creative writing module about drama

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Drama and Creative Writing

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Thank you for considering an application.

Here's what you need in order to apply:

  • Royal Holloway's institution code: R72

Make a note of the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for:

  • Drama and Creative Writing BA - WW48
  • Click on the link below to apply via the UCAS website:

Key information

Duration: 3 years full time

UCAS code: WW48

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

Drama and Creative Writing (BA)

By combining the study of Creative Writing with Drama, you'll gain a deeper understanding of how theatre performance and creative writing interact - whether you specialise as a playwright, or choose to take the poetry or fiction options in creative writing.

Choosing to study Drama at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world. You'll create performances, analyse texts, and bring a range of critical ideas to bear on both. On this course the text and the body, thinking and doing, work together. There's no barrier between theory and practice: theory helps you understand and make the most of practice, while practice sheds light on theory.  By moving between the two, you'll find your place as an informed theatre-maker, and by studying a variety of practices, by yourself and with others, you'll get knowledge of the industry as a whole, and learn how your interests could fit into the bigger picture.

We are top-rated for teaching and research, with a campus community recognised for its creativity. Our staff cover a huge range of theatre and performance studies, but we're particularly strong in contemporary British theatre, international and intercultural performance, theatre history, dance and physical theatre, and contemporary performance practices.

Studying Creative Writing at one of the UK's most dynamic English departments will challenge you to develop your own critical faculties. Learning to write creatively, you'll develop your own writing practice.

Course units are taught by nationally and internationally known scholars, authors, playwrights and poets who are specialists in their fields who write ground-breaking books, talk or write in the national media and appear at literary festivals around the world.

  • Complementary disciplines for the aspiring playwright.
  • Explore creative skills including dance or puppetry.
  • Assessment through performance and coursework.
  • Specialise in different literary forms: poetry, playwriting or fiction.
  • Build a portfolio, creating, critiquing and shaping your own artistic work.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Course structure

Core modules.

You will take the following modules in Drama:

  • Theatre and Performance Making 1
  • Theatre and Text 1

You will take the following modules in Creative Writing:

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of literary and cultural writing forms through reading, discussion and practice. You will look at poetry, drama and prose fiction alongside stand-up comedy, adaptation, translation, songwriting, and other forms of creative expression and articulation. You will learn how to offer clear, constructive, sensitive critical appraisals, and how to accept and appropriately value criticism of your own work.

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range historical perspectives on the function, forms, and value of creative writing. You will look at the genesis of particular genres, such as the short story, the novel and the manifesto, and consider relationships between historical genres and the contemporary writer. You will interrogate your own assumptions about creative writing and critically examine the relationship between creative writing and society.

 You will take two from the following modules in Creative Writing:

  • Playwriting

You will choose one of the following modules. Each of these modules consists of a year-long independent project, working closely with a staff supervisor from the appropriate field.

  • Playwriting 2

 You will take the following module in Creative Writing:

This module concentrates on a particular mode of writing, genre, theme, issue or idea. You will be encouraged to make creative work in relation to the focus, and develop your writing practice in relation to wider contexts relevant to the contemporary writer.

Creative Writing Special Focus courses are open to both creative writing and non-creative writing students.

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • All modules are core

Optional modules in Drama may include:

In this module you will develop an understanding of non-traditional approaches to performance making that constitute the broader term ‘devised’ practice. You will look at methods of engaging with contemporary life, focussing on a number of key areas of devised practice, including their contexts, forms, and modes of documentation. You will consider the generative roles played by autobiography, the body, political activism and everyday life and use theoretical and practical research to develop your own performance pieces.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the methods of theatre directing. You will look at the role of the director from preparing a play text to staging a successful production, considering the collaborations between actors, designers, playwrights and producers. You will exmaine a variety of approaches to classic texts and new writing, and hone your skills by directing your peers in short scenes from a play of your choice.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the difference between stage acting and acting for camera. You will learn techniques for 'translating' your stage acting skills to mediated performance. You will collaborate through the year with directing students in the Department of Media Arts on an internal monologue film, a silent film, and a short scene, and these can later be used as part of an audition reel.

In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of theatre forms that integrate dance and drama. You will look at the variety of ways that practitioners have chosen to bring text and movement into creative dialogue, using scores, play texts, choreography and movement processes. You will examine the values and principles that drive such experimentation and reflect on the historical, political and cultural contexts within which these practitioners worked. You will consider the work of practitioners such as Pina Bausch, DV8, Frantic Assembly, Complicite, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp, and develop a small group performance devised in response to selected texts and styles of movement/dance.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of spatial design in a performance context. You will look at how designers respond to and make space for theatre to happen, and through the study of visual composition and visual langauge, will explore the role of spatial design in a performance context. You will consider the the work of a variety of practitioners and will test out your design ideas in a series of practical and performance workshops focusing on textual analysis, space and place, object, performer and the spectator.

