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English Literature with Creative Writing

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2022 / September 2023



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years

UCAS Tariff Points



Do you want to develop your talent and creativity as a writer? On this course, you’ll explore your voice as a writer within a supportive community of peers and tutors.

You’ll experiment with new forms and genres - and push yourself to grow. And you’ll get supportive and constructive feedback every step of the way. Whether you’re exploring travel writing or screenplays, you’ll discover new strengths.

You’ll be taught by commercially successful writers who are published by Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster. You'll learn from literary prize-winners - including the Costa Book Awards. You'll be closely supported by experts, wherever your interests lie. And you’ll network with literary agents and newly published writers, as you navigate the publishing process.

You’ll also shape your writing through the study of established and avant-garde literary voices. And you’ll examine some of the most pressing issues of our time through a literary lens - like:

  • Black Lives Matter
  • Extinction rebellion
  • Climate change


Students using library computers

How to apply

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 96

A Level: CCC

IB Points: 28


Further offer details

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions:

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The library contains limited copies of most compulsory texts, but you may be expected to obtain books or materials depending on the modules and options you select. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading, this is at their own discretion.

Students organise placements themselves, and Oxford Brookes Careers Centre is on hand to provide you with assistance in finding your own placement. You are responsible for your own travel and associated costs, therefore it is advised that you organise placements bearing this in mind.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements

Learning and assessment

Working collaboratively is central to how you’ll learn on this course. You’ll work with a close-knit group of peers and tutors to workshop your writing. You’ll share feedback, and explore each others’ writing - in a thoughtful and supportive environment.

You’ll study literary voices from the well-known to the avant-garde and unconventional. And you’ll explore some of the most important issues and societal movements of your age - like Extinction Rebellion or BLM. 

In your first year you’ll build the core skills you’ll need for your degree. In year 2 you’ll start to specialise. You’ll work in small groups, participate in seminar discussions and build confidence expressing your ideas. 

In year 3 you’ll start to learn about submitting your writing to publishers. You’ll be taught by published authors, and you’ll refine your confidence and resilience as a writer, team-worker and presenter.




Student typing

Study modules

All modules are subject to availability in any given academic year.


Year 1

Compulsory modules

Reading for Meaning

In this module, you’ll develop the tools you need to succeed in your degree. The gap between school and university can feel daunting, but these skills and techniques in literary study will unlock your academic and creative potential, allowing you to thrive. You’ll develop skills in:

  • close reading
  • critical analysis
  • research
  • referencing
  • understanding writers’ stylistic choices

You’ll be taught in small groups (seminars), allowing you to delve into your ideas and those of others. Seminars involve weekly close reading, discussion and critique, as well as writing and research activities.


The Culture of Criticism

Are all interpretations of literature equally valid? Are some texts more influential than others? In this module, you’ll build on the skills you’ve gained from your Reading for Meaning module. You’ll enhance key skills in essay-planning and constructing a persuasive argument, allowing you to succeed in your assessments. You’ll develop analytical aptitude, as you practise how to read and write critically. You’ll consider how your circumstances and assumptions about the world might affect the way you read and your perspective as a literary critic.


Reading Wonderland: The Literature of Oxford

In this module, you’ll investigate Oxford’s rich literary life, both past and present. You’ll dive into texts written, performed and set in Oxford, as you think about how the city’s literature is shaped by its geography, population and reputation. You’ll read established texts and writers, as well as literature outside of centres of power and privilege. You’ll think critically about yourself and your own writing and analysis, in relation to the city’s spaces. You'll spend some time getting to know your new home by walking around it, and you'll be asked to create your own guided literary tour of the city.

Shakespeare Now

In this module, you’ll explore Shakespeare’s wide range of plays and poems, analysing this work not only as a cornerstone of English literary tradition, but as a global phenomenon. You’ll delve into Shakespeare’s language, themes and genres through recent interpretations and adaptations in performance, film and visual art.

You’ll enhance your understanding and analytical skills as you explore the cultural context in which Shakespeare wrote and investigate his impact in the past and his relevance in today’s global culture.


