English Literature and Creative Writing - BA (Hons)

Explore the rich traditions of literature while developing your talents as a writer, editor and publisher in our unique project-based programme. Find your own voice and discover how to make it heard in today’s literary marketplace.

Overview

Covering British, Irish, American, Indigenous, Postcolonial and World literatures, English Literature and Creative Writing at Kent is truly global, cutting edge, creative, interactive and vibrant.

Why study English Literature and Creative Writing at Kent?

  • Project-based programmes• Creativity is at the heart of everything we do. Shape your degree according to your interests; you might make a documentary film, script a video game, assemble a journal, compose a collection of poetry, write a novella or plan and pitch an exhibition.
  • Study literature your way. Our course covers a variety of genres. Whether you love Jane Austen or William Shakespeare, dystopian fiction, the gothic or modern and contemporary poetry, we specialise in the literature you are passionate about.
  • Learn from literary experts. Our staff are industry professionals who encourage you to find new and inspiring work that tackles difficult problems such as immigration, racial inequality and women’s rights using the power of the written word.
  • Unearth hidden treasures. Gain access to the Canterbury Cathedral Library and our Special Collections archive containing manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps and printed books dating back to the late 8th century.
  • Explore Canterbury. Our city is steeped in literary traditions from Chaucer to Dickens to Marlowe. Well-placed in the heart of rural Kent, you can travel to London in under an hour by train, and coastal beaches are a short bus ride away.

Your course

In your first year, you will learn the essentials of creative writing practice, such as journaling, workshopping, editing and redrafting, while taking modules on the major forms of literature (poetry, drama and fiction), as well as option modules on how literature addresses crucial issues such as the environment, power and protest, the social impacts of technology or contemporary feminism.

In second year, you will take specialised modules on the writing of fiction, poetry and other forms, while choosing which aspects of literary history to study from the 1300s to the present day. In this year, will also decide what you would like to do as your project in your final year, which may take any form, from a dissertation, novel or poetry collection to an online exhibition, community project, or mobile application—and more.

In third year, as well as completing your project, you will take a number of specialist modules that take you deep into cutting-edge areas of experimental writing and literary research. Your degree will culminate in an Arts Festival and Summer School, where you may have the opportunity to exhibit your work to the public and potential employers.

See the modules you'll study

What our students say

“I liked the range of the literature we studied at Kent - the fact that we looked at all sorts of genres, from all sorts of periods. It gave me a good literary grounding, a great sense of the way that literature in English has developed over the centuries”

– Sarah Waters, graduate and award-winning novelist (Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet)

“Are you ambitious? Kent is the place to nurture those dreams. And if they are interested in creative writing, they are well at home.”

- David Ishaya Osu, graduate and published poet.


Expand your horizons

During your course, there are a wealth of ways to add further value your degree and get involved with literary activities.

Kent Extra provides a range of co-curricular activities to enhance your employability and add a new dimension to student life. You can spend a year abroad, work in industry, attend a summer school, volunteer, or take a Study Plus course. You could even add a year in Computing, Data Analytics, Journalism or a Language to your degree and increase your employability.

Enhance your Writing Skills

Publish your work with the School of English’s magazine, showcasing students in creative writing, poetry and prose, or alternatively consider writing for the University’s own student, InQuire, run by the student union, giving you the opportunity to develop your writing skills and to gain valuable work experience in journalism. There are also a number of student-run societies with a literary theme to get involved with, including the Creative Writing, Drama, Poetry or Literature societies.

Get involved with additional events

The School of English runs research seminars, workshops and social events, as well as a successful creative writing series of readings, where well-known writers and publishers share their experiences and skills. All our students receive free membership to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in central London, giving you access to the ICA’s facilities and a small number of internships.

Flexible tariff

Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee

We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.

*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB including a Humanities based essay writing subject including a humanities based essay writing subject which includes History, English, Philosophy, Religious Studies or Classical Civilisation.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be DMM plus A-level English Literature or English Language & Literature at B.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL, including HL English A1/A2/B at 5/6/6 OR English Literature A/English Language and Literature A (or Literature A/Language and Literature A of another country) at HL 5 or SL 6

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in the Literature module.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad/in industry), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad/in industry)

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13000
  • International full-time £17400
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6500
  • International part-time £8700

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment can vary between modules. All modules are taught by weekly seminars. In addition to seminars, the majority of literature modules also include a weekly lecture. The majority of Stage 2 and Stage 3 Creative Writing modules also include a weekly workshop.

