School of Creative Studies and Media

Creative and Professional Writing BA (Hons)

Course facts

  • UCAS code: W890
  • Bangor code: BA/CPW
  • Course length: 3 years

Connect with Bangor

Contact us

Dr Stephanie Marriott
School of Creative Studies and Media
Tel: 01248 388591 / 01248 383207
E-mail: SCSM@bangor.ac.uk
www.bangor.ac.uk/media

How to Apply

All applicants should submit a short portfolio on applying for the degree. The portfolio should consist of the following:

1) A brief autobiographical statement of 200 words maximum, outlining your previous writing experience.

2) Two short extracts of your own work, of 300 words maximum each. These should be clearly labelled as PROFESSIONAL WRITING (in the case of journalism; script or screenwriting; writing for online/digital media; writing for genre; technical writing) or CREATIVE WRITING (in the case of poetry or prose). You can choose to submit in one category only or in both.

Your portfolio should be accompanied by a cover sheet stating your name, address, e-mail contact and UCAS number. It should be e-mailed in Word format to r.l.skains@bangor.ac.uk, with the subject heading C&PW PORTFOLIO.

Course Overview

This innovative new degree course is run jointly by the School of Creative Studies and Media, and the School of English at Bangor. It is aimed at students who want to study writing, and uniquely allows you to approach this study through a variety of disciplinary pathways: instruction in using the techniques and forms of creative writing; study of the short story, the novel and poetry as literary forms; vocationally-oriented modules in journalism, screenwriting, scriptwriting, storytelling, genre writing, writing for performance and publication, and writing for online and other digital media. This course will equip you with a solid grounding in the critical and practical skills you will need to pursue a writing career.

During the three years of this degree, you will have the opportunity to work with staff who have a wide range of interests and expertise including poetry, the novel, the short story, documentary and film-making, digital communication, E-publishing, computer games, script and screenwriting, and print and broadcast journalism.

Why choose Bangor for this course?

  • The School of Creative Studies and Media and the School of English share a commitment to a close integration of academic approaches and hands-on creative practice. Students have the opportunity at all levels to combine a study of their chosen field with practice-based outcomes such as writing and media/digital media production.
  • The School of Creative Studies and Media specialises in a number of key areas: Professional Writing and Journalism; Media and Digital Communication; Film Studies; Performance Studies; Creative and Media Practice. The School has research interests across a range of Professional Writing fields, with research programmes running in several key areas. The School of English teaches and researches writing across all the major literary periods from Old English through to the twenty-first century.
  • The School of English includes amongst its staff several awardwinning creative writers, who publish in a variety of literary forms. The School also has considerable experience in editing and publishing. Important magazines are edited by staff: Poetry Wales and English (the journal of the English Association).
  • The School of Creative Studies and Media has excellent links with theatre companies, newspapersa nd the television industry.
  • Many members of staff are practising professionals and consultants to industry.
  • The School of Creative Studies and Media has a fully-equipped media centre with editing suites, production studios, media and digital media equipment.
  • Bangor is the site for a range of Creative Industries conferences, video conferences and events.

Course Content

The study of writing at Bangor offers a balance of practical and analytical tasks. Modules are taught primarily through seminars and workshops with presentations by visiting writers, and are assessed both on practical output and on the individual's ability to reflect critically on their practice. As you progress through the degree, much of your study will be done in small teaching groups with an emphasis on learning both group work skills an the ability to carry a piece of work through from initial concept to professional output.

What will I study?

Modules you might take include:

Year 1

  • Creative Writing: Prose
  • Creative Writing: Poetry
  • Creating Narratives
  • Introduction to Textual Analysis
  • Introduction to Journalism
  • Introduction to Screenwriting

Year 2

  • Creative Writing: The Novel
  • Creative Writing: Showing and Telling
  • History and Development of Journalism
  • Writing for Film and Television
  • Research and Practice
  • Research and Methods
  • History and Development of Journalism
  • Storytelling: Theory and Craft
  • Transformative Writing

Year 3

  • Creative Writing Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Digital Journalism
  • Writing for Publishing
  • Writing for Performance
  • E-Publishing
  • Final Year Group Project
  • The Short Story
  • Developing Scripted Media
  • Genre Fiction: Theory and Craft
  • Experimental Writing
  • 21st Century Writing and Publishing

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change annually. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Creative and Professional Writing Modules page.

Programme Specification

Careers & Employability

This degree equips graduates to work as writers in film, digital media, television, radio and the press, as well as to pursue professional careers in creative writing. Several graduates each year go on to develop their work further with the Schools of English and Creative Studies and Media through a period of postgraduate study. The School in collaboration with the Hay literary festival offers one student each year an internship position working at the prestigious Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye.

Employability and the School of Creative Industries

Courses run by the School of Creative Industries offer a number of career paths for you to choose from once you graduate. They emphasise the importance of creative exploration, and actual university-level critical understanding. These things - the ability to be creatively adaptable, consider the tools at hand and apply creative thinking, the importance of innovation and a combination of practical and critical knowledge - make Creative Industries graduates ideal employees or, indeed, creative entrepreneurs in their own businesses.

