Study Creative Writing for your degree with OCA

Have you always wanted to write a novel, create a screenplay, or perfect your poetry? Whatever you’re looking to write, our BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree will give you the tools to achieve it.

Our BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree will empower you with effective practices, insights and skills, encouraging you to write more frequently and with more purpose than ever before. Shared experiences are reflected throughout the course, which is packed full of options so you can develop your writing in your own way and in your preferred genre.

You’ll study the basics of writing, how to remain engaged and will uncover different styles of writing, from poetry and scriptwriting to short fiction and children’s books. You’ll be encouraged to read the best writers, exploring what makes To Kill A Mockingbird so compelling, or why the script of Casablanca works so well, and then apply these techniques to your own writing.

Become the protagonist of your own story. Start writing today.

Unique online Creative Writing courses

Our course is the only entirely distance learning BA Hons Creative Writing degree in the UK. You can study creative writing online – completely at our own pace – while being supported by OCA’s tutors.

It aims to equip students with skills, confidence, motivation and ambition, through a learning design programme that starts from fundamental writing skills through to the contemporary professional practice in a form or genre of the student’s choice.

Students are equipped with some fundamental writing techniques applicable to all genres, before allowing students to sample poetry, screenwriting or prose writing, and can pursue the poetry or scriptwriting forms at a more advanced level and/or will have the option to try more niche forms
of writing, to enable them to gain further skills and expertise.

The programme draws on creative writing pedagogy by utilising the group or workshop activity as well as the individual assignment and close study of others’ work, but accommodates OCA’s distinctive demographic and the desires of lone writers by enabling some to create alternative submissions in the form of traditional writing portfolios.

Course Structure

Our Creative Writing degree covers the full breadth of writing practice, allowing you to take the options that are of most interest to you. As of September 2021, the BA Hons Creative Arts course will deliver 3x 40 credit units in each Level of the course.*

Level 1

Students are introduced to the basic skills and techniques of creative writing in the initial unit, Essential Writing Skills 1.1. In their second unit,
Further Writing Skills, students will choose two options from a choice of three pathways: they can either try basic poetry or screenwriting or the prose option. These choices remain with them for their third unit at Level 1, Developing Your Writing Skills. By the end of Level 1, students will have the skills and knowledge needed to deepen their poetry, prose or scriptwriting craft at Level 2.

Level 2

Students are supported in the transition from novice undergraduate to knowledgeable and independent learners, putting into practice skills acquired at Level 1 and developing a personal approach to their writing practice. The units at this stage allow students to develop skills from Level 1 in poetry or screenwriting or else to try something new and more specialised, such as writing narrative non-fiction, writing for children or teens or writing short fiction.

Students will begin to understand the iterative and skills-building requirements of creative writing, and will actively consider how their work may become outward-facing. Peer sessions with other writers will inform their writing and raise critiquing skills, with an understanding that in some cases alternative methods are more appropriate.

Level 3

Level 3 equips students with knowledge, understanding and skills for continuing personal development and professional writing practice. The units provide a framework for the learners to generate projects based on the personal vision and ambition gained throughout Level 1 and Level 2. The aim is to strengthen each individual’s writing practice and inform their creative development through rigorous intellectual enquiry, resulting in a distinctive
body of creative work.

*For current students enrolled to a Level of this degree prior to September 2021, existing units across all levels will remain available as ‘teach out’ units to ensure no students are disadvantaged due to the changes. Once enrolled to a new level, students will follow the new degree pathway. 

Learn about studying the BA (HONS) Creative Writing course from Programme Leader, Barbara Henderson, with a guest appearance from an OCA Creative Writing student.

Barbara Henderson – Creative Writing Programme Leader – Virtual Open Day 2021 from Open College of the Arts on Vimeo.

21/22 Teach Out Creative Writing Pathway

For current students enrolled to a Level of this degree on the pathway below, existing units  across all levels will remain available as ‘teach out’ units to ensure no students are disadvantaged due to the changes. Once enrolled to a new level, students will follow the new degree pathway as across.

Teach Out 2021/2022 Programme Specification

Click here

21/22 Creative Writing Pathway

The 2021/2022 pathway comes into effect September 2021.

2021/2022 Programme Specification

Click here

Foundations

£915

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,080

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£4,080

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,080

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,360

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £430 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £140.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,360

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £430 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £140.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,080

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway. Two 40 credit units are studied concurrently and the deposit for these two units is £860 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £280.