Creative Writing 1: Voice and Craft in Poetry and Prose

In this module, you’ll enhance your abilities as a creative writer. You’ll participate in workshops where you’ll learn through reading, writing, discussion and feedback. You’ll practise your own writing, explore the interplay of creativity and craft, and analyse how you work as a writer. You’ll join other students in exploring approaches to crafting poetry and prose, through: 

  • practical writing exercises
  • discussing each other’s work
  •  critically analysing the work of published writers
  • exploring key writing practices.

You’ll produce a portfolio of original creative writing, as well as a study of the aims and processes of your creative work. You’ll develop excellent writing habits, and the ability to reflect on your own writing practices. You’ll also understand the literary and cultural contexts of your own writing.



Theory, Writing and Power

In this module, you’ll get to grips with key elements of literary criticism and theory. You’ll debate pressing critical questions, and develop your awareness of issues that are key to understanding literature and society.  

You’ll build on the knowledge you’ve gained in your other introductory English modules and you'll learn to think quickly but carefully about yourself and your place in the world, enabling you to excel in both academically and professionally. You’ll increase your knowledge of:

  • a range of theoretical and critical concepts
  • how those concepts can be applied to literary texts from different periods; 
  • how these theories apply to issues of language, culture, and textuality

You’ll cover one text over two weeks, applying a new theory or critical framework to it each week. You’ll gain skills and strategies that will benefit you for your whole degree.

World Literatures

In this module, you’ll investigate literature from a diverse range of cultures beyond the British Isles. You’ll look at relationships between cultures and identities, and explore language and textual form. You’ll enhance your intercultural awareness and analytical skills as you develop knowledge of:

  • local and global literary contexts
  • language and translation
  • how ideologies shape our views of the world.

Optional modules

Understanding Digital Cultures

Are you interested in exploring how digital technologies are shaping our everyday lives within government, business, education, social and entertainment contexts? In this module, you’ll explore the impact changing digital cultures has on our institutions, communication practices and consumption habits. You’ll examine aspects of digital cultures through some of the objects and practices that they themselves engage with. And you’ll be given opportunities to reflect on issues of identity, relationships, privacy, truth, and power through researching aspects of your own digital life and experiences.

Theatre Styles and Contexts

In this module, you’ll examine theatre in the spotlight, and gain a range of theatrical skills. You’ll question the false dichotomy between performance in practice and performance theory. You’ll explore a range of performance ideas, including how to stage Expressionist theatre and rehearsal techniques for naturalist performance. You’ll develop knowledge of theatrical forms and approaches to performance, such as: 

  • naturalism
  • performing modernist political theatre
  • melodrama
  • staging and lighting

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Creative Writing 2: Exploring Genre, Form and Style

In this module, you’ll develop your talent and range as a creative writer. You’ll build on the skills you gained in your Creative Writing (Introduction) module in Year 1. You’ll experiment with a number of forms and prose styles, including:

  • crime writing 
  • travel writing 
  • science fiction.

You’ll also explore techniques of writing poetry through forms such as the sonnet. You’ll increase your creativity, and reflect on your creative choices, as you critically examine what you and your fellow students write. 

Choose ONE module from the three ‘Literature in Time and Space’ themed modules below

Literature in Time and Space: American Vistas: The Literature and Culture of the USA

In this option, you’ll read a range of American literary texts from the 19th century to the present day. You’ll think about American literature from different viewpoints, learning about the historical and cultural contexts of the texts you’re reading. You’ll discover the great diversity of American writing, from Willa Cather’s My Antonia to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric.. Along the way, you’ll explore fascinating themes, such as:

  • the links between material culture and literary culture
  • race and ethnicity in American writing
  • American self-mythologising
  • women in America
  • modernism and postmodernism.


