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Literature, Creative Writing, & Literary Criticism: Home

This guide will help you find British, American, and English-language literary texts, creative writing resources, and literary criticism on authors or literary works in books, reference book entries, and journal articles available from the OSU Library.


 This guide covers finding literature in English (poetry, drama, and fiction)/creative writing resources and literary criticism resources at the OSU Library, primarily British, American, and other English-language literatures, though many of the resources can be used to research foreign language literatures as well. It also covers interdisciplinary arts and humanities research, mainly with a literary focus.

For research help and information on Library resources for the other programs offered by the OSU English Department (Linguistics/TESL, Rhetoric & Professional Writing, and Screen Studies) please consult the tabs on the general English Department guide.

For information on finding foreign language texts, literature, and literary criticism in languages other than English, please consult the Languages and Literatures research guide.

For an overview of the historical primary text/e-book database collections at the OSU Library, see the Historical E-Books/Digital Collections research guide.

Overview on Literary Criticism

Literary criticism, sometimes called "secondary criticism" or "secondary texts," is interpretation or commentary on a literary author (poet, novelist, playwright, etc.) or on his or her literary works, what are usually called "primary texts."  Criticism is found in books, essays in book collections or reference books (encyclopedias or guides), and articles in scholarly journals.

Book reviews, in contrast, are generally short evaluative articles about literary works that come out after books are first published; they are usually brief assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the book, but are not detailed interpretive discussions.  Journals publish book reviews of secondary scholarly books. For help finding book reviews, see the  Finding Book Reviews guide.

To find criticism on an author/literary work, you should first determine if the author is a living author and if the author is a major writer (i.e., who has had much criticism written about his or her works).  Some will not have full articles of literary criticism about their works, only brief book reviews (which generally come out when the book is first published). 

Well-known authors from literary periods before the twentieth century are more likely to be covered in books, book essays, and journal articles, though more contemporary authors or lesser-known authors will have more criticism about their works in journal articles.  Some of these sources will be available electronically in Library databases.  If you do not know much about the author, start with an entry about the author one of the reference books to give you a biography and general overview of their literary work, and the period in which they wrote/are writing.

Use the tabs above for detailed information on searching for literary criticism from books, reference books, and journal articles.

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  • Last Updated: Sep 18, 2023 1:31 PM
  • URL: https://info.library.okstate.edu/literature


A Look Into Creative Writing | Oxford Summer Courses

Exploring the magic of creative writing with oxford summer courses.

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Defining Creative Writing

Creative writing , as taught at Oxford Summer Courses, is the process of crafting original and imaginative works of literature, poetry, prose, or scripts. It transcends conventional writing, encouraging individuals to explore language, structure, and narrative. Whether it's a heartfelt poem, a captivating short story, or a thought-provoking novel, creative writing allows us to communicate our unique perspectives and experiences with the world.

The Magic of Imagination

Creative Writing is a catalyst that sparks our creativity and empowers us to breathe life into our ideas on the page. With Oxford Summer Courses, aspiring writers aged 16-24 can embark on an extraordinary journey of creative expression and growth. Immerse yourself in the captivating realms of Oxford and Cambridge as you explore our inspiring creative writing programs. Teleport readers to distant lands, realms of fantasy and creation, introduce them to captivating characters, and craft new worlds through the transformative art of storytelling. Discover more about our creative writing course here . Unleash your imagination and unlock the writer within.

What Are the Different Types of Creative Writing?

Creative Writing comes in many forms, encompassing a range of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of Creative Writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

  • Biographies
  • Fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, etc.
  • Poetry and Spoken word
  • Playwriting/Scriptwriting
  • Personal essays

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The Benefits of Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses

Engaging in Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses offers numerous benefits beyond self-expression. By joining our dedicated Creative Writing summer school programme, you would:

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Creative Writing is a remarkable voyage that invites us to unleash our imagination, share our stories, and inspire others. It offers countless personal and professional benefits, nurturing self-expression, empathy, and creativity. So, grab a pen, open your mind, and embark on this enchanting journey of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Let your words paint a vivid tapestry that captivates hearts and minds under the guidance of experienced tutors from Oxford and Cambridge. Join us as we explore the magic of creative writing and discover the transformative power it holds within through the renowned Oxford Summer Courses summer school.