In this module you will develop an understanding of how theatre practitioners have frequently sought to represent social reality in order to critique it. You will look at the naturalist stage of the late nineteenth century through to contemporary verbatim performance, and explore the methods and implications of theatre’s 'reality-effects'. You will consider why so many theatre companies and practitioners in the twenty-first century have turned to documentary, tribunal, verbatim and other forms of reality-based performance, and examine a range of contemporary plays and performance texts from around the world, building an awareness of the politics, possibilities and limitations of 'staging the real'.

In this module you will look at the work of debbie tucker green, one of the most exciting black playwrights of the early twenty first century, who's critical acclaim has recognised her original experimental linguistic virtuosity. You will explore the the performance possibilities of her playtexts, considering writing form alongside the topical social and political human rights issues she portrays, such as genocide, urban teenage violence, sex tourism and mental health. You will consider tucker green’s impact as a black British woman playwright by situating her plays in relation to trends in plays by other contemporary black British women playwrights, and examine her work within the context of 21st Century black British new writing.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the wide-ranging discussions of ecology and environmentalism in Shakespeare's plays. You will look at the relations between humans and the natural world, and consider contemporary environmental debates and theatre practices. Guest speakers, such as David Haygarth, Head of Energy and Sustainability at Royal Holloway, will address scientific and commercial topics such as the UN 15 sustainable development goals, and the Caryl Churchill Theatre’s green credentials. You will explore a range of plays by Shakespeare which stage the natural world, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, King Lear, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. You will also examine how environmentalism can impact both theatre and Shakespeare in performance.

In this module you will develop an understanding of children's theatre and the current success of theatre for young audiences. You will look at the innovative performance styles of theatre companies such as Oily Cart and Theatre-rites, and consider how their work has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary theatre. You will examine the Unicorn theatre, the first purpose-built theatre for children in London; playwrights such as Charles Way, Philip Ridley, Neil Duffield, Mark Ravenhill and David Greig; and the work of theatremakers such as Mark Storor and Sue Buckmaster, who bring a blend of visual art, puppetry and live art to performances for children. You will critically analyse how performance installations can excite children’s imaginations, focusing on the visual, tactile and aural elements of theatre and performance.

In this module you will develop an understanding of the diverse art forms that investigate memory in dynamic conversation and the nature of art, history, and humanity. You will look at the disruption to the purpose, value, and nature of art in the aftermath of the cataclysmic events of the Holocaust, and move through the twentieth century to consider different cultures of memory, memorialisation, trauma, and witnessing. You will examine a wide range of cultural textual and performative genres, including first-hand testimony, plays, films, graphic novels, museums, and public monuments.

In this module you will develop an embodied understanding of culture. You will look at different cultural contexts for dance production, considering the context of where, when and how you dance. You will examine the cultural production and consumption of dance, exploring theories grounded in cultural studies and their implications on dance and dancing bodies, such as Marxism, post-modernism, feminism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, gender and sexuality, and psychoanalysis. You will focus on popular dance, global popular culture, and dance on screen, and investigate the relationship between dance practices and the social, political and economic context in which they emerge. You will be encouraged to devise performances which creatively engage with cultural studies.

  • Theatre and Ideas: Ideas of Gender and Sexuality
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Tragedy
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Adaptation
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of the Musical
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Acting
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Money
  • Theatre and Ideas: The Idea of Casting
  • Love, Gender and Sexuality
  • Race Relations in Theatre, Film and Television
  • Shakespeare
  • Naturalist Theatre in Context
  • Creative Learning and Theatre
  • Physical Theatre
  • Shakespeare on Camera
  • The Actor's Voice
  • Actor Training in a Globalised World
  • Group Project
  • Final Year Project - Special Study
  • Final Year Project - Dissertation
  • Taught Dissertation

Teaching & assessment

Each year, you'll take two modules in each subject. Drama explores a whole range of dramatic and theatrical forms, conventions, periods, traditions and activities. You'll learn how to get intellectual ideas across in presentations and through performance. You'll also learn to work well in teams. In your first year, a foundation course, you'll get a grounding in contemporary theatremaking and critical theories. In your second and final years, you'll study alongside single honours students, taking half of your modules in Drama.

In your first year of Creative Writing, you'll take two introductory modules, before going on in your second year to specialise in two literary forms. In your final year, you'll wrap up by taking one of those forms to honours level.

The course has a flexible structure: students take twelve course units, four per year. Some are compulsory, and others you can choose. In your second and third years, you'll make up the marks that count for your final degree award. You'll also take a study skills course during your first year, to equip you with writing skills to make your degree count. This course won't count towards your final degree, but you'll need to take it to pass on to second year.

You'll be assessed through examinations, essays, seminar presentations, practical assignments and creative portfolios. In Drama modules, you'll often be assessed as part of a group.