Literature in Time and Space: Renaissance Tragedy and Comedy

What were the rules of comedy? How did Renaissance actors perform melancholy (sadness)? And how did the theatre spaces then available influence the kind of drama that was performed?
In this option, you’ll learn about tragedy and comedy through a range of dramatic writings from the Renaissance period. You’ll analyse the rules and language of tragedy and comedy, exploring how Renaissance theatre shaped these genres. Typical content will include:

  • city comedy
  • the comedy of humours and characterisation
  • clowning and jigs
  • the performance of melancholy
  • revenge tragedy, domestic tragedy and tragicomedy.

Literature in Time and Space: The Culture of Modernity

What do you understand by ‘modernity’? What connections are there between advances in science and technology and literary experimentation?

In this option, you’ll explore definitions of modernity, reading short stories, novels, plays, poetry and essays from the early 19th century to the present day. You’ll focus on the individual in writing, and explore texts in relation to four main sub-themes:

  • sexuality and the body
  • self-fashioning, narrative and journeys
  • capitalism and consumerism
  • scientific and technological progress and terror. 

The texts you study could include poems by Mina Loy, short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and novels from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

Choose ONE module from the three ‘Literature, Self and Society’ themed modules below

Literature, Self and Society: British Theatre, 1950-Present

In this option, you’ll explore what’s happened in British theatre writing and practice from 1950 to the present day. You’ll learn about how significant, publicly funded theatres and companies, like the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, came to life in post-war Britain. We’ll cover topics like theatre censorship, which went on until 1968, affecting plays like Joe Orton’s Loot and Edward Bond’s Saved. You’ll also look at:

  • feminist, queer and alternative theatres
  • notions of nationhood, race and class.

We’ll study play scripts, but also, where possible, by watching them in performance.

Literature, Self and Society: Crime, Culture and Transgression

Why does crime fiction occupy more and more shelf space in bookshops? And is it true that, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan has all the best lines? Rule-breaking and criminality have fascinated writers for as long as writing has taken place.
In this option, you’ll explore themes of transgression and criminality in literary culture since the early modern period. From Milton’s Satan to the Golden Age crime novel and beyond, you’ll examine what happens when we don’t follow society’s rules. You’ll track how ideas of crime and transgression have shifted through different historical periods, and think about issues like:

  • the philosophical question of evil
  • the limits of individual freedom
  • resistance, rebellion and terrorism
  • crimes against books and art (censorship, destruction)
  • authority and heresy.

Literature, Self and Society: Landscapes and Mindscapes

In this option, you’ll examine the relationship between landscape and ‘mindscape’ – in other words, between individuals in literature and their physical and social environments. You’ll read widely varying poems and prose fiction, from the Romantic poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge to the novels of Thomas Hardy and Mark Twain. You’ll explore issues such as:

  • the pastoral as a genre
  • the development of the cityscape 
  • Renaissance concepts of internal climate and humoral ecology
  • changing concepts of the individual and their importance in the Romantic era 
  • the effects of the Industrial Revolution 
  • parallel or contrasting developments in post-colonial environments.

Optional modules

Special Topics (Genre): Robots, Cyborgs and Digital Worlds

We’ve always been obsessed by machines. Social media, and how we’re currently immersed in digital worlds, are just the most recent examples. In this option, you’ll encounter robots, cyborgs and digital worlds as they’ve been imagined in literature. 

Looking at the literature and culture of the 21st century and last decades of the 20th century, you’ll study the robots, cyborgs and digital worlds imagined by writers. You’ll question and explore what technology can tell us about our own human existence.

Special Topics (Genres): American Poetry: Origins and Legacies

In this option, you’ll explore the range, energy, and influence of modern and contemporary American poetry. Beginning in the early 20th century, you’ll read poetry that deals with some of the fundamental issues of America’s present and past, such as:

  • history
  • race
  • sexuality
  • nationalism.

You’ll look at the way in which certain types of writing were adopted by American poets, such as epic, documentary or confessional styles. You’ll think about whether poetry as a form can make a unique contribution to how we communicate and reflect on our experiences today.