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Literature and Creative Writing

The goal of the Literature and Creative Writing Department is to help students develop a sophisticated understanding of the role literature plays in the human experience through refining their skills as interpreters of literary texts and as writers, either of literary analysis or of their own creative works.

About the Majors

At Hamilton, students may choose to major in literature or creative writing. In either case, their professors will encourage them to explore literature across centuries, nations, and languages. Consulting with advisors, literature majors develop an individualized, and potentially interdisciplinary, course of study. Creative writing majors take courses that balance literary study with poetry and prose workshops. In both majors, the curriculum emphasizes small classes, the exchange and testing of ideas, and the development of superior reading and writing skills.

Literature Students Will Learn to:

  • Write clear and well supported arguments about literary and/or other cultural texts
  • Demonstrate knowledge of diverse literary traditions across historical periods, geographic regions, and/or social contexts
  • Analyze literary works compellingly in contexts informed by literary criticism and/or broader regions, and/or social contexts

Creative Writing Students Will Learn to:

  • Write with an awareness of the literary traditions within which they are working
  • Write with attentiveness to form and genre
  • Write a sustained creative project that demonstrates originality and attention to language

A Sampling of Courses

American ghosts.

Why do we tell ghost stories, and what role do ghosts play in American history and literature? This course will explore the ghost narrative in short fiction, novels and film. We will examine what ghosts express in U.S. literature and culture, how they unearth our understanding of American history, and how ghost stories intersect with gender, race, sexuality and class. We will read works by Shirley Jackson, Toni Morrison, Carmen Maria Machado, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jesmyn Ward and Louise Erdrich, among others. Students will engage in close reading and textual analysis and will write four full-length essays. 

Explore these select courses:

Food in literature and film.

Always a necessity and sometimes a luxury, food connects all people to the planet and to one another. This course will explore how authors and filmmakers use food and cooking in their works as a means of exposing complex social relationships, histories, and identities. The list of authors we may read includes Laura Esquivel, Aimee Bender, Isak Dinesen, Franz Kafka, MFK Fisher, Ruth Reichl, and many poets. We will also look at films such as Big Night ; Eat, Drink, Man, Woman ; and Ratatouille .

Finding Identity

Literature: what is it good for.

Debates about the value of literature have long been tied to questions about its use. Literature has been praised—and condemned—as a source of pleasure, a medium for the transmission of knowledge, and a vehicle of personal expression. In order to determine why fiction matters, we will examine works that explore the power of literature to shape moral, social, and political realities, including philosophical manifestos, anti-slavery treatises, self-help manuals, and experimental novels. Works by Rousseau, Cugoano, Wollstonecraft, and George Eliot, as well as the film The Servant (1963).

Creative Non-Fiction Workshop

Seminar: poems in and out of context, meet our faculty, margaret thickstun .

Chair, Jane Watson Irwin Professor of Literature

[email protected]

literature in 17th-century England and Colonial America, particularly by women and by people writing on religious subjects

Anne Valente 

Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, Director of Creative Writing

[email protected]

creative writing, novels and short stories, creative non-fiction, and 20th century American literature

Stephanie Bahr 

Assistant Professor of Literature, Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies

[email protected]

Patrick Caoile 

Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

[email protected]

Creative writing, Asian American literature and media, Filipino American literature, the Gothic, pop culture

Naomi Guttman 

Jane D. and Ellis E. Bradford ’45 Distinguished Writing Chair

[email protected]

poetry and poetics; food writing; contemplative pedagogy; environmental and feminist literary study

Tina May Hall 

Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

[email protected]

creative writing, 20th-century literature, experimental women's writing, and postmodern gothic

