BA English and Creative Writing

UCAS code Q317
Duration 3 Years
Typical offer AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD
Discipline English
Location Taught in Exeter Streatham (Exeter)


Studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Exeter offers to students two different but interconnected disciplines in equal measure. On the English side, you will be introduced to over 1,500 years of the written word: from epic medieval poetry, through the colourful, turbulent era of Renaissance and Revolution, to contemporary authors who have been instrumental in defining the modernist literary tradition. Modules in Film Studies are also available to English students; Exeter is ranked 2nd for Film in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. On the Creative Writing side of the degree, our team of prize-winning and best-selling authors will help you develop your creative writing skills. Whether you are interested in fiction, non-fiction, prose, poetry, drama, life-writing or screen writing, Exeter offers you a thriving and supportive writing community.

Our BA English programme at Exeter has always had a strong Creative Writing component. As a discipline Creative Writing is enjoying an unprecedented growth in popularity, reflecting the increase in importance of story-telling in the world: the consumption of and engagement with storytelling in the lives of our populations has increased dramatically. We are writing and reading like never before, and the importance of narrative, of story, in the fabric of our society is revealed to be of such grave importance that it lifts the discipline out of the realms of entertainment to be equal to those of the sciences and history in the formulation of the everyday structures of society.

Exeter is one of the top 100 universities to study English in the world, and our research in English ranks 4th highest in the UK. We were rated gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and our staff’s expertise spans the entire academic landscape. As a student here, you will gain access to our Special Collections, Digital Humanities Lab and The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, a unique resource which holds more than 70,000 film related artefacts. The supportive teaching style will give you the skills required to analyse texts, draw informed comparisons and challenge theories with confidence.

Exeter is a vigorous and youthful city, and the south-west’s famously beautiful coasts and moorlands are on your doorstep. As a student here you will develop your writing skills in order to become an accomplished independent researcher and writer, and through the exploration of great literary role models you will find your writing voice and refine your individual style.

Programme variations

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Year 1

Year 2

Final year

Full module descriptions

For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our Humanities student website.

Entry requirements 2020

Typical offer


Required subjects

GCE AL English Literature grade A; IB English HL6.

A level applicants may offer either GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.

BTEC applicants require an additional GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature grade A.

Additional selection criteria

We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.

In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.

*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements

If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.

International Foundation programmes

Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, screenings, student study groups and web and IT resources. All our modules centre the learning experience on seminars, involving groups of between 10 and 20 students, typically running for two hours. Many modules are supported by weekly 50-minute lectures. Students often prepare for seminars by involvement in student study groups, which encourage collaboration and team working.

Typical contact time with academic staff is 10 hours per week, on top of which you’re expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities and film screenings. Students studying Film and a Modern Language may have a few extra hours as language study is necessarily intensive. Most of your work will be done in group and self-directed study: viewing and reading module material, writing essays or preparing material for seminar presentations. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.

We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. Students can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.

We are committed to your academic development. Through seminar work you’ll be trained in skills of critical analysis and learn to develop evidenced-based arguments. We foster your research skills through training in the use of library-based or electronic resources to research a topic. We offer detailed feedback and essays can be discussed on a one-to-one basis with the tutor who has marked them. Study Skills tutors are also available within the department to work on specific problems in written work and assessment.

Research-inspired teaching

Teaching that is inspired by research ensures that lectures are up-to-date and relevant and you will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach second and third year options which are linked to their own interests which include areas such as film history; gender studies; issues of identity; technology and spectacle; European, East Asian and American cinema; time, space and pacing in the cinema; and acting and performance.


Exeter has unique resources which make it ideally positioned to support the study of film. The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture holds a wide-ranging collection of more than 70,000 film related artefacts and the collection is available for all students to use as a research and study resource. The diverse collection includes objects relating to the history of the moving image, such as optical toys, magic lantern slides and a Lumière cinematograph; film publicity such as posters from the Hollywood era to contemporary film; material on film stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn; and material on animation, particularly on Disney films. The holdings also include the papers of British producer Gavrik Losey, the director and producer Don Boyd and the producer James Mackay which include papers that relate to the work of Derek Jarman. Many of our film modules exploit these resources, giving students a highly distinctive and valuable experience of studying and researching film using primary materials, documents and artefacts.

Our Audio-Visual collection in the University library comprises over 12,000 films on DVD and video, in addition to books about and recordings of American music of all kinds. Recent investment in our learning spaces has ensured that lectures, screening and seminars take advantage of multimedia equipment.


Assessment in English is through a mixture of methods that includes essays and a dissertation as well as exams and presentation work. The ratio of formal exam to continuous assessment is on average 40:60. For your Film Studies modules, you’ll be assessed by a combination of exams, essays, presentations and ‘sequence analysis’ (the close reading of film clips).

You will have to pass the assessments in your first year in order to proceed to the second year but they do not count toward your final degree classification. The assessments in the second year and the final year will contribute to your degree classification.


English and Creative Writing graduates from the University of Exeter will benefit from a degree that is internationally recognised, and the department has already launched the writing careers of novelists, poets and screenwriters.

In addition, graduates of this degree will be able to compete successfully in the employment market in a range of different careers. Oral and written communication is at the heart of our programme and you will learn to present your creative ideas successfully. You will also develop strong research and analytical skills and the ability to solve problems and make informed decisions. Through a balance of independent study and teamwork you will learn to manage your time and workload effectively.

Students can expect to progress to a broad range of work sectors including:

Creative writing
Creative industries
Teaching and education
Media and communications
Arts and Heritage sectors

Career Zone

The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

WebEnquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 724202

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

WebEnquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

Website: Visit the English website