Special Topics (Periods): The Shock of the New: Avant-Gardes and Experiments in 20th Century Literature, Theatre and Cinema

Early 20th-century modernists saw themselves as part of an ‘avant-garde’ – meaning they were working with new, experimental ideas. They believed in the power of their art to bring about a fundamental shake-up of society and people’s thinking.
In this option, you’ll look at the avant-garde against the background of European and North American culture and politics in the early 20th century. You’ll think about how political events might have triggered or influenced experimentation in writing, drama and cinema. While you’ll focus on one or two central texts or figures of the time, you’ll also map essential events and avant-garde networks.

Special Topics (Periods): Guilty Pleasures: Victorian Sensation

Why were shocking and ‘sensational’ themes like bigamy, madness and murder so popular in Victorian literature? In this option, we’ll look at the rise of the sensation novel. You’ll explore the background of a growing readership, with improvements in literacy and rising numbers of women readers (and writers). You’ll also think about how ‘sensational’ themes might reveal hidden fears and cultural anxieties about class mobility, science, gender roles and sexuality. You’ll investigate how the greater number of readers kicked off a moral panic about the purpose of literature, and you’ll consider how the ‘dangers’ of reading are connected to its pleasures.

Special Topics (Periods): Renaissance Material Culture

What can you learn from simple objects like spoons, handkerchiefs or ruffs? What can these ordinary possessions tell us about their early modern owners, and how they experienced life or thought about themselves?
In this option, you’ll immerse yourself in early modern culture, by focusing on objects in Renaissance drama. Studying some examples of domestic tragedy, you’ll think about how early modern people experienced their living spaces. You’ll consider how life’s material trappings – the things people owned, used and perhaps treasured - shaped their identity.
In seminars, you’ll explore the importance of objects like tapestries, apostle spoons, handkerchiefs, feathers, starch and ruffs. You’ll consider the value people gave to rings, seals and letters, and examine how and why goods and money were circulating both inside and outside the home. 

Special Topics (Stylistics): Advanced Stylistics

Stylistics is the study of the language of literature, focusing on how texts (and readers) create meanings and interpretations. If you learn about stylistics, you’ll be able to develop richer interpretations of any texts you meet. You’ll have a better understanding of how you reached those interpretations and be able to explain them more clearly.
In this option, you’ll explore some key concepts in literary study, such as characterisation and point of view, and you’ll gain a new understanding of how they work. In the second half of the semester, you’ll also try guided creative rewriting and critical comparison of texts. This will help you gain further insight into how to interpret writing.
You’ll read prose fiction, play texts and written poetry, and you’ll also look at performed and digital literature.

Special Topics (Themes): Angry Writing: Protest Literature

There’s a rich tradition of protest literature from the 17th century to the present. In this option, you’ll look at a wide variety of literary texts to discover dissent and protest in literature. You’ll examine links between forms of protest and meanings of literature. You’ll explore how political and social anger has been expressed in novels, autobiographies, poems and music, as well as in political pamphlets from across the world.

Special Topics (Themes): Human Animal

How have animals been represented in writing? Are they seen as hostile, or as sources of entertainment? How have they been used to explore the human condition?
In this option, you’ll explore how the interaction between humans and other animals has been portrayed. You’ll investigate this topic in a range of literary forms, focusing on writings from the 20th century. You’ll consider some of the many novels (and poems) that use non-human animals as antagonists (opposing forces), or as objects, or as allegorical stand-ins for people.

Independent Project

In this module, you choose, plan and develop an individual or group project. As this is an independent study, you’ll have huge scope in the choice of subject and format. You could take an unusual approach to the work of an author, text or topic, perhaps offering perspectives not found in existing modules. You could develop your own approach, using modes of expression or representation that stand outside the traditional academic curriculum. 

You could also draw on work experience or engagement with the wider community. As examples, previous Independent Study modules have included:

  • a supplementary course on creative writing
  • a log of work-exper
  • analysis of texts generated in an office environment
  • a log of work as a stage manager on a theatre production
  • a video with commentary on Cowley Road round the clock
  • mask design and critical-historical commentary for a Shakespeare performance
  • illustrated study of costume in a nineteenth-century novel.

