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Creative writing courses

Creative writing courses aren't just for budding authors, but could suit anyone who wants to develop their written and spoken communication skills for careers such as advertising, publishing or journalism. You study novels, poetry, plays and screenplays for inspiration, develop your own writing skills and learn to critically assess your own work. Degrees can include workshops with practising writers and publishers, the opportunity to showcase your work at literary events and residential writing courses.

Studying creative writing at university

Example course modules

  • Thinking about literature
  • Writing the short story
  • Screenwriting
  • Writing comedy
  • Writing modern drama
  • Literary aesthetics
  • Writing for the media
  • Poetry for page and stage
  • Short stories
  • Travel writing

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 69%
    Male : 31%
  • Mature : 41%
    School leaver : 59%
  • Full-time : 73%
    Part-time : 27%

What students say about creative writing

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • English

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
It's been a difficult recession for this subject - which includes creative writing and scriptwriting courses - so unemployment rates are currently looking quite high overall, with salaries on the lower side. This should get better as the economy improves. Graduates often go into careers as authors and writers and are also found in other roles where the ability to write well is prized, such as journalism and advertising. Be aware that freelancing and self-employment is common in the arts, as are what is termed 'portfolio careers' - having several part-time jobs or commissions at once.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Sales assistants and retail cashiers

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Journalist
  • Playwright
  • Public relations officer

Other real-life job examples

  • Stage director
  • Press officer
  • Web content manager

What employers like about this subject

Creative writing students can learn a range of subject-specific skills including a grounding in the technique and forms of creative writing; how to develop ideas in writing and the principles of writing for different audiences from theatre to online. Transferable skills you can develop include first-rate communication skills, project management, team-working, self-motivation and time management. Creative writing graduates find jobs in publishing, education, advertising, TV and film and the performing arts.