF), Modeling of Text (MoT), Joint Construction of Text (JCoT), and Independent Construction of Text (ICoT and Local Drama as their creative expression: Learners use pattern they have developed to write a script). In speaking, before conducting the performance the students are divided into some groups to create the learning community, the steps are: create script based on themes, next consult the script (discuss their creative expreesion), observe the characters play, their characterization, mime, and other aspects, practice the script, and finally perform drama outdoor. As the result they become more self-confidence to utter ideas, expressive including writing a script, drama is considered as an appealing learning strategy which promotes not only goal-oriented learning but also emotional intelligence skills.

Key words:  teaching, writing and speaking, drama

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  1. Drama/Elements of Drama Anchor Chart

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  16. PDF Drama-Based Pedagogy: New Ways of Incorporating Drama into the

    Drama-based pedagogy is an umbrella term that covers a variety of drama activities: role-play, writing-in-role, improvisation, reader's theatre, creative drama, process drama, and tableau. More specifically, according to Dawson and Lee (2017), drama-based pedagogy consists of drama activities and techniques in classrooms

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    However to cope with these problems, this study offers the variation performance in delivering ideas or activities through writing a script and conducting a drama. The steps of learning writing are (1) Creative Expression (responding to the ideas that learners produce; (2) Composing Process: planning-writing-reviewing framework using dramatic ...

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    UCD School of English Drama Film Scoil an Bhéarla, na Drámaíochta agus na Scannánaíochta UCD. Menu Close. About About Staff ... Creative Writing at UCD. The below information is indicative, and for more current options, please visit UCD's Course Search site. Module Stages. Open All Close All .

  23. ENGL 493 A: Advanced Creative Writing Conference

    April 18, 2024 - 7:55am. Tutorial arranged by prior mutual agreement between individual student and instructor. Revision of manuscripts is emphasized, but new work may also be undertaken.