BA (Hons)

Creative Writing

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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.

Summary

The programme will allow you to gain experience of writing in a variety of literary forms including life writing, poetry, script writing, short fiction and writing for children, as well as developing your critical understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues central to the practice of writing.

Degree overview

The OCA BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree programme is sensitive to the fact that students will be enrolling at different levels of writing expertise. Some will be novices for whom this is a first serious foray into creative writing and want to become a writer of published works; others may already have a portfolio of published work behind them. Whatever they bring with them to their degree, studying through OCA will provide a structured and supportive context within which they may foster their formation as writers and gain educational validation for their work. The Level 6 units have been designed to afford an opportunity to focus on a large-scale creative project. Your progression towards its production is facilitated by a mentoring model of tutor-student relationship; students are able to choose their tutor at this level, selecting the specific individual whose specialist expertise most closely matches the nature of the work envisaged.

Degree aims

  • Ensure students gain an experience of writing in a variety of literary forms and genres as a craft and as a tool for exploring our environment and experience.
  • Provide an intellectually stimulating programme based on high quality study materials and supported by interaction with tutors – all of whom, as well as being experienced and well qualified teachers, are themselves actively engaged in writing.
  • Develop students’ creative capacities and their ability in interpretation and application.
  • Develop students’ understanding of a range of key issues in creative writing and foster their insight into the way in which social, historical and cultural factors impact on writers and writing. Encourage students to appreciate the intimate interrelationship between reading and writing, and to read widely and deeply – particularly in those genres in which they are writing.
  • Provide an environment which challenges students to think about their own and others’ writing, and in so doing opens up the possibility of changing their creative practice.
  • Develop effective writing practitioners who display self-awareness, analytical and communicative skills, and a high degree of reflection.
  • To develop autonomous learners capable of applying intellectual and practical skills in a chosen area of written communications appropriate to employment to become a writer of published work, further study, or life-long learning.
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Degree prospectus

Full details of the Creative Writing degree can be found in the Programme Specification below.

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The Open College of the Arts is the distance learning college of the University for the Creative Arts – one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design universities.

“I was 52 when I started the Creative Writing BA (Hons) Degree. Since becoming a student, I’ve found the support, regained confidence and find tutor guidance invaluable. Distance learning suits me; if I feel the need to socialise, The OCA student forums and Facebook groups are a great place to meet-up.”

 

Deborah Riccio, Creative Writing student

Programme Leader for Creative Writing

Barbara Henderson

I’m very passionate about teaching creative writing. I’ve taught on a range of modules at Newcastle and Northumbria universities and run my own courses tailored to the needs of groups or individuals. My particular interests include children’s fiction, crime/suspense, creative non-fiction, historical fiction and fantasy. But I have very wide-ranging tastes!

Creative careers

The creative sector employs 1.9 million people in the UK alone.

By studying the OCA BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree, you can kick-start your career in the creative industries by working part-time or doing an internship whilst gaining your academic qualifications at the same time. The study of a Creative Writing degree is usually undertaken with an aim to become a writer of published work. Such an undertaking can be a lengthy process and therefore usually embarked upon whilst already employed. As well as preparing you for the end goal of becoming a published writer, a Creative Writing degree can also prepare you for employment in related fields, such as in editing, technical writing, and in the publishing sector.

More on careersEnquire

Fees, Funding & Other Costs

OCA degrees are paid for on a unit-by-unit basis and are around a third of the cost of a degree at a campus university. Unit costs depend on the level of the unit, and also whether you live in the UK or rest of the world:

Per Unit – Level 1 (HE4) Per Unit – Level 2 (HE5) Level 3 (HE6 – Entire Level)
Per course unit (3 x 40 credit units required) Per course unit (2 x 60 credit units required) For the whole level (composition varies depending upon the subject area being studied)
UK £1,315 £1,630 £3,260
Rest of World £1,460 £1,800 £3,600

If you started studying with OCA before 01 August 2017, please contact accounts@oca.ac.uk as different fees may apply.

 

If you are funding your course yourself you can either pay for units in full or you can spread the cost by taking advantage of our deposit and instalment facility for which a £50 fee is included in the deposit you pay.

All OCA courses are listed with Student Finance England, Wales, and Northern Ireland allowing eligible students to apply for a Student Loan to cover the cost of fees. You may also be able to apply for a maintenance loan and/or Disabled Students Allowance to assist you with the cost of study.

We’ve made this super-helpful guide to take you through the application process, making applying for Student Finance a piece of cake – Student Finance Guide

The OCA Learner Support Scheme can provide bursaries towards course fees for students who are not eligible for funding via Student Finance, based on financial hardship.

Other sources of funding may include employer contributions, Enhanced Learning Credits (for Armed Forces Serving Personnel and Service Leavers) and Prisoner Education Trust.

As a student with OCA, most reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks, or sent to you in the post.

Other costs you may find on your degree include purchasing books/texts/videos to assist in your research. These can be around £150 per year at Levels 1 and 2, and £80 per year at Level 3. Work is largely submitted to tutors and for assessment via email, however postal costs are expected to be around £40 per assessment for sending materials depending on quantity and weight of materials. Rates for overseas students will be higher.

Enquire now

Please fill in this form to enquire about the BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree or one of OCA’s other undergraduate degree programmes. You are not committing to anything by filling in this form.