Doran Larson 

Edward North Chair of Greek and Greek Literature and Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

[email protected]

20th-century American literature; the history of the Anglo-American novel; fiction writing; nonfiction writing and prison writing of the U.S., South Africa, and Ireland

Jane Robbins Mize 

[email protected]

Native American and Indigenous Studies, environmental humanities, twentieth- and twenty-first-century North American literature, poetry and poetics, media studies

Hoa Ngo 

[email protected]

Vincent Odamtten 

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Literature and Africana Studies

[email protected]

African literature with a focus of Ghanaian and women's literature; 20th-century Caribbean literature; African-American literature; science fiction; literary criticism; use of digital technology in the study of literature

Onno Oerlemans 

Elizabeth J. McCormack Professor of Literature

[email protected]

Romantic period literature; animals in literature; animal rights; nature writing – literature and environmentalism; cultural and political history of the Adirondack Park

Jane Springer 

James L. Ferguson Professor of Literature and Creative Writing

[email protected]

poems, poetics, nonfiction and Southern literature

Pavitra Sundar 

Associate Professor of Literature

[email protected]

cultural politics of voice; postcolonial studies; sound studies; South Asian film and media studies; feminist theory, especially women-of-color and transnational feminisms

Suzanne Taylor 

Assistant Professor of Literature

[email protected]

Katherine Terrell 

Associate Chair, Professor of Literature

[email protected]

Old English, Middle English, and Middle Scots language and literature

Benjamin Widiss 

[email protected]

20th-century and contemporary American literature, literary theory, autobiography, film

Steven Yao 

Edmund A. LeFevre Professor of English

[email protected]

20th-century American and British literature; literary translation; Ezra Pound; comparative literature; Asian American literature, especially poetry; global literary modernisms; Asian diasoporas; transpacific literature

Christian Goodwillie

Lecturer in History, Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing

[email protected]

Thomas Knauer 

Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing

[email protected]

Phil Memmer

[email protected]

Nhora Lucía Serrano 

[email protected]

Technology Enhanced Learning & Educational Innovation, Digital Humanities, History of Book History/Print Culture, Visual Studies (Graphic Narratives and Editorial Cartoons & Comics), Latin America/Latinx, and Medieval And Renaissance Studies

Explore Our Spaces

List Hall houses the offices for faculty members in literature and creative writing. The recently renovated space has 16 faculty offices, eight classrooms, several collaborative spaces for students, and a new landscaped entrance.

Take a Virtual Tour of Hamilton 

Explore Hamilton Stories

Sundar Publishes Book on Listening 

Associate Professor of Literature Pavitra Sundar recently published Listening with a Feminist Ear (University of Michigan Press, 2023). The book, which focuses on mainstream Bombay cinema, identifies singing, listening, and speaking as key sites in which gendered notions of identity and difference take form.

Fighting Censorship Through Books Unbanned 

President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library Linda Johnson ’80 discusses Books Unbanned, a new program designed to combat the growing nationwide effort to remove books from library shelves.

Schneck ’23 Research Examines Prison System Injustices 

Lena Schneck ’23 is looking into American prisons, specifically in relation to inadequate healthcare treatment, through a Levitt Center-funded project.

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in literature and creative writing are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Director, Electronic Publishing, Scientific American
  • Executive Editor, Whole Living magazine
  • Chief Development Officer, Norman Rockwell Museum
  • President, Scholastic Media
  • Magistrate, Connecticut State Superior Court
  • Composer/Music Publisher, Ceili Rain
  • Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services
  • Physician, Senior Deputy Editor, Annals of Internal Medicine
  • Communications Manager, IBM

Department Name

Literature and Creative Writing Department

Contact Name

Margie Thickstun

Because Hamilton - Help Change Lives

The $400 million campaign marked the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the College's history.

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The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Communication and media, literature and creative writing, minor, program overview.