Entry requirements

A levels: aab-abb.

Required subjects:

  • A in an essay-based Arts and Humanities subject at A-Level
  • At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including Maths and English.

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university, you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our  contextual offers.

We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:

  • AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
  • AAA – Distinction
  • BBB – Merit
  • CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
  • DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)

Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start of your course.

The scores we require

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 69 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE IV.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here .

Undergraduate preparation programme

For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.

Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.

There are plenty of performance opportunities to get stuck into while you're here, and they'll stand you in good stead when you graduate. You'll be familiar and confident in performance situations (skills which are vital for leading meetings and make you viable for visible leadership roles). You'll come off as credible and composed. You'll also walk away with considerable experience of technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills, valued by most employers. Aside from these performance skills, you'll also get skills in research and project management from the academic side of the course. 

Our industry links mean you'll be able to pursue work experience with theatres and creative arts agencies. Recent graduates in the Department of Drama & Theatre have gone into careers in acting, writing, broadcasting (including at the BBC), literary agency, arts management, sound design, marketing/PR, teaching and community theatre work, as well as postgraduate study in different fields. Lots of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies. Find out more about what our graduates are doing now.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,800

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs with studying this course greater than £50 per item. It is a requirement to purchase a pair of safety boots in the first year, for which a range of cost options are available. Ticket costs for mandatory theatre trips are capped at £10.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about  funding options , including  loans , scholarships and bursaries . UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should  check their eligibility  for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.

*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25, the fee is £9,250 for that year.

**This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree. The upper limit of any such annual rise has not yet been set for courses starting in 2024 but will advertised here once confirmed.  For further information see  fees and funding  and our  terms and conditions .

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

Drama, Theatre and Dance Undergraduate Admissions

Admissions office: +44 (0)1784 414944

creative writing module about drama

Source: QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2023 (Drama, Theatre and Dance)

Source: Complete University Guide, 2024 (Drama, Theatre and Dance)

Source: Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

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ENG 125 & 126 - Creative Writing: Drama

  • Short Fiction
  • Long Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Research Process

Drama Defined

Definition:  A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action.


  • Structure -- This deals with how to setup the beginning, middle and end of a play and is even more crucial in drama than any other genre of writing.
  • Characters -- People will act out the story on stage. Characters should be well-developed and not appear as stereotypes.
  • Dialogue -- This is crucial in plays because everything happens through the spoken word.
  • Theme -- Plays often deal with universal themes which encourage discussion of ideas. 
  • Production -- Costumes, props and lighting are some of the necessary items for putting on a play.

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Thank you for considering an application

To apply you’ll need to:

  • Make note of the Queen Mary institution code: Q50

Drama with Creative Writing

  • WW44 — BA (Hons)
  • WW45 — BA (Hons) with Year Abroad
  • Click on the link below: Apply on UCAS

Have further questions? How to apply | Entry requirements

2 study options

Drama with creative writing ba (hons), key information, drama with creative writing with year abroad ba (hons), year abroad cost.

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Entry requirements

About the school.

Study Drama and Creative Writing in this boundary-breaking course

Our BA in Drama with Creative Writing will give you a sound knowledge base in Drama along with the skills and tools needed to develop into a writer. In the Drama part of the course, you will gain a deeper understanding of theatre and performance in a variety of cultures and historical periods, and across a wide range of forms - from plays to experimental perfromance to applied theatre, and more. 

The Creative Writing section of the course is designed to develop practical writing skills and techniques, and to give you an insight into the process of writing. You will have the opportunity to grow and flourish as a writer, whether in prose fiction, poetry, drama, film or creative non-fiction. You will be taught by some of the world's leading academics and artists, who will help you develop into informed critics, performance makers and writers.     

Register your interest

The programme capitalises on London’s outstanding theatre and performance resources and, particularly, Drama's links with a variety of theatre and other cultural organisations including Artangel, Barbican, Live Art Development Agency, National Theatre, People’s Palace Projects, Project Phakama, Shakespeare’s Globe, and more.  It also draws on London's rich writing, publishing and media cultures.  These links often bring artists, writers, administrators, managers and other professionals into the programme as guest speakers, workshop leaders and performers. They also facilitate students' participation in the wider cultural sector, and will form the basis for the further development of work-specific learning opportunities.

