Course information

Entry requirements

UCAS code

Q3W8

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

Length

3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time

Course overview

Please note, applications to start this programme in 2022 are still open.

Goldsmiths' operating principles for 2022-23 have not yet been finalised but should changes be required to teaching in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will publish these as early as possible for prospective students wishing to start their programme in September 2022.

Combine the study of literature with the practice of creative writing. You’ll graduate with the ability to be informed and curious about literature, and with the imagination to turn that curiosity into creativity.

This flexible BA English with Creative Writing degree allows you to choose topics related to American literature and culture, comparisons of literature across different cultures and art forms (also known as comparative literature), and study diverse aspects of language use in linguistics modules. Your literary and creative studies will be supported by lectures and seminars that will give you practical advice to help you improve your essay writing and refine your research strategies.

Why study BA English with Creative Writing at Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths' Department of English and Creative Writing is one of the most established and long-running creative writing centres in UK Higher Education, and many of our graduates are now leading writers and editors in their field.

Our location on the doorstep of central London means that you will have easy access to one of the most diverse, historic, and dynamic literary centres in the world. We’re regularly visited by literary guest speakers, and our students have recently enjoyed events with Ali Smith, George Saunders, Bernadine Evaristo, Nikesh Shukla, Michael Rosen, Eimear McBride and Howard Jacobson. Our forward-thinking approach to the fields of creative writing and literary studies is supported by our hosting and running of the Goldsmiths Prize, awarded annually to work that pushes the boundaries of the novel.

Who studies English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths

Since 2010, twelve of our alumni have gone on to win the prestigious Eric Gregory Award, awarded annually by the Society of Authors for a collection by British poets under the age of 30. Other recent alumni have gone on to win the Ted Hughes Award for poetry, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, The Guardian & 4th Estate Short Story Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the White Review Poetry Prize, with other graduates being shortlisted for the Forward Prize and the TS Eliot Prize.

Many of our students go on to study on leading international MA and MFA and PhD programmes, including on our own leading MA in Creative and Life Writing programme.

Why Goldsmiths

While our graduates are the best advocates of our teaching of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, our teaching staff of celebrated writers and scholars are ready to support you and your work as a Goldsmiths student. If you want to chat about life and learning here, be it our literature modules, our assessments, what your week might look like as an undergraduate in the Department of English and Creative Writing, or what goes on in our creative writing workshops, we are happy to hear from you.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr. Jack Underwood.

What you'll study

Each level of the degree includes a single year-long creative writing module taught by creative writing practitioners and active researchers. Each of these modules must be passed in order to progress to the next level and (in the case of the final module) for you to be awarded the degree. 

Year 1

You take four compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Explorations in Literature 30 credits
Approaches to Text 30 credits
Foundation Workshop in Creative Writing 30 credits
Introduction to Poetry 15 credits

You will also choose one of the following option modules.

Module title Credits
Introduction to US Literature and Culture: America and its Discontents 15 credits
Introduction to Comparative Literature 15 credits
Understanding Language in Use 15 credits

Year 2

You will take one compulsory module.

Module title Credits
Creative Writing Workshop 30 credits

You also choose three modules (totalling 90 credits) from a range characterised by wide literary, historical and contextual scope, of which at least one must encompass pre-1800 literature.

Modules may vary from year to year, but recent examples have included:

Module title Credits
Drama and Transgression: From Prometheus to Faust 30 credits
Inventing the Nation: American Literature in the mid-19th Century 30 credits
Literary London, 1800 to 1900 30 credits
Renaissance Worlds 30 credits
Literature of the Later Middle Ages: Society and the Individual 30 credits
Moderns 30 credits
Old English 30 credits
Post-Victorian English Literature 30 credits
18th-Century Literature 30 credits
Sensibility and Romanticism: Revolutions in Writing and Society 30 credits
Shakespeare 30 credits
Discourse and Society 15 credits
Aspects of the Novel 15 credits
Contemporary Arab Migrant Writing 15 credits
Work Placement (English) 15 credits
Sociolinguistics: Language use, Variation, and Identity 15 credits
(Re)writing America: from the nineteenth century to the present day 30 credits
Language Learning 15 credits
Language Teaching 15 credits

Year 3 (credit level 6)

You take one compulsory creative-writing module:

Project Development (30 credits)
This focuses on the development of your own writing skills in the context of a critical awareness of recent writing, recent literary concerns and cultural theory, and knowledge about writing and publishing issues. You are encouraged to interact within a community of writers supportive of the development of your work, small-group work in the first term leading into one-to-one surgeries to address concerns of writing practice as you prepare your portfolio of work in the second term.

You also choose modules (worth a total of 90 credits) from the full range offered by the Department. In addition, a rotation of single-term, 15-credit modules are also available.

Modules may vary from year to year, but recent examples have included:

Module title Credits
Caribbean Women Writers 30 credits
Decadence 30 credits
The Emergence of Modern America: American Literature 1890–1940 30 credits
Approaches to Language and the Media 15 credits
Modern American Fiction 30 credits
Modern Poetry 30 credits
Modernism & Drama (1880-1930) 30 credits
The Art of the Novel 30 credits
Oedipus: Myths, Tragedies and Theories 30 credits
Postcolonial Literatures in English 30 credits
Studies in Literature and Film 30 credits
Renaissance Worlds 30 credits
Narratives of the Great War (1923-1933) 15 credits
Work Placement (English) 15 credits
Professional Communication 30 credits
Word Power: How words are born, live, and die 15 credits
Language and Gender 15 credits

Teaching style

This programme is mainly taught through scheduled learning - a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.