The Literature and Creative Writing minor offers discussion-oriented courses across a range of literary genres and themes, with a choice of emphasis on either literature, creative writing, or both. Students will learn to read and write literary art critically and creatively, with clarity and imagination, and with sensitivity to multi-cultural expressions of diversity.

Complete 16 credits. Course topics include:

  • Fiction from Film to Internet  
  • Introduction to Literature
  • Writing for the Screen
  • Visual Poetics and Narrative
  • Interactive Narrative
  • Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • Science and Fiction
  • The American Dream
  • Irish Literature
  • Women Writers
  • Writing in Context
  • Creative Writing: Poetry
  • Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction
  • Creative Writing: The Short Story

See course catalog for details

Take the Next Step

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180 (518) 276-6575

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Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)

Course code Q32W


What is special about this course.

Are you passionate about reading? Do you long to study literary works while developing your own styles of writing? Combine all three as you explore literature in a global context, covering a wide range of authors, in English and translation, from the classical to the contemporary, and looking in-depth at language and literary history within texts and on the international literary stage.

Gain a solid grounding in four of the main areas of creative writing: poetry, prose, playwriting, and the screenplay; examine how these can inform and support other areas of professional writing; and, through the programme's carefully structured blend of research, residentials, and creative projects, become a confident, enthusiastic and highly employable writer, researcher, and reader.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • Present your own work using traditional methods as well as new technologies and publishing platforms
  • Engage with experienced staff from a variety of literary, creative and professional backgrounds
  • There are a number of residential held during the course where you will have the opportunity to meet with fellow-students and staff


We offer modern  student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • Must include English at grade C or above, plus one from the list of relevant subjects  (Please note: Higher ESOL is not accepted in place of Higher English for this programme)
  • Applicants with other qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • You will be required to submit a portfolio of up to 3,000 words containing three examples of creative writing (preferably in three different styles or genres) and also attend an interview which may be either in person or online

Access routes

SWAP Access courses If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) , please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.  

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Theories of literature (S1)
  • Introduction to creative writing skills (S1)
  • Travellers in the wilderness: literature and exile (S2)
  • Reading as a writer (S2)

You will also choose two option modules which may include: Literature

  • Reading fiction: an introduction (S1)
  • Reading drama: an introduction (S2)
  • Reading poetry: an introduction (S2)

Creative Writing

  • Writing for film: introduction to screenplay (S1)
  • Creative project: creative journal (S1)
  • Writing poetry (S2)
  • Creative project: portfolio (S2)

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules may include:

  • Introduction to Gaelic poetry (S1)
  • Medieval literature: texts and contexts (S1)
  • Theatrical powerplay: classical and modern tragedy (S2)
  • Heroic literature: epic from classical to contemporary (S2)
  • Creative writing
  • Writing from the north: context and criticism (S1)
  • Developing creative writing skills (S1)
  • Creative project: literary competitions (S1)
  • Writing for film: writing a screenplay (S2)
  • Creative project: peer assessment (S2)
  • Introduction to publishing or writing for children and young people (S2)

Year 3 - BA

  • Romantic genius: Scottish and European literature, 1750-1830 (S1)
  • Literary borrowings: adaptations and appropriations (S1)
  • Risk anything! The modernist short story (S1)
  • Imagining new worlds: renaissance literature and thought (S2)
  • Nature writing and ecology (S2)
  • Authors and audiences (S1)
  • Creative project: researching your writing (S1)
  • Introduction to Orkney and Shetland literature or Scottish writing or creative non-fiction (S1)
  • Writing for performance (S2)
  • Writing experience placement (S2)
  • Creative project: writing what you know (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will choose either:

  • Final creative project (literary magazine/anthology) OR
  • Dissertation (literature) (runs across both semesters)

You will also study one option module from your choice above, plus three option modules from the other subject.

  • Avant-garde literature (S1)
  • Apocalyptic fictions (S1)
  • Satire: the art of attack (S2)
  • Metafiction: self-referential texts (S2)
  • Crime pays (S1)
  • Publishing practice (S1)
  • Writing in the marketplace (S2)
  • Social media skills for writers (S2)

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face and/or video conference seminars, residentials and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for most modules.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): Variable

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides

For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,542.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes.  Students will get an automatic scholarship of £3,000 per annum and the 4 th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Part-time study is not open to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees .

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On completion of this course, you may be interested in pursuing a career in:

  • Museums and archives
  • Heritage sector
  • Advertising

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from BA (Hons) Literature and Creative Writing to the following UHI postgraduate courses:

  • MLitt British Studies
  • MLitt Highlands and Islands Literature
  • MLitt Orkney and Shetland Studies
  • MRes Eco-literature

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)

  • Apply for FULL TIME through UCAS: Use UHI to search for us in the institution choice list

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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what is literature in creative writing

English Literature and Creative Writing

Study options, 3rd for student satisfaction.

in English in the Complete University Guide 2024

Pursue your passion

Our flexible course enables you to focus on creative writing or literary criticism

Contemporary debates

Our modules are relevant to modern lives, covering climate change and literature in a globalised world

Join our supportive community of writers and readers where we’ll nurture your talents and help new voices emerge in the literary world.

Our BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing combines literary criticism with the craft of writing. You’ll have some flexibility to tailor your learning to the type of writing you feel most passionate about, with a choice of critical or creative assignments appearing on most modules.

In workshops, you’ll critique a range of literary styles, genres and movements – from Shakespeare and Dickens to Gothic, modernism and magical realism. You’ll look at how writers have transformed the portrayal of the world and reshaped the ways we think about literature and about the human condition.

You will also delve into contemporary issues, such as cultural identities, the climate emergency and Anthropocene. There are modules on children’s literature and post-colonial fiction too.

If you’re thinking of a career in English teaching, you will be curriculum-ready. And if your dream is to be a writer or to go into the creative industries, we’ll provide opportunities that will help you to build a portfolio and professional networks.

You’ll gain insight into the world of publishing through our practice-led module, Writing for Publication, which walks you through the editorial process from first draft to getting published.

The teaching is delivered through workshops, where lecturers will introduce you to techniques before you apply them. A creative writing session might focus on drafting or editing, producing a quick treatment of a story, or creating a character or setting. A literary-critical session typically delivers small segments of interactive lecture information, directly followed by the practical application of concepts to the analysis of text.

Whether critical or creative in content, all workshops are structured to create a community of writers among our students. There will also be lots of support from staff, who will work closely with each student to help guide their individual journey.

All our academics are published authors and critics, with some achieving national acclaim for their books.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing

Work placements

Our English in the Workplace modules allows you to put your skills and learning in to practice in a professional setting, beginning the work of building a CV, a portfolio, and a professional network for your career ahead.

  • Enquire about this course
  • Book an Open Day

Course content

Explore great literature from Shakespeare to contemporary classics, develop your own voice and literary style as a writer, and acquire professional skills for the creative industry workplace.

Our team of published writers and critics will work with you in small groups, getting to know you as an individual and guiding you through each module as you develop your knowledge and skills. You will encounter literature and styles of writing already familiar to you, and be introduced to new worlds of representation and expression that you haven’t even imagined yet.

In addition to visiting writers and publishing professionals who can advise you on the literary world and opportunities within the creative industries, you will be encouraged and supported to engage in opportunities provided through our professional partnerships. We have an active writerly community, and regular open mic nights and collaborative events to help you build confidence and networks.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. There is a mix of 20 and 40 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.  The full-time course has one start point in September.

Daisy Egerton - English Literature

Daisy Egerton - English Literature

English Literature graduate, Daisy talks about her work with Synectics Solutions as an Internal Communications and Engagement Coordinator.

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The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

The Story Of English Literature

Module code: ENGL40516

Co-Create: Collaborative Project

Put your voice centre-stage, reach a larger audience, and learn to work with other creatives and academics in this module which aims to provide as authentic an experience as possible of working in the creative and literary world.