Year 1 provides an introduction to the study of drama, performance and creative writing. which combines both practical and theoretical approaches. Modules in Year 1 have a strong emphasis on the acquisition of practical (including writing) and research skills that you will use throughout your  programme. You will also have the opportunity in Year 1 to explore key practical and theoretical issues around the making of performance. You will take the following modules (all compulsory)

  • Power Plays (15 credits)
  • Making Theatre and Performance (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Creative Writing (30 credits)
  • Beyond Acting (30 credits)
  • Spectatorship: Time, Place, Performance  (15 credits)

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

You will take the following three compulsory modules :

  • Group Practical Project (30 credits)
  • Creative Writing Prose (15 credits)
  • Creative Writing Playwriting (15 credits)

You then choose two seminar-based modules and one practice-based module from a range of Drama options that change each year. Modules may include:

  • Action Design
  • Art and the Climate Crisis
  • Culture, Power and Performance
  • London Performance Now
  • Making Contemporary Theatre
  • Performance and Visual Culture in South Asia
  • Race and Racism in Performance
  • Theatre, Experiment and Revolution
  • Voice, Gender, Performance

You will choose one from

  • DRA329 Written Research Project (30 credits)
  • ESH6199 Creative Writing Dissertation (30 credits)

You then choose a further 30 credits of Creative Writing modules from a range of options that change each year. Modules may include:

  • Creative Writing and Performance
  • Creative Writing Nonfiction: Illness and Experience
  • Writing About the Arts
  • Creative Writing Advanced Poetry: the Poetics of Translation

You then choose two  seminar-based modules and one practice-based module from a range of Drama options that change each year. Modules may include:

  • Culture, Performance and Globalisation
  • Drama and Education
  • Live Art: Then and Now
  • Madness and Theatricality
  • Making Site-Specific Performance
  • Offstage London
  • Performance and Celebrity
  • Performance Composition
  • Showbusiness: Theatre and Capitalism
  • Staging Selfies: Performance and Social Media
  • Theatre and the Supernatural
  • Verbatim, Testimonial and Tribunal
  • Writing about the Arts

student profile image

I have really enjoyed learning about the more theoretical aspects of drama, as a practice and as a 'theory'. My favourite module so far was London, Culture, Performance. Understanding the impact of performances, theatres and wider impact that they have was incredibly interesting and insightful and left me with a lot to consider. Emma Howes - BA Film Studies and Drama 2021

Teaching and learning

You’ll usually attend at least eight hours of classes weekly, mainly in the form of seminars, creative writing workshops and studio-based workshops. Practice-based modules include additional scheduled studio time weekly for student-led practice. Some modules also include tutorials and field trips.

For every hour spent in class, you'll complete approximately three to four further hours of independent study preparing for classes and assignments.

Assessment typically includes a combination of written and practical assignments, such as essays, performances, presentations, portfolios, scripts, programme notes, reviews, feature articles, artist websites, podcasts and dissertations. Some assessment is based around group work, especially for performance projects and presentations.

Resources and facilities

The School offers on-campus resources to support your studies, including:

  • BLOC - Film & Drama Practice research facility at QMUL 
  • three rehearsal spaces
  • the Pinter Studio
  • motion capture equipment, allowing students to explore innovative practices with new technology and film
  • opportunities to meet visiting experts including artists, directors, producers, playwrights and activists
  • access to the Film and Drama Studio
  • opportunities to act, direct and stage manage through the Queen Mary Theatre Company
  • proximity to specialist archives and collections such as the National Theatre Archive, Live Art Development Agency Study Room, Women’s Library, Black Cultural Archives
  • access to Senate House Library and the British Library

Lecturer Dr Isabel Waidner gives a Keynote

Drama with Creative Writing - BA (Hons)

Drama with Creative Writing with Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

Non-UK students

We accept a wide range of European and international qualifications in addition to A-levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please visit International Admissions for full details.

If your qualifications are not accepted for direct entry onto this degree, consider applying for a foundation programme .

English language

Find out more about our English language entry requirements , including the types of test we accept and the scores needed for entry to the programme.

You may also be able to meet the English language requirement for your programme by joining a summer pre-sessional programme before starting your degree.

Further information

See our general undergraduate entry requirements .

Loans and grants

UK students accepted onto this course are eligible to apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance England or other government bodies.

Scholarships and bursaries

Queen Mary offers a generous package of scholarships and bursaries, which currently benefits around 50 per cent of our undergraduates.

Scholarships are available for home, EU and international students. Specific funding is also available for students from the local area. International students may be eligible for a fee reduction. We offer means-tested funding, as well as subject-specific funding for many degrees.

Find out what scholarships and bursaries are available to you.

Support from Queen Mary

We offer specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Take a look at our Student Advice Guides which cover ways to finance your degree, including:

  • additional sources of funding
  • planning your budget and cutting costs
  • part-time and vacation work
  • money for lone parents.

Theatre and related arts organisations, publishing, digital media, communications, print journalism, and the broadcast media are all popular choices for Drama and Creative Writing students who want to use their communication skills. Others use their ability to think and write critically and persuasively to go into public relations, marketing, and advertising, including in the charity sector. Our graduates are highly experienced in working collaboratively, which makes them especially suited to diverse work environments that depend on collaboration and project delivery.  In addition, many of our graduates embark upon professional careers in education, the third sector, law and teaching, whilst every year the Department sees a number of students progress to take higher degrees, both at Queen Mary and elsewhere.