Assessment across all Stages is by a varied and exciting range of coursework only. There are no exams in modules from the School of English. Some modules may include an optional practical element. Assessment at Stage 3 may also include an optional Dissertation or final project.

Assessment at Stage 3 is by coursework only and may include an optional English Dissertation/Creative Writing project.

Attendance at seminars is required, and for the majority of modules, you are assessed on your seminar contribution/performance. 

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • introduce you to a range of predominantly British and American literatures, and study them both as literature and as sources of technical expertise, inspiration and best practice in their own writing
  • enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions and place your own endeavour within that tradition
  • develop your understanding, critical appreciation and practical powers of application of the expressive resources of language
  • offer sustained opportunities for you to discover and develop your potential for creative writing in more than one generic area
  • offer generous scope for the study of literature and creative writing within an interdisciplinary context
  • develop your ability to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form
  • develop your ability to assimilate and organise a mass of diverse information
  • offer you the experience of a variety of teaching styles and approaches to the study of literature and contemporary writing
  • develop your independent critical thinking, judgement, originality and self-reliance
  • provide a basis for the study of English, creative writing or related disciplines at a higher level
  • provide a basis for future creative writing in a number of different genres
  • provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to teach English literature and/or creative writing.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • a wide range of authors and texts from different periods of literary history, in both British and American literature
  • the principal literary genres, fiction, poetry, drama and of other kinds of writing and communication; insight into the varying demands imposed by their written production
  • the challenges involved in producing original imaginative writing as they relate to several different genres
  • literatures in English from countries outside Britain and America
  • traditions in literary criticism and their relationship with creative writing
  • terminology used in literary criticism
  • the cultural and historical contexts in which literature is written, transmitted and read
  • critical theory and its applications, understood within its historical contexts
  • literary criticism as a practice subject to considerable variation of approach.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • application of the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
  • evaluation of critical interpretations
  • ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of critical theory and general methodology; ability to synthesise material from a number of sources in a coherent creative whole
  • ability to make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge or of a body of creative material
  • exercise of problem-solving skills, especially in the context of creative writing
  • the ability to organise and present research findings
  • the ability to frame oral criticism of creative work sensitively and constructively and to digest it to good effect.

Subject-specific skills

You develop the following subject-specific skills:

  • enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of literary texts and written creative work in progress
  • ability to structure and edit original creative work
  • informed critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature and contemporary writing
  • ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to the study of literature and technical alternatives and their implications in the context of creative writing
  • sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature and to their implications for the practising writer
  • very well-developed linguistic resourcefulness including attention to tone and register and a grasp of standard critical terminology
  • articulate responsiveness to literary and other persuasive language
  • appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices
  • appropriate professional practice in the presentation of creative work, in particular in formatting and normal submission procedure
  • understanding of how cultural norms, assumptions and practices influence questions of judgement
  • appreciation of the value of collaborative intellectual work in developing critical judgement.

Transferable skills

You develop the following transferable skills:

  • developed powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view, orally and in written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency
  • highly developed writing skills and enhanced fluency in creative, discursive and general communicative contexts
  • enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
  • enhanced confidence in the writing and presentation of original projects
  • developed critical acumen and critical diagnostic skills
  • the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information or creative material of diverse kinds
  • competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work and in the conception, planning, execution and editing of individual creative work
  • enhanced capacity for independent thought, intellectual focus, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
  • enhanced original creativity, imagination, judgement and powers of self-criticism
  • enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual or creative work, including more finely tuned listening and questioning skills
  • the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
  • the ability to respond to a variety of creative positions while sustaining confidence in your own
  • research skills, including scholarly information retrieval skills
  • IT skills: word-processing, email communication, the ability to access electronic data.

Independent rankings

English at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity and scored 87% overall in The Complete University Guide 2022.

Of final-year English students who completed the National Student Survey 2021, 85% were satisfied with the teaching on their course.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in areas including:

  • journalism
  • broadcasting
  • publishing and writing
  • teaching
  • banking
  • marketing
  • project management.

Our graduates include:

  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • David Mitchell
  • Sarah Waters.

Help finding a job

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for this course

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

Apply through UCAS

International applicants

Apply now to Kent

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