Module code: ENGL40518

The Craft Of Writing

Take your first steps into the world of creative writing in this vibrant, practice-led module which will support you in honing your craft. Delivered by published authors at the forefront of their expertise, you will explore what it means to become a writer in the forms of poetry, prose fiction and script.

Module code: ENGL40519

Children's Literature

Are you sitting comfortably…? Children’s literature is a varied field, and this survey module gives you an insight into a range of fiction for children, from the Victorian era to the present day. Themes explored might include the changing notions of ‘the child’, the status of the natural world in children’s literature, the tension between dependence and independence, the negotiation of national identity in culture and stages of psychological development in the child protagonist. So, stay sharp but prepare to enjoy once more all those curious discoveries, time-slips, enchanted objects and half-hidden magical lands – the wardrobe is still there, waiting for you to explore

Module code: ENGL40521

Gothic Fiction

Shapes shifting in shadows, ghostly voices, nightmarish imaginings – Gothic fiction is filled with details that unsettle. Read a collection of texts from the last couple of hundred years to the present day and explore the darkest literary imaginings. The Gothic just won’t die: it rises afresh with each generation of writers, and it calls to you now to add your own critical or creative piece to its long tale of terror! Warning: may contain vampires.

Module code: ENGL50556

The Writing Profession

Gain experience in real-world publishing in the exciting, practice-led module which walks you through the editorial process from first draft to final publication. Work on live, authentic projects and learn what it takes to publish either your own work or the work of others.

Module code: ENGL50560

Global Voices

Reading landmark 20th and 21st century texts from marginalised cultures and formerly colonised countries around the world, such as (for example) Britain, the US, the Caribbean and Africa, this module studies the literary treatment of global identities. Focussing on themes such as cultural identity, class, gender, race and immigration, you’ll read the vibrant works of some of the most significant writers on the international literary stage. The of Empire in formerly colonised countries are fundamental to our study, but the main focus here is the role that literature and culture can play in resisting the shadows cast by that legacy and forging the construction of new identities in an increasingly globalised world.

Module code: ENGL50558

Writing Society: Social Realism, Crime And Narrative

This vibrant creative-critical module introduces you a diverse range of vital historical and contemporary texts exploring key themes surrounding social realism and crime writing exploring social anxieties. Hone your writing and critical skills in a series of fast-paced seminar-workshops and prepare yourself for a career as a working writer by presenting on your own work and influences.

Module code: ENGL50554

Magical Realism : From Flying To Urban Angels

Levitation by means of hot chocolate, a man turning to gold in modern-day Soho, a quiet girl who remembers past lives, a mermaid with a grudge, a boy who can hear the thoughts of 1001 other children… Dazzling details of ordinary enchantments fill the pages of magical realist fiction. Feel the boundaries of your sense of reality shift under the mesmerising effect of this style of writing, which merges the fantastical with the everyday. Respond by creating your own critical or creative work.

Module code: ENGL60522

Negotiated Project - English & Creative Writing

This final year Negotiated Project is designed entirely around students’ career aspirations. Having studied English and Creative Writing, there are many directions in which you could continue when you leave. This project will help you to assess the right direction and provide you with the tools you need for the future. The form and scope of your final project will be limited only by the time and word-count constraints of a university course. Whether you want to write a novel or dissect a Shakespeare play, produce a podcast or a documentary script, this project will allow you the freedom to do so, with the support of a supervisor from the English and Creative Writing team.

Module code: ENGL60526

The Classics: Shakespeare To Modernism

Who are the most famous writers in the English language…? This is your chance to explore the range of poetry and plays by The Bard, developing an understanding of the incredible reach of Shakespeare’s work, before going on to experience the greats of thea8th, 19th and 20th centuries: Swift, Dickens, Brontë, Hardy, Woolf, Eliot, Beckett. Through close analysis and discussion in class, as well as the study of film screenings and (where possible) live performances of Shakespeare’s plays, you will journey into the heart of Early Modern English Literature. Then we will trace the emergence and establishment of the prose form and the novel, in particular, in the 19th century, focusing on class, gender and literary innovation. Finally, we will explore the innovations of literary modernism.