This course gives graduates some particularly sought-after qualities in the workplace.  Graduates of the Drama with Creative Writing degree might find employment in areas such as theatre and performance, cultural industries, publishing, business, journalism and the media, education, museums and archives, government or public relations. The BA Drama with Creative Writing programme  provides training for those who wish to publish their writing in fictional and non-fictional contexts. The School has developed links with the cultural industries and offers students opportunities to engage with industry professionals and practices through individual modules and careers workshops. Staff teaching on the programme are performance makers and published authors; the establishment and management of links with potential employers, key arts organisations and agents will be an integrated part of the academic content they deliver, particularly in the final year of the degree.

Career support

You’ll have access to bespoke careers support during your degree, including access to experts in Drama and Creative Writing through specific modules (e.g. Applied Performance, Drama and Education, Writing about the Arts); School and Department-run careers and professional development workshops; extra-curricular experience with arts organisations; and advice about postgraduate study.

Our Queen Mary careers team can also offer:

  • specialist advice on choosing a career path
  • support with finding work experience, internships and graduate jobs
  • feedback on CVs, cover letters and application forms
  • interview coaching.

Learn more about   career support and development at Queen Mary.

Data for these courses

The Discover Uni dataset (formerly Unistats)

The School of English and Drama provides a first-class learning environment -- the Departments of Drama and English are in the top 40 in the world (QS World Rankings by Subject 2019). And you’ll learn from leading experts: Drama is ranked first and English fifth in the UK for research quality (Research Excellence Framework 2014). We are a large school, with a lot of specialist staff, enabling us to offer a wide range of topics and approaches. You’ll have tailored support, including individual feedback on your work, and there are opportunities to contribute to student performances and publications. We regularly host prominent writers and performers and collaborate with leading organisations such as the V&A, the Barbican, the Live Art Development Agency and Shakespeare’s Globe. Our course makes full use of London’s exceptional theatre and performance resources (e.g. theatres, galleries, museums, libraries, archives, site-specific performance, festivals). The School runs several innovative research centres, including the Centre for Poetry; the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies; the Centre for Religion and Literature in English; and the Sexual Cultures Research Group.

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BA Drama and Creative Writing Modules - year one

Performance: theory, practice and critique .

This modules equips students with a basic understanding of the relationship between theatre, culture, performance and politics. Over the course of the module, students develop an awareness of and the ability to apply different methodological approaches to their own work and the work of others.

Studio Practice 

This module prepares students as artists, theatre and performance makers by opening up a space for experimentation and enquiry, and building their skills through attention to key principles of performance and theatre (for example: presence, focus, responsiveness/listening, full embodiment, psychophysical impulse).

Engaging Performance  

Engaging Performance develops and enhances students’ analytical, writing and research skills. In this module they will be asked to become critical readers of the content of performance and put the skills and knowledge they learn in other modules into practice through various set tasks throughout the semester.

Contemporary Creative Writing

This module will give students a thorough introduction to current trends in creative writing in three principal areas: publishing (traditional, independent and self-publishing); prizes and awards; literary markets and presentation. Students will examine a number of case-studies including traditional vs. self-publishing; mainstream vs avant-garde; prize shortlists and book reviews. Students will create original creative works in response to these case studies.

Creative Writing Foundation

This module will give students the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of key issues and methodologies related to the study of creative writing as an academic discipline; to explore purpose and method in writing, both individually and collaboratively; to develop competence in basic creative writing skills in the traditional genres of prose and poetry, as related to each stage of the writing process; and to develop appropriate vocabulary and formats to reflect on their own writing as process and product. Generic themes and issues will be covered in lecture-demonstrations; while generic-specific skills and processes will be introduced in tutor-led seminars, and reinforced student-led groups.

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Bath Spa University logo

Creative Writing and Drama

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course WW4Y or SE55 (with professional placement year)
  • Creative Writing - Programme Document
  • Drama - Programme Document
  • Book an open day
  • About combinations

Key facts Close

Entry requirements.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email [email protected] with your specific details.

  • Creative Writing

Join our vibrant writing community, supported by award-winning authors and creative practitioners.

  • Wide choice of fiction, performance poetry and graphic novels to scriptwriting, nature writing and memoir.
  • Industry focused with an emphasis on developing your professional practice and employability.
  • Your projects, your way, with our support. Literary festivals, publications, podcasts - we’ll help you find your voice.

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#2 in the South West Overall

for Creative Writing (Complete University Guide, 2024)

#6 in the UK

and #1 in the South West for Creative Writing Graduate Prospects – Outcomes (Complete University Guide, 2024)

#10 in the UK

for Graduate Prospects in Creative Writing (Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024)

Join us at Bath Spa University where writing is the thing we love to do and the thing we love to talk about. In our workshops, you’ll find friends for life who, like you, want to spend time in a writing world of imagination, creativity and experimentation.