Foundations

£1,052

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,680

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£4,680

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,680

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,560

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Deposit is £560 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £150.

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,560

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Deposit is £560 followed by 7 monthly instalments of £150.

Level 3 (HE6)

£4,680

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website. Two 40 credit units are studied concurrently and the deposit for these two units is £1,120 followed by 11 monthly instalments of £300.

More Information

  • With the OCA, you can study a BA (Hons) degree in our flexible online learning model at approximately one third the cost of a degree at a traditional physical university.

    Students study and pay for the course on a unit-by-unit basis, so you only pay for the course as you enrol to each unit.

    This course is eligible for a part-time tuition fee loan from Student Finance England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or you can self-fund the course and break down costs even further through the deposit and instalment option.  Find out more about your funding options here.

  • You will require regular use of a computer or laptop and internet access. Most essential reading materials can be accessed through the digital library services and eBooks.

    Students are responsible for sourcing and, where necessary, purchasing any additional software and resources specified. These can be around £400 at Level 1, £500 at Level 2, and £550 at Level 3. Where possible, open or freeware equivalents will be discussed alongside industry standard options.

    On this course, you’ll need some type of word document software, such as Microsoft Word and a place to keep your learning logs and journals – this could be digital or handwritten, though your assignments will need to be typed. If you choose to study Scriptwriting, you may need some software to support this.

    You may be eligible for any student discounts on computer equipment and software by using your student email, and you can find out more information about student discounts here.

  • Our courses are designed with open access in mind, meaning you don’t need specific subject qualifications to enrol.

    You can review the study requirements here so you’re prepared for online study at higher education. This will include a good standard of English and IT literacy skills.

  • We accept enrolment for our BA (HONS) courses all year round, so you can start at a time that suits you. You don’t need to wait for a specific intake month, simply complete the online enrolment form and indicate your preferred start date.

    When applying for a Student Finance tuition fee loan, this may take 4- 6 weeks to process, so select a start date reflective of this. If you are also applying for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and would like this support to be in place before beginning your course, please allow 14 weeks from when you begin your application to your start date.

  • Our part-time degree courses are completed on average between 4 and 9 years. The degree is structured into three levels (instead of three years) so you’re able manage study around other commitments.

    Once enrolled, you’ll have a maximum of 12 years to complete your degree course. There are unit and level timeframes within the overall degree time frame, and you’ll need a minimum of 10 study per week to keep on track. To find out more about course duration and managing your time, click here.

  • Your course materials are accessible online through the virtual learning environment, OCA Learn, where you’ll also have access to student forums, a subject space, the student handbook and the online library. You’ll work primarily from a set text of course materials and resources, but can also sign up to webinars, workshops and study groups in addition to your core learning.

    Once you’ve completed the required assignments within a course unit and received tutor feedback, you’ll submit a portfolio of work to an assessment event. This gives you the opportunity to develop your work before you have it formally assessed to achieve credits towards your degree.

  • Upon completing the BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree, as a fully-fledged creative writer you could embark on being a novelist, a poet, a scriptwriter – you name it, you can do it. Prospects have great tips on what it is to be a professional writer. They also cover the many roles you could take on, freshly equipped with your degree.

    While you’re pursuing your dream of becoming a professional writer, you can find a range of options to support your art while you write that amazing script or novel. Some include:

    • Marketing Professional
    • Communications specialist
    • Editor / Copywriter
    • Journalist

    The creative industries are growing faster than any other sector in the UK.  In 2017 the Department for Culture, Media, & Sport estimated there were some 3.2 million jobs in the UK creative economy, worth £91.9 billion and 80,000 new jobs were created that year alone.

    78% of the creative workforce hold at least an undergraduate degree (AGCAS-2017-2018), and the Creative Industries have seen the largest employment percentage growth in employment since 2011. Creativity and good writing are sought-after skills in today’s job market. Having experience and qualifications in your sector will help you to achieve your creative potential.

  • The Academic Regulatory Framework (ARF) regulations are applicable to all taught courses offered by the Open College of the Arts
    (OCA), and leading to an undergraduate award of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).

    You can review the ARF through the link below:

    Academic Regulatory Framework

To Join

Get started with our BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree here!

If you are a new student with OCA, please submit the online enrolment form below. For continuing students, please complete the PDF enrolment form and return to enquiries@oca.ac.uk.

Continuing Student Enrolment Form