Module code: ENGL60527

Wild Words: Anthropocene Literatures

How is contemporary writing and literature for children and young adults responding to ecological issues? How might we analyse literature in ways that connect to contemporary debates about humanity and our impact upon the environment? Through the study of recently published literature and children’s literature the module guides you towards your own critical and/or creative literary responses to issues such as climate change and altered perceptions of humanity.

Module code: ENGL60523

Magical Realism: From Flying Carpets To Urban Angels

Module code: ENGL50555

Entry requirements

112-120 UCAS Tariff points

  • GCE A Levels - grades BBC or equivalent
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass Access with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points. Applicants to Staffs who are taking the Access to HE Diploma receive a reduced tariff point offer as part of our access and participation plan activity
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • T Levels - Eligible T Level applications will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of P (A*-C) or Higher Pass as a condition of offer
  • Typical UCAS Offer: 48 points
  • A levels: A, DD, EEE

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

what is literature in creative writing

English graduate starts new chapter in Staffordshire

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

what is literature in creative writing

We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.

what is literature in creative writing

Nature Reserve

Owned and managed by the University, the Reserve is bordered to the north by the River Trent and to the South by an area of grassland used for teaching and research.

what is literature in creative writing

Cafe Cadman

A contemporary “lounge style” café located in the entrance to the library serving COSTA coffee; with a range of fantastic impulse cakes and home baked snacks.

Find out more about our Nature Reserve.  

Through this degree, you will develop lots of skills, including the ability to think critically, be an effective communicator and show creative flair. This gives you access to a wide range of professions, such as communications, marketing, content creation, journalism and the media.

It is also a solid foundation if you want to pursue an academic or writing career.

If you are considering becoming a teacher, our Institute of Education can support your application, whether you apply to Staffordshire University or elsewhere for your teacher training. Application, interview and presentation days will help you to prepare for the selection process.

All students have access to Career Connect , our dedicated careers team.

What is Eco-Criticism?

What is Eco-Criticism?

English and Creative Writing student, Lorelei talks about the emerging genre of Eco-criticism which is helps us to process the environmental challenges faced.

You will experience a wide variety of approaches to teaching on your course, including lectures, seminars, and one-to-one tutorials. We use a 3-hour workshop format which includes short lectures, individual and group tasks, and immediate and personally responsive feedback on the learning taking place. This means you as an individual receives ongoing support with your unique learning journey – you will never be an invisible ‘number’ in our classrooms! You will also have the opportunity to undertake independent research assignments, whole group and small group exercises, and the guided development of presentations to help you work towards assignments. Any special interests you develop during your time with us will be nurtured, ensuing you can take your voice forward into the world and make a difference.

We focus on ensuring that you progress through your degree in a cumulative way, gaining both subject knowledge and analytical, critical and communicative skills. In our thematic and skills-based modules you will learn to reflect upon the literature and culture of English; our project modules help you to understand how your subject knowledge and skills can be used in a range of different workplace settings.

You will have regular meetings with your academic mentor to discuss your progress and help you to achieve your aims.

English and Creative Writing employs an innovative range of assessments which may include essays, creative writing portfolios, e-learning exercises, reviews, reports, critical reflections, podcasts, scripts, collaborative work, and oral presentations.

Some of these will be ‘Authentic Assessments’, designed to mimic industry standard practice, and so provide you with the perfect range of skills to move confidently into the professional world beyond your degree. 

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

You will have the opportunity to receive informal feedback on your work within classroom activities to ensure you are guided along the way. You will receive formal feedback on all written work submitted for assessment. Other forms of feedback may be tailored for authentic assessments or in-line with the specific learning needs of the individual. 

Krishan Coupland - Writer/Publisher

Krishan Coupland - Writer/Publisher

Creative Writing graduate Krishan talks about the success and challenges of being a freelance writer and publisher.