You’ll enjoy working on our unique campus, surrounded by wildlife and a beautiful 18th-century landscape, perfect for creative inspiration. You might experiment with nature writing or discover poems and stories you’re driven to write as a response to climate change and environmental issues.

“As well as strengthening my skills and confidence as a writer, Creative Writing at Bath Spa opened my eyes up to the range of career paths I could pursue that I hadn’t considered before. The tutors and Careers team supported me after graduation, all the way to my first full time creative role.” Nic Crosara, 2019 graduate, now Design and Production Assistant at SelectScience

Student looking off into the distance

What you'll learn

Contemporary creative writing is diverse. It’s digital and on the page; social and singular. Our comprehensive programme includes prose fiction, YA, flash fiction, poetry, scriptwriting for live performance and screen, life writing and memoir.

In fact, whatever you want to write, you’ll find an opportunity to explore it with us. We have modules on graphic novels and comics alongside modules in live literature, creative enterprise and professional practice to support your career development. You'll have the opportunity to collaborate on creative projects with other students both within and outside Creative Writing.

You’ll be able to work on magazines, local literary festivals and podcasts, while collaborating with fellow students through our creative writing, publishing and journalism student-run societies.

Year one The course is carefully designed to enable you to explore and experiment with your writing and understand the foundations of writing craft. In the Writer’s Workshop modules you’ll be introduced to an array of different writing forms and genres and you’ll be experimenting with them each week. You’ll have your first experience of the BSU writing workshop where you’ll learn how to work with other writers, giving and receiving feedback. You’ll have additional modules in poetry, fiction and script writing alongside a module where you’ll learn about the publishing industry and editing. You’ll also attend lectures from visiting writers and members of staff who will talk to you about their writing lives and experiences in the industry. Year two In the second year of the course, you have access to a range of modules that will enable you to specialise in a particular form or genre of writing. You’ll take a mixture of core and optional modules from a list that includes, for example, genre fiction, life writing, short stories, form and listening in poetry, and writing for screen. You will also take the project module, Professional Portfolio. This is an opportunity for you to develop your own creative project, designed to help you develop the skills you need as a professional writer. You will be assigned a member of staff to be your project supervisor. They will help guide and advise you as you develop your idea. If a collaborative project suits you, you can take a Publishing module where you work with a small team of fellow students to create your own independent magazine. Year three The final year of the programme is designed to consolidate your writing practice and support your progression into a writing-related career. You will take a dissertation-equivalent module in at least one of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scriptwriting or writing for young people. These modules run through the year. Alongside that you have a choice of career-focused modules which include Live Literature and Professional Practice which offer you the opportunity to develop your own industry-facing creative projects. We also offer an extended project module, Creative Enterprise, over two semesters. This module helps you focus on developing a creative project into a commercial opportunity. 

Assessment is based on 100% coursework (no exams). Most modules will require you to submit a portfolio of creative writing along with a reflective or contextual essay in which you describe what you have learned in class, what you have learned from the set texts and working on your own writing.

Creative Writing at Bath Spa University is taught through a mixture of workshops, lectures, presentations and tutorials. Workshops offer you the opportunity to read and discuss each other's work in a supportive, informal and informative atmosphere. Lectures are used to introduce techniques and themes in detail. Tutorials provide you with the opportunity to discuss your work with your tutor on a one-to-one basis.

We believe that for you to achieve your maximum potential you have to take yourself and your writing seriously, and that the best way to do this is to develop a professional approach. Therefore, wherever appropriate, our modules run to industry standards and adopt industry practices.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement .

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

  • The Writer’s Workshop 1
  • Explorations in Prose Fiction
  • The Writer’s Workshop 2
  • Introduction to Poetry
  • Introduction to Scriptwriting
  • Publishing and Editing for Writers
  • Creative Enterprise 1
  • Creative Enterprise 2
  • Form and Listening in Poetry
  • Genre Fiction
  • Lifewriting
  • Writing for Theatre
  • Writing Graphic Novels and Comics
  • Short Fiction
  • Scripting for Screen
  • Performance Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Writing For Young People: Reading as Writers
  • The Independent Magazine
  • Professional Placement Year
  • Professional Practice
  • Extended Prose Fiction 1
  • The Poetry Collection 1
  • Advanced Script Project 1
  • Advanced Nonfiction Project 1
  • Planning and Writing a Novel for Young People 1
  • Teaching Writing
  • Extended Prose Fiction 2
  • The Poetry Collection 2
  • Advanced Script Project 2
  • Advanced Nonfiction Project 2
  • Planning and Writing a Novel for Young People 2
  • Teaching Practice
  • Live Literature
  • Publishing Industry Project
“Bath Spa allowed me to choose a career with confidence, as I learned what I was good at and what I enjoyed doing. The best thing about the course is the support, the module choices (which can really inform your path) and the work experience offered with local publishers or events and festivals.” Laura Garcia Moreno, 2022 graduate, now Production Assistant and Environmental Champion at Bath Festivals

Facilities and resources

The Creative Writing course is taught at our stunning Newton Park campus, where you’ll be surrounded by wildlife and a beautiful 18th century landscape and lake.