The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 13% scheduled learning, 87% independent learning
  • Year 2 - 12% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning, 2% placement
  • Year 3 - 12% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning, 2% placement

How you’ll be assessed

You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include portfolios of original creative writing and critical commentaries on your work for each of the workshops, coursework portfolios, long essays and examinations (various timescales and formats).

The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:

  • Year 1 - 63% coursework, 38% written exam
  • Year 2 - 85% coursework, 15% written exam
  • Year 3 - 100% coursework

*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2020/21. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices. Find out more about how this information is calculated.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

We accept the following qualifications:

A-level: BBB
BTEC: DDM
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%, preferably including English.
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

Additional requirements

Grade B in A-level English Literature/A-Level English Language and Literature/A-level English Language is required if you have studied A-Levels. Alternatively, an equivalent English subject will be accepted e.g. Grade 5 in IB Higher Level English.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

From August 2021 EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for 'Home' fee status. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will be classified as 'International' for fee purposes, more information can be found on our fees page.

  • Home - full-time: £9250
  • Home - part-time: £4625
  • International - full-time: £17560

If your fees are not listed here, please check our undergraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

We offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, and our careers service can also offer advice on finding work during your studies. Find out more about funding your studies with us.

Careers

We are a centre of excellence for poetry. Recent BA graduates include Rachael Allen, whose debut poetry collection Kindgomland was published by Faber in 2019 to great acclaim, and who now works as Poetry Editor for Granta; Poet and non-fiction writer Sophie Collins, is author of the ground-breaking non-fiction work, Small White Monkeys: On Self-expression, Self-help and Shame published by Bookworks in 2018, and a collection of poems, Who Is Mary Sue? Published by Faber in 2018, and selected as a Poetry Book Society Choice. Sophie was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Society of Literature as part of its inaugural 40 Under 40 scheme in 2018, and is now a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glasgow; Ella Frears is author of Shine, Darling, her debut collection published by Offord Road Books in 2020, which was shortlisted for both the Forward and TS Eliot Prizes, as well as being selected as a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; Cecilia Knapp was named Young Person’s Poet Laureate for London in 2020 and has been widely commissioned and held residences internationally. Her theatre pieces Finding Home and Losing the Night both opened to sell out London runs at The Roundhouse before touring the UK. Her debut novel Little Boxes is forthcoming from The Borough Press (Harper Collins.) while her debut poetry collection Peach Pig will be published by Corsair in 2022. She curated the anthology Everything is Going to be alright: Poems for When you Really Need Them, published by Trapeze in 2021; Aria Aber is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Hard Damage, published by University of Nebraska Press in 2019. After graduating from Goldsmiths, Aria left to study an MFA in Creative Writing at New York University,  before winning a 2020 Whiting Award in Poetry and continuing her practice as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University; other recent poetry publications by former undergraduates include Glass by Emily Cooper, published by Makina Books, Platinum Blonde by Phoebe Stuckes, published by Bloodaxe, Earth Sign and HYPERLOVE by Naomi Morris, published by Partus Press and Makina Books, with an exciting debut pamphlet by Eve Esfandiari Denney, expected in 2022 with Bad Betty.

Our poets’ successes have been matched in recent years by our prose writers. Four novels which began as creative writing dissertations and portfolios have since been published or acquired for publication: Sara Jafari’s debut novel The Mismatch was published by Penguin in 2021, started life on the Creating the Text module, while Marlowe Granados’ best-selling debut, Happy Hour, also published this year by Verso, formed part of Marlowe’s third year creative writing dissertation. Similarly, Abi Andrews debut, The Word for Woman is Wilderness, published by Serpent’s Tail in 2018, was first aired in a workshop taken during her third year on the BA Hons English Creative Writing programme, as did Paddy Crewe’s debut novel, Yip, which will be published in hardback in spring 2022 by Doubleday. Kandace Siobhan Walker’s short story Deep Heart, was winner of the 2019 4th Estate and Guardian short story prize (Kandace was also winner of the 2020 White Review Poetry Prize) and she is also working on her debut novel and collection of poetry; Goldsmiths Creative Writing BA and MA graduate, Dizz Tate’s debut novel Brutes is scheduled for publication by Faber in February 2023. Aside from literary forms, Goldsmiths undergraduate creative writing alumni also include a number of exciting non-fiction writers and journalists: Daisy Jones, who is Associate Editor of VICE UK and author of ALL THE THINGS SHE SAID: Everything I Know About Modern Lesbian and Bi Culture, published by Hachette in 2021; Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff is Award-winning journalist, book editor, columnist and podcast host. She is currently a Senior Staff Editor at the New York Times having enjoyed a celebrated tenure as Editor-in-Chief at gal-dem magazine. She has also written for the  Guardian, Observer, ipaper and Metro, and has worked as weekend editor and writer at Dazed. Excitingly, her debut collection of non-fiction, Black Joy will be published under the Penguin imprint in hardback on 2nd September 2021; Felix Petty, now executive editor at i-D Magazine, following on from his time as music editor for TANK.

About the department

3rd year undergraduate student Tash takes us on a tour of the English and Comparative Literature department to meet some of her tutors and see what sort of events and activities you can get involved in at Goldsmiths.