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.

You will be taught by an experienced and enthusiastic team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience – these are active researchers currently contributing to the development of their subject through published critical and creative works. Tutors hold professional teaching qualifications to complement their writerly and industry experience. This means you will benefit from expertise and experience presented in away that is accessible and engaging, empowering you in your journey.

Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

what is literature in creative writing

Dr Mark Brown

Course Director

As well as being Course Leader for English and Creative Writing, Mark teaches on First Year core modules and American literature modules on Crime Fiction, the Contemporary, Modernism and Beat Writing. He also supervises MA and PhD students.

what is literature in creative writing

Dr Melanie Ebdon

Senior Lecturer

Melanie is a literary critic whose main expertise is in contemporary fiction, particularly British novels which focus on nature and climate change.

what is literature in creative writing

Steve Hollyman

I am a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing (Fiction) with an interest in experimental ergodic literature – both print and digital.

what is literature in creative writing

Dr Philippa Holloway

Philippa is an author and active researcher in prose fiction (short stories and novels) and creative non-fiction. Her research interests include psychogeography, nuclear landscapes, creative processes and methodologies and creative pedagogy.

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International students:  Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

When studied part time, the duration of the course and the amount of fees you’ll pay each year depends on the speed at which you wish to progress through it. This is called the ‘intensity of study’. The usual study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits in your first year of study. This would be equivalent to studying at 50 per cent course intensity.

If you follow this pattern of study you will complete the course in six years. You will pay the pro rata (equivalent) fee shown for your first year of study. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX*. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any increase as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

*RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our  Enquiries Team .

Cathryn Hurd - English

Cathryn Hurd - English

Mum-of-two Cathryn took the leap to quit her job to study English. Now she has graduated and plans to train as a teacher!

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting:  www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding  page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

It is truly and definitely a shaping experience, and once again I am so happy to be on this course. I have begun to see the world differently – and crucially have begun to see myself in a different light, especially having read so many racially orientated texts. I am not only on a process of learning to read literature, but of learning how to read myself and how to read the world, and to think critically about what I see. It is truly and definitely a shaping experience, and once again I am so happy to be on this course. Tim Lucas English Literature and Creative Writing
I wouldn't have been able to get this role and do my job if it wasn’t for my English degree! I currently work as an Internal Communications Coordinator at Synectics Solutions, managing the communications to over 350 employees and looking after our intranet. I work alongside the Employee Engagement Coordinator to ensure everyone is happy, has what they need to do their jobs and that they benefit from all of the company's wellbeing offerings. I wouldn't have been able to get this role and do my job if it wasn’t for my English degree! Daisy Egerton English graduate
I made some great connections, and it really was the starting point of everything I've done since.  [The course] was a solid starting point for me. It gave me time and space to experiment, find my voice, and work out what kind of difference I wanted to make in the world. I made some great connections, and it really was the starting point of everything I've done since.  Since graduating I've started a started a small press and a residency series, and it's been extremely gratifying to see them grow and make a mark on the world. Krishan Coupland Writer/Publisher
The whole experience has been amazing, I've loved every single second of it. It’s been a life changing experience. I've learned so much. Staffordshire University has completely changed me. It’s opened me up to so many new prospects. The whole experience has been amazing, I've loved every single second of it. Umehra Javed Graduate
I was offered so many opportunities while I was at Staffs. I was offered so many opportunities while I was at Staffs that I left with experience in social media management, learning coaching, copy editing, blogging, as well as my degree. I also got two short stories published and wrote a novel! Sian Davies Graduate
Staffordshire University helped me get on that path by equipping me with the editing skills I needed. After talking to Careers Advice, looking into different jobs, and hearing from people in the industry, I decided to pursue a career as a Content Writer. Staffordshire University helped me get on that path by equipping me with the editing skills I needed and the creative flair employers wanted.  Kelsie Colclough English & Creative Writing Graduate

Applications are currently unavailable.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations .

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