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including:

  • Commons building  with its state-of-the-art classrooms, study spaces and cafe
  • Digital labs (Mac rooms) for students learning new media
  • Virtual Learning Environment  to support you in your modules.

As a Creative Writing student, you'll be able to benefit from:

  • Cameras, audio recording equipment available for students to borrow absolutely free
  • Technical staff to help students use industry standard software
  • Library with print and ebooks, digital resources, literary magazines and journals.


As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities .

Creative Writing students often find exciting subject-related placements and we do our best to help students make connections and gain experiences in companies and organisations that interest them. Students often work with the Bath Literature Festival, for instance, or with production companies such as the BBC. The course team will help you on an individual basis as opportunities present themselves.

Past students have benefited from industry-based opportunities and experiences that have been incorporated into their modules, enabling them to secure credit for the time they have spent in industry environments.

Current graduate careers include:

  • Science magazine editor
  • Children’s author
  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Social media writer
  • Commercial copywriter for brands or charities
  • Regional editor for an online magazine
  • University lecturer
  • Editor (Random House)

Many of our students go on to study one of our specialist MA programmes in either Creative Writing, Writing for Young People, Screenwriting, Travel and Nature, or Children’s Publishing.

Each year Creative Writing awards a range of prizes to its students to celebrate the best writing produced in the final year. The department also awards the Les Arnold Prize for the top student in the second year, honouring the memory of poet Les Arnold, who started the writing programme in 1992.

Students are given numerous opportunities to focus on project work – from the first year core module (Writer's Workshop One) to the second year core module and into several project modules in the third year. Student projects are a core part of the Creative Writing curriculum and students are assisted to develop project ideas that support their creative and career ambitions. 

Professional placement year

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Writing on lined paper

Interested in applying?

Most of our applicants will have an A or a B in English Language and/or English Literature at A Level. That said, we do judge each application on its own merit and many of our most successful graduates have not fit neatly into standard criteria. Please write directly to the course leader or the admissions team to discuss your individual circumstances.

We also welcome applications from students who demonstrate real commitment to their writing. This commitment may be expressed in publications, awards, and/or engagement with the Apprentice of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below. Applicants without a relevant Level 3 qualification in English will be considered but will be required to submit a piece of their own creative writing as part of the selection process.

  • A Level - grades BBB-BCC including a Grade B in English or a related subject.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in any subject. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong interest in Creative Writing in their personal statement and may be asked to provide a piece of their own creative writing.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in English at Higher Level.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher). Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong interest in Creative Writing in their personal statement and may be asked to provide a piece of their own creative writing.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at [email protected] .

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page. Need more guidance? Head to our  how to apply  pages.


Course leader: Ms Lucy Sweetman Email: [email protected]

Three year course

With placement year, explore your creative identity with our drama degree..

  • Pursue your passions. Choose to specialise, broaden your skills-base or combine Drama with another subject you love.
  • Experiment, reflect and innovate. Learn by making, producing, performing, directing and collaborating.
  • Graduate with a host of skills valued in a range of industries, from theatre to media to education.

Studying Drama at Bath Spa gives you the performance, critical and creative skills you need to launch yourself into a variety of exciting careers.

You'll explore your creative identity through core and optional modules in areas of practice such as play production, performing, writing and directing, and topics such as Shakespeare, musical theatre, physical theatre, applied theatre and media and performance.

Among many of the options open to you will be acting, directing, education, theatre production, arts administration, or arts therapies; you could also choose to progress to further study, for example in as  Directing , Creative Producing , Performing Shakespeare, Creative Writing  and Scriptwriting . 

“The Drama department has been excellent in supporting us and offering advice and support when needed. The course was a springboard into the professional world of Drama.” Simon Crispin, third year Drama student

You’ll study plays, practitioners and genres that have been particularly influential in shaping contemporary theatre and performance. We give you the opportunity to explore:

  • Theatre practitioners
  • Playwrights
  • Performance making
  • Writing, directing and performing.

The course also includes a focus on:

  • Plays and musical theatre productions in the University Theatre
  • Theatre in education performances and workshops in local schools
  • New plays written by students
  • New and existing works devised, directed and performed by students.

