Offering a thorough grounding in the art, craft and processes of writing, this course equips you with vital skills which will set you apart - whether you aspire to work in publishing, editing, new digital media or the broader creative and literary industries.
- Compile an impressive portfolio of creative and professional writing to present to prospective employers
- Develop your work for commercial sale through our partnership project with international publisher ROMAN Books
- Gain valuable insights into the writing profession through mentoring, internships, work-based projects and our vibrant programme of guest lectures by leading writers
- Seize the chance to get your talent noticed in the industry: our students regularly win awards for their work
- Spend part of your second year studying at one of our partner universities in America.
This course gives you a broad appreciation of the art, craft and processes of writing, drawing on the work of influential writers. You'll also study key themes in contemporary writing - representation, narratives and responsibility - which deepen your knowledge of writing, both critically and creatively.
Expertise to inspire you
You’ll learn from award-winning and internationally respected novelists, short story writers, poets, songwriters, performers, scriptwriters, editors, publishers, agents and new media writers. Our teaching team includes experts who conduct significant research on themes ranging from oral folktales to creative writing as an academic subject of study.
Unleash your creativity
You'll be taught in small supportive groups, using examples from contemporary and historical writing to inform your work. Through supervised workshops, seminars and tutorials, you'll develop your skills, creativity and confidence.
The course is highly practical to ensure you can deliver work to a high professional quality. You could find yourself producing magazines and anthologies of student work, developing industry-standard TV and film scripts and scheduling radio production packages.
A head start in your career
Employers across all sectors always need people who can write and communicate well. Many of the skills you'll develop on this course - writing, editing, group work and presentations - are essential in today's job market.
The course offers exciting opportunities such as professional mentoring and internships with independent publishers, literature festival planners and events organisers. By the end of your studies, you will have a portfolio of professionally developed and presented work to show to a potential employer.
Publishing your work
Our partnership with leading overseas publishing house ROMAN Books gives you the chance to have your work published for sale in the UK and USA. The collaboration aims to help new writers develop their work commercially, including advice on marketing, promotion and rights.
There are also several in-house publications at Derby, where you can gain valuable experience and learn more about the processes of writing, editing and marketing your work.
Broaden your experience
Thanks to our networks across the creative and cultural sector, our students have the chance to make valuable contacts. We offer an exciting programme of guest lectures and we host an annual event for writers - A Foot in the Door - where authors, editors and publishers speak about the realities of making a living in the field.
Among other new initiatives, we are working with Writing East Midlands to develop a Young Writers Summer Festival for schools across the region, which will provide volunteering opportunities for our students.
Student success stories
Many of our students have won prizes for their creative writing and have had their work published or produced on TV, radio or the stage.
In just one highlight, graduate Edward Hogan won the £10,000 Desmond Elliot prize for his novel Blackmoor and was one of only six writers worldwide to be shortlisted for the international Dylan Thomas Prize.
Study in America
You can choose to spend part of your second year studying at one of our partner universities in America:
- Eastern Michigan University
- Keene State College in New Hampshire
- Longwood University in Virginia
- Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
You can also choose to study Creative & Professional Writing through our Joint Honours scheme where you can combine it with another subject.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Teaching and learning
You will learn through lectures, seminars, supervised workshops, tutorials, technology-enhanced learning, peer reviews and presentations. A key element of the course is the writing workshop where you will develop the ability to comment on the creative processes in both your own work and that of other students. We also arrange visits to local and national museums, cultural heritage sites and other areas of interest for “location writing” exercises.
Assessment is based 100% on coursework and centres on the creation and development of your writing portfolio. The pieces you write can include television, radio or screenplay scripts, press articles, fictional stories and poetry. Your portfolio of work will be invaluable to demonstrate your abilities to prospective employers.
Supporting you all the way
We pride ourselves on being approachable and supportive. You'll have a personal tutor to help and advise you throughout your degree, providing an exceptional level of support.
Who you will meet
Our teaching team is made up of enthusiastic, dedicated academics and practitioners who have extensive experience in the field of creative and professional writing. They include:
- Programme leader - Simon Heywood - author, folklorist, storyteller and researcher into early narratives
- Adrian Buckner - poet and editor with particular research interests in 20th Century poetry
- Dr Moy McCrory - author, editor and researcher in Irish women’s literature and creative writing pedagogy and narrative structures
- Colin Dyter - journalist, script writer and editor
- Matt Clegg - published poet and performer
Inspirational guest speakers
Thanks to our excellent network of contacts within the creative and cultural industries, we offer a lively and thought-provoking programme of visits and guest lectures. Recent speakers include:
- Michael Hulse, editor of The Warwick Review and translator of W.G. Sebald, who spoke on poetry, prose and translation
- Neil McKay, BAFTA award-winning script writer and Derby honorary graduate, whose work includes Appropriate Adult
- Terry Bamber, assistant director on many films and production manager for the latest James Bond films
- Bernard O’Donoghue, poet and Fellow of Wadham College, University of Oxford
- Suman Chakraborty, publisher, author and CEO of ROMAN Books
- Ed Hogan, prize-winning novelist of Blackmoor and former Derby student
- Christine Kennedy, writer and artist who spoke on poetry and experimentation
- Geraldine Monk, poet who spoke on the theme of poetry beyond boundaries
- Aimee Wilkinson, former Derby student now working with Writing East Midlands
- Shonaleigh, international storyteller
- Dr Rob Speranza, screen writer working in the film industry
- Clive Allen, prize winning poet
- Professor Julian Petley of Brunel University who spoke on censorship
- Professor David Nash of Oxford Brookes University who spoke on blasphemy.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
September 2020 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
At least a C in English or similar at A-level (or equivalent qualification)
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||7.0 (with 6.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
£9,250 per year*
£1,155 per module*
£14,045 per year
* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
A broad choice
Our students have gone into a wide range of jobs including working at the BBC, copywriting, arts development, librarianship, archive and record keeping, computer games and website design, teaching, marketing and law. Some choose to continue with their studies at postgraduate level, including progressing to our PhD in Creative Writing Studies.
Ensuring you’re ‘work-ready’
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure that you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you will also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.
The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- Your course fee includes any mandatory study visits and some social events.
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Minimal printing costs starting at 5p per sheet
Optional costs not included in your fees
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.