Creative Industries courses have seen graduates involved in both academe and in industry, including work in:

  • Creative Writing, Professional Writing and Publishing;
  • Performance and the Theatre, both on and behind the stage;
  • Print and/or Broadcast Journalism;
  • Actors, presenters and in television programme production;
  • Advertising and the Marketing industries;
  • Radio, as presenters, as well as in programme production;
  • Podcasting, Web and New Media production;
  • Multi-media industries.

A number of graduates have likewise continued to Postgraduate study.

Some have followed careers in teaching, lecturing, politics and/or public relations.

Employability and the School of English Literature

A degree from the School of English Literature gives you particular skills and also skills which are common to other degrees in the Arts.

Your degree will indicate your capacity to show initiative and work without close supervision, alone or as a member of a group; you will show to an employer that you are able to work under preassure and meet deadlines.

Those students coming to study degrees such as English with Journalism or English with Songwriting will learn particular skills which will enable them, if they wish, to seek jobs in related fields.

Transferable skills

The transferable skills covered by the School of English are required by employers in a wide range of fields.

Employers want people with flexible, curiosity-driven minds, with initiative and intelligence, and they know that a good graduate in English will have these skills. The employer will train you in the skills specific to the job for which you are applying, which may be in a huge variety of fields.

Graduate careers

In the past our graduates have gone into:

  • publishing
  • advertising
  • journalism
  • the law
  • social work
  • business
  • banking
  • the police
  • armed services
  • personnel management
  • education

Work Experience and Volunteering

The University’s Careers and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions. Developing your personal skills and enhancing your employability while at university is becoming increasingly important in today’s job market.

Amongst the experiences offered by the Careers and Employability Service to help both your personal and career development are work placements, work taster schemes, part-time work, and volunteering and mentoring opportunities.

Bangor Employability Award

The Bangor Employability Award is designed to enhance the immediate and longer-term career prospects of our students. It offers free opportunities to gain the skills and experiences employers need, based on up-to-date research.

BEA graduates get a certificate, a transcript and formal verification of their extracurricular activities from Bangor University. The Award also offers free training courses, interview preparation, access to online careers software and helps develop a skills portfolio of evidence for employers.

Find out more about how the BEA can help you...

Entry requirements for this course

  • 260-300 points.
  • We consider mature students with non-standard qualifications.
  • Applicants will be asked to submit a brief portfolio of writing.

Please also read our Entry Requirements section.

General entry requirements

Here at Bangor we accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds. We consider each application individually.

All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.

As part of the University’s policy we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.

To study a degree, diploma or certificate course you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points . Normally, all GCE A and AS levels VCEs and Key Skills can be used to calculate your overall points.

For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com/candq/tariff/index.html

Qualifications currently not in the Tariff Framework:

  • International Baccalaureate:
    You will usually need to have been awarded the full diploma and offers may vary according to the course you are applying for.
  • Welsh Baccalaureate:
    We accept a Pass in the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification Advanced Diploma that is equivalent to 120 UCAS Tariff points.
  • Access courses and mature entry:
    We welcome your application if you’re taking a recognised Access course. We also consider applications from other older students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students.

International Students

If you are an international student please see our International Student pages for application information. If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Office on 01248 382028 or email international@bangor.ac.uk

IELTS Courses and Accreditation

Bangor University also has an IELTS Test Centre and we can help you put together a package of study in which you can:

We can also help you arrange further English Language development programmes in parallel with your academic courses of studies.

More information

  • E-mail for General Admissions: admissions@bangor.ac.uk
  • Or write to:
    Admissions Office
    Bangor University
    Gwynedd
    LL57 2DG
  • Tel: 01248 382017

How to apply through UCAS

Apply online via UCAS

UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. All university applications are processed through UCAS and then passed on to the universities listed.

Students may apply for a maximum of five courses. For Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary courses students are only allowed to apply for four courses.

The application form is found on the UCAS website, under ‘Apply’.

The early closing date is October 15 for all Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary students. The main closing date for all applications is January 15.

Your Personal Statement

Writing your Personal Statement is the part of the application form that requires most work. You are only allowed 47 lines or 500–550 words to explain why you wish to study the course and the skills you have that are essential for university study.

To write a successful personal statement for your UCAS application you must have a good understanding about the course and its content. Remember that you write only one personal statement for your five choices. Make sure that the courses are similar, if not the same, and make sure that you do not mention a specific course or university.

Read our advice on how to draft a winning personal statement or watch our video guide.

After you’ve applied

You can keep an eye on your application on UCAS ‘Track’. Offers from universities will appear on track and you will be able to accept or decline offers.

You can only reply when you have received all your decisions. The types of reply you can make are firm acceptance and insurance acceptance. Usually students reply in early May.

International Student?

If you are an international student please see our International Student pages for further information on applications.

