Study a Creative Writing 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.

Creative Writing

Our course is the only entirely distance learning BA Hons Creative Writing degree in the UK.

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 affect September 2021. Level 2 and Level 3 are expected to be available October 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

  • 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.

    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 helpful guide to take you through the application process, making applying for Student Finance simple and straightforward.

    Download the Student Finance guide

    The OCA Learner Support Scheme can provide partial 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.

  • Creative Writing is an open access degree; this means that there are no formal qualifications or experience required to join the course. All you need is a passion for the arts, and willingness to learn.

    All OCA courses require students to be IT literate, have a good internet connection, and have a good standard of English equivalent to CEFR B2. Further details on the entry requirements can be found in the Student Regulations.

  • 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.

Continuing Student Enrolment Form

If you are enrolled to a level of this version of the Creative Writing degree (prior to September 2021) and want to enrol to your next course unit on same level, please use the PDF enrolment form and return to enquiries@oca.ac.uk, using ‘OCA Enrolment’ as your email subject.
2021/2022 Continuing Student Enrolment Form
If you are enrolling to a new level, such as progressing from Level 1 to 2, please use the online enrolment form below.

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