Professional Practice

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your course. Previous placements have been provided at Oxford University Press, Oxfam, the Oxford Literary Festival, and the Story Museum. Students have also worked for magazines, video games companies, schools, and well-known commercial brands.

You will also have the opportunity to work as an intern for university initiatives or for the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which publishes poetry pamphlets, hosts events and workshops, and runs an international poetry competition every year.


Year 3

Compulsory modules

Creative Writing 3: Towards Professionalism and Publication

In this module, you’ll meet literary agents and editors, as you explore the submissions process of publication. You’ll understand how a book works as a whole, developing the skills you gained in your Creative Writing modules in Years 1 and 2. You’ll produce a 6000-word piece of writing on a theme or idea that fascinates you. You’ll also consider how this piece would look within a published work, for example, chapters from a novel, or poems from a proposed full-length collection.

Major Project in Creative Writing

In this module, you’ll produce a writing project, born of your passions, extended research and creative decision-making. You’ll enhance your creativity and craft as you edit and revise your piece, reflecting on constructive feedback from your own, expert supervisor. You’ll also produce a commentary on the challenges and choices you faced in your writing process. This will help you become more critically aware of your work.

Optional modules

You can choose one or more options from the following Advanced Options:

  • Poverty and the Novel
  • The Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian Literary Imagination
  • Playing House: Early Modern Domestic Spaces
  • Can Literature Help Save the World?
  • Windrush Stories
  • Video Games, Digital Texts and Interactive Narratives
  • Urban Jungle: the American City in Modern and Postmodern Literature and Culture
  • Utopias
  • Witchcraft and Magic in Literature
  • The Theatrical City: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
  • African American Avant-Gardes.

Poverty and the Novel

How have authors engaged with poverty? How have they represented poor and marginalised people – their struggles, their dialects and their inner life?
In this option, you’ll follow the theme of poverty through novels of the 19th and 20th centuries, running up to the present day. You’ll look at how authors have dealt with a complex of issues around poverty. You’ll focus on how they’ve tried to represent ways of speaking that are specific to class or region. You’ll engage with contexts such as workhouses, factories, immigration and unemployment. And you’ll think about texts as products of historical and social conditions, but also as interventions against those same conditions.

The Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian Literary Imagination

Who were the Pre-Raphaelites? How did they fit into their Victorian context? And was their fascination with the past mainly a way of escaping the uncomfortable realities of their Victorian present?
In this option, you’ll explore the work of this group of poets, painters and designers, which included the poets Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. You’ll focus on the interaction between images and texts, exploring a range of material – including magazines, newspapers and domestic objects as well as poems, paintings and prose. You’ll follow Pre-Raphaelitism from its radical beginnings in 1848 to the end of the 19th century when it was championed by Aesthetes like Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley.
You’ll also consider critical work on subjects like:

  • masculinity
  • material culture
  • class and empire

to discover connections between literary and visual modes of Pre-Raphaelite self-expression.

Playing House: Early Modern Domestic Spaces

The household was the core unit at the heart of early modern life, but how did it shape people’s everyday lives? In this option you can explore how playwrights explored the multi-layered concept of the ‘household’ through staging them in plays. How was the theatre building used in early modern performance? Since theatres were politicised spaces, this option invites you to explore how the plays link with broader political narratives being played out at court.

Can Literature Help Save the World?

This option explores the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and investigates how literature could help achieve them. You’ll look at some of the goals in depth, such as ‘Climate Action’, ‘Reduced Inequalities’ and ‘Good Health and Well-Being’, and will explore how, and how far, literature can raise awareness, evoke empathy, change minds and inspire action.

