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University Centre Peterborough BA (Hons) English Literature (Creative Writing)

BA (Hons) English Literature (Creative Writing)

The Open University
course overview

Are you creative with words? Do you write poetry or fiction? Do you want to develop and hone your talent as a creative writer? If so, our BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing degree might be the course just for you.

In your first year, you will be introduced to the key skills that have traditionally underpinned creative writing such as creative practices, critical writing, narrative and characterization as well as studying the literary modules.

In your second year, you will build on this knowledge with a set of modules that work across genres and draw on a range of competencies, as well as introducing you to the skills needed to succeed as a creative practitioner.

In your final year, you will become more commercially aware, with employability a consistent factor. The focus, therefore, moves from introducing key concepts and skills to applying knowledge, know-how and career-focused ambitions through modules such as Publishing in Practice and Working in English, Film and Media.

Peterborough has a lively literary culture and is a centre for poetry of the spoken word.

It has a poet laureate and an established literary festival making it a great place to study creative writing.

The degree runs an annual Literary Festival featuring established authors and poets. These popular events are free for students and members of the public to attend.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

If you are applying to start in September 2022, you must meet the following entry requirements:

88 UCAS points with qualifications in related subjects:

  • A-levels (English Language or English Literature) (CCD or AB)
  • BTEC (MMM)
  • Cambridge Technicals (MMM)
  • Access to HE (45 credits)

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSE English language, mathematics and a science at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 6.5 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • Writing Matters: Academic and Professional Skills (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Creative Writing 1: Writing Prose (15 credits)
  • Dead Heroes Society: Tragedy (15 credits)
  • Contexts and Canons: Murakami to Blake (15 credits)
  • Approaching Criticism (15 credits)
  • Contexts and Canons: Equiano to Chaucer (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Creative Writing 2: Writing Poetry (15 credits)
  • 20th Century Practitioners (15 credits)

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • Shortcuts: Writing Short Fiction (15 credits)
  • Writing WW1: Memory and Forgetting (15 credits)
  • The Image: Exploring Visual Literacy in Media, Culture and Literature (15 credits)
  • Stranger on the Shore: Placing the Postcolonial (15 credits)
  • Preparing for Employment: Research and Employability (15 credits)
  • Shakespeare Unstuck (15 credits)
  • Writing for Newspapers and Magazines (15 credits)
  • Vampires, Virgins and Villains: Reading the Gothic (15 credits)

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • Undergraduate Major Project (30 credits)
  • Decade: The Literature of the 1950s (15 credits)
  • Publishing in Practice (15 credits)
  • Adaptations and Afterlives (15 credits)
  • Working in English, Film and Media (15 credits)
  • Neverland to Wonderland: Explorations in Children’s Literature (15 credits)
  • Reading the Now: Contemporary Literature (15 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

  • For details of classification of awards please refer to page 140 of Academic Regulations.
  • For details of progression and module scenarios please refer to page 129 of Academic Regulations.
  • For details of compensation scenarios please refer to page 106 of Academic Regulations.
  • For details of assessment offences please refer to page 85 of Academic Regulations.
  • For details of how we will inform you of changes to modules please refer to page 2 of the terms and conditions.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as two full days a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one to two full days a week over two semesters per year).

We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 20%     Lectures
  • 70%     Seminars
  • 10%     Workshops

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 20%     Lectures
  • 70%     Seminars
  • 10%     Workshops

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 80%     Seminars
  • 20%     Workshops

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 80%     Coursework
  • 20%     Written Exams

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 80%     Coursework
  • 20%     Written Exams

Final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 70%     Coursework
  • 20%     Written Exams
  • 10%     Practical Exams

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of your highest 60 credits at Level 5 and all credits at Level 6.

  • 70%+         First
  • 60-69%     2:1
  • 50-59%     2:2
  • 40-49%     Third

Visit our published documents and policies page for The Open University regulations.

As part of the Working in English, Film and Media module in the final year, students on this course will undertake a 120 hour work placement with an arts or media organisation.

As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience in addition to their work placement to aid their career development.

Andrew McDonnell is the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) English Literature and BA (Hons) English Literature with Creating Writing degrees at University Centre Peterborough. He joined University Centre Peterborough in April 2016 and lecture in Modernism and Contemporary Fiction. He has been teaching since 2003, starting off in creative writing at University of East Anglia (UEA) before branching out into further education with Norfolk Adult Education.

His first degree is in Cultural Studies with what was then Norwich School of Art & Design, before taking an MA in Creative Writing at UEA. He took a route into further and higher education as he wanted to give back my knowledge and skills to people who were returning to education.

My subject specialism is 20th century poetry and prose with corresponding criticism and theory thrown in, as well as being a practitioner in creative writing, with poems and short stories published across journals and anthologies. I have a particular interest in walking as a creative act, how it can be a way of generating ideas and responses to external environments and internal thoughts.

He run’s Gatehouse Press, home to Lighthouse Literary Journal as well providing leisure classes in arts and languages in Norwich.


  • MA Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
  • BA (Hons) Cultural Studies, Norwich School of Art & Design
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), Anglia Ruskin University

Each year, there are many students who complete the BA (Hons) English Literature course who go on to either secure a teaching placement locally or study a variety of postgraduate courses.

Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

  • Teaching
  • Copy Writing
  • Editing and Proofing
  • LibrarianshipTypesetting
  • Creative and Professional Writing
  • Writing for the Games Industry
  • Journalism / Publishing


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Full-time 3 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

Part-time 4 years (1-2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 will be £8,000 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

Fees for part-time study are pro-rata depending on the number of credits you are studying (i.e. 90 credits per year will be 75% of the tuition fee).

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus
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After I presented my final year project at the UCP Computing Conference, which is attended by employers from the IT industry, I was invited to an interview at HIVE Learning who were impressed with my work. That has now led to me getting my dream job in London working on the development of learning technologies.

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University Centre Peterborough currently has around 700 students on over 30 different degree level programmes.


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