Confused about how to apply?

If you’re not quite sure how to proceed and would like to find out a little more then perhaps our Going to University site will help.

Studying within the School of Creative Industries

Research and practice

  • Our courses combine elements of research and practice.
  • You have the opportunity to create and produce in all media fields under the supervision of staff that have many years of experience working in the media.
  • We have excellent links with theatre companies, newspapers and the television industry. BBC Wales’ television and radio centre is literally next-door, and there are many independent producers nearby.
  • Students will be able to take advantage of the new Pontio centre, which includes a theatre, a cinema, a design and innovation centre, and spacious lecture rooms.
  • Our students play a prominent role in many creative projects, such as Student Cut Films, two student newspapers – Seren and Llef – and a radio station, Storm FM.

Excellent Facilities

  • We have a dedicated Media Centre with a multi-camera Television Studio and large Production gallery.
  • We also have a professionally equipped Radio studio with the latest digital equipment.
  • The Centre has Avid, Matrox and analogue editing suites, and digital sound editing suites.
  • We have a large performance space, computer lighting system and digital sound for rehearsal and performance work.
  • We have a digital cinema with first-rate projection equipment and Dolby Surround Sound.

The School

  • Our staff have many years of experience working in the media
  • We're a close-knit department and give individual attention to our students to help their development.

Studying within the School of English Literature

Besides the beautiful beaches and picturesque scenery, what makes studying English Literature or Creative Writing at Bangor distinctive?

Inclusive ethos, cutting-edge research and radical tradition

Bangor has exceptional beginnings. Founded by miners in the late nineteenth century, we continue to take pride in our inclusive ethos, cutting-edge research and radical tradition. Like many established universities, we offer modules across the whole historical range of English literature – from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf and contemporary writers. We also offer innovative modules in areas of expertise ranging from Arthurian and medieval literature to early modern drama, prose fiction and poetry to print culture to British and Irish Literatures to World Literature and Experimental Writing.

Award-winning writers

Amongst our faculty are award-winning creative and critical writers and, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, research in the School of English is ranked in the top third of Universities in the UK. This makes for a dynamic learning environment in which students are taught by respected scholars.

Teaching methods

Our students benefit from a range of teaching methods that include one-to-one tutorials, small seminars, workshops and lectures. Students are encouraged to participate fully in life of the school, which means that we know each of our students by name and we offer excellent pastoral support.

Award-winning peer mentoring scheme

Alongside approachable and supportive personal tutors, Bangor has an award-winning peer mentoring scheme. Students regularly praise the help and guidance that is offered to them throughout their studies and Bangor is rated highly for the support that we give our students (Times Higher Education Supplement). Each of our students is given the attention that they need to enable them to achieve their highest educational potential.

Specialise

Our degree programme is designed to allow students to progress from more general modules in literary period and critical approach in year one to specialist work in years two and three. Students are given many opportunities across all years to interact with experts in the field and to specialise in the areas of literature and creative writing in which they are interested.

Future career

Advanced skills in reading, analysis, writing and presentation form an integral part of our courses. Through this, we provide our students with transferrable skills that are valued by employers. In addition to the skills developed through their undergraduate studies, the Bangor Employability Award allows students to undertake additional training and gain work experience to help their career prospects. Our graduates have gone on to have wide-ranging and successful careers in many sectors, including the performing arts, education, law, the civil service, press, media and public relations.

Student life

Beyond the classroom, student life at Bangor is vibrant. There are number of student clubs and societies dedicated solely to drama and poetry, as well as other clubs and societies. Bangor is the cultural capital of North Wales and the new Pontio Arts Centre is a major centre for the showcasing of Welsh, British and international culture.

Literature as an active experience

Tutors are involved in events such as the North Wales International Poetry Festival and the School regularly organises for guest speakers to come to Bangor and share with students their critical expertise and creative talents. Studying at Bangor is more than just an academic activity: students join a group of creative and critical practitioners who believe that English Literature is an active experience, not just a subject that is passively studied.

Studying at Bangor

A top 10 university

The National Student Survey (NSS) results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 10 universities (excluding specialist institutions) and top in Wales for student satisfaction. This reflects the University’s focus on overall student experience.

Enjoy a university experience that’s amongst the best in the UK

The guaranteed accommodation, student support, low cost of living and stunning location all contribute towards this.

Take advantage of the Bangor Student Experience (ranked in the top 20 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey) with free membership of student clubs and societies, a new international experience programme and employability award scheme.

Unrivalled location

Choose to study in one of the best places in the UK to be a student. Bangor’s location – close to the mountains and the sea -has been described as ‘the best university setting in the UK’.

Investment in facilities

Benefit from continued investment in facilities and services – with an exciting new Arts and Innovation Centre, new halls of residence, and improved sports facilities amongst recent developments.

Guaranteed accommodation

We guarantee accommodation for first year students – in university accommodation that’s rated within the top 10 in the UK (What Uni Student Choice Awards).

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