Windrush Stories

This option explores the Windrush immigration to Britain, and the ways black and Asian writers and artists have sought to tell their stories and cultural encounters in Britain from 1948 to today. You will study themes including racism, multiple identities, gender roles, and black and Asian queer identities, along with topics such as religious fundamentalism, terrorism and Islamophobia. You will learn about written and spoken patois, and will look at a range of texts and media by writers and artists such as Sam Selvon, V. S. Naipaul, Hanif Kureishi, Jackie Kay, Zadie Smith, Gurinder Chadha, Bernadine Evaristo, and Guy Gunaratne.


Video Games, Digital Texts and Interactive Narratives

It is an exciting time to play video games, as gaming technologies like VR become affordable, designers innovate modes of storytelling, indie studios and BIPOC game-makers redefine commercial success, and the gaming population expands. This means it is an exciting time to study video games and the kinds of literature and textuality that intersect with game spaces and narratives. This module immerses you in the interactive worlds of video gaming, electronic literature, and multimodal texts, and reflects on how they work as distinctive mediums, how people do things with them, and how they are meaningful to individuals and society at large. 


Urban Jungle: the American City in Modern and Postmodern Literature and Culture

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles – three of the greatest urban centres, not just in America, but in the world. In this option, you can explore how writers and artists have represented American cities. You’ll read novels, poetry, drama, short stories, essays, and a graphic novel, all from the 20th century. You’ll try to understand how these different metropolitan spaces influenced the presentation of:

  • gender and sexuality
  • economic and racial differences
  • the relationship between native-born Americans and immigrants to the United States.

You’ll look at how communities in these cities are represented, and how the tensions between them are explored.


Is a utopia possible? The ideal state or society is the central vision of utopian fiction. In this option, you’ll look at the different ways in which utopias have been presented in fiction, from Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) to the 21st century. You’ll investigate the importance of issues like social and political control, and technologies of race, gender and sexuality. You’ll explore utopian thought, and different concepts and definitions of utopia – and also of dystopia and anti-utopia.

Witchcraft and Magic in Literature

You’d recognise a witch if you met one – wouldn’t you? Or maybe you wouldn’t. If we look at the kind of people who have been the subject of witch-hunts through the ages, the picture becomes much less clear. Witches, who are generally scapegoats of some kind, come in all shapes and sizes.
In this option, you’ll examine the way that the witch, magus and magician have been represented in literature from the Renaissance to the present day. You’ll consider this literature from a range of viewpoints, including:

  • gender and class
  • social relations, whether local or national
  • education and superstition
  • the Enlightenment
  • the development and endurance of popular culture. 

The Theatrical City: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

How does city-living affect who we think we are? How do the buildings, streets and districts we live in shape our identities and our lives?
In this option, you can explore the idea of the city through plays and other texts made in London in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At this point in history, London had gone through a series of dramatic and far-reaching changes, and emerged as a transformative space. As London grew and changed, the theatre became a place both to celebrate city life, and to satirise its vices.
You’ll think about how city spaces (both indoors and outdoors) affected men and women’s physical, emotional and spiritual identities. As well as plays, you’ll discover other, less well-known ‘urban’ texts, from criminal confessions to ballads and drinking songs.

African American Avant-Gardes

In this option, you can trace the evolution of African American avant-garde movements in the 20th century. You’ll explore experimental African American writing in a range of genres. You’ll start with the New Negro movement and Harlem Renaissance in the modernist period, before studying the major African American novelists of the 1930s to the 1950s. We’ll conclude with the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and early 70s.

Advanced Independent Project

In this module, you choose, plan and develop an individual or group project. As this is an independent study, you’ll have huge scope in the choice of subject and format. You could take an unusual approach to the work of an author, text or topic, perhaps offering perspectives not found in existing modules. You could develop your own approach, using modes of expression or representation that stand outside the traditional academic curriculum. 

You could also draw on work experience or engagement with the wider community. Previous Independent Study modules have included:

  • a supplementary course on creative writing
  • a log of work-experience as a teaching assistant in a school
  • analysis of texts generated in an office environment
  • a log of work as a stage manager on a theatre production
  • a video with commentary on Cowley Road round the clock
  • mask design and critical-historical commentary for a Shakespeare performance
  • illustrated study of costume in a nineteenth-century novel.