Year one Build the foundations. You’ll gain skills in working with play texts as part of a theatrical ensemble, performing and directing, theatre production and performance; these will underpin your work in years two and three.  Year two Apply your skills. You’ll work with local practitioners, collaborate with local venues and learn from visiting professional companies and artists. You'll also have the opportunity to apply yourself in a variety of performance projects. Our focus is allowing you to create original work, while you explore your particular areas of interest such as physical theatre, applied theatre, musical theatre and theatre production. Year three Develop your specialisms. Increasingly, you'll define and manage your own work, and carry out research into an area of drama or performance of your choice. You may explore topics such as performance, staging gender, modern American drama, staging Shakespeare, musical theatre, theatre for social change, media and performance, and devising. There's also the opportunity to collaborate with staff on projects relating to their areas of expertise. 

We use a variety of assessment tasks across the programme, including:

  • Public performance
  • Playwriting
  • In-class performance of devised or published work
  • Oral presentations
  • Performance of backstage/technical roles
  • Critical reflection
  • Working as part of an ensemble
  • Script analysis
  • Individual and group research projects.

You'll be taught through a range of activities including lectures, workshops, seminars, skills classes, rehearsals, tutorials, work placements and theatre visits.

  • Investigating Theatre and Performance
  • Contemporary Theatre
  • Building the Ensemble
  • Theatre Project
  • Introduction to Theatre Production
  • Performance Practices
  • Acting and Directing
  • Applied Theatre
  • Creative Production Skills
  • Writing for Performance 1
  • Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
  • Musical Theatre Workshop
  • Making Performance 2
  • Performance and Media 1
  • Writing for TV and Radio
  • Musical Theatre Workshop 2
  • Theatre and Social Engagement
  • Staging Gender
  • Performance Project
  • Puppetry Lab
  • Staging Shakespeare
  • Drama Independent Study
  • Musical Theatre Project
  • Musicals as Cultural Politics
  • Writing and Directing for Performance 1
  • Writing and Directing for Performance 2
  • Creative Enterprise Project 1
  • Creative Enterprise Project 2

You’ll benefit from visits from industry professionals. Previous visitors have covered a range of specialisms including: playwriting, directing, acting, television production, theatre in education, and children’s theatre. We also have partnerships with local venues, local schools and local community groups.

You'll also get the chance to take part in Dramafest – a festival of performance that's devised and run entirely by students. This event typifies our way of teaching, which is to enable you to experience a wealth of roles and approaches so that you can find your passions and choose to specialise in them if you wish. 

Drama students create the material for Dramafest, then perform and produce it. They design and construct the sets. They take on roles in stage management, publicity, and health and safety. In doing this, they gain transferable skills such as project management, collaboration and teamwork, that they can use in a range of careers.

Dramafest will be a chance for you to discover your strengths and define your own roles within a project; an invaluable skill in the workplace. Find out more about opportunities within the Drama department . 

We equip you with creative, collaborative, writing, presentational and communication skills that are useful in many professional and vocational areas.

Some graduates choose to pursue postgraduate study, especially in teaching, or vocational training. Recent graduates have gone on to study Master's degrees at Central School of Speech and Drama, Yale Theatre School and the Royal Academy of Music.

Other graduates launch careers in the creative industries, including working with theatre and media companies. Some of our Drama graduatesare now:

  • Founder of an award-winning theatre company
  • Executive Director of a theatre school
  • Principal of an Academy of Performing Arts
  • Dramatherapist and Tutor.

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship , which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available . On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

“Because of the staff and resources at Bath Spa University, I feel confident that I will reach my potential.” Ashley McGinty, third year Drama student

You'll benefit from use of teaching and rehearsal facilities at the Newton Park campus.

Facilities used by BA Drama include:

  • University Theatre
  • University Theatre studios
  • Ashton Drama studio
  • Commons lecture and seminar rooms
  • Michael Tippett Centre : auditorium / practice rooms

We’re looking for dynamic individuals with an interest in exploring a wide range of drama and performance forms. You’ll typically have CCC or above at  A-Level including a C grade, or above, in Drama, Performing Arts or English.

On your application form you should refer to:

  • Your experience, skills and interests
  • Performance work, plays or the books that have influenced your thinking
  • Shows in which you have performed
  • Why you think Drama at Bath Spa is the right course for you.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC including a grade B in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performing Arts preferred.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject, or evidence of experience in Performing Arts.
  • International Baccalaureate – a minimum of 32 points are required in addition to evidence of involvement in drama or performing arts.
  • Access to HE courses – typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, at Merit or higher) together with evidence of involvement in drama and performing arts.

Course enquiries For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at  [email protected] .

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Suitable applicants will be invited to audition at our Newton Park campus between December and March. The interview process will focus primarily on your:

  • Group skills
  • Aptitude for taking part in workshop activities
  • Spontaneity and creativity
  • Interest in drama practices.

More information will be sent via email on invitation to audition.  We do not charge an audition fee.

Course leader: Roy Connolly Email:  [email protected]

Website feedback to [email protected]


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