Contemporary Literature

From 9-11 to the rise of the digital world, how does literature explore issues which are directly relevant to our lives? In this module, you’ll dive into literature written in the last decade. You’ll examine a series of exciting texts, exploring how we live in the 21st Century. From climate change literature to political manifestos, you’ll study and debate the big issues that face our society today.

English Literature Dissertation

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. Over the course of your final year, you’ll work independently on a research project, with the help of an expert tutor. Whether you’re delving into children’s literature, gaming or the dystopian worlds of George Orwell, your dissertation will grow out of your specific passion, and you’ll gain excellent self-discipline and organisation skills for work. 

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. Over the course of your final year, you’ll work independently on a research project, with the help of an expert tutor. Whether you’re delving into gothic literature, gaming or the dystopian worlds of George Orwell, your dissertation will grow out of your specific passion, and you’ll gain excellent self-discipline and organisational skills for work. You’ll gain core skills for your career, including:

  • research
  • critical analysis
  • time-management 
  • planned and focused writing.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and independent learning. 

In lectures you’ll learn the core themes of each module, giving you a strong understanding of the course and preparing you for assessments. 

In seminars, you’ll learn in small, select sessions. These encourage in-depth discussion with your fellow students, allowing you to clarify uncertainties and explore your own ideas

In tutorials, you’ll meet individually with your seminar tutor. You’ll receive one-to-one feedback and support on your:

  • work 
  • upcoming assessments 
  • any aspects of the module you may want help with 

Independent learning allows you to produce a project or piece of writing on a topic that really grabs your interest. You’ll have the support of our expert lecturers. 


Assessment methods used on this course

Your assessments will be creative and collaborative. They’ll really make the most of your skills - wherever your strengths lie and whatever your learning style.

You’ll develop and submit pieces of creative writing each semester, refining your skill as a writer. These can be in any format you choose - from poetry, to screenplays, to playtext.

You might also do literary projects that relate to key societal movements or issues - like climate change, Pussy Riot or the Hillsborough disaster. 

You’ll be assessed on both written work and group work. And you’ll gradually build your confidence as a writer and presenter - essential skills for your future career.


Study Abroad

You will have the opportunity to spend a semester experiencing another country and culture via the Study Abroad programme. Previously, students have studied in Australia, the US, Canada, Norway and Denmark.

Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK. You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas.

After you graduate

Career prospects

As you study, you’ll develop highly transferable career skills in the areas that employers care about. You’ll become a confident and articulate writer. And you’ll graduate with extensive experience collaborating in groups.

You’ll also become a confident presenter. You’ll be able to express your ideas, influence your peers and respond to challenges - essential skills in the 21st Century workplace.

Many of our graduates go on to work in areas like:

  • Publishing
  • Journalism
  • Charities & NGOs
  • Advertising and media
  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Teaching

Many students also progress onto the MA Creative Writing course here at Oxford Brookes.


Further study

Once you have successfully completed your degree, you may wish to stay with us to continue on to more in-depth postgraduate study. 

We currently offer taught courses for MA Creative Writing and MA English Literature, and also welcome those who would like to join us to undertake further research such as an MA by Research, an MPhil, or a PhD.

Our Staff

Dr Mary Jean Chan

Dr Mary Jean Chan is the author of the poetry collection Flèche (Faber & Faber, 2019), which won the 2019 Costa Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the 2020 International Dylan Thomas Prize. She is a Ledbury Poetry Critic and reviews for The Guardian.

Read more about Mary Jean

Dr Morag Joss

Morag Joss is the award-winning author of the Sara Selkirk novels, Half Broken Things, Puccini’s Ghosts, The Night Following, Among the Missing (Across the Bridge) and Our Picnics in the Sun. She has also written for television, and writes short stories for print and broadcast. Her prizes and shortlistings include the CWA Silver Dagger, the USA Edgar Award for best novel, and a Heinrich Böll residency on the island of Achill, Ireland.

Read more about Morag

Free language courses

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme Changes:

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

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